Let’s start…

What’s more to say about my blog about books I’ve read?

Well, this is my blog about books I’ve read 😀.

I always liked reading books, and it all started on a very silly way… It’s always good to blame my dad, so he is the cause of my reading addiction.

When I was still a little girl, a looooooong time ago, I saw him always going to the bathroom with the newspaper. One day I wondered why he did that, so I took a book and tried to see the fun of that.

And since that day, you can find everywhere in the house a book of mine.

A while ago, I had the opportunity to review some books, and now a new opportunity came to post them on an own blog.

So here we are, my own blog!

I read books, and I will post my thoughts about them.

Some books I’ll like, some I won’t like that much…. but you can be sure that I’ll give you my personal and honest opinion about them.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

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‘Sunshine Over Bluebell Castle’ – written by Sarah Bennett

When the second part of the series fulfills every expectation..

Synopsis

The summer she will never forget…

Time’s running out for Iggy Ludworth to restore the wild gardens of Camland Castle in time for the Summer Fete, so she ropes in hotshot gardener Will Talbot…

But she regrets her decision as soon as he sets foot in the historic grounds – not only is Will arrogant and bossy, he’s totally gorgeous!

And very soon, sparks are flying amongst the bluebells. Yet with summer nearly over, will their summer fling convince Will and Iggy to go the distance?

Perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley, Rachael Lucas and Hilary Boyd.

Book 1: Spring Skies Over Bluebell Castle
Book 2: Sunshine Over Bluebell Castle
Book 3: Starlight Over Bluebell Castle

My review

I loved it! I loved it! I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!

What more can I say?

The first book already made me fall in love with Bluebell Castle and his inhabitants, but now I’m addicted!

When I got the opportunity to be joining the reviewing tour, I just KNEW I had to be in it. And I was over the moon when I received the copy of this book.

A little bit of fear I had, as sometimes the second part in a series is never as good as the first one. But never ever had I the feeling that this book was not as good as the first one.

Iggy is, despite living in a castle, such a normal, down to earth (even literally!) girl, not afraid to dirty her hands.

She is an independant woman, doing whatever it takes to make her plan come together. She doesn’t like to ask help, but she knows when it’s absolutely required.

But she’s also a bit insecure, can she just trust Will, are his feelings real or is he only pretending? And what about her own feelings?

And Will… he’s just this sexy gardener (but not just A gardener, he’s the most perfect one!) who works at Bluebell Castle, making Iggy her plans come into reality and even doing more than that!

As he is nationally famous, initially he ‘escapes’ London and hides in the castle. But after meeting with Iggy, he cannot ignore the attraction.

As already said, this story got me hooked, and I couldn’t put it away.

It was a genuine story, with deeper levels on the emotional parts. But also when Helena, the triplets mother, comes back, you know it that the worse it yet to come.

Despite having a horrible mother, Arthur, Iggy and Tristan are amazing persons, you just wish they were real and you could just go to Bluebell Castle!

I cannot wait to read Tristan his story!!! And now my list of ‘OMG, I have to read all the books this author wrote’ is even longer!

‘Mrs. Sommerby’s Second Chance’ – written by Laurie Benson

Not the usual story!

Synopsis

She’s played Cupid for others
Now she’s met her own unlikely match!

The final book of The Sommersby Brides quartet. Widowed society matchmaker Mrs. Clara Sommersby thinks self-made businessman William Lane is just the man for her neighbor’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if emotionally distant, until suddenly—shockingly—his attention turns to Clara herself! She thought her days of romance were over, but is this younger man intent on giving her a second chance?

My review

Let’s start with the obvious fact: Yes, this is a love story. But not just an ordinary story.

Clara Sommersby is a widow for 10 years now and is happily enjoying her freedom and independencen in an era where this is not just for being taken granted. It’s more custom to marry again, or even take a lover.

But Clara is not that kind of woman. Having been struggling to survice the last years of her marriage, she is determined to do whatever she want, without having to explain herself to a man.

And then she meets William Lane…

He has set his mind on buying a hotel in Bath and so make more money. But he didn’t plan on feeling attracted to Clara.

If you are known with the Harlequin books, you might have an idea where the story goes now. Lucily for us readers, this was a bit different than the other Harlequin books.

Yes, the attraction is there, but to be honest, not extremely a lot happens with it. Both parties are struggling with how they feel, as there are so many differences.

So is Clara older than Lane, Lane is of a lower class than Clara. And there is the issue of the business Lane has set his mind on.

In the current time, those problems would be non-existing. But unfortunately, the both of them are in the wrong time.

This story teaches you a few things…

* Love comes when you less expect it

* If you truly love someone, you would even step aside if that would mean that the other person would get what he deserves

* Never let the standards of society decide who is worthy of you

* And above all: always give love a chance

I truly enjoyed reading this story, as you saw the struggle, but also the passion between Clara and Lane. And how they are prepared to sacrifice their own happiness for the other. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sad story from start till end.There are plenty of moments that make you smile, or make you feel the love.

And for a real cheering moment, you can always count on Humphrey the dog. He was an amazing addition to the story and just great in understanding people!

‘Heathcliff – The Unanswered Questions Finally Answered? – written by Sue Barnard

What could have happened in the meanwhile…

Synopsis

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”

Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life.  At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.

Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance and prosperity.

But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?

For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.

Until now…

My review

Yes, I am not ashamed admitting I’ve read Wuthering Heights several times. Each time I was reading it, I wondered what Heathcliff did the years after he left Catherine.

I guess nobody will ever really know and we can only use our own imagination.

And that’s exactly what Sue Barnard did.

She thought what could have happened and created her own story.

And after reading her story, it makes all perfectly sense.

As said before, we can only imagine what adventures Heathcliff took part in, but this story fills in all the blanks.

It stays also true to the writing style of Emily Brönte, keeping you in the same atmosphere.

It’s also a nice touch that you read from different point of views, making sure you gather the whole story, all the thoughts and feelings.

Everybody who read Wuthering Heights knows how the story ends for Heathcliff, and honestly, he wasn’t the nicest person in the world.

This book made him look more human, less unlikeable.

You get to learn him, see what caused the hardness in his demeanor and you sympathise with him.

So my initial fear of having one of my all time favourite books being torn into shreds, was totally misplaced.

This was a great story to read and enlighted me, made me enjoy it to the full!

‘Willow’ –  written by Grace Parks

Relax and enjoy the story!

Synopsis

Can a socialite and a technophobe fall in love?

A bubbly personality and a great job in social media didn’t mean that Willow Lawson had it all. Her love life was distant memory and her social life only work related. The maddening demands of life seemed to get in the way of finding time for herself or her friends. 

She starts the Pepper Lane Club as a chance to step away from her busy schedule once a month to reconnect with her friends. 

Thomas Greer, the proprietor of the Pepper Lane Café, annoys her. He’s her complete opposite; unsociable, serious, old-fashioned and dead set against social media. 

Always game for a challenge, Willow decides to take him on as a client. She’s going to prove to Thomas that he needs her help. She knew she would be successful, she just didn’t know she would lose her heart along the way.

Can Willow fall in love with a man that doesn’t respect her profession? Will Thomas let go of his preconceptions long enough to get to know the real Willow? Enjoy this sweet romance as Willow finds love and friendship in the first book in the Pepper Lane Series. 

Six women. Six stories. Six chances of love. One café.
The Pepper Lane Series follows the lives of six women as they share life, love and heartache once a month at the Pepper Lane Club. They might be an unlikely group of friends, but it takes all types to form a tribe.

My review

This is the first book in a series and for me, it is a very promising series.
It all starts when Willow feels a bit bored and decides to start a club. And not just a random club, no, she starts the “Pepper Lane Club”.

So once a month, she meets with her friends in the Pepper Lane Café. And the story begins…

Willow her job is to promote the hired business through social media. And she notices that the Pepper Lane Café is a great place, but lacks customers.
She decides it’s her personal goal to make sure the café gets as many customers as possible. There is only 1 problem with this new goal, as the owner, Thomas Greer, isn’t a fan of social media.
Can Willow change his mind? And are opposite characters totally incompatible?

I really had fun reading this story. It made me laugh how 2 stubborn people try to change each other’s mind, but not given in.
It also shows that first impressions aren’t always correct. And that even though you are so different from someone else, a friendship can grow from it.
The difference in characters isn’t only with Willow and Thomas, but also with the other participants of the Pepper Lane group.
You learn that a bunch of people, having not a lot in common on first sight, can be a close group, sticking up for each other.

So as I enjoyed this first ‘chapter’, I cannot wait to see what will happen with the other members of the Pepper Lane Club!

‘ I Can’t Tell You Why’ – written by Elaine Robertson North

Not the usual love story!

Synopsis

Having an affair is inconceivable to Dani and yet she’s having one with Alex. He’s married, he’s an actor and she’s his agent.

Then Dani meets Sean, a paparazzi photographer with a formidable reputation. It’s a profession that makes him unpredictable at best. A dangerous trait when his motivation to expose becomes personal. 

Dani knows she’s made mistakes. She also knows she’s not the first person who wilfully hurt someone they love and is simply unable to explain why.

My review

First thing you need to know, is that the book goes very fast.

It took me a while to realise this fact, but if you know this from the start, the book will make more sense.

Even if you think only a small lapse of time has passed, in truth a couple of months have passed.

So if you think that everything is going way too fast, it’s not.

This story had me really thinking, how you sometimes cannot just explain your own actions. You do something wrong, and you know it is, but you just cannot stop yourself.

This is what happening with Dani. She’s the agent of happily married Alex and somehow she finds herself having an affair with him.

And then she starts a relationship with Sean, a paparazzi.

You already know that one of the relationships is going to be doomed. But is it the affair, being discovered by Sean? Or is Sean going to be dumped, as Alex is the right man for Dani?

This isn’t a typical love story where all is forgotten and forgiven. Dani needs to learn to live with the consequences of her choices and has to do some deep digging in her past.

And who will be prepared to forgive her for her badly made choices? And will she get her life back together or not?

The life of an agent isn’t an easy one, as work is always the first priority. And love messes up the perfect balance Dani had.

So in some kind of way, it’s a sad story, but there is always a silver lining in the places you least expect it.

‘A Spirited Girl On Cornish Shores’ – written by Laura Briggs

A little bit of everything!

Synopsis

It looks like a perfect Cornish autumn, with aspiring novelist Maisie Clark still finding inspiration as a maid at the historic Penmarrow Hotel. Between the staff of quirky co-workers, glamorous and unusual guests, and her growing friendship with the charming but mysterious Sidney Daniels, Maisie is living out adventures instead of just penning them in the pages of her would-be novel’s growing number of chapters.

And then there’s the slight problem of keeping the balance between friendship and ‘something more’ with Sidney, who’s helping introduce her to the village’s version of a Cornish Halloween, and has recently taken an interest in Maisie’s secret that may change things between them. But even Maisie’s imagination can’t conjure the unusual event this Halloween brings to the Penmarrow. An eccentric earl has chosen this site to host his lavish birthday celebration that includes a pretty (and perceptive) young psychic whose predictions seem to have everyone on edge — and, to Maisie’s delight, the elusive novelist Alistair Davies is rumored to be part of the guest list! But with the earl’s bickering relatives and illustrious friends on hand— and more than one ghost of the past waiting to be revealed — it’s anyone’s guess what the festivities will bring before the party is over.

Will the psychic foretell doom for the earl’s gathering—and is her ‘gift’ as genuine as it seems? Will Maisie finally meet her favorite author face to face? And, more importantly, what about the romantic sparks that fly between Maisie and Sidney?

My review

Reading a book that’s the 2nd part of a series without having read the first one, is always tricky.

How many references will there be? And will I understand the whole story, while I missed the beginning?

Luckily for me, this story could be read as a perfect standalone. Of course, if you have read the first part, it would be a little easier, but it isn’t an absolute requirement.

This is a real mystic story… are the séances the real thing? Is the so proclaimed psychic a real one, or is she faking it?

Main character Maisie is asking herself the same questions, while she is also trying to write a book, blending in the hotel and the town, and continuing her friendship with Sidney. Because that’s all there is, right?

This is an enjoyable story to read, leaving you longing for more of it. I reached the end, while I wasn’t even ready for the story to be over!

