Thursday, 8 December 2016

Book Review | The Parisian Christmas Bake Off by Jenny Oliver

Jenny Oliver's festive book- THE PARISIAN CHRISTMAS BAKE OFF is delectable as the title hints at; the pages are filled with the Parisian food descriptions, it was pretty difficult to read on without having something delicious to eat between. The story left me craving for patisserie and also wanting more books by the author. I'm going to make it a point to buy all works of Jenny Oliver now.

THE PARISIAN CHRISTMAS BAKE OFF by Jenny Oliver
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: October, 2013
Publishers: Carina UK (HQ Digital)
Goodreads

Rachel has become rusty at baking since she hasn't baked much for a long time after mom's death and is busy being a teacher now. When her colleagues surprise Rachel with a chance to go to Paris, to take part in a competition of winning a chance to be the assistant of a renown chef, she travels to the city of Love halfheartedly. She is taken aback knowing how fierce her fellow contestants are and by their foxy methods to win; though a tad difficult at first, Rachel manages to make it to the final round. The story revolves around how the contest persuades Rachel to follow her dreams.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Mini Reviews | Star and Sixpence • The A to Z of You and Me

Star and Sixpence #1
SNOWDROPS AT THE STAR AND SIXPENCE by Holly Hepburn
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: November 5th, 2015
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK
Goodreads

SNOWDROPS AT STAR AND SIXPENCE tells the story of two sisters, who have inherited a pub in the countryside from their late father. The villager's nosiness and village council's strong influence on people amaze the Londoners and they have more hurdles to cross in order to run a smooth business.

I heartily enjoyed reading this novella, it's cheerful, soothing and immensely warm like a lit fireplace on a wintry day. In other words, the story is everything that gorgeous cover promises. I've a penchant for Christmas stories set in English villages, so the backdrop was the prime reason I enjoyed this book. The demeanour and actions of locals added more charm to it. Even though it's a swift-paced story, I was able to savour it; Sam and Nessie's bantering, the prospect of budding romances and the villager's shenanigans had me hooked to the story. Perfect when you're yearning for a cosy, quick and light festive read.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Family, Friends and Love | A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams

Christmas #2
A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS by Julia Williams
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: October 25th, 2012
Publishers: Avon
Rating:
Goodreads

It was a slow read, yet a joyful and worthy one. It took me a week to peruse the book, but I can assure you that I loved every moment of it. This is indubitably an amazing story, not really festive, though; and it didn't matter at all, for the story had managed to tick all the right boxes in other respects.

A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS by Julia Williams is a poignant story of family, friendship and love. It tells the story of three adult moms, who are striving to hit a balance between their momlife, marriage and career. Each of them had already a lot on their plates, they were trying to cope with the troubles, but the matters only got worsened each time than they expected. Pippa's attention is divided between her daughter, who needs special care, and her husband, who has met with an unfortunate accident. Tinsall is struggling with her ill mom and teen daughter, wherein at Marianne's home, troubles are being stirred up by husband's ex.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Book Review | Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot

THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS by Mandy Baggot
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: May 27th, 2016
Publishers: Bookouture
Rating: 

Why the insta-love? I'm crying my heart out right now! THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS by Mandy Baggot is a beautiful book, I enjoyed it from cover to cover. However, the whirlwind romance took the shine off from it towards the end.

When travelling to Corfu with Harry, Imogen's sole intention was to make her brother see the perils of starting a restaurant in Greece and return home with him instead of helping him opening it. However, upon reaching there, she sees how resolved Harry is and opts to help him for the grand opening in lieu of. But, the previous owner's grandson's plans to build a beachfront property is being a threat to them now. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Book Review | Love Connection by Camilla Isley

FIRST COMES LOVE #1
Love Connection by Camilla Isley
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Women's Fiction
Publication Date: October 8th, 2016
Source: Received from the Author (Thank You!)
Rating:
Goodreads
Have you ever wondered what might have been?Gemma Dawson is at the airport, staring at two plane tickets to two different cities. Two different weddings. Two possible futures. She’s at a crossroads.
Be the maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding or crash her ex’s?Gemma’s decision, unknown to her, hinges on a delayed flight and a chance meeting. Now her life is about to go down two parallel tracks—will Gemma fly toward a life with her first love or a future with a man she’s not even met yet?
Love Connection is a feel good Romantic Comedy about one woman, life’s infinite possibilities, and the destiny that lies beyond two different choices.
Often we wonder how different things would have been if we had acted differently in each situation that life throws at us; what if I had/hadn't done that? it's a question that we frequently prompt answers to. In her latest book LOVE CONNECTION, Camilla Isley explores the odds of 'what-if' moments in life. 

To Chicago for best friend's marriage or to San Francisco to crash Ex's wedding? Gemma has bought two air tickets for the same day. In the introduction, we meet a character who is all at sea with two tickets in her hand. Her heart desires to travel to San Francisco and confess her love to Ex before he gets married, whereas her addled mind tells Gemma to fly to Chicago as the bride's maid to her BFF's wedding. The rest of the chapters are split between the possibilities of both the cases. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Monthly Wrap-up | What I Read in October


Seasons come and go without getting noticed. I miss Summer now. Of late, the days are bleak, dark and gloomy. It affects my reading too, as you all know that I'm a mood reader. I was binge-reading Christmas books till the last week, but now I fancy to snuggle up with thick and dark novels, in lieu of. On a hindsight, it is good since I could read a few books, that I had been putting aside for a while. Last month, I wrote about the books I wish to read before November ends. So far, I've completed three books from the list and quite happy about it. Apart from those, I did enjoy a couple of good women's fictions too.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Book Review | Single by Christmas by Rosa Temple

