Hello my lovely friends, I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on the amazing Another You by Jane Cable, blog tour, I have been so excited to be sharing this book and my review with you all, this book is stunning, it is mesmerising, easily I my best of the year, it is so haunting yet so beautiful. So, sit back grab a cuppa and enjoy.
A book that will stay with you long after the story ends! Perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Nora Roberts, Lorna Cook and Victoria Connelly.
Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson fell in love with The Smugglers pub when she first moved to Dorset with her husband, Stephen.
But when Stephen’s wandering eye caused the breakdown of their marriage, and the costs of running the pub started to mount, Marie felt her dreams crashing down around her.
With local celebrations planned for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Marie is hopeful things will turn around.
But she could never have predicted the ways her life will soon be changed forever.
A charming American soldier walks into Marie’s life, but it becomes clear nothing is really as it seems…
Why is Marie suddenly plagued by headaches? Is her American soldier everything he seems to be?
Or could the D-Day re-enactments be stirring up something from the past…?
ANOTHER YOU is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and the Second World War. It is a heart-warming tale of one woman’s fight to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her.
What people are saying about Another You.
‘I love the way in which the past story is interwoven with the present, making good use of the stunning landscape of Studland Bay – its history and its beauty. Cable’s writing is fresh and vivid. An evocative and thought-provoking story’ – Rosanna Ley
‘one of those books that you finish, and then can’t stop thinking about. It kept me completely captivated so that once I started reading I couldn’t stop!’ – Single Mother Ahoy Blog
‘a delightful read, very real, romantic without being in any way soppy and with enough mystery and suspense to keep the most demanding reader hooked’ – Beady Jan’s Books Blog
‘a book that’ll continue to haunt you long after you’ve read the last page. Jane Cable has pulled off a remarkable feat of storytelling, mixing past and present, and fantasy and reality … a superb read’ – Claire Dyer
‘Evocative, clever. This is an author that is here to stay. Bravo, loved it!’ – Milly Adams
‘an excellent story, so well told – there’s romance and high drama, and an emotional complexity that makes it a really satisfying read. Every character, no matter how peripheral to the story, is perfectly drawn – and all the dialogue totally authentic and natural’ – Being Anne Blog
‘a story that makes you think, that makes you question your understanding of what you have read and inspires you to want to read on’ – Carol Thomas
‘The past and present cleverly intertwine with a war story set in beautiful Studland Bay, which Cable paints with wonderful, fresh imagery’ – Angela Petch
‘This is an intriguing read from start to finish… It is skilfully written and kept me guessing right to the end. This is that very rare thing – a book that makes you think’ – Susanna Bavin
About The Author
Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable now lives in Cornwall and is a full time writer. Another You is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and World War Two as down-trodden Marie fights to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her. Jane’s next book, Winter Skies, will be available for pre-order from Sapere Books soon.
I have not read a book that has stuck with me as much as this one has, it is hauntingly beautiful, this is a masterstroke of writing, from the opening scene I was hooked, those first pages are a powerful start to a mesmerising and poignant story and it will bring a tear to the eye of even the hardened heart, it is a powerful piece of writing that will pull at the heartstrings and stay with you for a long time.
The story follows Marie, who is trying her best to keep her life turning and moving forward after the breakdown of her marriage, unfortunately for her that is easier said then done as she co-owns The Smugglers Pub with her adulterous, vile husband; Stephen. Their working relationship isn’t that much better then their married one, as he is a bullying and manipulative idiot. Honestly, I have never come across a man that I hated as much I did Stephen. Thankfully, Marie has her son; art student, Jude, on hand even if he does work all the hours in the pub without a single penny, she frets for her son, he has got so much talent as an artist, yet he refuses to leave their little village, she wants him to go out and experience the world, something she never did.
With celebrations of the 60th anniversary of D-Day in full swing The Smuggler pub is busier then ever, Marie is worked off her feet, stressed about the business, about her son and stressed over what her husband is getting up to, she is suddenly plagued with terrible headaches. I love the characters that start immerging that are all connected to D-Day in some way; old Veteran George who turns up with his son; Mark and their dog, I love George, all he wants is a little bit of attention to be able to share his stories. Then there is the mysterious American soldiers; Corbin and Paxton, both vital to the story, especially Corbin who even though we don’t see much of him, he is a such a huge part of the story, but all is not what it seems with either Paxton or Corbin.
Even though Marie is swept off her feet in the premise of a romance, with one of the young men who appear in her life, there is a darkness that surrounds their fling, if you notice I haven’t even named names here that is because I really don’t want to give away too much of the complex plot and subplot, but it is a brilliantly written part of the story, one that will make you catch your breath and will have you looking at people in a different way, as all is never as it appears.
I was fascinated by the premise of this, I was intrigued by it as soon as I read the back blurb, but it did take me by surprise as it wasn’t at all what I first thought it would be and I really loved that surprise quality about it, this is far more then a second chance, moving on romance, it is real emotionally complex and intriguing story that deals with likes of PTSD, domestic abuse and broken families, add in the hint of the paranormal which is as unexpected as it is vital and you have a solid, dramatic, imaginative and moving story.
Overall; Another You is a beautiful, emotional and atmospheric story, that so seamlessly entwines the past with present. Ms Cable has done an astounding job at keeping the reader hooked, the meticulous detail especially of the area is amazing, I can almost hear the waves, the writing is flawless, even though this is the first I have read by Jane Cable, I can instantly see that this is a writer who pours her heart into her writing.
Definitely not a book to be missed, it is breath-taking and hauntingly perfect!
I voluntarily read and reviewed this book as apart of this blog tour, thank you Caiomhe at Sapere Books for my review copy.
Do check out the other blog’s participating in this blog tour.
#BlogTour | Dare To Love A Duke (London Underground #3) by @EvaLeighAuthor #DareToLoveADuke #Review #MillsandBoonInsiders @MillsandBoon
Hello my lovely readers! I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; Dare To Love a Duke by Eva Leigh, this book is gorgeous, the hero especially is a definite favourite of mine 😉 So grab a cuppa, sit back and try and endure my waffling right to the end of the review.
The outrageous new book in the Scandalous Ladies of London series that’s perfect for fans of Poldark and Vanity Fair.
For a dashing duke and the proprietress of a secret, sensual club, passion could lead to love…
Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more duelling, or carousing, or frequenting masked balls. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet.
Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. Yet no member of the club has ever intrigued her…until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, do they dare to give in to temptation… ?
Well, this is dazzling! By far one of the most seductive and erotic books (apart from Dare) that I have read from Mills and Boon, it’s spine-tinglingly good, its sexy, sensual and enchanting romance, that is so different to the stereotypical historical romance.
This is the third book in what has been an amazing series; The London Underground, and when I say that this is amazing I don’t just say it because I can’t think of another word to use (even though that is true) but it seriously is amazing. I have been hooked from the start, but don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous two, these books are pretty such stand-a-lone stories, but with shared character’s. I have to admit that this book is my favourite out all three, there is just something very sinful and deadly about this one, it makes you want to hide away with it and never let anyone near it, you want to be selfish and keep it all to yourself – or, what I actually ,mean is you want to keep a certain devilishly gorgeous, Irish rogue to yourself…ah, Tom you can ruin me any day….#DoubleSigh
I best move on and actually talk about the book, and not just talk about Tom’s well shaped rear end…;-) Honestly, I have become obsessed, I can’t help myself, this man is the epitome of delectable masculinity, sexy as hell, cheeky, roguish – come one who doesn’t love twinkly eyed rogue? Not to mention he’s Irish, I do love a Irish accent and I am not ashamed to say it but I did hear Cillian Murphey’s swoon-worthy voice in my mind whenever Tom spoke…sigh!
