Dot Scribbles

26.8.16

BOOK REVIEW: Hungry for Love by Lucy Beresford

Jax is about to cancel her wedding to Jonty. On the day. By text. A scrumptious celebration of survival for anyone who's longed for love or felt unworthy of it. Hungry for Love will show you the importance of self-respect and that love can be found where you least expect it.

Publisher: Quartet Books
Pages: 242

Hungry for Love is a charming and funny read. It only took me a couple of days to finish and I think it would be a great book to pack in your suitcase if you have a holiday planned over the summer.
The opening chapter sees Jax cancelling her wedding by text, on the actual day. I loved that the author went straight into the thick of it as you are left wanting to know what has led Jax to make such a huge decision. Plus you have had no time to get to know the character before something very big happens so all of these leads you to want to read on in order to find out more.
The book follows Jax as she tries to get her life back on track. She is now free of her domineering ex but she still has her over-bearing mother to deal with. Jax's mother is Majella; a famous celebrity chef who Jax has a very difficult relationship with. Jax decides to teach herself to cook. With her mother's fame and notoriety she has a lot to live up to but the process shows her what she is really made of. With some love interests thrown in and many mouth-watering descriptions of food, you can't help but enjoy this story of one woman's quest to find out exactly who she wants to be.
This is the first book I have read by Lucy Beresford but I enjoyed her witty and entertaining writing style.
Hungry for Love is a feel good read that will leave you with a big smile on your face and a rumbling tummy!

Many thanks to Emma Daley for sending me a copy of this book to review, it is available to buy now. 

25.8.16

BOOK REVIEW: The Killing of Polly Carter by Robert Thorogood

Supermodel Polly Carter was famed for her looks and party-girl lifestyle. Now she's dead, lying at the foot of a cliff, but those who knew her say Polly would never have killed herself. DI Richard Poole is inclined to agree there is more to Polly's death than meets the eye.
Already fighting  a losing battle against the intense Caribbean heat, Richard now faces fresh adversaries: a stream of alibis; a host of conflicting motives; and, worst of all, a visit from his mother.
As his team closes in on Polly's household, Richard is certain that the model's death was an inside job  and the murderer is still on Saint Marie. He is determined to prove who planned the killing of Polly Carter and why...

Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 333

The Killing of Polly Carter is a Death in Paradise mystery, I haven't actually watched any of the popular TV show but I think I will have to catch up with it as I really enjoyed this book from Robert Thorogood.
DI Richard Poole is still on the Caribbean Island of Saint Marie, his day has not started well and his mother is arriving on the island that very afternoon. He could do with a nice, quiet day but then one of his colleagues arrives to tell him that a body has been found at the bottom of some cliffs. The body turns out to be supermodel, Polly Carter. Her wheel-chair bound twin sister, Claire says that Polly threatened to kill herself and then proceeded to jump from the cliff. At first it appears like a straightforward suicide but closer inspection of the body shows that Polly did not kill herself, she was murdered.
So the whodunnit begins and there are plenty of people who had reason to murder Polly. Richard and his team must discover the truth and find out exactly how Polly ended up at the bottom of the cliffs.
Richard Poole is a well created character; he is quite eccentric with a few insecurities but his heart is in the right place. It is very entertaining and amusing watching him look for clues, At times he seems out of his depth but at others he seems the only one in control.
The arrival of Richard's mother Jennifer is also causing him extra stress, He has no idea why she has chosen to be away from his father for two weeks and why did she come to Saint Marie when she doesn't seem too bothered about spending any time with him?
The Killing of Polly Carter is well-written and highly entertaining. I loved the mystery at the heart of the book but there is so much to enjoy surrounding that too. I highly recommend this book, even if you haven't watched the show.

