Book Review · Books

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [BOOK REVIEW]

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [BOOK REVIEW]

I had the amazing opportunity to participate in another instagram readalong – this time reading the Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane with some amazing bookstagrammers. Huge thank you to the team at Tandem as well as the publisher, Harper Fiction, for sending me a copy of the book to read and review!

About The Book:

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [BOOK REVIEW]


Publisher: Harper Fiction

Pages: 416

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Synopsis:

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

My Thoughts:

You don’t know how much you miss a certain type of book until you start reading one and you feel the instant refreshment it brings. This happened to me with Last Night. This book is so much more than your typical rom-com novel. I wanted to read it because of the “best friends to lovers” possible scenario, and instead I got so much more, and I’m so glad I did! I felt like I was Eve’s shadow – feeling everything she feels. Friendships, relationships, grief, secrets and betrayals… A remarkable roller-coaster of a story that I wasn’t able to put down.

“I notice, once again, that company that’s not the right fit for you is so much lonelier than being happily alone.”

I loved Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed.

Their group was unique and very dear. The chemistry these characters have between each other, especially Eve and Susie is truly something remarkable, and quite rare in today’s world. I felt like we didn’t get enough of Justin, and I quite liked Ed, although I did judge him for his poor decision making skills. I loved Finlay, and I really enjoyed getting to know him slowly throughout the book.

“Incredible how one revelatory discovery can completely change your perception of someone.”

Last Night is also one of those books where it’s so hard to write a review without spoiling anything, as the big bombshell happens quite early in the book. So I’ll just say this – I loved the ending and I feel like everyone got what they deserved! Last Night is the first book I’ve read by Mhairi Mcfarlane, and (said with the voice of Michael Bisping) “believe you me”, I’ll be definitely reading more. And while I’m checking out the rest of Mhairi’s books, you go ahead and check this one out. 🙂

A truly incredible story, a very emotional journey that will leave a mark in your life. A lesson on how to cope with grief, how to stop wasting energy on people that don’t deserve you, and how to start loving again and accept love back. And most importantly, a lesson that sometimes, it’s okay to be rude!

“I ponder how many mistakes in life are born of a simple fear of being rude.”

Rating:

★★★★

About The Author:

Mhairi was born in Falkirk, Scotland in 1976. She went to school in Nottingham, studied English Literature at Manchester University and then returned to Nottingham to delight its citizens with her journalism. Her debut novel, the romantic comedy You Had Me At Hello, was an instant hit upon being published in December 2012. It’s since become HarperCollins’ best selling ebook to date, has been translated into 16 languages and is being developed as a major feature film, with Mhairi writing the screenplay. The follow up, Here’s Looking At You, was published in December 2013 and made the Sunday Times Bestseller list.

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Meet Me In Hawaii by Georgia Toffolo [BLOG TOUR]

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Meet Me in Hawaii by Georgia Toffolo. This is Toff’s second book, and after reading Meet Me in London, I couldn’t wait to read this one as well. If you’re looking for a lovely romance set in a summer destination, this book will be your perfect escape during the pandemic! I feel so honoured to be a Mills & Boon insider, and to have this opportunity!

About The Book:


Publisher: Mills & Boon

Pages: 320

Format I read it in: Uncorrected proof

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Synopsis:

Malie Pukui doesn’t believe in happy ever after. After a tragedy caused her to flee her family and friends in Devon she found a fresh start in Hawaii. Here, working at a surf school, she can give back to those in need and try to overcome the greatest loss in her life.

Moved around foster homes throughout his childhood, Todd Masters has worked hard to be able to offer a brighter future to young disadvantaged children. Now he has his own charitable foundation working with a surf school in Hawaii, a job he loves, but he still can’t put his past behind him.

When Malie rescues Todd from the sea a spark ignites between them, and the two wounded souls find a common ground. But amidst the surf, sunsets and sizzling kisses, can Malie let go of her past and risk something she’d locked away forever… her heart.

My Thoughts:

Meet Me in Hawaii was a lovely romance, and I managed to read it in two days. It’s very fast paced and captures your attention straight away. I remember Meet Me in London giving me Christmas vibes, and Meet Me in Hawaii managed to do the same with the summer destination. The coctails, beaches and surfing brought a great atmosphere, and during the pandemic, I actually really needed a little bit of that.

I really liked Malie as a character, especially her story, and how she bravely tries to be happy and get rid of all the guild she feels. And I also liked Todd, with his own traumatic childhood and his broken relationship with his father. I loved how these two characters managed to find themselves and click so fast. I loved their beginning scenes, and they gave me many butterflies.

However, then Malie makes some poor decisions, and I didn’t enjoy them. I am not a fan when a character decides to stop a potential relationship from happening because they are scared of being hurt. They could both feel the tension, and they both at some point tried to resist it, and then Malie properly rejected him and I was just agitated. But that’s just because I’m very picky with my romance tropes. It’s a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. But apart from this, I really enjoyed the whole book.

