Book Review – My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon  is such an amazing story.  I was hooked from the word go!  As with a few of the books by Jane, the story is set around the world of television.  Paula is a house wife with a part time job in a local bakery.  Her husband, Robert, is one of the starts in a well known soap opera.  She loves her life and despite having put her career goals on the back burner since the arrival of their daughter so is more than happy with her life.  She has a lovely flat in a nice part of London, a loving husband who works hard for his family and a bright and beautiful teenage daughter.

Since the time that Paula and Robert first met in college she has let herself go a little bit and working in a bakery certainly didn’t help with that.  Despite this all seems well in their marriage and they are as happy as they ever have been.  That is until a suspicious text message from a younger, thinner, pretty female co-worker comes through on Roberts phone while it is not under his guard.  This immediately raises Paula’s suspicions that the may be more to their happy life than meets the eye.

She decides that she will not confront Robert with this new found knowledge and make sure that she has the facts before he is even aware than she knows anything.  She is a girl after my own heart.  Once its confirmed she puts a plan into motion to get back in shape, make more of an effort with her general appearance, show more interest in Robert in general and what he wants to do and win his heart back.

at this point you may be thinking what a fool. But, there is a dish of revenge set to cool in preparation to be served.

I love how Jane Fallon has structured this book.  The first half is entirely from Paula’s perspective.  Her thought, experiences and concerns.  Half way through (Part 2) we get to hear the same story but from the perspective of the Mistress which then alternates IMG_0838between what is happening on Paula’s end of this and then from the side of the Mistress.  I don’t name the Mistress in this review as I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who has not yet read it.  I was so on the fence for most of it as to who Robert was having the affair with it was brilliant.  Because of this Is it, isn’t it back and forth I finished the whole book in about 3 days flat.  Well obviously I had to squeeze some work time into this too, but I pretty much didn’t put this book down.

for any one who likes the work by Lucy Diamond or Sophie Kinsella this is a must read.

I gave this book 5/5 on Goodreads

 

five-stars I hope that you enjoyed my review and welcome any feedback.

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Book Review – The Secrets of Happiness by Lucy Diamond

The Secrets of Happiness is a petty apt name for this book.  Its based on the strained relationship between two step sisters Becca and Rachel.  Rachel’s father had passed away a few years back and this is when she decided to cut all ties with her step mother and sister. Rachel never really got on with either of them even while her father was alive.  She believed that they were imposing on her happy life with her father.  Her mother had passed away many years ago when Rachel was only a toddler but she nurses fond memories of her.

Newly single and unemployed, thanks to her jealous, possessive, violent ex-husband; Rachel is trying her hand at starting her own personal training business.  All is going well until she takes a trip to Manchester which lands her in the hospital with a broken jaw and some serious memory loss making it impossible for her to contact home.

Becca is called by Rachel’s eldest daughter and asked if she can go to their home to hold down the fort until they can find out where their mother is.  As the relationship between Becca and Rachel is not the best at this time Becca is reluctant but goes anyway.  Becca, being carefree and a bit of a tear away when she was younger is overwhelmed when given the responsibility of looking after 2 children and a teenager.

Once Rachel is finally home Becca is a dab hand at running the house hold. As much as Rachel doesn’t want her there she realises fast that her injuries make it difficult for her to carry out even the simplest of tasks and she reluctantly asks Becca to stay.

Becca is of a plump build, nothing like slim, in shape, health nut Rachel and find her self out of her comfort zone when she is asked to train Rachel’s new clients.  Despite the fact that Becca has absolutely no clue as to what she is doing she slowly find herself getting in shape and starting to enjoy the sessions she is doing for Rachel, even if some of them are not what Rachel has scheduled.

After a confrontation with her ex and with Becca to back her up, Rachel really sees that she has had the wrong impression of her step sister all this time.  Rachel then decides to help Becca, along with Becca’s unexpected love interest, get herself on her feet and go into business for herself.

The end of this book gave me a warm fussy feeling.  After all the animosity between the two sisters they finally develop the type of relationship that each of them has always wanted.

I gave this book 5/5 on Goodreads

five-stars This is a feel good story and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to work of Jane Fallon also.

I hope that you enjoyed my review and welcome any feedback.

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Is she damaged? 

There is a young woman in this world who wants nothing more than to be happy. Lost a mother at a youngish age which effected her more that she ever realised. She has spent her days watching other people doing every day things with their mother as she has grown. Shopping, taking short breaks, having afternoon tea, going for spa days. She has always wondered what she would be doing with her mother had she still been here. 

