Category Archives: Authors P to R

Reviews by author surname P to R

Blog Tour – Obsession by Amanda Robson *Review and Guest Post*

I am so excited to be part of Amanda Robson’s Obsession blog tour today, and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on her debut novel and an article about one of the four characters. I have to admit to finding it hard to write my review for Obsession (I always seem to find it difficult to write reviews of books I love) so hope I have managed to do this great debut some justice. 

My Thoughts

Obsession is the debut novel by Amanda Robson and it certainly got under my skin. It revolves around four friends, two couples, who find their lives in a turbulent spiral of deceit and fixation when Rob, the husband of Carly answers her ‘Who else would you go for, if you could?’ question honestly. I don’t want to talk about the plot in any way as you need to experience Obsession for yourself and come to your own conclusions without outside influence.

The events that unfold are told in first person narrative by Carly, Rob, Jenni and Craig, giving the reader, what should be, unprecedented access to their thoughts and feelings. Throughout, I didn’t know whose version of events to believe and who to trust. I adore an unreliable narrator and Obsession has them in abundance. Robson cleverly pulls this off, with each chapter being perfectly crafted, leaving you doubting your own thoughts as you turn each page. Maximum impact is further created with short, punchy chapters and a rhythm that is wonderfully dark in tone. As the book progresses you can’t shift the unease and sense of foreboding that sits with you and increases with each chapter.

This is a novel that lends itself perfectly to discussion. It twists and turns, raising issues you weren’t expecting to come across. Mental health, adultery, religious beliefs, honesty and maternal instincts are all in there along with, as the title suggests, compulsive infatuation. Every time you put the book down, part of it is scorched into your mind and you can’t help but mull over what you have read. The big questions that arose for me were: are we too quick to judge someone who has suffered with mental health difficulties as paranoid if they raise what seem to be outlandish concerns? And how far can someone hide who they really are? I adore a book that entertains me whilst also getting the old cerebral juices going, and Obsession hit the mark perfectly.

A novel that explores the darker side of human nature within ordinary people, Obsession will have you infatuated from the first chapter. The need to know and understand the thoughts and behaviour of the characters becomes like an itch you can’t scratch. A fantastic debut novel that is well-written and simultaneously dark and heart-breaking, Robson is an author to keep an eye on in the future.

Obsession  centres around four characters. Rob is the husband of Carly, he is a well-respected, much loved local GP and father of three. Amanda tells us more about Rob…

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Rob

1. When he was in the sixth form he was intending to apply to study law not medicine. He changed his mind at the last minute and decided to read medicine, almost on a whim, after watching a TV documentary about GP’s. Sometimes he regrets it, especially when his patients are being difficult.

2. When he was a teenager he was an atheist for a while. Looking back he thinks he was just rebelling against the inevitable before he accepted the truth. It is quite common for religious people to have had a period of atheism, apparently. Or at least that is what a lay-preacher once told him. At that stage of his life he felt angry about lots of things, including God. He didn’t want to think about an omnipotent being having control over his life. But one day he saw an old film of Billy Graham preaching in America and all of a sudden Jesus’s story made sense. A new world fell into place. A rational world of kindness, hope and forgiveness. He felt a lightness in his heart. He still feels that sense of release whenever he prays to the Lord.

3. Rob does fifty sit ups every night before he goes to bed, and fifty bench presses when he gets up in the morning, listening to Two Pac or Notorious BIG. He listens to rap to get himself riled up. When he is riled he works harder.

4. Rob smoked cigarettes all the way through his medical course. By the time he took his finals he was on two packs of B & H a day. He always kept the second pack carefully hidden from Carly, and swapped it around at an appropriate moment so that she thought he only got through about twenty, not forty. He used to smoke cigars as well. When Pippa was born he finally managed to give up because passive smoking would damage his daughter’s health. Perhaps if he lives until ninety he will go back to it.

A huge thank you to Amanda Robson and Helena Sheffield for the advance copy of Obsession and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Obsession was published by Avon on eBook on 1 May 2017 and  paperback on 1 June 2017.

