Friday, 26 February 2016

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe by Jenny Oliver


Cherry Pie Island #1
The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe
Author: Jenny Oliver
Genre: Chicklit, Contemporary Fiction
Format: Kindle
Length: 384 Pages
Publication Date: March 27th, 2015
Publishers: Carina UK 

My Rating:
When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!
One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?
                                          Review photo Review_zps6tap6cs8.jpg
Take a stroll through the enchanting Cherry Pie Island, visit the Dandelion Cafe for a slice of piquant Cherry pie with the custard/cream/ice cream and rest under the ancient cherry trees at the back of the cafe for a while... The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe is the perfect book if you are looking for a small break from the predicaments of your daily life.

Annie has returned to the Cherry Pie Island, to close down the cafe she inherited from Dad. However, the circumstances force her to give it a go, for the sake of the employees working in the cafe and soon she realizes her potential and what her heart really yearns.

Jenny Oliver has portrayed a strong-willed protagonist who achieves success and the inner peace by staying away from all the negativity she came across. The author takes us through Annie's flashbacks and tells us why it's important to prove herself this time and why Dandelion cafe matters a lot to Annie rather than just a family business. We get to know the protagonist so close. It helped to enjoy the book thoroughly.

Even so, I am inclined to believe that more than the characters, it's the setting of the story I have fallen for. Jenny Oliver's evocative, descriptive writing bring the charm and beauty of the Cherry Pie Island right in front of your eyes, and you can't resist the temptation to pack up your bag and set on a journey to the island. Only if Cherry Pie Island was a real place... I read the book last week. Still, my mind hovers around the Dandelion Cafe and the ancient cherry trees.

The setting and the writing has also managed to bring the characters alive, which doubles up the joy of reading. The story ends in a hopeful way, and I am tempted to grab the next book in the series.

In a nutshell, The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe is a delightful, promising and heartwarming book with a gorgeous setting, beautiful narration, and lovable characters. Highly Recommended!
 photo sig_zpsuzho4knp.png

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Review: A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley

A Sudden Crush
#Stand-alone
Author: Camilla Isley
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Chick Lit, Adult, Contemporary
Format: Kindle
Length: 240 Pages
Publication Date: 4th February 2016
Publishers: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks | B&N
My Rating:
Joanna Price is a city girl with the perfect life. She loves her job as a book editor, she just married Liam, high profile bestselling author and the man of her dreams, and she’s headed to the Caribbean to enjoy two weeks of paradise for her luxurious honeymoon.
Connor Duffield is a gruff, grumpy rancher from the Midwest. He is a country boy who has a no-nonsense approach to life, more scars than he’d like to admit, and he hates city girls.
So it’s just a misfortune they have to sit next to each other for a six-hour plane ride. Even more so when their flight is caught in the perfect storm and Joanna wakes up stranded on a desert island with Connor, the very man she hoped she would never have to see again.
Why are they alone on this forsaken island? What happened to Joanna’s husband?When her dream honeymoon turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare, Joanna’s first thought is survival. However, she and Connor will quickly discover just how boring paradise can be. As the days turn to weeks, and then months, this mismatched pair will have to learn how to coexist and how to resist the sparkles of an attraction they weren’t prepared to feel.
When they are finally rescued will Joanna’s marriage be saved as well, or will the life she knew and loved be in ruins?
                                           Review photo Review_zps6tap6cs8.jpg
If you were following my blog for a while, then you will surely know how much I have talked about Camilla Isley's latest book ' A Sudden Crush'. This was the only chick-lit title I had in my most anticipated books of 2016. I enjoyed reading her debut I WISH FOR YOU (You can read my review here) as it told a peculiar story about a woman and a genie. That was not something I would normally expect from a chick lit book, so she totally blew me away. The concept was so refreshing than the overused/always-used/cliched themes I'd been reading over the years and that's one reason which made me so eager to read more books by her. I am dying to hear the stories that I haven't heard before, tales that would take me  to places I haven't explored afore and Camilla Isley satiated my hunger by feeding the bookworm in me with a whole brand new storyline and saved me again from falling into another reading slump. 
                                                         
