book reviews · Bookish

The Serial Daters Shopping List by Morgen Bailey (Review)

Gooood afternoon! It’s the end of the week and I’m bringing you a review of The Serial Daters Shopping List by Morgen Bailey as part of the BOTBS tour. I was given a copy for free for my participation in the tour.

Izzy works at her local newspaper, usually writing about tech, she’s thrown in to the deep end when she is tasked with dating one guy a day for an entire month. 31 days and 31 dates. Poor Izzy!

She sets up her dating profile and comes up with a shopping list of what she does and doesn’t look for in a man. She states how everyone has their shopping list, whether they write it down or not, but some guys manage to break out of those check boxes – she’s not wrong!

Izzy’s first date was what one may deem as a success. Off to a good start! Admittedly a little disappointing. Girl, we want the tea! Okay, so there ended up being plenty of that later on – phew! Some of the guys are interesting, some are incredibly cringey, some great. There was quite a wide selection of guys in Izzy’s month and it made me laugh. While I’ve never signed up to a dating site before, I’ve had the ups and downs of online dating and tinder terrors relayed to me in technicolour detail on multiple occasions and I laughed how some of these stories echoe’d my friends’ experiences.

This was a really enjoyable, laid back and easy read for me. I found myself smiling on multiple occasions and appreciated the humour. I really liked the main character, Isobel, her best friend Donna and her boss, William. They all felt like really sweet people and it was nice to see their personal growth, even if at the end, I think Donna has made a few questionable decisions! Nothing to heavy and keeping it light hearted, I rather enjoyed this read.

About the Book

Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read? Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

About the Author

Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey lives and breathes writing. ‘Morgen with an E’  is an author, speaker, tutor, editor, and podcaster. As well as being a competition judge, she is a columnist for Writers’ Forum magazine. 

Morgen’s fiction books include crime and mystery novels, and short story collections. They are mostly set against a Northamptonshire background, whether there is crime involved, a dog-detective that can talk, or a serial dater on a mission! 

Her non-fiction works are aimed at all levels of writers whether beginners or those who want to refresh their skills – Morgen also tutors in person and has several online writing courses available. She runs her own mentor group on Facebook, very much a collaboration, and she invites all authors to join. Her Writer’s Block Workbooks are a go-to for every author. 

When Morgen is not editing, speaking, reading, or writing, she’s walking her dog, out with friends or at literary festivals. The only time she sits down and does nothing is at the cinema but even then she’s making mental notes!

Morgen Bailey on Social Media:Author Website:        www.morgenbailey.com
Twitter & Instagram:        @morgenwriteruk
Facebook Page:        www.facebook.com/MorgenBaileyAuthor
GoodReads:             www.goodreads.com/morgen_bailey
Amazon Author Page:    https://author.to/MorgenBailey   

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Shelf Life by Livia Franchini (Review)

I hope you are all having a wonderful bank holiday monday! Today I am on the tour for Shelf Life by Livia Franchini which comes out tomorrow and I have a review for you guys. I received a copy of this book for free as part of the tour.

Ruth’s fiance has called it quits on their relationship after many years together, something I feel really was a good thing. It’s easy to be blinded by love, but our first introduction to Neil – her now-ex, throws up some red flags. He feels manipulative and like he is gaslighting Ruth. Later on, these red flags become more apparent, so I feel she had a lucky escape!

But going it alone means Ruth needs to figure herself and her life out. Using their final shopping list, she tells her story. It’s a concept I found to be really intriguing, though I honestly thought it fell a little flat and I wonder if I’d have picked up on it had I not already know that was what the situation was, but that’s just fine for me, it was interesting to see how this concept evolved.

Shelf Life is a pretty candid look at Ruth’s life in both the present, and in the past, as she learns about herself and gets through her break-up. The author has written her really well and my heart hurts for the poor woman. She’s such a sad character and seems so fragile. She needs help but she seems so alone. I really felt for her, she felt incredibly authentic and I was so hoping things would work out well for her. I’ve read books that are sad, but this one really felt like a punch in the gut. I honestly feel really mixed about it but it’s a refreshing change of pace for me to read something that doesn’t just wrap up in a neat little bow because life isn’t like that.

About the Book

Ruth is thirty years old. She works as a nurse in a care home and her fiancé has just broken up with her. The only thing she has left of him is their shopping list for the upcoming week.

And so she uses that list to tell her story. Starting with six eggs, and working through spaghetti and strawberries, and apples and tea bags, Ruth discovers that her identity has been crafted from the people she serves; her patients, her friends, and, most of all, her partner of ten years. Without him, she needs to find out – with conditioner and single cream and a lot of sugar – who she is when she stands alone.

book reviews · Bookish

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan (Review)

Today I am on the Random Things tour for Her Husband’s Mistakes by Sheila O’Flanagan which is available now in Kindle and Hardcover formats as well as Audiobook. I am pleased to be bringing you a review. I received a copy of this book for free as part of the tour.

Roxy is a married housewife with two children, living in Ireland. Her father has recently passed away; so of course, she looks after her mother during this time. She returns home to find the next door neighbour on top of her husband – something she refers to now as “Rodeo Night.” She up and left with the children and went back to staying with her mother.