24.8.16

Disclaimer by Renee Knight

What if you realised the terrifying book you were reading was all about you?
When a mysterious novel appears at Catherine Ravenscroft's bedside, she is curious. She has no idea who may have sent her The Perfect Stranger or how it ended up on her nightstand. At first, she is intrigued by the suspenseful story that unfolds .
And then she realises.
This isn't fiction.
The Perfect Stranger re-creates in vivid, unmistakable detail the day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew, and that person is dead.
Now that the past that Catherine so desperately wants to forget is catching up with her, her world is falling apart. Plunged into a living nightmare, her only hope is to confront what really happened on that terrible day... even if the shocking truth might destroy her. 

Publisher: Black Swan
Pages: 368

This book is brilliant! What a fantastic idea for a story and an excellent debut from Renne Knight.
Catherine Ravenscroft, a successful director has just moved house. She finds a book on her bedside table entitled The Perfect Stranger; she is intrigued and begins reading one night. As she gets further into the book, she realises that the main character is actually her; the secrets that she has been hiding for many years are laid bare in the book. Who has written the book and how did it get into her house? Dare she read to the end?
I really did struggle to put this book down, the chapters are the perfect size and each one leaves you wanting more. It's such a beautifully creepy idea. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when Catherine realised the book was about her. The whole book is based on lies, secrets and deception, you are constantly wondering what the truth is.
There were so many twists at the end. Renee Knight plotted them expertly and I did not see the main one coming. It almost felt like a treat as I was already so impressed.
I highly recommend that you read this book, I was so pleased to read that the author has already started working on her second book, I can't wait to see what she does next.

15.8.16

BLOG TOUR: Found by Elle Field

I'm so pleased to be part of the Found blog tour! I am a huge fan of the Arielle Lockley series by Elle Field so I was very excited to get my hands on the latest but also a little sad as it is the last. If you have missed out on this series then I seriously recommend them; Elle Field has created fantastic characters that you will be sad to leave behind. Here's the idea behind Found:

Who knew one flight could change everything? When Arielle Lockley stepped on the plane at Heathrow, she never realised how different her life would be when she touched down in New York City. Now she's dealing with that aftermath, as well as trying to find common ground with Etta, her new and unexpected business partner.
But, trying to sort out business in London whilst her fiancé, Piers, recovers from surgery in New York, is starting to take its toll on their relationship. Can Arielle and Etta work together to continue Felicity's legacy without destroying it, and will Arielle and Piers even make it down the aisle to say "I do"?
Find out what happens this summer in the final part of the warm and wonderful Arielle Lockley series.

I've been wondering what was going to happen to Arielle as everything was left on a bit of a cliff hanger in the last book so I  couldn't wait to start reading Found when it landed in my mail box. Elle Field goes straight into the action, Arielle is on her way to New York as her fiance Piers has been taken ill; when she arrives she discovers that he has undergone a huge operation and will be unable to fly home for over a month. Everything in her life is in disarray, she has just lost a dear friend, discovered that she has a new and not so friendly business partner in Etta and now the man she is due to marry is hooked up to all kinds of machines in a hospital in New York. How is she going to juggle everything; she can't leave Piers in New York but she must also get her career back on track whilst grieving for one of the few people who ever believed in her. Oh and she still has a wedding to plan! 
Found was a brilliant read and I feel so fortunate to have been introduced to this series of books so that I have been able to follow Arielle's journey from the very beginning. Elle Field writes with such warmth and her books never fail to entertain. I love the fashion backdrop of the whole series,  it is so easy for Arielle to be sucked into the pretentious world that she makes a living from yet we see her battling with that and I think in Found you see a character who has grown and learnt such a lot about herself. She is a little less high maintenance in this book and you can see that she has come to recognise what's really important in life and it is not a designer handbag. 
The majority of the book takes place in New York and this gave it a slightly different feel. Arielle stays with Piers whilst he recovers and whilst it is awful that he has been so ill, it also gives them the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together without the distractions of work for both of them.
I am still gutted that the series has come to an end (but secretly hoping that Elle might write just one more) however Found was the perfect conclusion for me. Elle Field ties up any loose ends and brings everything to a close without it being too twee or perfect. I know that this is a series that I will re-read in the future and if you haven't encountered Arielle Lockley yet then I recommend that you start at the beginning and enjoy each one. 