Thomas, the new Duke of Northfield knows that he really must start acting the Duke he is instead of the rake he has been for many years, but if he is to give up his wild life of duels, gambling, debauchery that means he also must give up the one thing in his life that has come to actually mean something to him; the secret ‘Orchid Club’ one of the most sought after clubs in the whole city – if you know about it- a secret paradise where no matter your station in life once you are through the door and the mask is in place you can be who you want to be. Thomas has become bored of the trivial fun of town, he no longer gets pleasure from being the rake he once did, but the moment he stepped into the Orchid Club and met the tempting and mysterious Amina his life changed.
‘Amina’ or otherwise known as Lucia has recently taken over the management of the club, coming from Italy she understands more then most what Thomas feels about being on the outside, but unlike Thomas she has had to face some real struggles in her life. She is a grafter, and that instantly made me like her she isn’t afraid to put in the hours and get the job done, being from poverty she knows just how precarious life can be, she needs the club to succeed as there is more at stake here then just her future.
Have I mentioned how much I adore this man? He’s not just a walking sex god, even though he is very…shall we say; skilled? He is a man who to be honest I don’t think he likes the aristocracy very much (nothing that Thomas) even though he is reluctantly apart of it. Being part Irish and having spent his early years with his mother in Ireland he has always felt on the outside of society, he has been tolerated because of his status but not liked or respected for the man he is and that grates on him, a lot. Now he is Duke, he knows he should start acting as he is supposed to but deep down he is still that wild lad from Ireland who really doesn’t care, he wants to have fun. But above all the thing I love about this man is how much he deeply cares for his family and his closest friends. He also is very passionate about helping those who genuinely need help, unlike his late father and most of society Thomas isn’t ashamed to voice on the rising poverty in the country, if anything his good heart and conscious spoke to me far more then what he can do in the bedchamber.
I adore the relationship between Lucia and Thomas, at first its all about sex the lust between them is palpable from that first meeting when she sees him as nothing but a charming buccaneer, the air sizzles around them, I felt like I was holding my breath, not daring to exhale in case I miss something between them. Then that soon turns into something more profound, something deeper.
What I do love about this book – in fact the whole series, is that these heroines are not your run of the mill sighing, swooning debutantes, these woman have fire and spirit, they aren’t afraid to challenge the hero, they are independent woman in their own right, they can play the seduction game and have the hero eating out of the palm of their hands. The hero’s fully respect these amazing woman for who they are, and this is so rare in historical romances, these couples are equals.
Overall, this is wonderful, a brilliantly original love story with amazingly different and complex characters.
Do check out the other blog’s participating in this blog tour.
#BlogTour | Four Weddings And A Festival by Annie Robertson #FourWeddingsAnAFestival #Review @annieauthor @orionbooks
Hello my lovely readers! I have the massive pleasure to be todays stop on the brilliant blog tour for the gorgeously funny; Four Weddings and a Festival by Annie Robertson. My goodness this books is so good, I’m telling you now if you love Four Weddings and a Funeral as much as I do, then this book is the book for you.
Four months. Four weddings. One happy ending…?
Lifelong friends and rom-com fans Bea, Lizzie, Hannah and Kat have curled up with Bridget Jones, sobbed at Love, Actually and memorised the script to Notting Hill. They always joked about getting married in one summer – their own Four Weddings – and it seems like this might just be the year . . .
That is, until Bea turns down her boyfriend’s proposal. Is her own Hugh Grant waiting for her amid the champagne and confetti? Can real-life romance ever live up to a Richard Curtis movie?
As the wedding – and festival – season gets into its swing, can all four friends find their happy ever after…?