Her father had a chauffeur business which Roxy helped out with during his final days and ended up taking over after “Rodeo Night.” Roxy doesn’t really know what to do and her life is a bit all over the place, but she is strong, determined and wants the best for her family. She is very much the “typical housewife” but starts to discover new things and find herself, whilst driving her dad’s car and trying to decide whether or not to forgive her husband..

I feel Roxy is a very strong character and quite relatable. She learns to put her own needs on her agenda instead of doing everything for everyone else while disregarding herself. Her husband is an unlikable character who doesn’t seem to support Roxy and puts his guilt on to her. I feel the story was a long journey for Roxy and was pleased to be with her for the duration as she evolved in to what I think may be a great role model for her children. The ending is concludes nicely but doesn’t tie everything up, so you, the reader can imagine the next chapter in Roxy’s life.

Overall, this was a really pleasant read with a strong female for a main character and well written. I feel it would be lovely beside the pool or to pick up to take on holiday. I was hoping to read this out in the sunshine myself, but apparently, somebody pinched it. Lol! Thankfully, a good book can be enjoyed anywhere!

About the Book

Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself…

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Picking up the Pieces by Jo Worgan ( Review)

Today, I am on the blog tour for Picking up the Pieces by Jo Worgan, bringing you a book review. The book comes out on the 8th of November in both Kindle and Paperback editions, and will be available on Kindle Unlimited. Below, you can find the tour poster if you want to find out more and visit the other fantastic stops on this tour!

picking-up-pieces

Where do I start with this book that tugged at my heart? Oh, that rhymed! Picking up the Pieces is an unforgettable read about Kate, her autistic son Sam and the new guy next door, Matt. Kate moved to Muddletown, years ago, to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend, Matt just moved in next door, to escape his now-ex wife, to be greeted with a young boy on a sun lounger in his new garden. This boy is Sam and he has autism.

Now, the author herself actually has a child with Autism and is well qualified to talk on the topic; in fact, she has the full support of the National Autistic Society. I thought this was fantastic. I’m not a parent, and so my knowledge of Autism is limited, but I felt when I was reading Sam’s character, that it was an accurate portrayal of a child with Autism (of course, experiences can vary and not all children are the same, autistic or not), based on my limited knowledge – this was before I knew about the authors experience – I tend to try to wait until I’ve started a book before I read about the author and such, because not everyone who reads a book looks the author up and I feel like it can provide an insight to a book that fellow readers may not end up with, and I didn’t want to taint my experience with extra knowledge – if that makes sense.

Sam is a lovely little boy and I found him charming and sweet. He had some meltdowns, sure, but he felt very real. I thought Kate was strong as heck, but I felt so bad for her and her struggle to seek help – she thought she would worry people and be a burden and that made me so sad. Even out of the abusive situation, that damage remained. Matt is the knight in shining armor, destined to bring that family a happy ending, but not without his own baggage and emotional burden. I found the characters very well written and very human. I was rooting for the main protagonists throughout!

Matt was kind and patient when encountering Sam. When they first met, I held my breath for Matt’s reaction. Then I laughed because I feel like that’s how I would have reacted too. It may have happened off the page, so to speak, but I don’t recall Kate strictly telling Matt that Sam had autism. It seemed more that he basically figured it out based on the signs in the home and his own general knowledge. His compassion was lovely to read and warmed my heart, but then Kate’s ex, Jake made an appearance which brought a big dark cloud ready to rain on my fuzzy feels parade.

I was worried for Kate and worried for Sam. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to find out how this would pan out for them, then Jake even got Matt involved. Determined to swan in and control Kate’s life entirely – or so it appears, under the guise of wanting to know his son.

I was aghast at how things went down later on in the book. I was shocked even though I thought I shouldn’t really be surprised, but I also realised that this, too, was probably pretty realistic and it really tugged at my heart and made me feel so sad for Sam and other autistic children in the world and their families who have had to endure that situation or similar, and they’re undoubtedly out there. It’s “just a book” but it really rang true in a lot of aspects and that really got me. It wasn’t pleasant but it was real and while we can stop reading a book, we can’t close our eyes and prevent things from happening in real life.

It’s food for thought and a reminder that there’s so much we don’t see or know and that we should always try to be compassionate, patient and understanding with others. This book is an excellent, un-put-downable read about a woman, her little boy and the new guy next door that will tug at your heart and make you feel things.

PICKING_UP_THE_PIECES_COVER_CHOSEN.indd

A compelling and emotive story about a mother’s unbreakable love for her autistic son.

Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. Having started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake, Kate believes the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe.

But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, she knows that her previous life has found her.

Kate confides in her new neighbour Matt, a man running from his own secrets. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for Kate and her son, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….

Picking Up The Pieces is an original, moving and gripping page-turner about a woman’s search for happiness as she fights to protect her autistic son’s future.

 

UYe53oN7_400x400 Jo Worgan is a freelance copywriter, columnist and book blogger. She has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. Writing is what she truly loves, and Picking up the Pieces is her second novel following her first, An Unextraordinary Life.

Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 19 years and their two young
sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds.