Monday, 30 April 2018

Paris Ever After - by K.S.R. Burns

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb: 

Can Amy’s rocky start in Paris turn into a happy ever after?

Amy didn’t realize how stale her life was until she jetted off to Paris without telling a soul—not even her husband—and had the adventure of a lifetime. Now as she tries to establish herself in the City of Light, she finds that despite a fun (and quirky) group of friends and the ability to indulge in French pastries whenever she wants, reinventing her life is much harder than she imagined.

Then on Amy’s thirtieth birthday, two unexpected visitors leave her wondering if she will soon be saying au revoir to Paris and the new life she’s struggled to build. Her estranged husband, Will, shows up—but is he interested in reconciliation or separation? And a young woman who arrives on Amy’s doorstep unleashes chaos that could push Amy out into the street.

As Amy’s Parisian dream starts to fall apart, she must decide: return to the stability of Will and Phoenix (if that’s even still an option) or forge her way forward in Paris? Amid secrets and surprises, set in enchanting gardens, cozy cafés, and glittering Parisian streets, Amy must choose between two very different worlds. And each has a claim on her heart.


My Opinion:

*Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review* 

Paris Ever After is a sequel of The Paris Effect, but it can be read as a standalone. I have to be honest though, I think reading the first book is necessary to actually understand the story. You basically get thrown into the story, knowing little and learning about the characters and their past through the plot. However, in my opinion it would have helped to know these things beforehand. 

We follow Amy, who is actually from Phoenix, but currently lives in Paris. She is married to Will, but she tries to avoid him and she has built a life in Paris now. Things get more complicated, when he shows up and tries to find her. She is carrying around a little secret as well and she meets different kind of people in Paris. They become part of her life. She has to make a decision though; about what she really wants. 

The storyline was a bit of a mess. I felt it was jumping around a lot and at times there were too many things going on. I really enjoyed the little snippets of Paris, but unfortunately the spark didn’t fly for me. 

Amy as a character was a difficult one for me. I couldn’t relate to her at all and some of her decisions didn’t make sense for me. I really struggled with this story and also the ending, shame!

Rating:




K.S.R. Burns on Twitter: @WorkingGIrl

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Fashion Corner - Winter Jumper of Dreams

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Yes, I'm sorry, but I still have a few winter outfits left for the Fashion Corner. Here comes my fave winter jumper. It was a Christmas present from my mum. 


The jumper is from Massimo Dutto and it's perfect for a cold winter day. It's warm, snuggly and has a rollback. Perfect to combine it with a long silver necklace, mine is from Phantasya. Then we have some black jeans in leather optic and black high heeled ankle boots from Nero Giardini.



- Jumper: Massimo Dutti
- Jeans: Massimo Dutti
- Booties: Nero Giardini
- Necklace: Phantasya


I have then combined with my fave winter jacket from Zara. 

- Jacket: Zara


And here is the outfit with a bag from Navyboot and slightly different shoes. 

- Bag: Navyboot
- Booties 2: Navyboot






Saturday, 28 April 2018

Arriving in LA and exploring the City of Angels


My contiki adventure started Monday April 2. I took the direct flight from Zurich to Los Angeles. The flight was 12 hours long, but it actually didn‘t feel that long. I watched three movies (New Home, High Society and Battle of the Sexes), slept and read (I finished You Me Everything in one go!!! BRILLIANT). I landed at LAX airport at around 4pm, immigration was surpisingly very fast, I had to wait quite a while for my suitcase though. I took a supershuttle to my hotel in downtown LA and that took quite a while. I eventually arrived at 6.40 pm. I quickly put my suitcase in my room, before going down to the lobby for a offical contiki meeting. I met Jon, our travel guide and some fellow travellers (most of them Australian 😉). It was great to get to know some of them already. Some of us went to dinner at Central Market afterwards, before going to bed, I was exhausted. Getting into the room, I actually woke up my roommate, but that was totally ok.

