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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

ROF = Romance and Other Fiction Authors

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Category: ROF - Ali McNamara

  1. Kat's Review of Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara

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    Synopsis: The sun is shining in the quiet little seaside town of Sandybridge. Sandybridge is the perfect English seaside town: home to gift shops, tea rooms and a fabulous fish and chip shop. And it's home to Grace - although right now, she's not too happy about it.

    Grace grew up in Sandybridge, helping her parents sort junk from vintage treasures, but she always longed to escape to a bigger world. And she made it, travelling the world for her job, falling in love and starting a family. So why is she back in the tiny seaside town she'd long left behind, hanging out with Charlie, the boy who became her best friend when they were teenagers?

    It turns out that travelling the world may not have been exactly what Grace needed to do. Perhaps everything she wanted has always been at home - after all, they do say that's where the heart is...

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  2. Kat's Top Ten Books from 2015 in the Romance & Other Fiction Genre

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    Having compiled the top ten in the Crime, Mystery and Thriller genre, I have turned my attention to my top ten in the other genre. For me this was also an easy top ten as these books all stood out. 4 of these authors are with Bookouture which proves to me that they are streaking ahead in this field with selecting some awesome authors. I would highly recommend all ten of these books and can't wait to see more from them all this year. The list below is in no particular order!

          

        

    One Wish In Manhattan by Mandy Baggott

    Synopsis: he temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish… to start over. With her daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for adventure. But there’s more to New York than twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has her own Christmas wish – to find her real dad. While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked. Can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might come true – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they realise life isn’t just about filling the minutes… it’s about making every moment count. 

    Bella's Christmas Bake Off by Sue Watson

    Synopsis: Bella Bradley is the queen of television baking – a national treasure. Her Christmas specials have been topping the ratings for years and her marriage to Peter ‘Silver Fox’ Bradley is the stuff of Hello magazine specials. But this year things are going to be different. For Amy Lane, Bella’s best friend from school, life hasn’t held quite the same sparkle. And when Amy’s husband walks out three weeks from Christmas, it seems their lives are further apart than ever. Amy has watched Bella’s rise to fame fondly, despite the fact Bella was always a terrible cook. But when she realises that Bella’s latest Christmas book is made up entirely of Amy’s mother’s recipes, the gloves are off. After winning a competition to appear on Bella’s TV show, Amy is going to make sure that for Bella and her viewers, this will definitely be a Christmas to remember. 

    Snowflakes on Silver Cove by Holly Martin

    Synopsis: Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself. Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance. As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and…discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George. But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas? 

    The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown

    Synopsis: Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale. There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen. 

    A Sister's Promise by Renita D'Silva

    Synopsis: My sister – the glue that held our family together and the gatekeeper to the memories of our shared childhood. The girl I made a pact with – to protect each other for life. The woman who destroyed my family, my future. And the only one who can save my daughter. Set against the dramatic backdrop of India, A Sister’s Promise is a powerful, emotional tale of family secrets, love and the ties that bind sisters together. 

    The Secret By The Lake by Louise Douglas

    Synopsis: A FAMILY TRAGEDY. Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now. A SISTER’S SECRET. But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen. A WEB OF LIES. Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves? 

    Summer at The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

    Synopsis: Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

    And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence. Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves? 

    Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

    Synopsis: Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out. Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more. Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong. 

    It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane

    Synopsis: Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong. When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault. When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault. And when he wanted her back like nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame. From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.  

    The Little Flower Shop by The Sea by Ali McNamara

    Synopsis: The blossom is out in the little Cornish harbour town of St Felix. But Poppy Carmichael's spirits aren't lifted by the pretty West Country spring. Inheriting her grandmother's flower shop has forced her to return to Cornwall, a place that holds too many memories.Poppy is determined to do her best for the sake of her adored grandmother, but she struggles with the responsibility of the more-shabby-than-chic shop. And with the added complication of Jake, the gruff but gorgeous local flower grower, Poppy is very tempted to run away. The pretty little town has a few surprises in store for Poppy. With new friends to help her and romance blooming, it's time for Poppy to open her heart to St Felix and to the special magic of a little flower shop by the sea! 

  3. Kat's Review of The Little Flower Shop By The Sea by Ali McNamara

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    Synopsis: The blossom is out in the little Cornish harbour town of St Felix. But Poppy Carmichael's spirits aren't lifted by the pretty West Country spring. Inheriting her grandmother's flower shop has forced her to return to Cornwall, a place that holds too many memories.

    Poppy is determined to do her best for the sake of her adored grandmother, but she struggles with the responsibility of the more-shabby-than-chic shop. And with the added complication of Jake, the gruff but gorgeous local flower grower, Poppy is very tempted to run away... The pretty little town has a few surprises in store for Poppy. With new friends to help her and romance blooming, it's time for Poppy to open her heart to St Felix and to the special magic of a little flower shop by the sea!

