The Empire State Cat’s Christmas Gift – Nic Tatano – 5*Review

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blurb-winter

The night her house catches fire, kick-ass lawyer Tish McKenna’s neatly ordered life is thrown into chaos. At least she’s alive—thanks to her adorable cat, Socks!—and after her near-death experience Tish realises she wants more in her life than late nights and case files…

Professionally speaking, hot-shot attorney, Spencer Capshaw hadn’t realised how far off track he’d come. Sure, he had his reasons originally—saving his dad’s life required more money than the DA’s office paid him—yet helping corrupt corporate bigwigs was not why he became a lawyer…

With a little help from a furry friend, these two lost souls find each other in the heart of Manhattan. But when Tish and Spence are pitted against each other in a trial that pushes them both to their limits, can their budding relationship survive?

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The Empire State Cat's Christmas Gift

I enjoyed the first story in this series, ‘The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club’, featuring career driven, intelligent best friends; Madison, Tish, Rory and A.J and their lovable kittens. This book, the second in the series is delightful with its festive twist. A good standalone read but I recommend reading book one first for maximum enjoyment.
There is a great love story, mixed with humour and suspense, which is an easy, enjoyable read. As you expect with Nic Tatano books, the characters are believable, complex and intriguing. The plot has plenty of twists and a lovely romantic ending.
The supporting cast of characters also make this book something special, especially, Socks the matchmaking kitten, whose antics will be familiar to every cat owner.
Tish is a lawyer and so is Spencer, so courtroom scenes are inevitable. These appear authentic and are full of crisp dialogue with moments of humour and poignancy. There is great pacing that moves the story along nicely and provides subtle clues to the plot twists and development of the romance.
A lovely festive read with an original storyline and memorable characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Empire State Cat’s Christmas Gift by Nic Tatano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Empire State Cat's Christmas Gift by Nic Tatano

Nic Tatano

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The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club – Nic Tatano-5* Review

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BLURB

Swapping Prada for purrs…

While covering a story, feisty network reporter Madison Shaw gets more than she bargained for when she rescues a box of orphaned kittens. Suddenly the glamazon of the Manhattan news room is doing two am feedings to keep these furbabies alive!

This is certainly a change of pace for the high maintenance workaholic she’s become and taking care of the kittens makes Madison realise how far off track she’s come—after all, she was a stray once too…

When a video of her caring for the kittens goes viral, she knows her image as a hardnosed reporter is shot to hell. What Madison doesn’t expect is the media circus that propels her and the kittens to stardom. And the domino effect that has on her, her career and her love life—especially when she meets sexy Officer Nick Marino…!

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My Review -1

The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club

I always enjoy stories that feature animals. One of the many charms of this tale, is its insight into sharing your life with a cat. It’s clear from this book that the author loves cats and knows how they interact with each other and their humans. Coupled with sparkling romance and humour, this is a fun, easy read. Whilst the plot is easy to follow, there are a few surprises and poignant moments that give the story depth.
Madison undergoes an important emotional journey catalysed by her discovery of four abandoned kittens. If you enjoy reading stories about smart career women who discover their lives need something more, you won’t be disappointed. Surrounded by a close knit friend group Madison is eager to share the kitten love and I’m looking forward to reading about her friends and their kittens, in future books.
Romance also features prominently in this story and a curious love triangle emerges. Steamy entrepreneur or dreamy cop, who would you choose? Finally, just to spice up the tale there’s a little political intrigue, just to make sure you keep on reading.
A great story with complex characters and enchanting kittens, purrfect.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club by Nic Tatano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club by Nic Tatano

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You’ll Find Me in Manhattan – Jill Knapp – 5* Review #SummerImpulse

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Blurb 2016- 2

Amalia and Olivia have found themselves at a crossroads. Their last year in their Master’s program at NYU is proving to be a trying one, and on top of that, Olivia has to balance planning a wedding AND managing the unwanted input of her estranged mother – who doesn’t even like her fiancé!

Meanwhile, Amalia finds herself feeling more lost than ever as graduation approaches and her classmates begin making plans for next year. Still torn between Michael and Hayden, she finally makes a decision – but one that that will either box her in, leaving her always wanting more out of life, or finally breaking free to find the happiness and stability she’s always needed.

