Sunday, 28 December 2014

Books of the Year 2014

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My favourite books 2014

Into the „draw“ for my ultimate FAVES came all my Books of the Month of 2014:

·      Connectivity by Aven Ellis
·      Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington

·      The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman
·      The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon
·      The Guestbook by Holly Martin

·      See Jane Fall by Katy Regnery
·      Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis

·      Closing In by Sue Fortin
·      If You Only Knew by Zanna Mackenzie
·      Love Me For Me by Jenny Hale

·      Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon
·      You’re The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
·      Me Without You by Kelly Rimmer

·      One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

·      Written in the Stars by Ali Harris
·      The Vineyard by Karen Aldous

·      What A Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk
·      Two Weddings and a Baby by Scarlett Bailey
·      Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis

·      What Were You Expecting? by Katy Regnery

·      Beneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne
·      One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin

·      A Christmas To Remember by Jenny Hale
·      I’ll Take New York by Miranda Dickenson
·      The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown

·      Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore
·      The Christmas Bucket List by Ella Fairlie
·      Surviving The Rachel by Aven Ellis

After looking at the list again I nominate another book, because I loved it so much. In June I fell in love with Holly Martin’s One Hundred Proposals and that book didn’t have a chance against that book, but it deserves to be here, because it’s AMAZING – The Vixen and the Vet  by Katy Regnery.

·      Connectivity by Aven Ellis
·      Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis
·      Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis
·      One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin
·      Beneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne
·      Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington
·      Love Me For Me by Jenny Hale
·      A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale
·      The Vineyard by Karen Aldous
·      The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman
·      The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery
·      The Christmas Bucket List by Ella Fairlie
·      The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown
·      See Jane Fall by Katy Regnery
·      What A Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk
·       I’ll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

Connectivity by Aven Ellis

Connecitvity is the first book by Aven Ellis I’ve read and I fell in love with everything about it: the main characters Mary-Kate, who had such a bubbly personality, then of course Mister William Cumberland, one of my fave book boyfriends. But most importantly, I fell in love with Aven’s writing style. She writes from the heart, includes so many feelings and emotions and she makes a story seem real and vivid. The scenes are very authentic and cute. There is a real connection between Mary-Kate and William and I loved following their story!!!

Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis

And here is another Aven Ellis beauty; it’s about Kylie who falls in love with hockey star Harrison Flynn. I love hockey, so I really enjoyed this book, especially the hockey related scenes, but also all these amazing moments between Harrison and Kylie. This novel shows that you can do anything in life when you found your “Prince Harry” to share it with. Believe in your dreams and make them happen. Every single scene was special and unique and to say it in Harrison’s words: IT’S WICKED!!!

Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis

Yet another Aven Ellis beauty and this one just has so much spark. The main character Bree struggles to get a job in the beginning, I totally know how that feels and it made it easy for me to relate to her. Thank god she meets Jack, for several reasons. They are the perfect match in my eyes and he’s amazing – attentive, smart, sweet, passionate… The story is unique and full of special moments and glimmering scenes. I was taken into the story immediately; the brilliant writing makes it easy to dive into this world. It comes from the heart and is full of authentic emotions.

One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!! Getting 100 proposals from the love of your life, how would you react?! I loved Harry’s and Suzie’s story so much, because the had so much chemistry and the scenes were amazingly described and I felt like being there with the characters. This book is full of love, friendship, small and big gestures, feelings and real emotions. Holly created a MASTERPIECE here; I couldn’t put this book down.

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne

This book is pure perfection!!! Written with so much heart and authentic emotion. I felt like being part of this story. I didn’t want to leave Joy’s and Finn’s world anymore. A couple with so much chemistry and love. Amelia’s writing is brilliant, this book is a MUST read!!! This story is a real emotional masterpiece!!! Full of heart, genuine feelings, a brilliantly written storyline, authentic characters, detail and rich descriptions. The ending and the epilogue were just so adorable.

Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington

This is such a brilliant and wonderful read. Carmel Harrington is an amazing writer with a beautiful style and great talent. This book touches the delicate and difficult topic of cancer. The characters are all so well described.
This book is emotional, gripping, charming, touching, funny, sad, and poignant... This book made me laugh at one time and cry soon after.

