The Friend

The Friend

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:


What secrets would you kill to keep? 

After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.

Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.

Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life.

That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . .


I am a long time fan of Dorothy Koomson’s books, way before my book blogging days. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her books. They do tend to be long, but with such complex characters and gripping plots. I know I can’t go wrong with a Dorothy Koomson book. Whilst her most recent release isn’t my favourite of hers, it is still deeply intriguing and quick to read.

It centres around Cece who has moved her family from London to Brighton to support her husband’s career. She has given up her job, her home and her friends. She has to build a new life surrounded by strangers. As a reader, we learn that there has been an attack at Cece’s children’s new school that leaves a parent in a coma. The police have no idea who could be responsible for the attack. Cece recognises there are some mothers acting very oddly. Cece is welcomed into their group but she soon finds out they’re all hiding information…

As expected with a Dorothy Koomson book, the storyline is fantastic. I kept thinking that I had a character all worked out and then something would be thrown into the mix and I’d start questioning myself once more. I thought the plot twists were so well thought out. Dorothy Koomson really is a master of story telling. I was captured by the story and didn’t want to put it down! It was a little slow to start with which is the only reason why I haven’t given it the full five star treatment!

Would I recommend it?
Of course!

A gripping read by one of my favourite authors!


Talking About ‘Miss You’ with Bibliobeth

Miss You

How did I get it?:
I bought it!


Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven’t met properly yet. And perhaps they never will . . .

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects.

Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed suddenly and dramatically. Gus tries to be a dutiful son, but longs to escape and discover what sort of person he is going to be.

For one day, the paths of an eighteen-year-old girl and boy criss-cross before they each return to England.

Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and fate, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?

CHRISSI: Did you judge this book by its cover? I can imagine it’s one you wouldn’t pick up if you saw it in the shop!

BETH: Do you think just because you’re my sister you know me? Haha, of course you’re right, I have to be honest. This cover would immediately make me scrunch up my face in the way that you know so well and I wouldn’t necessarily pick it up because of that. I’m not the biggest romance fan in the world and it has to be told in just the right sort of way to touch this cold, cold heart. No cheesiness here please! But, as you know, I have been completely wrong about covers in the past… Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a classic example!

BETH: How do you think that this book compares with others in the genre?

CHRISSI: Interesting question! As you know, I have read quite a lot of this genre, so I feel like I’m well informed to answer this question. I think it fits nicely into the genre, but it’s not necessarily a book that I think stands out. Don’t get me wrong, it was easy to read and I enjoyed it, but it’s not one that will stay with me for a long time.

CHRISSI: Both Tess and Gus experience bereavement in this novel. Discuss how the different characters deal with this situation.

BETH: Both Tess and Gus have lost someone important in their lives. With Tess, it is her mother who died of cancer and with Gus it is his older brother who died in a horrific skiing accident on holiday. They both deal with their loss in very different ways and I think a lot of that is bound up with how close they were with their respective loved one. With Tess, it’s her mother so of course she feels the loss keenly but has to get on with things as she has a younger sister, Hope to bring up and look after. This completely ruins any plans she had for university but she is incredibly strong as a character and just gets through it. Gus on the other hand, feels constantly guilty for the loss of his brother, Ross. He feels he is in some way to blame for the accident as he “let” Ross go off on his own down a dangerous slope. Coupled with this is the fact that Ross has constantly bullied and belittled him throughout their lives prior to the accident so they didn’t have the best or most loving relationship which he also feels some residual guilt for.

BETH: Which character’s point of view did you enjoy reading about the most?

CHRISSI: My answer would have to be Tess. I really enjoyed reading about her story. I think the main reason for this is the relationship Tess has with her younger sister. I called Asperger’s before it mentioned it in the story. I have children with both low functioning autism and high functioning autism (Asperger’s) in my class and I could recognise the traits immediately. I loved how, even though Tess struggled with not following her dreams, she was there for her sister. I was rooting for Tess from the start and hoping she found some happiness for herself.