Raise a glass of champagne and get ready for this summer’s most charming romantic comedy! Perfect for fans of Sophie Ranalds, Mandy Baggot and Sue Roberts
This book!! I am in utter love with it, I knew the moment I set eyes on the title alone that I had to read this book, after all it is inspired and loosely based on one of my whole time favourite films; Four Weddings and a Funeral, and how much do I love that film! Who doesn’t cry at Gareth’s funeral during John Hannah’s recital of Stop the Clocks? or Who doesn’t laugh every time Rowan Atkinson presides over wedding number two? I think you have an idea of just how many time I have watched it and believe me there were moments while reading this book that just screamed that film, so you cannot imagine my utter excitement when I managed to wangle myself a place on this blog tour. Imagine a spinning top which has had too much candy and you get the gist 😉
So, I’ll stop waffling on about Four Weddings and Funeral and actually talk about this book, that’s what your all here for right? So, we have four lifelong friends; Bea, Kat, Lizzie and Hannah, who all have a love of a certain film, as teenagers they made each other a promise that they would all marry in the same summer to have their own ‘Four Weddings’ but hopeful not with the funeral. As the years go by, they still remain the closest of friends, which is quite remarkable on itself as how many of your teenage friends can you say you are still in contact with? And then the unexpected happens Lizzie, Hannah and Kat all become engaged and plan to wed in the same years, so obviously they all start to look at Bea so they can make their little teenage pact a reality- only problem with that is, Bea isn’t sure she want to get married, in fact she isn’t even sure that her Boyfriend; Simon is the man for her.
Just as with the film, love never comes easy, in fact even weddings never come easy as we soon find out as Lizzie, Kat and Hannah prepare to say I do.
Lizzie is besotted with Jack; her intended, they genuinely do love one another and that is so sweet that there is a genuine true love, only problem he is off on tour with his band right after the wedding – Bugger!
Hannah and Remy are an absolute delight, as different as they come but such a beautiful couple, the issue here is Hannah hasn’t told her grandparents that Remy is in fact a woman, well that’s going to be a interesting wedding day, for sure.
Kat is such a tom boy, she doesn’t want fuss and bother, she just wants to say I do, sign the paper and be done with it, but does her betrothed Henry feel the same, in fact does he feel anything?
Then there is our Bea, she is such a ‘Charles’ she becomes stuck in the middle of two men, every girls dream to have two drop-dead gorgeous men fighting over you, right? Well, not so much as their attentions just confuse her mind and her heart, her mind is telling her one thing but her heart is shouting another, but which will she follow? – Let me just say, that when she does decided who she wants to be with, when she finally declare her feelings for him it is such a Four Weddings and a Funeral scene, Richard Curtis couldn’t have written better 😉
Yes, this is a hugely fun, romantic and feel good book, that will have you laughing and crying in equal doses, but for me what really makes it stand out and keeps it head and shoulders above all other books in this genre is the beautiful friendship between the four women, it is so real and relatable, each woman has their own issues and hurdles in life and being true life long friends they stand by each other no matter what. I absolutely love the way that Annie Roberston has written it, you can real sense the connection between the woman, it gives off such a feeling of joy and hope, it’s down to earth, fun writing at it’s very best.
Oh, I do have to mention Aunt Jean, what a hoot!! Oh, she is wonderful, definitely the star of the show for me, she is the kind of aunt that we all want in the family; fun, hugely witty, caring and a little bit eclectic. Every book needs and Aunt Jean in it, she’s brilliant.
Over all, this is the perfect summer light-hearted read. Its heart-warming and witty, there is a real energy in the writing that I found very engaging from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed this, its a wonderful little story that will leaving you smiling….Now, I’m off to re-watch Four Weddings and a Funeral for the millionth time 🙂
This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Kate at Orion.
Four Weddings and a Festival is to be released on 12th July and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
Do check out the other blog’s which are participating in the wonderful blog tour.
#BlogTour | The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick #TheLibraryOfLostAndFound #Review @phaedrapatrick @HQstories
Hello my lovely friends! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for the utterly enchanting; The Library Of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, as always grab yourselves a cuppa and let me tell you a little about this gorgeous and heart-warming book.
A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people―though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.
All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend―her grandmother Zelda―who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.
Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heart-warming reminder that even the quietest life has the potential to be extraordinary.
This is one of the most adorable and heart-warming books I have read, I loved the simplicity and of the plot and the message of how through books we can really discover who we are as people. As soon as I heard about this, I just had to read it. A book about a book, set in a library! What more could I possibly want?
