Posts Tagged ‘Reviewer-Lesley’

Forever

Karen Ann Hopkins

foreverAll I want is my happily-ever-after. That’s all I’ve wanted since meeting Noah Miller. From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I’m carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there’s a storm on the horizon, and it’s sure to cause serious devastation.
If we can get through this, we’ll finally be Rose & Noah – a family, forever. But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

I was thrilled when Karen Ann Hopkin’s package arrived in the post with a copy of ‘Forever’ in. I hurriedly finished off the book I was reading and got started. I had thoroughly enjoyed reading Karen’s previous two books in this Trilogy of complicated and forbidden love between Noah an Amish guy and Rose an ‘English’ girl. ‘Temptation’ and ‘Belonging’ had drawn me in and roused my curiosity in a world that is often hidden from the rest of us. We got to see inside the Amish community, see their rules and customs and follow Noah and Rose’s story as they fall hard and fast in love and seek to continue their relationship despite family and community opposition.

Part of the challenge for Noah and Rose is to remain committed to each other despite the odds and even though they are so young. I couldn’t help but root for them as I’d grown to very much like each of them as they dealt with so much along the way including their own doubts from time to time. It’s been good to see them mature as well, from being a bit selfish and childish in their attitudes at the beginning, to growing as people. Karen has developed their characters well and I enjoyed seeing that growth.
‘Forever’ brings a lot of change for Noah and Rose. I don’t want to give too much away but we do already know that Rose is pregnant and that these will be further testing times ahead for them. This is not going to be an easy time for Noah and Rose and yet it’s good to watch them remain steadfastly committed to each other.

There is heartbreak in this story and I want to warn you so you are prepared with the tissues. I wasn’t prepared for what happened and honestly this is the first time in a long time a story has made me sob into my pyjama sleeve! Tragedy changes everyone and often that tragedy causes others to think about their choices and what’s important. I’m glad to say that that having been through a bit of an emotional rollercoaster with this story, there are changes that bring happiness… Whilst the ending is maybe a bit predictable, I’m not sure I’d have coped had it been too different!

I’m glad to have followed Noah and Rose’s story and think that although this is the end of the trilogy, there is enough potential storyline for them that it wouldn’t surprise me to see them pop up again one day…

Verdict: If you like your romance intense and emotional then this will not disappoint!

Publisher:Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: Romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Provided by author
Challenge:None
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The Valentine Present, and other Diabolical Liberties

Lynda Renham

valentines presentOn arriving home after a friend s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet, finds her life irrevocably changed when she discovers her flat ransacked and her boyfriend missing. In a matter of hours she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgment becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds. The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties is Lynda Renham’s funniest novel so far. A cocktail of misunderstandings, three unlikely gangsters, a monkey and a demented cat make this novel a hysterical read. Follow Harriet s adventure where every attempt to get out of trouble puts her deeper in it.

Harriet Lawson is my kind of gal. Feisty and with a great sense of humour, she has some fabulous one liners and is a great main character for this book. Unfortunately she is partnered with a bit of a smarmy loser, Julian, who has done the dirty on her big time – but not in the way you might think.

Having given up on her dream to nurse in underprivileged areas abroad in order to support Julian in his new venture, and having to work in a launderette whilst trying to keep up with her studies, Harriet is frustrated and just trying to make the best of a bad situation – a situation that is going to get a whole lot worse.

In the mean time the very rich and pompous Hamilton Lancaster is in a fix as he is desperate to inherit his grandmothers shares – but has to show himself to be responsibly settling down as soon as possible in order to do so. After all, his grandmother only has six months to live….

A chance meeting at a mutual friends wedding leads to Harriet receiving a very interesting proposition and while she feels uncomfortable with it – it could solve her increasingly mounting problems. What could go wrong? And who is the very gorgeous guy she also met at the wedding who caused her to tingle in all sorts of places?!

