Review – Before this is Over by Amanda Hickie

51wKFTHJQ1L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_A normal family.  A quiet, leafy street.  A terrifying epidemic.

This is a frightening story focusing on one family out of many, going through a simply devastating time.  This is the sort of tale that makes you ask – how far would you go to save your family?!

Hannah has been planning for this moment; a lethal illness that she knew would spread.  With two boys and a husband to look after, she has been stockpiling supplies for this moment, despite people, especially her husband, feeling it completely unnecessary.  Well it’s a good job that Hannah didn’t listen as the worst has happened, and they are quarantined to the house living on everything Hannah bought.

It started with just a few unconfirmed cases but then a death happened, and now the whole city is quarantined.  I do not know how I would cope myself, but I guess adrenaline kicks in and you sort stuff out.  You deal with it because you have to.  Just as Hannah does.  She is 100% sure that even if she doesn’t survive, her kids will, they are her complete priority.

Many things happen during lock down.  You find out how close this family really is.  They need to survive many things like arguments, basics becoming luxuries, neighbours becoming hazards and with a few power cuts thrown in, and a cut off of water supply – surely claustrophobia will set in as they struggle with things to fill their time!?

Hannah is a powerful character who struggles to back down, but she also has a husband with similar traits.  This novel is page-turning and just like what would happen in real-life, you have no idea where this story is going to take you.  There are tearful times, and frustrating events that take place, but there are little moments of happiness that show how much love this family has for each other.

‘Before this is Over’ is full of suspense with a major question hanging over it – “how far would one mother go to save her children?!’  You will have to read it to find out for yourself… (no spoilers here!).

This book is definitely worthy of ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and I look forward to seeing what else Amanda Hickie has to offer.  Thank you so much to Headline Publishers and Bookbridgr for my copy!





Review – The Place We Met by Isabelle Broom

517f23GadLLLake Como, Italy, New Year’s Eve.  The perfect place to fall in love?  Or the perfect place for everything to fall apart?

This mesmerising, magical tale is told from the points of view of two lovely ladies – Lucy and Taggie.

Lucy thinks she has it all.  Despite her fair share of bad dates and men in general, she has met Pete.  To her, Pete is perfect, but what is he hiding?!  Lucy begins to wonder if all is as it seems when he appears to have mysterious phone calls which lead to Lucy snooping in his apartment and stumbling upon a photo of his glamorous ex-girlfriend.  Lucy’s insecurities begin to surface, but will a trip to Lake Como – her favourite place, ease her worries or make them worse!?

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November – what a month for releases!

November has seen some fabulous releases, two of which I have read and quite simply fell in love with… we have the drop-dead-sexy Mr Jack Reacher (Lee Child) returning with his debut The Midnight Line, and Gi Fletcher creating another kick-ass female lead! Reading has been so much fun recently!

Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

41e5YgamvjLWhen the love of your life says you’re not The One, who are you?

Lizzy is so in love with her boyfriend of ten years; Ian.  They have been a couple since their first week of university, so surely the next step in their relationship is an engagement.  Lizzy would be over the moon with a proposal although Ian has other ideas… and what is supposed to be a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancé and no future.

This heartbreakingly stunning read follows Lizzy seeking opportunities, finding her moments and really discovering who she is outside of being Ian’s ‘other half’.

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Two Very Different Books

I have recently read two very different books that I want to rave about.  One being a Japanese crime story and the other an Italian coming-of-age dark noir tale.  Both completely different, yet both satisfying for the mind.

I will start with Blue Light Yokohama which by the name, you can probably guess is the Japanese crime fiction novel!

Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolas Obregon

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

51W1D9IrJfLSarah Harwood at Penguin sent me a copy of this after I fell in love with the blurb – so thank you to her!  This book has opened up a whole new world of Japanese crime fiction for me which I have been missing since reading ‘Six Four’ earlier this year.

Considering Nicolas Obregon isn’t Japanese, he knows the culture remarkably well, understands the police hierarchy and has brazenly used an unsolved real-life murder as the basis for this Tokyo set novel.

Inspector Iwata; a determined and noticeably defiant man, has recently transferred to Tokyo’s homicide department and is assigned a new partner, Sakai, and a secondhand case – a family of four murdered in their own home by a killer who painted a black sun on the bedroom ceiling before leaving in broad daylight.  One thing though, is that the original detective leading the enquiry killed himself by leaping off the city’s famous Rainbow Bridge.

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My Bonfire Weekend Reading

I had a busy weekend involving play-dates with kids, plenty of fizz, takeaways, brunch and fabulous fireworks, but I always manage to squeeze in some reading – why change the habit of a lifetime!?

I read two books this weekend; The Travelling Cat Chronicles and Without a Word, both of which I would recommend.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hero Arikawa

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

41XKOKhgZzL‘It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.’

This majestic tale is told from the point of view of a cat.  A cat named Nana.  Nana is on a road trip with his owner and best friend, Satoru, but Nana is not sure where they are going, nor does he care whilst he is sat in the front seat next to his beloved owner.  They go on a journey of visiting three old friends of Satoru’s, though the reason why will break your heart.

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A selection of books I read in October

It was an eventful month so I haven’t read as much as I would have liked, but nevertheless, I have a little selection that I really enjoyed.

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

518fBIqlvxL‘The rules are different today.  The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.’

This is an electrifying thriller involving a mother and son who are trapped in a zoo.  Lincoln is aged four, impeccably behaved and very understanding, and luckily does as his mother says.

The situation that they find themselves in is every parent’s worst nightmare.  This book tugged at all of the maternal strings in my body and left me flabbergasted.  What a journey you are taken on, and if rumours are true, then I am not surprised that it is being adapted onto the big screen.

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Review – Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


51RASW7wNULWhy Mummy Drinks is the brilliant novel from Gill Sims, the author of the online sensation Peter and Jane.

It is Mummy’s 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs where everyone claims to be tiddly after a glass of Pinot Grigio and says things like ‘Oooh gosh, are you having another glass?’

But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women with sensible haircuts who ‘live for their children’ and stand in the playground trying to trump each other with their offspring’s extracurricular activities and achievements, and boasting about their latest holidays.

Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering ‘FML’ over and over again. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she’s had…


I have had a little break from blogging recently due to my 4 year old having a ruptured appendix (ouch!), but now that she is well on the road to recovery I thought it was best to get back into the swing of things… and this hilarious romp of a read has set me off on good footing!

The introduction is hilarious involving a classic day in the life for many parents.  You could say that it is the perfect manual of how not to do things, although in reality it is how many days pan out for mums and dads, unless of course their child is impeccably behaved, punctual and enjoy extra curricular activities with a love for learning and homework… hhhmmmm, one can dream I suppose!

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