Single by Christmas by Rosa Temple
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Source: Received from the Author (Thank You)
Rating: 
Goodreads
You’ve heard the saying, ‘opposites attract’ haven’t you? Well meet 27 year old Alex Marshall, a party girl with a penchant for free flowing Prosecco, and her devilishly handsome scientist boyfriend, Charlie, who loves jazz and dinner for two.
Alex and Charlie are together for 11 blissful months until Alex goes out of town and does something she will later regret. Was she drunk? You bet. Does she want Charlie to know? Well what do you think?
With the couple about to spend their first Christmas together will Charlie be the forgiving kind or will Alex be Single by Christmas?
This is a feel good, Christmas novel with very few mince pies, not much snow and absolutely no mistletoe – just a couple of best friends, a sociopathic nemesis and a lot of drinking.
Rosa Temple's festive romance story- SINGLE BY CHRISTMAS starts off with Alex, the protagonist, waiting for her boyfriend in the graveyard of the church on Christmas Eve. When Charlie doesn't show up for the midnight mass, Alex's thoughts wind back to the events that lead to this situation. Amongst partying hard, helping friends and tackling issues at the office, Alex forgets to heed attention to the important person in her life and thus wrecks her peace of mind as well as the Christmas.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Blog Tour | Celebrations & Confetti by Rebecca Raisin


Hey! Did you know that Rebecca Raisin's new book is out? It's titled as CELEBRATIONS & CONFETTI - the first book in AT CEDARWOOD LODGE series. Two more books will be published soon. Hurrah! Today, I've reviewed the book as a part of the blog tour for the aforementioned book. Scroll down to read the review and more about the book.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Book Review | The Christmas Town ♥ We Were On A Break

The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere
Genre: Christmas Fiction
Publication Date: 18th October 2016
Publishers: St. Martin's Press (Received from publishers. Thank You!)
Rating:
Goodreads

Lauren, a twenty-years-old girl,  places an ad on Craigslist, stating she is looking for a family to spend Christmas with. She is expecting this Christmas to be different from the previous years, which she celebrated either with foster parents or alone at her apartment. She never thought a long drive to the next town could bring so many changes in her life. Lauren becomes a part of the town sooner than she realises.  

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Ultimate Guide for Surviving A Book Buying Ban

Admit it! The book buying bans are terrible and painful. It's worse than our favourite book series coming to an end or even an endearing character getting killed in the story. At least to me, it is so. I easily forget what happened to the characters and tend to move on with the next book within a few days. But, the book buying bans are horrible- it nags me to the core for most of the day. And each time, I open my Instagram account, all those books scream silently at me and shouts "BUY ME NOW". Then comes the awful part when you got to skip all the reviews and discussions and even looking at the beautiful covers of those newly printed books. 

Things were pretty much easier before I became a blogger and #bookstagrammer. However, at present, it has become impossible as getting a Camel through the eye of a needle. BUT, I DID SUCCESSFULLY SURVIVE A BOOK BUYING BAN FOR 5 MONTHS. I'll tell you how I did it. Scroll down, please.    

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Blog Tour | A Cotswold Christmas by Kate Hewitt


Hello, fellow bookworms! I'm so happy to be a part of Kate Hewitt's A COTSWOLD CHRISTMAS. It was a complete delight and seemed perfect for festive season reading. I really liked it. Scroll down to read my review... 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Book Review | A Winter's Wish ♥ A New York Love Story

COUNTRYSIDE DREAMS #3
A Winter's Wish by Alice Ross
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: October 10th, 2016
Publishers: Carina UK
Rating:
Goodreads

Jumped right into the book, without any forethought, since my last visit to Buttersley was a pleasant one. The fabulous Christmassy cover piqued my interest even more. A WINTER'S WISH is the third instalment in Countryside Dreams series, written by Alice Ross. This festive book tells the story of four residents at Buttersley - a fictitious English village. Amelia has come to Buttersley from London to recover from a heartbreak, Stan is discontented with his family life devoid of love, Ella is infatuated with her boss's husband, and Phil is unsure about whether or not to leave Buttersley for Australia, where his girlfriend resides currently.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Book Review | Christmas in Eternity Springs - Faith, Love, and Second Chances

ETERNITY SPRINGS #12
Christmas in Eternity Springs by Emily March
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publishers: St. Martin's Press (Thank You for the review copy)
Rating:
Goodreads
Can Miss Christmas find her spirit again?
After a devastating betrayal, Claire Branham packs up the pieces of her life, along with a twenty-million-dollar secret, and moves to Eternity Springs. She opens a specialty shop—Forever Christmas—and, with the help of a surprise romance with the town’s sexy new handyman, Claire’s heart begins to heal. Until her past comes knocking…
Jax Lancaster never questioned the need to abandon his career as a Navy submariner in order to care for his young son in the wake of his ex-wife’s death. Desperate to help with this loss, Jax straps on a tool belt to give Nicholas the one thing he wants: A life in Eternity Springs. What Jax never expected to find a second chance at love with a fascinating woman for whom Christmas has become a business. But when the truth about Claire threatens their newfound happiness, can Jax prove to her that in Eternity Springs, the spirit of Christmas is real. . .and will last a lifetime?
Christmas in Eternity Springs is the twelfth installment in Emily March's acclaimed Eternity Springs series.
Claire's festive season memories are associated with the unhappy chapters of her life. She has opened a shop called 'Forever Christmas' at Eternity Springs, hoping to defeat one thing she is most afraid of - Christmas. Jax had come to town with his son, who suffers from a trauma after his estranged wife's death. On a summer day in July, Claire and Jax meet at the Mineral Springs pool and then began a new chapter of their life. 