She puts on a front for the world. Every morning applying the face that she thinks is acceptable to society. Just wanting I be accepted for who she is. Over time she became very close to her grandfather. Confiding her thoughts, experiences and concerns to him. They became fast friends after a distant childhood relationship with him. He is her number one, her main man, her voice of reason and her source of sanity. When the whole world seems to have gone mad he is the one person who shares her opinions and outlooks. He helps her through tough times.  

December 2016 all this came crashing down when he was hospitalised. He never came home. Despite the fact that she has a boyfriend, grandmother, father and brother left she feels totally alone because her confidant is gone. Still she puts on that front and carries on as best she can. Only letting the tears flow when she knows that she is alone. 

Faced with health issues of her own she tries to keep her spirits up.  Not always able to do so but she tries her best. 

The boyfriend. Not a perfect human but who is. Damaged by his upbringing yet not realising it. Father at a young age yet not in touch with his child. Part of her believes that this may be down to his own aggressive actions in the past. He is the type of person who is always longing for acceptance. Wants to be the best at everything yet not willing to work for this. Happy to take credit for the littlest of things even if it wasn’t totally his achievement. Useless with finances yet never appreciates everything she does to give him the life that he is currently living. He has it all in her eyes, yet he is never satisfied. Always wanting more.

The grandmother. Another broken soul, lost the love of her life but still tries her hardest to make the best of every day. The strongest person she knows. To have gone through so much and still manage a smile is more than an acomplishment. The girl will do all she can to help her grandmother and always will as she is the only constant person left in her life. 

The father. Another person who has been through so much loss. Has worked hard to provide for his children but you can see it has been a struggle. Being a single parent was not something he thought he would have to deal with. He has done a good job despite a few hiccups along the way. She loves her father and would do anything to help him. He now has a new girlfriend and despite the baggage she thinks he is happy and this in turn lessens the worry she has once felt for him.

The brother. Never present but she loves him more than he realises. Querky, dry sense of humour but that’s what makes him who he is. She could be in pieces but one call from him can lift her spirits, not that he knows this.

Despite all these people, she still feels totally alone. The loss she has been through in her short life is becoming more that she can bear. No outlet to discuss feelings, thought and worries with. No one that she feels could understand anyway. 

Powering through day by day trying to better herself but not necessarily achieving this ever moving goal. Another day another drama. Will it ever end. 

Feb 2017 – Summary

 

So another month over and done with.  All in all it has been a pretty good one. During the last month I have had some ups and downs.

birthdayI have had another birthday which now puts me at the grand old age of 29! Scary right?! This was the first birthday without my Gramps here which was real hard.  Opening my card signed just from my Nan, not having the phone call with his soft cheery voice to sing happy birthday to me it all got the better of me but I just keep thinking ‘thank god he is no longer in pain!’.

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Over the last couple of months I have had some serious health issues which could have totally altered the course of my future, or at least where I thought my future was heading, and yesterday I got some great news from the hospital confirming that the result have come back to say what I had hoped they would and they don’t need to see me again.  I have never felt such relief like I did when I read that letter!  However, having this scare has really made me put things into perspective.  It made me realise all the things that I have been missing out on which I intend to change!! Holidays being the first.  I want to see more sights, both home and away.  It got me thinking that if that was the end I was not happy with what I have achieved.  It is now time to set things right!

Business.pngAs a result of the realisation of my mortality I have decided to put everything I have into revamping and rebranding my online store.  Keeping it inline with this blog I decided to make it into a brand and I have started to put some of the wall art ideas I have had over the last year or so onto the drawing board.  I have actually started to list some new items which have taken off quite well. below are a few of the new items I have listed.

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you can find the rest of my items on my Made by Mel tab in the main menu.  I am determined to make this a success and I plan on putting my all into it.

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I have been trying lately to get back into my crafts and I have made quite a promising start I think.  I have been trying my hand to candle printing to see if it was something think I would like as I am in to my candles big time.  Dan thinks I secretly own shares in a candle company because of the amount I have! Here’s a sneak peak at my first attempts.

summaryBirthdays:

1

New shop listings:

4

Books read: 1

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay (reviewed)

Book reading: 2

Secrets of Happiness by Lucy Diamond

A Year of Being Single by Fiona Collins

That seems to be everything I can think that has happened within the last month and as I said all in all its been a good month.  I will be trying to keep up to date on everyone else’s monthly round ups as I love to know what everyone has been getting up to. How has your last month been? Let me know… Speak to you all soon.

