Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Book Review - Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher - #HolidayReading Book 3

Book 3 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: Some Kind of Wonderful
Author: Giovanna Fletcher
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 16th November 2017
Rating: 5 Stars


When the love of your life says you're not The One, who are you?

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since the first week of university. Now, after celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks they're about to get engaged.

Instead, a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancé and no future.

Lizzy is heartbroken - but through the tears, she sees an opportunity. This is her moment to discover what she's been missing while playing Ian's ideal 'better half'.

But how much has Ian changed her, and who should she be without him?

Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before - and, in the meantime, have a little fun . . .

Journey of self discovery for the main character, as she tries to work out what version of herself she really is,

Whether its the person she was at 18 before she met Ian, at 28 after 10 years of being with Ian before being broken up with in a memorble way, or some other version of hersef,

Within the book we learn a lot about her family and best friend, and I loved seeing all the various characters.

I am a huge fan of Giovanna Fletcher and although not my favourite book by her, I still thought it was up to a top standard, which was well written, easy to follow, quick to read and highly enjoyable.  I loved this story a lot. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Michael Joseph for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Guest Post - What Is Better Sex or Food? by Anita Cassidy - Blog Tour

If you had asked me that question in my 20s and 30s I would *definitely* have said food…  Now, in my early 40s, I, and the answer, are very different. 

Through writing and researching my book, Appetite, I have come to realise how much my own negative thinking about sex and food was learnt from my social and cultural environment as well as my personal experiences growing up. Thoughts such as: sex is not important, sex is a once a week activity, sex is not something one invests time or energy in thinking about, pleasure is not something one should prioritise. It was my own deep, personal unhappiness and frustration in my mid 30s that caused me to question these assumptions but that took a lot of courage: it is hard to question norms that you have internalised deeply and which society reinforces at every turn. 

Too often we struggle to accept our bodies and our physical needs. This voiceless struggle can cause us to turn in and against ourselves: to use food and sex as a means of escape or control.  But they are merely part of the pleasures of life. They are not to be demonised or deified. They just are. And sometimes sex and pleasure plays a central part in your life and other times they take a step back, this is part of the ebb and flow of life. The key is to remember that pleasure IS part of life and not to negate it or deny it. This dynamic balance is one that we can all struggle to achieve but, as with a plane that is never completely on course as it heads to its destination, we can adjust and change the direction as we go, always heading towards an allowing of our whole selves, a self that has permission to experience pleasure. 

Feeling pleasure though sex with another (or even other’s) or self-pleasuring, is a way of truly seeing the self and discovering the needs of the self. To be seen, to be touched, to be heard and responded to - this is what touch, sex and connection are for. Without it, you (and any relationship you are in) will starve. It is a way of connecting and relating that goes way beyond what one can gain from sharing a slice of cake. It is about seeing that pleasure is a heathy part of life - even more valuable to our mental and physical well-being than your seven a day.

And yet one thing does not exclude the other. Food can, of course, provide genuine pleasure, the mind and body responds to a range of stimuli but, for me, sex and physical intimacy foster an awareness of the body and self that can never be found on a plate.

Thanks for that Anita. For more of Anita Cassidy follow along with the tour:


Purchase From Amazon UK




Cover Reveal - The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James

She's back..........

....and with a brand new book, and a brand new publisher too...

.. its the one and only Caroline James and the long awaited (by me at least) new book The Best Boomerville Hotel.

I feel like I have been waiting ages for this, and today I am finally able to reveal the cover and blurb of this new book.

I know I will be first in the line on publication day to pick up a copy (ok I will have it on pre-order, or more likely also have a review copy but you know what I mean!)

So here it is............


Let the shenanigans begin at the Boomerville hotel …

Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!
Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.

With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

‘Britain’s answer to the Best Marigold Hotel! Book me in for Sharing with the Shaman and Clairvoyance in mid-life – this book is fabulous!’
Nikki Ashton, Amazon best-selling author

PUB DATE:
13 March 2018
CATEGORY:  Contemporary/Romantic Comedy

The Best Boomerville Hotel Links:



Ibooks/Google:  https://goo.gl/2aq7sz


So what do you think? 

This is the first book being published under the new Ruby Fiction imprint from Choc Lit which makes it extra special.  I literally can't wait much longer to read this, but since I wil  have to, find out a bit more about Caroline James, and also see what the real advance readers think of the book...


Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.

Her debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me is set in North West England, at the time of a famous gypsy horse fair.  The book went straight to number three on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun.

So, You Think You're A Celebrity...Chef? was runner up the Winchester Writers festival for best TV Drama and takes a light-hearted look at the world of celebrity chefs as they battle it out for fame and fortune. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me was runner up at The Write Stuff, LBF, 2015 and is an Amazon best-seller and top recommended read by Thomson Holidays. Jungle Rock, a romcom novella set in Australia, revolves around a TV game show.


In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

Caroline James Links:

Twitter:@CarolineJames12 

 The Best Boomerville Hotel – Comments from advance readers

‘Britain’s answer to the Best Marigold Hotel! Book me in for Sharing with the Shaman and Clairvoyance in mid-life – this book is fabulous!’ Nikki Ashton, Amazon best-selling author.

‘A lovely addictive read and one that I would recommend.’ Stephanie O’Neill, Ireland
‘Caroline’s characters shone their magic brightly and kept me hooked, evoking strong emotions. A triumph, I absolutely loved this book.’ Nicky Clifford, Author.

‘I really wish I could check into Boomerville and participate in the courses. I loved this book, it is a great read. Thanks to the author for bringing the crazy characters to life - I can’t wait for the next book.’ Ronnie Montgomory, London.

‘A coming of age book for those of a certain age.’ Ann Magbanua, Philipines.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Good to read about middle-aged people falling in love and reinventing themselves. Highly recommended.’ Tracey Owen, Cumbria.

‘Boomerville gripped me from the start with twists and laugh out loud moments. I loved it and hope we see more adventures in the future.’ Lisa Stewart, Southampton.

‘Caroline is a wonderful storyteller and I felt enveloped in a cocoon while reading Boomerville.’ Therese Ferguson, Author, USA.

‘I need to go to a place like this! Quirky characters, right up my street, I really enjoyed the story.’ Cal Sleath, Birmingham.

‘Caroline’s best book yet. I loved the characters and the Lake District setting was gorgeous. Boomerville is a wonderful journey.’  Amanda Williams, Wales.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Book Review - Wing Jones by Katherine Webber - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #82

Amazon UK
Title: Wing Jones
Author: Katherine Webber
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Competition Prize
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: 5th January 2017
Rating: 4 Stars


For fans of David Levithan, Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell: a sweeping story about love and family from an exceptional new voice in YA. With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing's speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.

Wing Jones is one of those books I knew very little about before starting, even reading the blurb I wasn't completely sure what sort of book it would be, and whether it was likely to be the sort of thing I enjoy.

Well having read the majority of it in one sitting, and all of it in one day, I can say that I incredibly glad that I took the chance and read this book.  After about the first 50-70 pages which were key to setting the scene and getting to know what Wing Jones life has been like up to this point,  there was a major event which changed things for everyone forever. 

Yet in Wing's case it meant she went from the girl that stood out for her rather different looks, she is part Chinese and part Ghanaian,  and was generally picked on a lot at school, hated lunchtime and had a huge crush on her brother's best friend, to one who suddenly had one special talent that made her stand out for all the right reasons. 

This is certainly a book that tackles what its like being different at school for whatever reason that is, and after the major event, well Wing has all sorts of things to learn and fast in all elements of her life. 

There is a sort of I suppose mystical sort of feel to part of this book, as we discover Wing has two animals that seem to be guardians of some sort that appear whenever she is in great amounts of pain and sorrow. Noone else can see them, but it is with their help that she discovers her hidden talent. 

I'm gutted that the book stopped when it did, as I would have loved the end section lengthened for another 100 pages or so, just to find out what happens next, although that does make me wonder if there could be a sequel for Wing and her rather enjoyable family. 

I loved Granny Dee and LaoLao who are Wing's grandmothers, and both live with Wing, Marcus (her brother) and her mother. One is from China, one is from Ghana and they spend large amounts of time in any scene they are in together, bickering amusingly.  I loved both their personalities and it really added a great dimension to the book. 

This is one of the prettiest paperbacks I have ever been fortunate enough to read, and thankfully the contents do the design justice. The words kept flowing and kept me hooked, I found myself willing Wing on, just hoping that she would get a happy ending. 