Monday, 3 October 2016

September Wrap-up


Hello, there!

How did September treat you?

My days were spectacular, a lot has happened and most of them were the happy ones. I'm so grateful and content for the life I have now. It's like enjoying the long awaited sunny days after days of storm and ceaseless rain.  I've been reading and enjoying more books now, than in the previous months of this year - which I consider as a positive thing to be counted on.

Friday, 30 September 2016

♥ Announcing The Love in Literature Project ♥


Hi, everyone! 

So thrilled today, to announce a literary project idea that I had in mind for a rather long time. I've been contemplating a title for a while now and have come up with...

  THE LOVE IN LITERATURE PROJECT. 

What is it about? 


It's an attempt to read all the renowned love stories in the world of literature, including the translated books. There is no rules or time span for this project. I intend to read them as time permits and will share short, but concise notes about each book I read. May also come up with some discussion posts as well. Who knows? ;) From Pride and Prejudice to Fangirl, Gone with the Wind to Me Before You and Wuthering Heights to Twilight - I wish to peruse all those amazing books if I can.  

I'm very fond of love stories, in fact, of the stories that tug at my heartstrings. Once I had been an ardent fan of Elizabeth and Darcy, their love story meant the epitome of romance to me; lately though, I find them the least interesting. It's all about Jane-Mr. Rochester now. Hence, I'm starting my project with JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte. Let me know, if any of you wish to join along... I do also wish to read the articles and watch the videos related to the novel, to find out more about the Bronte sisters. In short, LOVE IN LITERATURE is a research project. 

Starting with JANE EYRE on October 1st, 2016.

What do you think? Would you like to join along? Which book will you choose, if you were asked to choose the topmost love story of all time? 
Let's Chat!
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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Alphabet Soup For Lovers by Anita Nair

ALPHABET SOUP BY ANITA NAIR
Genre: YA, Literary Fiction
Publishers: Harper Colins 
Rating: 
Goodreads
Lena Abraham knows that love can end in only one way - disappointment. Her marriage to KK is perfect precisely because she is not in love with him, and their life on a tea plantation in the picturesque Anamalai hills is idyllic. Then, one rainy morning, a man arrives to take up temporary residence in the homestay they run. Shoola Pani is south Indian cinema's heartthrob, an actor in flight from his own superstardom, and the last thing he is looking for is emotional entanglement. But when Lena and he meet, something flares between them that neither could have anticipated. She becomes his Lee and he her Ship, and the place they inhabit Arcadia. Told partly from the point of view of Komathi, whose own relationship with Lena is fraught with buried truths from the past, this searing tale of unexpected passion and adultery reaffirms the magical power of love in all our lives.
Alphabet Soup didn't work for me, it was a recipe gone wrong somewhere. I read Anita Nair's LESSONS IN FORGETTING in July, which left quite an impression on me with a moving, yet fascinating storyline and her meticulous writing. Thus, obviously, I had high hopes when I picked up an another novel by her. Sadly, it was not up to my  taste. 

The story is described through the eyes of Komathi, a cook working for KK and Lena. She is learning English alphabets with the aid of familiar items around her in the kitchen. Each chapter is titled under a food item and is related to her and Lena's life; through anecdotes or any myth/stories/facts about that particular item. I delight in reading food fiction, so I really enjoyed how each chapter was connected with an ingredient, learnt one or two things about a few items and also became impressed by the lessons which the author has derived from each item, in a way I have never thought before. 

Each chapter gives an insight into Lena and Komathi's life. As stories unfold, we see a grieving lover in Komathi and a wife who becomes passionate for another man in Lena. Whilst the cause of Komathi's heartache was completely understandable, Lena's behaviour left me bewildered. I couldn't fathom her marriage to KK, their relationship and her sudden passion for the actor, staying in their cottage.

I ended up hating the protagonist towards the end of the story and thinking what the author wishes to convey through this novel. I don't understand how adultery reaffirms the power of love in our lives, should've read the blurb before buying the novel. Seems like the novel lacked the details to make the story actually enjoyable. Despite the familiarity of the backdrops and attractive prose  - it failed to impress me. It was okay, not up to par. Couldn't even connect with any of the characters. Terribly disappointed!
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Books to Read before November Ends


What does Autumn/Fall remind me of? Nothing. Period. To me, it exists only in the books. I have only experienced it through the author's imagination. I smell the pumpkin spiced latte, enjoy the warm evening sun, harvest apples, bake- off scrumptious dishes, feel the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my foot and even get ready for winter, along with the characters in the book. Oh, right! And all that Halloween fun as well. It's awfully sad, the region where I live doesn't get a chance to enjoy that delightful weather.

SO, as always, I'm planning to read a couple of Fall season books in these coming two months (Not last year, though. I was carried off by the novelty of Netgalley experience last year). I've selected books from different genres this year; women's fiction, fantasy, thriller, classics, mysteries and so on. Scroll down to see the book list and let me know, if we have any in common. 

1. A MONSTER CALLS by PATRICK NESS
It was on my radar ever since I read Susan's review. I intended to purchase an illustrated version, but only the paperback was available on Amazon. Decided to glance through a few chapters last day, and now I've finished almost half of the book. It's fascinating and heartwarming at the same time. Also, the movie is coming out in December, so wish to read it before it hits the theatres.

2. DRACULA by BRAM STOKER
Thinking back, I realise that I haven't read Dracula. I watched the movie in my childhood, but never bothered to read the novel for some unknown reason. Don't think I was afraid of Dracula Since I never ever was. He always cracks me up, instead. Pretty strange,right? So, maybe this year, I'll read his original story.

3. THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by WASHINGTON IRVING
I never finished reading this book, since I made the mistake of watching the movie first. Also the fact that my copy is a PDF file spoiled the mood and stopped me from further reading it. It's just 41 pages long, can be finished it in a single day. So, I'll give it an another go this year.

4. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by PAULA HAWKINS
Bought it two months back, from a bookseller in the train. It's a well-praised thriller for it's intricate, complex and brilliant plot. The movie, starring Emily Blunt, will be released soon. It's on everybody's Fall list, so is in mine too. 

5. HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J. K. ROWLING
What if I tell you I'm going to read it for the very first time. Yes. You heard me - FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. Many tell me how much they envy my chance to feel all the magic of Hogwarts for the first time, they are not aware of the fact that I'm drowning in shame for not reading them yet. I'll partially blame it on the movies and partially on the truth that I was banned from reading it. 

6. THE NIGHT STALKER by ROBERT BRYNDZA
This is the second book in the series #DCI ERIKA FOSTER by Robert Bryndaza, the author of the international #1 bestseller THE GIRL IN THE ICE- a book that I immensely enjoyed at the beginning of this year. I should have finished his next novel already, but have been keeping aside to read it after the exams, so I can devour it in just one-sitting. 

7. CELEBRATIONS AND CONFETTI AT CEDARWOOD LODGE by REBECCA RAISIN
Eagerly waiting for this book, for I know Rebecca Raisin never fails at delivering a wonderful, heartwarming story. The cover looks spectacular and I can't honestly wait to read it.

8. I PROMISE YOU THIS by PATRICIA SANDS
I haven't heard anyone talking about her books, it's rather sad because I am so obsessed with Patricia Sands's #LOVE IN PROVENCE series. I've already waxed lyrical about how much I love these books. The last book ended on a sad note, have to read the next book to find out more. A MUST-READ if you love reading stories set in the South of France.

9. THE SCARLET HOUR by ANDREA L WELLS
It's an another underrated series, that I can't stop talking about. Have waited a whole year for the next book, happy that the next installment is out in October. It's the story of werewolves - the only werewolf story I've read and loved to the core.

10. DEAD LAWYER'S DON'T LIE by MARK NOLAN
Received it from the author in exchange for an honest review. Read a couple of chapters, sounds intriguing and refreshing. Just waiting for a break in between the exams to peruse it.

Don't promise that I'll be reading all these aforementioned books, as leisure time has become a rare commodity in life, lately. I do have an eye on many Festive books too. It'll be great if I can read at least five books from my list.

What does Autumn/Fall mean to you? Which are the books in your Fall list? Which is your favorite Autumn Read and why?
LET'S CHAT!
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Friday, 16 September 2016

What was I reading lately: The Lie & Just Like Me

THE LIE by C. L. Taylor
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Publication Date: 7th June 2016
Publishers: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: Received from Publishers (Thank You)
Rating:
Goodreads
Haunting and compelling, this psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and Daughter.
Jane Hughes has a great boyfriend, a job in an animal shelter, and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She's happier than she's ever been...but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.
Five years earlier, Jane and her best friends set off on what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, but it rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of her friends. Ever since Jane has tried to put the past behind her and lead a normal life. But someone out there knows the truth about what happened and they won't stop until they've destroyed Jane and everything she loves.
Jane Hughes has gone on a vacation with her friends to Nepal, it was supposed to be a fun week, away from all worries. Instead, it turns out to be the most frightening chapter of her life and their decision to stay at a retreat centre situated at the top hill, becomes the worst decision. There was more than what it appeared to them, dark secrets lurking behind the walls and soon, they find themselves fighting each other and trying to find the way out from there. 

Set at the backdrops of Nepal, THE LIE is a sinister psychological thriller, that struck terror into my heart. With each page turning, my heartbeat kept raising and became frantic over what could happen next. The writing is atmospheric, it actually evokes the tension and of the danger coming next. Along with the characters, I was also trying to run away from the place as soon as possible and didn't want to spend a few seconds more on that damned place. The fear was suffocating and the suspense kept me on the edge of the seat throughout the story. The story is narrated through alternating chapters, past & present, it allows readers to see how the protagonist is haunted by the past and how much it affects her present days. It also portrays different levels and types of female friendship, I could easily relate to what Jane was going through a few times and found the author's descriptions so genuine.

To put it briefly, THE LIE is an intense dark thriller, which will haunt your thoughts for days and force you to do the security check twice before going on a vacation to an unknown place. A must-read for all thriller/mystery lovers!

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JUST LIKE ME by NANCY J. CAVANAUGH
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
Publication Date: 5th April 2016
Publishers: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Source: Received from Publishers (Thank You)
Rating:
Who eats Cheetos with chopsticks?! Avery and Becca, my “Chinese Sisters,” that’s who. We’re not really sisters—we were just adopted from the same orphanage. And we’re nothing alike. They sing Chinese love songs on the bus to summer camp, and I pretend like I don’t know them.
To make everything worse, we have to journal about our time at camp so the adoption agency can do some kind of “where are they now” newsletter. I’ll tell you where I am: At Camp Little Big Woods in a cabin with five other girls who aren’t getting along, competing for a campout and losing (badly), wondering how I got here…and where I belong.
JUST LIKE ME is a middle-grade fiction, it's the story of Julia, a Chinese adopted girl, who have never been comfortable in her own skin. She detests being compared based on her Asian heritage and prefers to be treated as a normal American tweenager. Her adopted Mum insists her to go on a summer camp, along with her "Chinese sisters", hoping it would help her to accept herself as she is. The story revolves around how  a Week Long Camp helps her to find herself.

