chick-lit · Christmas · romance

*Extract Post* Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage – Rosie Green.

Blurb; When Jess Rigby lost her dad, the family coped in different ways, alone in their grief. Now, her mum seems to be going off the rails and her sister, Isla, who moved to France, is now back and determined to get the old family home on the market. But the last thing Jess wants this Christmas is for renovations to start on the house. It’s sure to stir up old memories she’s desperate to forget. And to make things worse, Isla seems to have hired the most obnoxious builder in the world to do the work. Jess could ignore the fact that women seem to be putty in his hands. But what she finds harder to ignore is the frisson she gets every time she squeezes past him in the mess that is now their beloved family home! Soon, the house begins to give up its secrets, some of them shocking. Can the family finally start talking and find a way to move on from the past this Christmas?

Extract;

My mind is whirling like a big wheel at the fair, thanks to my sister turning up without warning, and I’ve got an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s not like her to get drunk. Certainly not in the afternoon.Isla lives for her work and her fitness these days. (According to her posts on Facebook.) She takes selfies all the time, looking slim and perfectly groomed in running gear,setting off on her early morning jog around the streets of Paris (I like her pink lycra two-piecewith the cute cropped top best). Blonde hair in a cute ponytail, she’ll smile and glug down bottled water as she takes the pic, and add some cute comment underneath. Fourteen-hour work day ahead? No problem!

I feel exhausted just looking at her posts sometimes.The last time Mum and I saw Isla was last Christmas when she came back for a flyingvisit. She spent most of the thirty-six hours on her mobile phone, talking business, and we’ve had two phone conversations since then. Both times I called her and both times our conversations were cut short because she had a sudden emergency to deal with. Each time, she promised to call back after she’d handled the problem, and each time, she ‘forgot’.Why is she here now?I can’t imagine it’s because she’s missed us and fancied a heart-warming autumn reunion.

I make for the hotel’s revolving door, leading out onto the high street, recalling the time I got stuck in one when I was about eight. I froze, too scared to move, so I just kept going round and round in it until Dad rescued me. I’ve had a thing about revolving doors eversince.Someone has just gone out, so it’s still going round.I psyche myself up and go for it.

The trouble is, I’m so focused on judging my leap-in correctly, I fail to notice the figure moving swiftly from my left, a little ahead of me. He steps in and, unable to halt my momentum, I stumble in after him.‘Oops. Sorry.’ I stare up at my revolving door companion. It’s a tight squeeze in here, to say the least, and he’s a big man. Very tall and broad. His chest in the fitted denim shirt is inches from my nose and embarrassingly, we appear to be temporarily wedged, the door refusing to revolve at all.

‘This is cosy,’ he comments, his voice a deep rumble.‘Isn’t it?’ I’m staring at his lightly tanned neck which is at eye-level and breathing in his rather delicious man-scent. I laugh nervously. ‘I usually like to have dinner and a trip to the cinema first, before I get this up close and . . . um . . .’ Glancing up, I’m stunned by the startling blue of his eyes and I lose my train of thought completely. ‘Personal. Yes.’ He fills in the blank, with not even a hint of a smile at my stupid joke.

He reaches over my head and then somehow, we’re moving, shuffling round together until the door spits us out onto Lower Luckworth High Street. We exchange a look of bemusement and then he’s gone, leaping behind the wheel of awhite van parked outside the hotel. I watch him drive away, heat flooding my face.

I usually like to have dinner and a trip to the cinema first? God, how embarrassing. I wish it was possible to un-say things. The person who invents that app will be a billionaire. Thinking of his stern, unsmiling face, the words ‘ruggedly handsome’ pop into my head. Those dark shadows under his eyes made him look as though he hadn’t slept properly in weeks, though.

My heart is gambolling about like an untrained puppy told to sit. Probably the result of getting stuck in that damn revolving door. I feel all shook up, to quote Elvis.A few deep breaths then I’ll go back in to face my sister.

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Young adult

The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan ★★★★

Blurb; Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother’s heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.”The Weight of Water” is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

My Review; After enjoying Toffee by this author I decided I was going to read all her other books starting with this one. Yet again I was not disappointed! Sarah has a unique way of setting of her stories and telling them, she sets them out in a poetry format, but it’s not poetry its the actual story. Making them easy, quick and effortless reads. Which sometimes is just what I need. I know not everyone would enjoy this writing style but for me it works and I love it.

I read this in just over an hour. After her dad moves to England, UK, Kasienka and her mother set off to go and find him. What they find is not what they expected! It’s an honest story for many immigrants that enter the UK. Living in a studio, sharing a bed and being bullied at school is just the start of it all. But Kasienka finds something she can lose herself in – swimming. And boy is she good at swimming. She find a few friends and tries to get back on track, but is it ever that easy?

Brilliant. Loved it. An eye opening read about what many young immigrants face. A well deserved four stars. Aimed at young adult readers. Highly recommend.

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mystery · suspense · thriller

My Last Confession – Helen Fitzgerald ★★★★★

Blurb; Relieved to have put all the troubles of her recent past behind her, Krissie Donald is revelling in her newfound happiness with toddler son, Robbie, and boyfriend, Chas. Yes, life is definitely on the up and up for Krissie, even more so when she successfully applies for a position as a parole officer. Her new job quickly brings her into contact with Jeremy Bagshaw, an English toff who stands out likes dog’s balls amidst the Glaswegian thugs he’s serving time with. Imprisoned for a gruesome murder he swears he’s innocent of, Jeremy is charming to Krissie, who becomes increasingly convinced he’s doing time for a crime he didn’t commit. Such is Krissie’s belief in Jeremy’s innocence that she campaigns for his release from prison. Sex, death and general mayhem follow, with the suspense building to a nail-biting crescendo.

My Review; As I was reviewing this I noticed this is meant to follow on after Dead Lovely which I have not read yet. However, I am going straight into dead lovely. It read fine as a standalone. Yet again another brilliant story I got stuck into!

In this story Krissie has a new job and an interesting one too, a parole officer. Things soon do not seem as great as she first expected, work starts to take her away from her family, her life. She turns into a detective which isn’t her job and gets it all completely wrong. She’s told offenders too much about herself and got too into her job.

Similar to cat and mouse. She messed up and life starts to become dangerous and scary for her. Making it a fast paced, thrilling edge of your seat read to see it all unfold. A happyish ending for a change. But did she learn her lesson? Loved it! A well deserved five stars. Highly recommend.

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