Tuesday, 7 July 2020

New Release Spotlight & Review: Flying Solo by Zoe May

Flying Solo by Zoe May

Rachel Watson has it all worked out. By 30, she’s ticked off most of the goals on her Life List. She’s a homeowner, a partner at her law firm, she has a gorgeous boyfriend, lots of hobbies and loads of good friends. The only thing that’s missing is a ring on her finger.
According to her Life List, Rachel should be getting hitched around now, so when her boyfriend, Paul, plans a romantic date, Rachel’s pretty confident he’s going to propose. Except Paul has other ideas. He’s jetting off to India to find himself.
Distraught, Rachel doesn’t know what to do. Not one to easily admit defeat, she embarks on a mission to win him back.
Flying solo to India is definitely not on Rachel’s Life List, but could her trip teach her some unexpected lessons about love, life and herself? Could she realise that perhaps her Life List wasn’t exactly what she wanted, after all?

Amazon UK           Amazon US 

India's somewhere I've not thought of visiting personally but it's a country that intrigues me. So, I began reading Flying Solo full of expectations which I'm pleased to say have been more than satisfied as we follow Rachel's unexpected journey of discovery.

When you expect a marriage proposal but the date ends with your live-in boyfriend telling you he's off to India to "discover himself". That's what happened to Rachel Watson. Eager to right a wrong in her life and determined to win back her love, she follows Paul to India. However, the trip opens her eyes and mind in an unexpected way, as she discovers there's more to life than soft furnishings and the life she thought she wanted.

In this fun and flirty novel, the author manages to introduce me to some intriguing yoga facts and practices. I laughed and squirmed in equal measures as daily life within the ashram is described… there's a class to suit everyone, including ones you didn't know you needed to try!

The introduction of Seb and Meera adds a new enlightening dimension to life at the ashram as Rachel comes to terms with her exotic surroundings. The author's descriptions conjure up colourful images of the delights of India as our heroine embraces life away from her creature comforts.

an ambitious and dynamic woman, I'm not sure how Rachel ended up with someone like Paul. As the guy who escaped from their relationship, it's difficult to understand why she wanted him back but liked how that concludes as she discovers him, fully immersed within his new surroundings. It's a stunning revelation for them both!

The ending is more than satisfying for a reader like myself who likes to think and ponder about what happens next. Time will tell if is deliberate on the author's part. Yes, I'd like to know what happens to Rachel, but equally happy with where she is right now.

I've previously read a couple of novels by Ms May but Flying Solo is my favourite so far. It's an entertaining book to enjoy at any time of the year, a perfect escape from reality.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***

Zoe May is an author of romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She worked in journalism and copywriting in London before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

Perfect Match was one of Apple's top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as 'a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery - fresh and very funny'.

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading! She adores animals and if she's not taking a photo of a vegan meal, she's probably tweeting about the dairy industry. She is half Greek and half Irish and can make a mean baklava. Zoe has a thing for horror films, India, swimming, hip hop and Radiohead. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of handbags having spent several years working in fashion copywriting and could probably win Mastermind if this was her specialist subject!

Zoe loves to hear from readers, you can contact her on Twitter and Instagram at: @zoe_writes. Zoe's Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/zoemayauthor/

She posts updates and blogs on her website, www.zoemayauthor.co.uk

Release Day Review: The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

A bookshop, books, and a little splash of romance, what's not to love?

A double tragedy brings Natalie Harper back to San Francisco, the place where she grew up. It's a bitter-sweet return to the city and as she quickly learns, not everything's as she remembers. However, with an elderly, ailing grandfather to care for, she has to make unpopular decisions if she is to try to keep her late mother's book shop open. Thankfully, fate steps in to allow Natalie, to fulfil her dream and pick-up her life in a way she never believed possible. 

I enjoyed the back story about the Sun-Rise building where the book shop's allocated. It's a well-developed character in its own right as we learn its history and hidden secrets as well as other significant historical details associated with its time frame. Then there's the eclectic cast of characters, who blend effortlessly. Each differs from the other, and yet, friendships are forged as they all work together to keep the shop established by Natalie's mother, open. 

The narrative is well thought out and kept my attention throughout. I liked the inclusion and naming of many notable novels, to accentuate the book shop backdrop. Additionally, twists and turns, revelations and disappointments are revealed. Yet, there's hope, a promise of new beginnings and an overall sense that life, ultimately will sort itself out. 

This novel has wide appeal for anyone looking for a heart-warming story, addressing sensitive issues and a happy ending. A coffee and a book, anyone? 

***arc generously received courtesy of publisher William Morrow via NetGalley*** 

"A wonderful exploration of the past and the future and, most importantly, of what it means to be present in the here and now.  Full of the love of words, the love of family, and the love of falling in love, The Lost and Found Bookshop is a big-hearted gem of a novel that will satisfy and entertain readers from all walks of life.  Lovely!"—Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing In The Rain

In this thought-provoking, wise and emotionally rich novel, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs explores the meaning of happiness, trust, and faith in oneself as she asks  the question, "If you had to start over, what would you do and who would you be?" 

There is a book for everything . . . 

Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.