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Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart

Rose Cottage by Mary StewartBlurb

When Kate Herrick’s grandmother asks her to travel down from Scotland to her childhood home in Todhall to retrieve some papers and family mementoes before Rose Cottage is sold, Kate is happy enough to go, but curious as to the changes she may find there. Widowed in the recent war – this is the summer of 1947 – and comfortably settled now in London, she is in some doubt as to how the village will receive her. Rose Cottage – a tiny thatched dwelling with fragrant roses in the garden – is unchanged, and the villagers seem friendly. But there is evidence of a break-in at the cottage, and then her nearest neighbours, three elderly ladies from what the villagers call ‘Witches’ Corner’, come with tales of night-time prowlers in the cottage garden, and even ghosts. In the process of solving the mystery, Kate finds romance.

My Perspective

This is the eleventh book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart from Penny at Life On The Cutoff. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

Rose Cottage is about Kate or Kathy, who at a request from her grandmother, travels down to the home of her childhood to collect the special items hidden in the safe there that her grandmother left behind. However her grandmother has forgotten where she has hidden the key.

I really enjoyed this story and although it was slightly predictable and happily ever after, it was still interesting and sweet with some good old mystery.

Kate (or Kathy) was very easy to like, as were most of the other characters.

There was a whimsical, kind of old world charm about the book and I can see why Penny loved it so much – there were some gorgeous descriptions of landscapes, gardens and flora.

Overall it was a lighthearted, short read with a bit of mystery and romance that I enjoyed and would definitely recommend.

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One Day In Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand

One Day In Apple Grove by C.H. AdmirandBlurb

Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (pop. 597), a small town with a big heart.

Caitlin Mulcahy loves her family. She really does. But sometimes they can drive her to her last shred of sanity—from her dad (“I’m not meddling, I just want what’s best for you”) to her eight-months-pregnant older sister to her younger sister, who will do just about anything to avoid real work. Cait just needs to get away, even if for only an hour.

When she sees someone in need of help on the side of the road, of course she’s going to pull over. She might even be able to fix his engine—after all, the Mulcahy family is a handy bunch. She’s not expecting that former Navy medic Jack Gannon and a little black puppy named Jameson will be the ones who end up rescuing in her.

My Perspective

This is the tenth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about One Day In Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

I really enjoyed the first chapter of this book and then it all went downhill from there.

Basically it became a load of romantic drivel that dragged on and on. I was torn between rolling my eyes and gagging.

As I never let a book beat me unless it has sex or gore, I actually skipped ahead to try and find a sex scene so I could justify not reading it anymore. And I found one so that’s my reason for not continuing – however really i don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful for a sex scene in my life.

If you’re into romantic passion and desire, and that’s really all, then I’m sure you’d love this book however I need a bit more substance and story to go with my romance novels.

I was actually quite disappointed as I thought this book was going to be really enjoyable and well written with a good story and it wasn’t. I don’t like being so harsh however there you have it.

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Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Abby Clements

Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Abby ClementsBlurb

Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel used to be inseparable – but their lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together. Now thirty-five, they have all but fallen out of touch; glamorous single girl Laurie is based in London and dedicated to her career in fashion; Rachel seemingly living the family idyll in Yorkshire.

But when Rachel’s mother-in-law needs urgent treatment in London, and disasters at work and in her love life mean Laurie needs to flee, a house swap falls into place. Soon gentle Rachel is far from the village bake sales, braving the city’s mean streets while trying to keep her marriage and family together; while Laurie attempts to work an Aga, befriend the wary village locals – and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart. Will their relationships survive this test? And will they make it home for Christmas?

My Perspective

As i mentioned in The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements, I was looking forward to reading Meet Me Under The Mistletoe and i had great expectations of it as i had enjoyed The Christmas Bake Off so much.

Meet Me Under The Mistletoe is about both Rachel and Laurie, best friends from school who are now living totally different lives – Rachel in a little village in Yorkshire and Laurie in London. However both of them experience a life changing event about a month before Christmas, forcing them to reconnect and learn more about themselves than they’d thought.

I enjoyed this story. It was well written, lighthearted and interesting. It was probably slightly predictable however I found that I was kept guessing throughout.

Rachel was easy to like however there were moments where I found her slightly frustrating. I guess mothers who have been in her position would relate to and understand her more than I could. At first I found it hard to like Laurie however as I got to know her more I warmed to her and by the end, really liked her. The other characters were well written.

I like books like this that have more than one main character and how the story keeps switching between them. It was done really well in this instance, as well as the added emails and texts.

Overall it was a lighthearted and enjoyable read and i would definitely recommend it if you like chick lit.

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The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian KeyesBlurb

‘Name: Stella Sweeney.

Height: average.

Recent life events: dramatic.’

One day, sitting in traffic, married Dublin mum Stella Sweeney attempts a good deed. The resulting car crash changes her life.

For she meets a man who wants her telephone number (for the insurance, it turns out). That’s okay. She doesn’t really like him much anyway (his Range Rover totally banjaxed her car).