Follow the rest of the tour…

 

 

 

 

 

Review – The Reading Group: April by Della Parker

The Blurb

‘Brims with laughs, love, family and friendship. You will love this heartwarming read!’ Trisha Ashley. Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Holly Martin.
Serena, the ambitious young Headmistress of Poppins Private School, has just begun reading Jane Eyre alongside her friends in the Reading Group. She would never admit it out loud, but she’s half hoping that reality might once again echo fiction. Will she perhaps meet her own Mr Rochester?
That doesn’t stop her from being slightly alarmed when her secretary arranges an appointment with one Mr Winchester, the handsome father of a troubled pupil in the midst of a messy divorce. But when the line between work and pleasure begins to blur, and troubles in her own family come to a head, Serena is left wondering if being a romantic heroine is all it’s cracked up to be…
Meet the Reading Group: five women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don’t forget the glass of red!

My Thoughts

It’s April in Little Sanderton and The Reading Group’s book this month is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Serena takes centre stage in this instalment, will her life mirror that of the book she is reading?

Serena is the successful headmistress of an exclusive school, lives in a beautiful house and seems to have it all. As we get to know her better in this edition of The Reading Group we discover, however, that her life is not as perfect as it seems. She has had her share of tragedy and her relationship with her family is less than perfect. Like the heroine Serena is reading about, she is a bit of an outcast when it comes to her family. As her life is heading along its usual path, in walks Mr Winchester…

I love Jane Eyre, it is one of the first classics I read and so I looked forward to the April Edition of The Reading Group to see what a modern day version would look like. Eddie Winchester shares a similar name to Edward Rochester and, while he doesn’t have a ‘mad’ wife kept hidden in his attic, he certainly has his fair share of difficulty with his ex-wife Debbie. I really like the way Parker takes the elements of a classic novel and brings them up to date, while showing that issues written about in the 19th century are still relevant today.

Parker manages to fit a lot of story into a short book and yet it never feels rushed. She ensures that the reader gets to know the main character well and simultaneously keeps you glued to the pages to discover the outcome. The friendship provided by the reading group is a theme that runs throughout all of the books alongside a touch of romance and drama and the April edition is no different.

The Reading Group: April is a lovely, light read in which you really feel a part of the group of friends. Although this is book five in the series it works well as a standalone for those who haven’t read the others in the series, however, I would recommend you check them out. A great way to spend a few hours over the Easter weekend.

Published on eBook on 30 March 2017 by Quercus.

Thank you to Della Parker, Quercus and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.

I hope you will join me on Bloomin’ Brilliant Books tomorrow as I have a fab guest post by Della Parker.

 

Blog Tour – The Alibi by Jaime Raven *Book Review*

The Alibi

I’m delighted to be hosting today’s turn on The Alibi blog tour.  I really enjoyed Jaime’s first novel The Madam and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of The Alibi after I had taken part in the cover reveal.  I’m delighted to be able share my thoughts with you on Jaime’s second book today.

The Blurb

A perfect crime needs a perfect alibi…

Crime reporter Beth Chambers is committed to uncovering the truth – and she’s not afraid of bending the rules to get there.

When troubled soap star Megan Fuller is found stabbed to death in her South London home, all eyes are on her ex-husband – the notorious gangster, Danny Shapiro.

Determined to expose Danny as a cold-blooded killer, Beth obsessively pursues him.  But in her hunt for the truth, her family are set to pay the ultimate price…

Secrets, lies and revenge brim to the top in this gritty thriller.  Perfect for fans of  Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.

My Thoughts

What a tangled web we weave…

Murder, lies and corruption take centre stage in Jaime Raven’s second novel, The Alibi. When celebrity Megan Fuller is found murdered at her home, crime reporter Beth Chambers automatically assumes Megan’s ex-husband, Danny Shapiro, is the killer given his reputation as one of London’s leading gang bosses. In the pursuit of being the first to get the story, Beth becomes embroiled in a web of deceit that threatens her livelihood, her family and ultimately her life. Knowing the finger will be pointed at him, Danny, fakes an alibi resulting in a knock on effect he could never have predicted.

With Beth as the main character the story is told in first person narrative by her, interspersed by the points of view of Danny Shapiro and Ethan Cain in the third person. The novel starts with a bang, with twists, turns and startling revelations from the outset grabbing the reader immediately and firmly ensconcing them into the story. The Alibi moves along at a fast pace resulting in late nights for the reader! Some of the twists I did guess, this may be due to the amount of crime thrillers I have read recently, however, this did not impact on my enjoyment of the book.

Beth is a career-focused crime reporter with, at times, questionable morals. I enjoyed reading about the risks she takes to be the first to get the story and Raven gives a real insight into the life of a journalist. This angle made a change from the usual detective-led story, adding extra appeal to The Alibi.