This was an hilarious read. Harriet’s character is brilliant and she had me in stitches. She is very much your normal average girl thrust into a ridiculous situation and trying to muddle her way through it. Just when you think things can’t get any worse – they do. Initially I felt sorry for her as she is seemingly blinded by her love for Julian – but thankfully as events transpire she comes to realise that what she thought was love, really isn’t at all. More a relationship of convenience – and mostly convenient for Julian.

There is a delightful selection of characters from the faithful and ‘all over the place’ best friend Fi and her stuttering boyfriend Alistair who is the butt of many a joke, to the bumbling wannabe East End gangsters and the very upper class family to which Hamilton belongs – and who are all hiding secrets of their own.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A carefully written story with many intricacies woven in and yet told in such a witty and relaxed style that as the reader I was pulled in and kept there – wanting to keep turning the page to find out hat was going to happen next.

Verdict: I was already a fan of Lynda Renham having read and enjoyed ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’, ‘Wedding Cake to Turin’ and ‘Coconuts and Wonderbras’. Her latest release therefore, ‘The Valentines Present’ has firmly established her as one of my favourite authors.

Publisher: Raucous Publishing
Publication Date:September 2013
Format: eArc
Pages: 288
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Provided by author
Challenge: British book

‘The Valentine Present’ has to be my favourite book of yours to date. I loved the combination of working class, upper class and gangsters all being brought together. What inspired you towards this particular plot line?
Thank you so much. I am thrilled you enjoyed it. I was so worried about this book. I started three different stories to begin with and found myself drawn to Harriet. The inspiration came from the building work we had done on our house. We had no kitchen or bathroom for almost six months and had to go to the laundrette. I remember watching everyone in there and thinking what a great character could come out of this. Now you have her. The plot unravelled as the book progressed. But was influenced by the film ‘The Long Good Friday’ I am influenced by everything. I enjoyed writing about the stuttering Alistair. The book is dedicated to all stutterers of which I was one. I had a terrible stammer as a child. It is better now and only surfaces when I am excited or angry. But I believe you have to laugh at everything.

Which has been your favourite book to write and why?
I think possibly this one. It was great fun to write and I enjoyed creating the gangsters very much. I also loved ‘Pink Wellies’ and especially the research. I was far from a country girl when I researched the book. Even though I live in the country my Essex roots are still with me. You can read the fun story of my research forthat book on my blog here. Mud, dung, and the real Molly are funnier than the book. Alice’s fear of spiders is very much my own. I’ve been known to stand on a chair for hours because a spider was sharing the same room J

Who is your favourite author?
I have many. I read an assortment of Genre’s. I love Kimberley Chambers, Iris Murdoch and I have just finished Graham Rawle’s ‘Woman’s World’ which was sheer brilliance.

What/who was inspirational in getting you started on the road to being a successful author?
People who make a difference inspire me. My husband Andrew has been my greatest inspiration. I actually stopped writing many years ago. It was him who got me started again. If it hadn’t have been for him I would still be working in the health sector. The stepping stone to comedy was watching ‘The Holiday’ and wondering can I write a novel that gives you the same feel good feeling. I hope I have achieved that.

What favourite drink/nibbles to you keep close at hand whilst writing?
Oh, my goodness. This is my biggest procrastination. I swear my head is in the fridge more than anywhere else. Popcorn and biscuits. I love oatcakes. My keyboard is bunged up with the stuff J I eat copious amounts of yogurt too. I swear I eat constantly. I’m a grazer. Worse than a cow, that’s me J

lynda renhamLynda Renham has been writing for as long as she can remember and had her first work published in a magazine at age nine and has continued writing in various forms since. She has had several poems published as well as articles in numerous magazines and newspapers. Recently she has taken part in radio discussions on the BBC.
She has studied literature and creative writing and has a blog on her web page: www.renham.co.uk
Lynda lives with her second husband and cat in Oxfordshire, England. She is Associate Editor for the online magazine The Scavenger and contributor to many others. When not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.