Love Me For Me by Jenny Hale

Love Me for me is the perfect and sweet story of a woman finding her way in life in such a emotional and wonderful way. This story is a wonderful, emotional roller coaster for Libby and Pete and Jenny found a great way to include us readers in it. I felt like being there and the scenes were so real and vivid.

A Christmas To Remember by Jenny Hale

It’s magical, romantic, adorable, festive – just perfect for Christmas!!! There are so many beautiful moments in this book, the storyline is amazing and the characters were great. A vivid and authentic book written by a very talented author!!! I loved what Adam and Carrie had in this story, a love story with so many additional, sweet and unique aspects, described in a brilliant way!

The Vineyard by Karen Aldous

A magical book about love, friendship and family. So touching, sweet, sensitive, romantic, sparkly… The landscape and the surroundings are absolutely gorgeous (like the cover) and Karen found the perfect, vivid and real way to describe the settings and of course also the story and the characters. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS STORY!!!

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

This debut novel is BRILLIANT! Hannah’s writing is touching, real, gripping, unputdownable… It makes you think about life from a different angle and we get an insight on how to deal with death and how different everyone is dealing with it. The characters were so real and the scenes so vivid, I loved and adored this other world and I didn't want to leave it, I couldn't put this wonderful book down. I was crying one minute and then smiling again, a real roller-coaster trough various emotions.

The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery

WIth this book Katy showed that she my QUEEN OF ROMANCE in an incredible way. This story is wonderful, telling the love of a great couple. The writing takes you INTO the book immediately; it’s so emotional, powerful, sweet and romantic!!!! Oh and did I mention very sexy and passionate?! ;)

The Christmas Bucket List by Ella Fairlie

One of THE BEST short stories I’ve ever read! It has everything – romance, festive charm, a beautiful storyline, great characters, a unique voice, magical scenes and moments and the writing is BRILLIANT!!! Thank you Ella for writing such an authentic, genuine, sweet, magical and glowing story. A new star in the author world was definitely born, you’re brilliant!!!

The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown

I love Alexandra Brown’s writing, t’s brilliant. It’s so detailed, vivid and sparkly. I felt like being there with the characters in this beautiful, festive and romantic place!! THIS BOOK IS A MAGICAL MASTERPIECE!!! It’s full of emotions, warm feelings and Christmassy spark. The perfect book to snuggle up to surrounded by Christmas lights and mulled vine.

See Jane Fall by Katy Regnery

Katy’s writing is brilliant! She made it so easy for me to dive into the story and imagine all these beautiful scenes and the landscape as well.
Both characters get their chance to narrate and tell us their story and give us an insight to their feelings and emotions. This novel is passionate, touching, vivid, glowing, fascinating and much more. I can’t tell you enough how much I loved it!!!

What A Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk

This book is just absolutely FABULOUS!!!! I couldn’t put it down and it has put a smile on my face all the time. Awesome characters, great storyline, very entertaining, funny, vivid, bubbly and of course full of drama. Just what a chick-lit novel needs to be!

I’ll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

The scenes in this story were all so authentic and I felt like being part of it. Miranda’s writing is brilliant, so magical and sparkly. I loved every second of this book and I think this is my new favourite out of her books. I fell in love with the story, the characters, New York and also with the writing! This book is a masterpiece!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Christmas Bucket List – by Ella Fairlie

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

It’s Christmas time in London: there’s snow in the air, Regent Street is bustling, and the Trafalgar Square tree’s all a-glitter. Isobel Gray is dreaming of a perfect movie-style Christmas for her first Noël away from home, and with a hot man and a bucket list of festive fun ready to be ticked off, she thinks she has it all wrapped up. But when her boss-slash-boyfriend goes AWOL just days before the holiday, she finds herself a little Lost, Actually instead. Will she end up home alone, or is there a Christmas miracle waiting under the mistletoe?

‘The Christmas Bucket List’ is a fun, festive romcom novella (25,000 words approx.) - perfect for curling up with on a chilly winter night!

My Opinion:

The cover of this wonderful novella is to die for, SO GORGEOUS!!!

I first heard about Ella when the winners for the Sunlounger 2 were announced. Ella was one of them – congrats again lovely.
Of course I read all the stories in the Sunlounger and Ella’s was one of my favourites. When I heard about her first novella, I downloaded it immediately and let me tell you one thing before I start the main part of my review.

