Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry

Title: Nineteen Letters
Author: Jodi Perry
Publisher: 29 August  2017 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: contemporary romance
My Rating: 4 crowns

Synopsis:
Nineteen. There’s something about that number; it not only brought us together, bonding us forever, it also played a hand in tearing us apart.
The nineteenth of January 1996. I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the day I developed my first crush on a girl.
Exactly nineteen years later, all my dreams came true when she became my wife. She was the love of my life. My soul mate. My everything. The reason I looked forward to waking up every morning.
Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after we married, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.
I was crushed. She was my air, and without her I couldn’t breathe.
The sparkle that once glistened her eyes when she looked at me was gone. To her, now, I was a stranger. I had not only lost my wife, I had lost my best friend.
But I refused to let this tragedy be the end of us. That’s when I started to write her letters, stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we had experienced together.
What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.
My Thoughts

“I thought that nineteen was the number that symbolised everything we were. Every important milestone we’d experienced together. The number that not only brought us together, but bonded us forever. “

It’s all about the significance of the number ‘19’ for Braxton and Jemma in this love story. However, what happens when everything they had is gone? After a tragic car accident, can Braxton rekindle all that he has lost due to Jemma’s amnesia?

The best thing about this story are the letters - you kind of get two stories for the price of one here, as Braxton so lovingly relates all that Jemma has forgotten (inclusive of charms for a memory bracelet, no less). All the significant dates are strategically placed throughout her tale of recovery, but will it be enough to win her back?

“If Jemma won’t listen to my spoken words, she might at least read my written ones. She needs to know what our lives were once like.”

In each of the nineteen letters, Braxton chronologically recounts many of the memorable events in their long history together - from childhood friends through to marriage. Each installment see’s Jemma become more understanding and open to the reasons of why they fell in love and were soul mates. It seamlessly correlates to the present day and never appears to be out of sync or just thrown in for good measure.

This brings us to one profound aspect of this tale - it is a love story, pure and simple. No added drama or outside distractions - just a man trying to win (again) the heart of his soul mate. You will find yourself eagerly anticipating the delivery of a new letter and what the matching charm will be. Braxton is every girl’s dream - from stalwart supporter as childhood friends, to pure devotion and commitment of not let going of all they once shared. One simply has to let go of reality and fall under his spell as Braxton has a way with words that will reach right into every woman’s heart.

Naturally there will be those that cannot swallow such sickly sweet devotion and adoration. This man can do no wrong! However, if  you can see past all that and embrace your inner hopeless romantic, delve into a true romance read as you join ‘Team Braxton’ and each of his nineteen letters, hoping that you will get your happily ever after.

‘Then you started writing the letters.’ Although there are tears brimming in her eyes, there’s a smile on her face as she speaks. ‘You have no idea what those letters have done for me. They’ve given me hope where there was none.’




This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Friday, September 8, 2017

Secrets Between Friends by Fiona Palmer

Title: Secrets Between Friends
Author: Fiona Palmer
Publisher: 12 September 2017 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 368 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, contemporary romance
My Rating: 3.5 crowns

Synopsis:

Friendship is a million little moments, but can it survive this one? Three friends embark on a luxury cruise to celebrate their ten-year reunion in this heartfelt story of how long-held secrets can catch up with even the best of friends

Life was about living, experiencing and emotions. The good and the bad. You had to laugh to cry. You had to love to hurt. You had to jump to fall or fly.

Best friends Abbie, Jess and Ricki are set to recreate a school trip they took ten years earlier to the historic port town of Albany, the oldest city on the stunning turquoise coastline of Western Australia.

Ricki, a dedicated nurse, harbours a dream she hasn't chased. Is she actually happy or stuck in a rut?

Jess, a school teacher and single mother to little Ollie, had a tough upbringing but found her way through with the help of her closest male friend, Peter. But Peter has bought an engagement ring and is ready to propose to Ricki . . .

Abbie had it all: a career, a loving boyfriend and a future, but a visit to the doctor bears scary news. Her world is tumbling down and she feels adrift at sea.

SECRETS BETWEEN FRIENDS is a poignant novel of romance, family dynamics and friendship. Through her highly relatable, sympathetic characters, beloved Australian storyteller Fiona Palmer writes about issues, experiences and emotions we have all faced while posing the ultimate question: What is really important in this life?

My Thoughts

I was keen to sample Fiona Palmer’s first time dalliance out of her ‘rural romance’ genre. Here is a tale of best friends, Jess, Abbie and Ricki (and Ricki's boyfriend, Peter) who decide to take a three-day cruise down the coast of Western Australia. As the title of the book indicates, there most definitely are some very serious ‘secrets between friends’ that all come to a head during this short cruise. Will their long term friendship be able to withstand the revelations and confrontations that, in the confines of ship life, there will be no escape from?

Once again I reveled in the setting - Australia - and this time, sailing on a familiar cruise line. As the girls and Peter make the most of life onboard the ship and the trip to Albany and back, there was much to enjoy. Being a ‘cruiser’ myself, I found the descriptions realistic and accurate. For those of you in any way interested in cruising, this gives a lovely little insight into life onboard.

‘Gee, they really pack a lot of events into a day aboard the ship don’t they?’

‘... that was life on the ship. You could partake in all the activities, some or none.’

The concept of secrets amongst friends is not a new one, however, I just found their tiffs and selfishness difficult to swallow at times. Sadly, I didn’t really enjoy the characters that much because of it.

‘Problems going on with my friends. Secrets and indiscretions, surprises.’ She shrugged.
‘We came here to celebrate, but today all we’ve done is yell at each other.’

Each of the girls have personal issues to contend with from the desire to follow a dream, to single motherhood, to health concerns. So there is much to relate to and it was interesting to see how events played out. I appreciated the realism and how confrontational certain aspects were presented and handled. I am sure that many of Fiona Palmer's fans will enjoy taking a trip alongside the three friends and appreciate that life is not always smooth with bonds often being stretched to breaking point.

‘Life can seem great one minute and then a shit-hole mess the next. What do we do, Abbie?’
‘We do the only thing we can do. Live each day as it comes, try to be good people while pursuing happiness.’
It sounded easy. But it wasn’t.




This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release