This is a wee bit more then just a story about a woman who works in a library and finds a book with a hand written dedication from her grandmother to her, from this one message Martha sets off on a life changing voyage of discovery, learning truths, secrets and lies as she goes, she starts remembering things that had been closed away in her mind and soon Martha begins to see her childhood, her parents with new eyes. I can only imagine how traumatic that must have been for Martha as her whole life and what she thought happened and what she believed soon coming unravelling, all because of a book.
Martha is a woman who no matter who you are, you will relate to her in some way. I know that I did! She has sacrificed everything; a life of her own, a career, happiness, even romance and relationships all for her parent’s, she has done the dutiful daughter, she has cared for them for years putting everything else aside for them and their needs. I can relate to Martha in ways that not a lot would, I understand her wanting to do right by her family and I can also understand her frustration with how her life turned out. Now that her parents are no longer there she has again fallen into the role of carer – or a general dogs body – with everyone else, with the people at the library, with neighbours and even her sister.
Well, you can only keep pushing a person so far before they snap, which is what Martha does, she finally says no and it is that moment when she takes hold of her life and does something for herself for a change, and that is to discover the secret of the book and what really happened to her grandmother; Zelda, she was told as a child that her grandmother had died, yet this book says a different story all together and it is a story that Martha wants to know, but is she really ready for what she discovers?
I love how there is a slight timeslip aspect to this book, as we follow Martha on her journey we get flashes into her past which are told through her mother’s point of view. I really enjoyed that, getting to see Martha’s childhood and the complicated dynamics of the Storm family is fascinating to read, we really see and understand why Martha has surpassed so many memories, it wasn’t the most pleasant of childhood that’s for sure.
The Library of Lost and Found is a magical and heart-warming tale, it has a real whimiscal feel to it that is so charming to read, the writing is superb, I’ve not read Phaedra Patrick’s work before but I will definitely be scouring the shops for more. This is a real winner, it is a book that you will devour in one lazy afternoon, and one that you will keep pulling of the shelf again and again until your copy is battered and worn.
Utterly charming, I cannot recommend this more.
This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Izzy.
The Library Of Lost And Found can be found at Amazon.
Do check out the other blogs which are participating in the wonderful blog tour.
Hello everyone, I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour and am very excited to be sharing my review of the delicious; The Ice Cream Parlour by Isabella May, do take a seat grab yourself a snow cone and enjoy.
The Ice Cream Parlour
Giovanna Tonioli is a successful stockbroker with a famous sports star boyfriend, but things aren’t as sweet as they seem. When life in the city of Bath goes from Vanilla to Rocky Road, she takes herself off to Italy for an ‘Eat Pray Love’ style tour of all things gelateria. What she doesn’t expect to find on her travels is one smooth, hot dollop of temptation that she just can’t shake.
How will her spiteful twin sister react when Giovanna returns to open a rival ice cream parlour? Will Natalia get her just desserts? Or will things become even stickier? All’s fair in love, war and ice cream. Isn’t it?
*Marian Keyes meets Paulo Coelho meets Nigella*
The Ice Cream Parlour is a mouthwatering tale of fate, family, love and jealousy – with a delectable drizzle of alchemy besides.
About the Author
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic.
Cake, cocktail, gelato, and travel obsessed, she also loves nothing more than to (quietly) break life’s ‘rules’.
Website / Facebook / Twitter @IsabellaMayBks / Instagram @isabella_may_author
My goodness this is delicious….honestly, I will probably say that I lot through out this review, but there isn’t another term I can think of another word do describe it. I have to be honest that this is the first book I have read by Isabella May, it definitely will not be the last, this book is gorgeous as well as so delicious. It is a feast for the taste buds, especially if you are like me and have a ridiculously sweet tooth.
