The French Adventure- Lucy Coleman

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After Anna has a disastrous break up leading to losing her job aswell- she escapes to her parents guesthouse in France where they are getting 2 gites ready for the public. She works alongside builder Sam, learning new skills and trying to get to know the quiet builder and what is troubling him.
They both have some healing to do and help each other along.
There are some lovely scenes in the book- I loved the part where Sam takes Anna to see the home he is working on (albeit very slowly) and their trip to Cannes which sounded like a dream trip with very rich friends.
Anna is trying to make decisions about her future and there is a romantic spark between Anna and Sam- but do they see their futures heading in different directions.
Finding a hidden box in one of the gite walls adds another lovely dimension to the book.
One part of the book made me feel prematurely geriatric where she described being happy that her parents were able to enjoy their time in France with a new venture- despite being 51

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Faking Friends- Jane Fallon

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“Your best friend stole your fiancé. Do you run away and hide, orstart planning your revenge? 

Find out in Sunday Times bestselling author Jane Fallon’s ALL-NEW novel, Faking Friends

‘I’ve just finished this . . . it’s FABALISS. I was SO GRIPPED’ Marian Keyes

Best friend, soulmate, confidante . . . backstabber. 

Amy thought she knew everything there was to know about her best friend Melissa. Then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.

Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat.

There’s something about her stuff that feels oddly familiar . . . and then it hits Amy. The Other Woman is Melissa.

Amy has lost her home, her fiancé and her best friend in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart, she’s determined to get her own back.

Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

‘Hugely compelling . . . I loved it and just couldn’t put it down!’ Ruth Jones

‘Deliciously edgy’ Good Housekeeping

‘Compulsively readable’ Daily Mail

You can purchase it on Amazon here
MY REVIEW
I found this book really gripping. Amy has been away filming in America. When she comes back earlier than expected she discovers that her best friend has been sleeping with her fiance. She decides that she will come back without letting them know but cause some mischief whilst she is starting to rebuild her life.
She finds a flat above a shop which is awful- but all she can afford whilst she is waiting for a break. She starts to make it homely with some amusing finds. One of her old Uni friends steps up and provides the support and friendship she needs and they have a lovely friendship.
We flash back to their Uni days and the early days of her friendship with Melissa who has always been very selfish.
I loved every page- seeing her flat take shape with it’s unexpected surprise. I loved the ‘secrecy’ with her keeping the fact that she knew from those who had been the closest to her.

Dreaming Of Florence- T A Williams

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This was such a beautiful read. I felt like I was exploring Florence with Debbie and enjoying every moment. You could taste the wonderful food , it was so vividly written. Debbie agrees to work in a school for the English Language in Florence and meets the staff and students and starts to make friends. Byron, the black lab was a charming character, one of TA Williams trademarks!
Debbie has had her fingers burned in the romance stakes and is reluctant to trust her feelings again- but when romance is in the air the right man can make all the difference. I loved their friendship and the feeling that this was going to develop into something lovely.
I was so sad to leave the characters behind when we got to the end. I wanted to help them put up their Christmas tree and invite me over for dinner!

On a Beautiful Day- Lucy Diamond

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It’s a beautiful day in Manchester and four friends are meeting for a birthday lunch. But then they witness a shocking accident just metres away which acts as a catalyst for each of them.

For Laura, it’s a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock. Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship. Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless and out of control. And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface.

This is a novel about the startling and unexpected turns life can take. It’s about luck – good and bad – and about finding bravery and resilience when your world is in turmoil. Above all, it’s about friendship, togetherness and hope

Amazon link here

My review

 

Four friends witness a terrible accident whilst dining together. It affects them all in different ways and secrets they have been h0lding and fears all come to the surface.
Lucy Diamond always creates such believable, warm characters and you instantly get drawn into their friendship group. You feel for each of them- as they cope with busy family lives and the worries that come along with relationship issues.
You know that you are going to be guaranteed a lovely read from Lucy and I always look forward to a new book from her.

 

Carnegie’s Maid- Marie Benedict

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I thought this was a great read. Clara is taking a boat over to America to help her family back in Ireland. When she arrives she discovers someone looking for a girl with the same name and takes on that girls identity so that she has a job to go to.
She is working as a ladies maid without any prior experience and it’s interesting to see how she gains the skills she needs. Mrs Carnegie is a tough taskmaster in public. I didn’t know anything about the Carnegie family and found it fascinating to read about the times that the real Carnegie family lived through.
Clara spends time with the son, who has several business interests and we hear about how he made his money.
I love historical books and will look out for more books by this author

Close to Home- Cara Hunter

 

I really enjoyed this thriller. An eight year old girl goes missing from her parents party- but no one can tell the police when they last saw her. Everyone seems to have something to hide and the parents aren’t presented sympathetically at all.

It’s every parents nightmare- but they don’t seem to be living in a nightmare and are still more concerned about how they are perceived. There are obviously secrets in this family- but just what secrets we are left to discover.

We read real time updates on facebook and twitter revealing what the local people think. We also see the tv appeal where the parents are alway scrutinised closely. This always makes me feel great sympathy for the parents at the worst point in their life they are expected to appeal to the public whilst everything they do and say are watched by the police for clues to their guilt.

It’s a real page turner making you second guess events along the way.

The Secret Mother- Shalini Boland

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Tessa arrives home after visiting her childrens graves to find a little boy sitting in her kitchen announcing that she is his new mummy. Where has he come from and is Tessa losing her mind- others around her seem to be convinced that she is.

I loved every page of this book following Tessa trying to investigate how Harry came to be sitting in her house and then trying to deal with the backlash from a police investigation and a journalist deluge. Mystery surrounds her. It’s a great psychological thriller.

She finds some unexpected support from her boss and work colleagues and that helps her deal with the breakdown of her life.