Blog Tour: The Day We Meet Again, written by Miranda Dickinson | sort of a book review

Blog Tour: The Day We Meet Again, written by Miranda Dickinson
The Day We Meet Again, written by Miranda Dickinson

The Day We Meet Again by Miranda Dickinson

Publication date: September 5th, 2019 
Publisher: HQ
Pages: 384
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

The brand-new novel from The Sunday Times bestselling author, Miranda Dickinson.

‘We’ll meet again at St Pancras station, a year from today. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll both be there. If we’re not, it was never meant to be . . .’

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

This is a story of what-ifs and maybes – and how one decision can change your life forever…

– My Thoughts –

It’s not a case of disliking the book but more like a case of I couldn’t finish it. Let me explain…

The Day We Meet Again is about Phoebe and Sam who meet at St. Pancras Station due to sheer luck. Phoebe has plans to travel to Paris and Sam has plans to go to Scotland; since they’re both stranded, Phoebe suggests they sit down for a coffee and a few lines later, they fall in love.

I don’t believe nor like insta-love and honestly, I didn’t expect it when I was reading so I was shocked, to say the least. When we get to Sam’s POV(Point of View), I got the idea that it was more instant attraction and I was okay(for a moment).

“We’ll meet again at St Pancras station, a year from today. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll both be there. If we’re not, it was never meant to be . . .”

Anyway, Sam and Phoebe depart with the promise that they meet at the same place again in a year and see if they still want to see each other. From that part on, we get to read through Phoebe and Sam’s lives through their povs. The question is will they meet ever again or not?

My first problem was the insta-love trope and perhaps the pace of the book, the plot of the book…I quickly lost interest in the plot and started to skim through the stars and finally, at a point, I had to stop.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book but if you like stories that’ll remind you of the movie Before Sunrise then go for it. I had high hopes for it after reading the synopsis but I just couldn’t connect with the story or the characters.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Also, thanks to HQ for including me on this blog tour! I apologise for not posting my review on 26th. To readers, please make sure to visit the other bloggers on this tour!

Thank you for reading! What are some of your most favourite and least favourite romance tropes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Review: The Bookshop on the Shore(Scottish Bookshop #2), written by Jenny Colgan

Review: The Bookshop on the Shore(Scottish Bookshop #2), written by Jenny Colgan
Blog Tour: Three Days in Florence, written by Chrissie Manby | Review

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Publication date: June 25th, 2019 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 416
Genre: Womens fiction, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave like feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

Trigger Warnings mention of self-harming

– My Thoughts 

“If you read…It means there are more heads to be in, more lives to be lived than simply your own.”

This is my first Jenny Colgan book and I was drawn to it because -of course- of the word “Bookshop”. Did The Bookshop on the Shore meet my expectations? Let’s find out..

The book is about Zoe, a single mother who lives in London and is trying to make ends meet. Her ex is uncaring and irresponsible and her 4 years old son Hari has trouble with speech. On top of that, she has to worry about her landlord raising prices on her already dismal but expensive flat. Soon, Zoe gets a lifeline from Hari’s aunt, her sister-in-law who has two jobs for her but they’re both in Scotland. Zoe has no choice other than pack up her stuff and leave for Scotland with Hari in tow.

Zoe finds herself overwhelmed while arriving at one of her jobs in Scotland; she’s supposed to be the eighth(or ninth?) nanny to three unruly kids with a surly father. In her second job, she meets a very pregnant and (almost)friendly local bookseller Nina who isn’t sure Zoe is up to the task. Did Zoe make a terrible mistake or is this her salvation?

The Bookshop on the Shore was not what I had expected. I wouldn’t say I liked it or hated it. It was a light read with a good pace that let me finish it within a day. The only notable things in the book were the author’s beautiful descriptions of the Scottish highlands and her evocative writing style. I liked Zoe and sympathized with her every time. Do not go into this book expecting a romance because there is little to none of it. Ramsay, our heroine’s love interest, is mostly absent throughout the book and I didn’t like the way their “romance” evolved, if it did. The bookseller Nina is the main character in the first book of this Scottish Bookshop series and she was so rude to Zoe every time that it irritated me to the point that I had to skip some of the pages she was in.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a light read that’ll make you lust for the Scottish highlands, then go for it! There was a bit of mystery in this book too which added a nice edge to the monotony of it.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author

Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including ‘The Little Shop of Happy Ever After’ and ‘Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery’, which are also published by Sphere.’ Meet Me at the Cupcake Café’ won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was ‘Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams’, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. 

For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.
Jenny Colgan has also been published under the name Jenny T. Colgan

Thank you for reading! Have you read The Bookshop on the Shore or any of jenny Colgan’s books ? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Review: The Unhoneymooners, written by Christina Lauren

Blog Tour: Three Days in Florence, written by Chrissie Manby | Review

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Publication date: May 14, 2019 
Publisher: Piatkus(US: Gallery Books)
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

– My Thoughts –

“When I signed up for this honeymoon, I had no idea it would involve so much nudity…” 

I finally finished reading The Unhoneymooners, one of my anticipated read of 2019. I knew that I couldn’t NOT love it because it was a Christina Lauren book but I finished it with some mixed feelings. Let’s unpack..

The story starts with a wedding gone wrong. It was Olive’s sister Ami’s wedding and as if it weren’t bad enough that Olive has to spend the entire day with her sworn enemy Ethan, who happens to the best man, the entire wedding party except for Olive and Ethan then gets food poisoning. Since Ami had won her honeymoon in a contest, she doesn’t want it to go to waste and begs Olive to go instead of her. Now, Olive has to go on a fake honeymoon with a fake husband who is none other than Ethan.

They plan to stay far away from each other and enjoy their time in Maui but all their plans go haywire when they find out all the activities booked for them are for couples and on top of that, there are encounters with a new boss and an ex-girlfriend. What could go wrong with one bed, being fake newlyweds in a honeymoon destination with old and new acquaintances in proximity?

“An eight-hour flight, and there’s no movie,” I say to myself, glaring at the screenless seat back in front of me. “Maybe they’re hoping your life flashing in front of your eyes will be distraction enough.” 

Let’s talk about the positives first. I love a book with the combination of enemies to lovers + fake romance + forced proximity. The sexual tension is palpable and the banter between the characters is -as usual- brilliant. The situations they get into are downright hilarious and I had no trouble finishing the book in a day. However, I had problems with how the conflict unfolded between Ethan and Olive. Ethan was so blinded by his affection for his brother that he refused to cut Olive any slack. It broke my heart seeing Olive receive so much flak from her sister and Ethan and when the time came for resolution, I felt that Olive forgave too soon. Let’s talk about the positives first. I love a book with the combination of enemies

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a funny and relatable summer romance with a beautiful setting. If you’re a sucker for fake dating/marriage tropes with forced proximity, lots of drama, hilarious dialogues and great banter, then get your hands on this ASAP!!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

Website | Goodreads |  Twitter

Thank you for reading this far! Have you read The Unhoneymooners or is it on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Book Review: The Friend Zone, written by Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez book review

Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Publication date: June 11, 2019 Pages: 361
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult fiction 
Buy:
Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

Trigger Warningsinfertility, motorcycle accidents, hospitals, death of a loved one

Should You read The Friend Zone?

“I’m a woman. I can go into a bar penniless wearing sweats and a questionable rash and come out with leftovers and a buzz.”

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is the author’s debut novel where we see an unlikely romance bloom between Kristen and Josh but it had its problems. Let me explain…

there are some spoilers, so proceed with caution

The Friend Zone starts with Kristen’s car being rear-ended by Josh’s. Later, we find out that Josh is fresh out of a relationship and is also the best man in his best friend Brandon’s wedding. As luck would have it, Kristen is the maid-of-honor in her best friend Sloan’s wedding to Brandon!

It seems that from the beginning Josh and Kristen have an attraction to each other but Kristen has a boyfriend, Tyler, who’s currently deployed overseas and is going to return home soon. However, Kristen has other problems like her uterus, which is faulty. Kristen has fibroids embedded in her uterus which leads to irregular period, pain and problems with fertility.

When Kristen needs a carpenter for her business, Josh volunteers and as days go by, he and Kristen start becoming good friends. Except Josh knows that he wants more than friendship with Kristen but he knows he can’t; what Josh doesn’t know is that Kristen is starting to like him too. Later, Kristen finds out that Josh comes from a big family and wants kids of his own someday. He even emphasizes that one of the reasons he broke up with his ex-girlfriend was that she didn’t want kids. This is where Kristen decides that even if she broke up with Tyler in the near future, there would be no Josh and Kristen. Here’s when I start to get confused and irritated with the story. I could glean from some lines that Kristen feels lonely as Tyler, her boyfriend is deployed almost all the time. She loves him but there isn’t passion in it. She starts comparing Tyler with Josh and yes, they are different in so many ways but it felt like we were hurtling towards the moment when Tyler would say that he’s reenlisting with the military which would break Kristen’s heart and Josh will be there to comfort her. Yes, I do mean that literally. For me, the sex between Kristen and Josh was too soon for comfort and I would have liked for the tension between them to continue for a few more pages. Sure, I could see their obvious attraction in their banter, Josh’s way of caring for her when her period pains were too bad..even though, there was no cheating(if you want to be technical)..I still think those characters deserved to grow more and have some breathing space.

phew! I had to get that out *wipes sweat*

Kristen and Josh don’t immediately fall in love but they remain friends with benefits as Kristen feels guilty because she can’t give more to Josh and getting his hopes would be too cruel. Soon, a terrible incident occurs which forces Kristen to re-evaluate her decisions.