CHRISSI: Discuss how Kate Eberlen structured this novel.

BETH: I really enjoyed the structure of this novel. It’s told in dual perspectives so one chapter is Tess’ point of view and the next is from Gus. It also starts in the late nineties when they are both eighteen years old and ends in the present day. I really enjoyed this as I am a similar age to the characters and enjoyed the nostalgic feel that the author brought when talking about certain things in the nineties that I remember very clearly! I also loved how we got hints of the “tall man,” or “tall woman,” aka Gus/Tess when they almost met so many times during the narrative.

BETH: Do you believe that some things are just meant to be or is everything just chance?

CHRISSI: That’s a hard one for me to answer. I’d like to think that things happen for a reason, but then sometimes awful things happen and I can’t justify that with ‘things happen for a reason.’ So to answer, I think I believe in coincidences. But who knows? Ooh, look at you with such a tricksy question!

CHRISSI: Did your initial impressions of this book change by the ending?

BETH: I’m afraid it did and I’m sad to say, not in a good way 😞. I did love that what I expected to happen did happen which pleased me for the characters sake but unfortunately, it did feel slightly cheesy by the end and they were way too quick to say the “three magic words,” which made me believe in them and their relationship a little less. Apart from that though, I was really enjoying their story up to that point!

BETH: Would you read another novel by this author?

CHRISSI: I think I would. I did enjoy reading it and it didn’t take me long to read at all.

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Yes! 3.5 stars

CHRISSI: Yes! 3.5 stars


Blog Tour- I Have Never by Camilla Isley

I Have Never (First Comes Love, #2)

How did I get it?:
It was sent to me for the blog tour!

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad. She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Website | Twitter: @camillaisley | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Previously reviewed by the same author:


Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right. 

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

Never Lie
Never Pick a Fight
Never Make a Scene
Never Make the First Move
Never Make Impulse Decisions
Never Mix Business and Pleasure…

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought… 


I really enjoy Camilla Isley’s writing. I have read several books from her now. I always know that it’s going to be a highly enjoyable read. This book is no exception! If you’re into Sophie Kinsella then I think you’d like Camilla’s writing. Her light-hearted books with relatable characters are incredibly easy to read.

I Have Never centres around Blair who has been having a pretty horrendous time. She’s lost her job when she thought she was going to be promoted and lost her boyfriend when she thought he was going to propose. Blair is so used to her life being controlled by lists of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ that she decides to sort things out, once and for all.

The chapter titles are cleverly from Blair’s ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ list. Within that chapter, we find out whether Blair does or does not do the things mentioned. I really liked this element of the story! I liked to predict whether Blair would do the thing listed!

I loved that the story tied into the first book in the series so seamlessly. We meet Richard, who features in the first book, as Blair’s new boss. Blair now works at an online magazine. She has the opportunity to build a magazine from scratch and although it may not be in print, she gains much more satisfaction from it than she had even anticipated. Blair is incredible happy with her new friends and new job. Also contributing to her happiness is Richard… who she has a massive crush on. Having being jilted at the altar, Richard isn’t big on commitment. However, Blair is determined to find out if their relationship can become more than professional.

I don’t think you necessarily need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one, but it enhances your reading experience if you have read the first book in the series! This book is a lot of fun. There’s drama within, but never too much. There’s a good balance between relationships, friendships and humour. I totally bought into Blair and Richard’s relationship.

I didn’t take long to read this book and can imagine that many will enjoy it as a light, summery read!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars!

