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review 2017-11-22 20:02
Review: My Sister's Secret
My Sister's Secret - Tracy Buchanan

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I came across this book whilst browsing Netgalley looking for something different to read. The synopsis caught my attention, and if I was flipping through channels and this was a movie I would have watched it.

 

I can’t say I found it particularly gripping or emotional. By half way through I was bored with the plot. I’m usually wary of books that claim things like “the most emotional gripping thing you will ever read!” (or along those lines) in a title headline. It’s always seemed unnecessary to me. Let the novel stand on its own and let the readers judge. Don’t bombard the title lines with crap like that. It’s annoying! (Certainly is to me, anyway). I don’t remember seeing that bit when I initially requested the title).

 

The story focuses on a then and now method of telling. There were initially three sisters, Hope, Charity and Faith who lived in a small English village by the sea, where they hung out with their mate Niall. In their late teens Faith is tragically killed in an accident, Niall the guilty driver. In 2016 Charity’s daughter Willow has returned to the cottage where Charity lived with Hope looking for some answers about her mother’s past. Charity had an interest in diving looking for underwater forests. So does her daughter. Aunt Hope is stingy with information and comes off as quite cold. Charity is deceased as well now and Willow has mostly been raised by Aunt Hope. Clearing out the cottage Willow finds some things about Niall and Charity and sets off to find out more, especially since Niall is now a big name in underwater forest diving and photography.

 

The then chapters tell the story taking place in the late 1980s of when Charity and Hope are living together running a little café in the same town they’ve always lived in. Charity still wants to do her diving, but it’s more a hobby these days, she’s a social worker whilst Hope is a budding poet/writer. The town is captivated by dazzling rich new comers David and Lana when Charity inadvertently winds up rescuing Lana from a car accident. Getting to know the couple, Niall winds up coming back into the picture and before long sparks are flying.

 

The novel flips between the stories of Charity and Niall, David, Lana and Hope in the past, whilst in the presence Willow is following in Charity’s footsteps going along what appears to be the same route Charity took in her youth.  There seemed to be a lot more going on in Charity’s storyline. She’s developing strong feelings for Niall which brings up a mess of emotion due to Faith’s tragic accident, which is Hope is furious about. Then there’s David, there’s intense chemistry between them, not helped by ditzy Lana who’s a total lush by this point with her own problems.

 

I did find the plot got a little repetitive. It’s the same troubling feelings for Charity over and over. I can understand where she’s coming from. Some of the little twists in Willow’s chapters are trying to be deep and emotional, and again I can understand why but there was just something missing for me. To be fair the twist at the end revolving around some secrets before and after Faith died were quite a surprise I didn’t see coming. One character was considerably more twisted than they appeared.

 

There was an awful lot of it about underwater forests and diving which kind of made my eyes gloss over a bit. Though there was some interesting info in the author’s note for those interested in looking into more about the subject.  I did like the sense of family and togetherness between Charity and her sister Hope, and later on echoed in the relationship between Willow and Hope. Though there was just something kind of “meh” about the whole thing for me.

 

It wasn’t really a bad book, just not my taste in the end, I guess.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for granting my wish to view the title.

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review 2017-11-12 22:58
The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty

Enjoyable, albeit a little predictable. Would recommend this though as it kept me reading.

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review 2017-11-09 15:20
Blame and a little gaslighting
The Duke's Secret Heir - Sarah Mallory

There have been a few books I've read where I honestly wanted to take the hero out and beat some sense into him, this is one.  Yes talking is good but it took several people telling him for him to pay attention.  A trip behind the stables with a cricket bat could have speeded things up.

 

In the Egyptian desert Ellen Tatham falls in love and marries Max Colnebrooke, working under secret orders with the army. When she arrives at the English Representative in Cairo he tells her that it's all a lie and refuses to help her.  She resorts to a friend of her companion to help her escape and hides under a false name, pretending to be a widow, to hide her shame.  She has written twice to Max to try to contact him but she has received only nasty letters back from his family.

 

Then he comes back to her life and he blames her for everything, for betraying him, for "making" him be reckless with himself and his men, putting his friend in the line for a bullet. Basically blaming her for it all, instead of trying to see her point, what happened to her, how she has managed to avoid scandal and other connections. How loyal she has been.  Nope, she's evil and bad and the only reason he's tolerating her is because they have a son.

 

Yeah, a great starter for a relationship. Even when she cries, terribly upset by everything while she is organising a party for him, he rebuffs her.  This guy isn't a prize.

 

It's all resolved at the end, of course, but if I was her I wouldn't trust that he wouldn't have another irrational moment and heap misery on me again. I wanted to knee him at one stage and would have cheered her on if she had.  Cold drink to the head would have been a useful retort too.

 

Romance has a problem with problem relationships and this is a prime example.

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review 2017-11-09 14:28
The Playboy's Secret Virgin by Tasha Fawkes and M.S. Parker
The Playboy's Secret Virgin - Tasha Fawkes,M. S. Parker

 

 

The Playboy's Secret Virgin scandalizes with the innocent virgin and the lustful boss, but I expected more.  Was mildly intrigued, not hopelessly blown away.

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text 2017-11-08 17:47
Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 361 pages.
The Duke's Secret Heir - Sarah Mallory

Dear main characters,

 

You both seem like intelligent people, either talk to each other or get someone to intermediate, you have a sick to death friend in common, use them, stop being asses to each other.

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