Book Review ~ ‘Greatest Hits’ by Laura Barnett.

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Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Music
Release Date: June 15th 2017.

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SYNOPSIS

The new novel from the author of the number one bestseller The Versions of Us.

One day. Sixteen songs. The soundtrack of a lifetime…

Alone in her studio, Cass Wheeler is taking a journey back into her past. After a silence of ten years, the singer-songwriter is picking the sixteen tracks that have defined her – sixteen key moments in her life – for a uniquely personal Greatest Hits album.

In the course of this one day, both ordinary and extraordinary, the story of Cass’s life emerges – a story of highs and lows, of music, friendship and ambition, of great love and great loss. But what prompted her to retreat all those years ago, and is there a way for her to make peace with her past?

Daughter. Mother. Singer. Lover. What are the memories that mean the most?

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Book Review ~ ‘Greatest Hits’ by Laura Barnett ~ 5 Stars!

Laura Barnett’s The Versions of Us was one of my favourite books of 2015; so much so I have a copy in both Hardback and Paperback. So it was with much excitement and a little trepidation that I entered into Barnett’s second novel Greatest Hits. How will she create such a heartfelt story, one with as many twists and turns as she did before? But I needn’t have feared. Greatest Hits is a completely different story, but in it’s own way, just as fantastic as The Versions of Us.

Greatest Hits is an immersive reading experience, which takes us through the life of fictional singer Cassie Wheeler. A famed star, whose music and personal life had been at the forefront of the media for years before she disappeared from view, everyone is wanting to know when her next album will be released. As a middle-aged Cassie returns to her studio for the first time in years, she listens to and chooses the songs that best chronicle her life’s road as she takes herself and the reader down memory lane.

Laura Barnett writes with such an understanding of human emotion that in the space of 400+ pages, as a reader you feel as though you too have experienced all that Cassie has. She no longer becomes a character that you are reading about, but another part of you that you never knew you had. Throughout Cassie’s life, through her loves, losses, successes and failures, all are expressed through Barnett’s powerful prose, and the meaningful lyrics of the songs that Cassie chooses as those that have shaped the person she is.

Greatest Hits  is a reading experience that melds music and literature in a way that few people have achieved before. With lyrics by both Barnett and singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams, readers can also hear the sixteen of Cassie’s records in song on Williams’ album Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits.

5 Stars!


 

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Greatest Hits

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Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits

~ Kathryn Williams ~

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Laura Barnett

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Kathryn Williams 

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Book Review ~ ‘Summer in San Remo’ by Evonne Wareham.

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Summer in San Remo by Evonne Wareham
(Riviera #1)
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Mystery
Release Date: 16th July 2017
Publisher: Choc Lit

35696702


 

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SYNOPSIS

Anything could happen when you spend summer in San Remo.
Running her busy concierge service usually keeps Cassie Travers fully occupied. But when a new client offers her the strangest commission she’s ever handled she suddenly finds herself on the cusp of an Italian adventure, with a man she thought she would never see again.
Jake McQuire has returned from the States to his family-run detective agency. When old flame Cassie appears in need of help with her mysterious client, who better than Jake to step in?
Events take the pair across Europe to a luxurious villa on the Italian Riviera. There, Cassie finds that the mystery she pursues pales into insignificance, when compared to another discovery made along the way.

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Book Review ~ ‘Summer in San Remo’ by Evonne Wareham ~ 5 Stars!

Summer in San Remo is the perfect summer read! If you are feeling stuck in a slump in rainy Britain, then this is the perfect book to transport you to sunny Italy! Romantic, fun but with hints of mystery throughout, this is the a book you devour!

We’ve all had strange requests in our jobs, but our heroine Cassie takes the cake. Having to find a husband in a day would be something she’d laugh at before, but as her ex-boyfriend has left her penniless, she’ll take any job she can. Cassie was a real laugh, and I loved following her story. She was a strong character, but felt all the more real to me by her willingness to scrape low. She didn’t just wait for something easy to come along, and she knew that to get her and her business out of the black, she’d need to do some not so great things.

Enter Jake. Oh what a gem. I adored his relationship with Cassie. The sparks flew and they had the best scenes together. Flirty, fun and warm, it was heartwarming to read. Both have problems in their lives, but together they put aside their past differences and get to heart of their mysterious job in San Remo – because there are mysteries to solve, and it’s these two who have to do it.