I don't read huge amounts of YA fiction, but I would happily state that this could easily be read by anyone of any age (not young children obviously), as I didn't get the "I'm not really the target audience" vibe I often get when reading YA books. I was hooked on this incredibly interesting debut novel, and think Katherine Weber could be an author to look out for in the future. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for this book which was the overwhelming winner. Honestly I think if you hadn't taken part and voted for this it would have been one of those books that sits on my bookcase, admired but not read as I really was unsure at first about it, so I'm really glad that I have discovered thanks to you all how fabulous it is.  Can you do the same with this week's vote I wonder?

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #83


 
Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

0 Votes -  Too Close to the Sun by Diana Dempsey
3 Votes - Further Confessions of a GP by Benjamin Daniels
4 Votes  - Not Another Happy Ending by David Solomons
4 Votes - A Little Bit of Madness by Sheryl Browne
8 Votes - Wing Jones by Katherine Webber 

That was certainly an interesting start to the year, a mixed bag of options that I had the general impression that very few people knew anything about. Wing Jones was the clear winner, and I just want to thank you all for picking that as of those options it would just because I wasn't sure going into it, would have been the last of the five that I would have read.  Until I realise I was hooked that is and really enjoyed the book and was still thinking about Wing, as I was reading my next one. 

So this year I've decided instead of changing what part of the TBR I randomise each week, I'm going with at least until I get bored books released in the current month - so for the next few weeks all the options will be books released in January - that is January from whatever year they were published! (At least based on the publication date I put on my master spreadsheet). Should give all books a few chances to get picked over a year and be slightly quicker for me to set up!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...



And the books these numbers correspond to are...


So the 5 choices with my gut feeling responses are:



4 - Calling Romeo by Alexandra Potter - I really enjoy this author and am determined to slowly work my way through her back catalogue. 
10 - The Expats by Chris Pavone - I tried one other book by this author and DNF really early on. However this one I recall people saying was good at the point I purchased it very cheap years and years ago. 
20 - A Year at Meadowbrook Manor by Faith Bleasdale - Was delighted to see this book announced and its out next week. It been a while since she released anything but I recall in the late 00s have loads of her books and really enjoying them. 
44 - Sweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal - Requested this from Netgalley when I learnt from the author that it is part set in New Zealand and I do love reading books set in countries I don't encounter often. 
52 - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - One I remember being influenced to buy possibly by other bloggers a few yeas ago, but still not got around to reading! 

Interesting selection I've only read multiple books by two of these authors before, the rest are a bit more of a mystery to me.  I'm hoping that there may be a more obvious choice for each of you to pick from last week, as I don't think these are from the darkest depths of my kindle. But I look forward to seeing what happens! 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using random.org to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Book Review - The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan

Amazon UK
Title: The Endless Beach
Author: Jenny Colgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 11th January 2018
Rating: 5 Stars


On the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It's a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content - unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend.

While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he's about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him.

As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

Easily without a doubt in my mind, the best book Jenny Colgan has ever written.  My only regret was that I hadn't started it earlier in the day so that I could have read it in one sitting. 

In fact, please don't waste your time reading this review, just go buy the book now, settle down  in your comfy reading spot and read that instead, it will be a far better and more enjoyable use of your time. 

Why?

Well that's because the book is brilliant. It is heartwarming, it is emotional and I just didn't want to put it down at any point. I adored being back on the island of Mure with Flora and her family, and although Flora is arguably the main character, I found it was all the other storylines that I was loving even more. 

I loved catching up with Fintan, one of Flora's brother, and seeing how his relationship was progressing. In fact Coltan is pivotal throughout the book, and yet although you know he is up to something, I was open mouthed in shock when his big secret was finally revealed. 

Then there is Saif, the refugee doctor on the island, who has been working hard to be accepted by the islanders, while continually awaiting for news of his family.  Saif's story was gripping, I absolutely loved him so much, especially when seeing what he had to cope with in this story.  

Joel who we got to know quite well in The Summer Seaside Kitchen is also full of surprises and we finally get to find out more about his background, as well as him being responsible for some of the rather shocking bits of the book. 

This book is a sequel to The Summer Seaside Kitchen, but it could be read as a standalone.  There are a good reminder in Jenny Colgan's ever present, and always useful letter to her readers at the start of the book, that even as someone who had read the first book, brought my mind right back to Mure and the story before it even got going. 

Such wonderful writing, it draws you in and won't let you go, I really cared about every last character, and the children that are present in the book are fabulous too - including Agot who has such a great personality for a 4 year old and is a real tonic for any scene she is in. 