But in this meeting is born the seed of something which will take Stella thousands of miles from her old life, turning an ordinary woman into a superstar, and, along the way, wrenching her whole family apart.

Is this all because of one ill-advised act of goodwill? Was meeting Mr Range Rover destiny or karma? Should she be grateful or hopping mad?

For the first time real, honest-to-goodness happiness is just within her reach. But is Stella Sweeney, Dublin housewife, ready to grasp it?

My Perspective

The Woman Who Stole My Life is about Stella Sweeney, a failed author who moves back from New York to her home in Ireland where she attempts to renew her life.

As I’ve mentioned before, Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors however I was a little disappointed in her last book (The Mystery of Mercy Close). I have to admit that even though I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t as great as her other works either.

Stella is an enjoyable character and easy to like. She does seem like a bit of an idiot however she wasn’t overly frustrating. Most of the other characters were easy to like too however also all quite eccentric.

The story swapped intermittently from present to past however it was done well so you weren’t confused and your curiosity was constantly piqued.

I did find that the book was quite long and although I wouldn’t say that it dragged, it did feel unnecessary long for the actual content and the fact that there was only one main character and therefore one point of view.

There was sexual content in the book and again, like The Mystery of Mercy Close, if it had been another author I probably would have put it down however it wasn’t too over the top and it was written tongue in cheek so as not to be taken too seriously.

Overall it was an enjoyable and light read however it didn’t impact me like her other books have. If this is the first book you’ve read by Marian Keyes, I’d definitely recommend giving her older books a try if this didn’t impress you.

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A Sudden Change Of Heart by Barbara Taylor Bradford

A Sudden Change Of Heart by Barbara Taylor BradfordBlurb

Laura Valiant is a successful art historian, running her own company. She and her husband, Doug, a Wall Street lawyer, share an idyllic marriage. But Laura’s trust in her husband is shaken when she discovers he has a secret life apart from her – a life which will rock their love.

Clare Benson is Laura’s childhood friend. They’ve been together through thick and thin, good and bad. When Clare asks Laura the biggest favour and greatest honour of all – to be guardian to her teenage daughter, Natasha – Laura discovers her personal and professional lives become dramatically intertwined. But in true Valiant style, Laura rises to the challenges ahead and, eventually, succeeds in achieving the happiness and fulfilment she craves.

My Perspective

This is the ninth book i chose to read from my post Third Lot – And It’s A Lot

Unfortunately i am unable to give my perspective on this book. About five chapters in, there was a descriptive sex scene, which as i have said before, is not to my taste. Therefore i have not continued reading this book in the chance that there will be more.

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The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs

The Apple Orchard by Susan WiggsBlurb

Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother’s beloved necklace — despite Tess’s advice. To Annelise, the jewel’s value is in its memories.

But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met and a mother who spent more time travelling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town of Archangel.

The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half-sister she’s never heard of.

Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep.

My Perspective

This is the ninth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

The Apple Orchard is about Tess, a treasure hunter who’s life solely revolves around work and the occasional catch up with friends. However her world is ripped apart when one day a man turns up at her office telling her she’s inheriting half an estate from the grandfather she didn’t even know – the other half being inherited by the half sister she never knew about either.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed it however it was a bit too unbelievable.

At first I found Tess hard to relate to however the more she opened up about herself, the more I liked her. Dominic was extremely likeable however thinking back he was pretty much perfect, which is way too unrealistic. Everyone else had equal measures of strengths and weaknesses except for him.

The story was written well with a steady pace. It was a mix of family saga, romance, and mystery. The story wasn’t entirely predictable however the essence of it was, which is what I found so unrealistic about it.

One thing about this book is the cooking and baking, which makes you drool. I also really enjoyed the added recipes throughout.

Overall this was a pleasant and interesting read however it was a bit too escapist for me. I would definitely recommend it if you like a light family saga and romance that really takes you out of the believability realm.

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Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx by Geoffrey McSkimming

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

A Tale Of Incalculable Inversion

When that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet, Cairo Jim, and his friends Doris the macaw, and Brenda the Wonder Camel, and Jocelyn Osgood make the ‘find of the century’, a new enemy on the scene sets out to discredit Jim and destroy his hard-won reputation…

My Perspective

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx, follows Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda once again on the dig for an historical wonder. However they know not what they are looking for. And just when they thought their lives were forever at peace due to the demise of the evil Neptune Bone, Mr Impluvium, an evil and conniving man, turns up on the scene.

The story was again a silly yet well written children’s story. I do find that after awhile some of the silliness gets to me however I have to remember that it’s not written with my age group in mind. I loved these books as a kid and didn’t find the silliness over the top at all back then.

I really liked the storyline and the mystery throughout. Although some of it was obvious, not all of it was and there were some parts that really kept me guessing.

Again, the main characters are extremely likeable – Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda – and Mr Impluvium the slimy villain everyone loves to hate. What he did in the book was pretty mean and nasty and you really feel for Cairo Jim and his friends.

Overall it was an enjoyable and light read that I would recommend for children and adults who like a silly adventure/mystery with a bit of history thrown in.