Review and interview by Lesley

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The Perfect Retreat

Kate Forster

the perfect retretCan you live on love alone?
Willow Carruthers – British Oscar winner, style icon and mother of three is facing a crisis: she’s broke, discovery of her partner’s infidelity has left her a single mother and, if the banks have their way, she’s about to be homeless.
Meanwhile nanny to Willow’s children Kitty, is desperate to keep her job and knows just the place they can retreat to – her crumbling ancestral home in the Bristol countryside, Middlemist House.
To both women in their hour of need, the idea of leaving LA seems brilliant in theory, until Kitty’s brother Merritt returns home unannounced.
From London to LA, The Perfect Retreat is pure escapism – full of sex, scandal and intrigue.

Having read Kate Forsters ‘The Perfect Location’ I knew that this would be an instant ‘like’ for me. Actually it turned out to be a ‘love’!

Willow Carruthers is our main protagonist and although I wasn’t initially sure if I would warm to her, once I got into the book I found myself rooting for her especially on discovering the nature and character of her rock star (soon to be ex) husband! The author paints a great landscape and picture of the life that Willow and Kerr had together and you feel like you understand fully where they’ve been and where they are at and why. Although Willow seems to ‘have it all’ her life is falling apart, her marriage is over and the bank are threatening to repossess the house.

Kitty is her faithful and dependable nanny, who in all honesty Willow treats like a bit of a slave, just expecting her to be there at all hours and take on the main responsibility for the children. Kitty is comfortable with Willow’s three children more than she is with adults. She loves her job but is slightly daunted at the idea Willow has to home-school them – especially as Lucien doesn’t speak at all.

When Willow is facing homelessness it is Kitty – desperate to keep her job – that suggests they move to England where she is, in fact, joint heir to the family ancestral home Middlemist. Willow is shocked to find that Kitty part owns this amazing grand home which is in a great state of disrepair but which also provides ‘The Perfect Retreat’ they need. What they didn’t anticipate was Kitty’s brother Merritt who is usually off travelling the world, to arrive at the house the same evening and wonder what the heck is going on.

Merritt, who has his own demons having been married and divorced and had his wife cheat on him, is actually quite accommodating, allowing Willow and her three children to stay at Middlemist while Willow starts to find work again and get some money in the bank. A film part followed by a suggestion that Middlemist House would be a great backdrop to the movie that Willow is shooting means the house is suddenly full of film crew, actors and actresses and life starts to take on a few twists and turns for them all.

Merritt is a fabulous character – a typical hero in many ways and I really enjoyed how his character had depth and warmth. There is a real mix of characters and a couple of ‘villain’ style characters along the way that I enjoyed. I also enjoyed seeing Willow change and develop as a person especially in regard to her children, as they seemed to be quite a hindrance and a frustration to her at the beginning and you see their relationship change and gain more depth as Willow changes. The author also deals with a couple of disabilities in the book which I felt were dealt with sensitively and carefully and to me added extra layers and depth as those characters and those that love them dealt with these issues.

As you might guess, there are relationship ups and downs, miscommunications and broken hearts, all set against the backdrop of this fabulous house with it’s own history and secrets which get revealed over time.

Verdict: This has been a great read and one I would heartily recommend. I’m off to see what else Kate Forster has that I haven’t read yet!

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 400
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: None
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Getting To Know…Lesley

Lesley is mum to 4 boys and recently made a change to her lifestyle by a move to the wonderfully relaxing county of Cornwall. Village life near the sea has proved to be a fab tonic and although the nearest Starbucks is a good half hour away – boo! – Lesley still has a pretty intense relationship with her coffee cup and loves to curl up, mug in hand, with a good book.
She loves a variety of genres, but has been reading a lot of YA fiction of late. She loved reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy and always has a sizeable ‘to be read’ pile by the side of her bed.
When not reading, Lesley is usually juggling family life, taxi-ing her teenagers around for their various social jollies, or out on a beach somewhere with the children. Bliss.

What have you enjoyed the most about blogging over the past year?

