Thursday, 23 February 2017

Paris for One (and other stories) by Jojo Moyes


Bestselling author Jojo Moyes brings us a charming and heart-warming short story in association with Quick Reads.

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.

But, when her boyfriend doesn't turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.

Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?

My review:

I have always been a big fan of Jojo Moyes and I can honestly say she is one of my favourite authors so I was excited to be reading her newest book.

I needed to read something light and easy and this hit just the right spot. The main story ‘Paris for One’ is a heart-warming one, following Nell to Paris for a romantic getaway with her boyfriend. Only Nell actually finds herself alone, in a big city, knowing nothing of the language, customs or cuisine. And then she meets Fabian, the heartbroken writer-to-be.

I won’t spoil the rest of the story but it’s lovely and the characters are likable just like the main characters we know and love from any other of Jojo’s books.

The other short stories are easy to read and identify yourself with some of their characters and some have more surprising conclusions than others.

3 stars might seem harsh, but all they mean is that I enjoyed this book but feel that it is not as complex as Jojo’s other works. It is an uncomplicated novel asking to be read on holidays and spare time to cheer yourself up.

I am most grateful to the author, publisher and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest opinion.

My rating: 3/5

Author’s website:

Available to purchase from:

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Queen of the Pine Curtain (The Seeker Series #1) by Barb Robertson


Claire’s peculiar grandmother warned her of the family curse but that’s when she was a child and believed in magic, Seventh tribes and Petal people. Not anymore.

Claire is a grown woman with adult problems. At twenty five, she’s devastated by a divorce that leaves her feeling unloved and used up. To top it off, she’s mentally unstable and forced to move in with her parents, which proves to be a disaster.

Memories start to surface which sets off a series of events both harrowing, heart-warming and disturbing. Magic, mayhem and madness collide when Claire faces the demons of her past, her hidden self and the family curse that may or may not exist.

This dark and magical novel delivers a portrait of southern life with wisecracking, moving characters and the discovery of faith in unexpected places. It provides a raw and revealing portrait of mental illness, its creative genius, and its destructive tentacles. Queen of the Pine Curtain is a psychological page turner chock full of family secrets, southern maladies and haunting redemption.

My review:

Firstly I would like to thank the author for contacting me with the request to review this book. 

This novel was most definitely a journey for me. All throughout Part 1 I felt confused and wasn’t sure I actually liked the book. It was clear that Claire had mental health issues and was trying to get help, but as she was going through her mind, her inner house and memories, she was making my head spin. I felt as disjointed from reality as she was.

Then Part 2 hit me like a storm. As Claire starts to understand herself, her inner being starts to reveal forgotten incidents from the past that shaped Claire into who she became. Uncomfortable memories come to the surface and explain the majority of issues Claire experiences as a growing child and adult.

In the end I found myself rooting for Claire. Anyone with experience of mental health issues would have a good understanding of what was happening to her, but you don’t have to be a specialist to understand her journey. Even though she would disagree - Claire is a fighter.

The author has transformed Claire’s messed up mind into a moving collection of rooms in an inner house, with child Claire taking the adult Claire on a journey of remembrance and rediscovery. All characters were well placed and even the minor ones had a definitive place in the story.

This novel took me longer than usual to read due to its complexity and really, the heaviness of the subject. But it was so worth reading. I feel like I need a holiday now, but I certainly won’t forget about this book in a hurry.

My rating: 5/5

Author’s website:

Available to purchase from: