November has been a busy month for me. I’ve started a little sideline business and pushed forward with trying to get some headway on uni assignments which hasn’t left much extra time. I still managed to get through a handful of books this month though.
Pretending by Holly Bourne – AD | eARC
Read the full synopsis here.
This was a pretty intense book. In April’s own words; she’s damaged. A violent assault in your past has a tendency to do that to you. Needless to say, she hates men, and when the latest in a long line of men lets her down, things start to fall apart. The anger April holds inside starts to bubble up and overflow into her life, work and friendships.
That’s when April invents Gretel. Gretel is confident and everything that men want in a woman. Gretel is the one in control and holds the power in the relationship. Sadly though, Gretel doesn’t exist and when a new relationship starts as revenge but becomes something more, April isn’t sure when the pretending is going to end.
My heart really went out to April. Pretending is a mix of anger, heartbreak, friendship and Dawson’s Creek. With likeable characters that make you really care what happens to them, you really root for April to finally be able to face her past and start to heal.
I’ve seen a few reviews call this a feminist masterpiece and I would certainly argue against that seeing as both April and her best friend Megan seem trapped in a world where women love Dawson’s Creek, Laura Ashley cushions and spend their time pining over men. However, that being said it doesn’t take away from the interesting gender power debate it raises and confronts the reader with all hidden with a girl meets boy storyline.
A Soldier Under Her Tree by Kathy Douglass – AD | eARC
Read the full synopsis here.
After a really bad day all I wanted was a nice, feel good book. That is exactly what I go with A Solider Under Her Tree. After being betrayed by her fiancé and sister the week before their wedding, Hannah has spent the last three years building a good life for herself in Sweet Briar. So, when her toxic mother and sister turn up with a set of demands, it sets her world into a spin. Luckily, Russell Danielson is on hand to step in as her pretend boyfriend for the holiday season.
This is a sweet book where scrooge meets solider and somewhere in the middle, they manage to heal each other. Set in a sweet little town at Christmas, this had a lovely amount of festive cheer to make me smile and give me that love warm Christmas fuzzy feeling.
A well written story full of likeable characters set as that most wonderful time of year, readers who enjoy Harlequin books will love A Soldier Under Her Tree.
The Last To See Her by Courtney Evan Tate – AD | eARC
Read the full blurb on Amazon here.
Gen is divorcing her husband after he cheated on her and is starting afresh. First though, she meets her sister Meg in New York for a much-needed girls weekend away. That’s when things go wrong though. As when Meg wakes up, Gen is missing.
As things start to unravel though and the truth comes out, it seems that no one is innocent. Including both Meg and Gen.
I enjoyed this book. Told in both the present from Meg’s perspective as well as the past from Gen’s, The Last To See Her has twists at every turn. With dramatic themes of family, love and betrayal and a mental health storyline woven throughout, there is a lot in this book to keep you gripped.
There is a lot of originality in the storyline but there were also a lot of holes. Hawk doesn’t seem to be the best detective and the PI Gen hired to gather evidence on her cheating husband seemed to missed something pretty major in the 11 months he worked for her that the Detective picked up in a few days. Also, there are very few actual nice characters in this book. Cheating mean, angry women, bad sisters, annoying parents. It has it all.
That being said, it’s really well written and I liked that the concept was new. The ending was really good and all in all it was a really solid thriller. As long as you don’t expect too much from it, then readers of this genre will enjoy this latest release from Tate.
The Last To See Her is released on 15th December, but is available for pre-release now.
Stolen to Wear His Crown by Marcella Bell – AD | e ARC
Read the full blurb on Amazon here.
- Strong woman – check
- Crowned Prince with a heart of gold – check
- Lots of fun and filled with romance – check
Stolen to Wear His Crown is the kind of quick and easy romance novel which Mills and Boon are known for and this one doesn’t disappoint. If you’re like me and love a M&B from time to time, then you will enjoy this one too.
The Christmas Stocking and other stories by Katie Fforde
I am new to Katie Fforde but I have no doubt that I will be reading more. A friend lent me this when she realised I had never tried any and I am so glad she did!
The Christmas Stocking is filled with festive short stories, perfect for this time of year and I loved it. The fact they were short stories meant I could pick it up and put it down easily, but each one was written with enough style and substance to keep me smiling throughout.
If you’re looking for a little festive cheer but are a little short on time, then I would definitely recommend this heartfelt festive collection. And at only £3.99 for the kindle edition, it’s an absolute bargain!
My absolutely favourite was The Christmas Fairy which was the final story and really gave me all the Christmas feels.
We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk
I hate to say it but this one was nothing short of dull. Which was such a disappointment as actually the characters were lovely and the book itself was no doubt well written. It’s just…..well. nothing actually happened. It was 402 pages about the fact that Liv and Adam were going to get engaged, but instead they kind of broke up (but then they didn’t but then they kind of did) and the rest of the book was a giant “will they work it out”.
Misunderstanding followed miscommunication which followed misinterpretation, off of which could have been avoided if they just spoke to each other like grown-ups.
As it say it was very well written and things did get better towards the end (especially the brilliant scene where Liv stands up to Adam’s asshole brother) but on a whole it was a real slog to get here. Sadly, a bit of a miss for me.
- Books read this month: 6
- Books read so far in 2020: 67
- Books abandoned in 2020: 1
What about you? Have you read anything this month that you would recommend?
DISCLOSURE: some of these books have been gifted to me by the publishers via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion. These books are clearly marked with AD and described as an ARC (Advance Readers Copy). I am not paid to do this, I do it because I love to read. The decision to include them on this blog is my own and I am under no obligation to do so.