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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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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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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