Archive for the ‘Choc Lit’ Category

Review: To Turn Full Circle – Linda Mitchelmore

Cover of To Turn Full Circle by Linda Mitchelmore

Title: To Turn Full Circle
Author: Linda Mitchelmore
Publication date:  7 June, 2012
Publisher: Choc Lit
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 9781906931728
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Historical fiction / Romance
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Synopsis

Life in Devon in 1909 is hard and unforgiving, especially for young Emma Le Goff, whose mother and brother die in curious circumstances, leaving her totally alone in the world. While she grieves, her callous landlord Reuben Jago claims her home and belongings. His son Seth is deeply attracted to Emma and sympathises with her desperate need to find out what really happened, but all his attempts to help only incur his father’s wrath.

When mysterious fisherman Matthew Caunter comes to Emma’s rescue, Seth is jealous at what he sees and seeks solace in another woman. However, he finds that forgetting Emma is not as easy as he hoped. Matthew is kind and charismatic, but handsome Seth is never far from Emma’s mind. Whatever twists and turns her life takes, it seems there is always something – or someone – missing. Can Seth persuade Emma that they can overcome their past?

My thoughts

Up until now, I haven’t really ventured into the world of historical fiction – I wasn’t really intrigued by these stories and I knew they wouldn’t be my cup of tea. But then I saw To Turn Full Circle and something changed. I genuinely liked the sound of this story, the story of a young girl with a difficult past, and decided that this novel would be a great way for me to branch out and to start my journey into unknown territory. And I have to say, it was definitely worth it.

What I loved about it the most is the fact that it appeals to such a wide audience. Based on the fact that the main character, Emma, is only 15 when the novel starts one would think it’s aimed at the young adult generation only. And how wrong I was in assuming this! To Turn Full Circle, I think, is definitely one of those books that all generations would enjoy – adult and young adult alike. There are no cheesy make-out sessions or anything else that would be too “offensive” for young readers and adults will no doubt find it a charming story.

Emma is a lovely narrator and main character and I really liked her. She’s still very young and naive at the beginning and she has a lot to learn but I loved the fact that she didn’t let go of her dreams and she was brave enough to stand up for herself. To be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with good guys like Seth because I often find them almost “too good to be true”. I felt the same way about Seth but I really started to like him by the end. In a way he’s quite similar to Emma. They’ve both been through a lot but they do everything they can to forget the past and to achieve their dreams, to be happy. Matthew Caunter, however, was someone I loved from the start. He’s quite a mysterious and complex character who I hope to see more of in the sequel.

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Review: Run Rabbit Run – Kate Johnson

Cover of Run Rabbit Run by Kate Johnson

Title: Run Rabbit Run (Sophie Green #5)
Author: Kate Johnson
Publication date: April 7, 2012
Publisher: Choc Lit
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-906931-73-5
Length: 400 pages
Genre: Mystery / romance
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Sophie’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

Sophie Green’s an ex-spy, or trying to be. You wouldn’t believe the trouble she’s in. An MI5 officer has been shot with her gun, her fingerprints all over his office. And no, she didn’t kill him. But she has gone on the run. Now Sophie’s desperately seeking whoever’s trying to frame and kill her. She’s being forced to work with the least trustworthy man in Europe, MI5 is following her every move, and she’s had to leave the tall, blond, god of a man she loves behind.

Luke Sharpe works for MI6. Or did, until his girlfriend became a murder suspect. Doing nothing wasn’t an option, so he started investigating. Who cares if it means jeopardising his career? Sophie’s everything he used to say he never wanted. Young, irresponsible, bright and mad. Now she’s just everything – and she has to live. She will live, won’t she?

I’ve always loved mysteries and powerful heroines so when I was asked if I wanted to review this book, I was delighted and couldn’t wait to get started. Run Rabbit Run is the fifth instalment in the Sophie Green series and not being familiar with the previous books, I had no idea whether I could get into it or not or. But once again, Choc Lit presented me with a gripping story I was unable to put down and which kept me awake all night – I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Run Rabbit Run tells the story of Sophie Green, an ex-spy who gets accused of killing an MI5 officer. An officer who’s been shot with Sophie’s gun, whose office is full of Sophie’s fingerprints, and who Sophie visited on the day he was found dead. To make things even worse, the guard who might have seen her enter and leave the building, i.e. the only witness, is also found dead. And this is when Sophie flees, even though she knows she’s innocent. All the while MI5 and the CIA are following her every step and if this wasn’t enough, she still needs to find out who framed her before it’s too late.

