A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

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asongfortomorrowSynopsis 

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.
 
Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

Review

I’ve read a couple of books by Alice Peterson before, and enjoyed them both, add that with all the hype I read on twitter surrounding this book, I knew I was in for a treat. This book was certainly something special.
 
The power of this book is shown by how hard it was for me to write this review, and how many times I’ve re-wrote the intro. Basically this book had me tongue-tied. The writing is beautiful. It is a book that begs you to take your time over it. You could easily read this in a day, but it made me want to take my time over it and savour each page. The characterisation is as wonderful as the rest of there book. You hear from 3 different people, Alice, Tom and Alice’s mother. They were all unique perspectives on their feelings on Alice and how they deal with Alice’s illness. I absolutely adored Alice’s mum’s perspective, they were incredibly moving.
 
Alice herself is incredibly determined, headstrong and at times stubborn. Her passion for music was clear and her obvious passion for life was inspirational. Of course she worries and is increasingly scared as the book continues, but she constantly pushes herself to make the most of life. Following her dreams is important to her, however far away they may seem, and it’s something we could all learn from.
 
Tom, for the most part was absolutely lovely. He clearly loved Alice and cared for her. Though their relationship is complex at times, and at times he disappointed me, but would I act differently if I was in the same situation? I don’t know, so I can’t act all self righteous.  Their romance was wonderful to read however, his caring side was beautiful and their playfulness together made me smile.
 
It’s only February and  am positive this will be in my top ten books of the year. It is loosely based on the life of Alice Martineau and that just makes it all the more emotional and special. It is heart-breaking, uplifting and inspirational. This book will stick in my mind for a long time.
 
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Published by: Simon and Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

Books and The City Goodybag!

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On Valentine’s day, I was lucky enough to win a goodybag from Books and the City. I had this big plan to do a video unboxing of it, but sadly there have been some technical difficulties, so I have returned back to my safe haven of blogging. Hopefully the technical issues will be fixed for possible future videos, but I can’t wait any longer to show you what I received from the wonderful Sara-Jade and Team BATC. As you can see it contained lots of lovely books and goodies!
 
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There was several little non-b0ok goodies. We have BATC branded lip balm and postcards, tissues (needed for a few of these books!), a pencil, a cute notepad and most amazingly a lip balm and lip scrub set that is flavoured ‘Cherry Cola Kisses’ and I am addicted to Cherry Coke, so this is perfect for me!
 
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Now onto the beautiful books! 

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A Song For Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.
 
Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.
 
I’ve recently read this as I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. Absolutely fantastic, I will be very surprised if this doesn’t star in my top 10 books this year. It’s such an inspirational and emotional book.
 
The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson – Released 9th March 2017
 
When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.
 
As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?
 
I started this last night. I’m one chapter in and I’m completely hooked.
 
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How Not to Fall in Love, Actually by Catherine Bennetto
 
Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it… Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless…
 
Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…
 
I read this when I bought it on Kindle for 99p, and it was one of the best 99ps I’ve ever spent. Lots of fun.
 
Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan – Released 9th March 2017
 
In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya deAndalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners.
 
Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.
 
Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.
 
Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.
 
Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.
 
As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…
 
I’ve never read any of Patricia’s books before but this one sounds interesting, and the cover makes me want to book a nice warm sunny holiday, so I can have that book in one hand and a cocktail or glass of wine in the other!
 
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American Housewife by Helen Ellis
 
Meet the women of American Housewife…
 
They smoke their eyes and paint their lips. They channel Beyoncé while doing household chores. They drown their sorrows with Chanel No. 5 and host book clubs where chardonnay trumps Charles Dickens. They redecorate. And they are quietly capable of kidnapping, breaking and entering, and murder.
 
These women know the rules of a well-lived life: replace your tights every winter, listen to erotic audio books while you scrub the bathroom floor, serve what you want to eat at your dinner parties, and accept it: you’re too old to have more than one drink and sleep through the night.
 
Vicious, fresh and darkly hilarious, American Housewife is a collection of stories for anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on behind the façades of the housewives of America…
 
This book looks to be interesting, and the short story nature means it’s perfect to pick up when I have a short amount of time spare and need something swift to read!
 
This Love by Dani Atkins – Released 23rd March 2017
 
Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.
 
One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?
 
I loved Dani’s last book ‘Our Song’ so naturally I can’t wait for this one. I’m really intrigued by Sophie and this is another one for tissues I think!
 
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The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon – Released 18th May 2017
 
Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition
 
Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …
 
OH MY GOD! If you’ve ever talked to me about bo0ks, I MAAAAY have mentioned that Paige Toon is my favourite author, just the once or twice you understand! I’m so excited to read this and catch up with Bridget from ‘The Longest Holiday’. I’m having an inner struggle whether to dive right in, or keep it till closer to the release date, and know I have that to look forward to…
 

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Chapter Samplers

There was three chapter samplers included of upcoming releases…

 
The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton – Released 20th April 2017
 
Welcome to number 24, a Georgian villa in west London that is home to five separate families and five very different lives.
 
Up in the eaves, Sarah finds that recovering from a nasty divorce is even more heartbreaking when your ex-husband lives one floor beneath you with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her. A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?
 
The Spring brings a new couple to number 24. Jane and Tom’s zest for life revives the flagging house, and Sarah can’t deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she’ll never act on it … but the air fizzes with potential.
 
The sunshine doesn’t reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.
 
