The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Synopsis

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
 
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
 
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
 
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

Review

I’ve been in quite the thriller mood recently and thought I would check this one out, as someone I met recently was in the middle of reading this and was enjoying it, so I though why not? I don’t regret it for a second.
 
The book wasn’t slow paced, intact I was surprised to learn it was only 352 pages once I had finished and looked. The writing style was different. Not in a bad way, how could it be bad if I had finished it in less than 24 hours, but there was something distinctive about it that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was a bit cooler, while the emotion was there and felt (particularly Anne’s) the writing seemed more matter of fact. As I said this wasn’t a bad thing, and it certainly left an impression on me.
 
In thrillers like this you often find yourself doubting the characters, often the lead character. With this book though, I pretty much trusted everyone, apart from maybe the neighbours. The detective obviously had their suspicions but I wasn’t such a sceptic. I especially trusted Anne, even though there was potential of her being responsible, there was something about her that made me trust that she didn’t do it.
 
I also liked Marco, he clearly adored Anne and seemed really supportive while she was suffering from post natal depression. I can also imagine how he felt with his in-laws. The rich-poor divide can be tough, especially when the rich male likes to shove their wealth and success in someone’s face as much as Anne’s stepfather did.
 
Obviously both parents are distraught and I wondered how I would sympathise with them if I were the general public, as in hindsight leaving a baby alone, however close they are was not a great idea (understatement of the century). However my heart did break for them.
 
Detective Rasbach was also a great character, while his questions were quite direct, it was clear he genuinely wanted to get to the bottom of what happened, and sometimes hard questions are needed.
 
Overall this book was as good as I’d heard, it lived up to the tenseness you expect from a thriller and constantly kept me guessing.
 
 
Published by: Transworld
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 

The Last Piece Of My Heart by Paige Toon

Synopsis

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition.
 
Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole’s grieving husband, Charlie

Review

If you have read a review of mine of Paige’s books, or spoken to me about books for more than 5 minutes, you probably know I adore Paige’s books. So there is never any doubt in my mind that I will enjoy any new books she puts out, the question is can she beat my favourite of hers, Chasing Daisy? Paige’s last book ‘The One We Fell in Love With’ was certainly a contender to do that, and this one has surpassed that, so the books just keep getting better and better.
 
It is wonderfully written. Binge reading at its finest. I found myself enamoured and charmed by the characters, but most of all the setting. Cornwall sounds just beautiful. Reminiscent of childhood holidays, and full idyllic vista’s, I want to go and have a long weekend there myself, though maybe avoid Hermie, while it was more charming than I could have imagined beforehand, I’m not sure I could deal with a camper van.
There is also a focus on Thailand, as it’s where the book Bridget is writing is partially set, so there is a visit there, and the resort does make Thailand seem even more exotic and dreamy than it already is.
 
Bridget was an absolute joy to read. I completely adored her. She was a lot of fun to be around, had great eclectic taste in music that featured throughout the book, and her sense of humour was fantastic. I loved how despite the initial awkwardness, she soon found her groove and her natural friendliness shone though. She always describes her boyfriend, Elliot as someone who no-one dislikes, but I think she also deals into that category. Her confidence was also something I admired about her, while obviously the negative comments on her blog would have hurt, she certainly didn’t take them to heart like I know I would.
 
Now Charlie, where does one begin? I loved him, simple as that really. I really felt for him after losing his wife. He clearly adored April and wanted what was best for her, but also struggling with grief. The relationship between him and Bridget, was great to see them become friends, Bridget helped him push himself.
 
This book is as fantastic as I had expected. I didn’t want it to end, it made me feel warm and fuzzy and also struck emotional chords as well. The book you need to put in your suitcase on your summer holiday, or just read on a lazy sunday afternoon in the sun.
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
Released 18th May 2017
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 

My Traveller’s Notebook Tour

Like most stationery addicts, I have a ton of notebooks, and I love them all. However, I hand write my reviews before typing them out, and sometimes I am halfway through a review when I want to start a new one, so I have loads of notebooks on the go for reviews. I saw someone on twitter mention they bought a book log notebook, I looked into it and I thought the idea was awesome, however I just knew I would need more space for the review than the notebook provided, and so the idea of getting a traveller’s notebook where I can design and print my own inserts was born.
 
 
So here is my beautiful notebook. I ordered the A5 ‘Oakleaf’ from Meadowgate Leather on Etsy. I cannot recommend this company enough. There are so many customisation options (I could choose if to have a pen loop, where it was placed and the size of it. The Colour of the elastic and thread and much more) I found it incredibly flexible and that I could choose my look more than just the colour of the cover, and I am so glad I went for the ‘extreme’ overhang!
 
