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Finding Love At The Christmas Market By Jo Thomas

Finding Love at the Christmas Market‘Finding Love At The Christmas Market’ is the latest book by Jo Thomas.

Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she’s feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie’s residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market – with the promise she’ll take a mini-bus full of pensioners with her.Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a check-list of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich’s rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.

Having consumed Jo’s previous book called ‘Escape to the French Farmhouse’ in one sitting, I was delighted to be offered the chance to read her new Christmas book about love, friendship and food.

The story is mostly seen through the narrative of Connie, a single mum who works for a local catering company that delivers food to a care home called Lavender Hill. It’s in this job, that has made friends with the residents of the care home, especially Pearl and has decided to help them with a task of bringing the ashes of their friend called Elsie back to her home country in Germany and be scattered at the Christmas markets. It just so happens that Connie is going to Germany to meet Heinrich, her last hope at online dating. With a minibus full of elderly people who have far from lost their lust for life. They begin a 5 day adventure in Germany, embracing life and new friendships.

I loved this book, it warm, full of heart and is the perfect distraction during a pandemic. I loved Connie, she’s a kind woman, who puts other people’s happiness before her own. When she meets Heinrich, he ticks all the boxes that she’s looking for in a man. Now that her grown up son has Sam has left the nest and got himself a girlfriend, Connie is looking for company but is wary of the deception that is involved with online dating. Even though Connie wants her heart to belong to Heinrich, she finds herself drawn to William, who just so happens to be Heinrich’s enemy. Their family have been at loggerheads for years and come from bakeries in the opposing parts of the town. William is hoping that this year will be the year that his bakery will win the Christmas cake of the year and help bring in some funds to the Old Town and help mend his relationship with his wife and son. I loved William, he’s kind with a huge heart. I loved the interaction between Connie and William, from their awkward first meeting to her helping him with the baking.

This book is the perfect festive book to read. Filled with graphic scenes of the Christmas markets to the heady scents from the Christmas baked goods that seemed to leap from the pages. The story is beautifully written with wonderful characters and really highlights how people can easily be forgotten when they get older and are put into homes and out of the way. It made for sad reading in parts, as the characters reflected on how they were made to feel when family only wanted them for Boxing Day or for expensive gifts.

The humans weren’t the only great characters in this book, there was the inclusion of a sweet and deaf dog called Fritz who was able to put people at ease with his gentle nature. Like Jo’s previous books, this book is heavily food based with traditional German sweets and baked goods and Jo has included the recipes should the reader decide to create their own.

A story of new beginnings and new memories, this festive story is filled with love and heart, ‘Finding Love at the Christmas Market’ is a fun and captivating story that is packed with Christmas cheer and love.

You can buy ‘Finding Love At The Christmas Market’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Rodham By Curtis Sittenfeld

Rodham‘Rodham’ is the latest book by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Smart, diligent, and a bit plain, that’s the general consensus. Then Hillary goes to college, and her star rises. At Yale Law School, she continues to be a leader- and catches the eye of driven, handsome and charismatic Bill. But when he asks her to marry him, Hillary gives him a firm No. How might things have turned out for them, for America, for the world itself, if Hillary Rodham had really turned down Bill Clinton?

Rodham is a fascinating story of what ifs. What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t accepted Bill Clinton’s marriage proposal and went onto focus on her own political career and put her own needs first.

Rodham is written from the narrative of Hillary and follows her on her journey from university to presidency and truly makes for interesting reading as Hillary dares challenges the dynamics of politics and how it’s not only for men. She’s outspoken with morals as she’s determined to make a better society for those in less fortunate settings.

The scenes where she first meets Bill are quite intoxicating and the author has portrayed him as a quite a gentleman they oozes sex appeal and charm, but even though he claims undying love for Hillary, he’s unfaithful and this is sad to read as Hillary has invested so much into the relationship, even putting her own career on whole for the sake of his.

To be honest, I was delighted when she called it a day with Bill, as he didn’t deserve her and Hillary is such more than someone’s wife. The story is thoroughly researched and gives a candid insight into the running of politics, the money involved as well as how women are treated in this male dominated industry and how they are threatened by confident women.

I really enjoyed this book, it’s clever, dark with witty dialogue and really does make for reflective reading. With a striking cover, ‘Rodham’ is a fascinating story that really did leave me wondering, where would Hillary be if she hadn’t married Bill?

You can buy ‘Rodham’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Gone By Leona Deakin

Gone‘Gone’ is latest book by Leona Deakin in Dr Bloom series.

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read: Your gift is the game dare to play? The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic, and psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom is persuaded to investigate. As she delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all. And that something makes them very dangerous indeed. As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the puppeteer. But is she playing into their hands?

I started this book a couple of days ago and have been hardly able to put it down, cleverly written with twists weaved throughout, this is a gripping thriller with a capital T.

In this story we meet psychologist Dr Augusta Bloom, who’s been called into investigate the disappearance of individuals who disappear after receiving a card asking them whether they want to play a game, as her and her colleague Marcus Jameson investigate the disappearances they find themselves delving into something a lot more dark and sinister than they ever expected.

This is a fantastic introduction to a thrilling heroine, Dr Bloom is a strong lead, clever with an intriguing personality and character, I found myself latching onto her as the story progresses and she worked tirelessly to solve the crime. The story is seen from multiple narratives giving interesting insight into the situation as well as keeping the reader on their toes, as they too also tried to solve the mystery.

Fast paced with twists and turns throughout, ‘Gone’ is an engaging and thrilling story that pulls the reader and leaves them hanging onto every word.

You can pre-order ‘Gone’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 3rd October 2019.

I Owe You One By Sophie Kinsella

I Owe You One’I Owe You One’ is the latest book by Sophie Kinsella.

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour. That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time. Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.

It’s hard not to get excited when Sophie Kinsella releases a new book, especially when one of her earlier novels called ‘Can You Keep A Secret?’ is one of my favourite books.

In her latest book, we meet Fixie who is always trying to do the right, which is hard when she works in a shop with her argumentative brother and whimsical sister, who don’t share the same realistic vision as her and when their mother becomes ill and goes away, they realise that they have to work together. It’s one day that she meets the handsome Sebastian, when she saves his computer being ruined that he’s forever in her favour and she ends up giving this favour to the love of her life, Ryan, who’s returned from Hollywood after it not working out for him.

I loved this story but found it such a frustrating tale at times, as people around Fixie are constantly belittling her or putting her down, making her doubt her self worth and confidence. She’s a lovely character with a kind soul and you can’t help but fight her corner. She has everyone’s well being in considerations even if those don’t see and she manages to get herself in some hilarious situations.

This book is just like Sophie’s previous novels, it’s the perfect book to curl up and get lost in and it’s cleverly written with witty characters, one liners as well as a charming plot line and a lovely sense of poignancy that really added to the story.

Fun from the first page, ‘I Owe You One’ is a wittily crafted, coming of age story, with an inspirational protagonist that is a must read for all fans of Sophie Kinsella.

You can buy I Owe You One from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Tammy Cohen Writers Tip

Tammy CohenStamina, without a doubt. You can have all the writing advice and classes you want but they’re worth nothing if you haven’t got the discipline and stamina to sit down and actually write day after day after day until finally you’ve got a book.