PUBLISHER: Penguin

PAGES: 352

PUBLICATION DATE: 6th July 2017

Do Not Become Alarmed is a page-turning, mind-blowing and thrilling read that put me on edge more than once whilst racing through the pages. A cruise, which should have been a relaxing family holiday for our main characters, turns out to be a complete and utter nightmare for all participants.

Liv and Nora, their respective husbands and children quickly befriend an Argentinian family onboard the cruise ship. All is well until a fateful land excursion in Central America turns their lives upside down when the children go missing… As a mother myself I don’t even dare to imagine the panic that must run through the parent’s veins as they discover the absence of their children. I literally raced through the pages in hope for a quick re-union between the parents and the children.

I thought that Do Not Become Alarmed was well written. The author creates such suspense and chill that is easily felt by the reader. The perspective changes between the children’s and parent’s point of view which I thought was cleverly thought out and adds a lot of depth to the storyline.

For me, Do Not Become Alarmed, is one of these books that completely grips you and plays tricks on your mind as you are rooting for a positive outcome from this whole misery. A thrilling read that I can easily recommend. 

PUBLISHER: HQ

PAGES: 384

PUBLICATION DATE: 15th June 2017

I am a huge fan of Sarah Morgan’s writing and have read most of her previous books. When I saw her newest offering on NetGalley, I immediately knew I wanted to read this one.

Twin sisters Fliss and Harriet own a dog walking business in Manhattan. A good 10 years ago Fliss separated from her teenage sweetheart Seth and hasn’t seen him since. That is until he covers for a vet in the clinic the sisters use for their business. There is a lot of hurt and undiscussed feelings between Fliss and Harriet, but rather than to talk to Seth, she escapes to the Hamptons in order to care for her elderly grandmother. However, this might have not been her smartest plan, as the first person she comes across in the Hamptons is none other than Seth. To make matters worse, she pretends to be her identical twin Harriet. How long will Fliss be able to keep her little white lie up?

In true Sarah Morgan style, this novel is filled with plently of romantic moments and sheer passion. I loved her depiction of the Hamptons. Not that I have ever been there (and to be honest, probably will never go there – unless I win the lottery), but I thought the setting was extremely well chosen and tied in fantastically with the whole feel of the book. 

Fliss was a very likeable character and I rooted for her from the beginning on. The reader quickly gets an insight into her emotional state as we learn more about her past. She puts on a brave face to guard herself from any hurt, but her inner voice depicts a different story altogether. Will she, this time around, be able to open up to Seth?

Holiday in the Hamptons is a fantastic read, a rollercoaster of emotions and a story about second chances. 

Have you heard of the Finnish concept of using a Baby Box as your newborn’s first bed? I had recently read an article about this and found the whole thing incredibly interesting. Studies have shown that putting a baby to sleep in a Baby Box can help reduce the causes associated with SIDS. When we were asked to try out the British Baby Box, I jumped at the chance of putting this concept to the test.

We’ve been using the Baby Box for the last few weeks and are absolutely in love. The standard box comes with a mattress and a fitted sheet. There is however also the option of upgrading the box to include blankets, bibs, sleep suits and much more. The Baby Box is extremely versatile and effectively so much more than just a box for baby to sleep in. Here is what we like about it the most:

  • the box is extremely sturdy and well put together (we’ve been carrying it about a bit – from room to room and also in the garden – it still looks as good as when we received the box)
  • the mattress and sheet are of very good quality
  • when baby gets too big for the box it can be used as a storage box 
  • the simple design (grey stars on a white background) is very appealing 

During the amazing sunny days we had recently, we took the box out in the garden a lot. Not only is our daughter very comfortable and content just lying in the box playing, but it also protects her. We have quite a few ants in the grass and I was never happy to just put her on a blanket – the box solves this problem perfectly. 

With the Baby Box we were also kindly sent a Baby Annabell. Zapf is a brand we’ve been using for ages. Our older daughter has quite a few dolls created by Zapf and loves every single one of them dearly.

Baby Annabell Newborn is the smallest and most lightweight doll in the Baby Annabell range and especially designed for babies and young children. This is such a perfect first doll for our baby girl. The body is soft and can be washed and the PVC face is easily wiped clean. Our baby girl particularly loves the rattle that is included in the doll’s body. 

 

If you are a fan of historic novels, I can highly recommend Jane’s books to you. There is plenty of romance and passion, but also a great deal of deceit and scandal. As part of the blog tour for The Tainted Love of a Captain, Jane has written a short piece on the setting of her latest book. Be sure to check out the other blogs on this tour for more exclusive content (I will add the blog tour banner at the end of this post).

The Tainted Love of a Captain: A great research break in Brighton by Jane Lark

I went to Brighton in the autumn of 2015 because if I can l like to go to the places where I am setting a book. But you can imagine the Brighton of today is very different to the Brighton of the 1800s so it took a lot of imagination to try to picture the scene years before as we walked along the seafront looking up at the illuminated pier and entertainments.

We ate, we being my husband and me, at the fish and liquor bar on the front, and looked out watching the sun set and listening to the sea at high tide as it washed up over the shingle stirring the pebbles. It made me think of the sounds of Brighton in the 1800s, the sea would be the same, the noise of people would be the same. Add carriages then and remove music. Yet perhaps someone might be calling out to sell something, or whistling. Gradually the imagination paints a different picture on a setting.

We walked up into the town to visit the one place that I knew was there without much research at all, The Royal Pavilion. Now there is something that is very easy to view aristocratic Regency life in, it is as pompous as ever; it’s like walking through the Harry Potter sets, only these rooms were lived in and used in real life. There are giant life-like dragons holding up the chandeliers with their claws, and serpents swooping over the windows, holding the fabric of the cornices. The whole place is designed to impress and amuse. By the time of my characters though the days of entertaining at the Pavilion were over so you will only see the outside of The Royal Pavilion in the book.

Another real setting that appears in the story is the Lanes in Brighton, to be honest I am not sure they would have been called that in Harry’s day but sometimes it’s better to use the words that people know today rather than confuse the reader. But the Lanes are a part of Brighton that would have been the same in the 1800s, a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets with bow windowed shop fronts. So, it was one place I could describe now as then.

If you ever go to Brighton, the shopping in the Lanes is great, it’s full of quirky, jewellery and antique shops, and all the above places are definitely worth a visit.

About the book

The sounds and scents of the Crimean War are strangling Harry Marlow, shutting him off and silently smothering his soul. But he is a soldier and that is his life, and he can see nothing else besides that. So why should he care when a woman watches him? His life is not one to share with a woman, other than for a few moments in his bed.

When a woman is already drowning so deeply in sin she is without any fear of judgement – what can it matter if she chooses to begin a new affair? It is like escape to choose her own man and Captain Marlow is the perfect candidate for a dalliance. All she has to do is obtain an introduction…

Here we are. Another month is gone which means it’s time for another siblings project post. For the first time since our baby girl was born, we were able to take this month’s pictures outside. Yay, summer time seems to finally be on its way. I am very much looking forward to spending more time in the garden.

I find it hard to believe that we are in May already. Please time, slow down!! Although I cannot wait for the summer holidays, I find it scary that my big girl will start year 1 afterwards. It feels like only yesterday she started reception. 

Our baby girl had her 3rd lot of immunisations this month. Luckily she coped with them really well, but I am so glad we are done with needles for some time yet.

The girl’s bond seems to grow stronger by the day. Both are equally in awe of one another. Our recent purchase of a bath support for our baby girl means that our daughters can now enjoy bath time together which they both love.

We were afraid of jealousy issues, as for nearly five years, our older girl was an only child and completely used to having Mummy and Daddy’s undivided attention. Luckily these fears were unnecessary,  she copes with being a big sister so well and is (a good 90% of the time) so kind, caring, understanding and protective towards her little sibling. Just today we were out meeting some friends at the playground.  The girls were jumping on a trampoline and I was sitting on the side with our baby girl. It made me so proud when our older daughter kept reminding her friends to be careful around her little sister.

I have no idea why our littlest one pulls a grumpy face on each picture, but as soon as she only as much as spies my phone or my camera, her happy smiley face is being replaced by a frown. Not quite the blogger child just yet :-).

The Me and Mine Project