Well, it’s been a funny year really… I took on a full time job for 4 months at the beginning of this year and had to step back from the blog for those months. So I’ve not done as much reading or reviewing as I would have liked. However as always, I enjoy reading then being able to reflect on what I’ve read as I write about it. I feel I get more out of it as a result.

What was your favourite read of the last 12 months?

Gosh, I’ve not read as many books over this last year, but ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ by Sue Watson was a real laugh out loud book that I really enjoyed and will go back and read again.

What makes the perfect beach/holiday read?

Well I would say ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ as above or ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ by Lynda Renham.

What book are you most anticipating reading over the summer?

I’ve decided to re read an old favourite; ‘Just for the Summer’ by Judy Astley. It’s one of my all time faves and as its set in Cornwall I thought it would be fun to read it again now I live here!

Describe your bookshelf/TBR pile.

Hmm, they are mostly on Kindle…. And I keep flipping back and forth between the ‘digital’ pages trying to decide which to read next!

How do you make time to read?

If my kids had anything to do with it, I would never have time to read, and life sure is busy so it’s usually just before I go to bed, unless I’m REALLY absorbed in a book, then it comes with me and gets read in dusty car parks while waiting for the teens to appear, or even propped up next to the hob as I cook dinner!

Where is your Favorite place to read?

In my bed, all snuggled up.

How do you encourage the love of reading and books in your children?

I’m thankful that my kids love reading and need little encouragement to pick up a book, but we love the school library where my 4 year old gets to choose books each week and we always make time to read, especially as a wind down before sleep so it’s become a natural part of our routine.

What is your favourite book you have shared with your child(ren) in the last 12 months?

I reckon that has to be ‘Room on the Broom’ by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler. We all really enjoy that one, time and time again.

And because we ask our visiting authors- Just For Fun

Tea or Coffee? Difficult! Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon!

Slippers or barefoot? Barefoot.

Shower or Bath? Shower.

Marmite: Love it?Hate it? Love it- Only when pregnant!

Email or postcard? Email.

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Pink Wellies and Flat Caps

Lynda Renham

pink wellies 2Alice Lane has everything; a wonderful fiancé, a responsible job and a lovely flat in Chelsea, but after she has a bra fitting her life goes tits up. Homeless, and with just a sparkling engagement ring as a memory of her previous life Alice accepts a live-in farm manager’s job and discovers that things actually can get worse. Come with Alice as she makes her hilarious career change and struggles to cope with her moody employer, Edward. But can Alice turn her back on romance and resist the dashing Dominic or will the past come back to surprise her?

Having received some delightful birthday gifts of Amazon vouchers recently I happily uploaded said vouchers in great anticipation of scrolling through some Kindle reads and adding to my collection. Pink Wellies and Flat Caps caught my eye – as you might imagine such a title would -and with little other consideration was clicked and added to my reading list.

This is a light hearted and comical read with some great laugh out loud lines. Alice is very likeable and you immediately feel for her in her nightmarish situation of one minute loving life and feeling so happy and grateful for her fiancé, job etc and then suddenly, in the midst of having a bra fitting of all things, having her life completely turned upside down.

While we get the measure of her ex-fiancé early on as we read, for Alice, it’s a much longer and timely process to work out what and who is going to be good for her. In her utter despair, with everything falling apart around her she escapes to Cornwall to take up a job as a farm manager. Poor Alice spends much of the book in two minds about what she is doing, especially as life on the farm is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Having answered an ad in ‘The Lady’ magazine and packing her remaining belongings Alice heads to Cornwall with a very heavy and broken heart expecting to have a busy bustling job using her organisational skills from being a Practice Manager. However she finally arrives to find a run-down shambling farm owned by the remote but handsome Edward who wasn’t expecting her and isn’t very happy that she’s managed to let the sheep out! Thus begins Alice’s experience with Cornish farm life!

Alice slowly adjusts to her new life – even though it wasn’t what she expects and makes friends and is even tempted on a date by the suave Dominic. I liked the various characters and how the author brings so much comedy in to the various situations Alice finds herself in.

