Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Guest Review | My Sweet Revenge ~ Jane Fallon

My Sweet Revenge
Jane Fallon
Penguin UK - Michael Joseph
January 2017
Rated 5/5


I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
Let me explain. This isn't an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven't been reading articles in old women's magazines. 'Twenty ways to keep your man'. That couldn't be further from the truth.
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he'll care. He won't just think, 'Oh good'.
I want it to hurt.
Paula has had Robert's back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he's one of the nation's most popular actors. And Paula's just discovered he's having an affair.
She's going to remind Robert just what he's sacrificing. And then she's going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.
Revenge is sweet. Isn't it?


I am a big Jane Fallon fan, so when I found out that she was releasing a new book, I knew I had to read it immediately. After Laura’s request on NetGalley was accepted (thanks to Michael Joseph, Penguin UK), I was thrilled to be able to delve into the book straight away - it definitely didn’t disappoint.
My Sweet Revenge centres around Paula, who finds out that her husband Robert is having an affair. Instead of confronting him about it, she decides to take revenge on him instead. The book follows her journey as she plots her sweet revenge. Not only does she befriend Saskia, Robert’s lover, but she also undergoes a physical transformation.
Immediately you find yourself rooting for Paula, who at the beginning is overweight and lacks confidence. As the plot thickens, you see Paula develop into a strong woman and you hope to yourself that she can pull off her revenge. I’m not sure how many women would be able to keep their cool as well as Paula did throughout, especially when things didn’t always go to plan. However, the character transformation is brilliant, and it’s great to see Paula regaining her confidence.
Jane Fallon is great at developing characters that we either despise or empathise with. The characters of Robert and Saskia are horrid - Robert is portrayed as a lying, pathetic weasel, and Saskia is the ultimate bitch, which is emphasised in the second part of the book as it is partly in her narrative. It’s pretty easy to hate both characters. There are plenty of minor characters throughout the book too, all of whom add a little something to the main plot.
My Sweet Revenge is full of quick wit and laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some shocking turns. As with a lot of Jane’s books, just when you think you know how everything will pan out, she throws in a plot twist. The second part of the book is full of them and I was kept guessing until the very end.
Jane Fallon is the queen of chick lit with an edge, and My Sweet Revenge stands tall as one of her best books. I devoured the book over two nights, and whilst I’m a sucker for chick lit in general, what I love the most about Jane’s work is the sass throughout. There’s no soppy love story here, just a feisty and witty tale of betrayal and the ultimate revenge. I would definitely recommend My Sweet Revenge to anyone who wants a different take on your standard chick lit - prepare to be hooked!


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Review | Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay ~ Jill Mansell

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Jill Mansell
January 2017
Rated 5/5


Love is in the air in St Carys, but you'd never know it - the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets...
The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings - but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed.
For the first time in Ronan's life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option.
Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn't quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface.
The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed...


I've been a massive fan of Jill Mansell books for a good few years now. I particularly enjoy reading Jill's easy going writing style and her ability to take a group of characters whom each have their own little story, yet the book flows and perfectly inter-weaves the individual story lines.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay is no exception.

We are immediately introduced to Clem and Sam when they have a chance encounter on a plane and are then left wondering what happened to Sam as we are thrown forward a few years to Clem's life as it currently is in St. Cary's - which is a totally idyllic location!

Clem is now working as an estate agent alongside owner and friend Ronan.
Clem comes across as a really easy going and down to earth character, I instantly warmed to her and she is one of those characters you can't help but love and hope for a happy out come with.

As Clem's story unfolds we learn about her childhood and family - one member mentioned in particular is her very spoilt step-sister, Belle.
Clem and Belle it appears, have always had some form of sisterly rivalry and when Belle returns to St. Cary's with her new beau, well let's just say you could cut the atmosphere with a blunt knife.... because of course, the new man in question is none other than the mysterious Sam.

Sam obviously comes with his own secrets other than the fact that him and Clem shared a moment, of course they decide that Belle shouldn't know about this and so the secrets of St. Carys are born.

Alongside Clem, Sam, Belle and their hidden thought's and feelings, the other main characters in the book are Ronan (mentioned earlier), Kate, (the local postwoman), Variety
(Clem's neighbour) and Marina (Clem's friend and local artist).

Each of the characters have secrets - Ronan has feelings for someone he had a one night fling with, Kate's story is much the same although she is also in bereavement. Verity and Marina have both moved away from their past's and are living in the moment.

As the book goes on, each of the characters' stories unfold along with more secrets being made up to hide the originals and I realise as I'm typing this that I'm making the book sound completely confusing.
It's totally not, I just don't want to give any spoilers away!
Let me reiterate, Jill has a brilliant way of taking a handful of characters with their stories and seamlessly twines them all together to make great reading.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay for me though, is a step up from Jill's usual work. There were a couple of  the secrets revealed that I just didn't see coming.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay is a must read this year, full of secrets and surprises with a great group of characters.
Jill Mansell just gets better with each book she writes.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Blog Tour ~ Guest Post | Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay ~ Jill Mansell

I'm absolutely over the moon to be starting my 2017 blogging journey off by taking part in the blog tour for such an amazing author.

