Archive | May 18, 2015

Wish you were here, Phillipa Ashley

Wish you were here, Phillipa Ashley

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction
I love this sort of read sometimes, funny, light, and with a holiday feel to it. The kind of book you want for a beach read. It sounded so promising and it was a decent read but for me it could have been a five star one if certain areas were a bit stronger…still, I’m not the author – I can’t write! and it’s clearly going to be five star for many other readers. Everyone likes something different.
So – Beth; I liked her, hardworking but with ambition, loving, and devoted to her sister and dad. She’s been dating Marcus for a while, he doesn’t make her heart race as Jack did – but where did that leave her? Broken hearted. At least Marcus is dependable….and from my view dull, patronising and controlling. He sees her job as a kind of hobby, and doesn’t take it seriously – you can tell what he wants in a wife, someone to look after the home and family and be his support all the while, not wanting any kind of life of her own. Poor Beth, she deserves so much more but doesn’t seem to be able to see past his reliability, so hurt as she was by Jack. She thought they were in love, he’d promised to find her once they were home but he just disappeared…Then she finds him at her  job interview as the new CEO!!
Jack; he did love Beth, did intend to contact her but something major stepped in. He’s always regretted the lack of contact but at the time he did what he thought was best, he’s never found anyone to match her since, and now opportunity looks like he might get another break with her. Between her hatred of him, the dependable Marcus and Camilla, a magazine rep who’s decided Jack’s a good prospect for her will he get a chance.
Well its a book packed with humour and pathos, hope and rejection, some fabulous characters and a feel of adventure about it. I really enjoyed it, the backstory is strong as well as the budding romance. and its a worthy four stars but had there been a bit more sharpness, Camilla really lived up to her bit chy role, Marcus been a little stronger rival, and more of the “sad” parts that I love it would have been five for me. As I said though its perfect for others, for those who want a fun, sexy summer read.
Stars: Four, a fun summer romance
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Day Of The Wave Becky Wicks


The Day Of The Wave
Becky Wicks
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, women’s literature
I can still remember the shock, the horror of seeing that huge crashing wave that caused such devastation, and it was so traumatic, so awful that it feels like only recently, not ten years ago. Becky has taken real events and fashioned a fictional romance around them. She’s managed to create something beautiful from something that’s awful beyond belief. When Nature lets rip we don’t stand a chance – as seen recently by the avalanche in Nepal that caused massive loss of life, and of course not just death but injuries that change people’s lives.
Changing of lives can happen so quickly, one moment we’re happily going about our lives and enjoying everything and then something shatters it, changes it. For me it was a cancer diagnosis that happened just as life was getting easier, with 3 teens and both of us working, then came the big C and my left leg was amputated. Its given us all an insight into how one thing can have a huge impact on life, and how each day needs to be treasured. For those affected by the Tsunami their lives were changed too – even those who survived have either lost family members, or had themselves or others close to them with massive injuries to recover from. That kind of thing changes us, and here Becky has taken the story of two survivors and shown us some of the things that impacted on them to the degree its still affecting their everyday lives ten years later.
Izzy and Ben, just 16 when the wave hit and each had known the other only eight days, and yet in the way of teen/holiday romances that seemed like an age to them. Both thought the other had died in the disaster, and so were shocked to bump into each other ten years later by chance. They’re different people now, and yet that magical thread that grew between them, that attraction and sensuality is still there. Ben; his uncle and younger brother died and he’s recreated his uncle’s dive shop. He’s also done massive charity drives to help the locals rebuild and he’s like one of them now, family to them almost. He’s been all round the world in the intervening time, but never settled anywhere til he came back here. Izzy lost her parents, and is now living and working in London. Her job brings her out to Thailand, though until now she’s avoided going anywhere near the ocean….They can’t believe it when they find each other, but Izzy is on the verge of breaking up with her boyfriend of four years after she’s discovered he cheated on her with her best friend, and Ben – he doesn’t have relationships or exes he says – is “with” Kalaya, someone working in the dive shop. They can’t let each other go though and Ben persuades Izzy to stay for a while, to face some of her fears with his support.
Its a beautiful story, sensitively handled and I felt as if it’s what life may well be like for those that survived. Not just those on holiday, but the locals, who had to try to rebuild shattered lives, homeless, jobless, and with absolutely nothing. It’s easy to see horrors on TV and yet stay devolved from the reality but this is life for so many people, who need and deserve our help. I really enjoyed how Becky wove into the story the memories/nightmares Ben and Izzy had, how others didn’t realise how affected they still were so many years later, how things were rebuilt, with better warnings for any future disasters. We can’t avoid them but we can prepare for them. There’s a bit where she describes how the animals reacted just before the event, that reminded me of how here in UK when there’s a summer thunder storm due all the animals and birds go quiet. One moment the birds are trilling happily then over the next few minutes they all seem to disappear and go quiet. We can learn from animals, we seem to have lost our instincts, but they still use theirs to survive.
Anyway I’ve done a bit of a rambling review here, but its how the story made me feel, brought up many thoughts as I was reading, and it’s very different from Becky’s other books ( which I loved too ), but still a really wonderful read and gives a lot to think about and be grateful for.
Stars: Five, a wonderful read, full of emotion, and feels incredibly real.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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