Raven covers some relevant topics throughout the book – the problems of gangs on London housing estates, the 2011 London riots, disillusionment of police officers and over-riding your ethics and values in order to get what you want – with the dangers of not sticking to the premise of innocent until proven guilty being the most interesting theme to me. Beth inadvertently creates a domino effect, that has wide reaching consequences, in her assumption and belief that Danny is guilty from the outset.

The Alibi is a cracking crime thriller that moves along at a super fast pace. A great second novel from Jaime Raven.

Thank you to Jaime Raven, Avon Books and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my review. Thank you Louis at Avon Books for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

Published on 29 December 2016 by Avon Books.

You can purchase a copy HERE.

The Alibi

 

Review – Cover Me In Darkness by Eileen Rendahl

Cover Me In Darkness

The Blurb

Amanda Sinclair has to fight harder than most for everything she has after fleeing a cult that left her brother dead at her mother’s hands.  Amanda works a quiet job in quality control for a small cosmetics company, trying to leave her past behind until she learns that her mother has committed suicide in the mental ward where she’s been locked away for the past ten years.

At first, Amanda believes that her mother killed herself, but when she looks through the personal belongings left behind, it seems her death may be related to the upcoming parole hearing for cult leader Patrick Collier.  Teaming up with her mother’s psychologist, Amanda starts to peel away the layer of secrets that she’s built between herself and her own past, and what she finds is a truth that’s almost too big to believe.

My Thoughts

I’m quite interested in cults and the psychological techniques they use to draw people in and manipulate them so Cover Me In Darkness really appealed to me.

The story centres around Amanda who, in the past was part of a religious organisation called the Children Of The Greater God with her mother. Following the suicide of her mother, Amanda suspects that all is not as it seems and fowl play may have been involved. What follows is a thriller in which Amanda seeks to uncover the truth putting her own life in jeopardy.

Cover Me In Darkness is a dark tale in which mental illness, religious fanaticism and mistrust all play a part. Amanda’s mother is in a secure psychiatric hospital following an horrific crime and Amanda is trying to move on with her life and keep her past hidden from her colleagues. I found Amanda to be quite a cold character and I understand that Rendahl has deliberately written her this way as the character is trying to conceal her past but I found her difficult to gel with. However, Rendahl effectively makes you question Amanda and her reliability which adds an interesting edge to the story.

Rendahl does a great job of getting across how Amanda’s mother felt in the years following her killing her own child, a tragic event spurred on by her mental health difficulties and her belief that she was protecting the children from becoming ‘bad’. For me, however, it didn’t strongly come across what impact the cult had had on her mental health and the subsequent tragedy. Would she have gone on to commit a similar act if she hadn’t become involved with the Children Of The Greater God? I would have liked more exploration of the psychological impact the cult had on Amanda and her mother.

I found the book a little slow at times. Quite a lot of it focuses on Amanda’s job in a laboratory and while unusual occurrences are taking place within the lab, it just did not grab me or hold my interest. There are some creepy moments, but for some reason it just didn‘t quite hit the mark for me.

I really liked the premise of the book but felt a bit disappointed in the ending despite the fact it was not what I was expecting. I guess I wanted more emphasis on the cult aspect and wanted to get deep within it and it’s wider impact but I didn’t feel I got this. I also found it difficult to ’get on’ with the main character resulting in me not really empathising with her, despite all she had been through. Great idea and I can’t fault the writing, but sadly it lacked something for me.

Thanks to Eileen Rendahl, Midnight Ink and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.

Published on Ebook 8 December 2016 and paperback 1 January 2017 by Midnight Ink.

 

**Novella Week** Review – Errors Of Evaluation by Paola Pica

Errors of Evaluation

The Blurb

Francesca’s presence pervades the lives of those she meets. 

She leaves an indelible mark, the true nature of her personality revealed through other people’s encounters with her. 

Her boldness as a spoilt child.  Her temporary (and just) suffering as the victim of a shrink – an ambiguous and even more unscrupulous person than her in grasping anything graspable.  And the more than explicit revelation of her blind egocentrism, because of which she ignores the one person who has tried tirelessly to help her. 

Three very different characters tell the same story about the enigmatic woman who has entered their lives, each one illuminating who Francesca really is, from their own point of view.  Each character has made an error of evaluation which they realise has prejudiced their lives and their relationships.  An omniscient narrator will have the final say. 

This is the first version in English of Errors of Evaluation by the Italian writer Paola Pica and has been translated by Janice Burberry.

Number of pages – 99.

My Thoughts

‘…it’s enough to know a person’s weak points to do what you want with him.’