    Kat’s Rating: 5/5

  4. Kat's Top Ten Romance/Other Fiction from 2014

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    From the books in this genre I have read, I have chosen my favourite ten (in no particular order) and would highly recommend reading them if you haven't already. These aren't necessarily books that have been published, but books I have read in this calendar year.

    The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

    Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson

    From Notting Hill with Four Weddings...Actually by Ali McNamara

    Rory's Proposal by Lynda Renham

    Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson

    The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell

    Stolen Girl by Renita D'Silva

    If You Were Me by Sheila O'Flanagan

    A Place to Call Home by Carole Matthews

    The French For Love by Fiona Valpy

     

             

  5. Kat's Review of From Notting Hill With Four Weddings…Actually by Ali McNamara

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    My Rating: 5/5

    Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Released 23.10.14

    Synopsis: Movie addict Scarlett O'Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she's dreamed of - but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread.

    Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, planning her wedding to handsome fiancé, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie - life couldn't be better.

    But then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling, Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamorous. As she begins to experience the other side to being rich and famous, it's not only Scarlett's perfect wedding that's put in jeopardy, but her whole world. 

     **Please note if you would like to read this series in order, please don’t continue with my review as it will inevitably contain spoilers**

  6. Kat's Review of From Notting Hill to New York…Actually by Ali McNamara

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    Ali McNamara From Notting Hill to New YorkMy Rating: 5/5

    Having never read Ali McNamara's book entitled From Notting Hill with Love Actually, I immediately picked up this book which is the second one featuring Scarlett O'Brien. Scarlett O'Brien is a complete addict when it comes to movies, especially the romantic ones. She decides that what she needs is a holiday so decides to visit her father in New York and takes along her best friend Oscar. As soon as she hits US soil you just know that her trip to New York is going to be bedlam.

    The first book in the series features Scarlett and her family and friends and I absolutely loved it. However, not wanting to give away any spoilers all I will say is that after the last book it's clear that nothing is straightforward when it comes to Scarlett. While she is visiting all the big attractions in New York she runs into Jamie and Max, a TV reporter and his cameraman. Other than the fact the Jamie and her seem to both love films, she can't understand why she has a sudden connection with him. Especially since she is so in love with her boyfriend?

    Along with Oscar, Scarlett and her new friends Jamie and Max seem to get themselves into an awful lot of mischief. There are lots of story threads going on in this book which certainly keeps you interested but for me the winning factor was the characters. Although I really enjoyed the first book I enjoyed this one much more. Oscar is hilarious and I had a firm picture of him from the moment I picked this book up. Scarlett's father, Sean, Jamie, Max, they all added that little something to the story and by the halfway mark I actually felt like I knew these characters inside out.

    If you haven't read the first book featuring Scarlett then it's not a problem as Ali McNamara gives you enough background. However, I would highly recommend reading it because it gives you an idea of just how crazy Scarlett is. As with the first book it took me no time at all to finish this book and was pretty gutted when I finished it. I just love the fact that you are transported away from day to day life with Scarlett and her friends. This book won't be for everybody but for me it was an absolute winner. I can't wait to start reading all of McNamara's other books.

  7. Kat's Review of From Notting Hill with Love…Actually by Ali McNamara

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    Ali McNamara From Notting Hill With Love...ActuallyMy Rating: 4/5

    Having never read any of Ali McNamara's books I had no idea of what to expect. When I read the synopsis and saw some of the comments left I started to look forward to it immensely. Something I should clarify having now read this book though. The book is described as an endearing and romantic fun read. That's exactly what it is and it's frustrating when people leave negative reviews because of this. You should always know the sort of book you are about to pick up and that description is perfect for it.

    Scarlett our main character is almost obsessed with the movies. She loves all films but romantic comedies are her thing. Her fiancé David is sensible and caring but that's where it ends. As soon as I started reading I just fell in love with Scarlett. Yes she is slightly ditzy and has her head in the clouds more often than not, but she is very endearing. Her fiancé ...is the most boring character I have read about in a while and my empathy was firmly with Scarlett when she compared him to some of her movie idols.

    The movie theme is what really made this book and the fact that the films and certain well known quotes are used from start to finish gave it that extra bit of magic. Scarlett also seems to have an extremely bad habit of causing havoc and mayhem wherever she goes. When Scarlett is given the opportunity to house-sit for a friend in Notting Hill she jumps at the chance. With her house-sitting duties comes a whole heap of new friends as well as an annoyingly handsome next-door neighbour.

    Now I know that some people may write this book off as being predictable and far too fluffy and romantic, but I say don't knock it until you tried it. After all Rom-Com films make millions because people sometimes want the predictable fairy tale. This book was a sheer joy to read and took me completely away from reality. It was like my favourite Rom-Com wrapped up in a book. I loved it so much I immediately picked up the second book featuring Scarlett (and boy was I glad I did!). If you want a book which transports you away from the dreary day to day chores, pick this one up. You will be transported to the madcap world of Scarlett and it's fun from start to finish.