Though it's a middle-grade fiction, the message behind the story is significant. The author has effortlessly explained a valuable lesson to the teen, about accepting themselves as they are, in this book. The entire plot is narrated through a series of summer camp activities, the kids can relate to and understand easily. A few incidents helped me to recollect some of the experiences I had in school/college and I could totally understand Julia's array of thoughts. Besides the teen friendship, JUST LIKE ME also throws light upon the child adoption. It made me think, about how an adopted kid feels always. Julia always finds herself trapped in imagining "what if"s and it makes her life miserable until she accepts the truth about herself. This simple, easy-to-read story is an excellent choice for your kid's library! All in all, JUST LIKE ME is a brilliant book with a remarkable message.

What are you reading this week? Any fall recommendations? Have you read any book by C. L. Taylor? What do you think of them? 
Let's Chat!
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Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Best Books I Read in Summer 2016

Books to read in Summer

Summer of 2016 was entirely different from my previous summer vacations, by all means. It started with a mayhem and ended on a happy note. A number of exciting as well as unhappy incidents happened. Though we were disheartened at the beginning, we learnt to sail through them in time and have nearly mastered the skill now ;) It brought many changes to our life, taught new lessons and have shaped me into the woman I'm today. 2016 gifted a Summer to remember and cherished in the coming years. In a few words, SUMMER 2016 CHANGED MY LIFE and have helped me to look at life with a different perspective.

Amidst all those issues, finding the time and having a peaceful mind to read books was quite a challenge. My mind had a zillion matters to be worried about, even the most well-praised stories failed to grab my attention and were moved to my DNF stack. Nevertheless, I managed to read a couple of good stories in the last four to five weeks, about which I'm super happy, as each book turned out to be better than the previous ones.

SO, without further ado...

1. FANGIRL BY RAINBOW ROWELL
Best Romance in YA
Once again, I fall short of words to describe how amazing this book is! FANGIRL is the first book, which had me in tears when the main characters confess their love for each other. Still, have no clue about why I cried when Levi says he is rooting for Cath or when Levi admits that he can't be away from her even for a few minutes. FANGIRL is so close to my heart, and Cath and Levi's romance is my favourite. I could relate to Cath in many ways, it helped to enjoy the novel completely and warm to her character instantly.  Besides Cath and Levi, Wren and Reagen also became my favourites and I ended up rooting for them all. FANGIRL also ends abruptly, like in Eleanor and Park, I really hope Rowell writes a sequel to this novel, as I'm too curious to know how Cath and Levi are doing. Fanfictions are of help at all. SO, there you have it. FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell is the no:1 in my list.

2. GARDEN SPELLS BY SARAH ADDISON ALLEN
BEST REAL LIFE WITCH NOVELS
When it comes to books, Fantasy/Magical Realism was never my cup of tea (NOT FAIRY TALES, though. Both are different, aren't they?). However, GARDEN SPELLS is the second best book I read this year, so far. Without a doubt. The Waverley women had me entranced with their unusual talents and the garden, that is full of magical edible flowers and an apple tree that reveals the future to whoever partakes its fruit. A whimsical and enchanting story, set in North Carolina, that outstands for its simplicity of writing and the charm it spells on readers with a marvelous story line. It's rather unfortunate that I can't find any of her works at where I live now, or I would have already devoured them all by now. In a nutshell, GARDEN SPELLS is all WOW, it comes with a huge, wholehearted recommendation to you all! GARDEN SPELLS will be a perfect novel to read in the Autumn or on Halloween, for it can also be considered as a "real-life witch fiction". 

3. THE GUESTBOOK & SUMMER AT ROSE ISLAND BY HOLLY MARTIN
My list would be incomplete without Holly Martin's books. I love everything she writes, her stories instantly perks me up and bring that smile back on my face. Basically, I depend on her stories, whenever I need a dose of happiness, she creates magic with her witty writing style and perfectly perfect chick lit plots. Holly always manages to blow me away with her oh-so-amazing make-me-feel-good stories. Sheesh! I'm an ardent fan of Holly Martin.

4. BILLY AND ME BY GIOVANNA FLETCHER 
GIOVANNA FLETCHER BOOKS, SUMMER BOOKS
Giovanna Fletcher is familiar with the world of glam, fashion, and showbiz and in her debut book, BILLY AND ME, she introduces readers to that one place, she is accustomed to. Really commendable! It was a pleasantly different trope, which I happened to enjoy immensely. It gives an insight to the readers how celebrity's life is, something I have always wished to know and have wondered about. The heartfelt writing of this story prompts the readers to re-think about the value of their beloved family, it's a poignant, tear-jerking, and thought-provoking. I'm definitely going to read more Giovanna Fletcher's novels.

Have you read any of these books? What were your top summer books? Which is your all-time favorite summer novel? 
LET'S CHAT!
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Friday, 2 September 2016

Mini Reviews

A VERY COCO CHRISTMAS by Robert Bryndza
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: November 2013
Publishers: CreateSpace
Goodreads

Robert Bryndza's  debut thriller novel, THE GIRL IN THE ICE is one of my top favourites of this year, so, I snatched a couple of books from his chick lit series, COCO PINCHARD, hoping to find out how good he was at writing women's fiction. A VERY COCO CHRISTMAS is a short novella from the aforementioned series. In this book, the author weaves a short festive story, full of warmth, love and laughter. Set in the backdrops of 80's, it paints an authentic rural English Christmas for reader's enjoyment. I warmed to Coco immediately, for her character appealed to me as a genuine one. This quick short novella also has a group of funny, likeable characters and a string of anecdotes, certain to amuse you. The Christmas Dinner part is hilarious and is, of course, my favourite part of this book. I'm certainly planning to read more books by Robert Bryndza now. Give this a book a shot, if you are in a mood for a delightful festive short story. 

RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE by Holly Tierney-Bedord
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: November 13th, 2015
Goodreads

RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE is a cheerful Christmassy novella, it's warm, fuzzy and light-hearted. The heartbroken Ariadne decides to skip Christmas this year, and her best friend Jess tries his best to get her in the festive mood. When all effort falls apart, a mysterious bookshop owner manages to help them find what they are looking for and celebrate Christmas. The author has managed to pull off a good festive story within these few pages. Her characters are easily likeable, so is the setting of the story. Incorporating the 'guardian angel' theme to this novella was brilliant, for it makes the story sounds interesting. I want to read more stories from this author now :) This novella certainly is a good choice for a light, quick, and a cheerful festive read!

THE SECRET BY THE LAKE by Louise Douglas
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: November 19th, 2015
Publishers: Black Swan

THE SECRET BY THE LAKE is a gripping, nerve-wracking and spine-chilling mystery, set in the 1960's. A ghost story, actually. Amy finds herself needed by the Laurent family and goes to stay with Mrs Laurent and her daughter, in their lakeside cottage, the house that witnessed two awful deaths in the past, at Somerset. The reservoir cottage is tumbling down, rooms still having the coldness and eerieness of the past. Vivienne befriends an imaginary friend, Caroline, who happens to be Mrs Laurent's dead sister. Amy risks herself to save the Vivienne from her troubled mind, but soon, she realises the truth behind Caroline, the noisy room in the upstairs and the nasty secrets of the villagers. Can she set the spirit free and solve the pieces of the puzzle? 

From the very first chapter, I was hooked by the story. More than the characters, it was the storyline and the spooky settings, that the author has perfectly built throughout, are what attracted me. The writing is mesmerising, capable of taking the readers back to 60's, making them feel as if they are there at Somerset witnessing all incidents and transfixing them with fear. I was afraid to be alone in the room and of all those slight movements and sounds, whilst reading this novel. Even though, I was burning with curiosity to know how the story pans out and didn't dare to put it down until the mystery was solved. THE SECRET BY THE LAKE is a riveting and breathtaking mystery and the vivid descriptions and the eerie feeling will keep you glued to it until the end. The ending was unexpected, yet sorrowful. But, definitely, a MUST read for mystery lovers! 

BILLY AND ME by Giovanna Fletcher
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Publishers: Penguin
Goodreads

I was sceptical before, but not now. BILLY AND ME is an awesome debut book by Giovanna Fletcher. The theme of the story was a breath of fresh air to me, I really enjoyed it, though, it took me a while to get into the story. The story shed light on the showbiz industry and the life of actors, a unique trope, to be told. The characters were amazing too, their warm personality did win my heart straight away. Though the attitude of Sophie irked me a few times, I was able to relate to her with myself and couldn't find any fault with her ;) Each character has their own reasons for being in a certain way, and it reminds readers not to judge anyone knowing a little about anyone. The story also teaches us to believe in ourselves, when the adversity strikes. The entire storyline is absorbing, it makes you think sometimes or weep for the characters. BILLY AND ME is a wonderful story which reminds each of us to celebrate the life we have surrounded by our dear ones. The life is unpredictable, live each moment you have without any regrets.
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Sunday, 28 August 2016

RETURN TO THE LITTLE FRENCH GUESTHOUSE BY HELEN POLLARD

La Cour des Roses #2
RETURN TO THE LITTLE FRENCH GUESTHOUSE
Author: Helen Pollard
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: 26th August, 2016
Publishers: Bookouture
Rating:
Goodreads
Blue skies, new love, and a glass of Bordeaux . . . what could possibly go wrong?
When Emmy Jamieson leaves her life behind and moves to La Cour des Roses, a gorgeous guesthouse amidst vineyards in France, everything is resting on her success as the new guesthouse manager.
Looming in the calendar is the biggest booking ever, when the entire eccentric, demanding Thomson family will descend for a golden wedding anniversary. With airbeds on the floor and caravans in the garden, La Cour des Roses will be bursting at the seams.
Emmy knows she’s up to the challenge, especially with the support of the gorgeous Alain, the half-French, half-English, caramel-eyed accountant. But she hadn’t counted on a naked, sleepwalking travel blogger, or the return of owner Rupert’s venomous ex-wife Gloria.
Gloria has a few things to say about Emmy’s new role, Rupert’s finances, and the unsuspecting Alain, which send everybody reeling. Just when Emmy can see a future for herself of endless sunshine, true love and laughter, are her dreams about to be ripped at the seams?
Fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Nick Alexander will want to join Emmy for a glass of wine as the sun sets on the terrace at La Cour des Roses.
Oh, how joyous it was- the return to the little french guesthouse. I did enjoy every single minute of it and honestly want Helen Pollard to write more and more sequels for La Cour Des Roses series. I was distraught when the story was finished, it was like a good movie coming to an end, but I want it to continue forever, to hear more news about how my favourite bunch of characters is progressing. Ah, it's a misery that I can't simply let them go! 