Several days after I finished reading Errors of Evaluation I’m still not sure what I think of it or how much I liked it. This very rarely happens to me, I’m usually quite sure of my opinions but this novella has puzzled me, which I guess could be a good thing but it hasn’t made it easy to write this review.

Paola has written a book that concentrates very firmly on four characters. That of Francesca, who the book is essentially about and the three characters who are telling their story of her – Marco, Massimo and Elena. I generally love to hate a character and within Errors of Evaluation there is little to like about any of the characters with the exception of Elena. Francesca has left a definite mark on those she has come into contact with and Marco, Massimo and Elena each give their view of her. The first three chapters are narrated in the first person by each with the fourth chapter being told in the third person. The total detachment from the main character, Francesca, through the lack of her voice and yet the unique insight the reader gets into her personality works really well.

A tale of control and manipulation, initially I felt that Francesca, although spoilt and narcissistic, was the victim of the men who manipulated her in order to keep her as their trophy. As the book progresses, however, it would appear that Francesca is as grasping as the men she has been in relationships with and manipulates them to meet her own needs. The question for me at the end was who was the greatest at the art of deception?

Paola has created utterly contemptible, unscrupulous characters. She uses a mix of psychological theories to explore the darker side of relationships. Each believes they knew Francesca but at the end they discover that this was not the case and each has been wrong in their assessment of her.

Translated incredibly well and with a beautiful use of language, I really enjoyed the prose in Errors Of Evaluation. It has a very European feel about it despite their being little indication of the setting in Italy. This is a very character-based book and despite the lack of surrounding description I felt myself drawn into it and into their strange psyches.

Very much unlike anything I have read recently I’m not sure that this book will appeal to everybody. If you have an interest in psychology and a penchant for the despicable, you will enjoy Errors Of Evaluation.

Thank you to Paola Pica and Authoright for the copy of Errors Of Evaluation.

Published 26 July 2016 by Clink Street Publishing.

You can purchase a copy HERE.

Blog Tour – The Reading Group by Della Parker

I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting today’s stop on The Reading Group blog tour. I love the concept of this – each ebook novella focuses on one of the five women who are part of a reading group and the classic novel they are reading that month reflects what is happening in their lives. Della has created a modern version of each classic within each story. So without further ado I will share my review of each of the first three novella’s in the story and introduce you to the characters…

Blog Tour Poster[1518]

 

What’s The Reading Group About?

Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading.  No topic is off limits: books, family, love and loss…and don’t forget the glass of red!

The Reading Group Book 1 – December

The Reading Group December

Grace knows that the holiday season is going to be different this year.  No turkey, no tinsel, no gorgeously wrapped gifts under the tree…how on earth is going to break it to her little boys that Christmas is effectively cancelled? And can she bear to tell anyone her embarrassing secret? Enter the Reading Group: Grace’s life might have turned upside down but there’s no problem they can’t solve.

Number of pages – 17

My Thoughts

In this first instalment we meet Grace an the Reading Group’s book of the month is  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Grace is married with triplet son’s and she is currently going through a difficult time financially and personally as one of her sons has cancer. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, she has no choice but to cancel Christmas this year.

This is the shortest in the series and Della has effectively, in a few pages, created the setting and introduced the characters and the dynamics between them. I couldn’t wait to get reading the next novella in the series.

A story about not keeping your problems to yourself and the power of friendship, Grace learns to open up about her problems and discovers she is not alone and Christmas may end up being magical rather like at the end of A Christmas Carol.

Published on 1st December 2016 by Quercus.  Price: Free.

The Reading Group Book 2 – January

The Reading Group January

Anne-Marie has always considered herself a bit of a matchmaker – never mod that she’s only go one real success under her belt.  And this year she’s determined to up her game: Little Sanderton’s singles could certainly benefit from her expertise!

But while Anne Marie thinks she knows what’s best for everyone else, her own life couldn’t be less of a fairytale romance.  Between looking after her cranky father, and running her own business, she doesn’t have tome for a relationship.  Her friends in the Reading Group know better through: after all, love can be found in the most unexpected places…

This January the Reading Group is tackling Jane Austen’s Emma…but who’s got time for reading when romance is in the air?

Number of pages – 95

My Thoughts

In January the Reading Group are reading Jane Austen’s Emma and the story centres around Anne Marie.

Again Della has brilliantly crafted a modern version of a classic as we follow Anne Marie setting up her dating agency with disastrous results. This is a really feel-good novella that had me laughing out loud (and getting strange looks from my husband!).