This is essentially a story about a young woman who sets out to find herself, I love the ‘Eat Pray Love’ vibe that it has, and along the way she not only discovers some delicious Ice Creams and makes some great friends her life becomes clear. Giovanna who after finding out that her boyfriend of ten years has cheated on her in the worse way possible, instead of doing what we all would do and hide under the duvet with the tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a whole host of Jaffa cakes while watching re-runs of soppy films, Giovanna sets off on a trip to Italy.
I felt the first part as great as it was, lacked the sparkle that the part where Giovanna was in Italy had, that part of the book was beautifully engaging, it is was shiny and new, like a new penny. The time that Giovanna is touring Italy is a piece of brilliant writing, I loved the descriptions in each scene, it made the story play out like a movie in my mind, you could see the vivid colours, the scents and most of all the tastes. I am a very visual person and I do find that a more visualised and descriptive scene really pulls me into the story and the characters far more and Ms. May has written a mesmerizing story that will be loved by many readers.
I really, really like this book, it has a warmth and wit about it that steals the readers heart….not to mention their taste buds. The writing is fluid, it flows with ease and confidence that captures the readers attention from the off. You genuinely care about and cheer the character’s on, I got a real sense that Ms. May has put her whole heart into this story, there is a real passion and emotion in the story, the characters and the journey they go on, it’s real and engaging.
Overall this is a great story, fabulous writing, characters that you can both love and hate, a definite winner in my eyes.
This was an Arc copy in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Isabella and Rachel.
#BlogTour : Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan @pcalhenry #BecomingMrsLewis #Review @HarperInspire
Hello my lovely readers! I have the very great pleasure to be today’s blog tour for Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan, I can’t wait to share my review of this beautiful, poignant uplifting book. So, grab a cuppa and enjoy.
In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.
From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.
At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.
If ever there was a book that can touch a persons heart, that make them feel that they can do anything, that your own dream is only a step away, then this is the book. It is a real tender and poignant story about how a love can overcome barriers, how true friendship can be the saving grace a person needs in life. This is one of those books that can resonate in some way with every person, it’s a beautifully crafted story about two people who are so different, yet at the same time so similar.
I will be honest and admit that before this I didn’t really know a lot about C.S Lewis before this, but from reading this beautiful story it has encouraged me to learn more about the man behind Narnia. And likewise with Ms Callahan, I hadn’t read her work before, but I will definitely be tracking down her previous work now.
Becoming Mrs Lewis is a fictionalised account of the relationship between Joy Davidman and C.S Lewis (Jack). The story starts in New York with Joy not so happily married, as soon as the story starts you just know that there is something wrong with their marriage, You get a feeling that Joy and her passion is somewhat squashed by the life she has chosen with her husband. He isn’t necessarily a bad man, but he does have issues and help, with how the story is written through Joy’s POV you do get a real sense that at one time it was true love but as the years have gone by that has faded.
Joy instantly strikes you as a passionate, determined, intelligent woman who cares deeply, she has a big heart and loves her children and her husband – but not as she did – but she is a bit stuck, she has lost her way so to speak and it is these moment of finding who she is again and to regains something that she has lost, she begins writing to C.S Lewis. Over time they cosponsor frequently through letters, the more she writes to him and the more he replies you see a change in Joy, you see a spark come out. It is truly fascinating witnessing Joy go on this journey as the friendship between her and Jack develops through letters. I love the connection that Jack and Joy form just through the words that they share with each other, it is enchanting to see a true friendship form and watch it blossom into something more.
It is from these letters and their now firm friendship from across the Atlantic, that Joy makes a decision that will essentially change her life and that is she travels from her home in America to England to meet Jack. You instantly see that there is something very special between Joy and Jack, Ms Callahan has done an incredible job at re-creating their love in this book.
From reading this and seeing how much life writing to Jack and reading his replies it gave Joy, I feel that we have lost something now we don’t write proper letters to one and other any more, it has definitely made my fingers itch to write proper letters again.
This is a deeply loving, magical and enchanting love story, which is beautifully written, it has a real classic and timeless feel to it. Ms Callahan has obviously done impeccable research into both Joy and Jack.