Venice Beach
In the morning we finally met our whole group. There were 50 of us in the beginning, not all of us booked the same trip though, so they left in Vegas for example.


Day 1 was dedicated to exploring LA. In our big tour bus we drove to Venice Beach first, where we had time to explore. It‘s such a hip and cool place, I totally loved it. Our next stop was Santa Monica. We had time to walk around, enjoy the pier, have lunch and just spend time. We had dinner on top of a mall, took pictures and found the end of Route 66.
Afterwards we drove through Beverly Hills and spotted all the exciting places like Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Fox Studios etc. We then stopped in Hollywood. Of course we looked at the stars on the Walk of Fame, found some hand and food prints from stars, saw the hollywood sign and had a glace at the Dolby theatre.
In the evening we had our first dinner together and then went to a brewery. That was so much fun, we played jenga and every time someone managed to get a piece out, we had to say something about ourselves. It‘s a fab way to get to know each other and so many people joined in!



Santa Monica Pier

Venice Beach and Stanta Monica were great, not too impressed with Hollywood though. It was fab to see all the stars, but that‘s it. There are a lot of homeless people around LA as well, so I‘m glad we only stayed for a day. I would have loved to go to Griffith Observatory and hike to the Hollywood sign, but I guess you can‘t have everything.





Thursday, 26 April 2018

The Holiday Cottage by the Sea - by Holly Martin

Original Cover














The blurb: 

The perfect place to fall in love this summer… 

Tori Graham is in need of a holiday. Trying to piece her heart back together after losing the love of her life, she escapes to Blossom Cottage, with its picturesque views of the sea. And plans to spend the summer in gorgeous Sandcastle Bay, where her best friend Melody Rosewood lives. 

Tori’s not expecting her summer by the beach to be eventful, until she meets handsome and mysterious Aidan Jackson… 

Aidan looks after the holiday cottage Tori is staying in. Healing from past hurts, he wants to avoid any further chance of heartache. But could this newcomer be the breath of fresh air he needs? 

Finding herself embracing life in the coastal community, Tori starts to fall in love with Sandcastle Bay and its welcoming cast of residents. But that’s not all she begins to fall for, as Tori is swept away by Aidan’s genuine heart and mischievous sense of humour. The attraction between them is undeniable, but will a simple holiday romance be enough? 

As Tori’s stay in Sandcastle Bay comes to an end she has a tough decision to make…. Has her heart found a new place to call home? 

A joyously romantic summer read that will make you laugh, cry and fall in love. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 

Tori Graham is on the way to something new in her life. Her heart was broken after losing the love of her life. Far away from London, she goes to Blossom Cottage. She is excited to spend the summer in Sandcastle Bay and see her best friend Melody again. 

Aidan Jackson looks after the cottage and their chemistry is undeniable from the start
She warms up to this lovely community quickly and spends a lot of time with the people.

Well, and there is Agatha, who predicts her getting married to Aidan from the beginning. This doesn't make things easier, especially when the two of them get closer. I loved the two of them together, the way they talked to each other and they just shared some cute and intense moments. Holly Martin captured that beautifully in her writing. 

Then there is their past as well. Aidan was left by his fianc
é and Tori's last love died. Matthew actually plays a very important role in this story as well. 

I absolutely adored all the characters in this book. They are all so unique and different from each other and I liked the way they interacted with each other. Such a great bunch of people, always there for each other and so much fun to follow around. I hope we will hear more of some of them soon ;).

Sandcastle Bay sounds like a lovely and idyllic place, please take me there!

This is such a feel good book. It's full of love, passion, romance, family, friendship and humour! LOVE!!!
                                                                 
Rating:






Holly Martin on Twitter: @HollyMAuthor
Goodreads - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Updating my Bucket List


In August 2014 I published my bucket list, you can see it here: http://simonascornerofdreams.blogspot.ch/2014/08/my-bucket-list.html

It’s almost been four years, so I thought I’d look at it see, whether I achieved it and if I actually still want some of these things.

