Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Find Your (Future) Husband by Rosie Blake

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Review by Suze
Isobel moved to LA to become a presenter. Instead she's now dressing up as shellfish or vegetables on a daily basis. She is unhappy with her job and her boyfriend who isn't offering any excitement at all. She dreams about Andrew, the boy she loved and married when she was a little girl. When she sees him at the background of a news item she decides to look for him. Isobel travels back to England to find her childhood sweetheart.
It's nice to be with her parents again, but it soon becomes clear that Isobel won't be able to find Andrew in England. He's on Tioman Island, a small Malaysian island where he works during the summer. It's a beautiful tropical place and Isobel has the chance to completely be free. Will this enchanting setting bring her what she wants, will Isobel find true love now that she's traveled so far to get it?
How to Find Your (First) Husband is a fun and romantic book. I immediately loved Isobel. She's a bit chaotic and messes things up on a regular basis, which is quite endearing. She has a heart of gold and she's absolutely wonderful. I loved this book straight away because of who she is. I really wanted Isobel to find true love. The idea of the long journey to find the person she's supposed to be with for the rest of her life is fantastic. It's such a sweet theme for a book and I loved Rosie Blake's charming execution.
Rosie Blake has a great sense of humor and I often laughed out loud while reading How to Find Your (First) Husband. I also loved the location and Rosie Blake's gorgeous descriptions make the island come to life really well. It's the perfect setting for a dreamy story with a nostalgic element. I couldn't wait to find out if Andrew would be the one for Isobel. The ending is adorable, a great and fitting finale of a perfect love story. I liked this book a lot and highly recommend it.

Review by Tanya

How to Find Your (First) Husband is one of those books that will stick in your mind a long time after you have read it, because of its originality and its great descriptions of places. How many of you remember the first boyfriend/girlfriend of your childhood? The playground romance of the person you liked to follow around and play with, the one you never really kissed, but keep thinking of.  Isobel Graves certainly does and not one of the boyfriends since lives up to the expectation of this boy, Andrew Parker. When things aren’t going as she planned in LA and she catches sight of her Childhood sweetheart in a TV article from the UK, she sees it as a sign that she should find him. This search sends her travelling and this is where the great adventures begin.

I have to say that I spent a lot of this book cringing and laughing at the antics of Isobel Graves, from her drunken escapades to her clumsy cooking skills and her idealistic view on how life could be if Andrew Parker had not disappeared from her world. I like how her passion for Malaysia is shown in her reports that she does for a blog with Zeb, a friend she makes along the way.

Zeb, a fun loving photographer, worms his way into the life and story of Isobel. At first she is irritated by his presence wherever she turns, but she soon begins to appreciate his support. He seems to be constantly there to help her out of sticky situations and to distract her from others. He is certainly a character I warmed to straight away and it had nothing to do with the description of him!

The other characters in the story all add to it and there aren’t so many that you don’t get to know them well. I think my favourite of them has to be Isobel's fun loving, outgoing friend Mel.

The book is told through present tense and flash backs to diary entries that were made in Isobel's childhood about the time she first married Andrew. The story has some great twists and turns and some amazing descriptions, that make it a read that will have you gripped. I would certainly like to see more of the characters, which is always a sign of a good book.

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

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Review by Suze
Elena has an eidetic memory and she tries to hide this as well as she can, so it won't bring her any trouble. Someone found out about it though as she's being approached by a company called the Aether Corporation to be part of a special project. In return she'll receive quite a sum of money which will enable her to go to college. The project is interesting, together with four others she will be sent to the future where she has to gather information. In exchange she will be generously rewarded.
A group of five highly skilled teens has been recruited and even though they all have trust issues Elena likes the people she's working with. When they arrive they instantly know something went wrong. They'd received instructions up front, but it's obvious that they're on their own. There's no team of people present to welcome them, instead they start their journey in an empty building. They discover nothing in the mission is going according to plan. They are not supposed to meet their future selves or to look into their own life stories, but in order to survive and go home they have to take a look at their pasts. Will Elena and her friends be able to save themselves?
Future Shock is a gripping story about time traveling. I loved the fact that Elena is being sent to a date that isn't too far away. It makes everything that's changed and the things that are taking place believable. The time she ends up in isn't that different from the present, while at the same time there's still a lot of progress. There are several exciting new developments. Elizabeth Briggs describes them in a fun and vivid way, which made her story come to life extremely well. I'm curious to see if any of her ideas will be real some day.
Elena doesn't care much about gadgets and acquiring stuff, but she does care about justice. She's down to earth and brave and she fights for her ideals. I loved her character because she's tough, but also has a sensitive side. Elena isn't afraid to stand up for herself and for others. That made her interesting to read about. I liked how she's being thoroughly described, there are colorful descriptions of what she's like on the inside and the outside. Her beautiful tattoos and her phenomenal memory are nice details and they add to her fierceness. It's the complete picture that makes her so fabulous.
Elizabeth Briggs has written a story about a fascinating subject. I loved her creative ideas about the future. She makes it come to life really well. Her writing style has a great flow. Because Elena has exactly 24 hours in the future time is an essential factor, therefore all chapters start with the time, I liked that. There are plenty of secrets to be revealed during the short stay in the future and I couldn't wait to find out what they were. I enjoyed the riveting ending very much and think Future Shock is a fantastic adrenaline-packed story.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Romantic Summer Read Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a romantic summer read worth $14. Good luck!