Overall a beautiful story about friendship and true love, definitely a must read for all historical romance fans and off course for those who love C.S Lewis.
This was an Arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, as a part of this blog tour, thank you Bengono. x
Becoming Mrs Lewis is Available from Amazon.
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of fifteen novels, including the historical fiction, BECOMING MRS. LEWIS – The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis and her upcoming contemporary Southern fiction novel—THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, coming June 4, 2019.
Patti’s books include Losing the Moon, Between the Tides; Where the River Runs; When Light Breaks; Between the Tides; The Art of Keeping Secrets; Driftwood Summer; The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story; Coming Up for Air; And Then I Found You; The Stories We Tell; The Idea of Love, The Bookshop at Water’s End, Becoming Mrs. Lewis and The Favorite Daughter.
A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is published in numerous languages. Her articles and essays have appeared in Southern Living, PINK, Writer’s Digest, Portico Magazine, Birmingham Magazine and more.
Her essays can also be found in anthologies and collections such as Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy; Southern Writers Writing, and State of the Heart. Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups.
Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life.
Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.
Blog Tour Schedule
Do check out the other blogs which are participating in this blog tour.
Hello everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; This is Me by Shari Low. Not only am I sharing my review of this gorgeous book, I also have an exclusive extract for you, so with out further ado, enjoy.
Married to Ray, her first and only love, Denise has never for one moment regretted putting the husband she idolised on a pedestal above everyone and everything else. But, after forty years of marriage, he is gone, leaving Denise to discover that their perfect marriage was fatally flawed. Now she faces a future alone, but first she must face the betrayals of the past.
The estranged daughter of Denise, the woman who put her husband before her children, Claire took the opposite path and devoted her life to raising her family, sacrificing her marriage along the way. With her teenage sons about to flee the nest, she realises she may have left it too late to find her own happy ever after.
This is the story of two women, both alone, both cautionary tales of one of motherhood’s biggest decisions.
Who is more important, your partner or your children? And what happens if you make the wrong choice?
Of course she’d lost people before. Her parents. Ray’s parents. But in those cases, their houses had filled with family and friends who came to offer sympathies, to share the loss, to bring casseroles and bread and tales of the times they’d had with the person who’d passed. Mourning was a time for gathering, for coming together to celebrate a life and share the sorrow of a passing.
No one was knocking on her door.
No one had come in the week since she’d returned home from the hospital, bereft, clutching only his bloodstained clothes, his watch and his wedding ring.
She snatched up her phone again, the second glass of red wine making her bold, pushing her to take action, to find someone – anyone – to share this grief. She scrolled through her contacts. When was the last time she’d talked to her siblings? Five years ago? Ten? Had she really not spoken to anyone else in her family in all that time? Of course, they had so little in common, and hadn’t been close for years before that anyway.
No, she couldn’t call them now. What would be the point? So they’d feel obliged to come, to sit awkwardly in her kitchen, giving fake sympathy and platitudes about a guy they’d never particularly liked in the first place? No. Ray would hate that. He hadn’t liked them when he was alive, so he wasn’t going to want them there in death.
She flicked through more numbers on the screen, then stopped when one name brought on another flash of pain. Doug. Her son. She could hear Ray’s roar of rage if she called that number. It had been many years since she’d heard his voice, seen his face, but that was his loss. She knew that. Hadn’t she and Ray discussed it so many times? Claire and Doug had walked out of their lives for the same reasons. She didn’t even want to think about that now. Hadn’t Ray told her again and again that they weren’t worthy of her? Only Ray deserved her time and her love.
Numbers exhausted, she threw the handset on the bed, her eyes drawn to Ray’s mobile phone, which had been sitting on the charging dock on his bedside table since the morning she’d called the ambulance.
Reaching over, she picked it up, switched it on, then watched as the screen came to life with the image of the two of them, toasting each other with champagne on the deck of the Queen Mary 2 as it set sail from Southampton en route to New York just a few months ago. Their fortieth wedding anniversary. The captain hadn’t believed them, said she looked far too young to have been married that long.