I especially enjoyed the children and their interaction with Malie as a surfing teacher. Tara’s story was very moving and to be fair, I would have loved to read more about Jonny and Sky. I felt like there was an opportunity to explore this, and things were left unsaid. The competition in the end was quite interesting as well, and I loved the ending.

Even though it’s mainly a romance story, Meet Me in Hawaii is so much more than that!

It’s also a story about grief and guilt, and moving forward. A story about true friendships, one of those strong ones, that are quite rare to encounter these days. It’s a story about relationships, not just between partners, but between friends and parents too. But most importantly, about the freedom to be able to do what makes us happy in our lives.

Rating:

★★★★

About The Author:

With a combined social media following of over two million, Georgia “Toff” Toffolo captured the nation’s hearts on E4’s Made in Chelsea and as Queen of the Jungle on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! She’s also a regular on ITV’s This Morning. Her debut romance novel Meet Me in London was published in 2020.

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Book Review · Books

The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley [BOOK REVIEW]

The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

The Love Letter was my first book by Lucinda Riley, and I can’t believe I haven’t read a book by this author before. This is a magnificent book, full of secrets, forbidden romances and unsolved mysteries of the past.

Synopsis:

Set in London in 1995, this book starts off when Sir James Harrison passes away. He was one of the greatest actors of his generation. During his funeral, a lot of people gather, considering how impactful he was. Among them, one old woman, that sits alone in the crowd…

Joanna Haslam is a young journalist, and she is assigned to cover the actor’s funeral. Many famous celebrities will be there, and she can’t miss this moment. But something else captures her attention. An old woman, that shares a secret letter Harrison left behind, which needs to keep a secret forever.

The closer she gets to tracking down the source, the more she realises how dangerous this secret is. Many people are interested to keep this letter a secret, and they’ll stop at nothing.

My Thoughts:

The Love Letter is a book my mum chose for me, when “Mama Pick” came up on my TBR game. It’s a book she really enjoyed and I am so glad I was able to share this with her. I am very excited to see what she’ll pick next when the next prompt comes up for her.

I find it very intriguing that there seems to be a certain mysteriousness of the censure this book received. It was mentioned in the acknowledgments that some obstacles occured with the ability to get it published, due to the fact that there is a royal family involved, even though a fictional one.

The Love Letter is mysterious from the very beginning, when Joanna meets the old lady. Little does she know that she will be involved with keeping a very dangerous secret that happened many moons ago. Things start to get very interesting when the reporter gets close to the actor’s family. Each of these individuals keeps their own little secrets too, and everyone keeps playing games to their own liking.

The storytelling, the characters and the many plot twists were incredible.

I was turning the pages so fast, desperate to see what happens next. Desperate for more. I was eager to discover all their secrets and found myself hoping for their wellbeing. The plot twists would happen in places I would least expect and I loved the ending.

The Love Letter takes you to a very different set of culture, and reading this in 2020, I could easily notice it is set in 1995. There are many small things in the book that happen, which reminded me that time has passed since, and I really enjoyed that. It has been a while since I have read something over two decades ago.

A wonderful fiction, full with secrets, drama, suspense and a bit of romance. I loved every single moment of it. Lucinda Riley is definitely an author I will read more books from in the future.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

A Family For Christmas by Viv Royce [BOOK REVIEW]

A Family For Christmas by Viv Royce [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

A Family for Christmas is the first book in the Little Shops on Heart Street series by Viv Royce. It is a wonderful Christmas story about new beginnings, courage, love and kindness, and I enjoyed it so much! I read it on Christmas day, and I am so happy I did! Huge thank you to the author, who suggested this book to me during a random Twitter conversation, as well as Netgalley and the publisher Entangled Publishing, LLC for granting me an ARC copy of this book.

Synopsis:

Emma Miller recently moved to the quiet town of Wood Creek, opening her business and selling chocolates and bonbons to the residents. One day, a small her stops by her shop with a very unique request, and Emma is so intrigued. The little girl needs chocolates for her dad that will make him fall in love with her teacher. Emma can’t deny this little girl and of course, she complies. Little does she know, when Casey’s charming dad comes to the shop to find the creator of the chocolates, they will get on quite well. But she has to remind herself to be careful. After all, she knows that as soon as she gets attached to people, they tend to leave.

The pilot Grant Galloway is surprised by his daughter’s surprise, and he is even more curious about the lady that made these chocolates. After his wife passed away, he is still picking up the pieces of his broken heart. And Wood Creek is only a temporary stop for him and Casey. As soon as he finds a day piloting job, he will move away. He cannot allow to start anything new, especially not now, before the holidays.

Thanks to some Christmas wishes, though, these two might discover that their carefully laid plans are about to change.

My Thoughts:

Reading this book at Christmas day added a special Christmas magic to it, and I finished it within a few hours. I loved the story, and I loved the characters. There is something about small towns that I miss now that I live in a big city. The kindness of the people, and the closeness. I used to find it intrusive that people knew everything about you, but these days, I find it very comforting, especially when people tend to alienate more and more each day.

The little town is beautiful, and Emma’s shop was described so well. I could almost see and taste her amazing chocolate creations. And same goes with Grant’s family business and the town fair that they were organising and decorating, right before Christmas.

I am always looking around for a romance novel, and I enjoyed Grant and Emma’s story. It wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to, but the book was quite short, and I think it was due to that. I still loved their little moments as well.

My favorite character has to be Casey. After knowing what I know, I can see how brave it was for her to come into Emma’s shop and ask for that favour. And that just says how much her dad’s happiness means for her. She is so selfless and kind, and oh so brave. Especially with the other surprise that she plans for her dad.

If you are looking for a lovely Christmas romance during your Christmas or winter holidays – grab this book. It has everything – the lovely town and lovely people, a family atmosphere, a lovely romance and a Christmas miracle magic in the end with a perfect happy ending. I am so glad I read this!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Book Review · Books

Silent Night by Danielle Steel [BOOK REVIEW]

Silent Night by Danielle Steel [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

It has been a while since I last read a book by Danielle Steel. Silent Night was available as an audiobook from my library, so I gave it a try, and it didn’t disappoint.

Synopsis:

Paige Watts is the ultimate stage mother. The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Paige channels her acting dreams into making her own daughter, Emma, a star. By the age of nine, Emma is playing a central role in a hit TV show. Then everything is shattered by unforeseeable tragedy.

A car accident changes Emma’s world. Her mum is no longer there, and in her place is her aunt Whitney. Unlike Paige, Whitney was always the studious older sister, hating the cult of celebrity that enveloped their childhood. Instead, she is a psychiatrist who lives for her work and enjoys a no-strings-attached love affair with a wealthy venture capitalist. But at a moment’s notice, Whitney drops everything to help her niece.

Once famous, outgoing, and charismatic, Emma is now a shadow of her former self–without speech, without memory, lost and terrified. But with her aunt Whitney’s help, along with a team of caregivers and doctors, Emma begins to find her way, starting her young life all over again–and changing the lives of everyone around her.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis immediately caught my attention, because I love drama. And the scenario is so heartbreaking, that I knew this book would give me all the feels. And it did.

I loved Emma. She was such an amazing character, and a wonderful fighter as well. She goes through a very big trauma, and never stops trying. What I truly loved is the relationship that she develops with her auntie Paige, who gives up her old life to look after Emma. Because there is no one else she has in this world now…

The strength that Whitney carries within her is to be admired.

She is so selfless and caring, not afraid to give Emma all the love in the world, despite the challenges. And especially at the beginning, it’s so hard. It was really hard for me to see Whitney go through rejection, the anger from Emma, not knowing how to process everything that is happening. She had to stay strong, for her and her niece’s sake. To be strong for both of them.

Danielle Steel did a magnificent job trying to show us the reality about people suffering with mental issues and trauma. How hard and frustrating it can be for them, when they can’t express themselves and are not understood. And how hard it is for their loved ones, to come to terms with the “new normal” and adjust, and to provide all the love and support. Recovery is a very slow and painful process, and there are good and bad days. Sometimes you make one step forwards and three steps back, and other times, recovery is not an option at all. And in Silent Night, Danielle Steel perfectly captured these experiences and emotions.

The bond between the niece and auntie is unbreakable, even though it took a long time to build. I loved the slow progress we could see in their relationship, and how they were both slowly healing as time went on. It was also very lovely to see how they both would also speak about Paige and work on healing and forgiving her as well.

I enjoyed the romance that Whitney experiences, and I also loved the fact that she was able to say “no” to a person who couldn’t accept her niece as part of the “deal”. Even though, I also respect his side, and how open he was about expressing his opinion. He was a very selfish person, true, but at least he was honest with her. This actually allowed Whitney to realise he wasn’t the right match for her and she was able to open up her heart to someone more deserving of her.

A very interesting part of this book is Emma’s acting career.

She started off young and her mum organised everything and planned her life. After all, it was her childhood dream that she now re-lived with her daughter. But when the aunt takes care of Emma, she has a completely different mindset, but is also under a lot of pressure from the media and the TV show director. I have to admit, I loved how Whitney handled this part, and ultimately lets Emma make the decision on what she wants to do once she is older.

In conclusion, Silent Night is a very emotional, but beautiful book. I am so glad I read it, and I’m looking forward to reading more books from Danielle Steel in the future.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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