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.
 
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Published by: Simon & Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
Released 18th May 2017
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The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton

womanatnumber24Synopsis 

When your marriage falls apart, the last place you’d want your husband to move to is downstairs. Unfortunately for Sarah, up in the eaves at number 24, her ex-husband now lives one floor beneath her 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 the house. Jane and Tom‘s zest for life revives the flagging spirits, 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.

Review

Having read Juliet Ashton’s previous novel I was looking forward to her next book as I adored ‘These Days of Ours’, especially when I received and read the sampler.
 
It sounded quite a light read but it was much more emotional and mysterious than I expected. This only added an extra layer of depth, to what was already a pretty fantastic book. It is so easy to read and find yourself consumed by this book, so much so I stayed up till the early hours of the morning, unable to put it down. While most of the book takes place in the house and it’s gaden, because it’s converted to flats you get a nice variety of characters and story all intertwined.
 
The main character is Sarah and it’s from her viewpoint we read the book. At times I really liked Sarah, she was naturally kind and willing to give people a chance, like Mavis from the basement flat. However this also extended to her ex husband, Leo. She wasn’t over him, and therefore was quite naive I think, especially in the hope that helping her paint the flat proved he still loved her. She accepted that his careless, hapless nature was the way he was, and made excuses for him.  At the worst times he came off really creepy, and at best he was inconsiderate as to how Sarah may feel. I was begging Sarah to have more strength in her, and at times she did, seeing Leo squirm when she told him how ridiculous the situation was, was great, but then she went back to defending him to everyone else. It was easy to dislike Leo initially, but by the end I think Sarah somehow hypnotised me. I didn’t like him as such but thought that maybe he had changed, and could see growth in a character, that for the first part of the book, I saw no hope for.
 
Despite her grumpy exterior, I loved Mavis. Yes she was cantankerous, but at times her light shone through and you could see she wanted to change and make amends, and become and better neighbour and more importantly, a friend to everyone.
 
Jane was certainly a larger then life character, she was instantly someone trustworthy and you wanted to become best friends with.
 
This book delivered so much more than I expected. Emotion, laughs and mystery, I simply adored every minute of reading it.
 
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Published by: Simon & Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
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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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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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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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