Let’s talk about some things I loved. I’ve never seen such an open discussion of periods and infertility as I saw in this book. Even Josh is unfazed by periods as opposed to most other heroes who get turned off or just plain ignore it. I also loved that upon learning Kristen’s condition, Josh was fine having her in his life because he just couldn’t imagine a future without her. I LOVED THIS.

Since this is a romance novel and I know you might want to know if this has a H-E-A(Happily Ever After) ending and how much steamy -on a scale of 1-10- is this book. I fully expected to be a typical H-E-A but it wasn’t and the twist which is the incident that shall not be named broke my heart into several pieces. Just to be clear, there is an HEA ending but it was somewhat bittersweet. I would rank this a 3 or 4 in the scale of steaminess. Some of you will have trouble reconciling with the ending but I’ll say yes, it can happen. I don’t want to offer any more spoilers but Kristen’s outcome is a very possible one and I know it because my sister went through it. You will know what I’m talking about when/if you read the book. Sure, the author could have written an alternate ending but she chose this one because it’s possible too.

I won’t say I am biased but I’m so glad that a book dealing with infertility is out there because Kristen’s condition is quite similar to my own, and furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree what the author said: We’re not defined by our ability to have children, our worth goes beyond the state of our uterus.

Overall, I highly recommend  this romance novel if you love reading contemporary romances with a bit of a twist. There are lots of funny moments and banter between characters, sexual tension and there’s a dog called Stuntman Mike who’s a very good dog😌😍

Thanks to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

Abby Jimenez

You can connect with author Abby Jimenez through her Website or Goodreads

Is The Friend Zone on your TBR? Have you already read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Why should you read The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton |Spoiler-ish Review

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

Synopsis: GRACE ATHERTON HAS FALLEN OUT OF LOVE … AND INTO LIFE

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things, The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.


Buy on Amazon | Book Depository||Add it on Goodreads

REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK ?

I hate it when books have cheating (among other things) and of course, this book had it #spoileralert . This is not mentioned until after you read a couple of pages so I was outraged and wanted to stop reading it.

However, I am glad I didn’t.

Let me tell you a bit about this book. You might have guessed from the title of the book, our protagonist is Grace Atherton. Grace is a violin maker and her entire life revolves around her partner of eight years, David (besides her violin shop).

Grace continues her affair with David knowing that he is married and hoping that one day he will divorce his wife and marry her. This is where I almost stopped reading this book. Then I realized, this is one of Grace’s Truths.

She can’t be without David, he is the only person who Grace thinks is her family. There are a number of things Grace went through especially during her time at college and I will not spoil that for you.

While I was playing the blaming game, I forgot to mention David, who is the real scumbag and I kept banging my head at what could Grace have seen in this man. Again, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

I got off track for a bit. So, what happens is Grace is also preparing for a violin showcase in Italy, where one violin will win an award called the tone prize. This award show is extremely prestigious and Grace is unnerved because she also has to perform a symphony there. Grace has tried therapy but it was to avail. Finally, Grace triumphs will the help of her two friends – a teenage girl named Nadia and an eighty years old man named Mr. williams.

The writing was synonymous with a symphony. It’s ironic of course because violins play a major part in the lives of Grace, Nadia, and Mr. Williams. I had to skim the parts where words related to violin making were used but I loved Anstey Harris’ writing which reminded me a bit of the book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. 

Grace is a heavily flawed but immensely relatable character. Her character development within the novel gave me such joy and the ending made me emotional but also satisfied.

‘You have to grasp life by the balls,Grace,’ he says, ‘and don’t bloody let go until you have to.’

Overall, I would highly recommend it. This book was previously released under the title Goodbye Paris and I had no idea until I looked it up on Goodreads. The author has also included a Grace’s Listening List which lists two of my favorite symphonies which are Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango and Vivaldi : La Follia 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Anstey Harris on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date: 10 January 2019
  • Hardcover(ARC): 352 Pages

Let me know if you’re planning to read The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton or if you’re planning to read it. If you loved reading my review, let me know !