I am short of words to describe how incredibly fun and delighted this short, quick vacation at La Cour Des Roses was. RETURN TO THE LITTLE FRENCH GUESTHOUSE is a perfect summer book, superbly balanced and well executed. It's loaded with fun, laughter, heartbreaks, happiness and a good deal of cooking. The atmosphere was interesting, writing just fabulous and characters were of pleasant, attractive and excellent nature (not everyone, though). Readers are bound to like each of those folks from the beginning.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeleine

THE CONFECTIONER'S TALE
Author: Laura Madeleine
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Publishers: St. Martin's Press
Rating:
Goodreads
At the famous Patisserie Clermont, a chance encounter with the owner's daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air. But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.
Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words “Forgive me.” Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

In THE CONFECTIONER's TALE, Laura Madeleine spins the story of a girl, who is determined to dig out the truth about her late Grandfather's past. It hints back to the early 1900's, something about a girl in a certain photograph and the word 'Patisserie'. Could she succeed?

1) The cover is beautiful and alluring. Together with the title, mouth-watering description of food in the blurb and the pastel colours on the cover, the novel looked very appealing to me. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

THE SUMMER ESCAPE by LILY GRAHAM


Never thought that I would like this story so much, that I really really really wish LILY GRAHAM to write a sequel to this amazing story. It's the story of a woman who travels to Crete, Greece to escape from her painful past and how her life changes afterwards.


THE SUMMER ESCAPE
Author: Lily Graham
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: May 26th 2016
Publishers: Bookouture
Rating:
It's always summer on the island of Crete.
After losing her fiance, Ria's life has been at a standstill. So nobody is more surprised than her when she makes the snap decision to run away to the Greek island of Crete, armed only with her passport. It turns out to be a brilliant idea. She soon starts working for eccentric novelist Caroline, and meets handsome vineyard owner Tom. And who couldn't be charmed by the picture perfect island of Crete, complete with sea-front tavernas and sun-drenched olive groves?
But soon there is trouble in paradise. As Ria gets to know Tom better, she unwittingly uncovers a tangled web of secrets, and a truth that someone will do anything to keep hidden. What's more Ria carries her own secret, her own sadness about her past love, and as she and Tom grow closer will this stop her from grabbing her own chance at happiness with both hands?
Sometimes running away is how you find yourself ...
A wonderful romantic read, perfect for fans of Miranda Dickinson and Lucy Diamond, about having the courage to follow your heart and fall in love again.
WHAT I LIKED:

1) The writing is breathtaking with vivid descriptions of Crete and of the miles-long vineyards, author's narration of varieties of wine and the local food will salivate your mouth and together with the plot and lovely characters, the story really comes to life. It was beautiful, loved it!

Friday, 19 August 2016

FIVE Animation Movies to fuel your hunger for good stories - PART I

What got me into reading? It's a question I always come across and compels me to think about what actually inspired me to read more and more stories. As long as I can recollect, it was either the picture books or the cartoon shows; most probably the latter one.

From Mickey Mouse to Pokemon, 90's kids were the luckiest to watch the best of addictive cartoon and anime shows on TV and I am one of them. Believe it or not, those shows encouraged me to read to a great extent. We didn't have many story books, but the weekly children's magazine. Seeing the colourful pictures of my favourite characters in it, is what made me pick them up and start reading and soon, we (my brother and me) were hooked by the stories and waited impatiently until next Friday, for Papa to bring the next issue, to catch up with the continuation of stories. In between, those animation shows fuelled our hunger for stories.

SO, together- a combo of cartoon movies and picture books - helped me to nurture my love for good stories and shaped me into a reader that I am today.

In this post, I have compiled a list of five animation movies I love to watch over and over again, hoping that those movies might be able to push someone else to read books. If you already are a passionate reader and haven't seen any of these films, I suggest you to watch them and let me know your opinions. Watching these movies can a good alternative to reading, and might save you from a reading slump as well, I gather.

P. S.  Trish's HOW TO CREATE A BOOKWORM helped me to come up with this post. Do visit her blog and be a part of her initiative. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Waiting on Wednesday with Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky

Heya fellow bookworms! 
How you doing?
 I've been falling ill this whole month, exhausted now and have done less reading than I actually intended to. Anyhow, I'm extremely happy with all the books I read as each book was much better than the previous ones. Still have plenty more days left in August (almost half), so hopefully I can catch up with TBR; not sure, though, with all the exams coming up in September.

As you all know, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights the upcoming releases we are excited for. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

FIVE Settings I like to read in Summer books

I own many summer themed books, haven't read most of them yet, though. Yesterday, I was making a To-Read-Books list for this month and glancing through the blurb of each book, to decide which one to read next. It sparked an idea for the next blog post- the background settings of summer novels. So, here is a list of five settings I like the most.

Beach
Duh! Of course, the beach is my first preference. Most of the summer books I read this year are set in seaside villages or islands surrounded by the sea. I never get tired of those stories, instead, hopelessly fall in love with each place. Each time I finish reading a story, I feel the urge to pack my bag and go on a long vacation to that place.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Blog Tour & Review: The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club


Hiya, Bookworms!
Excited to be a part of the blog tour for THE SUNFLOWER COTTAGE BREAKFAST CLUB by Lynsey James. It is the second book in #Luna Bay series, a cute and sweet love story. 

