Synopsis: Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.
Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother early, growing up in foster care. But her husband, Simon, is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France: nothing is too good for his family.
Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows it’s nothing – she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.
In the old days, she’d have distracted herself by excelling at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career when she married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.
It’s almost by accident that Marianne starts to learn more about Caroline. But once started, she can’t stop, because what she finds makes her wonder: is the question she should be asking not ‘should she be jealous’, but... ‘should she be scared?’
Synopsis: Faye Dobson is in crisis. You wouldn’t know it, because of the big fat smile on her face, but inside, she’s one step away from nuclear meltdown. And she shouldn’t be. Dan ?? is the man of her dreams. Her really quite energetic dreams, that frequently come true. Sometimes twice in one night. And he’s just asked her to marry him.
But Faye’s been down the marriage road before and it ended up with her having Ryan Gosling fantasies while her ex-husband obsessed about the plumbing. The actual plumbing. Faye and Dan have been living their lives to the fullest, travelling around the world, having sex under the stars... They haven’t argued about unrolling socks before putting them in the laundry.
Besides, even if she wanted to say yes, how could she move to the other side of the world? Because marrying Dan would mean living in Australia. Beautiful, warm and a gazillion miles from Faye’s daughter, Emma, a single mum with her own crazy little girl who both need Faye every single day. Leaving them – even for someone who makes her laugh as much as Dan – simply isn’t an option.
Dan is offering Faye everything she ever wanted. So why does she feel like she’s about to lose it all?
Kat's Rating: 5/5 (I'd give it 10 out of 5 if humanly possible)
This is a sequel to one of my ALL TIME favourite books, and my suggestion is to read that book first as it's brilliant. Check out my review for that here
Okay guys, this cover reveal above is HUGELY exciting. If you have no idea who Sue Watson is I suggest you sit up and take notice. Now I admit I actually LOVE this cover. However....don't be fooled! Don't imagine that it's a certain type of book, because I guarantee you need to read this author before making a judgement. Back in 2012 I picked up a book called Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes. I read that book SOLELY after reading about Sue Watson online and it was the best decision I made. It was a very funny book and made me want to read other stuff by her. Of course with mountains of books, it was to be a bit of a wait and then in 2014 I picked up the book Love Lies and Lemon Cake.
First off the bat, I loved the title and I already knew the author had talent. What I didn't know was that by the time I had finished the book not only would I have a bit of a girl crush going on with the delectable Sue Watson, but that this book would become one of my ALL TIME favourite reads. People may wonder at that and think I'm talking bollocks, however (having consulted my Goodreads page), having read more than 850 books in a few years I think it's safe to say I know my books. Some people will mock this genre, but my advice would be to not be too hasty. A fellow friend and reader who happens to be over 70 and a bloke practically laughed me out the room. Once he read it, he was practically foaming at the mouth for another of her books.
For some reason Love Lies and Lemon Cake resonated with me and since 2014 I know I have read this book at least 4 times which is something I never do. It has the ability to lift me out of any mood and make me laugh until my cheeks hurt. Faye Dobson is the star of the show and frankly this book will always remain one of my all time favourites. In addition to that I actually have become friends with Sue. Trust me this happened WAY after I started reading her stuff. Sue is also aware (as is most of Bookouture, along with numerous other author friends) that whether I am friends with somebody or not, if I don't like the book and think it's a load of old shite I will be telling them. Trust me when I say that if you haven't read it and you really want a book you can read to get you out of the doldrums and smiling then Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is for you.
THE most exciting news I have heard on a LONG time is that Sue has now got a new book on the way and it's a follow-up to Love Lies and Lemon Cake. As a reader, reviewer and Blogger this sounds ridiculous but I'm nervous. What if I don't like it? What if it's not as good as my all time favourite? On the plus side it COULD be even better and I am literally jiggling with excitement until I can read this bad boy!
Synopsis: Escape to the cosy little village of Appledore for hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a second chance at love. Will this Christmas prove that miracles really can happen?
A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas day, Chloe’s heart is finally on the mend as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…
It’s the manager of Gianni’s new seaside restaurant in Appledore, begging for Chloe’s help. Equally famous for his gold-leaf Christmas puddings and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way! It’s the last thing she wants to do, but Chloe knows she is the only one that can help.
As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. But as Chloe’s eyes meet Gianni’s as they tussle over a plate of turkey tartlets, could there also be a chance for new romance on the menu?
Synopsis: Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?
Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.
But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.
When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks?
Synopsis: Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!
Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.
Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.
There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.
So, I realised rather belatedly that I hadn't done my 'best of' lists and surprisingly the Crime and Thriller genre was easy. This genre? Not so much! I realised that there were numerous books I had LOVED this last year and managed to get the first draft in at 16 books. Thankfully I realised that I had read 3 books by the wonderful Nigel May and all 3 were excellent so I managed to knock another 2 off, and then slowly by going over each one I managed to narrow it down! So here goes, in no particular order is my top ten books from last year, and all well worth a read!
Synopsis: As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose. But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection. Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.
A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.
When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix.
As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: Thank goodness...another Sue Watson in her usual humorous style, it feels like forever since I have read one like this! I admit I am a bit of a Sue Watson fan, and always know that her books will cheer me up and make me laugh like a drain. Thankfully this book was no exception and once again it cheered me up immensely! However (yes there is a however) I did find the main character a bit annoying in the beginning (hence the 4 stars and not 5)!
So Jen Barker is the main character in this Christmas book and as she is planning her wedding in her mind, she had no idea she is about to be unceremoniously dumped. So a year after her disastrous break up she finds herself facing another Christmas alone with just her cat (named Mrs Christmas) for company. Her half sister Jody decides enough is enough and manages to convince Jen to take a working holiday with her and her friends over Christmas at a Swiss Alps ski resort.
In the beginning I didn't instantly like Jen, in fact I would go as far as to say she was a bit of an annoying woman that thought her whole life was over and she was only 41!!! Thankfully as Jen embarks on a new chapter, her sister and new friends make sure she starts to change her ways. Thankfully the whingeing became less and finally she becomes a woman that starts to take some risks. There are some extremely funny moments in the book which normally revolved around Jen's choice of clothes, or comments from her new friends.
Jen's life seems to roll from one hilarious disaster to another when she is in Switzerland and with the addition of a rather handsome Ski Instructor named Jon things get so much better and I found myself laughing and hoping for the best for her. The last quarter of the book was fabulous, pure magic and a great end to the book. It certainly has all the right elements for a Christmas stocking filler and is a great feel-good read. For me I mark every book of Sue's against her book 'Love, Lies and Lemon Cakes' which to this day is still one of the funniest books I have ever read. Thankfully Sue always delivers a feel good book with the humour thrown in so this was still a great read (but Sue, can we PLEASE have a less whingey woman next time)!