Fifty and Fabulous

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


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Book Review – The Golden Rain Tree by Jane Greensitt

Tabytha’s Book Review

The Golden Rain Tree: Love, Wine, Death, Duck and the Dordogne

by Jane Greensitt

 

Here’s the official blurb;

Betrayal, adventure, passion, forgiveness and murder, this story has it all. Escaping their sleepy Dorset village, Eve and her family are to spend a summer in France. Set in the wonderful wine producing surroundings of the Dordogne; the dark secrets they uncover bring them closer together and change their lives forever.

I Read It: 26th – 30th April 2017

Which Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 259 pages

My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

This is a self published novel; Jane Greensitt’s debut.

So, what kept me reading?

For a debut novel that was also self-published, I was impressed with the finesse of this story. The flow and pace of this tale felt natural and I found Ms Greensitt’s writing style very easy to read; her scene descriptions easily transporting me into the novel, the depth and complexities of her characters adding realism that I love see.

I found myself chuckling out loud while reading this book as well as shedding a few tears. There are a couple of clever twists and I found the story gripping, it kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what Eve would discover next and how she would handle what life threw at her.

 

So, were there any downsides?

No.

No cliff-hangers, no psychological terror, no graphic violence, no explicit sex.

 

In a nutshell…

I couldn’t stop reading this book! I think it has it all; mystery, tension, thrills, romance and humour.

I think this book is one that many types of reader would enjoy, for example, those who read young adult stories, fans of relationship drama, or mystery stories and those who enjoy a bit of humour in their fiction. I suppose what I’m saying is The Golden Rain Tree is like those PG certificate films shown in the afternoons – completely engrossing and highly enjoyable!

 

Links to be helpful:

Connect to JANE GREENSITT on Facebook

See THE GOLDEN RAIN TREE on Goodreads.com

Buy THE GOLDEN RAIN TREE on Amazon.co.uk


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Book Review – One Wish In Paris by Mandy Baggot

Hello Lovely Followers,

I’ve just realised that although I read this fantastic back in December, I forgot to post my full review! See it’s an age thing – pre-menopausal women tend to forget stuff. Lol!

Anyway, enjoy my review and (hopefully) be inspired to buy this wonderful book!

One Christmas In Paris

By Mandy Baggot

So, here’s the official blurb;

They say Paris is the City of Love, so bring your je ne sais quoi and don’t forget the mistletoe!

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men … Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris?

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.

I Read It: 9th – 12th December 2016

In Which Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 394 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 books; her writing style is very easy to read, her plotlines are well thought out and she has a way of creating characters that I connect to.

I loved the depth with which Ms Baggot wrote our two main characters, Eva and Julien in this book; their quirks, fears and hopes made them come to life for me. But, like so many of Ms Baggot’s books, this story isn’t just about Eva and Julien and their romance, we have intermingled storylines and a cast of supporting characters that adds a further splash of realism to this tale’s world without the plot feeling confusing or over-burdened.

So is this a page turner, 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. Eva and Deb’s secret reason for being in Paris, Julien’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 romance is in the air.

So, were there any downsides?

Nope.

In a nutshell…

This is a wonderful, feel good contemporary romance novel – perfect reading at Christmas or any time of year! I loved this book!

There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about this story. I was completely engaged with this book, it’s a real page turner, and yes, I did laugh out loud at some of Deb’s comments but if you’re anything like me you’ll shed a few tears along the way too.

I think that this is a wonderful standalone contemporary romance with Ms Baggot’s signature HEA. What more could a girl want! I think fans of romance (with a capital R) and relationship stories of all ages would enjoy this book.

Links to be helpful:

Visit MANDY BAGGOT’S own website

See ONE CHRISTMAS IN PARIS on Goodreads.com

Buy ONE CHRISTMAS IN PARIS on Amazon.co.uk


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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?

 

Nope.

 

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.

 

Faery Red Lily Links to be helpful:

 

 

 


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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

Links to be helpful:



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Book Review: How I Wonder What You Are, by Jane Lovering

Oooh! Sounds like my kind of story – Amazon UK here I come! Lol!

Paris Baker's Book Nook

Maybe he wasn’t here because of the lights – maybe they were here because of him …

how i wonder what you are

It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.

But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no common drunkard, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.

Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn …

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Tabytha Reviews… “Truly, Madly Greekly” by Mandy Baggot

Read: August 2015
Format: Kindle
My Rating: 4 Stars

…So what’s this book about?
So, “Truly, Madly, Greekly” is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book, a real happily ever after chick-lit summer read.

The blurb says:

Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot

Sun, sea and a sexy stranger – a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated!

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?”

…So, what did I like about it?
I am already a fan of Mandy Baggot’s writing style; I find her books well written, easy to read with an engaging plot. This latest novel was no exception.
Although this story is set over a 7 day period, it didn’t ever feel rushed. It had a lovely gentle pace with various story aspects being revealed over time. I knew that the story would end happily (it’s a Mandy Baggot trademark!) but it did keep me guessing as to how it was going to get there.
This romantic tale did make me laugh, it also made me cry and the sexual anticipation between our main characters, Ellen and Yan certainly got me hot under the collar more times than I care to share with you here. 😉
I loved the effervescent, Dasha, in fact, all of the characters felt real to me and although I’ve never been to Corfu, Ms Baggot’s wonderful descriptive talents transported me there with easy!

…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Well, the only things that seemed to constantly grate on my nerves were the things that were meant to. For example; Ellen’s half-sister Lacey being such a self-centred, spoilt brat (what a child! *tut*), Ellen keeping all those secrets and not talking about what was on her mind (or in her heart), Yan was too much of a considerate gentleman 😉 although fellow employee Sergei was enough of a man-whore/gigolo for the both of them! lol! 😉 and, of course there was the constant badgering by the animation team at the hotel to get guest joining organised activities (eek! aren’t people allowed to just sit poolside and relax at this all-inclusive 5 star resort! I couldn’t think of a worse holiday!), but of course without all of these things, there wouldn’t be a story. Lol! So let’s add happily frustrated to the list of emotions that this book put me through. 😉

…So, basically what I’m saying is… Reading in hammock
Despite the “frustrations” I really liked this book! If you’re a fan of summer romance stories then I think you should buy this one. It’s a perfect read for those lazy days sat on a beach or by the pool while on holiday, although, I’m sure it could turn a drab, grey day into a little ray of sunshine too.

Mandy Baggot’s Website

Buy from Amazon UK

Faery Red Lily


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Book Review: Return to Bluebell Hill, by Rebecca Pugh

Another compelling review from the lovely Paris (that’s another book added to my Amazon wish list! Lol!)

Paris Baker's Book Nook

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Return to Bluebell Hill 04

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of…

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