 
 
When you open it up, all my separate sections are tabbed with pink glittery washi tape, so they are easy to get to, and each notebook has a ribbon bookmark (see photos above). I was after some kind of pocket to keep a spare notebook (a girl can never have to any right?!) and my kindle in, and in WHSmith the other day I found this notebook cover which neatly fits in my kindle in the front pocket. It doesn’t quite go with my covers theme, but it was £1.24 with a notebook I can keep as a spare, and it looks so happy, so I’m pleased with it.
 
 
 
 
 
The first main section is my book reading log, so when I choose a book, I list it here and check off when I’ve read, reviewed, typed and schedule/posted it. Also have check marks for adding to Amazon and Goodreads, and also if it’s a full review or a mini review (mainly used for books I purchase/borrow from library). On the inside pockets from the bear cover, I have two small notebooks, one is a list of books I want to read ASAP, to hopefully focus my decision making in the future. The other is basically a brain dump for any thoughts.
 
 
On the Back of the Plastic cover, there is another pocket with some notepaper and two lots of adorable cat page markers and sticky notes, should I ever need them. Is over planning a thing?
 
 
The next main section is the main review section. We have essential information like the title author, publisher and source. I also keep track of the genre,  year published, pages, format I read it in and also the location where the book is set. I also have a small section for notes while I am reading the book. Then space for the actual review, and there are 2 full pages after this section to let me have plenty of space, and I alway have that spare notepaper as a backup!
 
 
 
 
Then I have room for some mini reviews, which is basically a 1 page version of the full review, but more compact. Then comes a notebook, with an adapted cover that is a small notebook which I’ve made a basic calendar from so I can add dates for blog tours I am taking part in and keep track of any book events, Yeovil Literary festival is already noted so I can see what talks are happening there.
 
The main notebook after the calendar is for ideas of blog posts, and the final notebook is lists for when I’m doing top 10’s etc.
 
 
So there you have it. That is my rather extensive blog based traveler’s notebook. I love the flexibility of it and am already planning on ordering a second one for my bullet journal!!

Blog Tour: Catch Me If You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson

Synopsis

Jess has decided it’s time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of sun, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.
 
Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they’re staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony’s expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It’s just this once. No harm done . . . right?

Review

I have read Lisa’s previous novels and loved them all, you can guarantee she will put you in the mood for jetting off on a summer holiday when you read her Summer releases or cosy up by the fire for the Christmas novels, so there was no doubt in my mind that this one was going to be just perfection.
 
The cover is beautiful, the title is clever, and most importantly it has Lisa’s trademark humour. Add to this a bucketful of outrageous antics that are over the top, but if you can’t be over the top when you’re on holiday and in somewhere like Cannes, then when can you? If you have more money than you can possibly spend, your lifestyle is probably going to be pretty outrageous, so it was fun seeing Bryon and Jess, especially Jess,, living the life, even if you knew they were going to return from the holiday with a killer credit card bill.
 
Their antics were maybe spawned by their whole lies about being wealthy but lead to karaoke, staying in expensive hotel rooms for free and parties aboard super yachts to name a few. They were great fun to read, and naturally led to some funny scenes, for example when Jess is shopping for some glasses, but to some extent, it almost made Jess come more out of her shell, and also learn to take life as it comes and try to experience as much as she can, which is something I admire.
 
I really liked Jess, she was completely relatable. A bit of a closed book at the start about what pushed her to go on this holiday, but when she is more relaxed, her bubbliness shines through. Again, just like all of Lisa’s other leads, I would love to be her best friend, she was great fun to read.
 
Bryony had constant suspicion that there was bound to be a story deeper than the celebrity gossip that she hates but was sent to Cannes to cover. She was desperation to get into more serious journalism so I get she needed a story. She was such a great friend to Jess, and seeing them and their antics together was smile-inducing.
 
Leo was handsome and pretty much loved him from the get go, but some way through the book, I took a leaf from Bryony’s book and began to have my suspicions something was up, not quite to the dramatics that Bryony imagined, but something was up. Loved his character though, and also liked his friend as well.
 
This book is clearly another stunning summer novel from Lisa. It’s funny, outrageous in the best possible way with some heart to go with it.
 
5Butterflys_white-01
 
Published by: Sphere
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 Thank you so much to Clara for organising the blog tour, I was so happy to be asked to take part in this blog tour. Make sure to check the other participants out too and see what they thought!