Archiwum - Marzec, 2014

Cover of the Month: March

31 mar











This is the fourth time that I’m trying to publish this post and I really do hope that this time it’s going to work! Please, please, please!


So, it’s THIS time of the month again. And I don’t mean this what you thought I mean, I mean it is the end of the month, so it’s  time for my Cover of the Month feature. Yeah, baby.

Just have a look at all those beautiful covers. When I look at them I just want to stroke them, to feel them again, to read the books again. They are so nice and believe me, it was again not so easy to decide which one is the most beautiful. For me of course:) Because yes, they are all beautiful.

Again, those are the covers of the books that I’ve read in March or have intended to read. My, it’s really not so easy to juggle a child, a little job, dog, husband, house, visits to the doctors and still find me – time. And yes, all my me – time consists of reading, reading, reading.

OK, I have just had my nails done. Exception.

And yes, also Twitter.


And, ladies and gentlemen, drum rolls, applause, applause, here is MY Cover of the Month.


The colours, the font, the picture on the cover – they say it all!

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Birthday Giveaway!

28 mar

Today is my daughter’s birthday. She is already 2 years old and I just can’t believe it! Where has all the time gone???

The first part of the guests party has gone home, we are waiting for the second one and I am also going to celebrate here, on my blog.

Here is the deal: you can choose any available* chick – lit book published in March 2014 and I am going to buy it for you and send it to you. So, what are you waiting for? Here is the Rafflecopter, just follow the instructions and I am keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Giveaway open for Europe only, sorry:(

* available for me to buy, so usually

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here are some books that you can choose:

- Fiona Gibson Take Mum Out

- Jane Costello The Time of Our Lives

- Katie Fforde The Perfect Match

- Jenny Colgan The Little Beach Street Bakery

- Rebecca Chance Bad Brides

- Gemma Burgess The Brooklyn Girls: Angie

- Lucy Lawrie Tiny Acts of Love

etc, etc :)

So, the only you must do is enter!  Good luck!


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The Time of Our Lives by Jane Costello / Book Review

26 mar



The Time of Our Lives by Jane Costello


Publisher / Wydawca: Simon & Schuster


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 27th March 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you! Od wydawcy przez NetGalley, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

Imogen and her friends have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.
So when one of the group wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona’s hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in surroundings of unapologetic luxury.
But as they mingle with movie stars, mafia bosses and millionaires, it becomes clear – with riotous consequences – that even in the most glamorous of locations, things can go wrong. Very wrong . . .
Hilarious and heart-warming by turns, The Time of Our Lives is Jane Costello at her very best.

Rating/Ocena: 4/5



I think this was the longest that I have tried to settle for a rating. I love Jane Costello, I love her books, and I really enjoyed this one, but this particular novel lacked for me  the typical, light, casual style that I have always identified with JC. While I would recognize all her previous books immediately, would know she is the author of them, I couldn’t have done it with this book. I missed the lightness, the feeling of carefreeness. Reading all of her previous books I have laughed out loud and here I just only smiled. The cover of the book, although very similar in style to the previous covers of Jane’s books, is also, in my opinion, a little bit down and not so optimistic. But in the end I am happy to give it 4 stars, the book deserves them.


Imogen, Meredith and Nicola are three best friends, up to their noses with work, family problems, children, families. When Meredith unexpectedly wins a VIP holidays in Barcelona, they all decide it’s time to put everything behind and go for the journey.

To tell you that Imogen, who is our main character here, and is  a single mum with a very demanding job, can enjoy her holidays and relax, would be an understatement. She must cope with a crisis at work even on holidays and couldn’t be seen without her mobile, trying to find the best possible solutions.

Welcome Harry who is also staying at the same hotel and is a journalist, which at very particular moment is not the best of jobs in Imogen’s eyes. He and Imogen are very attracted to each other from the very beginning, but she is scared into getting a new relationship after her last one. I have guessed what has happened with her last boyfriend long before it is clearly explained but nevertheless, it irritated me a little that she’s so unsure and lives in the past. While I can understand her feeling, I have also thought, hey girl, go and live again, you deserve this.

Imogen’s friends were a really great bunch of good mates. Meredith, who was heavily pregnant, was fighting with her feelings, Nicola had some problems of her own, and I kept my fingers crossed for her all the time. We met them often enough in the book to be friendly with them, to like them, they are, like all the other characters, brilliantly written and they just pop out of the pages, they are all so vivid and full of life. This is one of Jane’s strength, she draws such brilliant characters that the reader feels like he knows them personally, like he’s the part of the story. There was only one person that made me cringe with reluctance, and it was Imogen’s mother. I mean, her daughter was on holidays and her constant telephones played sooo on my nerves, especially as the things she was calling with were really so irrelevant.


So what follows is a story full of fun, good weather, positive vibes, embarrassing situations, hunting after the thief, thinking that one is being mugged, parties, swimming – pools, and many, many phone conversations for Imogen. Oh my, this poor woman:) But when you are a single mum you need your job and I could see and understand why she’s doing it – working on her holidays.

I am really very curious if she had finally managed to read the book that she took with her on her holidays:)



The idea of the plot can be considered as not a new one but there are some elements that took me by surprise and some of the subplots are very serious ones. On one hand it is very light – hearted, on the other Jane writes about serious issues and I guess this is the point that bothered me so much, because the serious elements overwhelmed for me the lightness in the book. Imogen was from time to time too sad, too unhappy and I missed some of the fun, some of the sense of humour that I so appreciate in Jane’s writing.


But altogether, I was really happy to have Jane Costello’s new book in my hands. It was a story that I have enjoyed, full of twists and turns and prone – accident friends, and some of the situations that they put themselves in were really funny, let me just mention trying to sneak into the hotel party. As always in Jane’s books, I didn’t know what to expect when I turn the page as she’s amazingly productive in concocting extreme situations and seems to like to put her characters in many awkward and funny situations. The writing, although not so light as usual, is also very engaging and smooth. Okay, for me there was some sadness in the book but it’s only me:) I am sure you’re not going to regret reading this book!