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon  UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

You’ll Find Me in ManhattanThe final book in the ‘What Happens to Men’ series continues the college adventures of Amalia and Olivia. It’s a while since I read book 2 but once I reacquainted with the setting and characters, I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished.
Even though it is Olivia who is planning her wedding to Alex, Amalia’s complex life dominates this story. Finally she gets what she has always wanted, only to find it’s not what she hoped it would be. A grumpy professor, an emotionally detached boyfriend and unwanted therapy all figure in Amalia’s ‘Masters’ year, she wonders if she can survive? Gradually she discovers who she really is and finds that she likes her, which makes for plenty of laughs, a few tears and a hopeful future.
This is a story of few characters but Amalia and Olivia are vibrant and realistic and the writing style is easy reading. This is a great ending to a fabulous series, definitely worth reading whatever your age.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

You’ll Find Me in Manhattan by Jill Knapp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


You’ll Find Me in Manhattan by Jill Knapp

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I’m Keeping You – Jane Lark – Blog Tour – 5* Review

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Today I have Jane Lark on my blog talking about top tips for romantic dates in New York, as part of her ‘I’m Keeping You’ blog tour. I’ve enjoyed reading the books in the ‘ Starting Out’ series. If it’s new to you, here are my reviews of previous books in the series. Click on the image to read my review.

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I'mKeepingYou

Winter Blurb

 The sequel to the US bestselling NA romance, I Found You.

The sun was warm on my hair and face. The river looked cool and inviting. I felt superhuman. I was the best mom in the world…

I’ve faced many demons in my life, but my bipolar brain is the enemy inside me. Even my fairytale knight in shining armour, my husband, Jason, cannot always be there to save me from myself – and since the day I walked into a river with our precious baby son, Saint, our relationship has changed, no matter what he tells me.

Now we risk losing our innocent boy again, but this time to his biological father, my sleazy ex, Declan. So I’m going to New York to fight for my family, but I’m scared because I have to fight myself too. I ran away from my life in New York it feels like going back could ruin everything but if I don’t go we might lose Saint. I can’t lose Saint…or Jason…

Winter Buy Links

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Jason’s and Rachel’s top tips for a romantic date in New York

Underneath the Dumbo end of Manhattan Bridge is a small park with a gravel beech where you can get down close the water, and if you have kids there’s a fairground ride around the corner, it’s a place they’ll take Saint to later, and at sunset a place for a quieter more romantic atmosphere, it’s really quiet there compared to the main Brooklyn Bridge Park.

A date night dinner at Clark’s Diner/Restaurant opposite the exit from the Clark St Subway stop in Brooklyn. They serve amazing fried chicken and waffles and at amazing prices too 😉

Prospect Park a less tourist filled escape from the New York traffic than Central Park, but it has its own Zoo, and a period house, with lovely quiet romantic walks about a lake where you can be serenaded by buskers whose music echoes back from under the arches of the wide stone bridges.

A trip to Coney Island ‘the playground of the world’ – ‘down by the boardwalk’. How fabulous to be able to have a day on the beach and dip your toes in the ocean on the edge of a capital city and to ride the rollercoasters and play old fashioned fairground games, as well as getting your fortune told by Zoltar.

For a hotter night out, The Ravel Hotel, restaurant and nightclub, Penthouse808, with awesome views of the heart of New York, great cocktails, try a Blueberry Mojito, and music.

BoHo Karaoke Orchard, Manhattan, because as we all know from the first book in the series, I Found You, Rachel loves a bit of Karaoke when she’s high and Jason has become a convert and caught ahold of her excitement.

Winter My Review

Rachel and Jason love each other but living the dream is harder than dreaming the dream. Their relationship undergoes some severe tests, as they battle for the custody of Saint and come to terms with the reality of living with mental illness.

The dual points of view give a realistic insight into Rachel and Jason’s raw emotions, as they fight their own fears and an outside force that threatens their family unit. The plot is simple but the characters are complex and if you empathised with Rachel and Jason in ‘I Found You’, you will be firmly in their corner for this book.

Sensual, shocking and sleek, this story pulls you in with its angst and holds your attention with its believable characters and plot until the last word.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio 2016- 2

Photo - Jane LarkJane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult romance and author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Novel,’The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’, as well as a Kindle overall top 25, bestselling author in the United States of America.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series as well as contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality.

Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses these to create more realistic plots.

‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

 

The Girl with Diamonds – Savannah Blevins – Spotlight and 4* Review

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THE GIRL WITH DIAMONDS by Savannah Blevins
Midtown Brotherhood Series #2
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

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Purple wig, red lips, and a flirty smile—those are the only things Austin Blakely remembers when he wakes up tied to his bed…

It’s Austin’s job as the enforcer for the New York Rangers hockey team to strike fear in the hearts of grown men. But if Manhattan’s notorious gossip magazine, The Whisperer, catches wind of his dating fail—or worse, took a picture of him in his compromised state—his reputation and career could be ruined.

Magnolia Cross is still running from rumors that robbed her of the interview of a lifetime…

Intern reporter for the Madison Square Garden news affiliate isn’t Magnolia’s idea of a dream job. She doesn’t even like hockey. But it’s experience on-air, and that’s what counts. After a prank-gone-wrong leaves her stripped of her Valedictorian title, she loses her initial chance at making it big. But now she’s stronger and smarter, and won’t let trust issues screw her out of her chance for success—again.

One bad interview and two million YouTube hits later, Magnolia is a media sensation—for all the wrong reasons…

Stupid Austin Blakely with his cocky smile and hockey lingo gibberish. After he embarrasses her on national television in the name of harmless flirting, Magnolia vows never to interview him again. Except avoiding Austin is easier said than done.

It isn’t long before Magnolia discovers the real source of Austin’s fears. It’s all about the seductress in the purple wig—unless it’s about the pictures she stole that could change all their lives forever…

The Girl With Diamonds FULL

Buy Links -2

Amazon UK
KINDLE 
PAPERBACK

My Review

‘The Girl with Diamonds’ is a lovely young, fresh romance with a sport setting.
Ambitious, intern reporter Magnolia and popular Ice Hockey player Austin get off to a rocky start but Magnolia leaves a lasting impression and Austin is compelled to gain her forgiveness so he can get to know her better. Austin and Magnolia both have secrets that could ruin their careers and their potential relationship; only by trusting each other can they succeed.
There are a few surprises, lots of humour and plenty of romance in this fast paced story, which is the second in the series but reads well as a standalone. Magnolia and Austin’s characters are well developed. The Midtown players, Magnolia’s press colleagues and family enhance the story’s vivacity and realism.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 

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MIDTOWN BROTHERHOOD SERIES
BOOK 1: THE GIRL WITH HEARTS —
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Author Bio -1

Savannah was born in Hyden, Kentucky. She received her M.S in Speech Language Pathology from The University of Mississippi in 2009. She’s been writing since the early age of nine when she begged her parents for a type writer for Christmas.

She now lives in Corbin, Ky with her husband of eight years, John, and their two wonderful daughters, Delilah and Gracie.

When she isn’t working, or running after her kids, she spends her free time traveling the country with her husband. There is nothing better than a day of football in the grove, a late night of basketball at Rupp Arena or slapping the glass to celebrate another Washington Capitals goal.

She is a strong believer that with enough hard work and determination you can accomplish anything.

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LIMITLESS PUBLISHING

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

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3* Review: City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1976, and New York is a city on the edge. As midnight approaches, a blizzard sets in – and an unmistakable sound rings out across Central Park. Gunshots. Two of them.

The search for the shooter will bring together a rich cast of New Yorkers. From the reluctant heirs to one of the city’s greatest fortunes, to a couple of Long Island kids drawn to the nascent punk scene downtown. From the newly arrived and enchanted, to those so sick of the city they want to burn it to the ground. All these lives are connected to one another – and to the life that still clings to that body in the park. Whether they know it or not, they are bound up in the same story – a story where history and revolution, love and art, crime and conspiracy are all packed into a single shell, ready to explode.

Then, on July 13th, 1977, the lights go out in New York City.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK 

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

City on Fire

The characters, setting and plot of this story are engaging; unfortunately it is too long for these positives to retain their impact. This book may appeal to the ‘one book a year reader’ but not someone, who reads for escapism and variety.
I really wanted to like this book, as I grew up in the seventies. I love reading about different reactions and actions to a memorable incident but there were so many superfluous details in this story, the ethos and vintage quality of it got lost.