Love, rivalry, secrets and murder – all under one seemingly ordinary roof ….
 
I loved Juliet Ashton’s last book and this one looks to be equally as good, if not better.
 
The Betrayal by Kate Furnivall – Released 2nd November 2017
 
Could you kill someone? Someone you love?
 
Paris, 1938. This is the story of twin sisters divided by fierce loyalties and by a terrible secret. The drums of war are beating and France is poised, ready to fall. One sister is an aviatrix, the other is a socialite and they both have something to prove and something to hide.
 
I don’t normally read books set in the past, but this sounds interesting and the sampler is perfect to let me see if I can expand my reading habits.
 
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan – Released January 2018
 
The novel centres on a marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband James is innocent and desperately tries to protect her family, but Kate, the prosecuting barrister, is certain James is guilty and determined to see him pay for his crime.
 
This sounds really interesting and deliciously dark, quite a wait till release though!
 
Thank you so much to Sara-Jade and Books and the City for this generous Goodybag! 
 

The Little Café of Second Chances by J. D. Barrett

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littlecafesecondchancesSynopsis

Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It’s complicated.
 
As joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town making a clean break is tough. But, let’s face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace.
 
Then Lucy happens upon an old, empty terrace that was once the city’s hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she’s peering through grimy windows into an abandoned space, the next she’s planning a pop-up bistro.
 
When Lucy fires up Fortune’s old kitchen she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summers. As Lucy cooks her way through Frankie’s recipes, customers come flocking and slowly Lucy begins to regain her confidence. It turns out that courage, passion and just a tiny bit of magic might be the secret recipe for a better life…

Review

Simply put this book is cute. A good sounding synopsis, a beautiful story with an unexpected element to it all interwoven with delicious recipes that I’m dying to try, especially those cheese soufflés.
 
The unexpected element I mentioned above is magical and supernatural, and while a surprise it was entirely welcome. It added more to the story, more depth, more history to the restaurant and Frankie’s life. The book had funny scenes, emotional scenes and scenes where you wanted to shout at the more despicable characters in the book. It was a great read from the start and the way it was written kept my attention throughout.
 
Paula is clearly a passionate and talented chef, and quite concientious too. Which is why her signing the contract and using the last of her money to get a lease on an old, delapidated restaurant ‘Fortune’ is  out of character but she’s both excited and nervous all at the same time. However, she has some great support from her best friend and it spurs her to strive even harder to make Fortune a success. She’s a great character, and her shy nature made it easy for me to connect to.
 
Frankie is the previous owner of Fortune, and we get two stories from him. One in the present day, where, while he can have a temper, you get to know a softer side to him. The other is the past when he owned Fortune, and for a lot of it you’re not sure if you like him or not, cheating on his wife and not being there for his only son isn’t a great character reference, but towards the end of the history parts, again he seems to show a more human side that’s easier to empathise with.
 
I loved Leith. Not quite the reaction I think the author was after, but he was so awful, I enjoyed his scenes immensely as I love a good villain. Someone I can roll my eyes at, or frown in anger while screaming at them (in my head).
 
As I said in the opening of this review, the book is a cute read. It has magical charm and the a wonderful sense of romance. The cooking sounded delicious and I will make sure to try some of the recipes for sure.
 
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Published by: Piatkus
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

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mysweetrevengeSynopsis

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
 
Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
 
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.
 
I want it to hurt.
 
Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.
 
She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.
 
Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?

Review

I have read all of Jane Fallon’s previous novels and moe of them have been about adultery. What is great about them that it’s not always the person being cheated on. Sometimes it’s the mistress, sometimes it’s a character thats not directly related to the relationship where someone is cheating but gets caught up in the inevitable mess. The unique viewpoints mean that while they cover similar topics, they are all unique and fascinating. This one is no different and may just have excelled to become my favourite book of Jane’s, a feat I didn’t think possible since ‘Getting Rid Of Matthew’ is absolutely fantastic and a tough one to beat.
 
The writing is smart and the whole book keeps at a steady pace where I was dying to know what was going to happen next. I loved watching Paula execute her plan. We can all imagine how horrible it must be to find your partner is cheating on you and equally feel some less at getting your revenge. The opening chapter was absolutely fantastic and I instantly warmed to Paula, and I could see how deeply she cared for their daughters and it was easy to see how she felt a little bit resentful toward’s Robert and his career when she didn’t have their opportunity despite their agreement. I also find it a bit sad that she never bought it up. I guess once Robert found a steady role it was a difficult situation to be in, but it seemed like options for Paula working as well was never fully explored so I wish they had done this, and this would have stopped some of the resentment, but when you’re in these situations it’s always more difficult than being an outsider looking in.
 
Robert was the perfect character to dislike, making it even easier to will Paula on during her plan to get revenge. He was incredibly vain and arrogant and while the character caused a few laughs, it was mainly laughing in disbelief at how ridiculous he was acting.
 
The rest of the cast of characters were fantastic, as Paula befriends Saskia, you get to know the mistress better, and Saskia’s husband sounds pretty handsome and kind. The side stories with Paula and Robert’s daughter, Georgia and her trouble with university, and also Alice, Robert’s sister were really interesting and a great distraction so it wasn’t all revenge revenge revenge, which might have got a bit tiring.
 
This book throws a few twists at you and I never wanted to put it down. It’s a lot of fun and definitely pulled me out of my slump! Another great book from Jane Fallon.
 
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Published by: Michael Joseph – Penguin
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository