PUBLICATION DATE: 13th July 2017
The Summer of Serendipity is a charming and engaging read set on the west coast of Ireland. Ren, short for Serendipity, and her assistant/friend Kiki embark on a journey to Ireland in hope to find the perfect house for a client (Ren runs a property business finding THE perfect house for each of her clients). After a few unsuccessful viewings, the two find just what they are looking for. The only problem is that no one seems to know who the owner of the house is.
The story quite quickly moves away from the actual property find to the enigmatic Welcome House. The house and the whole setting itself are beautifully described and the author made it incredibly easy for the reader to feel part of the chase for the owner of the Welcome House. I don’t know an awful lot about Irish legends, but if I could hazard a guess, this book is exactly what I would imagine them to be like.
Ren and Kiki are very likeable characters – in fact the whole character cast of the charming village of Ballykiltara is fantastic. Each and every one adds more mystery and sparkle to the storyline. And of course, it wouldn’t be a true Ali McNamara book without a fair bit of romance thrown into the mix.
The Summer of Serendipity was a very enjoyable read. I’d love to read a sequel to this book to find out how Ren’s (and also Kiki’s) further life pans out.
PUBLICATION DATE: 20th April 2017
The A-Z of Everything is such an emotional, moving and yet uplifting story. In true Debbie Johnson style, she presents us with lots of humorous and witty moments all wrapped up in a rollercoaster of emotions.
Andrea is dying without having had the chance of seeing her daughters, Rose and Poppy, who have fallen out over a decade ago, re-united. On her deathbed she carefully lays plans on how to bring her daughters closer together after her death.
I truly loved everything about this book. Each letter of the alphabet takes the storyline to another level as we get to learn so much more about the sister’s and also Andrea’s life. The focus of this book is very much on family and relationships. Debbie’s writing style is just amazing. It is clear to see how much research and thought she must have put into this book to create such an easy-flowing and natural storyline.
I’ve read most of Debbie’s previous books and very much enjoyed all of them, but The A-Z of Everything is my favourite yet.
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.
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.
I have a confession to make. When I heard that there was a follow up to Riika Jäntti’s charming Little Mouse, I was as delighted as my daughter. The second book in the series continues the adventures of Little Mouse, as he helps Mummy Mouse in preparation for a visit from his friend. The book is beautifully illustrated with sublimely coloured pictures and lots of detail that could be missed on an initial read. Little Mouse’s big personality once again makes an appearance, to which parents will easily be able to relate! As always, Mummy Mouse prevents any tantrums from becoming full blown in her gentle and easy manner.
The facial expressions that Riika creates for her characters are incredible and they are exactly that; characters with character. Not only can parents relate to the story, but children can too due to the characterful depictions of the mice. It is comforting to see that Little Mouse is praised for his contributions helping round the house, which will encourage young ones to want to help their parents, too. He doesn’t always get things right, but he definitely tries his hardest.
To conclude, Riika has once again created another perfect book for children that is fun to look at and enjoyable to read. I, I mean, my daughter will be looking forward to more books from this talented writer.