The Break by Marian Keyes

Author’s Synopsis

Amy’s husband Hugh has run away to ‘find himself’. But will he ever come back? ‘Myself and Hugh . . . We’re taking a break.’ ‘A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?’ If only. Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . . However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . .

My Views

When Amy’s husband decides that he needs a break: six months of sea, sand, and sex and not with his wife, she falls apart. Amy loves Hugh and always has but she’s also carrying around a dose of guilt from having a crush just a few months previously.

This book is about the breaking of a relationship that had been essentially good and strong. Just a couple of bad decisions and everyone involved is hurt, but the story follows these people through their ordeal and out the other side. No one is left unchanged.

The story is thought-provoking and emotional but it has more to offer. The reader can identify with both Amy and Hugh at various different points in the story making it highly emotive. It also addresses some highly sensitive issues but not in a dark way. There’s plenty of brilliant Irish wit to carry us through the difficult bits and a glamorous granny whose crazy antics show that no matter how old you are sometimes you need a ‘Break’.

The Break


Miss Frost Saves the Sandman: A Nocturne Falls Mystery (Jayne Frost #3) by Kristen Painter

Miss Frost saves the sandman

Author’s Synopsis

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. Jayne Frost is a lot of things. Winter elf, Jack Frost’s daughter, Santa Claus’s niece, heir to the Winter Throne and now… private investigator. Sort of.

When the Sandman comes to Santa’s Workshop, the shop Jayne manages, to do his first ever book signing, it’s a major event. He’s kind of a supernatural celebrity and she needs to keep him happy. All is well until trouble shows up at the party thrown in his honor. Trouble in the form of Luna Nyx, the Mistress of Nightmares and his creepy counterpart. The Sandman’s assistant says Luna is dangerous, and Jayne believes it when her dreams turn dark. Can Jayne keep the Sandman safe from this gothic goddess? Or will Luna’s threats put them both to sleep for good?

My Views 

Jayne Frost is back along with a few friends including the adorable Spider, her talking cat. Not only is she dating two of the best-looking men in town but she’s also right at the heart of yet another crime. Who knew a winter elf could have so much fun?

I am a little addicted to Spider. Jayne is great fun, but the cat is my favourite character. This story is yet another easy read mystery with a light and breezy feel. The magic and mystery are charming as are the characters. I must admit that I can’t wait to find out who Jayne chooses out of her eager dates but my money is on the vampire.

The Chalky Sea (The Chalky Sea #1) by Clare Flynn

Author’s Synopsis

Two troubled people struggle to find their way in a turbulent world.
In July 1940, Gwen Collingwood drops her husband at the railway station, knowing she may never see him again. Two days later her humdrum world is torn apart when the sleepy English seaside town where she lives is subjected to the first of many heavy bombing attacks.

In Ontario, Canada, Jim Armstrong is debating whether to volunteer. His decision becomes clear when he uncovers the secret his fiancée has been keeping from him. A few weeks later he is on a ship bound for England.

Gwen is forced to confront the truth she has concealed about her past and her own feelings. Jim battles with a bewildering and hostile world far removed from the cosy life of his Canadian farm. War brings horror and loss to each of them – can it also bring change and salvation?


My Views

This is an emotional story about a woman who has spent years suppressing her feelings and a man who runs headlong into danger when his heart is broken, but it is more than that. Gwen’s story begins by her saying goodbye to her husband as he sets off to war but it isn’t long before the war finds Gwen in her hometown of Eastbourne which is just a few miles from me.

Jim sets off for his new life in the military but it isn’t the tonic he thinks he needs. Not only do his troubles follow him to England but him and his fellow Canadians are far from the war, leaving him plenty of time to explore his surroundings and get into trouble.

The historical element of the novel is well-researched, and it fits well into the romance and emotional ties the characters form. It is a good portrayal of life on the home front without getting bogged down with details.

The Chalky Sea

Crash (Westside Wolf Pack #1) by Zoe Perdita

Author’s Synopsis

The sexy tattooed wolf threw away his chances of ever becoming pack alpha at seventeen, and Ben, the pack’s omega, has no idea why. Ben Singer has been in love with Axel from the time they were teenagers. Ben thought they were mates, but Axel tore Ben’s heart into pieces and stomped that dream into the mud.

When Axel’s uncle kicks Ben out of their Pittsburgh pack, it’s the chance the omega has been waiting for. Then Axel demands to accompany the smaller wolf. He’s determined to go with Ben, even if the omega doesn’t want him around. While desire stirs between Axel and Ben, years of heartache haunt them. Can the alpha and omega let go of their past in order to find a bright new future together?


My Views

This book captivated me immediately. Ben’s character is warm and eternally hopeful and as the story progresses we see just how strong he is. Axel’s hardship is heartbreaking but the tough character wears it like a badge of honour as any knight in shining armour would. Perdita unfolds pieces of backstory along the way and it flows smoothly against the current time plot, creating a highly emotive and un-put-downable novel.


The Cop Who Stole Christmas (Tall, hot & Texan #2) by Christie Craig

Author’s Synopsis

It’ll take a tall, hot Texan and a little holiday spirit to mend a broken heart and catch a Christmas killer…

Savanna Edwards is feeling downright Scrooge-like. Who can blame her? A truly unjolly Santa—suit, beard and all—just repossessed her car because of her ex’s shady business dealings. She’d like to murder the no-good lying cheat, but somebody already did that for her—and left him right in the middle of her kitchen, wrapped up with a bow.

Detective Mark Donaldson has a rule against getting involved with his neighbors. He can look—and he’s studied every sweet curve of Savanna from across the street—but he can’t touch. So when she lands on his doorstep in need of help, he finds himself torn between being naughty or nice, and fights every urge to unwrap her like a shiny new Christmas present.

Trouble is, even Mark can’t resist a little holiday magic… and there’s definitely something magical happening between him and the girl next door.

Continue reading The Cop Who Stole Christmas (Tall, hot & Texan #2) by Christie Craig

Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic #1) by Molly Harper

When Margot’s city life comes crashing down around her in spectacular fashion, she doesn’t realise just how far-reaching the effects will be. As she becomes the laughingstock of the internet, she loses heart but a surprise call gives her another option. The family business funeral home isn’t exactly what she’d trained for but the hot teacher Kyle certainly keeps life interesting.

This romance has Harper’s unique blend of humour and a big dash of emotion making it a great read. Margot is a likeable character and when things go wrong for her, it reminds the reader that we all carry embarrassing stories that we’d rather not go viral. The situation between Margot and her father was a particularly sore spot for me personally but by the end of the book, I felt like I’d taken something important from the story.

Sweet tea and sympathy

Embrace the Wind (Ailynn’s Story #2) by Susan Denning

Aislynn, having lost her husband puts her trust in a man who immediately lets her down. She runs to the only other person she knows she can trust, leaving behind her everyone that she knows and loves. Life is hard for women of the frontier but with Orrin Sage’s help Aislynn forges a life for herself and makes friends in the unfriendly Wild West.

I loved this book and its predecessor. I became emotionally invested in the strong female lead, Aislynn, quickly and followed her journey on the edge of my seat. The historical content was accurate and the story of the women and children surrounding her was emotional and difficult. I cheered for the heroine every step of the way and every time she fell, so did I.

This book is a romance story, but that isn’t all it is. If you want to know how frontier women struggled to survive, this book will show you and humble you. I am looking forward to hearing more from this author.

Embrace the wind