Book Review: The Truth About You, Me And Us.

TheTruthcoverHelen Walters, the heroine in Kate Field’s latest book, The Truth About You, Me And Us, made a decision that, on the surface at least, could put her at odds with the reader.

The fact that I not only liked her but found myself empathising with her situation is down to Kate’s skill as a writer.

Even at the beginning, when we are far from knowing the whole story, Kate gives us subtle clues as to who we should be rooting for – although it’s not completely black and white.

Here’s the blurb:

Five years ago Helen Walters walked out on her ‘perfect’ life with the ‘perfect’ man. Wealthy, glamorous and bored, she longed for something more.

Now a talented artist with a small business, Helen creates crazy patchwork crafts to support her young daughter, Megan. Penniless, content and single, she is almost unrecognisable.

But when her past unexpectedly collides with her new life, Helen finds herself torn. She knows what the easiest choice is, but is it what she wants?

This is Kate’s second novel – her previous, The Magic Of Ramblings, won the prestigious Joan Hessayon award – and while I loved the first, I think this is even better.

It is a beautifully written romance but with its fair share of drama too. Kate seems to have a knack for exploring complicated characters and also for creating locations that I would really love to visit (although I’m sure I’d spend a fortune at the craft market).

I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Five stars.

I was very lucky to be able to chat to Kate before the publication of The Truth About You, Me And Us for my Behind The Book series. You can find the post here.

 

 

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Book Review: The Vineyard At Alsace.

The_Vineyard_in_Alsa_Cover_for_KindleI’ve never been to the Alsace region of France but, having read Julie Stock’s latest book, not only do I feel like I have visited but also that I really enjoyed my trip, too.

The Vineyard In Alsace is beautifully written, with a story that warms you, like sitting outside in the late evening sunshine.

It starts with a bang when Fran Schell walks in on the man she is supposed to marry in bed with another woman and quickly moves forward as she leaves London and heads home to France.

Now things really begin as she gets her dream job on a vineyard in Alsace, which just happens to be owned by her former love, Didier Le Roy.

There is obvious chemistry between these two but we are kept guessing about whether they will finally have their happy ending.

Here’s the blurb:

Is there really such a thing as a second chance at love?

Fran Schell has only just become engaged when she finds her fiancé in bed with another woman. She knows this is the push she needs to break free of him and to leave London. She applies for her dream job on a vineyard in Alsace, in France, not far from her family home, determined to concentrate on her work.

Didier Le Roy can hardly believe it when he sees that the only person to apply for the job on his vineyard is the same woman he once loved but let go because of his stupid pride. Now estranged from his wife, he longs for a second chance with Fran if only she will forgive him for not following her to London.

Working so closely together, Fran soon starts to fall in love with Didier all over again. Didier knows that it is now time for him to move on with his divorce if he and Fran are ever to have a future together. Can Fran and Didier make their second chance at love work despite all the obstacles in their way?

Julie makes the vineyard come alive to the point I could imagine myself walking in the dusty earth between the vines. The smattering of French throughout the book also adds to the immersion – even though I can’t speak the language (thankfully she explains what is being said).

Against this backdrop, it’s impossible not to like this very easy and enjoyable story with two likeable characters who go through their share of highs and lows.

Now, I’m off to research holidays in Alsace.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99

My rating: Four stars.

Thank you to Julie for sending me a copy of the book to review in return for my honest opinion.

Julie featured in one of my recent Behind The Book posts so, if you’re interested, you can find out more about her writing life by clicking here.

Book Review: A Season Of Hopes And Dreams.

A season of hopesCleo Jones has to be one of my favourite heroines – written with such honesty and compassion that I felt an immediate bond.

While many of the lead characters in books I’ve read have past struggles that influence their present decisions, very few are still going through them to any real degree – unlike Lynsey James’ creation in A Season Of Hopes And Dreams.

As she struggles with her weight and self-esteem, Cleo is very much in the thick of it, which makes this story a refreshing read – one that doesn’t shy away from some harsh realities.

Here’s the blurb:

It’s been a difficult year for Cleo Jones. The car accident that crushed her leg didn’t just destroy the village baker’s dreams of becoming a dancer, but crushed her confidence too. And recovering from that has been harder than healing from any number of broken bones…

But this season is going to be different. Life is turning around for Cleo! Maybe it’s the invitation from her childhood bully to their high-school reunion that’s shocked her out of a ten-year slump. Or joining Carb Counters and finally starting to shed the weight she’d piled on during her recovery – or maybe it’s catching the eye of her gorgeous personal trainer!

Whatever the answer, this is going to be a feeling she never forgets… watch out world, Cleo Jones is finally fighting back!

I think anyone who has battled with body and confidence issues will be able to relate to Cleo and will definitely want to see her succeed. That only builds as we find out more about her and her past.

However, while this might sound like a really heavy book, it’s not thanks to the way Lynsey writes. There are some genuinely laugh out loud moments together with references to things that brought on a bout of nostalgia, including Neighbours and late 90s girl group Cleopatra (comin’ atcha).

I love her supportive bestfriend, Emma, and Scott Robinson, the personal trainer, is swoon worthy.

Most of the ending is fabulous but I was mildly disappointed with the way Cleo dealt with her childhood bully. I won’t give anything away but it just felt too easy.

Having said that this is a great read that had me feeling all the emotions.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Four stars.

With thanks to HQ Digital for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.