Many thanks to Elle for sending me a review copy and asking me to take part in her book tour! 

26.7.16

BLOG TOUR: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

I am very pleased to be the final stop on the blog tour for Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent today, first let me give you the synopsis:

Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons, a respected judge and his reclusive wife, find themselves in a most unfortunate situation- they have had to murder a young woman and bury her in their exquisite garden.
While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to fall apart.
But Laurence is not as naive as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl's family may be the undoing of his own. 

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 303

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent is so good! I very much enjoyed Unravelling Oliver but in my opinion, this is even better.
Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons are a highly respectable couple. He is a high court judge and they have a young son Laurence who they share a sprawling family home with. But then this illustrious couple murder a young woman and bury her in their garden in order to cover it up. Lydia is the strongest in the couple and she will do everything she can to protect her young son. Andrew falls apart under the pressure and it becomes clear that Laurence may know more than they originally thought.
Lying in Wait is a dark, compelling read. Lydia is one of the most twisted characters I have ever encountered. She's highly addictive, I couldn't put the book down as I wanted to know what she was capable of next.
Liz Nugent has the pace just right in this book, there are some terrific twists and it felt expertly plotted. Each chapter is told from on of the main character's point of view which was extremely clever as it feels very intimate and at certain points you are privy to certain things that others aren't.
Lying in Wait will have you turning the pages, constantly wanting more. Liz Nugent is a fantastic author and deserves all the praise she is getting.

Liz Nugent has very kindly answered some questions for this blog tour:

1.      Lying in Wait is fantastically dark, as was Unravelling Oliver, where did the inspiration come from?

A man once told me that he strongly suspected his father had murdered a prostitute in the 1960s. He had no evidence or no way of proving it. He never had the courage to challenge his father and went to his grave wondering. He told me this story about 25 years ago and he is long dead now. I always wondered what it would be like to grow up in a house where you suspect your father is a murderer.

2.      I loved the character of Lydia Fitzsimons; she seemed to get even more twisted as the story developed, did you start off with a clear picture of how she would be by the end of the book or were you shocked at what she was capable of?

Lydia developed as I went along. When I began to write the novel, she was merely the accomplice in her husband’s murder of Annie Doyle, but as I wrote, I realised it would be far more interesting if she was the driving force within the family, so I gave her some neuroses and a back story that might explain it. It all developed organically. I surprised myself by how monstrous she turned out to be in the end! I must have a very warped mind.

3.      Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, did you enjoy writing from one perspective more than another?

I think I enjoyed writing Laurence more than any other character, because he is constantly struggling with the dilemma of whether to betray his family or not. It is a very difficult thing to do when they are all you have. And then when he meets the woman of his dreams, his dilemma is reinforced. He just wants to keep everyone happy and it almost destroys him.  He lacks courage and I can empathise with that.

4. I am always intrigued as to what authors like to read when they have some spare time, what was the last book that you read?

I read my last book over two days. Fat Chance by Louise McSharry is an autobiographical account of a young woman who grew up in a very dysfunctional home and her problems with betrayal, body image, cancer, love and marriage. It sounds like a grim read, but in fact, it is very funny, heart warming and life affirming.  I think it would be a wonderful gift for any young woman with issues of self-esteem.


5. What would be your typical writing day?

Write in the library from 10am until 2.30pm. In the afternoon, I research and attend to other admin tasks, like publicity, website updates etc. Hopefully, finish up by 6.






19.7.16

BOOK REVIEW: Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Inseparable throughout university, four friends graduate into an exhilarating world on the brink of a shiny new millennium. Eva, keen to shrug off the gruff socialist politics of her childhood, gets a job at a city investment bank, while Sylvie plans to become an artist. Physicist Benedict, meanwhile is devoting his life to chasing elusive particles. Things are less changing for Sylvie's mercurial brother Lucien, he simply intends to continue going to parties and sleeping around.
Invincible Summer follows them as they navigate two decades of furtive sex and thwarted dreams, lost jobs and broken hearts, buffeted all the while by forces of economics and history that shape our lives.



