Tag Archives: love

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Review 

It’s easy to see why The Alchemist has achieved status as a modern classic. 

This is the story of a shepherd boy from Spain who follows his dreams to Egypt to find treasure. His journey is far from easy but he follows the omens, guidance and belief in himself to assist him on his journey. 


This is a book about love and happiness, about following dreams and listening to your heart. It is not without reason, the message I took from it was not to ‘follow your dreams regardless’ but to believe in yourself and not make excuses for why you can’t do something when the only thing stopping you is fear of the unknown and the desire to remain comfortable with what you know. I believe this is something we all do, whether eating at the same restaurant, drinking in the same pubs, shopping at the same stores. Or something bigger like staying in a job you hate because you need the money, not studying for that degree because you’re afraid you won’t have time. 

It’s a very overused saying but you only have one life so go out there and live it to the full! 

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Review 

The Beautiful Ones is the first novel I have read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia but I’m really glad I decided to give it a try. 

Hauntingly beautiful this novel tells the story of unrequited love from the perspective of the lover and the loved. 


Set in what is presumably based on historical France (although the time period isn’t clear). Antonina (Nina) is a naive girl from the countryside taking part in her first grand season in the city of Loisail. Nina is staying with her favourite cousin and his wife who seems to inexplicably dislike her. Nina is used to dislike though, her telekinetic powers are why she couldn’t find a suitable husband at home and her less than perfect manners and lack of ability to be ladylike in public just seem to make things worse. 


But Nina’s attention and affection are captured by the enigmatic if slightly distracted Hector Auvray a telekinetic performer, as they become closer she is certain that a marriage proposal is imminent but there are other things at play that Nina knows nothing about. She has become a bit player in a game that goes back more than a decade. 


I found this book to be very engaging. It was an interesting take on a historical novel with the addition of the characters telekinetic powers. It sssms to be more of a play on the usual historical novel, while some things remain true to the times, others show a decided change. Valérie’s spite and malice make her an excellent villain against the naive and yet lovable Nina. This novel highlights the saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. 


I really liked the characters of both Nina and Hector and I was rooting for them the whole way through, I won’t say if they had a happy ending though, as always I won’t give any spoilers! 

I’ll definitely look into reading more from this author in the future! 

See Me by Nicholas Sparks. Review 

I love Nicholas Sparks books, they’re always enchanting. He has a way of writing which is delicious to read (fellow readers will understand what I mean). 

See Me is a tad different to the other novels I’ve read by Nicholas though. Effectively it starts off with the same sort of premise; Colin has been in trouble with the law in the past, he was heading for a different kind of life until he got a second chance at life. Now he’s channeling his anger with excercise and MMA fighting and studying at college to become a primary school teacher. 

Meanwhile Maria is a 28 year old insurance lawyer trying to make her parents proud of her and all she has achieved. But she’s busy dealing with her boss who’s sexually harassing her. Since splitting with boyfriend Luis she hasn’t been interested in another relationship, until she meets Colin who is the complete opposite of her type. 


The way that this novel is different to the others by this author is that it’s also kind of crime fiction novel as well. Maria is being stalked and nobody knows who it is or what their motive might be. 


It’s hard for love to blossom in an environment where danger is everywhere. Maria’s running scared and not just of her stalker but of Colin too, put under pressure who knows what might trigger the anger and impulsive behaviour he’s tried so hard to control?  


I really enjoyed this one, the thriller element to it made it much more of a page turner and the love story between Maria and Colin was engaging and lovely to read about. 

My Top 10 Valentine’s Day reads 

It’s the month of love and romance and so… it makes sense for me to recommend my favourite romantic/love related books to get you in the mood for the most romantic day of the year. 


10. Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes 


By the author Me Before You and After You this cute little collection of short stories features undeniably romantic tales from the city of love; Paris. As well as some set in jolly old England as well. Damsels in distress rescued by hot Frenchmen abound. 

9. All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll 


Witty, warm and akin to cuddling up in your favourite chair on a winters evening. Tessa is unexpectedly called to jury duty just weeks before she’s due to get married but it’s as much a journey of self discovery for her as she tries to prepare for the big day. 

8. A Miracle at Macy’s by Lynn Marie Hulsman 


Don’t let it put you off reading this just because it’s set at Christmas. Lynn Marie Hulsman has a witty and delightful way of writing and this romantic story featuring a baker and her lost dog will pull the strings of even the hardest hearts. 

7. The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay 


A fast paced and delightful story featuring not only romantic love but the love of books too! What more could you want? Another tug of the heartstrings here and the perfect novel where everything turns out right in the end. 

6. How to Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern 


How to Fall in Love is a beautiful story about loving life as well as a romantic partner. Christine saves Adam’s life when he tries to commit suicide and she is determined that before his 35th birthday she will show him why he should embrace and love his life. 