Joanna and Liam, the newly wedded couple is off to the Caribbean for their honeymoon. Unfortunately, they didn't get the adjacent seats and are forced to sit seats apart on their honeymoon journey. The worst was yet to happen; the flight is caught in a drastic storm and Joanna is sucked out of the plane. When she wakes up hours later, Jo finds her herself stranded on an Island with Connor, the grumpiest fellow passenger she had ever met. The story revolves around how they survived on that lonely island, how they became friends, their escapades, how they were saved and their life thereafter.
                                             
A Sudden Crush is a lively, humorous and riveting reading to the core. Camilla narrates Jo and Connor's striving days with a generous dash of comedy, which made me giggle and laugh, throughout the entire first half the book. Joanna's days would have been miserable and hellish if didn't have Connor and Manny-the monkey with her in that wild, isolated island. Have you ever thought of using condoms for water storage? I was having an ROFL moment while reading it and was finding it a bit hard to explain to everybody the reason for laughing hysterically staring at my iPhone. I was thumbing through the pages so hastily, eager to know whether they will make it out of that dreadful island or not. This isn't a castaway story filled with the character's emotional and physical trauma but a fast-paced, absorbing plot with a string of funny incidents sans any dull moments. It was a joy to read A Sudden Crush.

The second half of the book focuses on Joanna's life after the incident. Reunited with the family and parts ways with Connor. Soon she realizes that Liam had married an another woman, it breaks her heart. To add fuel to the fire, she learns that she is out of the job too. For a moment, I imagined the protagonist sad and crying buckets over what has happened. Instead, Jo surprised by showing a willingness to start afresh with the limited choices she had. The determination and confidence make her journey an easy one and she gets a flying start. I was rooting for the protagonist of the story and was really happy when she got her happy ending.

Saying that, I think Camilla has given the story a touch of fairy-tales AGAIN; a fairy godmother, a journey from rags to riches (not really, but kind of...), a prince and a perfect HEA. A contemporary story with a touch of fairytale. That has become Camilla's style now, which I liked so much. Camilla Isley creates such vibrant characters and tells a brisk-paced, gripping story which makes it hard to put the book down. I finished reading it in two sittings. The author has outdone herself with her sophomore book, A Sudden Crush is the best she of two books she has written so far. Looking forward to reading her next. Can't wait to see what story she will come up with the next time.

Highly Recommended!
 photo sig_zpsuzho4knp.png

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Blog Tour: How To Get Hitched in Ten Days by Samantha Tonge

Halooo!
Eek! Over excited today as I got a wonderful chance to be a part of the blog tour for Samantha Tonge's new book, HOW TO GET HITCHED IN TEN DAYS. It's out today!!! yes, it is! A short story for all those bookworms who live on scrumptious romance/ chick-lit stories. Scroll down to read my thoughts about this book. 

Author: Samantha Tonge
Genre: Short Story
Format: Kindle
Publication Date: February 11th, 2016
Publishers: Carina UK
Goodreads | Amazon UK

HOW NOT TO GET THE GIRL...
Meet Mikey, every girl’s best friend – he bakes the creamiest cheesecake, loves movie nights and is a great dance partner.
For Jasmine, Mikey is the perfect flatmate – he owns a 50s diner that turns out the best food around, gives the best bear hugs and amazing romance advice – after all, they’re scoping out the same hot guys! So when her boyfriend proposes in the worst possible way, Jazz knows her best friend will be there to pick up the pieces with gourmet popcorn, Pinot sleepovers, and a shoulder to lean on.
But Mikey isn’t about to let Jasmine give up on love, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to mend her broken heart – even if it means helping the one person who sees him as the enemy...
Because at the end of the day, all’s fair in the pursuit of true love... right?
About Samantha Tonge
Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it's a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. She has sold over 80 stories to women's magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, "Doubting Abbey", from CarinaUK HarperCollins, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones won the 2015 Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.