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Book Review – Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

I enjoyed this book enormously.  Given the weather being of the wet variety lately images of warm Cornish sunshine was a welcome distraction.
This is the first book I have read by Jill Mansell and I am really glad that I did. This story is based in St Carys, Cornwall.  Jill Mansell sets the scenes so perfectly in this book that it really makes you want to get in your car and see the beautiful, picturesque seaside town for yourself. This is very much a ‘boy meets girl’ story on multiple platforms and despite a number of detours to the longing that is the love story of ‘Meet me at Beachcomber Bay’ they all get ‘The One’ in the end.
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Clemency, the main character of this story is a very down to earth and likable estate agent  with a rather snobby step sister of the same age who goes by the name of Belle.  Despite their obvious differences they get on pretty well until Belle turns up with new guy who Clemency happens to have met 3 years earlier while on a return plane home.  During their plane journey, there was an obvious connection felt by Clemency and Sam, after which she slips him her business card hoping to keep in touch and take things to the next level.  Much to Clemency’s dismay Sam unable to offer her what she was hoping for and reveals that unfortunately he is married.  The two part ways thinking that they will never see each other again, until Sam turns up at a viewing for a new flat as Clem’s sisters fiancé.
The second unexpected romance comes from Clemency’s work mate, Ronan.   Ronan is a bit of a ladies man but the fact that he is gorgeous, tanned and very rarely found together, a nice guy means that the ladies of St Carys are powerless to resist his charm.  Recently single, Ronan find himself in bed with none other than the lady who delivers their mail to work and a client of Ronans, Kate.  Whilst laying in each others arms after what could only be described as a passionate, unplanned night they hear a knock at the door.  It is Ronan’s ex-girlfriend, who despite their best attempts to ignore her, takes it upon herself to recite very badly written poetry about the love she has for Ronan.  Once she realises that she was not getting a response from him, anger descends and she shouts at the front door that give him a week and he will have another tart in his bed.  This leads to Ronan confirming to Kate that he has only been single for about 24 hours which leaves Kate feeling discussed with herself as one night stands were definitely out of her character. Other than work interactions and other revelation happening in Ronan’s life, they don’t really get the chance to get close again until an unexpected arrival later on brings them back together.
Finally, the third romance involves Clemency’s upper class sister Belle.  Having arrived in St Carys with Sam she is completely unaware that he sister as Sam are already acquainted.  Nobody tells her otherwise and their introduction is carried out as if they had just met.  Belle boasts to Clemency about how perfect Sam is and how lucky she is to have found someone so wonderful that she can really spend the rest of her life with.  Belle, having pretty much invited herself to move to St Carys with Sam, quit her job in the city and sold her flat in preparation for the move to sunny Cornwall.  Once they have arrived and start moving into the flat that Clemency was tasked with finding for them Belle decides to take a walk to the town to get flowers and other such niceties to add a female touch to Sam’s humble abode.  Whilst out she literally bumps into a fitness junkie and the answer to her deepest desires.
This story is brimming with feel good vibes and is perfect for a pick me up!  What Jill Mansell has created here is so much more than just a Boy meets Girl predictable tale.  I was completely able to get totally lost in the world she has created and despite some of the trials and tribulations that these characters face it is still a very uplifting and warm style of writing.  Just thinking back about this book gives me a warm glow.  So if your feeling the January/February blues this one if definitely for you.
I gave this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads
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As always, I hope you have enjoyed my review and I look forward to your feedback.

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Special Scents

Scents are everywhere we go.  Some we love and others we loathe.  I am not sure if this is a personal thing or if everyone else experiences the same thing but I often get a whiff of something (not necessarily perfume or aftershave) and I am instantly whipped up into a day dream of what that particular smell reminds me of.

For example, fresh bread.  Most people would think of your local supermarket or bakery fresh bread isolated on white background cutoutwhen you think of this smell.  Me, I think of a little village called Nelson which is situated in South Wales, UK.  Nelson is a relatively close knit community set in the valleys of the welsh hills.  In the heart of the village in a back lane, which if you didn’t know it was there you could completely miss it, is a small family bakery.  On any given morning between the hours of 2-5am passing through the village you find yourself surrounded by the warm and comforting smell that is fresh baked bread.  Just the though of this gives me a warm glow.  I didn’t actually encounter this glorious early morning secret until I was about 16 years of age but ever since then, when ever I smell fresh bread I am right back there in the village.

Another scent that completely takes me away are those of perfumes worn by people I love and have 10210628-1112loved.  Having lost my mother when I was 17; her perfume is one of the most memorable.  Chanel No5.  When ever I smell this rich heavenly scent, I close my eyes and for that split second I have my mother back again.  I drift off into a world of make believe imagining all the different things that we would be doing now that I have grown up and am not such a bitch any more.  Alas, daydreaming is a much cherished past time of mine.

Finally, my favourite perfume is inspired by a childhood memory.  It was Christmas day m42060_p2257_princ_heroand I must have been around 5 years old when my parents got me a Tiny Tears doll.  I was thrilled.  she blinked, drank, cried and wee’d! She was my most favourite gift.  I took her everywhere with me.

A few years back in was in a perfume shop looking for something new as I was bored of my old perfume.  I saw it there on the shelf a slender bottle with what looked like an un-blossomed flower growing inside.  I really caught my eye as it was different to all the others.  I asked the assistant if I could smell this perfume to which she obliged.   As soon as she passed me the little sheet of card she had doused in the scent I took a sniff and there is was.   Christmas day when I was 5 years old and I opened the box to get out my nice shiny new doll, the smell was identical!  I was blown away! I had had years of enjoyment with that doll and this scent reminded me of all those good times.  It is for that reason and that reason alone that I still wear that scent to this day.

Without scents the world would be a very dull place. So when things are getting on top of you. take a moment, stop and breathe.  You will find that even in the most stressful of situations a little scent can always brighten you day!

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via Daily Prompt: Scent

Book Review – Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon


I have recently finished reading ‘Strictly Between Us’ by Jane Fallon.  This is the first book I have read by this author so I wasn’t quite sure what I was letting myself in for.

As always this book was chosen for the synopsis on the back cover which made promises of age old friendships, married life, and scandal in the work place!  This book delivered all this and more.

Initially, it took me a little while to get into this story.  I pretty much had to force myself to keep picking the book back up.  I think that this is more due to the place my head was at when I started reading this rather than the actual lack of interest in the actual book.

After about a month or so break I found myself going back to this book with a fresh mind which I am glad I did.  This time I really got into the story.

I love that the book starts out telling the story from Tamsin’s perspective going through her thoughts and experiences then later on there is a twist (which is really did not see coming) and the point of view of the guilty party in this story is portrayed.  I thought that this was a very clever way to lay this story out as you get to see the thought processes of both sides which was very insightful.

I gave this book a 4/5 star rating on Goodreads.

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I hope you enjoyed my review and I look forward to your comments.

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Cold and Crisp

It’s that time of year again when we start to say hello to winter.  In the past I have never been much of a fan but as I have grown older winter has seem to become a special time of year for me.

I love everything that winter brings, the early nights in front of a roaring fire with loved ones, the crisp air and the golden leaves, wrapping up warm, new coats, gloves, hats and scarves.  I love to walk Jack in the cold dark evernings when it is so peaceful out becuase everyone is tucked up all warm in their homes.

There is something very magical about this time of year and I for one am really starting to appreciate it.

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Harry Potter Thoughts

So I’m home from work and sat here pondering about one thing and another when my train of thought brings me to the magical world of Harry Potter. (so wish that it could all be real) I really like to get my geek on when it comes to all things potter! 


I was thinking about the recent read, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, which was totally amazing by the way. When I purchased it I wasn’t sure how I was going to rate it with it being a script and all but what you miss about it not being a novel was by no means compromised.  The scenes were all still set to perfection through dialogue and stage settings and no detail was missing.

Anyhow, off on a tangent a bit there. My original point is that JK Rowling has said previously that this is where Harry Potter has ended (sheds a tear) and it got me thinking, in the real world we have primary school/preschool then secondary school and finally university/college. I get that they don’t start to practice magic in Harry’s world until they are in secondary school as children and magic I can imagine would not be a good mix. In Harry’s world after Hogwarts they must simply get out in the real world and get jobs etc. Why is it that there has been no mention of any uni’s in that world at all! I think this is something that could keep this story going! Most 17 year olds have no idea what they want to do with their lives after school and therefore they ride the education train for as long as possible (not something I condone by the way). But for Harry and his pals I would be behind this all the way!

Thoughts on the subject?