5. 

Four very different women are brought together in this sweet story. Lucy, Autumn, Nadia and Chantal meet up in Chocolate Heaven to discuss everything from work, to friends, to love. There’s a gambling husband, a cheating boyfriend, a flirtatious boss and a loveless marriage. But of course there’s also a happy ending. 
4. 

Well let’s face it, it had to make the cut! What would Valentine’s Day be without a bit of romance S&M style? But for those who haven’t read it, you should know that beneath the smut there’s a true love story which develops throughout the trilogy. A damaged man just looking for someone to love him better. It’s irresistible. 

3. 

Hughie Venables-Smyth. He’s irresistible and he’s not the only one who knows it. Distraught husbands often pay him to use that irresistability and flirt with their wives to help bring back that spark. It’s going so well with his newest ‘wife’ Olivia that he decides to employ the same techniques on his own longed for love – Leticia. There’s some shocking revelations ahead! 
2.

In a way this is not a romantic novel. In some parts in fact it’s a little disturbing. But it wouldn’t be Marian Keyes if it didn’t give us life in real time! Paddy is a famous politician but it’s the broken hearts he’s left behind that are the secrets he doesn’t want the public to know about. This is more a story of loving yourself than loving the wrong man. 

1. 

Sian is not a reckless person. Ok, so she was, but only once, and when that recklessness resulted in her beautiful son Rory how could she possibly regret it? Like all the women in Katie’s books, Sian has a super cool job as a furniture restorer. 

When Sian leaves the City for a quiet life in a beautiful cottage in the English countryside romance is the last thing on her mind, but fate has other thoughts in store….

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes. Review 

Paris for One and Other Stories is a collection of short stories by Me Before You author Jojo Moyes. 

Some of the stories were shorter than others but all of them equally engaging and definitely relatable from a woman’s point of view. Like the story about the woman who wants a new coat and can’t afford the one she really wants. 


It’s a simple story but one that resonates because there’s an underlying story to it. It’s not really about the coat, it’s about the recession. It’s about the changes to people’s lives when the country falls into financial difficulty. 

There’s the romance of the main story Paris for One. The old story of an unsuitable boyfriend letting you down, only for your whole life to be turned upside down when your regimented life becomes impulsive and full of excitement. 


Paris features heavily in Other Stories as well. 

Overall I found this collection of stories really enjoyable. The subject matters covered everything from affairs to new shoes. Right through to my favourite story of all: The Christmas List. 

Love, loss, liberation, friendship. These stories have it all! 

Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell – Review 

Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay is the new novel from one of my all time favourite Romantic writers; Jill Mansell, due for publication in June next year. I’ve a strong feeling that it’s going to end up on my top 10 summer reads of 2017. 

Set in St Carys, a fictional town in Cornwall which Jill created for one of her other novels The Unpredictable Consequences of Love. 

The story follows Clemency an estate agent and her step sister Belle along with a host of their friends and neighbours. From Kate the postwoman who has a secret even she doesn’t know, to Marina who seems nothing more than an extremely kind painter but holds her own secrets which could blow some of the other characters worlds apart. 

What I like about Jill’s writing is that despite there always being a happy ending (that’s not a spoiler we all know it happens in chic lit), what she writes is still interesting and there’s more than one twist and turn along the way, let’s just say the happy ending isn’t always the one you expect! 


Despite this being her 28th book (Wow!) the storylines are always fresh and original and most importantly take into account changing times. A beautiful summer read perfect for a day on the beach. 

The One by John Marrs 

This is a very interesting book. The One is an intriguing story with an extraordinary concept. It’s admittedly one of those which makes you sit up and think ‘well why didn’t I think of that?’ But that’s just writers envy I think! 
At first I found it hard to concentrate on who everyone in the story is. It focuses on 5 different characters and each one has a chapter: 

Mandy 

Ellie 

Jade 

Nick 

Christopher 

So for the first maybe 10 chapters I was concentrating on who was who rather than what was happening. Later on in the novel I still found it hard to work out which women were which until a couple of sentences in. 

The concept of the novel is as I say very intriguing. Match your DNA is a new dating site which is designed to connect you to your ACTUAL SOULMATE based on how your DNA matches theirs. This has caused numerous marriages, an end to homophobia, religious hatred and sexism. Divorce rates have gone down and so has the birth rate and STIs but not everyone’s happy as for every one match 3 relationships break up as couples discover they were never meant to be together. 

There are several themes to this novel. One is very Nicholas Sparks tragic romance, there is also blackmail, crime, adultery, science, computers, science fiction. It’s got it all. 
I can’t say too much about each character or the storyline without giving spoilers which I don’t want to do but I must say that it was impossible to put this book down, it occupied my thoughts whenever I wasn’t reading it and let me add that anything you think you know about the character’s individual storyline.. well think again.