Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X

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Book Review – One Wish In Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

One Wish In Manhattan - Mandy BaggotOne Wish In Manhattan
So, here’s the official blurb;
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to fall in love.
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue – they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.

But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with Billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.

Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever?

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they both realise that life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count.

I Read It: 6th – 8th December 2015
In Which Format: Kindle
Approx Length: 358 pages
My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

This is in the contemporary romance genre – affectionately known “chick lit”. It’s a standalone story with Ms Baggot’s trademark HEA (Happily Ever After) ending.
So, what kept me reading?


I’m already a fan of Ms Baggot’s writing style; I find it very easy to read her stories.


I loved the depth with which Ms Baggot wrote our two main characters; their quirks, fears and hopes made them both feel very real to life. But this story isn’t just about Hayley and Oliver and their romance, we’re also blessed with background story arcs and a cast of supporting characters that adds a further splash of realism to this tale’s world.  


So did the story keep me guessing? The journey had twists and emotional turns a plenty due to the different stories running alongside our main romantic one (e.g. Hayley’s secret search for Angel’s father, Oliver’s business projects and practices, Hayley’s relationship with her family, Oliver’s relationship with his family, etc). Plus the fact that this story is set around Christmas time means that we (the reader) are already in the literary mood to want and easily accept that miracles do happen.

So, were there any downsides?




In a nutshell…


This is a wonderful, feel good contemporary romance novel – perfect reading for this time of year!  I was completely engaged with this book, it’s a real page turner, and yes, I did laugh out loud at some of Hayley’s and Angel’s comments but if you’re anything like me you’ll shed a few tears along the way too.


Oliver’s one sexy billionaire and there’s loads of sexual tension but although there’s some smexy scenes and banter in this book, this is more of a PG than an 18+ story. 😉 So I think it fans of romance (with a capital R) and relationship stories of all ages would enjoy this book.


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Kiss My Name by Calvin Wade

Kiss My Name by Calvin Wade

Kiss My Name by Calvin Wade

Kiss My Name by Calvin Wade

Here’s the official blurb;

On the eve of his wedding day, a young woman, Flo, armed with a double barrelled shotgun, arrives at Simon Strong’s front door. She is there to avenge the mistreatment of her best friend, Zara. Simon begs for mercy, claiming he has no knowledge of anyone called Zara. What has happened to Zara to create such an extreme reaction from her best friend?

Kiss My Name follows the lives of several characters from childhood in the 1980s to adult life in the twenty first century. As several of them gather in Blackpool, for a Stag Do and a Hen Do, mayhem ensues. Has Simon cheated on his wife to be and will he make it to the church at all?
I Read It: May 2014
On Which Format: Kindle
Approx Length: 514 pages
My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

It’s hard to categorise this book. It’s a sort of a coming of age story with sub plots including a murder mystery, contemporary romance and a bit of social commentary.

Our story takes place in the north west of England and follows a main group of characters from their childhood in the 1980’s to today with other characters weaving their way through their lives.

    So, what kept me reading?

I enjoyed Mr Wade’s writing style and the way that this story was written and although it was hilarious in places it was never silly.

The story is told to us by the main characters themselves in the first person. Don’t let that put you off, it is very well done, with each character’s section being titled and well defined. I didn’t get confused once.

Each character had their own perspective, feelings and parts to play in the interwoven tapestry of this story, they all came alive as their lives unfolded before my eyes and you got to know them.

I wasn’t sure where Mr Wade was taking us at first after the rather explosive opening chapter but once I decided to just enjoy the ride I was engrossed. I feel that the more brutal parts of this story (childhood death, loss & bullying) were handled in a sympathetic and rather unique way that added depths to this tale. I cried, I laughed, I felt anger (I may even have fallen in love a bit) and the evolving story gripped me and
kept me turning the pages, desperate to find out more.

    So were there any downsides?

Not really (hence the 5/5 stars) however, Mr Wades ability to make me feel sorry for and compassion for Boffin has really irked me.  

In a nutshell…

I loved this book.

It’s not a run of the mill contemporary romance, although that’s the Amazon department that I found this in. It’s funny, emotive and packed full of 80’s references to keep us 40-somethings very, very happy.

Faery Red Lily

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