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Category: Bookouture

  1. Kat's Book Review of Difficult Husbands by Mary de Laszlo

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    Synopsis: Three friends. One surprise inheritance. And the perfect plan to deal with troublesome husbands at Christmas time... Newly divorced Lorna is struggling to adjust to life on her own. When she discovers that her beloved godfather has left her the grand (and crumbling) Ravenscourt House in the heart of Sussex, she soon has a project on her hands. Nathan sells delicious goodies at Mulberry Farm. When he meets Lorna at a Christmas market, neither of them can ignore the chemistry. But as they get to know one another, Lorna wants to know one thing - is he after her or the house? Together with Gloria - whose marriage to alcoholic Adrian has hit rock bottom, and Rosalind - struggling to deal with her womanising husband Ivan, the three friends hatch a plan. They'll ditch their difficult husbands at Ravenscourt House and enjoy stress-free Christmases with their families. But nothing is ever that simple.

    Kat’s Rating: 3/5

    Kat’s Review: First off, I certainly didn’t dislike this book, I just didn’t love it. The synopsis sounds good and I thought I would really enjoy this. The beginning introduces us mainly to Lorna who is recently divorced. She is struggling to adjust to her newly single status and a surprise inheritance makes things even more complicated. The problem I found with Lorna was that I just didn’t particularly warm to her that much. She seemed a bit ‘wishy-washy’ if you know what I mean. 

    In addition to Lorna there are her two friends Gloria and Rosalind. If I’m honest these two characters took a back seat to Lorna and although they were a fundamental part of the story I just didn’t know them well enough. All three women have some serious issues going on with the men in their life and they have a mad idea to send all three men down to Ravenscourt House which Lorna had inherited. With the house practically crumbling to the ground they figured it was suitable punishment for ‘difficult husbands’.

    The story was okay and trundled along but if I’m being brutally honest I just didn’t ‘gel’ enough with any of the women (or other characters for that matter). When you see the cover for the book it gives you a Christmas vibe, and although part of the book falls over the Christmas period I wouldn’t call this book particularly festive. I would certainly read another book by this author as the writing was good, I just didn’t connect enough with the people in this story…maybe next time. 

  2. Kat's Review of Snow Angels and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson

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    My Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis: For Tamsin Angel, Christmas is always the biggest and best… chic parties and a little showbiz sparkle are a must. This year though, things aren’t going quite as planned… 

    With bailiffs suddenly at the door and her husband nowhere to be found, it looks like Christmas just got downsized. Moving into her sister’s one-bedroom flat, she wonders whether things will ever be the same again. 

    After losing her husband on Christmas Eve, Sam Angel has rebuilt her life around her son Jacob and her new business – The White Angel Bakery. She’s also found herself a very handsome, loving boyfriend, but is struggling to let go of the past. 

    Thrown together with a sprinkle of Christmas magic, Sam and Tamsin might just learn a little more about each other – and themselves. But when disaster strikes at the bakery, will they be able to save the day in time for Christmas? 

    My Review: I was delighted that Sue Watson had produced a lovely Christmas book to get me through the next year until her next release. Thankfully this little baby could tide me over until then and FYI how lovely and Christmassy (that’s a real word you know) is the cover?! 

    At 254 pages this felt a little bit too short for me but I forgive the wonderful Sue as the book was so enjoyable! I adored the two main characters of this story who are sisters from the get go! Sam Angel is the sensible sister, but having lost her husband on Christmas Eve she now dedicates her time to her Bakery and her son Jacob. Her elder sister Tamsin is living what appears to be the high life.

    Although I loved both sisters Tamsin (also called Tammy) stole the limelight a little bit in my opinion. Tammy’s life is just about being seen at the right parties, with the right people and being the best at everything among the other women who are part of the ladies that lunch group. When Bailiffs arrive at her door everything in her life is taken from her in the blink of an eye and she literally has to start again! Tamsin in particular is a brilliant character, and one that you end up rooting for even though she makes some shocking decisions.

    One thing Sue Watson has is this magical ability to create characters you connect with. In addition her humour is apparent throughout this, and every other book she writes. Some of the characters that she throws in the mix are hilarious and in this case it’s most definitely Mrs J. This book also manages to transport you into that very fluffy and warm and cosy Christmas that will soon be upon us. I can’t say this is my favourite as that is reserved for Love, Lies and Lemon Cake. All this book resulted in was me wanting to read what happens next for Tammy. A total tease until the next novel is released. Come on Sue, stop all that Social Networking malarkey and get writing woman!

  3. Kat's Review of Stolen Girl by Renita D'Silva

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    My Rating: 4/5

    Availability: Paperback, Kindle,  Nook and Kobo

    Synopsis: ‘Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’ 

    For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby… Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her own childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister. Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child? 

    My Review: I was a little apprehensive when I started this as it sounded a little out of my comfort zone; however, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The story is told initially from a young 13 year old Diya’s point of view. The story starts out quite emotionally charged as the reader witnesses the horror that a young confused 13 year old experiences when her Mother is arrested and accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby. The first few chapters I found a little hard going as it seemed there was nothing other than a few confused ramblings of a confused young girl. Once I reached the halfway book those thoughts were long gone and I was loathed to put the book down.

    D’Silva has created a wonderful read by creating layers that are slowly revealed as we learn slowly each person involved in their own element of the story. Diya’s mother Vani starts to reveal her own story much further into the book but as we see it revealed I thought I had it all figured out, to realise very quickly that I didn’t have the first clue. In addition to that we also meet Aarti who is battling her own demons. With each chapter that was written I felt myself being drawn into the story more and more.

    With a heart-breaking story, wonderful characters and such raw emotion D’Silva had me hooked. A beautiful story that I think many people would love to read. Not an author I have come across before, but one that I will be looking at more closely in the future.

  4. Kat's Review of The Husband Diet by Nancy Barone

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    Nancy Barone The Husband DIetMy Rating: 3/5

    The Husband Diet is Nancy Barone’s debut novel and after reading it I have to say a pretty good one at that! This debut features Erica Cantelli is a mother whose husband Ira tells her constantly that she needs to lose weight. It didn’t take me long to like the main character Erica and you can tell by the way her life is that her sole focus is her children and husband. It also didn’t take me too long to loathe the selfish and pig-headed husband. Erica’s mother is also a hideous woman who does nothing but criticise Erica about anything and everything. Erica decides it time to turn her life around and makes positive changes.

    Some of the highlights in the book for me were moment’s where Erica fantasises about killing her husband, and trying to buy healthy food in the shops to discover its half the size and tastes of nothing! There were quite a lot of funny moments in the book and it just made me root for Erica even more. She even starts dreaming of her children’s Principal Julian Foxham and along with her quest to improve herself, she starts to see some real changes in her life. The question is whether or not she can ever achieve her ideal dream of living in Tuscany.

    This book didn’t stand out as particularly different from many other books in this genre I read. Having said that, I enjoyed the characters and the humour running through the book was brilliant from start to finish. I wouldn’t say this was the best book I have read but it is certainly a great debut novel and I would definitely look out for her next book as I think this may be an author that will improve with every book she writes.