It was nice to see how the mysteries are being unveiled, but don’t let you down.

Sometimes when a magic trick is revealed, you feel let down when the diceiving part is so easy. But here you get to know everything and you have a feeling it was all for the better!

I wanted to see if all ends well while now you’re kind of left hanging…

For me it felt like I finished a chapter instead of the whole book. And mentally I wasn’t just prepared for the end!

So yes, count me in for reading the following parts!

‘When Polly met Olly’ – written by Zoe May

When a story doesn’t let you! ❤️❤️❤️

Synopsis

Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…

Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Debbie Viggiano.

My review

As in the past I’ve already read a book written by Zoe, I couldn’t resist to read and review another one!

Knewing her style, I knew what to expect and it didn’t let me down!

Polly is a British girl, but living in New York. As she has a hard time finding a job as a photographer, she decided to apply for a job in a dating agency.

She likes playing match maker even if it isn’t the dream she chased in life.

But her agency isn’t the only one, and soons she finds out that there is just 1 big rival…

And right there works Olly…

The interaction between Polly and Olly isn’t constant present, which makes it possible that we just get to know Polly better. We learn that she has dreams but finds it hard to realise. Also is she not a dress up doll, making sure wearing nice clothes, putting tons of make-up etc. She’s just a normal girl, trying to find her way in the world.

This makes this story not just a love story, but a story about how a young woman is growing, getting stronger and trying to fit in.

Slowly Polly goes from a wallflower to this strong, independant woman.

And in the meantime, she develops more feelings for the man she never expected to have feelings for.

As usual for Zoe May her books (ok I know, it’s only the second book I’ve read 😃), just when you think everything is going for the best, a little drama happens. And the characters have to find a way of getting back together and just dare to take the leap of faith.

Again an amazing story!

‘ I Will Follow Him’ – written by Holly Tierney – Bedord

A big surprise for me!

Synopsis

A bachelor party on a cruise ship. What could go wrong?

When private detective Francie is hired to spy on a groom-to-be as he and his bachelor party set sail for the Caribbean, she thinks she’s landed herself a week of paid vacation. Between lounging in the sun and sipping margaritas, she just needs to–best case scenario–report back that he’s on the up and up, or–the unfortunate, more likely scenario–snap a few photos of her target in compromising positions, buy a box of sympathy chocolates for her client, and then collect her pay along with a nice golden suntan.

Blame it on the island breezes or the alcohol, but within hours of setting sail, Francie’s leisurely vacation gets complicated when she starts making careless mistakes. Like accidentally becoming friends with the groom and falling for his best man.

Can she get herself and her mission back on track, or has she blown her cover and possibly even her career?

My review

This was a true surprise for me, reading this book.

I started reading it, without having too high expectations. Because you know it’s a novella, and the genre already makes you know what the end will be like.

So I thought it would be a book like so many, you can easily put it away without reading it, and not missing out.

And yes, I finished it rather quickly, even for my standards, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it!

As I have never been on a cruise, it made me dream about exotic locations, meeting new people etc.

Francie is a private investigator hired by Danielle. Danielle wants proof that her fiancée is cheating on her during the trip his friends organised.

So Francie steps outside her comfort zone and goes on the cruise to do her job.

Being a real wallflower, she doesn’t really blend in, and when she finds out it’s a cruise for single people, she’s feeling even more awkward!

But then she makes a few friends, and suddenly she’s part of a ‘gang’… and in that gang is also Evan, the man she’s supposed to spy on!

And here the story really starts, as she meets Eli.

She has to find a way to do her job, as she’s being stalked by neurotic Danielle for updates, but she has to make sure nobody finds out what her reasons are.

Short story yes, but it also gives Francie the chance to grow, to be more confident and stand up for herself.

She also learns not settling for less and make her own choices, driven by her heart and not because it’s the easy choice.

This is a nice book to read while you’ll enjoying the sun. And if you’re not on a cruise yourself, just image being on the Oceanic Aphrodite!

‘The Wedding Planner’ – written by Eve Devon

Time for a new review with a character who looks a lot like me!

