Carla Loves To Read



Forgive Me by Susan Lewis #AudiobookReview

Forgive Me: A Novel

Forgive Me by Susan Lewis, Narrated by Laura Kirman & Sam Newton

Published January 26th 2021 by HarperAudio, William Morrow Paperbacks (Harper Collins)

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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2 Mysteries With Small Town Drama: We Begin at the End, The Survivors #AudiobookReviews

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker, George Newbern (Narrator)

Expected publication: March 9th 2021 by Henry Holt & Co., Macmillan Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May, @rararesources @nicolamay1

Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May

​Publication Date: 5th July 2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Synopsis: The cast of the runaway bestseller, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, are back – including Rosa, Josh, Mary, Jacob, Sheila, new mum Titch and, last but by no means least, Hot, the adorable dachshund.

Newly wed, and with her inherited corner shop successfully up and running, Rosa Smith seems to have all that anyone could wish for. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Rosa’s suspicions that her husband is having an affair have dire consequences. 

Reaching rock bottom before she can climb back up to the top, fragile Rosa is forced to face her fears, addiction and jealousy head on. With a selection of meddling locals still at large, a mystery fire and Titch’s frantic search for the real father of her sick baby, the second book in this enchanting series will take you on a further unpredictable journey of self-discovery.

4.5 Stars: 

This is the second book in the series, but can be read as a standalone story. Cockleberry Bay is a small beach community with all the quirkiness that goes with it. Everyone in town knows everybody else’s business, you run into people you might not want to see, and help is just around the corner whether you want it or not. I loved the dogs in the story, especially Hot Dog, the Dachshund. He was such a sweetie who was loving Rosa one minute and Queenie the next. He was a going concern and could make everyone laugh at his antics. The characters in this story are so real and genuine. They are flawed, but always try to do what is right. The story was well-plotted and paced. It had me reading quickly to find out what would happen next. This is not just a chick-lit romantic comedy there is a lot more to it than that. It deals with heartache, romance, alcoholism, forgiveness of self and others, jealousy, friendship, and self-esteem. Pair that up with drama, humour, lots of fur-babies, and special relationships and you have a wonderfully entertaining story with some twists and several connecting storylines that are all woven together seamlessly. I will say that there were a lot of emotions while I read this one, from laughing all the way to a few tears. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and have already purchased the first one, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, to find out what I missed. I received a copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

Purchase links

Nicola May PhotoAbout the Author: Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chick-lit with a kick.

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One Minute Later: A Novel by Susan Lewis, Narrated by Antonia Beamish, Elisabeth Hopper, and Imogen Wilde

One Minute Later: A Novel by Susan Lewis, Narrated by Antonia Beamish, Elisabeth Hopper, and Imogen Wilde

Published June 11, 2019 by HarperAudio

5 Stars:  Continue reading “One Minute Later: A Novel by Susan Lewis, Narrated by Antonia Beamish, Elisabeth Hopper, and Imogen Wilde”

Quentins by Maeve Binchy

I am trying to read five books by Irish Authors for Reading Ireland month. This is my first and I really enjoyed it.

7075784 Stars:

Published 2002 by Dutton

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A Healing Justice by Kristin von Kreisler

A Healing Justice by Kristin von Kreisler4.5 Stars

Published September 25th 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

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A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light3.5 Stars

Published October 2nd 2018 by Ballantine Books

I wanted to read this book as I do love Jodi Picoult. I waited patiently until my name got to the top of the list at the library and then hurried to pick it up. Now I am not sure. I knew this book was dealing with pro-choice vs pro-life, but I am not sure how I feel after reading the book. I believe I am pro-choice, but I am also pro-life. I do not believe in using abortion for birth control, but in some situations, I can understand somewhat. Having said all that, how did I feel about the book. I did not like the way it was written. I am not a big fan of a backwards timeline and that really bothered me as I read this one. I did like the characters and how they were written and developed, this is a huge strength in Picoult’s writing. The plot was well developed if you read the book backwards, as the story was interesting and a good one. There was even a bit of a twist, although I had pretty much figured it out before it was revealed. All in all, this was a good book, but not a great one as I have come to expect from Jodi Picoult. Continue reading “A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult”

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

Girl in Snow2 Stars (It was okay)

Published August 1st 2017 by Simon & Schuster

When I started this book, I was expecting a mystery or suspenseful story based on what I thought the book was about, I was very disappointed. This story is about three characters; Cameron, Jade and Russ and what they learn about themselves in the aftermath of the death of a ninth grader, Lucinda. The mystery element is there, with the investigation here and there throughout the book, but it was almost an afterthought. I plugged away at the story, but found it very slow moving and there was not much happening until almost 75% of the way through. As we learn more about the three characters, we see their dark sides and their secrets. There is a lot of foreshadowing throughout the book, but it is still hard to catch the clues and information as you go through. Much of what we learn about the characters had nothing to do with the murder.

Having said all that, Danya Kukafka’s writing is beautiful. It’s lyrical and very descriptive. It often felt like you were in a dream or hazy foggy place wondering what would come next. I did not become attached to any of the characters while reading this book. It was not until the last quarter or so of the book where the real killer is revealed that had me interested. It moved quickly and the suspense built up.

I did not enjoy this book, but it does not mean others would feel the same way. If you are a fan of introspective writing styles and like books that explore inner turmoil or struggles of the characters, then you will probably enjoy this book much more than I did. As I said above, the writing is wonderful, I did not enjoy the story.

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The Fifth Letter

The Fifth Letterby Nicola Moriarty

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by William Morrow
4 Stars

My Review: Joni, Deb, Trina & Eden have all been friends since the first day of high school. Joni brought the group together when the teacher made a comment about them all being born under the same sign. Joni actively sought each girl out and their group began. While growing up they were pretty much inseparable and shared everything as well as helping each other deal with things. In the book which is narrated by Joni, they are 30 and she is worried about them drifting apart. She has planned a girl’s weekend in a beach house. Because they have not shared their lives as much, with marriage and children happening, Joni suggests they each write a letter, not signed, sharing a secret. They will read the letters and offer solutions to the anonymous writer. This, Joni hopes, will rekindle the closeness they once felt. The letter sharing doesn’t go according to plan and when Joni finds a fifth letter that one of them wrote and tried to destroy, she embarks on a journey to determine who wrote the letter and would the person who wrote it follow through on what they put in it.

I enjoyed this book. The story flowed well and I rushed through it once I got about half way. It did start a bit slow, but got better as it went on. The story is told though flash backs and stories from their youth as well as what is going on in the present. The flashbacks help the reader to understand the friendship and personalities of the women. Of course, does anyone really know everyone’s secrets? I really wanted these women to work everything out as their friendship seemed so important to who they were, but as Joni says in the book, “Maybe you’re not suppose to stay friends with people from high school for so long after school. Maybe it just doesn’t work.” There were times that I really liked each character, and times where I didn’t. Joni seemed to be rather bullying and bossy at times, then you could see that this was a role foisted upon her by the others. Parts of this book were humorous, parts serious, and parts sad, which is exactly how life works. Throughout the story, I was constantly trying to figure out, who wrote that fifth letter. I recommend this book to anyone who likes women’s fiction, human drama with a bit of mystery to it.

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