I found the first bit of the book started slightly slowly, as it took a bit longer than I would have expected to be completely engrossed, but once I had a grip on the new characters, and recalled Mure fully, I had to keep reading and reading it.  The many storylines are fantastic, and I really wouldn't have predicted a fair amount of the book. 

The Endless Beach is already one of my favourite books of the year, I think this may be they start of a slight change in the writing from the author, as I don't recall feeling this emotional and churned up after other books by her in the past,  and if that is the case then I am incredibly excited for the next releases. 

Thank you so much to Sphere and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Book Review - Millie Vanilla's Cupcake Cafe by Georgia Hill

Amazon UK
Title: Millie Vanilla's Cupcake Cafe
Author: Georgia Hill
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 11th January 2018
Rating: 5 Stars


Baking, broken hearts and beach weddings…it’s all happening in the gorgeous little seaside town of Berecombe this year!

Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café is struggling as a multi-national chain of cafés moves in on its territory. Despite baking up a storm in a bid to save it, Millie’s distracted by falling head over heels for the gorgeous, mysterious Jed.

As the seasons change in Berecombe, the loveable, quirky locals rally round Millie, and in return find their own happy ever afters. Millie’s delighted for her friends, but when she discovers Jed’s been keeping secrets, she faces a new dilemma – is it finally time to hang up her apron and start an exciting life somewhere new? Or is everything she’s ever wanted right under her nose, just waiting for her to reach out and take it?

I've been meaning to read a book by Georgia Hill for ages, and been looking forward to the release of this book for almost the whole of 2017, so needless to say it was only a few days after I got my hands on a copy that I had to start reading it. 

Was it worth the wait?..

...yes absolutely, I loved it, the three original parts of the book all could work as individual standalone novellas, but when combined into one book, make a simply marvellous story, with plenty going on at all times, and you end up feeling a real part of Berecombe. 

I loved Millie's cupcake cafe, it sounded such a great part of the community, and all the food sounded really delicious. However normally its at this point in a review for a cafe book I say how hungry I felt reading it, and actually there was so many storylines, and great characters and the pace of the book was so much, that I found the food was really just a small part of the book. Which made for a nice refreshing change. 

There are romances threaded throughout the book, and in each of the three parts, there was a key secondary character that was getting a good amount of chapters dedicated to them, so we got to know three of Millie's friends really well too.  

The other main thread at the heart of the book is whether the cupcake cafe will be able to survive a big multinational chain cafe opening in the same town.  It really was a David and Goliath style battle, and all the time I couldn't help feel sorry for Millie for even having to deal with it all. 

This is a fabulous story to read at this rainy miserable time of year, as it will warm you up with its heartwarming qualities, have you gripped as you work out just whether or not Jed can be trusted, and awwing with some of the romances playing out.  

It is also a book that has one rather memorable scene forever imprinted on my mind, and it may not be a good thing although hilarious involving the pensioners - Biddy and Arthur! In fact there are a few truly memorable scenes involving Biddy, especially in relation to her working life!

Really enjoyed reading every moment of this wonderful book, which did start a bit slow in the first part and then as I became more involved and knew who the cast of characters were, had me loving it completely. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 


Friday, 12 January 2018

Cover Reveal - The Magic of Stars by Jackie Ladbury

I am so excited that Jackie Ladbury asked me to organise her cover reveal in my other guise of Rachel's Random Resources and once I saw the cover I knew I had to share it with you all, as well as getting other bloggers involved.

So please take a look enjoy the cover, and then help make Jackie Ladbury have a fabulous publication day for The Magic of Stars which is also today, by purchasing her book or sharing mine or all the other cover reveal posts on social media today!


Sapphire Montrose always felt like a loser in the struggle of life, but when she becomes the airline manager of a run-down airline she starts to believe she is a winner – until she unwittingly propositions her new boss and all her hard work is undone.

In a moment of recklessness air stewardess, Sapphire Montrose throws caution and her dress to the wind by propositioning a handsome stranger in a hotel in Florence, only to find herself waking up alone and embarrassed in her hotel room.