Ooh! It's February, the month in which we celebrate the Valentine's day. It's no wonder most of the books that are getting published this month are focused on Proposals and Marriages. I was super duper happy when I received a copy of HOW TO GET HITCHED IN TEN DAYS by Samantha Tonge. I had been planning to read her books for a long time. To be exact, from the day her book, GAME OF SCONES won the best romantic ebook Love Stories 2015 Award. I have enjoyed reading the excerpts of her books which were shared as a part of blog tours. SO as usual, the expectations were high from this author too...
                                                                  photo hh_zpsnyblx0su.png
Dave is disheartened when Jasmine declines his proposal on Valentine's day. The only person who can help him to win Jazz's heart back is Mickey, who is Jasmine's flatmate. Dave had always disliked him for some reasons. The stroy revolves around how Mickey helps to bring Dave and Jasmine together again. 
                           photo 21235-NT7X5J_zpslaoq0bcd.png
Did I like it? Oh yes, HOW TO GET HITCHED IN TEN DAYS is a cute love story. I know that chick lit novels always discuss different phases of falling in love. The characters experience infatuation, attraction, dating, living together, proposals, marriages, breakups, cheating, misunderstandings, fights, HEA etc. Still, I don't remember a character who altruistically helped his/her love interest to reunite with an another person and moved on in life. Though, a bit complicated in this story with all those homosexual matters.

This is Mickey's story. Not Dave's or Jasmine's or Theo's. Mickey was always treated differently by the society, co-workers and family as he is a gay. Dave also treated him the same way. Even so, as Dave approaches Mickey to ask help, he agrees to help him to tackle his issues. You need a big heart to help your enemy. What more? He can cook and dance well. He has a caring heart, an understanding buddy he is and a good listener too, and he is also a big hugger. No wonder why Jasmine chose him as her flatmate and BFF. I mean, which girl wouldn't want such a friend? I liked Mickey a lot :D Mickey is a wonderful friend as in a friend in need is a friend indeed.

A love story with a love triangle?! Yes, I imagined HOW TO GET HITCHED IN TEN DAYS to be something like that. The blurb made me believe so. I have quite forgotten the time I read a story with a love triangle in it, I was hoping to enjoy this particular story. Guess how it turned out to be? I almost hoped the story to pan out like as I had expected. But, it didn't because Mickey surprised me! After reading the first chapter, I thought it was going to be how Mickey helped Dave to pop the question at the correct time at the correct manner. However, the tension in all those lines they shared made me think something was going on between them as well. You know, like the attraction between two persons??! The fact Micky is homosexual and his train of thoughts kinda made me feel so. In short, I was baffled thinking who loves/infatuated with who. The plot flows smoothly, once Theo is in the picture. I would have liked to read more about Theo, but sadly he didn't have much role in the book.

Dave is an amazing person. You see I would never ever ask help from my enemy, even it's a matter of do or die. The attitude always creates a problem for me. But Dave did accept help from Mickey, they cleared the misunderstandings and became good friends. Wow, Dave! and he learned to cook and dance just for Jasmine. Isn't that so sweet of him? :) Let's forget the mistakes he made ;)

Jasmine sounded okay to me. Her dad treated her mom so badly, thus, it worries her thinking Dave might also be like her Dad... What?! First of all, you can't judge somebody based on someone else's actions. Don't be so prejudiced, girl! and then secondly, it sounds so cliched to me. Most of the book characters experience the same. I wanna shout out to each of those characters "Please MOVE ON, BE OPTIMISTIC..." *sigh* Thank God! Finally, she came to her senses.

HOW TO GET HITCHED IN TEN DAYS is a really good read. It's written in a simple, yet beautiful way that keeps you engaged till the last page. Fast-paced, easy to read, and there are moments that will make you laugh. I finished reading it in two hours. Nevertheless, it's not one of those stories that gave a pleasant feeling after finishing a book. It's missing something; could be because the characters were not relatable. I haven't read a story afore that had a homosexual character as the protagonist. Neither I haven't met any. I'm not sure how to react to their side of the story/life. Hence, the story failed to produce that warmth, coziness and all those oohing and aahing too. Yes, I was a tidbit disappointed.

