Tag Archives: romance

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon. Review

Thank you to Netgalley, Penguin and Jane Fallon for my ARC of Faking Friends. Amy has finally got it together, she has a strong friendship with Melissa who she has known since she was 11, she’s engaged to Jack who she loves and lives with, and she’s finally got an acting job which is more than just ‘woman in the park’ or ‘woman with dog’. Everything is perfect, that is until she arrives home on a surprise visit, to find Another woman’s stuff in her flat, and there’s something familiar about the clothes and jewellery in the flat. They belong to Melissa.

Amy is understandably devastated but as she begins to pick up the pieces of her life, she realises that pulling theirs apart is even better.

At first I thought to myself that as Amy finds out about the betrayal in the first chapter, how is there going to be a full novel of this? I expected it to be a boring story about a woman getting back on the dating scene or something, but it is nothing like that. It’s all about the brilliant revenge that Amy enacts on Melissa and Jack and all without their knowledge. It’s a fantastic premise and I absolutely loved it!

All of the characters were great, Amy is so likeable and easy to feel sorry for, she is the wronged woman and she’s genuinely nice which obviously makes you hate Melissa and Jack. Then as you find out more about Melissa and the turns their ‘friendship’ has taken over the years, the more reasons you have to hate her even more. She is literally that horrible toxic friend who has no business being friends with anyone. It was great to see the revenge enacted on her. I was rooting for Amy from day one.

I really enjoyed Faking Friends and I’ll be adding more of Jane Fallon’s books to my TBR as a result.


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Review

Into the Water is the new novel by Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and it’s a very different novel. Yes, they both fall into the genre of thriller and they’re both about secrets, but other than that there is no similarity between the two. Some of you may rejoice at that, others not so much.

First off I guess what I’ve got to get off my chest is that what stopped this being an exceptional novel for me is that it was told from far too many perspectives.

Lena – daughter of the late Nell Abbott

Jules – sister of the late Nell Abbott

Sean – the police officer investigating the death.

Erin – the other police officer investigating the death.

Helen – Sean’s wife

Patrick – Sean’s father

Nickie – an older woman and a psychic

Louise – mother of Katie and Josh

Josh – son of Louise, brother of Katie

Mark – a teacher at Lena and Katie’s school

As you can see, an exhaustive amounts of POV’s and hardly necessary. Some characters only offering their perspective a couple of times and others dominating. Overall I feel the novel would have better suited in third person omniscient if it needed so many perspectives!

The second thing for me, was that it went on for far too long leaving most of the novel feeling like nothing was happening. This is possibly linked to the amount of perspectives we get as well. The first 150 Pages or so we’re pretty gripping and intriguing, but after that it really slowed down and I found the last few chapters and the big reveals to be rather jumbled and disappointing!

I feel like this was a novel with a potential which it unfortunately doesn’t live up to.

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris. Review

I’m so sad that this series is over! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the characters of Midnight, Texas and I’m a little disappointed but also hopeful that I might hear from them again!

What a hodgepodge bunch they are but so brilliant at the same time! In Midnight Crossroad and Day Shift the small group of townsfolk had to face several adversaries but none as formidable as the one they face in Night Shift. Suicides keep happening on the crossroads in Midnight, blood is being spilled and Lemuel the vampire is still desperately trying to translate the ancient texts which he found in the pawnshop. He’s sure that they will give a reason for the unexplained deaths. But if it’s what he suspects, they might just be running out of time. There’s a ritual needed and even Mr Snuggly is going to have his part to play.

This whole series has been start to finish brilliant. I really love these characters and I had forgotten what a wonderful writer Charlaine Harris is, her books are such easy, delicious reads with characters you really can’t help loving. I’ll definitely be checking out the tv series when I get back to the UK as well!

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris. Review

There’s a reviewer on goodreads called Jilly who really sums up this series for me, she says ‘this series is one of those kinds where it doesn’t move all that fast but you just enjoy hanging out with the characters’ I couldn’t have said it better than that myself. I love the characters in this series and all their quirky, individual ways.

There are a few spoilers here from Midnight Crossroad but the review of Day Shift is spoiler free don’t worry!

Day Shift invites us further into the world of Midnight, Texas and the characters who live there. A tiny hamlet near Davy, Midnight has lots of boarded up storefronts and only a few people living there. There’s Fiji a self proclaimed witch who owns the store The Inquiring Mind, Manfred, still fairly new to the town, a telephone psychic, Bobo who owns the pawnbrokers, Olivia some kind of superhero fighter woman and Lemuel the emotion draining vampire. There’s also Joe and Chuy a gay couple who might perhaps be angels. Then there’s Madonna, Teacher and their baby who seem to be normal and the Rev who nobody knows quite what he is. There’s also the return of some of the characters from the Sookie Stackhouse series as well!