The story is about South-African Isobel Gray, it’s her first Christmas in London and she is going to spend it with her boyfriend Brett, who also happens to be her boss. Their relationship is a “secret”. Isobel has this great bucket list planned out with a list full of Christmassy and festive things to do in London around Christmas. But then he cancels on her and she is all alone… for Christmas…

Starting her list she meets her colleague Jamie on Skating at Somerset House. He wants to help her with her list and then the actual fun starts. They watch Christmas movies, make gingerbread house etc. The scenes were such a joy to read about and full of heart. Ella described them with such detail and flow, I fell in love with her writing, the characters and the story. Isobel and Jamie had chemistry and spark from the beginning and I loved seeing their relationship develop, a lot of magical and sweet moments made this story perfect for Christmas.

Isobel was a great character, I could really relate to her. She is organized and passionate, just like I am. Oh and Jamie, oh well, hello book boyfriend ;) He’s attentive, sweet, smart, sexy, confident… almost too good to be true ;)

For Isobel it was a journey into finding what she really wants and of what makes her really happy, Jamie was the key piece to everything. She had to learn about Brett’s true face and of course there had to be some little drama included as well, just the right amount to make this story everything a reader needs around Christmas!

I’m so excited that there will be more of Isobel and Jamie, can’t wait!!!

Another thing I LOVED about this story was the descriptions of christmassy and festive London, London is like my second home, but I've never seen it around Christmas, I will soon, over NYE this year, so excited!!!

Thank you Ella for writing such an authentic, genuine, sweet, magical and glowing story. A new star in the author world was definitely born, you’re brilliant!!!


My possible cast:

Isobel: Catherine Amdur

Jamie: Alejandro Corzo

Ella on Twitter: @EllaFairlie

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas – by Lindsey Kelk

My own copy
Original Cover

The blurb:

Jenny Lopez has had a crappy twelve months.

Determined to turn her festive frown upside down, she plans a super winter getaway for her nearest and dearest: ski cabin in Vermont, the best Christmas tree the world has ever seen and more bottles of champagne than is possibly legal to transport across state lines.

But nothing goes to plan and before she knows it, Jenny’s awesome super funtimes Christmas has turned into a dry, dull couples’ retreat. But this is Jenny Lopez. She’s going to have the best Christmas known to man and she’s not prepared to accept anything less, even if it means snowshoe-ing to the nearest store and dragging a turkey three miles in the snow. Even if it means chopping up her beloved Christmas tree to start a fire. Even if it means standing up a hot, wealthy doctor (a doctor, people!) to make sure everyone gets the holiday they deserve.

With her best friends, Angela and Erin, by her side Jenny Lopez is determined to save Christmas. Whether it likes it or not.

My Opinion:

Lindsey Kelk is a must around Christmas, that’s why I was really excited to hear about this short story and we are back with the lovely and adorable characters from the I Heart series.

If you have read The I Heart series you know Angela pretty well and of course her best friend Jenny. This time it’s Jenny’s turn to tell the story. Jenny is the best friend a girl could wish for and she is determined to make Christmas really special for her friends Angela and Erin. Angela is not in the festive mood at all, because her husband Alex is on turn with his band and he won’t make it for Christmas.

In Erin’s ski cabin she prepares everything, but them the power is gone, the food is not delivered and the tree is way too big! Can Jenny still save Christmas?!
It was awesome to join Jenny in all this drama and fun! She is such a bubbly and amazing character and Lindsey’s funny and unique writing adds an extra spark to the whole story. When a man comes to her rescue everything gets more interesting of course. Mason is not her type at all, but…
And since this other guy only answered her text with a THX she can move forward right?!

This story is witty, chaotic, bubbly, sweet and just adorable. The friendship goes over everything else and I LOVED LOVED LOVED the surprise Jenny had for Angela in the end!!!

This is the perfect funny feel good book. It gets you into the christmas mood immediately and the scenes are just so full of detail and glimmer. The brilliant writing makes you feel part of the story, never wanting to leave it again.


My possible cast:

Jenny: Katie Melua

Angela: Rachel McAdams

Erin: Sara Paxton

Mason: Charlie Hunman

Lindsey Kelk on Twitter: @LindseyKelk