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to reply. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne - Double Book Review & Giveaway

About Sheryl Browne

Heartache, humor, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you sassy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Find out more at

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Book reviews

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Anniek

Andrea lives in a small town where everybody knows each other. She shares a house with her three children, her boyfriend, soon to be fiancĂ©, Jonathan, her mother, who is suffering from early onset dementia, and her dog Dougal. Her household is full of chaos and Andrea wants to take a little bit of time back for herself. She has very good taste in vintage clothes and accessories. Andrea would love to quit her teaching job to start her own business. Jonathan is not really supportive about anything Andrea does though.

David Adams is the new doctor in town. He just moved with his son Jake to a nice quiet location. David hopes that he can find a way to get close to Jake again. The boy has lost his mother to a terrible illness. David thinks he failed his wife and this makes him feel guilty and sad. He wants his son to be connected to him again, but David doesn't think that will happen any time soon.

When Andrea is supposed to go out on a date with Jonathan he doesn't show up. On her way home she spots the fire trucks and firemen are trying to control the flames that are burning her house down. Andrea is scared for her family, but luckily her son Ryan noticed the smoke and together with David they got everybody out on time. Having nothing but the clothes on their backs David takes them in. Jonathan is nowhere to be found, so Andrea has to face these struggles alone...

While I was reading Learning to Love I was amazed with the strength Andrea showed. She is a great mother and an amazing daughter who chooses to take care of her whole family. Even with everything that is happening Andrea keeps standing tall and she has a big forgiving heart. She is going through so much and she always manages to stay positive, while many people would probably break down under the pressure. David is such a sweet and kind man. It doesn't show all the time, because of the frustration he feels about the situation, but he truly cares about people.

The eldest children are real teenagers. Sheryl Browne's descriptions of her younger characters are spot-on. Little Chloe sounds adorable and is a sweet toddler. I absolutely devoured Learning to Love. Your house burning down with your loved ones inside must be the worst possible nightmare. The story evolves naturally and I believed every word. I already was a big fan of Sheryl's work and this book only added to that.

Learning to Love will make you go through all kinds of different emotions. It is an amazing story about love, loss, betrayal and learning to love again through all the pain and chaos. Sheryl Browne writes about the early stages of dementia with so much dignity and it truly captures the essence of what it means when this happens within your family.

If Sheryl Browne is a new author to you I highly recommend any of her books, since I know she will pull you in with the fiery way she writes her stories. If you have read a book written by her you are without doubt already a fan and I'd highly recommend for you to pick up Learning to Love as soon as you can.

Review by Suze

Andrea and Jonathan are going through a rough patch in their relationship. When they are supposed to have dinner at their favorite restaurant together he even stands her up. At the same moment their house burns down. Andrea, who's taking care of her forgetful mother and three children, has nowhere to go. Fortunately her new neighbor David, who's just moved into the area, offers them a place to stay. Andrea and her family bring some much needed liveliness into their new temporary home. David is getting used to raising a son by himself and he needs help to improve their relationship. He's a GP and seems to be able to be there for others, but not for himself.

While Andrea is waiting for insurance money Jonathan keeps being absent. There's something strange going on and she has no idea what. While being away from Jonathan she has the chance to think about her fiancĂ©-to-be and what they still mean to each other. He doesn't want her to follow her dream of opening her own shop and he isn't particularly friendly about her mother. David on the other hand is kind and he's there when she needs him, while the man she's supposed to get married to is nowhere to be seen. Andrea has lost so much, will she lose even more or will she also gain something from these unfortunate circumstances?

Learning to Love is a wonderful romantic story. Andrea and David are both warm and caring people and it was a joy to read about their kindness. They went through a lot and they truly deserve happiness. Life is unfair sometimes and Sheryl Browne writes about the sad parts in an empathetic way. I could feel the grief and the misery. The happy times are being described in a spirited cheerful way and they put a smile on my face. There's a great balance between the positive and the negative, which is something I enjoyed very much.

Sheryl Browne's writing is energetic and uplifting. Her stories are whirlwinds made of beautifully controlled chaos. I love that she has such a unique characteristic style. The enthusiasm she has for writing oozes of the pages, which is absolutely fantastic. I like that she writes about people who are human, characters with flaws. It makes them more realistic and approachable and they're even more lovable because of those character traits. It takes me seconds to start sympathizing with them and I laugh when they are happy and cry when they are going through a difficult time. I really like this way of telling a story.

Learning to Love is set in a small town and I'm a big fan of them. Andrea doesn't have a rich social life and David's just moved there, so there aren't that many nosy neighbors, but the inhabitants who are on the scene are fascinating. Sheryl Browne loves writing about animals and the dogs in the story have distinct personalities. I absolutely adored them. The joint families are good together and I loved the cozy feeling of the household. Every detail in this story is exactly as it should be. I really enjoyed reading this brilliant book, it's compelling, gripping, moving and heartwarming.


One international winner will receive a digital copy of Learning to Love. One winner from the UK will receive a paperback copy of the story. Good luck!