Goodreads | AmazonUS | AmazonUK | Google Play | Kobo | B&N | Apple

Follow the rest of the tour:

July 16th
One Book At A Time – Spotlight Post
CosyCuteKnits – Book Review
The Writing Garnet – Book Review
July 17th
The Belgian Reviewer – Book Excerpt
Girl vs Books – Book Review
kraftireader – Book Review

July 18th

Reading Is My SuperPower – Book Review
July 19th
Simona’s Corner of Dreams – Author Guest Post
Bookish – Book Review
July 20th
TheBlossomTwins – Book Review
Grass Monster – Book Review
Chick Lit Central – Author Q&A
Living Life with Joy – Author Guest Post
July 21st
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review
Rae Reads – Book Review
Novelgossip  – Book Review
Whispering Stories – Book Review
Ali – The Dragon Slayer – Book Review
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Book Review
Steamy Book Momma – Book Excerpt
July 22nd
BookLoverWorm – Book Review
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt

Love Connection (First Comes Love #1)

Love Connection (First Comes Love, #1)

How did I get it?:
I received a copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Previously reviewed by the same author:


Have you ever wondered what might have been?

Gemma Dawson is at the airport, staring at two plane tickets to two different cities. Two different weddings. Two possible futures. She’s at a crossroads.

Be maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding or crash her ex’s?

Gemma’s decision, unknown to her, hinges on a delayed flight and a chance meeting. Now her life is about to go down two parallel tracks—will Gemma fly toward a life with her first love or a future with a man she’s not even met yet?

Love Connection is a feel good Romantic Comedy about one woman, life’s infinite possibilities, and the destiny that lies beyond two different choices.


I have enjoyed reading Camilla Isley’s previous two books, so when Camilla got in touch about her newest release, I knew it would be something that I would want to read. I did enjoy reading Love Connection and think if you’re in the mood for a light women’s fiction read then this would be a great choice for you! It’s very Sliding Doors in nature as we follow parallel tracks and explore that ‘What if?’ dilemma!

This book will capture many as I think most of us, at some point, have wondered ‘What if…’ at points in our lives. I always like to read stories that explore the choices we make and the impact we have and Love Connection does this. We get to follow the main character Gemma and see how each path would turn out. Gemma can either attend her best friend’s wedding as a maid of honor, or she can make the choice to crash her ex boyfriend’s (who she is still madly in love with) wedding and express her feelings to him. It’s a story about fate and whether life takes us down a certain path no matter what our choices.

I liked reading about the characters in this story. Gemma is a fun character. I didn’t find her to be overly memorable, but during the story she’s certainly enjoyable to read about. I loved Gemma’s best friend Amelia and enjoyed reading about their friendship. It felt like a realistic friendship. The men in this story are great to read about and all have their good points, that’s for sure!

Love Connection is a decent, well written chick lit. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of the genre!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Another good book from Camilla Isley. Check it out if you’re looking for a light hearted read!

The One We Fell In Love With

The One We Fell in Love With

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:


Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a musician seems to be spiralling down the drain.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…


Paige Toon is one of my favourite writers in the chick-lit genre. I have absolutely loved her books in the past, but felt some of her books were becoming a little predictable. However, Paige is one of my autobuy authors. I buy everything she releases without a second thought. I am thrilled to say that The One We Fell In Love With is a brilliant addition to Paige Toon’s catalogue. I think this is because even though it had its typical Paige Toon moments (not a criticism, I love Paige Toon’s writing style) there was quite a serious twist in the story. It gave the story much more depth which I really enjoyed.

The One We Fell In Love With follows three points of view. It follows identical triplets Rose, Eliza and Phoebe. They are all connected to Angus. They have all been in love with him at some point. I can’t say much more than that because it really would ruin the story. It’s better to not have a clue about what was coming which was certainly the case for me. I didn’t see the twist coming, but I’m pretty sure you’ll love it when it does come. It changed my rating of the story that’s for sure. It wasn’t expected.

Apologies for the vague and rather brief review, but I really don’t want to ruin the reading experience for other readers. In this book you’ll find some amazing characters and a gripping storyline. I adored the triplets, two more than the other, but that’ll become clear if you read it. I also really loved the character of Toby. He was so easy to like and to root for.

If you are into this genre, then I highly recommend picking up The One We Fell In Love With. Then go back and explore Paige Toon’s back catalogue. She has some gems!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Paige Toon has created another wonderful book. I highly enjoyed it!

Always With Love (Billy and Me #2)

Always With Love

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Billy and Me
Christmas With Billy and Me
You’re The One That I Want
Dream A Little Dream
Dream A Little Christmas Dream


Sophie’s got used to being the girlfriend of Billy Buskin, the biggest movie star in the world. Sort of.

But when she and Billy take a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles, she quickly discovers she’s totally unprepared for the chaos of Hollywood, the paparazzi and Billy’s controlling mother.

And when Billy extends his stay in LA, leaving Sophie to fly home to Rosefont Hill alone, it seems there’s more than just miles between them.

Now Sophie must decide if they can overcome their differences for good. Because not every love story lasts the distance . . .


I automatically buy Giovanna Fletcher’s books because I enjoy her writing so much. I was excited to revisit Sophie and Billy again. If you haven’t read Billy and Me, you don’t necessarily need to. There’s enough information given to understand what’s going on. However, I think it would enhance your reading experience if you have read Giovanna’s debut.

Always With Love was as sweet as I expected. It continues to follow Sophie and Billy. Billy has taken on another movie role, despite initially being on a break from acting. Billy can’t pass on the opportunity, so his relationship with Sophie becomes a long distance thing.  Always With Love follows the highs and lows of Sophie and Billy’s relationship and questions whether it can stand the test of time and distance.

Sophie is such a relatable character. She is your average every day girl who is so down to earth. Sophie is so far away from the LA lifestyle and I loved how her ‘normal’ lifestyle ensured that Billy stayed grounded.I loved reading about her relationship with her mother and how that, to, contrasted with Billy’s family life.  I loved reading about Billy too. I wish there had been more of them together.

If I’m being honest, I would have preferred a bit more drama within the story. I was fully expecting something dramatic to happen, but it didn’t. The story had some conflict but it was resolved so quickly and easily that I was left wanting more. I wanted more tension and even though their relationship wasn’t plain sailing, it wasn’t as gripping as I wanted it to be.

That said, Always With Love is a decent, heart-warming, easy to read book which fans of the genre will really enjoy!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A great sequel to Billy and Me!

When I Was Invisible

When I Was Invisible

How did I get it?:
I bought it.

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Flavours of Love
That Girl From Nowhere


‘Do you ever wonder if you’ve lived the life you were meant to?’ I ask her.
She sighs, and dips her head. ‘Even if I do, what difference will it make?’

In 1988, two eight-year-old girls with almost identical names and the same love of ballet meet for the first time. They seem destined to be best friends forever and to become professional dancers. Years later, however, they have both been dealt so many cruel blows that they walk away from each other into very different futures – one enters a convent, the other becomes a minor celebrity. Will these new, ‘invisible’ lives be the ones they were meant to live, or will they only find that kind of salvation when they are reunited twenty years later?


Although I have read many of Dorothy Koomson’s books, I have only reviewed two here on my blog. So, if you don’t know already, I’m a massive fan of Dorothy Koomson’s writing. She is an autobuy author for me. I don’t even read the synopsis, I just preorder! I have to be honest and say that I don’t think is Dorothy’s best work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well written and as touching as I’ve come to expect from Dorothy’s work, I just found it to be quite slow paced and it didn’t capture my attention as much as I wanted it to.

This story follows two ladies with very similar names. Veronica Harper (Roni) and Veronika Harper (Nika) know that they’re going the best of friends when they meet each other. As well as having similar names, they both absolutely adore ballet. Both girls are deetermined to be professional dancers. However, something terrible happens to the girls which tears their friendship and their dreams apart in the process. As a reader, we follow them later in their lives, Roni has been a nun and Nika has been a minor celebrity, she now cleans in a hotel. Roni and Nika are destined to cross paths again and fate brings them back together once more.

I did enjoy this story of love, loss and betrayal, but I feel like the action took some time to pick up the pace. I also didn’t enjoy reading about Roni as much as I did Nika, which gave me an immediate disconnect to the story. However, this shouldn’t put you off as it is still a highly enjoyable read that fans of woman’s fiction should lap up!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes, 3.5 stars!

A solid, touching read from Dortohy Koomson!