Archive for the ‘romance’ 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


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.


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.


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

Review: Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts – Talli Roland

Title: Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts
Author: Talli Roland
Publication date: December 22nd, 2011
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Format: Kindle Edition
Genre: Romance / Chick-lit

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All Rose needs is a Christmas miracle… or does she?

When chief romantic Rose Delaney scores her dream job at London’s quirkiest new attraction, The Museum of Broken Hearts, she thinks she’s got it made. Sure, it’s a little depressing dealing with relics of failed relationships each day, but Rose is determined not to let it break her ‘love conquers all’ spirit. After discovering the museum’s handsome curator is nursing a broken heart of his own, Rose steps in to fix it. Can Rose heal the rift in time for the holidays, or will this Christmas crush her fantasies forever?

I’m usually quite sceptical when it comes to reading short stories for a number of reasons. Well, two actually. The most obvious one is that by the time I get to know the characters and start enjoying the book, it’s over. Not to mention the fact that there are many authors whose books I absolutely adore but they just don’t succeed when it comes to writing short stories. However, Talli Roland’s Christmas novella, Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts has simply blew me away.

Even though Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts is quite short, you can’t help falling head-over-heels in love with Roland’s characters. The main characters are Rose, a hopeless romantic with a charm you can’t resist, her best friend Mel, who’s the complete opposite of Rose and doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings, Rose’s drop-dead gorgeous but broken hearted boss Heath and his mother Liz, who has built a successful career but alienated herself from his son in the process.  Being a Londoner herself, the author manages to describe the book’s setting perfectly – reading Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts brought back millions of memories of London: trying not to breathe through your nose on the Central Line, the grand stairs of the British Museum, the ever-present hot dog vendor in front of the building and the inedible sausage you should never, ever try.

Amiable characters, great story line and character development and a perfect ending that will bring tears to your eyes –  Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts has all the ingredients of a great read. With her incredible sense of humour, charming personality and her talent in keeping you on the edge of your seat while making you cry and laugh out loud almost at the same time, Talli Roland will definitely render you speechless. What can I say? I’m her newest fan. 

Review: Double Clutch – Liz Reinhardt

Title: Double Clutch
Liz Reinhardt
Publication date:
September 28th 2011
316 (ebook version)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance

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What happens when you fall for the perfect guy…twice…in one day?

Double Clutch tells the story of Brenna Blixen, a sixteen year old American teenager who has been home-schooled in Denmark for a year before returning to New Jersey. Back in the States, she has to settle back into school, make new friends – and she’s determined to make her year unforgettable. But little does she know what life has got in store for her.

On her first day at school, she falls head over heels in love with Saxon, a charming but arrogant soccer player with a dark secret, who happens to be her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. On the same day during another class, Jake Kelly takes her breath away with his irresistible smile and kindness. What makes things even more complicated is that the two guys actually know each other – in fact, they’re enemies. As her relationship with the two boys reaches a whole new level and she gets to know them, she realizes she has to make a choice. But how is she supposed to choose one when it would mean breaking the other’s heart?

Double Clutch was definitely a pleasant surprise for me. I haven’t really heard anything about this book before so I didn’t know what to expect – but it turned out to be a very exciting and captivating read.

It’s a fast paced story, a real page turner with great character development. Although my favourite has to be Jake, I really liked Saxon’s character. I didn’t like him at first but there’s something mysterious about him, something you can’t exactly put your finger on -and it’s part of why it’s such an excellent story – it makes you want to find out what his secret is, what happened in his past, what he’s hiding from us. There’s a thin line between love and hate, and even if you don’t like him in the beginning, you can’t help falling for him at the end.

On the other hand, I found it a little bit hard to connect to the main character, Brenna. For me she was just too perfect: she’s beautiful, she has a great relationship with her parents, she’s good at sports, she’s good at arts, she’s an only child who has everything and she’s popular (well, at least everyone seems to like her).

Another thing that didn’t really work for me was the fact that I didn’t feel like the main characters (but mainly Brenna) were only sixteen – it felt like they were older, more experienced in general, more mature. It might be just a cultural difference, but for me she seemed too be too level-headed to be a teenager. It may be just me, I don’t know, but you’ll see what I mean if you read the book. :-)

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes young adult fiction or romance. There’s a great twist near the end which makes it impossible to foretell what’s going to happen next, I absolutely loved it. The author keeps you in suspense until the very end and even though there are hints about what Saxon’s “secret” might be, I was completely taken by surprise. The sequel was published last month so I’m looking forward to finding out how the story continues! Make sure to pick up a copy and read it, I can guarantee that you’ll like it.