book review · NetGalley · romantic comedy

Book Review – Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions

‘A big-hearted treat of a read’ – Catherine Walsh, author of One Night Only

Love may be blind, but to find it she’ll have to open her eyes…

In January, Rachel Ryan’s New Year’s Resolutions are fairly predictable. Exercise more, put money into savings before spaffing it all on clothes, remember ridiculous rule that potatoes don’t count towards your 5-a-day…

Before long, though, the year ahead of her is very much not going to plan. When the creative agency Rachel works for is taken over, one of the new suits in the office is very familiar. And very handsome. Surely it can’t be… Jack Harper. The man she has spent years trying to forget. Not only is Rachel now working with him, she has regular sightings of the gorgeous woman Jack cheated on her with – who happens to be plastered to the side of every London bus.

Thank goodness for Tom, who is always there to listen (and pour wine). But when work stirs up her most painful memories, her best friend makes a major announcement and Jack dials up the charm, Rachel starts to question everything.

As life throws her a world of crazy, will Rachel have to make some very different resolutions?

Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary and Ruth Jones.

What Readers are saying about Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions:
‘Funny, sweet and heartwarming. It was the perfect romcom’ Mrsandmother

‘This has been my favourite romantic comedy of the year!’ – Karla_Bookishlife

‘A fun adventure, with great characters and some deeper issues’ – Netgalley Reviewer

‘This book is SO good. It’s officially made my favourites list’ – Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase link

My Review

Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions is one of those stories that simply resonates with its readers. How many of us have made similar resolutions, only to abandon them within a few days (or even hours)? Rachel tries – not always very hard, especially when it comes to exercising (and who can blame her?) – to stick to them, and as the story progresses the list expands slightly to take into account the difficulties she has in sticking to some of them.

But it is when Jack Harper comes back into her life that her struggles really begin. He broke her heart at university, and it seems she hasn’t really got over it. Trouble is, he knows it, and goes out of his way to inject himself back into her life, under a thinly veiled disguise of “I’ve changed”. (He hasn’t!)

Rachel, however, has a few weapons up her sleeve (ones that she doesn’t quite appreciate nor even realise are there yet, but she will) in the form of her best friend and flatmate, Anna, and her very good friend of four years, Tom.

At times, I was screaming in my head at Rachel: Listen to Anna! Don’t go there! Only for my warnings to go unheeded. By which time, damage limitation was needed. But, as most of us know, sometimes we have to make our own mistakes to learn from them. But, I’ll be honest, it did look as though Rachel and her blinkers were not ready to be parted!

Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions is a rom-com with a difference; as expected, it’s funny (laugh-out-loud chortling funny) and there’s romance (you just have to wait for it), but it’s also quite poignant in the way Rachel’s barriers are broken down so that she really can see what we, as readers, have known all along. No spoilers, but it’s quite refreshing to see how those layers are stripped away. I’ll admit, it brought a tear to my eye since I can empathise with the reasoning behind those barriers.

Structurally, I was a little distracted when the story switched without warning to another character’s POV, a character who I hadn’t really expected to mean so much, but who eventually became pivotal to the story. That aside, I loved the “realness” of the banter, the humour between friends, the office rivalries and jealousies, and the sheer awfulness of some of Rachel’s clients (Humphrey knows who he is 😉 )

A thoroughly enjoyable read. I’ll be sure to look out for more from this author. This is hilarious fun in word format, but so very visual and all-consuming.

My thanks to the author, Embla books (publisher) and Netgalley for my copy.

As always,

Reviewed on Amazon UK as Meandthemutts

blog tour · book review · suspense · tense

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Carrying Clover

Carrying Clover

Newly single Camille Robins’ luck is about to change as she embarks on a new chapter of her life, moving to the city near her best friend, Lizzie.

At a chance meeting at Lou’s B&B, Camille meets George, a handsome man who sweeps her off her feet.

Can Lizzie forgive Camille for stealing her previous boyfriend, or will she seek revenge?

Camille can’t believe her luck! George can’t believe how perfect she is….

Was it a fate romance, or part of an evil plan?

A fresh new twist on a psychological thriller, fast-paced, clever, and thought provoking that will make you question who is the lucky one.

Luck, love, deceit, and heartbreak will keep you turning the page. And a breathtaking twist you won’t see coming, will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BZZHNHH

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BZZHNHH

Author Bio

Lorey Durston is an author of thriller and suspense novels. 

CARRYING CLOVER is her debut novel.

She is currently working on her next suspense novel to be released late 2021.

Social Media Links – Twitter @loreydurston

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lorey-Durston-Author-101764481996748

Instagram: loreydurstonauthor 

My Review

This was an enjoyable read for the most part, well-paced and suspenseful. There are three main characters, of which Camille and Lizzie are “related” in that they grew up with the same foster family. And while Camille sees Lizzie as her best friend and sister, the same cannot be said for Lizzie. She bears a hefty dose of resentment towards Camille, initially stemming from jealousy from when they grew up together – Lizzie saw Camille as the favourite child who always got what she wanted. That resentment is further inflamed when we learn that Camille “stole” Lizzie’s boyfriend, although seeing as he turned out to be an abusive partner, you might think she’d have been glad to see the back of him.

Fast forward to present day and Camille has escaped that abusive relationship and is looking to start over. She’s bought a new flat (from inheritance money – and another reason for Lizzie to be jealous) and will be working for Lizzie in her Bristol café. Camille is going into this full of hope and optimism. Her positivity proves to be remarkably naive.

As the flat is not ready to move into, Camille books into a B&B for 2 days. This is where she befriends the owner, Lou, and another resident, George – the third of the main characters. Once again, her positive nature sees no issue with the speed in which George goes from fellow resident at the breakfast table to sending her flowers and gifts when she moves into her own place and starts work.

The story is told mainly from Camille’s point-of-view, interspersed with short chapters that give an insight in what’s really going on in George’s mind – and there is a lot of bitterness and ill-will in his thoughts. He clearly sees Camille as gullible, as the perfect prey for his plan, though we are never sure of his plans until the very end. What we do discover is that there is an accomplished liar behind all that charm.

Lizzie’s viewpoint is also explored in similarly short chapters, long enough to reveal her contempt towards her sister-friend. I did wonder what Lizzie’s motive was in offering Camille a job if she really didn’t like her that much. At least George seemed to have a plan – to control Camille – but the reasoning behind Lizzie’s action was less clear. Nonetheless, both George and Lizzie have personality issues in that they can be so nice, welcoming, and thoughtful to Camille to her face, yet in reality both of them vilified Camille in their thoughts. It was quite disturbing to see how they managed such strong emotions. Such is the strength of the story in that the tension is high, and it keeps you guessing as to how it will end, especially as Camille comes across as so needy. There are times when she does question things, but those are fleeting, and she is too easily manipulated to see what’s going on until it’s too late.

The ending is surprising, but – it might just be me – I didn’t quite get why George needed to use other women in the way that he did given the “other” relationships in his life. I have to assume there were fertility issues elsewhere, though it was never confirmed as such (try writing that without creating a spoiler alert).

Whilst Carrying Clover has an exciting plot with oodles of suspense, the writing itself would have benefitted from another round of editing (unless I unknowingly received an uncorrected proof) Nonetheless, an enjoyable read … and I do love that cover.

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As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
Reviewed on Amazon UK as Meandthemutts