Recommended if you are looking for quick valentine read!

 photo sig_zpsuzho4knp.png




Thursday, 4 February 2016

Release Day Blitz: A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley

Happy Publishing Day to A Sudden Crush!!!
Just finished reading it, and I can't wait to tell you how much I enjoyed Joanna Price's story. What A REFRESHING READ!  I wish A Sudden Crush becomes The Best Seller as Joanna's 143 Days Into the Wilderness :D ( Read the book if you want to know what I'm talking about, you can click on the links given below to purchase it.) 

A Sudden Crush
#Stand-alone
Author: Camilla Isley
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Chick Lit, Adult, Contemporary
Length: 240 Pages
Sexual content: Clean, not explicit
Publication Date: 4th February 2016

Joanna Price is a city girl with the perfect life. She loves her job as a book editor, she just married Liam, high profile bestselling author and the man of her dreams, and she’s headed to the Caribbean to enjoy two weeks of paradise for her luxurious honeymoon.
Connor Duffield is a gruff, grumpy rancher from the Midwest. He is a country boy who has a no-nonsense approach to life, more scars than he’d like to admit, and he hates city girls.
So it’s just a misfortune they have to sit next to each other for a six-hour plane ride. Even more so when their flight is caught in the perfect storm and Joanna wakes up stranded on a desert island with Connor, the very man she hoped she would never have to see again.
Why are they alone on this forsaken island? What happened to Joanna’s husband?
When her dream honeymoon turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare, Joanna’s first thought is survival. However, she and Connor will quickly discover just how boring paradise can be. As the days turn to weeks, and then months, this mismatched pair will have to learn how to coexist and how to resist the sparkles of an attraction they weren’t prepared to feel.
When they are finally rescued will Joanna’s marriage be saved as well, or will the life she knew and loved be in ruins?
Good Luck, Camilla Isley! :) 

You can find more about Camila Isley here >>> Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

January Wrap-Up

Hello, Pals! 
I wonder where January has gone? Seems like yesterday that I wished you all a prosperous new year. I haven't removed the Christmas decorations from my room yet. Not laziness, but I simply decided to keep them till the end of January. The time has come to put them in the boxes now...  
January just flew by! Of course, it brought us some sweet memories to cherish; we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary :D Such a fabulous day we had! I thank the Lord for giving me the best husband in the world and the Blueberry cheesecake that just melted in my mouth *slurp slurp* and for all those books my hubby let me buy this month ;) He was being extra nice to me this whole month. Lucky moi!!! 

Talking about books, I read 10 books in January.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was originally published in Swedish, written by Katarina Bivald. It tells the story of a bibliophile called Sara, who opens up a bookstore for her late pen pal, Amy and changes the life of the Broken Wheel with the help of Books. Whoa! I wish it was really possible in the reality as well... I would have run the bookstores then. This was the first book I read in 2016. It started in an interesting way; curious to know what would Sara do next, I kept reading on and on. But halfway through the story, I started falling asleep. It was full of cliches, which made the story so predictable. The end was a bit dramatic, even so it failed to impress me. I liked Sara, but not her story. It was full of CLICHES! too much DRAMA...Oopsie! NOT RECOMMENDED!

A Woman in a Million

It is the prequel of The One in a Million Boy. Oh boy, I liked it. If you are looking for a diverse read, I suggest to check it out! This might be the one... Ona celebrated her 100th birthday. She has failed to renew the driving license and Candice is throwing a late birthday party for Ona. I have to wait to know more about her story now; till April 2016. A beautifully written short story that can certainly pull you in and leave you wanting more of it. RECOMMENDED!

A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

A lovely book for the chick-lit fans. Read my review here. RECOMMENDED!

How to Get Hitched in Ten Days

Review to come on 11th February 2016. A short love story by Samatha Tonge, the author of Game of Scones. Pick it up, if you are looking for sweet and short valentine stories. RECOMMENDED!

