Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham ( Sophie Kinsella)

This book review is by one of my assistants, Louise, thank you for reviewing this book.

‘‘Sleeping Arrangements’ – by Sophie Kinsella (writing as Madeleine Wickham) Sleeping Arrangements

Rating: 3/5 

Chloe is fed up with making wedding dresses every day of the week, and her partner is struggling with his work too; both are in dire need of a holiday. So when her wealthy friend Gerard offers them a free break in his luxury Spanish villa, how can they refuse? 

Whilst Hugh’s job is going strong, it’s his family life that is pulling him apart: his children won’t even speak to him, and his wife seems more interested in fabric swatches than in him, even though he works so hard to fund it all – he’s not a happy man. But his old school friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain out of the blue – perfect. 

When both families arrive at the villa at the same time, these two worlds are forced to collide. But there’s a secret history between certain family members, and as past passions resurface, secrets reveal themselves, and tensions mount until we can’t be sure who’s sleeping with whom. 

It was the plot of this book that really enticed me; it seemed like such a simple, even obvious storyline, but as soon as I started reading, it was clear that this book did have its surprises. For instance, nowhere on the blurb is there a reference to any children, so I was almost shocked when I found that both Chloe and Hugh had a family; this added innocence to the otherwise very adult themes, and I liked this sweet, young edge. Kinsella again uses a light and witty style to entertain us female readers, but there were aspects of this book that I didn’t like as much. For example, there is lots of strong language, and the plot really takes a while to develop: I found the first few chapters quite uneventful and predictable, and it wasn’t until the end of the fourth chapter that I became more intrigued. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of Sophie Kinsella that I was somewhat disappointed by this novel, as it’s so different from her others, but even though this book wasn’t my favourite, I still became very attached to the characters in a way that only Kinsella can seem to do. Overall, it is a light-hearted and entertaining, if a little predictable, novel that would make a perfect holiday read, but if you’re looking for more depth, I would recommend Kinsella’s other books instead.’  

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The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh

The HauntingThe Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. It is set on my door step in the beautiful county of Hampshire. So many of the places and their names were everyday words to me. Alan wove a lovely novel through two timespans which joined together at the very end. He used his vast knowledge of nature and gardening to enhance the descriptions and bring them alive. Harry Flint, a retiring History teacher buys a house in much need of repair. Whist searching for more links to his family tree he finds the past catches up with him. The storyline kept me enthralled, I do love a happy ending!

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“V” Vanguard of Hope by Kathy Steinemann

I read and reviewed this book for Kathy a while ago, you can read about the book and catch up with Kathy as she was also a guest author on the blog

As this great challenge draws to an end, PLEASE keep writing your comments as our challenge relies on them.

 Letter of the alphabet: V

Vanguard of Hope

By Kathy Steinemann

LISETVILLE, 1890 — Murders are committed; homes are burned; family secrets are buried; an unexpected romance complicates lives. Amid the mystery and violence, a vigilante brigade emerges to administer justice.

Flowing through the intrigue and drama is a dark undercurrent that will touch your heart as you empathize with the victims.

What Readers are Saying:

“I am hooked. I do hope that I will be able to get all your novels.” – Lorene Charlton

“It’s not chick lit.” – A Male Reader

“This book keeps you in suspense right to the end. The dark underlying theme is tackled in a sensitive manner.” – S.L. Banks

“I started reading this novel to help quiet my mind at a late hour, but found myself still awake in the morning. Its intense read was much more than I expected. It has ‘all’ the elements from love, betrayal, suspense, and romance, to murder. ‘Vanguard  of Hope’ will touch everyone who reads it. If you’re a young adult or older, this excellent novel will awaken you
deep within your soul.” – Toni Gee

“The book was excellent! I really enjoyed reading it. I could not stop. Every chance I got, I was trying to sneak in just a couple more diary entries! I look forward to reading the next
book in the series. And I will most certainly be recommending this to others to read!” – Brandy Mayan-Rooks

Kathy tells us;

This novel addresses a few social issues that existed during the 19th century. Some of those issues have improved over time; one has not. The challenge in writing the book was to engage the reader in a plot with unexpected twists, while discussing a sensitive theme.                Vanguard of Hope: (Sapphire Brigade Book 1)

Here are 5 links to more AtoZ Challengers;

Gamble a Dick Francis novel

GambleGamble by Dick Francis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A romp around the British horseracing world. Murder and mayhem, fraud and drama. I’ve read most of the Dick Francis novels and think they have a loyal following. Quite good, a little predictable in its theme.

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Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Make a Joyful NoiseMake a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this very English tale around a choir, all mixed up with romance and teaching. Lots of lovely feel good moments. Well done Jenny!

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