Things I achieved from the list:

-       New York: Stayed in New York in 2016. LOVED IT!!!
-       California: I have just come back from California and it’s been amazing!!!
-       Meet some of my fave authors: So lucky, to have met so many great authors: Aven Ellis, Holly Martin, Lindsey Kelk, Giovanna Fletcher, Mhairi MacFarlane, Carrie Elks, Heidi Swain etc.
-       Sing a solo in a concert: Still so grateful for this! It’s a dream come true and it was for Les Misérables!
-       Learn Spanish: Just started that, I’m going to Barcelona in October and I really want to be able to speak to the people.
-       Fly in a hot air balloon: Over the desert in Arizona, so amazing!

Six things!!! I’m very happy with that. Most things I mentioned are still on the list, some maybe not as important anymore, but still in my mind. I have met a lot of authors already, but meeting Paige Toon is still on my bucket list.

I’d like to go back to uni at one point, but the subject I’m not sure about. Writing my own novel and musical sound like a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work and yes, they are at the back of my mind, but it’s not that high up on the list.

Swimming with dolphins is still high up, also all the traveling destinations, the Northern Lights, living in London and going back to Vancouver.

Obviously, the life and family connected ones are still very important too.

Now, let’s see, if there are any new things:

-       Try skiing and snowboarding again: I used to both. I skied until I was about 12 years old and then I started snowboarding. I haven’t been on the slopes for a few years now, so going back is definitely a goal.
-       Teach in another country: Whether it’s a Swiss school or a local school and I think the experience would be great.
-       Learning to play the guitar: I have wanted to do that for so long!
-       Fly first/business class: Just once would be fab!
-       Organize a bookish event: I think that would be so much fun!
-       Go on a cruise: You can see so many places.

What’s on your bucket list?

Monday, 23 April 2018

You Me Everything - by Catherine Isaac

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb: 


You and me, we have history.
We have a child together.
We have kept secrets from each other for far too long.
This summer, in the beautiful hills of the Dordogne, it is time for everything to change.
You, Me, Everything is a heartfelt and unforgettable novel about the lengths we are prepared to go to for those we love.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 


I was over the moon, when this book landed on my doorstep and I have been excited to read it ever since. Let me tell you one thing: It will not disappoint.

We follow the story of Jess and her family. She had her son William in her early twenties and that's where we meet her in the prologue. William's father Adam doesn't make a good impression in that scene. So it's no surprise that 10 years later, he is not in the picture anymore and lives in France. Jess' mum doesn't like this idea and encourages Jess to make Adam a part of their lives. Jess dad is enjoying being being a grandfather. Well, Jess decides to visit Adam in France, where both her and William spend a lot of times with Adam. It's not always easy, but it's actually great to see them as a family. 

I absolutely adored all the characters. They all have their own story to tell and Catherine Isaac found a great way to include them all in the storyline. They all seem very authentic and the author put a lot of detail behind them. William gives the story a fresh touch as well. I also really like the author's writing style. The scenes were so lively, engaging and full of emotions. A difficult and devastating mentioned as well and kind of leads things in the plot. I dont want to tell you more here, just read the book! 

The book includes so much: difficult topics, family, memorable scenes, wonderful characters, love and so much more. The way the story is told, makes the reader hooked and it's a place you never want to leave again. 

An amazing story, full of fascinating details!! BRILLIANT and BEAUTIFUL!!!

Rating:





Catherine Isaac on Twitter: @CatherineIsaac_
Website: https://www.catherine-isaac.com
Goodreads - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Fashion Corner - Lace Dress with red details

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I'm back!!! Today's Fashion Corner is dedicated to my fave dress at the moment. I wore it at Christmas and also for our Musical Classics concerts in March. 


The dress is from sandro. I love the lace and the red detail. So in love with this dress. 

- Dress: sandro
- Shoes: Peter Kaiser