I have been a fan of Jill Mansell for many years now and was lucky to meet Jill last year - you can read more about that here.

If I'm ever in a reading slump or want a book that I know I will 100% lose myself in then one of Jill's is where I turn to.

I love how she can take a handful of characters and interweave their stories. This, along with her idyllic locations makes perfect reading and I can tell you now that her new novel, Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay is no execption - more on that when I post my review later in the week though!

For now, I'm handing the blog over to Jill for a blog tour guest post. I hope you enjoy.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
A Guest Post by Jill Mansell.

Hello, a happy new year to all, and can I show you my main Christmas present? I was so thrilled when I saw this painting for the first time that I got a bit teary because it was just so perfect!

It was painted by the fabulous Rose Popay (www.rosepopay.co.uk) who came to our house and took loads of photos and sketched lots of tiny sketches of my bedroom, then (bravely!) started drawing on the huge canvas with indelible felt tip pens. She eventually took the canvas home with her and finished the work over the next couple of weeks. It's huge and colourful and glittery, and I love it more than words can say. That's me there, writing in bed, and Lydia sitting on the end where she always sits whenever she comes in for a chat. (The long strip of paper covered in coloured Post-it notes is my time-line, which I use to keep my plots under control.)

So, what else is in the room? The view from the window is of the sports fields behind our house, where footballers do their footballery thing. There are hockey and cricket pitches, and tennis courts too - lots to distract me while I'm supposed to be working!

There's a painting on the left hand wall by my other favourite artist Yvonne Coomber, and the one next to it is another original by Rose Popay - I snapped it up when she had a big sale of her work on Facebook. The big mirror was bought from a charming stained-glass artist in Bradford on Avon several years back, and I subsequently used the stunning setting of his workplace in my book Falling for You. The gold stag's head was a Christmas present from Cino and I hang my necklaces from the antlers. The two mirrored chests of drawers were found last year in a little shop in Tetbury, which is where I went to school - and it also became the setting for Rumour Has It.
Next, displayed on the chests of drawers are photos of my children and gorgeous presents they've given me over the years. On the window sill is my cluttered collection of make up, hanging above it is my fabulous string of stained glass bunting bought from a crafter on Etsy, then on the right hand wall is the painting of this painting.

The TV is on, because I always have it on while I'm writing, and I love to steal plot ideas from ITV's This Morning, so that's Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby there on the screen. And finally, there on the floor are a couple of pairs of my Swarovski-encrusted flip-flops (I have lots of them, bought from crystal-applying experts on eBay!) plus my favourite black glittery handbag which also featured in the first painting Rose did four years ago of me and Lydia in our living room.
And that's it! I hope you've enjoyed your little guided tour of my bedroom and some of my most treasured possessions! I'd better be getting on with the next chapter of my book now, so if you could just close the door behind you as you let yourself out...

About Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and You and Me, Always. 
Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.

Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is Three Amazing Things About You, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading
this novel.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time.
She lives in Bristol with her family.

Huge thanks to Jill for taking the time to provide the guest post, also thanks to Katie Brown at Headline for other info.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Hello... Guess who's back!


I hope this finds you well?

I wanted to check in with you all as it's been some time since I last posted anything.

At the beginning of December, I received some news about some health issues I was having and took the sudden decision to take some blogging time out.

Although I was reading, it was very s-l-o-w. I just couldn't seem to settle on anything.. and don't even mention looking at social media. The thought of typing up blog posts made me feel sick as the headaches were so intense, it hurt my eyes.

I had a huge stack of Christmas books that I needed to read and just couldn't face any of them.
To the authors and publishers that sent or approved these - thank you!
I adore festive books and still want to read these so I'm looking at doing a 'Christmas in July' feature this year - more on that later!

For now though, I had a big dilemma - when is the right time to return.
I didn't have the energy to do a 'Top Books of 2016' post, or a year over view, despite there being some amazing books and highlights.

Then one day just before Christmas, I was browsing NetGalley and BookBridgr - like you do - and I saw the opportunity to request a blog tour spot.

The tour is for Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by my all time favourite author, Jill Mansell.

Jill is a major name in the female fiction world and I didn't for one minute think I had any chance of being selected as I'm only a small blogger / reviewer but when the email came to say they would love me to take part, I actually squealed! 

So it seems only right, that other than this little update, my first official blog post of the new year will be a guest post from Jill herself, as part of her blog tour - I can't wait to share it with you,

One thing I've learnt from being away, is that digital detoxing does you the world of good.
Although I'm back reading, reviewing and blogging - I'm still not 100%.
Therefore posts will be as and when I feel like it. I want to read and enjoy reading, not read to just review and blog.

So if you share any of my tweets or reviews, I thank you and hope that in the not so distant future I can return them.

In the meantime - have a great weekend, happy reading and see you all Monday for Jill's post!