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Guest Post! Two nations, divided by a common book cover by Michele Gorman

25 mar

On March 25th Notting Hill Press will be launching Michele Gorman’s debut series, The Expat Diaries, in the US. Her debut, Single in the City, was a best-seller in the UK, where it was first published by Penguin.

Michele wanted to give a little something to all the blogs who are so supportive of women’s fiction, so below please find a guest post she’s written. Enjoy!



Two nations, divided by a common book cover

I’ll never forget the day I first saw the cover for my debut novel back in early 2010. My editor emailed it to me while I was waiting to meet with my agent. I was sitting in a beautiful café on Piccadilly on a sunny February day (a rare thing in London). Excitement, tinged with nerves, fizzed when I opened that image. For months I’d wondered how Penguin would package the book that I’d spent years writing and rewriting until it was as perfect as could be. Would they take the same care over the cover? Would it reflect the story, about a young American woman named Hannah who moves to London only to find that she’s completely ill-equipped to live there?

It did, and I loved it. The cover fit perfectly with the story and perfectly with the romantic comedy genre in the UK – a pretty illustrated pastel cover. It reflected Hannah’s uncertainty, swept along and buffeted by London.

Then, about a month later, my agent took me out for dinner. “You’re not going to like what I have to tell you,” she said, pushing the cake we were sharing in my direction. “Penguin wants to change the title. To Single in the City. They feel that it has broader appeal.”

That explained why she’d been plying me with wine for two hours.

It took me a few days to get used to the change, but if Penguin, one of the biggest publishers in the world, thought Single in the City was a better title, then I’d trust them. So the book got a name change, and a new cover. And I loved it even more than the first one.

Happily, so did the British reading public. Single in the City gained tens of thousands of fans and I was officially a best-seller in the UK!

So when I decided to independently publish Single in the City in the US, I worked with the cover designer who’d done my UK cover. I wanted suitcases, and a little clue that she’s American. I loved the result (and note the tiny flag).

Misfortune Cookie followed, and then The Twelve Days to Christmas, and the series was complete.

But the thing about being an author is that there are always things you’d like to change in your books, and as I wrote 5 more after my debut, the number of things I wanted to change grew with my experience.

I couldn’t rewrite Single in the City in the UK, because Penguin owns those rights. But I could rewrite it for the US. Misfortune Cookie and The Twelve Days to Christmas also got makeovers. Together they’re rebranded as The Expat Diaries series, as I’d originally planned way back in 2010. (For those who follow me on twitter, that’s why I’ve been @expatdiaries all along)

And just as redecorating one room can make the rest of the house look tired, knowing that the text was rewritten made the covers seem out of date. So new covers were designed and they’re the ones that I’d want to snatch off the shelf, throw myself on the sofa with a glass of wine, and devour. I hope you will to!

The Expat Diaries: Single in the City launches in the US on March 25th . All the books are available globally, and here’s the Amazon link:

If you’re on Facebook and/or twitter, please do come say hello – I promise to do my very best to be entertaining J


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To Catch a Creeper by Ellie Campbell / Book Review + Guest Post

24 mar


To Catch a Creeper: A Crouch End Confidential Mystery by Ellie Campbell


Publisher / Wydawca: Across the Pond Press


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 24th March 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the author, thank you! Od autora, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

Cathy is riding high in her brand-new job at a (surprisingly bitchy) top London advertising agency working with best friend Rosa. But when Rosa’s pregnancy goes amiss and enemies sabotage her new career, she finds herself leading a chaotic double life of lies and deception, hiding a shameful secret from all, especially husband Declan who appears in the throes of a nervous breakdown.

Meanwhile she’s agreed to unmask the notorious Crouch End Creeper, a burglar terrorizing their neighbourhood. Little does she know that her meddling, assisted by fellow mothers (the Wednesday Once Weeklies) and the Neighbourhood Watch, will lead their dangerous opponent to murder. And that it’s not only the tall elegant transvestite who is placing herself at risk…

Rating/Ocena: 4/5



Wow, I had no idea that it will be such a great fun to read again about Cathy and all her accidents! While Looking for La La, the first book in the series, was perhaps not totally my cup of tea, I must say that To Catch a Creeper brought a smile on my face and I read this book within two days.  To be totally clear, to read and enjoy this book you don’t need to read Looking for La La (although you will enjoy this one, I’m sure), it can be read as a stand – alone novel.


Cathy, who we met in Looking for La La, dreamt of having a job, and not only staying at home, being a mum and housewife, doing her school runs, cleaning, cooking etc. And now she has this job, in an advertisement agency, working with her best friend Rosa, who is actually doing the bigger part of Cathy’s job and always covering for her. But Rosa is pregnant and, after having a scare, must stay at home till the labour. Cathy must come to term with the job alone and well, surprise, surprise, she is  so naive and easygoing that, after loosing a big client, she is  suspended.

In the meantime there is again a mystery to be solved, namely there is a burglar in the neighbourhood and some suspect that it could be Cathy’s friend Henriette’s husband. So to clear his name Cathy must solve the case. Next to this, she has her weekly WOW meetings with her friends, she must cope with her suspension, not daring to tell anybody about this because everybody is very proud of her, thinking she won the account, her husband Declan is probably having a mid – life crisis, quiting his job and buying kitchen – oven for more than 3,000 pounds, the Tic Toc cat is always sick, she is becoming involved in her Neighbourhood Watch, and in clash between her neighbour and her daughter… Well, to tell that Cathy’s life is an average, normal one is a big mistake.


I actually can’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the reading for you! But there is so much happening that you can’t be bored or lose your interest for a single second. Some of the actions and situations are ridiculously absurd, but nevertheless they felt in some way real, possible to happen. Cathy has developed in my opinion, from the last book I remember her as little whingeing housewife, and now it looks like she has spread her wings, she’s funny in a bitter way, she’s clever, she’s very nosy but it suits her:) Yes, she sometimes still behaves like a doormat but in those kind of situations I would behave the same, I think, I also can’t stand to my own rights, am too meh for this. She is also very accident – prone and often put herself in very uncomfortable and awkward situations.

