Monday, 20 February 2017

Review: Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: February 9th 2017
My rating: 4 stars.


Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been in a romantic weekend away - anywhere - before. Travelling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone - including herself - that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed... In ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to more strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives. In Honeymoon in Paris, featuring characters from her bestselling novel, The Girl You Left Behind, Liv and Sophie - though decades apart - both find that marriage is only the beginning of their love stories. In Crocodile Shoes, a businesswoman's blossoming confidence emerges from a fateful changing-room mix-up. And in both Love in the Afternoon and A Bird in the Hand, two couples dance around the trickiness of long-term marriage. In this irresistible collection, readers will be whisked from elegant perfume shops to taxis to five-star hotel rooms and beyond.

I’m typically not a short stories sort of reader, but when I heard about Paris for One and other stories by Jojo Moyes I knew I had to read it, Moyes just has a way of getting under your skin with her writing, so I couldn’t wait to dive right in. With this book featuring quite a few stories I thought with my review I would focus on a few of my favourites. 

Between the Tweets 
This story was totally unexpected; we have a well known actor who has come under intense scrutiny when a random lady pops out of nowhere accusing him of having an affair. Declan has a wife and kids, so is taken aback by these accusations, he gets somebody to look into who this lady could be especially as she claims to know details about him that only someone who has been intimate with can know about. I was all for discovering who this person could be and to be honest I was fully on Declan’s side, but the two big blows towards the end of the story completely took me by surprise. In the end I was left slightly gobsmacked, but also with a smile on my face with the way things ended up. 

A Bird in the Hand 
This story I really ended up enjoying, it was about two people who ended up finding a connection whilst working together. They’d tried to keep their relationship under wraps, more so because Beth was married. We’re not fully told the back story of Beth and Ben’s relationship, so I sort of appreciated the way that we’re given their story with their chance meeting at an event. Both are there with their respective partners, and the way they’re forced to interact with one another and reminisce of what could have been because of miscommunication was done beautifully. I’m not going to say how this short story ended, but although it wasn’t how I would have wanted it to, I was still left happy with it. Also this story really left me wanting a full story from these characters. 

Holdups
This story was an absolute delight to read. Alice finds herself caught up in a break-in at her place of work at the jewellers. Instead of being scared by the big guy looming over her, she finds herself connecting with the guy with the strange accent and tights on his head. This interaction between Alice and her captor was totally bizarre, but done really well! It was clear that this guy really didn’t want to be in this situation at all, Alice was so easily able to take so much information from him in a short amount of time and would a criminal really allow his hostage destroy a painting they didn’t like? Despite this story being kind of farfetched, I really liked it, Alice was such a funny character and the way things ended up I absolutely loved as I totally didn’t expect it at all! 

Honeymoon in Paris 
I was totally confused at when first reading this, as I thought the story of David and Liv had come to an abrupt end and we’d be thrown into the world of another couple straight away. To be honest I was kind of annoyed, as I needed to know what was happening with David and Liv; they were on their honeymoon and David’s work was clearly taking a priority over his honeymoon, I understood that it was a big deal for him, but you only went on your honeymoon once, so I totally felt for Liv. And then when we were just in the middle of their story we’re introduced to Edouard and Sophie, yes their story and what was going on with their lives were interesting enough but I wanted to go back to David and Liv, I needed to know what was going to happen to them, would David finally put his love for Liv before his love of work? But seriously it was kind of neat the way Moyes mingled these characters stories together, although at the beginning it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, it was cleverly done. So much so that this book ended up being my absolute favourite from all of the stories!


Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Readers Den Weekly Wrap Up #4

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap!

WHAT I READ/REVIEWED


Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link).


A  bit of a mixed reading week for me again this week, I'm re-reading Paula Weston's Rephaim series with Ari from Reading After Midnight and honestly I'm loving the heck out of it. I've made a start on Haze already too! Paris for One was also a delight to read, some of the stories I wished I got more of. And F*ck Love was such a disappointment, I had such high hopes for this book, but not only did the story let me down, but also the narrator did too. 


Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)


Loved A Darkness Absolute! Therese Plummer is one of my favorite narrators which made the story even better! Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner is a re-read by audio, another total recommend! Undecided was amazing! I couldn't put the book down! I thought I would love Win Some, Lose Some more, but it was still good.

BOOKS RECEIVED 

Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link).

  
I've heard the best things about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I can't wait to get stuck into it! And Love Story and Undeclared have been high on my wish list, so here's hoping they live up to my expectations :/


Rachel:
(Click on title for Goodreads link)


I'm currently reading Undeclared with Jasprit.  So far I don't like it as much as Undecided and I think most of that comes down to Kellan, Crosbie's best friend.  I thought he was a jerk in the first book, and it's taken a while for me to change my opinion.  We'll see how it all turns out.  The Skeletons of Scarborough House sounds like a fun mystery. A GRs friend reviewed and loved the story so I couldn't resist getting a copy. I love K.A. Tucker's writing so I'm looking forward to Until It Fades.



NEW TO MY TBR

Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link).


None for me this week, which makes a change, hopefully this will give me the chance to catch up with all the books! 


Rachel:
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)


After reading Heidi @Rainy Day Ramblings review and finding out Luke Daniels narrates The Rising I requested a library audio copy. Just downloaded it on my phone yesterday.  Not looking forward to the cliffy, though.  Never Let You Go was another book I added because of a GRs friend's review.  I do love twists that surprise me so I requested a copy we'll see if I get it. I love Sandra Brown's books so even though there's no book description it went into the TBR.



WHAT WE'RE WATCHING

Jasprit 



I finally started The Flash this week, everyone I know has been harping on about it to me, I've only been able to watch five episodes this week and although its been a bit slow for me so far, everyone keeps saying it will only get better! And I'm also done with Season 2 of Ugly Betty, there's so much that I've forgotten since the first time I watched it, so it definitely has been a lot of fun!

Rachel:

I haven't been watching TV much, but when I do it's always Doc Martin. Yes, I realize I'm a broken record here, but I'm watching the series straight through and they're are several seasons! Plus, I'm usually reading instead, lol!



EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit:

Allie finally made a trip up north as she would say to see me, it was a lot of fun trying to find all the Vegan places that we could visit. My favourite places we ended up visiting were Stonebaked Pizza (I nearly finished my entire pizza) and Cocoa Amore where they had the best hot chocolates. We then ended the day watching Me Before You and scoffing all the chocolates!



Rachel:

It's been raining cats and dogs so going out has been tough.  

 Finally getting some sunshine:


I really had no motivation to go out, so other than work and reading, my husband and I made dinner for our extended family: BBQ'd Tri Tip, Mashed Potatoes with tons of cream, butter, and bacon, and Garlic Parmesan Roasted Carrots, a recipe I got from Pinterest.  The mashed potatoes were soooo good, but the carrots stole the show.  I know, really fattening, but sometimes you have to splurge! 

For a healthier dinner I did make this:


 I browned sliced chicken in a little butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice first, set aside, and then
added tons of vegetables (onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms) for a stir fry. I used some butter, but kept it at a minimum by using soy sauce marinated with a good amount of minced ginger (love ginger!) and a little bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper. 


How was your week?

Friday, 17 February 2017

Review: Act Like it by Lucy Parker

Act Like it by Lucy Parker
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
My rating: 4.5 stars. 


This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city. Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man? Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance. Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

Act Like it was a book which completely took me by surprise, it was witty, full with snarky characters and before I knew it I was utterly hooked. Lainey finds herself in a “fake relationship” with co-star Richard; their show has taken a hit as of late with Richard being spotted kicking off in a restaurant one night. He’s known to be stroppy and have his way, so when Lainey’s boss suggests that stepping out as a couple will help in several ways, it’s not something Richard and Lainey imagined. Richard is the type of guy who looks out for himself, he didn’t even pay the slightest bit of attention to who Lainey was before, whereas Lainey is the opposite, I totally adored her, she was lively and bubbly. She had so much of her own stress to deal with but was one of the most considerate individuals I’d come across. But to make matters worse Lainey’s ex Will is also a cast member of their production. Lainey and Richard wanted to make themselves appear as much as a couple as possible, so that included keeping Will in the dark. I honestly had no idea whether their relationship would come across as believable or not, as at first Richard and Lainey came across as such opposites that I thought they would have a tough time getting along. Also Richard as I’d mentioned was quite set in his ways, I couldn’t see anything changing him. 

But the development of Richard and Lainey’s relationship was so much fun seeing enfold. I liked how the earlier awkwardness and forced closeness developed into something neither of them imagined. Parker did a grand job of slowly developing the relationship between Richard and Lainey; it was just the right amount of slow burn, with the incidents along the way chipping away at Richard’s hard exterior. Both had their own secrets and I’m glad as the story progressed they were slowly able to put that trust in each other. I adored the development of Richard’s character, how he went out of his way to making Lainey was looked after, although it was initially hard to imagine, Richard was a really softie at times, truly making my heart melt. 

Forced or faked relationships are always one of my favourite tropes and Parker really excelled in making the development of Richard and Lainey’s relationship a marvellous one. Both of their characters truly came a long way. What I also appreciated was the snark and humour littered throughout the story, although I wasn’t a huge fan of Billie Fulford-Brown’s narration (she made Richard come across as rather nasally), the jibes and banter that characters had with each other was my absolute favourite. I guess I didn’t expect Act Like it to be such a funny read, but I really enjoyed the dry sense of humour that some characters like Richard had. 

Act Like it was a book that I went into with not a lot of expectations, but one that I literally charmed the pants of me. I’m only knocking the half star off because I wasn’t a fan of the narrator at all. This minor complaint aside Act Like it was a wonderful read! I shall certainly be looking forward to devouring Parker’s future reads right up!

 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Blog Tour: Paperback Release of He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

I'm a huge fan of K.A. Tucker's writing so I'm thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for her Paperback Release of popular thriller: He Will Be My Ruin!



HE WILL BE MY RUIN by K.A. Tucker

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A woman who almost had it all…

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation…


Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.
 

On-sale: February 14, 2017 | ISBN: 9781501112089 | Atria Books Tradepaper | 352 pages | $16.00

 
Buy Links:
US:

UK:

Australia:

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for UNTIL IT FADES (on-sale 5/2/17), K.A. Tucker’s first full romance since the Ten Tiny Breaths series!!!
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
K.A. TUCKER writes captivating stories with an edge. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA TODAY, The Globe and Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publishers Weekly. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.

Connect with K.A. Tucker:



 



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