Sophie is one of those characters who I had an instant connection with. She’s funny and sarcastic and most importantly, tough. I could literally hear her speak while I was reading the book – she reminded me a little bit of Sarah Millican. Take Sarah, give her a few guns, put her in an episode of ‘Spooks‘ or ‘Criminal Minds’ and you have Sophie: witty, sarcastic, funny, someone who finds it hard to stop talking and someone who adores cats. Fabulous!

I loved the fact that you simply never knew what was coming. I tried to put myself in Sophie’s place and imagine how it might be to be on the run, knowing that spies are following my every move. When you know you can’t stay in one place for a long time, in case someone’s been following you. I’d be terrified.

There was only one thing I didn’t particularly like – for me, there were a few unnecessary episodes in this novel. Sophie visits so many places while she’s on the run that after a while, I almost kept forgetting where she was coming from. A little bit after I was halfway through the book, I thought it was dragging on a little bit but thank goodness the last 70-80 pages make up for this.

If I had to pick one book that I think could be made into a successful film then I think Run Rabbit Run would be my number one choice. Kate Johnson created such a gripping story that, even though I wasn’t familiar with this series, I found it really hard to put it down. And here I was again, staying up until 1 a.m, clutching my Kindle in a white knuckle death grip and hoping that Sophie would make it to the end. Johnson did a fantastic job and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

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*Thank you to Choc Lit for sending me a review copy of this book*

Review: Never Coming Home – Evonne Wareham


Title: Never Coming Home
Author: Evonne Wareham
Publication date: March 15, 2012
Publisher: Choc Lit
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781906931704
Length: 356 pages
Genre:  Romantic thriller

When Kaz Elmore is told her five-year-old daughter Jamie has died in a car crash, she struggles to accept that she’ll never see her little girl again. Then a stranger comes into her life offering the most dangerous substance in the world: hope.

Devlin, a security consultant and witness to the terrible accident scene, inadvertently reveals that Kaz’s daughter might not have been the girl in the car after all. What if Jamie is still alive? With no evidence, the police aren’t interested, so Devlin and Kaz have little choice but to investigate themselves. Devlin never gets involved with a client. Never. But the more time he spends with Kaz, the more he desires her – and the more his carefully constructed ice-man persona starts to unravel . The desperate search for Jamie leads down dangerous paths – to a murderous acquaintance from Devlin’s dark past, and all across Europe, to Italy, where deadly secrets await. But as long as Kaz has hope, she can’t stop looking…

Do you know that feeling when even though you have to go to school or work in the morning, you still stay up until 2 a.m in order to finish a book? Now, that’s what happens when you find something fantastic. And that’s how it was with Never Coming Home. When I picked it up, I expected to read a romance or maybe a family drama. But boy, was I wrong. What I thought would be a family saga with a bit of suspense and with some romance on top turned out to be a gripping romantic thriller. It just blew me away.

Evonne Wareham’s masterpiece was thoroughly gripping and full of suspense from the very first page. You literally cannot guess what’s going to happen next which makes Wareham’s book even more brilliant. To make it even better, it was quite easy to connect to to the characters. I wasn’t really keen on Kaz if I’m completely honest, but Devlin and Kaz’s mother’s characters definitely make up for this. It was interesting to see that even though they’re both grown ups, Kaz still behaved like an angry and rebellious child at times and her mother was the one who made sense of everything and tried to calm her down or make her think logically.

As for Devlin, I think he was the most interesting character in the story and definitely my favourite one. Apart from the fact that he’s good looking, there’s something about him that makes you love him even more. What I liked the most was that we don’t know much about his past and he’s full of secrets. We know nothing about his family or his life in general and it’s as if he himself doesn’t want to remember either. He built up a cold and confident exterior but at the same time, you can’t help feeling that there’s something in there, deep down, a vulnerable side to him that he tries to control. I’m always drawn to these types of characters so naturally, Devlin was a first-class addition to the novel.

I could go on and on about how sensational Never Coming Home was but I think you’ll believe me if I say it’s a must read. I’ve ready a lot of mysteries in my life but Evonne Wareham takes suspense to a whole new level. It’s shocking, it’s dark, but at the same time quite hopeful and optimistic – you’ll love it.

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* Thank you to Choc Lit for sending me a copy of this book for review *