There is a brilliant cast of characters on this book, and all of them have their own stories, and all the stories are really engaging, interesting and bitter – sweet funny, really good developed and vivid. All of the characters found his  place in the book and it wouldn’t be the same reading without them, as there is so much action and many sub – plots. Of course Cathy is the main heroine in this novel but all the other complement her story and it wouldn’t be such a great read without them. Declan with his craziness, Rosa with her sharp tongue, Cathy’s friends who were really funny, the Neighbourhood Watch group, Mrs Baker…


While I found Looking for La La a little too forced, as if the author tried too much, Catch a Creeper is written in a brilliant, free, engaging way. The conversations are funny and interesting, the situations happening in the book are from time to time ridiculous but also great and I have really enjoyed this read. It was full of secrets, puzzles, twists and turns and unexpected situations, and full of surprises and I have really relaxed when I was reading it. And what’s more, it made me laugh. So if you need a light, uplifting read, do not hesitate and buy your copy.



I am very, very proud to be able to welcome Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell (Ellie Campbell) to my site. They were very kind to take their time and write a special guest post, which I totally enjoyed reading and I am sure, you’ll enjoy as well!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ellie Campbell and their brilliant animal story:)



To Catch a Creeper

The cat incident in To Catch A Creeper actually happened to a cat that Pam owned named Parker who closely resembled Cathy’s cat, Tic Tac.


Yes, we – Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell (aka Ellie Campbell) – are total animal lovers.  Not that animals have always loved us back…



Ellie Campbell’s random animal facts


1.      Lorraine drove 18 hours to Kansas City and back to adopt a whoodle (got to love that name) named Remy, a wheaten terrier/poodle cross.  His misdeeds include eating the passenger’s seat of her brand new car, killing rabbits and burying dead voles in the marital bed.  He is also unbearably cute.

 2.     Pam has a tiny border terrier called Milly whose life’s ambition is to battle rottweilers and capture a fox. One of the sisters in “How to Survive Your Sisters” was named after her, yet they look nothing alike.

3.      Pam and Lorraine’s first dog was a wayward mongrel called Tippy who chased motorbikes, fought with male dogs and amorously pursued every bitch in town, hopping on and off buses, unescorted.  When about to move to England, the parents seized the excuse to find him another home at a distant farm.  They dropped him off, despite wails and protests, only to discover him back at the house within hours.  Clearly his knowledge of the bus system extended also to rural routes. 



4.      Pam and Lorraine also owned rabbits, keeping the two does in a large aviary in the garden, separated from the buck called Dylan, who still somehow managed to procreate, bringing the total from three to nineteen with astonishing speed.  Pam liked to walk them on a leash in the local graveyard and turn them loose for exercise.  They would follow her around, leaping in the air. 

5.      The two sisters were always horse obsessed, galloping down the street on their imaginary steeds, slaving and mucking out stalls in the local stables to cadge free rides. After leaving school they pooled their meager wages to buy a hot-blooded Anglo Arab named Eagle Star, often borrowing a scruffy old mule so they could ride together.  Lorraine and Star once had the unnerving experience of a hot air balloon descending straight at them, with the occupant screaming to get out of his way.  It added a whole new dimension to “hazards of the trail”.



6.      Pam and Lorraine used to win money at local fairs betting on their friend’s donkey, Bilbo Baggins, until the bookmakers wised up to his talents.  It was still an uncertain race because although extremely fast Bilbo had trouble turning corners and his jockey frequently fell off.


7.      Beside the horse, Eagle Star, Pam has owned or lived with cats, dogs, goats, fish, hamsters, rabbits, budgies, Java finches, chickens, lizards, snakes and rats.  Her least favorite was the python that thanks to father/son collusion was purchased with her very reluctant consent.  As soon as the men of the family went away on a camping trip, the python escaped.  Pam spent the rest of the weekend being afraid… very afraid.

8.      Lorraine has owned hamsters, horses, rabbits, cats, dogs, budgies, cockatiels, chickens, Indian runner ducks.  Her least favorite were the Indian runner ducks who lived up to their name by running in a panic whenever she approached. 



9.      Pam once frightened a house guest when he awoke to see an escaped hamster gnawing through a hole in the ceiling.





10.    Lorraine once went to throw a stick into the fireplace and realized it was a huge bull snake that had come in unnoticed when she fetched the wood.

12.    Pam was the first rider to mount Lorraine’s young feisty mare Luna in her early days of training.   They achieved half a dozen steps before Luna threw a monumental bucking fit and ejected Pam into the dirt. Pam was not impressed by Lorraine’s training.



13.    Lorraine was once on an elephant ride in Rajasthan when she persuaded the mahout to let her swap places.  No sooner was she perched behind its ears, when the elephant whirled and charged a man walking close by.  She realized then it had no brakes and she didn’t know the command for stop.

14.  Pam once galloped around the Great Pyramid in Egypt on a runaway horse. She enjoyed it immensely.



14.    Lorraine once opened her barn door with cat food in hand, calling ‘kitty, kitty’ only to see a very large face emerge from the hay, followed by the rest of a magnificent bobcat who casually hopped out of an open stall door.  Her barn cats were all in hiding hoping to avoid becoming that morning’s meal.


15. Pam once had her shoes chewed on by rats when staying in a crummy hotel in Burma.


16.    Lorraine and Pam both have the dubious distinction of having being charged and tossed in the air by cows. Pam in Delhi, Lorraine in Scotland. Neither knows why.


17.    Since moving to Colorado Lorraine has encountered raccoons, coyotes, skunks, rattlesnakes, bullsnakes, black widow spiders, bobcat, bear, elk, moose and mountain lions.  The mountain lions were outside her bedroom window.  For a while she stopped wandering outside to admire the night sky.

