Rory’s Proposal

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Rory’s Proposal
by Lynda Renham

When 29 year old Flora Robson reversed her car into Tom’s Audi, she had no idea who he was. Only after she has started to fall in love with him does she discover the gorgeous blue-eyed Tom is the man who is trying to close down her hairdressing business. It seems that Tom will stop at nothing to get what he wants, but Flora is not giving in to anyone. Can she win the battle against her multi-millionaire enemy or will her feelings for him get in the way? Follow Flora’s hilarious journey of love, hot chocolate and marshmallows, and the man who changes everything.

At the start we meet Flora (no relation to the margarine). Flora is desperate for her boyfriend, Luke, to propose. She feels she is wildly over the hill at thirty. During one terrible day, her best friend gets engaged, she gets asked to be Maid of Honour (this will be the third time!), she prangs a car owned by a gorgeous hunk, and her salon, which is her pride and joy, is targeted for an aggressive buyout. She decides to fight the supermarket trying to get her to sell her salon and starts a protest.

Meanwhile Flora decides to follow boyfriend Luke to Dublin in her efforts to get him to propose. Gorgeous hunk, now known as Tom, turns up again and offers her a seat on his train and the two travel together. Misunderstandings follow and flora and Tom find themselves on opposite sides in the war for the salon.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It is funny and endearing. The main character, Flora, is lovely and warm if a litle batty in her desire to be engaged by her thirtieth birthday, but hey, we all have our quirks.

My favourite part is the journey over to Dublin when Flora realises a lot of things; such as how to have fun again, to live your life for yourself and Mr Luke Wright is Mr Wrong in so many ways.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to laugh and likes a good romance. It is perfect beach material.
****

Because She Loves Me

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Because She Loves Me

by Mark Edwards

A gripping tale of jealousy and obsession, from the #1 bestselling author of The Magpies.

When Andrew Sumner meets beautiful, edgy Charlie, he is certain his run of bad luck has finally come to an end.

But as the two of them embark on an intense affair, Andrew wonders if his grasp on reality is slipping. Items go missing in his apartment. Somebody appears to be following him. And as misfortune and tragedy strike his friends and loved ones, Andrew is forced to confront the frightening truth…

Is Charlie really the girl of his dreams – or the woman of his nightmares?

I hadn’t read anything by Mark Edwards before, but as I enjoy a good psychological thriller,  I requested a review e-book when I saw it on Netgalley. I am so pleased I did.

The narrator, Andrew Sumner, meets Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Summers at the hospital where he is undergoing treatment for a detached retina. Their relationship quickly becomes very intense, but when ‘bad luck’ befalls his friends and loved ones, Andrew has to wonder if Charlie really is all she seems.

The characters in the book, whether likeable or annoying, are always interesting and stay with you. Firstly there is Andrew, ever since a car crash that decimated his family, but from which he escaped with barely a scratch, he has had feelings of guilt. He is lonely and isolated. When he meets Charlie she turns his life upside down and makes him want to start living again.

Charlie is both likeable and annoying. Beautiful, intelligent, obsessive, you haven’t a clue whether to believe a word she says, but, strangely, you want to.

There are lots of other characters, some more peripheral than others, but the best is Andrew’s sister Tilly. She is independent, brave, sassy. There is surely room for further development of this character in future books. I for one would love to meet her again.

The author sets the pace at the very start of the book and it doesn’t let up. He ratchets up the tension deftly. You think you know exactly what’s going on, then he turns the screw again, until you get to the ending and blow out a long breath that you didn’t even realise you were holding.

A cracking thriller that is so easy to read I would recommend it to anyone. I will certainly be looking out for other books by mark Edwards now.

****1/2

Thanks to the publisher Thomas & Mercer of Amazon for the e-book copy via Netgalley.

A Dark And Twisted Tide

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A Dark And Twisted Tide
By Sharon Bolton

This is the 4th Lacey Flint book (4 and 1/2 if you count the short story e-book, If Snow Hadn’t Fallen) and it’s another cracker.
Lacey has quit her job as detective and gone back to uniform, working for the River Police, hoping for a quieter life. Some hope. Trouble follows this girl around.

She now lives on a houseboat on the Thames, and whilst out swimming in the water, she discovers a body, wrapped up in some sort of burial shroud, which seems to have been left there for her to find, and Lacey gets drawn into the investigation.

Sharon Bolton knows how to put a book together, how to write a great story. There are so many things to like about her books. Firstly, the characters, they are so well drawn; complex, real people. Lacey has to be the best detective around. She has such depth, she feels like a friend. And just like a friend you love her but you also get mad at her. The ongoing relationship with the divine Mark Joesbury feels so real, and it is surely impossible for anyone not to be rooting for them. Dana is also a great character and there is more of her personal life in this book.

The plotting of the book is excellent. The twists and turns just keep coming and just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, Bolton turns the screw and you find you were way off.

Possibly the author’s best attribute is her ability to set the scene. The whole of the Thames comes to life. You can practically hear the water slopping against its banks. The sense of claustrophobia and danger when Lacey is in the water is palpable. The only other author that I can think of who gives such a sense of place and menace is P. D. James and Sharon Bolton is right up there with her.

You may have guessed; I think this book is brilliant. But if you haven’t read any Sharon Bolton books before I would heartily recommend that you start at the beginning of the Lacey Flint series with Now You See Me. You can read this book as a stand alone but you will miss much of the back story of Lacey Flint and it is such a powerful story that you won’t be sorry.
*****

I would like to thank random house Uk, Transworld for my copy of this book via Netgalley.