The Tea Party in the Woods

A picture book story for children. A fairy tale retelling combining the stories of Little Red Riding Hood and Alice's in Wonderland (The Madhatter's Tea Party). The charcoal images were fabulous. Nevertheless, the story sounded a tad dull to me compared to the original stories. NOT RECOMMENDED!

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York

Oh. my. God! This is a fantastic story. The artworks and doodles add more eeriness to the story. You will come across many dreadful and creepy creatures and their crazy adventures. I can't recollect any creature's name, though. The author's spectacular imagination will take you through an amazing journey. LOVED IT. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 

The Hound of the Baskervilles

*2016 Classics Reading Challenge*
YAY! The challenge was to start the year with a BANG! So I chose The Hound of the Baskervilles. My brother and I enjoy the Sherlock Holmes TV show, so I thought of picking up the most famous book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This has been in my TBR for a long long time. Really glad about reading it at last. I liked it. Dr. Watson's vivid descriptions let you picturise the Baskerville and the surroundings in front of your eyes and Sherlock Holmes makes the distinctive observations which left my mouth wide open. Even so, the mystery/supernatural elements failed to give any creepy feelings or made the whole setting sound engrossing. In short, it wasn't that good as I expected it to be. I will prefer Agatha Christie or some other thriller writers, if I could choose. Also, I don't feel that The Hound of The Baskervilles is the best Sherlock Holme's story. Halfway through the story, Sherlock Holmes reveals who the villain is. It utterly destroyed my mood to read the next chapters. So, I will give it three stars. RECOMMENDED if you like mysteries!

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (Re-Read)

RECOMMENDED!!!!!! This is my favorite book in the series so far. Where to start from? I luvved everything about this book; right from when Harry blows up aunt Marge to Saving Sirius Black with the help of Buckbeak. I watched the movie as well after reading the book. I tell you what, there are so many exciting things missing in the movie. Better to read the book. I was overjoyed when Hagrid was appointed as the professor at Hogwarts. He totally deserved it! Thanks, Albus Dumbledore. The Quidditch game was the best of all I have read/imagined before; though the Dementors destroyed the zest by showing up on the ground. But nothing didn't matter when Harry was gifted a Firebolt. OMG! you have no idea how much I wish for the whole thing to be real... And.. and a visit to Hogsmeade too. I want some butterbeer and Honeydukes, please. Can anybody help me? Gosh! this is the best book of the series, I wager ya all. Then the Marauder's map too. Isn't that awesome to own it? We can sneak around anywhere in Hogwarts without being noticed; through secret chambers and hidden tunnels... Aww, I'm doing fangirling today. J K Rowling, You are the BEST of this century! Sirius Black... How to not talk about him? Now Harry has somebody to look after him and care for him and someone who can send him expensive gifts. Whoa! A lot of happy incidents took place in this story, can't just let it go from my mind. The world ceases to exist whenever I open a Harry Potter book. Magical it is, indeed! I liked Professor Lupin too. Finally, the Hogwarts got a brilliant Dark Arts teacher, who was good at teaching and interacting with students. What's wrong with being an Anigmus? Dumbledore had to stop him from abandoning his students. Don't you think so? I was very sad when he left the Hogwarts. Okay, I really got to stop my rants. Just letting you know that this is the book I have enjoyed immensly so far and... OKAY, I WILL STOP NOW ;)

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish I wish tonight.
Cinder

Expect a combined review once I finish the Lunar Chronicles series. Don't wait to read the review  by any blogger... BUY IT TODAY ITSELF. RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!

Six Lies

Read my review here. RECOMMENDED if you are looking for a realistic story.

Currently Reading: The BFG by Roald Dahl

Reading Challenge Updates: 
  1. The 12 Month Classics Challenge (1/12)
  2. Retelling Challenge (1/9)
  3. 2016 New Release Challenge (5/15)
  4. 2016 Netgalley Reading Challenge (4/30)
  5. Popsugar Reading Challenge (5/40)
  6. Contemporary Challenge (1/15)
  7. Flights of Fantasy (2/15)
  8. TBR challenge (3/20)
  9. Goodreads challenge (9/100)
How was your January? Do tell me.
 photo sig_zpsuzho4knp.png