Escape to San Remo this summer with Evonne Wareham’s fantastic warm novel of love and mystery. You won’t be disappointed.

5 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


 

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Evonne Wareham

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Book Review ~ ‘Where Rainbows End’ by AnneMarie Brear.

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Where Rainbows End by AnneMarie Brear
Genres: Historical, Romance.
Release Date: 23rd May 2017.
Publisher: Choc Lit

35212578

 


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SYNOPSIS

Can she hold on to her dreams?

It’s 1850 and the Noble family have travelled to the other side of the world to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plan for an outback farm reality, although her ambition is frowned upon by a society that has very set ideas about a woman’s place.

Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.

Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land, even if it means losing everything else.

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Book Review ~ ‘Where Rainbows End’ by AnneMarie Brear ~ 5 Stars!

AnneMarie Brear’s Where Dragonflies Hover was one of my favourite historical reads of last year, and with Where Rainbows End Brear has made the list for 2017 too!

A beautifully written historical novel Where Rainbows End brilliantly depicts early Australian life in the colonies through the eyes of a foreigner, and having never been to Australia myself I lived and learned through the eye of our heroine Pippa as she takes it upon herself to bear the struggles of building a new life in a beautiful, yet harsh and unknown land.

Pippa was the kind of heroine I love. Her fierce devotion to helping her family have the best new beginning, and her willingness to shoulder the burdens herself in order to achieve her dreams made her strong, likeable, and also inspiring. The relationships she forges with those around her, including the respect she earns from the workers on her land, and the others in the area will make you proud of her, as though she is someone you know yourself.

What I loved most about this novel was the perfect timing of the ultra slow-burning romance between Pippa and Gil. The novel takes place over a number of years, and the characters change so much throughout the time after overcoming some of the hardest battles, and through it, Pippa and Gil grow as friends, part and regret as love and jealousy comes to one before the other feels it, and all the while a hope grows in the reader that they will find a way to be happy together.

My only disappointment was that it ended so soon! The last chapter ends so quickly, that you turn the page hoping for more. But this is a firm 5 star read, and a fantastic book for anyone who loves heartfelt historical fiction.

5 Stars!


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AnneMarie Brear

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Book Review ~ ‘New Boy’ by Tracy Chevalier.

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New Boy: Othello Retold by Tracy Chevalier
(Hogarth Shakespeare)
Genres: Adult, Historical, Retellings
Release Date: 11th May 2017.

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SYNOPSIS

From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring comes the fifth installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, a modern retelling of Othello set in a suburban schoolyard

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat’s son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970’s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

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Book Review ~ ‘New Boy’ by Tracy Chevalier ~ 5 Stars!

In ‘New Boy’ Tracy Chevalier has created an incredible retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello that creeps up on you, and lingers in the mind long after you’ve turned the last page.

The never altering routine of a school playground is thrown into disarray when 11 year old Osei arrives at his new school. Why does this young boy cause such an uproar? Because this is 1970s Washington, and Osei is black. The themes of race and segregation of the time are heartbreakingly portrayed in this retelling where not only is Osei victimised for the colour of his skin, but so is the young Dee, a white girl who chooses to befriend him.

Chevalier’s decision to base this story in a school was so clever, as nowhere else in a modern setting would the trail of lies, rumours and jealousy be so rife as in a school playground where, as is truthfully stated by one of their teacher’s “kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime.”

I adored this retelling of Othello, and many parallels can be found between this and the current Black Lives Matter movement in America. I strongly recommend this book, as the issues raised are made even more black and white by their being portrayed and noticed by children who can only have picked up their casual racism from the careless comments of adults.

5 Stars!


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Tracy Chevalier

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Blog Tour ~ ‘The Rise of the Dawnstar’ by Farah Oomerbhoy.

The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy Official Blog Tour

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The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy
(The Avalonia Chronicles #2)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 24th April 2017.


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SYNOPSIS

The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah OomerbhoyAurora Firedrake returns in the spellbinding sequel to The Last of the Firedrakes.

The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.

With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.

Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…

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Book Review ~ ‘The Rise of the Dawnstar’ by Farah Oomerbhoy ~ 4 Stars!

Wow! What a stunning follow-up to the wonderful ‘The Last of the Firedrakes’. I’d been eagerly awaiting this book since the second I put down the first and boy was I not disappointed.

Farah Oomerbhoy has developed so much as a writer and in this instalment I felt even more at home in the world of Avalonia, and loved how the world-building had strengthened so much. Traveling alongside Aurora through the war-torn kingdoms, we get to see more of more of the Kingdoms of Avalonia, and the dangers that behold our princess.

I loved the development of her character and the strength of her resolve to face the worst, even whilst at times still acting like a typical teenager, which made me so happy to see. We see developments in her love-life as well, but you’ll just have to read that yourself – no spoilers from me. Only to say, there is a new player in the game we call love!

Oomerbhoy has the most beautiful writing style which twists and flows, taking you along in the story with ease. I read for hours before realising that it was late at night, because I was so immersed. The sign of a great storyteller.

4 Stars!


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Available On

AmazonNookiBooksKoboSmashwordsThe Book DepositoryIndie BoundItasca


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Farah OomerbhoyFarah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained over two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India.

 


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AmazonTwitter | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Wattpad | Tumblr

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Prizes

For each stop on tour, there will be a special number at the end of the post. Collect all the numbers, add them up, and enter to win one of three prizes! Once you have all the numbers you can enter the giveaway here: http://farahoomerbhoy.com/rise-dawnstar-now/
The giveaway closes on May 21st, 11:59pm Eastern US time.
My number is 27. 
Good luck!

Follow the Tour

Monday, April 24th

Review– Of all the books I’ve loved before…
Interview– Lisa Manterfield

Tuesday, April 25th

Review– The Reading Cat
Review – The Book Lover

Wednesday, April 26th

Guest Post and Review – Celebrityreadshush
Review– Bubble Bath Books

Thursday, April 27th

Guest Post & Review– The Bewitched Reader
ReviewCreative Bookie

Review– EndlessReading
Guest Post– A Redhead’s Ramblings

Monday, May 1st

Review – Reads All the Books
Interview – Motif by Tanya

Tuesday, May 2nd

Interview and Review– Books and Stars
Guest Post and Review – Paranormal angel blog

Wednesday, May 3rd

Review– Writing Pearls
Interview– Eliza Green

Thursday, May 4th

Guest Post and Review– The Reader and the Chef
Review– JBronder Book Reviews

Friday, May 5th

Review – Miranda’s Book Blog
Interview– Sarah Benson

Monday, May 8th

Guest Post and Review– Creatyvebooks
Guest Post – J. M. Butler (Telling stories, reading books, and savoring life)

Tuesday, May 9th

Review – Fabric of Life

Wednesday, May 10th

Guest post and review – Kindle and Me (http://www.kindleandme.com)
Review – LiyareadsYA (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy57923LodhcqD8QLYurgyQ?app=desktop )

Thursday, May 11th

Interview and review – The YA Wizard (https://theyawizard.wordpress.com/)
Interview – Coffee Addicts Book Reviews (http://selenityjadebooks.blogspot.com/)

Friday, May 12th

Review – Darcy’s Book Blog (https://darcysbookblog.com)
Guest post – Rockin’ Book Reviews (http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/)

Book Review ~ ‘Wintersong’ by S. Jae-Jones.

 

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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
(Wintersong #1)
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: 7th February 2017.

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SYNOPSIS

Dark, romantic and unforgettable, a fantastical coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Darkest Part of the Forest.

Deep in his terrifying realm underground, the cold and forbidding Goblin King casts a dark shadow over nineteen-year-old Liesl. Her grandmother has always warned her to follow the old laws, for every year on the longest night of winter, she claims, the Goblin King will emerge into the waking world in search of his eternal bride. Sensible and plain, Liesl knows it’s her duty to keep her beautiful sister Käthe safe from harm. But Liesl finds refuge only in her wild, captivating music, composed in secret in honor of the mysterious Goblin King.