Publisher: Picador
Pages: 308


This  book is delightful and I could not put it down. I read it in just over a day and  I was so sad to say goodbye to the fantastic characters created by Alice Adams.
Eva is the main character and she meets Sylvie, Lucien and Benedict while at university. This story follows the four friends each summer after they have graduated. It is fascinating to see the different directions they all take yet they have a strong tie that inevitably brings them back together.
Invincible Summer deals with so much; growing up, getting a job, love, friendship, loyalty and so much more. Alice Adams makes you truly care for these characters; they all have their flaws but they feel extremely real and you quickly want the best for them.
Benedict was my favourite character; he is definitely the most gentle and unassuming which in turn leads him to miss out on several things. The other friends can easily overlook him at times and there were moments where I felt frustrated that they had this lovely man as their friend but they did not appreciate him.
By showing the characters year by year, it was easy to see who had changed and who had got stuck or a bit lost. I remember feeling so daunted when I left university; I had no idea what I wanted to do or how I wanted to move forward and I think that Alice Adams captures these feelings brilliantly.
For some reason the book felt very British and comforting. If a film was made of it then I think it would be in a very similar vein to Four Weddings and a Funeral or Notting Hill. Alice Adams' writing is extremely witty but she does not shy away from emotive subjects and difficult situations.
I really, really loved this book, I don't keep that many (as my husband would divorce me!) but I will be finding this one a place on the shelf so that I can enjoy it again in the future.

Many thanks to Helen Mockridge for sending me a review copy of this book, it is out now! 

BOOK REVIEW: Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Inseparable throughout university, four friends graduate into an exhilarating world on the brink of a shiny new millennium. Eva, keen to shrug off the gruff socialist politics of her childhood, gets a job at a city investment bank, while Sylvie plans to become an artist. Physicist Benedict, meanwhile is devoting his life to chasing elusive particles. Things are less changing for Sylvie's mercurial brother Lucien, he simply intends to continue going to parties and sleeping around.
Invincible Summer follows them as they navigate two decades of furtive sex and thwarted dreams, lost jobs and broken hearts, buffeted all the while by forces of economics and history that shape our lives.



Publisher: Picador
Pages: 308


This  book is delightful and I could not put it down. I read it in just over a day and  I was so sad to say goodbye to the fantastic characters created by Alice Adams.
Eva is the main character and she meets Sylvie, Lucien and Benedict while at university. This story follows the four friends each summer after they have graduated. It is fascinating to see the different directions they all take yet they have a strong tie that inevitably brings them back together.
Invincible Summer deals with so much; growing up, getting a job, love, friendship, loyalty and so much more. Alice Adams makes you truly care for these characters; they all have their flaws but they feel extremely real and you quickly want the best for them.
Benedict was my favourite character; he is definitely the most gentle and unassuming which in turn leads him to miss out on several things. The other friends can easily overlook him at times and there were moments where I felt frustrated that they had this lovely man as their friend but they did not appreciate him.
By showing the characters year by year, it was easy to see who had changed and who had got stuck or a bit lost. I remember feeling so daunted when I left university; I had no idea what I wanted to do or how I wanted to move forward and I think that Alice Adams captures these feelings brilliantly.
For some reason the book felt very British and comforting. If a film was made of it then I think it would be in a very similar vein to Four Weddings and a Funeral or Notting Hill. Alice Adams' writing is extremely witty but she does not shy away from emotive subjects and difficult situations.
I really, really loved this book, I don't keep that many (as my husband would divorce me!) but I will be finding this one a place on the shelf so that I can enjoy it again in the future.

Many thanks to Helen Mockridge for sending me a review copy of this book, it is out now! 

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