Luna Bay #2
THE SUNFLOWER COTTAGE BREAKFAST CLUB
Author: Linsey James
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: August 1st, 2016
Publishers: Carina UK
Rating:
Goodreads | Amazon
The perfect summer romance for a sunny afternoon and a picnic in the park
Emily Reed is having a bad day. Devastated at losing her hard-earned promotion to the ditz who’s sleeping with the boss, her mother drops a devastating bombshell—the dad she’s known and loved for twenty-five years isn’t her biological father.
Now Emily needs answers and a month in Luna Bay should give her the time she needs to find her father, and land the difficult client at the Sunflower Cottage B&B which should put her back in the running for her coveted promotion.
Setting up the Sunflower Cottage breakfast club should be a great way to meet the locals and maybe even find out who her father is! The only problem is that brooding and insanely gorgeous, Noah, is determined to make Emily’s stay perfectly uncomfortable.
Finding out the truth was never going to be simple, but she never thought her heart would get in the way…

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Top Ten Set of Books I'm willing to splurge on

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1. PUFFIN IN BLOOM COLLECTION
Oh, just look at them. Gorgeous, aren't they? I've been eyeing them for a while now, they are quite expensive, but I hope to buy them someday. Glossy pages filled with vibrant illustrations!!! A must-have collection for each bibliophile's personal library.

Monday, 1 August 2016

JULY- THE MONTH I READ ONLY FOUR BOOKS

During the early week of July, I had taken a decision to read more backlist books and quite happy to say, I did actually stick with it. There are many books on my shelf, which are bought in a frenzy and gathering dust from lying neglected for a while. Anyhow, this month I made an effort to stay away from all those hyped/anticipated releases and indulge in perusing books I already own. The result was excellent, as I could read whenever my heart desired to and the absence of an overwhelming urgency to review, made it even more enjoyable. 

I also apologise to publishers/authors for not reviewing their titles as promised, for I was desperately in need of a break due to all the busy-ness and priorities in life. (one of the prime reason behind this BIG decision). Halfway through the month, the Monsoon came with a bagful of assorted diseases and my husband and I were unfortunate enough to catch a very bad fever. It took nearly two weeks to get better, and still not completely recovered, though. Thus, I was not able to read books as I had intended and had to narrow down the list to a few.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

A ROBOT IN THE GARDEN by Deborah Install

A ROBOT IN THE GARDEN
Author: Deborah Install
Genre: Science Fiction
Publishers: SOURCEBOOKS Landmark
Publication Date: 01 May 2016
Goodreads
Rating:  
For fans of THE ROSIE PROJECT and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME, A broken man and his damaged robot build an unlikely friendship-with some assembly required.

Ben's really great at failing at things-his job, taking the garbage out, and being a husband. But when he discovers a battered robot named Tang in his garden, he decides to get out of his couch-ridden comfort zone. Without a crucial bit of machinery, Tang will stop working, and Ben can't let that happen, especially since he's already alienated everyone else he cares about. Determined to achieve something for once in his life, Ben sets out to fix his new robot comrade and soon discovers that Tang might be just the thing to fix what's broken in Ben. Funny, touching, and charming, A Robot in the Garden explores what it is to be a man, a sentient being, and a friend.
Have you ever imagined the world, where androids and robots are treated equally to men and them nearly capable of everything we humans do? You might say, those are just machines of no feelings, but what if an extraordinary man achieves to develop a machine that can think, feel, and act like men? Delirious, right? or amazing, huh? In A ROBOT IN THE GARDEN, Deborah Install spins such a story of a unique robot, who won the heart of the protagonist as well as mine.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Monthly Wrap-up : June

Time has just whooshed by! Already into the seventh month of the year and I feel like I haven't reached anywhere with my personal goals. The days are going to be hectic ahead, for certain. It doesn't mean that I will not be reading any books, but less of course. It also appears that my taste in reading has matured and widened, I am constantly hunting for rather diverse, serious and real-life related books nowadays. Suggest your favourite books, please. Because, I've also decided to stop running after the ARCs and start reading the remarkable works that I haven't read yet. (After all, we can never read all the books available in the world. Can we?).

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Blog Tour: A Summer Of Secrets by Alice Ross

Countryside Dreams #2
A SUMMER OF SECRETS
Author: Alice Ross
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: May 9th, 2016
Publishers: Carina UK
Rating:
Goodreads | Amazon UK
A perfect, feel-good summer read about love, life and family. One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…
Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.
Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?
Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…
Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?
One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!
About Alice Ross
Alice Ross used to work in the financial services industry where she wrote riveting, enthralling brochures about pensions and ISAs that everyone read avidly and no one ever put straight into the bin. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Review: The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant

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Honeybourne #1
THE LITTLE VILLAGE BAKERY
Author: Tilly Tennant
Genre: Women's Fiction, Chick-lit
Publication Date: 15th June 2016
Publishers: Bookouture
Rating:
Goodreads
Help yourself to a generous slice of Victoria sponge, a perfect cup of tea and a big dollop of romance. Welcome to the Little Village Bakery.
Meet Millie. Heartbreak has forced her to make a new start and when she arrives at the old bakery in the little village of Honeybourne she is determined that this will be her home sweet home. Her imagination has been captured by the tumbledown bakery but with no running water and dust everywhere, her cosy idea of making cakes in a rural idyll quickly crumbles.
Luckily the locals are a friendly bunch and step in to help Millie. One in particular, Dylan, a laid-back lothario, soon captures her attention.
But just as Millie is beginning to settle in, an unexpected visitor from her past suddenly turns up determined to ruin everything for her. It’s time for Millie to face the skeletons in her closet if she’s going to live the dream of running her little village bakery, and her blossoming romance with Dylan.
A charming heartwarming novel about love, life and new beginnings perfect for fans of Milly Johnson and Debbie Johnson.
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I'm accustomed to Tilly Tennant's hearty stories set in beautiful fictitious English villages, so didn't need to think twice before grabbing this cute little story via Netgalley. The cover promised me a scrumptious story, and the blurb seconded my thoughts. Cake, tea, and romance... right in my alley. Jumped in right away, and had finished a few chapters before I looked up again. Tilly Tennant has concocted a story in which the readers can completely get lost in, and make them wish to stay there as long as possible.