Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Out Now

Published by:

Purchase on Amazon here

The Blurb:

Named One of the Most Anticipated Thriller Novels Of 2017 by Bustle!
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

My Review:

Having loved and spent months raving about Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris I could barely contain my excitement when The Breakdown appeared on my Kindle. I was however apprehensive as I wasn’t sure if it could live up to the last book.

Was I disappointed? Nope! This book was once again packed full of drama, suspense and incredibly engrossing. We follow Cass who, as the blurb says, is struggling following a drive home when she encountered a woman parked up in a desolate road. The woman has been killed and Cass just can’t shake her fear over what happened, and whether there was anything she could have done to stop it.

This is the start of a journey that will see Cass question everyone and everything, including her sanity! She cannot shake what happened and things only get worse when she starts getting phone calls and a feeling that someone is watching her and out to get her.

The story spirals and along with family and friends Cass’s world starts to crumble, and along with Cass I as a reader started to question how much of what occurs is real, and how much is her imagination.  There are twists and turns that had me too-ing and fro-ing with my thoughts, and looking out for any little inklings about what to believe and who to trust.

The Breakdown packed a punch and I sat it almost in one sitting as the writing flows and grabbed me by the collar and dragged me into the whole scenario. It will definitely be a book that people talk about, and will keep you turning pages late into the night.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

Out Now

Published by: Michael Joseph, Penguin Books

Purchase from Amazon here

The Blurb:

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?

My review:

It is a long time since I have read a book by Jane Fallon, but it won’t be a long time until I read the next. I devoured My Sweet Revenge, and struggled to put it down. Having gone through a similar experience where I found my long-term partner cheating on me this appealed to me, and I couldn’t wait to see how her revenge would pan out.

I started off both feeling sorry for, and rooting for Paula. It is clear that she had been a loving and devoted wife who had put her dreams to one side to dedicate herself to her family. Years and security have taken their toll and she isn’t the woman she used to be as she has become complacent. However, when she discovers her husband is having an affair rather than roll over and let it break her, Paula decides she is going to make Robert see her through fresh eyes, lure him back, and then chuck him to show him how it feels.

Add into the mix that she knows the woman she suspects he is having an affair with, she puts a plan into action – and so let the shenanigans commence!

The book is divided into two parts, and if I am honest, I enjoyed the first part and all that planning and positive change the best. We follow Paula as she sets the wheels into motion and it is great fun! Not only does she work on herself, but we get to see her start to set plans in motion to mess with her husband and his mistress.

I felt real empathy for Paula and I imagine many women reading will feel the same. I really enjoyed that she didn’t roll over, but was empowered and began to make changes that would enhance her life and happiness. Whilst heartbreak hurts it doesn’t mean that we always fall apart. Sometimes it can be the trigger that becomes the making of us, and I liked that this is Paula’s approach also, even if revenge is her driver.

The second half of the book ramps up the actual act of revenge, and events transpire that lead Paula to doubt decisions, actions and others. The only negative I would have about this book is around some of the actions. But then, hell, it is fiction, and that is the point of escapism, right? It is not a blue print on how to enact revenge. But it is nice to dream J

I had forgotten how much I enjoy the authors writing, and for me she has skilfully crafted a book that delivers a compelling plot, emotion, inspiration and a wry smirk. This book hit the spot for me and my circumstance, and for those of us who believe in concentrating on our own life and happiness, it was a nice chance to fantasise!

Loved this book and would certainly recommend it to others.

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Food of Love by Amanda Prowse

Out Now

Published by Lake Union Publishing

Purchase from Amazon here 

The Blurb:

A loving mother. A perfect family. A shock wave that could shatter everything.
Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.
But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.
In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments.

My Review:

I am a relative newbie to Amanda Prowse and her work, but wow, wow, wow! This woman sure knows how to write a powerful book about hard hitting subjects that affect many people every day. The theme of The Food of Love the still much misunderstood and hidden taboo of anorexia.

What did I love most about this book? The way that the author has bought to life an illness that for many families is all too real, and something they live with everyday. She has done it in a way that is sensitive, moving and for me very educational and thought provoking. I don’t mind saying that this book gripped me in a way that not many others have. I found it very very hard to walk away from and really didn’t know right up until the very last chapter how it would end.

Being a voyeur I gained an insight into eating disorders in a way that I hadn’t really considered in the past. The helplessness and despair that the family felt jumped off the page and I could also feel those emotions manifesting in me.

I loved (it feels wrong to say love, but you know what I mean hopefully) the way that as a reader we can see not only how it affects the person with the problem, but also the impact on the family, particularly Freya, Lexi’s Mum. That sense of frustration, despair, helplessness and anger were all encompassing for me. So wonderfully put on to paper but bought to life, more than just words on a page.

I have been fortunate that I have never really known a person who has an eating disorder, and whilst thinking I could have some understanding it was only after reading this book that I encountered someone with a severe eating disorder. I was sitting in a coffee shop the other day and there was someone sitting opposite me who was incredibly anxious, and very obviously very underweight. To sit there watching them obsessed with watching others eat and drink whilst constantly checking that their own stomach was perfectly concave bought me back to this book and bought tears to my eyes. To eventually see the person stand up and be able to proudly pull their stomach in to almost meet their spine was chilling.

The book is a story of family, love and I am sure it will be one that as a reader you will be absorbed in and deeply moved by. It is certainly a book that will always stay with me.

Amanda writes books that are beautiful and I cannot recommend them enough. Her writing is down to earth, realistic, and her ability to develop characters that touch your heart, and have you reaching for tissues. Her books will definitely have you riding an emotional rollercaster. I am off to purchase all her back catalogue!