Unfortunately for Sapphire, it turns out that her new boss, Marco Cavarelli, is the man she failed to seduce and she is now fighting for her job and her self-respect when he tells her there is no place in his revamped airline for an alcoholic woman with lascivious tendencies. To make matters worse she is increasingly attracted to him and he seems to be giving out the same vibes. Or is he simply testing her? One wrong move could be the end of her career. But what if he really is offering love – and is he worth the risk?


Purchase from Amazon UK  

Isn't this just a simply stunning cover? I know I will be making sure to read it when I get a spare moment, as I do love a book featuring Italy! What do you think?

About Jackie Ladbury
Jackie Ladbury was desperate to become a journalist when she left school but was ousted within minutes on the day of the exam at her local rag because she'd forgotten to bring a pen.

Short and sharp lesson learned.

Her budding writing career was not on hold for long, though, as Jackie found herself scribbling love stories of pilots and 'hosties' while she flew in aeroplanes of various shapes and sizes as a flight attendant herself.

Fast forward a good few years and, after being short-listed in a couple of prestigious romantic writing competitions, Jackie decided it was time to discard her stilettos, say goodbye to the skies and concentrate on writing romantic novels, where the only given is a guaranteed 'happy ever after.'

Social Media Links –
The Write Romantics -  https://thewriteromantics.com/

Book Review - Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell - #HolidayReading Book 2

Book 2 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title:  Behind Her Back
Author: Jane Lythell
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 10th August 2017
Rating: 4 Stars


In a TV station run by men, how do the women make themselves heard?

Liz Lyon is a television producer at StoryWorld, the UK's favourite morning show. Her job is stressful and demanding, but she is determined to show her teenage daughter that women can succeed.

Then a new female colleague joins the station. In this predatory climate of toxic masculinity Liz and Lori should be helping each other. But when Lori starts secretly building her power base with the bosses, Liz is desperate to know what's going on behind her back...

Really enjoyed seeing Liz Lyon back in her second book and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Storyworld team again. 

This is the second book in the series and at did take me while to get fully into the story. It had been a long while since I read book 1 and so remembering the characters and specifics took a bit of time. I do though feel this probably works as a standalone too, as all the key bit from the previous book are mentioned. 

Wow there is a lot to take in on this story, there is a lot of work place politics in place, some of which is more amusing than others, there is Liz's new dating interest who I'm not sure I like that much. 

Then there is Liz's daughter Flo who is in some ways a typical 15 year old girl, and in others as someone quite loving and mature for her age. 

I just found it a shame that just as my enjoyment had peaked, I was at the end of the book and have been left crossing my fingers for a book 3,

Full of humour and conflict, this is a lovely story and one I really enjoyed. 

Thank you to Clare Gordon at Head of Zeus for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Book Review - Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Amazon UK
Title: Anatomy of a Scandal
Author: Sarah Vaughan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 11th January 2018
Rating: 5 Stars


A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it. 

Anatomy of a Scandal centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.

This is a story that is as impossible to describe without spoilers, as it is brilliant to read. It is addictive and interesting even though it deals with in great detail a topic that is hard to read about.  

At the heart of this book there is a trial, Kate the prosecutor is positive that James is guilty of the crime and will do her best to make sure he pays for the crime, while Sophie is the wife happy to stand by James as she is sure her husband must be innocent. 

As the book progresses we see the story from multiple view points in addition to the characters times at Oxford as students, which shows the privileged background the Sophie and James are from. Once you are familiar with the time line, it makes more sense than when I first started reading and was trying to get the basics straight in my mind. 

At all times the writing is detailed and the story is told in a way that you know exactly what is happening, you can visualise everything even the more unpalatable details of the crime, and get a clear understanding about a court of law,  the way barristers argue, the definition of the crime in question, and although at times I did wonder if all the description was needed, it did add a lot to the book. 

 I found the first perhaps 100 pages or so slightly slow, but they were giving vital information and once that past I was completely hooked, where I didn't want to put the book down at all, and was utterly annoyed with myself for getting tired and having to come back to it the following day, where I finished the second half of the book in no time at all!  

There is scandal, there are uncomfortable scenes, the whole book could be regarded as a trigger for anyone that has suffered from the same crime, but I'm reluctant to name the specific as it could be regarded as a spoiler, on the other hand it could also help you through it, depending on your point of view. 

This is a huge novel in terms of what is discusses and the magnitude of the repercussions on the characters to the trial. It is addictive, it is brilliant and what a way to start off reading for 2018 than with such a fabulous book. 

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster who sent me a copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
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