Despite Anne Marie having quite a privileged life – her father is successful and ensures she doesn’t want for anything – she is very likeable and has a kind heart. Despite the brevity of the book Della really gets you to the heart of the character and the setting and it felt like spending time with a friend. I got totally wrapped up with Anne Marie and her story and this was a really delightful read.  I finished the book looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Published 1st December 2016 by Quercus.  Price: 99p.
The Reading Group Book 3 – February

The Reading Group February

Kate has tried to be a good wife to Anton.  Ever since he got demoted at work – answering to a woman no less – Anton simply hasn’t been the same.  Kate wants to help, but as the months pass and Anton pulls away from her both emotionally and physically, Kate can’t help but feel a bit abandoned.

Then Kate meets Bob: the handsome, blue-eyed carpenter that Anton has hired to refurbish their kitchen.  Kate instantly feels a powerful physical connection between them…but dare she risk her marriage for a man she barely knows?

This month the Reading Group is enjoying Lady Chatterley’s Lover…and trying no to giggle too much at the naughty parts!

Number of pages – 95

My Thoughts

In February the Reading Group are reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence and the story centres around Kate.

Kate’s intimate relationship with her husband has taken a downward turn since he was demoted at work. When Bob the builder (no not THAT Bob the builder!!!) turns up to re-model their kitchen Kate cannot help but be attracted to him. As her long held beliefs on love are challenged, Kate struggles to keep her marriage going and discovers that what she thought was love may not be in fact the case.

The similarities between Lady Chatterley’s Lover are all there – the difficulties in the intimate side of Kate’s marriage, the class differences and hope that true love can conquer all. This instalment of The Reading Group moved me as Kate struggles to understand her feelings and worries about her marriage. Despite the themes of infidelity and the breakdown of a relationship, Della has again managed to incorporate delicious bites of humour that all adds to fully immerse the reader into the story and makes it a really enjoyable read.

The characterisation is great and by this book I felt as much a part of the reading group as the people I had been reading about. I really loved finding out more about the different members of the group and getting to know them on a personal level.

This is a great series – fantastic if you want a light, humorous read and I love the concept of the stories mirroring those of classic novels. While I love a classic novel they are not for everyone and this series is a great way for people to access those timeless stories who may otherwise may not read the originals. I’m really looking forward to the next novella in the series.

So, grab a cuppa and some cake, turn off your phone, get cosy and spend an afternoon with The Reading Group.

Published on ebook 1 December 2016 by Quercus.  Price 99p.

I adored the first three books in this series.  Della has created wonderful characters that you can identify with and her writing totally immerses you into each individual story.  While they include serious issues for each character, Della adds humour throughout that makes each story more enjoyable.  A huge thank you to Della Parker and Alainna at Quesrcus for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for the copies of the first three books.

Introducing The Characters

Grace (December)

Grace has five-year-old triplets, serious money problems and a husband who doesn’t do stress very well. In another life she would have been an artist.

‘Yes. Scrooge is a bit close to home. I thought…well I thought I could blag it through tonight. But I can’t.’

Anne Marie (January)

At just twenty-one, Anne Marie is the baby of the group. Blonde and bubbly, she has a penchant for organizing (she thinks). Less charitable people would call it meddling.

‘I’m going into the matchmaking arena. I shall run speed-dating events in the village. There are plenty of singletons in Little Sanderton. How hard can it be?’

Kate (February)

Beautiful Kate, who has no idea how attractive she is, builds websites for corporate clients and longs for a family.

‘Love is just how I thought it would be. I’m just not interested in other men any more.

Jojo (March)

Jojo is the matriarch of the group. She worries about her size and wishes she had more self-esteem. Sometimes she feels like she needs these women a lot more than they need her.

‘Step One of my Three Step Feeling Better Plan is to eat cake. I think we’ve done Step One, haven’t we, Angel?’

Serena (April)

Headmistress Serena is bossy, wears owlish glasses, loves literature, and freely admits that she calls everyone ‘dear’ to save remembering their names.

‘Is anyone listening to me? How about if I say sex. Yep, that’s right. Sex, sex and more sex. Sex glorious sex!’

Join the online Reading Group!!!!

You are invited to join the #ReadingGroup on 2 December 2016 at 4pm on Twitter.  Hosted by the fantastic Rebecca at @beccasbooksUK join me, @DellaGalton and @QuercusBooks to celebrate the launch of this great new series.  I’m really excited about this and hope to see you there!

