Friday, 30 August 2013

The Longest Holiday - Paige Toon

Laura is totally in love with her husband of seven months Matthew, they are enjoying married life and are very much in love.  Laura's world comes crashing down when she discovers Matthew made a terrible mistake and has been hiding a huge secret.  A humiliated and devastated Laura is whisked off to Key West on holiday by her best friend Marty and travel writer Bridget for some fun, sun and cocktails.  When she arrives she doesn't want to be there but then finds there is an instant attraction with Leo, the sexy Cuban scuba diver.  But Laura is still married to Matthew and has fallen hard for Leo, at the end of the holiday Laura doesn't want to go home, should she face the music or does Key West have more in store for her? 

I really enjoyed this book, I felt I could relate to all of the characters, using Key West as the setting was great, the way the scenes were described really made everything come to life and almost put yourself there as well.  I warmed to Laura as a character and went through all of the emotions with her, I did need it spelling out that she was the Laura from Chasing Daisy though!  As the book went on I felt Bridget was more of a friend than Marty but by the end could see Marty only had Laura's welfare at the forefront of her mind.  As I was reading the book I had no idea how it would end which made for even more addictive reading.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Perfect Strangers - Tasmina Perry

Sophie was once part of the Chelsea set with enough money to do as she liked and an apartment to die for. Once the money is no longer there Sophie is trying to make ends meet when she meets Lana- a glamorous socialite who is off to the South of France for the summer, Sophie agrees to house-sit at the Knightsbridge townhouse, it's just like a dream- a really good one.

Sophie delves into Lana's life and is swept off her feet by American businessman Nick Cooper at a glittering party and the two begin a passionate affair. But when Nick is found dead in his hotel suite Sophie becomes the prime suspect and realises her lover was not all he seemed. In order to clear her name she must trust a mysterious stranger and travel with him across the globe on a journey for answers, along the way these answers will change her life totally....

I loved this book- don't let the cover deceive you it's not all idyllic palm trees and sandy white beaches! The characters are well developed and the story twists, turns and intertwines throughout right until the very last chapter, which I loved and sucked me in completely I had to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. This was my first Tasmina Perry book and it won't be the last.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

No Time for Goodbye - Linwood Barclay

As a 14 year old Cynthia went out with a boy, Vince and got drunk on a school night way past her curfew.  Her Dad came to find her and take her home, she was in trouble! The following morning the house was quiet- no sounds at all, maybe her Mum had given her brother a lift to school early and Dad had left for work already or was she being punished for the previous nights behaviour? Where was everyone? It becomes clear her family have disappeared.

Twenty-five years later Cynthia is married to Terry and has an eight year old daughter Grace who wants her own independence- walking to school alone being the first part of this, Cynthia will not allow it- what about the guy she keeps seeing around town or the brown car that keeps driving past them on the way to school. The mystery is no nearer to being solved and Cynthia is continually being haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? Abducted? If so, why was she spared? And if they're alive, why did they abandon her?

This is the first Linwood Barclay book I've read and is definitely not the last! I loved this modern thriller, it is written from the perspective of Cynthia's husband Terry, is fast paced and exciting. This is a suspense thriller so no gore which worked for me. The characters are really well developed and there is suspense right until the end- a great read.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris- Jenny Colgan

Anna wakes up in hospital, missing 2 toes- she had an accident at work and subsequently is not going back again. She feels lost and like she is now missing a big part of who she is. The accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher Claire who offered her the chance of a lifetime- to work in Paris with her former sweetheart Thierry, a master chocolatier.

Anna learns everything about chocolate in Paris- mixing, stirring and flavouring along with valuable life lessons courtesy of her eccentric flat mate Sami and Thierry's estranged son Laurent.

It took me a while to adjust to this book as it keeps going back to what happened when Claire and Thierry first met many years ago although once I had it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, I thought the ending was fairly predictable but who doesn't love a happy ending?  I liked the fact that Anna grew in confidence and as a character throughout the book learning she could still become the person she was meant to be. 


Monday, 26 August 2013

Chasing Daisy - Paige Toon

Daisy works as a 'bun tart' for an F1 racing team. When she isn't jetting from one country to another she is waiting on wealthy ladies who lunch in London. Will and Lucia drive for the team, Daisy is lusting after Will but will he really leave his girlfriend Laura for her? Lucia drives Daisy to distraction, nearly running her over at their first meeting- so why does she get butterflies every now and again around him?

Holly is Daisy's best friend and hiding something from her, but Daisy is also hiding something from her- family in NYC and £10million sitting in her bank account- but why?

I don't want to give the plot away so won't go into any more details of the actual story but I loved this book! Possibly because I have spent a lot of time at racing circuits in my youth with my Dad's job!  Daisy is a great character and everyone's lives intertwine- Daisy does a lot of soul searching, with the help of Holly adding in a couple of trips to visit Nonna (her Grandmother) in Italy for advice too.  I got a bit frustrated with Lucia and Daisy's relationship but I think that was the point!


Monday, 5 August 2013

Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop - Abby Clements

Imogen is loving life on the island of Koh Tao, Thailand with handsome American Luca and big sister Anna in Brighton is moving into her new flat with boyfriend Jon, both sisters enjoying life on different continents until they receive the devastating news their much loved Grandma Vivien has died.  Unexpectedly Anna and Imogen inherit their grandmother's ice cream parlour on the sea front in Brighton- first opened in the 1950's the parlour is a seafront institution with bags of retro charm but very few customers.  If the sisters can't turn things around their grandmother's legacy may disappear forever- especially if Aunt Francoise has her way. 

Anna flies off to Italy to educate herself in the craft of gelato production meeting handsome Matteo along the way and Imogen begins a marketing campaign to put them back on the map, making an enemy of local surf school owner Finn in the process.    Along the way Alfie, Jon's young son builds a lego house for Anna but a separate one for his Mummy and Daddy- does this mean what Anna thinks it means?  Will Imogen ever go back to Thailand and her first love of photography?  Will the sisters make a success of the family business and subsequently their beloved Grandma proud?  Or will the British summertime sour their plans?

I have had this book a while and the divine cover has been keeping me in suspense, willing me to start the book.  When I did I wasn't disappointed, the book is fast paced with both the sisters having completely different personalities and faults but they are unmistakeably joined by their sisterly bond.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in a few days, well written and full of twists and turns along the way- a great summer read.