When Käthe is stolen by the Goblin King, Liesl knows she must set aside her childish fantasies to journey to the Underground and save her. Drawn despite herself to the strange, beautiful world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she finds herself facing an impossible choice. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Set at the turn of the 19th century, when young upstart composers like Beethoven were forever altering the sound of music, S. Jae-Jones’ richly imagined debut spins a spellbinding tale of music, love, sisterhood, and a young woman’s search for self-actualization.

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Book Review ~ ‘Wintersong’ by S. Jae-Jones ~ 5+ Stars!

My God, this book. Just wow! I mean, just…umm. *speechless*

I may ramble incoherently, as I often do about the books I love, but this stunning book is so rich, sexy, magical that I feel I need to just scream about it from the roof-tops.

Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head.

First off – That beginning. Oh my god! Fairy tales are a big favourite of mine, and from that first paragraph, I was enraptured, I could picture it in my head and was excited for the story to come. Music and magic coming together are a match-made in heaven for me, and as the story unfolds the sensual effect of music, magic and love left me breathless.

Secondly, the characters will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading. Liesl,  Käthe, the Goblin King – all were so well-developed and so extraordinary that they leapt off the page and I could see everything about them that I needed to to really believe in them.  I understood the battle of light and dark in the Goblin King, I felt Liesl’s reluctance to find herself, after years of helping her siblings find themselves, and Käthe, the girl who realises after it is too late how much she loves her sister.

Written in mind for the elder YA audience, this book has everything in it I wish I’d had to read as a teenager. Deeply, but not overtly, sensual, I would not recommend it for under sixteen years old, but there is something about this book that will trap you in its spell and let you recognise your own desires through Liesl’s experimentations with her music.

A stunningly written, sensual and fantastical romance, Wintersong is a must-read for fans of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Angela Carter.

5+ Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


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S. Jae-Jones

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New Release + Book Review ~ ‘Little Teashop of Horrors’ by Jane Lovering.

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Little Teashop of Horrors by Jane Lovering
(Yorkshire Romances #7)
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 28th March 2017.
Publisher: Choc Lit

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SYNOPSIS

Secrets, lies, carrot cake – and an owl called Skrillex!

Amy Knowles has always been the plain sidekick to her pretty best friend Jules. And whilst the tearoom they both work in on the Monkpark Hall estate in Yorkshire is not exactly awash with eligible bachelors, it’s obvious where the male attention is concentrated – and it’s not just on the cakes!

There is one man who notices Amy. Joshua Wilson also works at Monkpark, where he flies his birds of prey for visitor entertainment. He lives a lonely existence but he has reasons for choosing isolation – and, in Amy, he may have found somebody who understands.
Then a management change brings slick and well-spoken Edmund Evershott to Monkpark. He’s interested in Amy too, but for what reason? Josh suspects the new manager is up to no good – but will Amy? Because Edmund could leave her with much worse than a broken heart …

Another wonderful quirky, fun novel from this award-winning author. Sit back, grab the chocolate, you’re in for a real treat!

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Book Review ~ ‘Little Teashop of Horrors’ by Jane Lovering ~ 5 Stars!

Jane Lovering’s novels are always guaranteed to bring you joy, and Little Teashop of Horrors is no exception! With a heroine you’ll love because she’s just so genuinely, well, nice, and a hero who’ll creep up on you and steal your heart without you noticing, this is a tale that will have you laughing one minute, then sniffling into a tissue the next.

Amy was a joy as our heroine. We all know someone like Amy, who is too nice for their own good (and often wish we were like her when our tempers get the better of us), and one of the many joys of this book was seeing the transformation that Amy made from the beginning to a strong, young woman who stood up for herself, and realised her worth. It beautifully mirrored Josh’s own transformation whose story will have you near to tears. Lovering beautifully creates a tentative friendship between the two that you will root for from the beginning.

Filled to the brim with a quirky humour that Jane Lovering never fails to bring to her novels, you will laugh out loud throughout; Sam and his artichokes, Gran and her spoons – all are so relatable that you feel as though you too are a part of the Monkpark family. There were many moments that I wished I was sitting in the Monkpark cafe, sipping tea and eating cakes and plotting ways to get rid of the snotty manager Edmund.

A delight from start to finish, Little Teashop of Horrors is the perfect book to dive into this spring! 5 Stars!

*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


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Only 99p for a limited time!

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Jane Lovering

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