18.  Raccoons used to frequently break into Lorraine’s laundry room every night looking for a free meal.  A nervous friend living temporarily in Lorraine’s basement once called the sheriff when she heard sinister dragging sounds.  Turned out raccoons were having trouble attempting to haul a 50 lb tub of kibble out through the dog door.

19.     Pam had a fabulous cat called Parker who lived to the age of twenty-one. He was top “dog” amongst the other two dogs she had at the time and would condescendingly pat them on the head if they deigned to walk past.  He was originally a stray and not pretty but as he’d been at the rescue centre the longest, he was next in line for euthanasia and she felt compelled to take him home. If you stroked him in the wrong way, he would turn and scratch you hard, showing no mercy.


20.    Lorraine’s husband is not a cat lover and for a while banned felines, claiming to be allergic, but somehow they now own five, three in the barn, two in the house.  The house cats like to bring live mice indoors and let them escape.  Remy, the whoodle, then goes crazy tearing apart furniture to find them.  Lorraine swears the cats are sniggering. 


Thank you for stopping by!!!



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Tiny Acts of Love by Lucy Lawrie / Book Review

22 mar



Tiny Acts of Love by Lucy Lawrie


Publisher / Wydawca: Black and White Publishing


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 6th March 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

Surviving motherhood? It’s all about having the right network. Lawyer and new mum Cassie has a husband who converses mainly through jokes, a best friend on the other side of the world, and a taskforce of Babycraft mothers who make her feel she has about as much maternal aptitude as a jellyfish. Husband Jonathan dismisses Cassie’s maternal anxieties, but is he really paying attention to his struggling wife? He’s started sleep talking and it seems there’s more on his mind than he’s letting on. Then sexy, swaggering ex-boyfriend Malkie saunters into Cassie’s life again. Unlike Jonathan, he ‚gets’ her. He’d like to get her into bed again too… And on top of all her emotional turmoil, she also finds herself advising a funeral director on ghost protocol and becomes involved in an act of hotel spa fraud, never mind hiding cans of wasp spray all over the house to deal with the stalker who seems to be lurking everywhere she looks. Marriage and motherhood isn’t the fairytale Cassie thought it would be. Will her strange new world fall apart around her or will tiny acts of love be enough to get her through? Funny, perceptive and real, Tiny Acts of Love portrays the rawness of motherhood, the flipside of love and the powerful lure of paths not taken.

Rating/Ocena: 5/5


Tiny Acts of Love is Lucy Lawrie’s debut work and I am very happy that she decided to write this book, really. I have enjoyed it immensely and I could just start reading it again.


Meet Cassie, an employment lawyer, who has just arrived home with her new – born Sophie (Sophie! Yay!). Everything is new, scary – hello! A brand new baby! – but on top of this Cassie’s boss phones her and demands that she  takes care of a new client immediately AND her husband has sent an email to all the contacts in her mail – box (including people with whom she dealt only once in her life, her clients and ex – boyfriend) with the info about the baby and a photo of breastfeeding Cassie.

What follows is a mix of work, sleepless nights (but sleepless not only because of the baby but also because Cassie thinks she is very ill and she can die, because Jonathan talks in his sleep about his deceased father, because he is sleep – walking, because Cassie thinks she has a stalker … you name it), mood swings, ghosts in funeral home, ex – boyfriends and competitive parenting in her baby – group, family, oh and a husband going into his own personal space and dismissing all her fears and anxieties Yeah, and that’s all only in one year. And let’s not forget: hello! a brand new baby!  With all the pluses and minuses of motherhood, hormones, moods, tears.


I must admit, I have expected Tiny Acts of Love to have a totally different plot. Looking at the cover, so nice, bright and optimistic I have thought it’s going to be about babies, family, baby – blues etc. and nothing else. Which wouldn’t be a problem because, as you all already know, since I’m a mum myself I just love reading about new parents, families, babies.

Perhaps there isn’t much happening in term of action, although I am sure some of you won’t agree with it: what with Cassie and her work, Cassie and Malkie, Cassie and Jonathan, Cassie and the baby, some subplots of Jonathan’s parents… but for me it was a relatively slow read and the pace was very considerate. Nevertheless, this book has me hooked, literally. There was something deep in the writing, I felt like there was something much more than the plot itself, as if Lucy wanted to tell us much more and hid something behind her words and story. I don’t often get that feeling, but reading this book I just felt it all, I felt like a part of this novel, actually I felt that I am Cassie. No particular reason, maybe because we took to the motherhood in similar ways? Because we both had the same anxieties? To be honest, the whole epilogue that Lucy wrote can be about me. Period. Those were one of the most beautiful and true words that I have ever read.


I warmed to Cassie immediately. All the feelings, all the questions about a new baby, her fear if she’s going to be a good mother, I can relate to all of this. I guess every mum can:) I really admired the fact that it was relatively easy for her to come back to work, even if Sophie was still so small. Cassie was also unbelievably fair and honest, I’m not sure if I would be so honest to my husband about my encounters with ex – boyfriend. And she has also a great sense of humour, the Babycraft party scene when she talked about her ghost – case was brilliant!

While I liked Cassie, I had some issues with her husband and I must admit that I didn’t warm to him till the end. Yes, I understand he had problems himself but I hated how he didn’t pay attention to Cassie and how he dismissed her fears. He was, for my liking, too cold, although he was a great dad and yeah, well, he had some good moments when he helped Cassie.

There were also some other characters, like the Babycraft group and all of them were brilliantly written and all their feelings about being new parent were described in a fantastic, engaging and very real way. Both mothers of our main characters were women for themselves and it’s only a pity that we got just a little of Cassie’s mum.