Manfred finds himself in a spot of bother in Day Shift when one of his clients dies during a private reading. Accused of stealing her jewellery by her psycho son, and suspected of potentially murdering the woman, Manfred has to rely on his friends in the town to help him out of this mess, even if their methods are a little unconventional.

I’m getting rather addicted to this series and looking forward to getting straight into Night Shift the final book in this trilogy series.

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris. Review

Midnight Crossroad is the first in Charlaine Harris’ new series Midnight Texas. The town of Midnight is grateful for the Crossroad as it drives business from outsiders into the tiny hamlet. With only a nail bar, Gas station, diner, pawnbrokers and magic shop, the town is quiet with only a few residents, well known to each other. Manfred Bernardo an Internet psychic moves into the town and soon discovers that there’s something a little unusual about the townsfolk.

I really loved the concept of this novel, supernatural people all living together in a little hamlet, disturbed by white supremacy is about what sums it up which sounds ridiculous but it works!

I loved all the characters, some of them are open about their supernatural powers like Fiji the witch, while others like the Rev and Bobo are yet to be revealed, although I already have my suspicions. I am a huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Charlaine Harris does not disappoint with this latest series!

Pieces of You by Ella Harper. Review

I must have heard about this book somewhere and liked the sound of it because it’s been on my tbr for a while and it’s not in my favourite genre or by an author I have read before and I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed it. Although, due to the subject matter, I’m not sure ‘enjoyed’ is the correct term.

Lucy and Luke are the perfect couple, married for 5 years they are still best friends, and still very much in love. The only problem is, they can’t have a baby. After 8 miscarriages, Lucy is finally pregnant with their third attempt at IVF and now it’s approaching the 4 month mark, they’re starting to feel safe, like it’s finally happening for them. Then on their 5 year anniversary, their lives fall apart in ways they could never have imagined.

With Luke now in a coma, secrets begin to unravel and rear their ugly heads, leaving Lucy with the hardest decision of her life.

This novel is bittersweet in that it deals with lots of sadness, and heartbreak for many different reasons but also tells the story of an ordinary family, torn apart by extraordinary circumstances. Told from the perspectives of Lucy, Patricia (Luke’s Mum) and Nell (Luke’s sister), Pieces of You takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of heartbreak, loss, grief and most importantly, Love.

Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. Review

I find it really difficult to review classics, never quite feeling that I do them justice if I like them, and if I don’t like them, fearing that it is just because I’m missing the ‘point’. But hey, I’ll have a go, just to clarify Tess of the D’Urbervilles falls firmly into the category of a classic I liked.

Tess is the eldest daughter of the family Durbeyfield, when her father discovers they are descendants of the great family D’Urbeville who were knights in the time of the conqueror, Mrs Durbeyfield sends Tess off to plead Kinship with what she believes to be distant, rich relatives. But Tess’ ‘cousin’ Alec becomes her downfall and she returns home a few months later in shame.

After leaving her village due to her shame, Tess starts a new life as a dairymaid and meets the kind, considerate Angel Clare. Angel wants to marry Tess but her past haunts her and at first she tries to refuse, before eventually agrees. Prior to the wedding, she tried on many occasions to tell Angel about her past but he doesn’t want to hear it. On their wedding night she finally makes the decision to tell him and everything goes downhill from there.

This book deals with many issues, from Tess’ rape at the hands of Alec D’Urberville to her shame at returning home, to her attempts to make a new life for herself when she becomes an outcast in her village. I found a lot of the issues really interesting particularly when taken in context of the time in which this novel was written. For instance, I thought it was very well done, that on the wedding night, Angel confessed that when in London he had spent two days having sex with a woman (possibly a prostitute) but when Tess confesses she was raped he is disgusted and pulls away from her. Essentially, leaving her to the fate of which she is destined.

Tess is by no means a helpless woman. No, she doesn’t have the fire and drive of Hardy’s other heroine Bathsheba Everdene but she does have a drive to protect herself and her family which I admired and she always has her pride. But what she also does is make a series of bad decisions which made me want to scream at her while still appreciating that at the time the novel is set, she couldn’t have done much else.

Overall, I found the novel engrossing in a way I have never really found With classics, desiring to pick it up and continue reading at every opportunity. It is likely to now join the ranks of my favourite classics in leather bound hardback.