mrschristine.com

2019

Unexpected Lessons in Love by Lucy Dillon

Published September 11, 2022

Unexpected Lessons in Love by Lucy Dillon

I liked the fundamental story of this - a young woman is set to marry her fiance in a whirlwind romance but has doubts on the wedding morning, only for their entire lives to be turned upside down by an unexpected accident. After that, there are moral decisions to be made, a whole new life to try and start whilst also being on pause, and revelations that eventually come. I didn’t necessarily enjoy the side plots - the Edith recording story didn’t reflect well on Jeannie at all, and the puppy farm stuff didn’t seem to have a huge impact other than kick starting the endless talk about wedding dresses. I’m not so sure about that, but overall I enjoyed reading it.

The Dinner Party by R. J. Parker

Published September 8, 2022

The Dinner Party by R. J. Parker

I quite liked how this mystery played out, with a dinner party game being played and even though no secrets are revealed at the time, the fallout is quick and severe. Six friends at the start, and by the end, they are being picked off and whittled down until the big showdown. I had no idea who had done what or why, although it was clear Ted’s wife knew a lot more than she was letting on right from the start. A good, quick read, with short, sharp chapters.

The Couple on Cedar Close by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Published September 2, 2022

The Couple on Cedar Close by Anna-Lou Weatherley

This was a really good thriller, I thought I had guessed the big whodunit twist and then that was revealed within the next couple of chapters, and so I wasn’t all that smart after all. The real twist was why and who was next and would they be caught in time. Occasionally it felt a bit drawn out but ultimately I enjoyed it. Annoyingly, it’s the second book in a series which I didn’t realise until I was halfway through so now I have to go back one before moving on, but that’s okay, I’ll live!

Secrets of Willow House by Susanne O'Leary

Published July 31, 2022

Secrets of Willow House by Susanne O'Leary

This was a free book of the week from Apple Books, so low stakes investment but actually it was a really good read. I whipped through it in super quick time, and enjoyed watching the characters gradually relax and unfold into their surroundings. The bit where there was a supposed mystery over the emails and money and stuff was annoying because it was so obvious what was going on and our hero Maeve even laid out the facts and still couldn’t see it… annoying. BUT once that was out in the open, the rest read like a dream. I’m curious what the other books in the series are like too.

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

Published July 16, 2022

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

I liked the format of this book, the way it skipped through years and only dipped in and out of the lives of our two main characters. It reminded me of One Day, which also only visits the characters on one day a year. You really get a good sense of the life being lived, and it was worth going on the journey with these two. Actually, [spoiler alert] just like One Day, there’s a super sad ending, and if I’m honest I could have done without it. It’s well written and winds to a satisfying ending but just left me feeling despondent.

The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope

Published July 15, 2022

The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope

This was an interesting story - a child was snatched by his father and then some years later, returned to the grieving mother. It was fascinating because she could be confident the boy was still alive but had absolutely no idea where he was. Dealing with a child six years older and now with some trauma put the pressure on our protagonist which added to the intrigue. I did guess the twist but it was still a good read to get to the end.

Lily's War by Shirley Mann

Published July 9, 2022

Lily's War by Shirley Mann

This was a free audiobook included in the Audible Plus catalogue, and I just picked it at random when I wanted something to listen to. I was only intending to use it as background noise but then I sort of got hooked on the story. The characters are never really fleshed out to a huge degree, but you care enough to follow them through their wartime struggle - with our hero Lily training to be a radio operator, dreaming of being a pilot, but dealing with a burgeoning love life along the way. It was actually a pretty entertaining listen.

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

Published June 16, 2022

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

I really enjoyed the concept of this book - a love story in very simple terms, with friends and foes getting in and out of each other’s way, and plenty of missed opportunities. I enjoyed the close calls and how the pair were obviously meant to be together but it just never quite happened. It was such a relief and high when they did find each other and make it work… but I did think the celebrations were repeated too often. First they told each other about every time they had near misses and then it was all reported in an article as well, so it felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again.

Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

Published April 30, 2022

Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell

Absolutely whipped through this romantic drama, because although it did have that age-old trope of a city girl moving back to the country, it had a good deal more to it than that. The book starts with a tragedy, and really puts some of the main characters through the wringer, but good things do start to happen. Missed opportunities and plenty of misunderstandings later, and we get towards our happy ending. Just a good easy-to-read story.

Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog by Emily Dean

Published March 14, 2022

Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog by Emily Dean

Oh lovely Emily Dean. I used to listen to the Frank Skinner show regularly and I remember the weeks she took off when her sister died, such a sad and difficult time. But I stopped listening and had only vaguely been aware of what happened after that. This book is incredibly honest and detailed, a look at how grief can affect you in many different ways and some ways to try and deal with it. Emily doesn’t seem to have had a traditional upbringing which makes it kind of hard to relate to, but most can relate to imposter syndrome and feeling out of sorts in your own skin. Great book, well written, tragic tale but somehow uplifting at the same time.