She punched in the code to open the phone, realising it was the first time she’d ever done that. She’d seen Ray doing it so many times that she knew the code by heart, but he’d have been furious if she’d ever looked through his phone, so she never had.
She went to contacts, the names coming up in alphabetical order. Restaurants. Hotels. Car valet. Architects. The tradesmen who sub-contracted for him on bigger jobs. Joiners. Landscapers. Painters. Plumbers. X. Y. Z. The end.
The ‘Z’ category was empty, but there was one number in the preceding group, identified with only a Y. That was it. Just Y. It was all Denise needed to identify who it belonged to. That woman. Her.
He’d kept that bitch’s number.
A guttural sob escaped her. A whole fucking set of contacts and there was not a single person she could call for comfort, for help, to listen to her pain, until the very last contact in his phone. Y. It was a cruel bastard irony. The only person who might have just a glimmer of understanding about how she was feeling right now. And it would be a cold day in hell before she made that call.
She quickly searched his messages and past calls for any contact with Y, but there was nothing. Small consolation. He still shouldn’t have saved that bloody number.
She tossed the phone across the bed, the thud as it hit the duvet breaking through her red mist of anger, then she picked up her wine again and climbed into bed, still fully clothed, hoping that the warmth of the duvet would make the shivering stop.
She reached over to Ray’s side and picked up the tie that she’d left there, wrapping it around her neck, desperate to have a part of him touching her.
How was she to live? What was she to actually do with her days? Her dreams had been their dreams. Her plans had been their plans. How was she to move forward on her own, to have a purpose in a life without him in it?
First confession time; I haven’t had the pleasure to read any of Shari Low’s work before, but from reading this one I will be reading more of her work in the future. I was fascinated by the sound of this and that was enough to draw me and want to read it and am I so pleased that I did, this is a hugely emotional and very poignant book that is so relative to our times and our lives.
This is Me is such a heart-warming story that so many women can relate to, it’s bursting with huge amounts of emotion. Its real and at times haunting, and it will certainly make you evaluate your own life and the choices you have made. It’s all about the two women; mother and daughter Denise and Claire and their choices in life; motherhood and relationships, the choices they have to make and the consequences that arises because of those decisions.
Denise has always put her husband; Ray first above all else, which did include her daughter Claire. Denise idolized her husband and when he passes she soon realises that her marriage was the idyllic haven she had always thought it to be. She sees that over the years her and daughter Claire have drifted further and further apart and they are at the stage that their relationship may never be fixed. Claire has always resented how her mother treated – or not treated her and she vowed that she would never be like that with her own children. She has always put her sons first, even at the cost of her own marriage but now they have flown the nest she starts to see that she has isolated herself and worries that she may missed her chance for happiness for herself.
This is a powerful, thought provoking read that so many can relate to in one way or another, it really focus on the estranged and fragile relationship between mother and daughter. Questions arise throughout that really make you think, and look at your own relationships through fresh eyes.
This is written through both Denise and Claire’s POV, you see both sides of the story and see the damage that has been caused on both sides. The question of who was in the right does pop up many times during the book, and to be honest I think both were wrong in ways, but This Is Me is one of those books that will open conversations and make people talk. The characters are perfectly written, they are real and relatable and I thoroughly enjoyed going on their personal journeys with them and when we find out what kind of man ray really was….well he was horrid!
There is sadness, tears, laughter, confusion, frustration, honestly you will go on a roller-coaster ride of emotions with this, the writing is so clear and vivid that you will feel every emotion as thought your are living it yourself.
Very highly recommended!
About the Author
Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In December, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You and her latest release, Another Day In Winter. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift. For all the latest news, visit her on Facebook, twitter, or at http://www.sharilow.com
Follow Shari : Website / Twitter: @ShariLow / Facebook: @sharilowbooks
Blog Tour Schedule
Do have a look at the over great blogs on this tour.
Follow Aria : Website / Twitter: @aria_fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction