#LoveSongsforSceptics

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’.

It didn’t go down well.

When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on. Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever . . .
But as obstacles continue to get in her way – Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding, and an obnoxious publicist determined to run Zoë – Zoë begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.

What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, your first love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be? What if, instead Zoë and Simon are forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite getting the steps right . . .

Love Songs for Sceptics is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lucy Vine and Lindsey Kelk.


Zoe is is the editor of a music magazine which is heading for failure unless she can pull off an interview with her musical icon, Marcie Tyler, who hasn’t spoken to the press in ten years. Add to that the reintroduction of Simon, her life long crush and an annoying publicist and you have a great, upbeat read revolving around the music world.⁠



This book had an unexpected enemies to lovers trope which I absolutely love and definitely made this book for me (that and that the fact that the chapters are all song titles!!) Definitely one for the feel-good fiction fans out there!⁠

Thank you to @randomttours and @simonschusteruk for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Christina Pishiris was born in London to Greek Cypriot parents, who used to bribe her to go to family weddings by promising that George Michael might be there. To deal with the inevitable disappointment, she began scribbling stories on napkins and has been writing ever since. She started her career as a journalist, specialising in the TV industry, before going freelance. Since meeting her film-maker husband she’s also
moved into production, working on music documentaries.

Her hobbies include compiling cheesy 80s playlists, coveting the neighbour’s cat and writing protest letters to Guerlain after they discontinued her favourite perfume.

#TheHighMoments

New Year’s Day is the ultimate cliché for Scarlett:

hangover, check

feeling weepy, check

broken sense of self, check check check

Jobless and stuck living at home with an academic mother who has no time for pep-talks, the one saving grace for Scarlett is that her friend, Billie, still works at the pub down the road. But even the pub is losing its appeal. Desperate to do something, she moves to London with no plan, no money and nowhere to stay. Unsurprisingly, she finds herself crashing on her ex-boyfriend’s sofa with all of her terrible life choices for company.

It’s after Scarlett starts interning at a modelling agency that she takes her first step to becoming something – but it’s also her first step to becoming something else. Each terrible decision she makes leads to another and her life begins to spiral. But people are starting to know her; she’s starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

With a vein of dark humour at its core, The High Moments offers an astute, often stark look at the fashion industry and the issues you can face as a woman in your twenties – fans of Girls and Emma Jane Unsworth’s Animals will love this.

This is the story of Scarlett who has finished Uni and is jobless and back in a hometown that she hates. She dreams of being a fashion designer even though she hasn’t studied it at University and has only ever made one dress for her A Level Art. After another argument with her Mum she sets off to London and by some miracle lands herself a job at a model agency. It is the story of what she will do to get ahead and be liked and popular on social media.

This book is a read for a Summer afternoon in the garden or to take to a beach. I didn’t like the main character Scarlett at all, she wasn’t a nice person. She wasn’t a good friend, she wasn’t a good daughter and she used people in a terrible manner. I have a feeling that we are supposed to empathise with her slightly but I just didn’t. What it did show was the pressure of life in the modern world for young impressionable women who regard popularity as validation of who they are and where followers are more important than people. Of course the main character realises the error of her ways and takes steps to transform her life so there is a positive message in the end.

Thank you to @simonschusteruk & @randomttours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Sara-Ella Ozbek is a London-bred author of South African and Turkish descent. After graduating from the University of Exeter with a BA in English Literature, she interned at Vogue magazine and subsequently fell into a job at a modelling agency.

After six exciting, if somewhat draining, years as an agent, she left to pursue a career in writing. She attended the New York Film Academy screenwriting programme then went to Los Angeles where she joined the hustle of the screenwriters. Out of the frustration and misery came her first novel, The High Moments.

Aside from the novel, she has written non-fiction for titles including Because Magazine, Suitcase, Tatler, Drugstore Culture, Voyage D’Etudes and Soho House Notes.

#DaisyCoopersRulesForLiving

Daisy Cooper’s life has been pretty uneventful – until the moment it suddenly ends. Unfortunately, her death is (literally) an accident: Daisy wasn’t meant to die for another fifty years. One terrible, embarrassing clerical error is behind it – and Death himself is to blame.

As Daisy battles against her new reality, she starts to learn that letting go isn’t just a challenge faced by those left behind. And while she learns how to survive this impossible new reality, friendship, hope and even love begin to come alive in the most unexpected ways.

For Daisy Cooper, death was the perfect time to start making sense of life…

Ebook available now, Hardback to be published by Orion on 20th August 2020, 320 pages.



This is the story of Daisy who slips on an icy pavement and dies, unfortunately a terrible error was made, it was not her time to die! The story then follows Daisy, her friends, family and unusually Death too as they deal with the aftermath of her passing.⁣

This book was described as fun, fresh – a brilliant love story with a twist. I started to read it and thought I knew exactly where it was going but I was completely wrong.⁣

It was just fabulous and nothing at all like I thought it was going to be. I am not a huge fan of stories where I can see exactly where it was going and everything works out all fluffy and lovely in the end and I made the mistake of thinking this was going to be like that. It is not. It is cleverly written and extremely touching in parts. ⁣

The characters are superbly well written and I believed and was invested in every one of them, especially the character of Death (or Scout as he likes to be known) who has fears and faults and makes mistakes just like everyone else . I was so intrigued to find out what was going to happen that I just could not put it down.⁣

It is such an original book and it doesn’t flower over how the death of a love one effects the people left behind but also gives us the unusual perspective of the person who died. This may make it sound dark and sad but it really isn’t. It is a story of how love doesn’t die after death and of the power and strength of human nature and I cannot recommend it enough if you want to read something original and entertaining.⁣

This is Tamsin Keily’s debut and I cannot wait to read what she writes next…⁣

Review written by @FionaJaneFreer and our copy was kindly #gifted by @kate_moreton at @orionbooks

#WeBeginAtTheEnd

‘You can’t save someone that doesn’t want to be saved . . .

For some people, trouble just finds them.‘ Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer. Now, he’s been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California.

Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed. Duchess Radley, Star’s thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin – and to her deeply troubled mother.

But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town. Murder, revenge, retribution.

How far can we run from the past when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?

Published by Zaffre Books on 2nd April 2020, 464 Pages

Set in a small town in America we are introduced to multiple characters who have all been affected by a terrible accident 30 years ago. It is a story of broken people, secrets, family, murder and demonstrates how far people will go for those they love.

This is a wholly engrossing character driven book that I definitely won’t forget. Rarely do I get so involved in characters that I actually want to be able to step into the pages to help them but I completely fell for Duchess Day Radley, Outlaw, and was heartbroken for her, I just wanted to scoop her into my arms (even though she would have hated that!).

At 464 pages I though this might be a book I read over a few days but once I picked it up, I could not put it down and read the whole thing within 24 hours. The pacing of the book is a perfect blend of fast moving with detailed descriptions of how events are unfolding. I was not prepared for the emotional impact this book has had on me so much so I am struggling to put into words how great this book is as I don’t feel anything, I can say will do it justice.

If you get the chance please read this book, you won’t regret it!

Thank you to @Tr4cyF3nt0n @WhittyAuthor and @ZaffreBooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

#TheAuthenticityProject

Six strangers with one universal thing in common: their lives aren’t always what they make them out to be.

What would happen if they told the truth instead?

Julian Jessop is tired of hiding the deep loneliness he feels. So he begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life.

Leaving the notebook on a table in his friendly neighbourhood café, Julian never expects Monica, the owner, to track him down after finding it. Or that she’ll be inspired to write down her own story.

Little do they realize that such small acts of honesty hold the power to impact all those who discover the notebook and change their lives completely.

A story about connection, community, and the kindness of strangers.

Published by Bantam Press (Transworld Publishers) on 2nd April 2020, 416 Pages

I’m going to jump right in there and say that I loved this book!

In essence this book was a character study, an in depth look at individuals, their lives, how they saw themselves and how they were seen by others. I loved this and how it was established so early on, for example on page 4, Monica “paused to turn the page and take a mouthful of wine. She wasn’t sure she liked Julian very much” when reading Julian’s message. Then on page 28 we have a completely different opinion from Hazard even though he was reading the same thing Monica read, “Hazard Read on, He rather liked Julian.”

I found it utterly captivating and could not put it down. It was light and fun whilst covering some serious topics. If you enjoyed the 24-hour café then you will like this!

Thank you to @anncater at random things tours for letting me be part of the tour and to @TransworldBooks and @cpooleywriter for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum.

Clare lives in Fulham, London with her long-suffering husband, three children, dog and a cupboard filled with alcohol-free beer.

Clare is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy.

Instagram: http://instagram.com/clare_pooley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cpooleywriter

Facebook: http://facebook.com/SoberMummy

#JackAndBet

Friday 13th March 2020

Even the longest marriages have their secrets . . .

Jack Chalmers is a man of few words, married to a woman of many. He and Bet have been together for seventy years – almost a lifetime – and happily so, for the most part.

All Jack and Bet want is to enjoy the time they have left together, in the flat they have tried to make their home. Their son Tommy has other ideas: he wants them to live somewhere with round-the-clock care, hot meals, activities. Bet thinks they can manage just fine.

When they strike up an unlikely friendship with Marinela, a young Romanian woman, Bet thinks she has found the perfect solution – one that could change Marinela’s life as well as theirs. But this means revisiting an old love affair, and confronting a long-buried secret she has kept hidden from everyone, even Jack, for many years.

Tender, moving and beautifully told, Sarah Butler’s Jack & Bet is an unforgettable novel about love and loss, the joys and regrets of a long marriage, and the struggle to find a place to call home.

Published by Picador / Pan Macmillan on 5 March 2020, 272 pages

This is the story of an elderly couple who’s son wants them to move into a home. It tells the tale of their life now with snippets of their past woven in to reveal dark secrets. This was an understated yet compelling read.

Jack takes a daily walk to a cafe where, one day, he meets Marinela. As the story develops you can see parallels between Bet and Marinela and you begin to have more of an understanding for each character because of it.

This is definitely not what I was expecting, I think I went in thinking this would be a funny, heart warming read – it wasn’t – it was so much more. This was a real and gritty look at what life is like for the elderly living amongst us and of how strong love for another can be. It also challenges the idea of what people call home and shows that what is one man’s home is another man’s castle.

Thanks to @annecater & @picadorbooks / Pan Macmillan

Sarah Butler is the acclaimed author of two previous novels, Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love and Before the Fire. Her writing has been translated into fourteen languages. She is also the author of a novella, Not Home, written in conversation with people living in unsupported temporary accommodation. Sarah is a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Manchester with her family.