Reviewing a book is a subjective thing and once again the opinions of those who influence book purchases, are not necessarily those of the readers who buy the books, on their recommendation.
I received a copy of this book from Vintage, Penguin Random House Jonathan Cape via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

Garth Risk Hallberg

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4* Review: Nobody’s Obligation – Rebecca Barber

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Winter Blurb

Ava Jacobs is a shy accountant by day, aspiring romance writer by night—and her first novel just got published…

Romance isn’t a big component of Ava’s life. That is, her real life. As the monotonous nature of crunching numbers and drawn-out board meetings slowly eats away at her, the only bright side to her otherwise mundane routine lies on the black and white pages of her debut romance novel. Her inspiration? A long-time infatuation—Tyler Andrews.

 

Until the Olympic swimmer read her novel and connected the dots…

 

Tyler Andrews is used to being the center of attention. But when his sister throws a romance novel in his lap, he’s surprised to be the inspiration for the hot, hunky hero. He has no idea who Ava Jacobs is, but he’s not at all happy with her using his likeness to spice up her steamy scenes. When he finally tracks her down, it’s her likeness that intrigues him.

 

It takes just one romantic dance at a company banquet to spark disaster…

 

When Tyler’s manager arranges a daring publicity stunt and offers him as an auction item at Ava’s fundraising banquet, the bids come in quick and hot. Little did Ava expect the winner, a work colleague, to donate Tyler as Ava’s date. With all eyes on the Olympic athlete, Ava can’t refuse a romantic dance. But even though Tyler was the inspiration for Ava’s steamy novel, she refuses to accept his attention if it’s not real.

 

Will Tyler lose the one woman who caught his interest? Or will Ava push him away in an effort to prove she’s…

Nobody’s obligation.

 

Winter Buy Links

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Amazon 

 Winter My Review

Nobody's Obligation (Swimming Upstream Series Book 2)

This second book in the swimming upstream series can be read as a standalone as I did, but I think valuable character and plot insights would be a gained by reading ‘Perfection is Just an Illusion’, book one in the series.
I liked the premise of this book, especially as it plays out. It is a modern day fairytale and an enjoyable read. If you dislike profanity, then this may not be for you but this language is integral to the two main characters personalities.
Ava is complicated and carries more than her share of emotional baggage. Faced with her dream man up close she refuses to believe something so good could be happening to her and then the problems start.
Tyler is living the dream, but he feels he is living his life according to what other people want. Meeting Ava in less than ideal circumstances makes him re-evaluate his life and want to live it his way.
The romance and sexual tension is appropriate to the new adult genre.
This is a story for the romantics.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Nobody’s Obligation by Rebecca Barber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Nobody's Obligation (Swimming Upstream Series Book 2) by Rebecca Barber

Rebecca Barber

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5* Review: A Miracle at Macy’s – Lynn- Marie Hulsman

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One lost dog. Two lonely hearts. A Manhattan Christmas full of magic.

This is the story of shy homebody Charlotte who loses her beloved pet dog Hudson the week before Christmas. With the help of uptight Englishman Henry, Charlotte goes on a magical treasure hunt around Manhattan to find her furry, four-legged bestie, who she rescued from the trash years before and gave him a place in her home – and her heart.

Spotted in Central Park as one of Santa’s Little Helpers, or last seen in the arms of a supermodel in Times Square, Hudson leads Charlotte and Henry on a very merry dance around the Big Apple, where love, (or should that be Christmas?!) actually is all around.

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Flowers - My Review

A Miracle at Macy'sFull of Christmas magic and spirit, this story of Charlotte, Hudson and Henry is heart warming and a must read for all lovers of Christmas. Vivid characters pepper every scene and they give it vibrancy and realism. The perfect foil for the liberal sprinkling of Christmas magic that interweaves every chapter.
Despite only making sporadic appearances after the initial chapters, Hudson shines as bright as the Christmas star and is a joy, with traits instantly recognisable to anyone who shares their lives with dogs.
Charlotte is almost reclusive but spends her life doing what she loves, blogging and trying out new recipes. As a writer I empathised with her life style.
Henry portrayed as, slightly snobby and unreachable hides a tender heart. Although I found his character slightly stereotypical for an Englishman, in the spirit of this story, he worked just fine.
The plot is full of twists and turns and quite exhausting. The reader experiences a whistle stop tour of festive New York, as Charlotte and Henry track down the elusive Hudson.
The budding romance between Charlotte and Henry is gentle and sweet and compliments the story’s sentiments perfectly.
The setting leaves a lasting impression and is an important vivacious character in its own right. Even though I have never visited New York, reading this story was a sensory delight.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

