My Sunday Photo – December 24th, 2017.

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I just wanted to say thank you to anyone who has read, liked and especially commented on any of my posts this year. You all rock. Also, special thanks to Darren for hosting My Sunday Photo.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas.

Photalife

 

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Book Review: Back Home At Firefly Lake.

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I like to think it was fate. Just as I settled down to read Jen Gilroy’s latest book, Back Home At Firefly Lake, snowflakes started to float past my window.

A light dusting of snow wasn’t essential to my enjoyment but, as it was summer last time I visited the lake, it certainly helped get me in the right mood for this winter’s tale.

Whatever the weather, I think I would have loved this wonderfully told heart-warming story  – and I was delighted to be invited to review the book as part of a blog tour to celebrate its release.

Once again Jen casts a spell on the reader, transporting us back to small-town Canada to a place that already feels like home.

Some familiar characters from the two previous books make a welcome return but it is Cat McGuire and Luc Simard who are the main focus of this final book in the trilogy (which can also be read as a standalone).

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Here’s the blurb:

She has a million reasons to leave. Can he give her the one she needs to stay?

Cat McGuire’s return to Firefly Lake is turning into much more than she bargained for. Sure, she missed the crisp pine-scented air and the comfort of having her family around her. But being home makes her feel less like the successful single mom she is–and more like the awkward teen who never fit in. It doesn’t help that hockey-pro Luc Simard is back in town, too. Luc was her childhood crush, the hometown hero who never noticed her, and yet somehow he still makes her heart skip a beat.

Luc’s homecoming has been bittersweet. He’s lost his wife and his career, but there’s no better place to start over than Firefly Lake. Coaching the local kids’ hockey team makes him feel alive again, and he thinks his life is complete–until Cat arrives. The shy girl he always wanted to protect is now the gorgeous woman who’s stealing his heart and making him believe in second chances. But how can he convince Cat that Firefly Lake is where she truly belongs?

I don’t know much about hockey but I do know Luc made my heart beat a little faster – even when he wasn’t on the ice. Pitched just right between macho and sensitive, Luc (I did have to look up how to say his name, was it Luck or was it Luke?) is definitely a book boyfriend to remember.

Slightly awkward Cat was easy to relate to and she made me nostalgic as I remembered my own high school crush. I really wanted Cat and Luc to work and found the various ups and downs they go through an emotional read. The relationship between Cat and her daughter was also really well written.

The story kept me engrossed right to the end – long after the snow had stopped – and the feeling I was left with was one of warmth; like everything was right with the world.

This was actually my favourite of the three books – and I really enjoyed the other two so I don’t say it lightly.

Thank you to Jen, her publishers, Forever, and Barclay Publicity for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.

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Format: Kindle.

Price: £3.49 on Amazon.

My rating: Five stars.

Jen was one of my Behind The Book participants this year, you can read her post here.

Book Review: Lucy’s Book Club For The Lost And Found.

lucy.pngA book club is something I’ve often thought about joining but never have, which is a shame if they are anything like Lucy’s Book Club For The Lost And Found.

This lovely story, by popular author Emma Davies, follows the lives of library manager Lucy Picklescott (great name) and her motley crew of four participants.

It’s written in the third person and follows each of them at different points, which I really liked.

Here’s the blurb (I’m using the Good Reads one because I like it better than the others).

Once upon a time, a woman called Lucy ran a little library with a big heart. It only took one look at the members of her book club for Lucy to see how she could make all their dreams come true…

Full-time carer Lia dreams of learning to dance, but as her mother becomes more reliant on her, that wish may never come true.

Widower Oscar is longing to find the daughter he put up for adoption as a young man, but does she even want to be found?

Single mum Hattie is overweight and unhappy since her cheating ex-fiancé humiliated her at their engagement party.

Sensitive soul Callum is a hopeless romantic and the black sheep of his family. Will he ever find the courage to fight for what he wants?

Lucy kicks us off and seems much older than her 24-years, as does Callum, who is 19 going on 45. Lia and Hattie were very well written and I immediately warmed to them, maybe because they are more my age, while Oscar was probably my favourite of them all.

The intertwining stories are what really create the magic in this book. Oscar’s, in particular, was heartbreaking (I cried real tears) but I was so pleased with the way his ended – not exactly the way he hoped but certainly a good deal better than when he started.

And Lucy, who is so set on helping everyone else, eventually realises she has some work to do on herself – leading to a rather lovely conclusion.

If you’re looking for a feel-good read which is perhaps a little bit deeper than usual, this book is for you.

Format: Kindle.

Price: 99p.

My rating: Four stars.

With thanks to Bookouture (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.