Invite

 

Review – The Madam by Jaime Raven

The Madam

The Blurb

Three years and eleven months.

That’s how long Lizzie Wells has been banged up inside Holloway prison, serving time for a crime she didn’t commit.

Six months.

That’s how long it’s taken Lizzie to fall in love with her fellow inmate, Scar.

Now they are both finally free and, together, they are about to embark on a vengeful search to find those who framed Lizzie.  It’s time to make them pay…

My Review

As the saying goes ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’, and Lizzie Wells has certainly been scorned! Imprisoned for almost four years for a murder she didn’t commit, Lizzie is determined to seek revenge on those responsible for her incarceration.

Admittedly, I was not keen on the cover of this book and would have been slightly put off reading it, however, I really enjoyed it and it goes to show that I should not judge a book by it’s cover! Gripped from the very start, I devoured The Madam within a couple of days.

Lizzie, the main character and narrator, is a tenacious young woman with real grit and determination. I warmed to her instantly and really felt for her as she also has a softer side to her character which makes her easy to empathise with. I really liked the character of her partner, Scar, who is the voice of reason to Lizzie’s hell-bent single-mindedness. Throughout the book I was really rooting for the pair of them and hoped that everything would work out.

The relationship between Lizzie and Scar is written well and with sensitivity. Lizzie, prior to being in prison, is heterosexual, however, fell in love with Scar and grew close to her while inside. I could understand the parts in the book where she found men attractive and her initial doubts as to whether or not the relationship would continue on the outside. There are intimate moments in the book between the characters, however they are not gratuitous and add to the sense of the relationship between Lizzie and Scar. I forgot while reading that The Madam was written by a man, and I give credit to Jaime for handling this topic well.

There were parts of the storyline that I did work out, however, this did not take any enjoyment away from me. It is fast paced from the outset and does not let up until the end. If you want a engrossing thriller that will hold your attention, definitely check The Madam out. I look forward to Jaime’s next novel.

Thank you to Jaime Raven for the copy in exchange for my opinion.

Published 19 May 2016 by Avon.

Review – When I Lost You by Kelly Rimmer

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The Blurb

Do you ever wish you had the chance to meet someone again for the first time? 

When Leo and Molly met and married, they believed they were invincible.  Together they would take on the world.  But Leo, a war correspondent, lives for life on the edge, and when he takes a step into the unknown, tragedy strikes and he loses his memory.  Molly rushes in to help him fill in the gaps and soon they start falling in love all over again. 

The trouble is, Molly is hiding something.  Something big.  The devoted wife at Leo’s bedside is a sham; Leo and Molly’s marriage was on the rocks long before Leo’s accident. 

The closer Molly gets to her husband the more scared she becomes that he will remember.  As Leo’s memory begins to trickle back will Molly lose the man she loves for a second time? 

An emotional, heartbreaking read that will restore your faith in the power of love.

My Review

‘It’s a remarkable thing to be part of a connection that is so satisfying that you feel lucky whenever you consider it.’

I’m not a romance kind of girl, so was a little unsure as to whether I would enjoy When I Lost You but thought I would give it a go as I liked the title.

While the book is about the relationship between Molly and Leo, it focuses on the slow demise of their marriage. We start at the point where Leo has had an accident and has lost part of his memory. The book switches between past and present with both characters telling the story of the beginning of their relationship, it’s gradual breakdown and the current situation. There are the highs and expectations that Molly and Leo go through as they start out as a couple and the grief and disappointment when realisation hits that it is not working. Anyone who has gone through the breakdown of a significant relationship will be able to identify with the story and Kelly perfectly encapsulates how we become so embroiled in our own negative emotions and anger that we cannot see or hear how the other person is feeling and resolve the issues.

I found it easier to identify with Molly than Leo initially, however as the book progressed I began to understand why he acted the way he did. Kelly has done well to get both perspectives across, however with Leo’s amnesia you can’t help but empathise with Molly more in regards to their relationship at the start of the book. I have to say I did not feel optimistic about their relationship from the beginning.

Very well written, Kelly draws you in quickly and compels you to keep reading. An interesting way of telling the story of a couple which I haven’t come across before. It is very sad in places and made me want to hold my husband close. I will definitely be reading more of Kelly’s books.

Thank you Kelly Rimmer, Bookouture and Netgalley for the ARC in return for a fair and honest review. 

Published 21 April 2016 by Bookouture.