A Miracle at Macy’s by Lynn Marie Hulsman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Miracle at Macy's by Lynn Marie Hulsman

Lynn Marie Hulsman

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4* Review: Cover Girl – Nic Tatano

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Blurb - Coastal

Powerhouse romance editor Keira Madison is known as “Cover Girl” – because she’s come up with the concepts for the covers of the best selling novels in history. But right now, she’s desperate to replace her best selling author.

Wannabe author Alex Bauer has given up hope of ever selling his military thriller, so he takes a shot at writing a romance and sends it to super agent Bella Farentino. She’s blown away by the book, but more shocked to find out the author is a man. So she decides it’s best to keep it a secret when pitching the novel – what does a man know about romance after all?

When Keira buys the book, Alex needs a cover story to hide the fact he’s the real author. So he invents a fictional cousin who’s an agoraphobe; too shy to ever leave the house. He agrees to work as “her” intermediary during the editing process while getting a friend to “play” the author on the phone.

One major problem. He falls hard for Keira, a spunky redhead who is a dead ringer for the heroine in the book. And she’s smitten with him, as he’s a clone of the novel’s romantic hero, a fictional Mister Right come to life.

You see where this is going.

As the release date for the book gets closer, their relationship grows stronger while the tale of the fictional author goes over the top. At some point Alex will have to come clean that he’s the real author of the book but worries he’ll risk losing Keira because she won’t be able to trust him.

Buy Links - Coastal

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My Review - Coastal

Cover GirlThis story has the distinctive, edgy realism of the other books in the series, even when the plot spins a tale of epic, fairytale proportions. The characters are believable and vivid, I could picture them and their expressions as I read the story and this made it an enjoyable read. The meeting between dynamic Keira and our gentle hero Alex is original and plausible.

Keira is a strong female character who takes no prisoners in her work life, romance is a different story but luckily she has her fairy godmother or editorial assistant Gretch who makes her believe in herself.

Alex isn’t an alpha hero but a rare male who appears to understand, what’s important to women. Despite this, he misses the obvious on numerous occasions with some comical and poignant results.

The story is perfect for romantic comedy. A career dream comes true for Alex and he finds a woman, who could be his soul mate but when the plot twists come into play, his dream career, perfect love life and his sanity are all in danger.

For me, the test of a good romantic comedy is the humour and the imagery it portrays. This story delivers both and was a pleasant escape for a few hours.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Cover Girl by Nic Tatano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Cover Girl by Nic Tatano

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4* Review: I Take You – Eliza Kennedy

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I’m getting married.

He’s perfect!

It’s a disaster.

Meet Lily Wilder – New Yorker, lawyer and the luckiest woman in the world. She has a dream job, friends who adore her, a family full of charismatic and loving women, and a total catch of a fiancé.

Also? She has no business getting married.

Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and completely incapable of being faithful to just one man. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he really know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights – and mornings, and afternoons – of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.

Flowers - Buy Links
Amazon UK
Amazon

Flowers - My Review

 

 

I Take YouThere’s nothing sweet about Lily and yet she makes an instant impression that deepens as her story unfolds and despite her lack of tact, questionable morals and other faults I ended up liking her.

I like to escape to another world, when I read and this book certainly delivers. I’ve never visited New York but the characterisations and ethos appear realistic, as you might expect from someone who lives there.

‘I Take You’, is deliberately controversial. Lily enjoys sex and fails to be monogamous even when she is supposedly in a committed relationship with Will and many readers of RomCom and Chick Lit may find her difficult to empathise with, or even understand. I let the story flow over me, laughed at the ribald humour and read the story in a few hours.

The pacing is fast, except for the last couple of chapters, which slowed down the story and didn’t deliver any surprises. The ending too is a little anticlimactic, although romantic. The characters are vivid, I especially liked Freddy. Will is harder to like, read the story and see if you agree.

I received a copy of this book from Vintage Books Random House via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

Eliza Kennedy

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