Synopsis

Wedding bells are ringing and gossip is spiralling in Whispers Wood…

Single mum Gloria Pavey has a bad habit of saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. Determined to make a positive change she can’t say no when her best friend, Emma, asks her to take on the role of her wedding planner. The only problem? Gloria’s co-planner – best man Seth Knightley.

Gloria is on a self-imposed man ban but pulling together the most beautiful wedding Whispers Wood has ever seen alongside gorgeous Seth is pushing her to her limits. As every interaction increases the tension between them Gloria finds herself wondering…could the happy ever after she never thought she’d have be in her future after all?

My review

At first I had some difficulties getting into the story. Not because I didn’t like it, because I did. But I just couldn’t get a grip on it.

And sometimes you just give up and put the book away. But other times you know you just have to take a leap of faith, because you feel that you will be rewarded with an amazing story.

And luckily for me, it was the latter.

After the initial struggle, I found myself turning page after page after page and the chapters just flew by.

I was absolutely submerged into the story, feeling with Gloria and Seth.

The issues Gloria faced, were so real to me, I understood her initial reclutance and fear of her feelings for Seth.

At the beginning of this story, Gloria is not in a happy place. Knowing that the way she acts, makes it impossible to befriend people, she is working on a better version of herself.

And Seth finds it hard to be taken serious by his brother.

They are somehow forced working together in organising the wedding of Emma and Jake.

The story takes a slow start, giving you the chance to get to know Gloria and Seth on a deeper level. This is also what the story needs. If there would be immediately the love part, this wouldn’t feel like a genuine story, about growth, facing your fears and dare to move on with your feelings, no matter what happened in the past.

So I enjoyed reading the story, laughed at the awkward moments Gloria had, I nearly swooned over Seth and his actions. And for me, the star of the whole book was Gertrude, an intruiging cow appearing at the most strange moments, making them lighter and funnier than planned!

Somehow I could really relate with Gloria, having some behaviour issues in common. Blurring out what I am really thinking, caused me some ‘ooooh sh*t’ times, so when it happened to Gloria, my thoughts were: ‘That could have been being me saying that!’. So that made me love the book even more!

If you are tempted by reading this book, but you have the same initial struggles I had, whatever you do, do not give up! Believe me when I say that continuing reading it totally worth it!

‘The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows’ – written by Jenni Keer

A real joy to read!

Synopsis

When Maisie Meadows finds herself single and jobless on New Year’s Day, she resolves that this will be the year she focuses on bringing her scattered family back together. Romance is all very well, but it’s the people you grew up with that matter the most.

But a new job working at an auction house puts her in the path of Theo, a gorgeous but unattainable man who she can’t help but be distracted by. As their bond begins to grow, Maisie finds herself struggling to fulfil the promise she made to herself – but the universe has other ideas, and it’s not long before the Meadows family are thrown back together in the most unlikely of circumstances…

Can dealing with other people’s treasures help Maisie to let go of the past, and teach her who she ought to treasure the most?

My review

Sometimes you read a book, and you enjoy it. But on some level you cannot connect with the main character. This because she is a famous person, or she is living a total different life than yours. Or perhaps she’s just different than you. You would act differently because your character is not like hers.

Fortunately for me, I connected so well with Maisie.

She is such a down to earth person, wants to do good for everybody, wants everybody to be happy and is even prepared to ‘sacrifice ‘ her own happiness if that means that someone she cares about is happy.

The story starts a little bit sad, as Maisie found out that her boyfriend cheated on her. And to make it even more difficult, he’s even her boss.

Seeing no other option, she decides to quit her job and start all over again.

And so she is the newest employee in an auction house. Here she meets new lovely people who she befriends, even if they are so different than herself.

On a personal level, she finds it’s her duty to reconnect her family again, as her parents got divorced and all the children are living their own life, not really being part of each others life.

This is a heart warming story, with moments that made me laugh (Arthur is just adorable) but there were also sad moments that made me want to go into the story and give Maisie a hug and tell her that everything will be okay.

It also shows you that you cannot choose your family, but you can certainly decide who your friends are and making them part of your own little friendship family.

And the misunderstandings in the story, especially when they concern Theo, are just so real but funny on the same time.

So I completely enjoyed this story and felt sad when I reached the end as I wasn’t ready for ending it yet!