The descriptions of the situations in the story, Cassie’s job and Sophie’s first year felt totally real. The book was written with a confidence, the author knew what she’s writing about – she was an employment lawyer herself and is also a mum – so she has done her research and it reflects in her confident writing. The partly absurd sets of events, like Cassie and her ghost case, or her visit to the spa, or reconnecting with Malkie, or just trying to live up to the expectations of the ridiculous Babycraft group just added lightness and so needed fun to this book. It was a very, very emotional read, full of understanding and sensitivity, and also full of important information. Brutally honest about being a new parent and how it can affect the relationship between the woman and the man. A kind of read that is going to stay with me for longer and I am sure I’m going to re – read to this book. And looking for Lucy Lawrie – having her on my radar now!

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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 5/5


The Wedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson / eBook Review

21 mar



TheWedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson


Publisher / Wydawca: ChocLit


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 3rd February 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

Can a mother’s secret past provide the answers for a daughter’s future?

Celebrity photographer Grace Buchanan has always known that, one day, she’d swap her manic day job for the peace and quiet of her beloved childhood cottage, St Christopher’s – she just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

At the reading of her mother’s will, she’s shocked to learn that she hardly knew Rosamund at all, and that inheriting St Christopher’s hangs on one big – and very inconvenient – condition: Grace must drop everything for two weeks and travel the country with a mysterious stranger – war-weary Royal Marine, Alasdair Finn.
Caught in a brief but perfect moment in time, Grace and Alasdair walk in Rosamund’s footsteps and read her letters at each breathtaking new place. As Grace slowly uncovers the truth about her mother’s incredible life story, Alasdair and Grace can’t help but question their own futures. Will Rosamund’s madcap scheme go to plan or will events take an unexpected turn?

An emotional, fun-filled and adventurous journey of a lifetime.

Rating/Ocena: 5/5


I think The Wedding Cake Tree was for me this year’s biggest surprise. I must be honest, I have expected something different when I started this book, something casual, something totally different, but after reading the first few pages of this story I had a feeling that I am keeping a real gem in my hands.


I think this review is going to be a very short one because I can’t say a bad word about this book!


Straight to the point, from the very beginning we know what’s going to happen in the story, and I liked this idea very much. We know that Grace is going on a trip with a strange man, and that the trip is organized by her deceased mother. Reading the first pages I have thought, oh my, this lawyer and his turtle, what’s up, doc, but then the story smoothly takes us on a great adventure.

Grace is actually forced to take this trip by her mother’s will. Her mother wanted Grace to get to know Rosamund’s real self because, as it looks, she didn’t tell her daughter the truth about her or her family the whole life. She sends Grace on a journey to the places which were important to her, which were significant for her, places where something happened. So Grace must drop everything, her work – assignment, friends, house and travel through the country and abroad, in a company of a man that she doesn’t know and feels that doesn’t need, but that Rosamund insisted, should go with her. He is carrying letters from Rosamund, which Grace should read in every significant place that they visit.

RAF is very often mentioned in this book, and being an ex – RAF Melanie knows exactly what she’s writing about. The descriptions of the job were fantastic and felt totally real.


And so we are taken on a fantastic, beautiful, brilliant journey, a journey that have me hooked from the very beginning, a journey full of adventures, new people, new places, sunrises and sunsets. At the beginning I have thought what kind of mother Rosamund was, why didn’t she tell Grace the truth in person, but after reading all her letters I think that I can see her point. The letters were painfully honest and it is sometimes the easier way to explain everything than when speaking face to face.  The letters were also a kind of dare for Grace, although she didn’t know this, with Rosamund pushing her to do things she would never have done, things that would make Grace feel stronger and self – confident.

I really liked Grace and I loved seeing how she develops through her adventures, how she’s becoming an open – minded, brave and strong woman and how she learns to put her dreams first. I don’t know how I would react for such news about my mother but I liked the way she came to terms with the whole situation: of course she was a little disappointed with her mother and felt cheated and scared, but she didn’t react too hysterically, didn’t feel too offended and just grasped the nettle, took the risk and left for the adventure of her life.

And then we have Alasdair, the stranger accompanying Grace. Oh my God, I am so missing heroes like he in the books that I read! We don’t often get such a brilliant male character. He was fair, he was brave, he was nice, he was smart, he was life – experienced and he was handsome, and I would fall in love with him immediately.


What I loved about those two characters is, that when they set their minds on something, they just went for it. Also when it was about their feelings about each other. I loved the chemistry between them, because there was a lot of sparkling and electricity for me, but it was all fantastically tasteful and a little old – fashioned, especially when we think Alasdair.


I also didn’t know where  the book is going to take me next, what should I expect, what kind of adventure is awaiting me on the next page and it made the story more brilliant. Full of twists and turns that every time took me by surprise and made my reading full of joy. The descriptions were so colourful and vivid that I could smell the sea and see the colours by myself, I felt like I was joining Grace and Alasdair on their trip personally. It doesn’t often happen that such detailed, long descriptions of situations, scenery or landscapes are so beautiful and written in such engaging, not at all boring way.


This was a beautiful, uplifting read. A book that will never be boring, doesn’t matter how often you are going to read it! A book that I am not going to forget very soon and one that made me think. I have enjoyed every minute reading the story and I just can recommend it to all of you – go and buy your copy, you wouldn’t regret it!

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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 5/5


The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger / eBook Review

18 mar



The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger


Publisher / Wydawca: Crown


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 18th March 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you! Od wydawcy przez NetGalley, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

Witty and wonderful, sparkling and sophisticated, this debut romantic comedy brilliantly tells the story of one very messy, very high-profile divorce, and the endearingly cynical young lawyer dragooned into handling it.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client. After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. She is locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane—and she also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. As she so disarmingly puts it: It’s her first divorce, too.

Debut novelist Susan Rieger doesn’t leave a word out of place in this hilarious and expertly crafted debut that shines with the power and pleasure of storytelling. Told through personal correspondence, office memos, emails, articles, and legal papers, this playful reinvention of the epistolary form races along with humor and heartache, exploring the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails. For Sophie, the whole affair sparks a hard look at her own relationships—not only with her parents, but with colleagues, friends, lovers, and most importantly, herself. Much like Where’d You Go, Bernadette, The Divorce Papers will have you laughing aloud and thanking the literature gods for this incredible, fresh new voice in fiction.

Rating/Ocena: 2/5



After reading synopsis for The Divorce Papers, which, as you can see for yourself, is full of praise and applause, I have thought it’s a book for me. I was sure it is going to be a warm, partly fluffy, funny read and so I requested this book.


I didn’t expect that I am going to get book full of professional writings, letters,  e – mails, court documents, legal articles, which were far away from warm, fluffy or funny. I think this kind of documents can be interesting for lawyers or those who are studying law but not for me, your typical Jones, hoping for a spicy divorce story, full of hooking details and anecdotes.


Sophie isn’t a divorce lawyer, she is a crime lawyer, but must spring for her colleagues. She should just handle the first interview with the client, Mia Meiklejohn Durheim and then forget about the case. But Mia thinks Sophie is the best lawyer for her and doesn’t want any other experienced in divorce one, a fact that not all of Sophie’s co – workers accept.

And that’s actually the whole plot.

The rest is full of legal writing.


The author tried to lighten the plot a little and let Sophie tell us about her private life in form of e – mails to her best friend. But, to be totally honest, I couldn’t care less about this part of the book, the e – mails were long and for me totally uninteresting. I am also sorry to say that mostly this book was uninteresting for me, the e – mail conversations between Sophie and David could take place as dialogues and in my opinion they would be much more interesting then because we would have had a real, live banter.

What gave this book two stars was Mia Meiklejohn, she was the most interesting and colourful person in the whole novel. She knows what she wants and is ready to fight for her rights and I really liked her attitude.

While I like books where the story is told through e-mails/letters/entries in the guestbook, this one totally didn’t work out for me. There is too less plot and too much uninteresting facts. And while it could really work out, it has totally failed for me and was off – putting.


Back to the synopsis. It claims the book is Witty and wonderful, sparkling and sophisticated, debut romantic comedy„. Well, let me tell you, I haven’t laughed, I haven’t even smiled reading it, and to be totally honest, am still wondering about the romantic comedy bit. Where is romance? Where is comedy? Did I miss something?


So, in short, this book was like some kind of a divorce – guide, help for law students but not a story that I could read as my normal, light book. It just lacked purpose for me, I have expected something totally different and am mostly disappointed. I wanted a story, not actual legal documents. I am sure there was a potential in this book, I am sure the author gave her best and I really appreciate her efforts, I am only really sorry it was not my cup of tea. Perhaps next book.

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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 2/5


The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde / Book Review + Excerpt + Giveaway!!!

13 mar




The Perfect Match by Katie Fforde


Publisher / Wydawca: Century


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 13th March 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you! Od wydawcy przez NetGalley, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

The wonderfully romantic new novel from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Recipe for Love.

Three years ago Bella Castle left her home town nursing a broken heart over Dominic Thane, the man she fell in love with but couldn’t have .

Now she’s made a new life for herself in the country, working as an estate agent.

Bella loves her job and she loves her boyfriend Nevil. But recently he’s been preoccupied, and she’s starting to question if his future hopes and dreams are a perfect match for hers.

And when Dominic turns up unexpectedly in search of his dream house, she begins to wonder if home is really where the heart is. But she’s over him, isn’t she?


Rating/Ocena: 4/5



The Perfect Match is Katie Fforde’s twentieth novel! I am very ashamed to admit that, apart from a short story From Scotland with Love, I’ve never come to read any of her titles. There is no particular reason why, I have Katie’s books on my TBR pile, but as we all know, there are so many books and so little time. But it’s absolutely going to change now and am going to read as many Katie’s books as possible, as I have really enjoyed The Perfect Match.


Meet Bella, who is at present living with her godmother Alice and enjoying life as an estate agent. She is working with her boyfriend Nevil, who is also her boss at the estate agency. Bella should be really happy with her life, but lately there is something wrong with Nevil – he doesn’t have time for her, he receives mystery phone calls and doesn’t want to explain it to Bella. However, she doesn’t have a lot of time to worry about it because she has a lot of work, and she loves her job. Finding a right house for her clients is a challenge for her and she loves matching people with houses. She knows that there is more than just four walls and a garden to her job. Then Dominic enters the scene. He is a nephew of one of Bella’s favourite clients and actually he is the true reason of Bella leaving her previous job, town and moving in with Alice.


Bella’s plot is not the only one in the book, although one of the most significant. There is also her godmother Alice, a cheerful, nice woman who meets Michael on a train and falls in love. Her problem is that she’s already an elderly lady and she’s older than Michael, and there are also his not – so – willing daughters to consider. I loved this plot, it shows that in every age we have right to fall in love and be loved, and the story of Alice and Michael was brilliantly written, with a lot of emotions and subtlety.


I have also really enjoyed the adventures of Bella in her clients – land. There were many different people, with different characters and different expectations and it was great to see how Bella tries to find them a perfect house.


I liked Bella a lot. She was a normal young woman, not too exaggerated, she always wanted all the best for other people and she wanted to be fair. I hated to see how she let Nevil patronise her – she knew this relationship is perhaps not working but still, she let him talk her into all he wanted. There were moments that I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up. I had a feeling she feels uncomfortable in this relationship, and after seeing how Nevil is treating her and seeing him planning their future I felt uncomfortable as well. At the beginning I have thought Bella is a little meh, a little too soft for my liking, but in the end she showed that she has a character  and proved that she has a sense of adventure.

I didn’t like Nevil from the very beginning. Couldn’t stop thinking about him Nevil – Evil. And, as it happened, my gut feelings were right. It took some time for him to show his real face and I really enjoyed the punishment that he met.

I have already mentioned that I enjoyed the story of Alice, and I liked her immensely. She was warm, funny and clever woman who knew what she wanted from life. Of course she was not sure about the relationship with Michael, who would be sure when in her shoes, but she was brave enough to give it a go, and even to face his daughters.


