Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses by Carole Matthews

paperheartsandsummerkissesSynopsis 

Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents’ summerhouse working on her beautiful creations.
 
From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie’s flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it’s not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn – one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It’s all there for the taking.
 
And then, all of sudden, Christie’s world is turned upside down.
 
Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending

Review

I’ve read quite a few of Carole Matthew’s books, and absolutely adored them. Each one getting better, you know that Carole’s books are comfort reading at it’s finest. Unfortunately this book didn’t quite live to the high hopes that I held for it. I didn’t hate the book. The story was good and the writing was the same cosy style that I didn’t want to put down. What disappointed me with this book was Christie, the main character, who drove me crazy – and I promise it wasn’t just because she drunk red wine out of the fridge!
 
Christie is 42 and a single mum to 15 year old Finn. She works in London as a PA for a legal firm, commuting an hour each way. Her real passion lies in crafting. I found it really hard to connect and relate to Christie. Is it because she was older so I didn’t understand her? Was it her over reliance on her parents? I don’t know. She just really annoyed me. She was 42, but seemed so much older. She was also so down on herself, apologising for herself. I get she has low self esteem, but it got a bit tiring.
I also get she was busy commuting so had little time in the evenings to cook, so her parents were great to cook for her and Finn all week (plus they do her laundry and ironing), but there is a period where she has a few weeks off, and while I understand she was heavily stressed, I don’t understand why her parents needed to cook for her then too. Sure her parents wanted to help, and as I said she was under a lot of stress, but it would have taken her mind off it, just like crafting did. She was so dependent, I was begging for her to become more independent, to demand more from Liam (Finn’s dad) money wise. To attempt to look for a job closer to her house. She took small steps with her crafting, but even that wasn’t her doing, she was pushed by her parents and Finn. I just wanted her to do something. I get she’s a mother and Finn comes first, but she just frustrated me easily, it was like she was a mother first and a human second. I’m not a parent so maybe that’s the reason I don’t get this, but while it’s understandable maybe in the latter half of the book, I don’t get it for the first half. Especially when she sends an email fairly late into the book ARGH!
 
Finn on the other hand was great, constantly pushing his mum to step outside her comfort zone, which was much needed. Another person I really liked was Robyn, her boss, they had a really fun relationship. There is also a hilarious date involving Alpacas and it was the funniest scene in the book, hands down.
 
There was also a plot I felt under developed, It was mentioned Robyn (a lawyer) drafted an official letter to someone about a legal issue, and none of this was ever mentioned again. This would have added some great drama.
 
Overall this book wasn’t bad, I enjoyed the story but it was just disappointing to not get on board with the main character, who usually I really like in Carole’s books.
 
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Published by: Sphere
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
Out now in Hardback and ebook
Out April 6th in Paperback
 
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Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 
 
 

Mini Review Collection

 
This book was really funny, it had emotion and a great story, but the humour really stood out. The main character is loveable but also annoying at times as she becomes a bit self centred during her pregnancy, as one disaster after another kept happening to her. Her ex boyfriend Ned was infuriatingly annoying. Overall it was a really cute read, and definitely one to pick up when you need a good old rom-com book in your life.
 
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mynotsoperfectlifeMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
 
This book was amazing! I always love Sophie Kinsella books, and the fact that half the book was set really close to me made it all the better. I really liked Kate’s narrative, and I also loved how annoying Demeter was to work for. I loved the scene with Demeter practicing a yoga type of exercise in the mud. It completely didn’t end up how I thought it would, I thought the ending would be much more straight forward, so the surprise made it all the more great.
 
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Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
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The_Rosie_ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
 
I listened to it on audiobook, and the narrator did a fantastic job. The book itself was as good as I had heard. I adored Don, his outlook was certainly unique, somehow he reminded me of my partner, Simon. His habits could be infuriating at times, but I know that Rosie definitely bought the best out in him, though was far from perfect, showing she also had to learn something too.
 
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wishyouwerehereWish You Were Here by Catherine Alliot
 
Oh this book. On one hand I enjoyed it, though the middle dragged a bit for me and the main character really annoyed me for a lot of the book. It seemed that she thought everything was about her. Not liking a character doesn’t usually break a book for me, but Flora did put a downer on the whole book for me. 
 
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thegirlbeforeThe Girl Before by J P Delaney
 
I got completely absorbed into this book. I read it in pretty much one day, I couldn’t put it down. It seemed dark and disturbing. The house sounded fantastic aesthetically, but I don’t think I could live by the rules. No books for starters, could I have a kindle? Both characters surprised me, my opinions on them changed several times, and I loved it.
 
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Kate and Alf by Carrie Stone

KateandAlfSynopsis

Kate loves Alf. And Alf loves Kate… Doesn’t he?

Kate can’t wait for her long-term boyfriend Alf to propose. So he might be a bit of a control freak who’s obsessed with his career … and he also seems to have conveniently forgotten their two-year plan to get married, buy a bigger house and have children. But Kate’s sure that ring will be on her finger soon.

When her thirty-second birthday ends in humiliating, proposal-less disaster, even Kate is left wondering if Alf really is The One. Then Alf’s friend, Marcus, needs a place to stay. With his dark eyes, easygoing manner and kind concern for Kate, Marcus is everything Alf is not – and it’s not long before Kate begins to wonder if there’s more to life than diamonds.

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline

WeekofDeceit

keepquietSynopsis

One decision. One family’s future in ruins.
 
When Jake Buckman decides to let Ryan, his sixteen-year-old son practice driving home along a deserted street, he has no idea of the deadly consequences.
 
But in the darkness of night, a runner comes from nowhere and the hit is fatal.
 
Now Jake and Ryan have two options: admit Ryan’s responsibility … or drive home as though nothing happened. What follows is not a clear-cut hit and run, but a split-second decision by a father who will do anything to protect his son.
 
How much should a parent sacrifice for their child?
 
And could any family survive the burden of such a terrible secret?