The descriptions of the gardens made me go out to my own garden to start planning what new I can do there. Of course I’ll do nothing, garden is unfortunately not my speciality and the only flowers that like me are my orchids at home, but well, it was nice to do this little inspection and then read again about the beautiful gardens in the book. I can always imagine that my garden looks like one of those in the book:)


I have really enjoyed the book. This is a nice story told in a very engaging way. There is nothing forced in this book, everything flies smoothly, it’s told in a gentle, subtle way. The characters are either good or bad ones but I found it good this time. The many sub – plots are equally important and they add a lot to the book. They are also not too rushed, they take their time and I have really enjoyed the nice, calm read.  What I find a little too rushed was the end of the book, would personally like it more developed, but well, it’s only me:) I find the writing very smooth, very nice, very clever and yes, maybe a little old – fashioned, but it suits the book wonderfully and it complements the book in a perfect way.

This is a read for every generation and my guess is that all, mothers, daughter, grandmothers would enjoy the read. I did and I really feel like reading more of Katie Fforde very, very soon.

Here is the extract from the book! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Scroll down for a giveaway!!! (Europe/UK
only, sorry folks!)



Bella waited for more detail but none came. ‘And? It’s

not like you’ve never had one before, is it? Although if

it’s offering you a trillion US dollars if you send all your

bank details, it’s probably a scam.’


Alice laughed. ‘No! It’s a proper email. From a person.’




‘It’s from a man.’ Alice swallowed. ‘The man I met

on the train . . .’


‘Which train? When? You’ve never told me about this!’

Bella wasn’t so much shocked as slightly taken aback.

Why hadn’t Alice mentioned it before?


‘It was the other day. I didn’t mention it because I

suppose I felt a bit stupid.’


‘Alice! It’s OK to meet people on trains you know,

even when you’re ancient, like you.’


Alice laughed gently. ‘Well, that’s good because he’s

emailed me. He wants us to meet up.’

‘But that’s amazing and lovely! Maybe I’d better get

a train somewhere . . .’


‘But you’ve got Nevil!’


‘I know I have. I was only joking. Tell me about this



Alice said, ‘Maybe I will have that cuppa. You?’


‘I’ll come with you. We can sit in the kitchen.’


Bella made tea, wondering about Alice’s man and, as

always, thinking that her kitchen was just about perfect.

Bella got to see a lot of kitchens in her job, some of them

very grand, but none of them came up to the standard

of Alice’s. Handmade units that didn’t look as if they

belonged in a showroom, a huge table for sitting or

eating round, a dresser crowded with china and the sorts

of ephemera that proper kitchens accumulated over the

years, a Rayburn and a jolly good ordinary cooker.

The view over the garden and a comfy sofa added

to the abundant charm.


‘So?’ she said, having put a mug of tea and some

biscuits in front of her godmother. ‘Tell your Aunty Bella


‘Well,’ Alice began, obviously quite pleased to talk

about it. ‘He came and sat opposite me and hadn’t had

lunch. He’d left his wallet in his desk drawer and . . . I

bought him a couple of sandwiches. He was terribly

reluctant to accept them.’


‘Was it because you’re a woman?’


Alice shrugged. ‘He didn’t actually say that specifically,

but he did say that the women he knew liked men to pay

for things.’


‘Old-fashioned,’ said Bella.


‘Possibly, but not that old. I think I might have flirted

with a younger man. He wanted my address, but I knew

you’d have told me off, so I eventually gave him one of

those lovely cards you did for me for my birthday with

my email address on it.’


 ‘But they also have your postal address on them.’


‘I somehow managed to overlook that.’ Alice bit her

lip. ‘And he must have done too, or he’d have just sent

a cheque.’

‘Noo! He didn’t send a cheque because he wanted to

see you again. He must like you.’


‘Well, I hope he does. I was very nice to him.’


‘I don’t mean “like” in the same way you like the

postman. I mean – well – fancy you.’


‘Don’t be silly, darling.’ Alice had no difficulty in

dismissing this suggestion. ‘He was years younger –

possibly only in his early fifties. Although I am very bad

at guessing people’s ages.’


‘So why does he want to meet up then? When he

could just send you a cheque? Or just forget about



Alice frowned. ‘Well, obviously he’s barking. Maybe

I’d better not meet him.’


Bella laughed. Her godmother never accepted that she

was an attractive woman. Personally, she wasn’t at all

surprised this man wanted to meet her again.


‘It’s wonderfully Brief Encounter! Have you made an

arrangement? A where and when?’

‘No. He wants me to suggest all that.’


Bella considered Alice. It was obvious from her added

sparkle that she did not want to be talked out of this.

‘Well, I think you should meet him. He sounds lovely!

And when did you last go out with a man? Not since

I’ve been living with you, that’s for sure.’


‘Not for years – at least, not one who’s not an old

friend I’ve known for ever and wouldn’t have if he was

on toast and garnished with parsley. But I don’t think

I’d know how to behave!’


‘Of course you will! You’ll just have a drink, chat for

a bit, go through and eat, chat some more. Really, it’ll

come perfectly easily to you.’


‘I was joking, actually. It’s just being with a man I

don’t know – it might feel a bit awkward.’


Bella became a bit more sympathetic. It had been a

while since she’d been on a date as such herself. ‘I’ll

keep texting, so you can tell me if you’re unhappy and

I can sweep in and rescue you.’


‘Or I could just walk out and drive myself home?’

Bella nodded. ‘There is that option, but mine is more



Alice laughed. ‘You’re not shocked at the thought of

someone as old as me having a date?’


‘Of course not! I think it’s fab!’ But privately she was

a bit surprised.


Reassured, Alice became more cheerful. ‘So where

should we meet? He’s asking me to suggest a venue.

He lives in Kemble.’


Bella considered. ‘Lunch or dinner?’


‘Dinner. He works in London.’ Bella’s pause made Alice

worry. ‘Maybe I should suggest coffee, at the weekend?’


‘Dinner should be all right, but we must think of the

right place.’


‘Yes. Definitely nowhere remotely romantic. I don’t

want him to think it’s a date,’ said Alice.


‘I think it is a date, actually, but I agree you don’t

want anywhere romantic. He might turn out to be a

munter when you see him again.’


Alice’s expression became a bit dreamy. ‘I don’t think

that’s going to be a problem.’ She paused. ‘On the other

hand, I expect the light in first-class carriages is very

flattering and he’ll get an awful shock when he sees me



Bella began to giggle. ‘I don’t know much about first-

class carriages but I shouldn’t think they worry about

flattering the older woman when they design the lighting.’


Alice glared. ‘When you’re sixty, you won’t be making

“older woman” jokes, trust me.’


‘OK, I believe you, but where would be the best place

for you to go?’


After much discussion, Bella went on Twitter and asked

for suggestions. Having considered these, they checked

out websites and eating-out guides and eventually came

up with a gastro pub.


‘But it has rooms!’ objected Alice. ‘He might think—’


Bella wouldn’t let her finish. ‘He won’t think anything

of the kind! Now email him with the details. It’s not too

far; you can get a taxi if you want to drink. Or you can

ring me and I can be with you in twenty minutes.’


Alice went to her study and turned on her laptop.

Oddly, given the difference in their ages, she felt reassured

by Bella’s positive reaction. She was convinced it would

be one dinner and then she’d never see Michael McKay

again, but their meeting on the train and their subsequent

conversation had been invigorating. She would enjoy the

dinner too, she was sure.


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Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson / Book Review

12 mar



Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson


Publisher / Wydawca: Avon


Publishing Date / Data wydania: 13th March 2014


Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!


Amazon Summary:

“What do you need a boyfriend for? You’re a mum.”

Fiona Gibson returns with a laugh-out-loud read, sharply observed and full of dating disasters.

Three blind dates
Two teenage boys messing up her plans
And one man who’ll melt Alice’s heart.

‚You need to get back in the saddle…’ Alice despises that phrase. She’s fine being single – with two slothful teenage boys and a meringue business to run, she has enough on her plate without negotiating the troublesome world of modern dating.

However, Alice’s three best friends have other ideas. Each one will present her with an utterly delicious, eligible man – all Alice has to do is pick her favourite.

Perfect for fans of Tracy Bloom, Kate Long and Tess Stimson.


Rating/Ocena: 4/5



I’m glad to be able to say that Fiona Gibson belongs to the authors that for sure are going to deliver a great, funny, easy read without creating an exaggerated story. I have read all of her books and have enjoyed all of them, maybe because they are about situations and issues that are close to my heart, and maybe because Fiona Gibson is a great storyteller, or maybe both of the things.


Take Mum Out is about Alice, mum to two teenager sons, working as a school secretary and also starting her own business Sugar Mummy, making and selling meringues. She is still in touch with her ex, who has now a new family, but takes care about Logan and Fergus as well. No need to say that her private life is actually non – existent and, according to her sons, she actually doesn’t need any boyfriend because „she’s a mum”. But well, Alice is alive, isn’t she, and she wants to enjoy her life as well. So her three best friends have this idea that they are going to send her on three blind – dates with a man that they are going to choose.

Well, it sounds so simple, but as usually life has its own ideas and gets in the way. The blind dates were ranging, as expected, not from the very ordinary, but rather from the very ridiculous to much more hilarious.

While I enjoyed them immensely, I think it’s a pity there were only three men and three dates. I love reading about blind dates, and I would really love to see more of them in this book.


I enjoyed the story told from Alice’s point of view, and I enjoyed Alice herself. She was very likeable woman, full of warmth and joy, I adored her sense of humour and the fact that she had a lot of distance to herself just made her more likeable for me. Her relationship with her boys was brilliant and she managed really fantastic with two teenagers. It was great how laid – back she was to her sons although she has had her worries and problems related with the boys. She was greatly coping with her work and her meringues business although sometimes she felt that heaven is falling down on her head, especially when Logan wanted to move out.

The character of Alice’s mother was one of the best in this book, she was hilarious but also a woman of a big heart and her interactions with Molly were one of the best in this book.

Logan and Fergus were two very special boys, they were brilliantly portrayed, there was nothing forced in their descriptions and this is really how the teenagers behave. I liked them both but I must admit that I have a lot of respect for Logan, who – although typical teenager – was able to see his faults and recognize them and well, he could communicate like a human being, even with his own mother.

Alice‚s friends were also great. Each of them had their own problems and their own story, which were mentioned in the plot, and although they were significant for the characters they were not too overwhelming. We knew what they were coping with and I kept my fingers crossed for them, but they didn’t overshadow Alice and her own plot. And well, thanks to them we had those blind – dates!

The three man were very different characters and actually I liked all of them, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less but all of them added spice and comic value to the story. It’s a real shame that there were only three men and so few dates.


The book shows not only Alices’s blooming and full of hope romances but also the relationships between her and her sons, her ex, friends, mother and they were all brilliantly written and pictured, each of them added some joy and importance to the book.


The idea of the book isn’t new perhaps, woman going on blind dates with hope to find Mr. Right, while there is her work and children waiting at home who don’t make it easier for her, but nevertheless it has worked out for me. There are no over the top ideas in this book which is another plus, the situations are being kept down to earth, everything is so normal, but Fiona Gibson gives  normal a face – lifting.

She’s funny, she delivers many laughs but also has something to say and writes with certainty and reliability, she knows what she’s writing about. She writes the truth with such honesty that it hurts, but in a funny way. Comfort and down – to – earthness dominate in the story but perhaps thanks to those things I enjoyed it immensely. There was a gentleness in this story, nothing was too forced, everything was flying, from page to page, from word to word. This book didn’t need any additional fireworks, I am buying it as it is.

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Napisane w kategorii 2014 Releases, Rating 4/5