Just when she is starting to feel better about herself and her circumstances, a blast from the past returns and throws everything on its head again. Add in some animal liberation activity and a few unexpected dodgy dealings by those she thought she trusted and you get a very amusing tale.

Verdict: I really enjoyed this and will be looking for more of Lynda Renhams work.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Raucous Publishing
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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Copy Cat

Mark Birchall

Copy Cat cover artCat was small and Dog was big, and whatever Dog did, Cat did too…
Dog is fed up with Cat copying everything she does. But when Cat stays away, Dog discovers she is lonely without him.
A charming story about friendship, sharing and play.

This book arrived in the Bookstart bag and was initially put to one side, but I found it the other evening and after a quick leaf through, decided it would be ideal as I currently have a four year old who goes to preschool and, and a younger almost three year old who trails around after his big brother as if they are joined together by invisible string – often to his big brothers annoyance!

As the description says, this is a most charming story. Dog is always off on adventures and Cat follows along and is always there… Dog starts to get a bit annoyed at this and turns around one day and calls Cat a ‘copy cat’. He then plans a trip by himself but Cat still manages to turn up and this time he is quite mean to Cat and makes it clear he wants to be left alone.

Well, as you might guess, Cat disappears and Dog begins to realise that it’s not so much fun after all, playing on your own the whole time. It’s good that we get to see that Dog misses Cat and goes round to say sorry.

This is a great book to facilitate discussion about playing together and being friends. Whilst Joshua may get frustrated with Samuel and want to be left alone at times it was good to chat with him about how a lot of the things they do together – playing rugby/football, bouncing on the trampoline or riding up and down on their scooters wouldn’t be quite so much fun if Joshua was always doing it alone, and particularly for them as siblings it was good to remind them how lucky they are to have each other and to be thankful that they have a friend who is always there to play with.

Verdict: A great book to facilitate discussion about playing together and being friends.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Childs Play Inc
Publication Date: April 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: None
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Room On The Broom

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler(illustrator)

room on the broomThe witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

So, today at the Supermarket it was ‘Room on the Broom – LOOK!’ followed by ‘Pleeeaaase’, which, as it was on offer, I couldn’t refuse! I’d barely got the milk in the fridge before we flopped on the sofa with great excitement to read Joshua’s newest addition to his collection!

As you might imagine, this is another truly wonderful story. ‘Room on the Broom’ is told in delightful poetry, has great humour and the witch is very friendly and likeable. This is perfect for pre-schoolers – the rhyming means they can pick up the flow very quickly and the humour makes us all chuckle out loud. This is a funny story about how the witch keeps having to stop and ‘land’ due to various items falling off of her and how they end up collecting passengers along the way. Joshua was particularly excited to find out that a dragon is involved and of course Alex Scheffler’s illustrations capture us along the way.

Verdict: If you don’t have it – put it on your list! Your pre-schooler will thank you!

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s books
Publication Date: April 2010
Format: Board book
Pages: 28
Genre: Picture book
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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The Shark in the Dark

Peter Bently and Ben Cort (illustrator)

shark in the darkWill the flustered fish become saltwater snacks, or can they come up with a plan to teach the mean, greedy shark a lesson he’ll never forget? With atmospheric underwater scenes and a terrifically toothy villain, this captivating rhyming story is perfect for reading aloud.
Tremendously funny – with a biting twist

This is a great story that starts off a little scarily, reminding us just how scary that big ol’ Shark is and then switches to the fish, scared and terrified and not wanting to be eaten today, thank you very much! As the shark turns up for his tea the fish all try to swim away as fast as they can and seek refuge with the Squid, who gives them some wise advice and helps them to save themselves.

Told in rhyme, with some very funny lines this is a great little story that has kept my boys’ attention as they are desperate to find out what happens and to watch the shark get his comeuppance!

Of course there is a happy ending and no fish are eaten in the making of this story! The fish play a great trick on the Shark and manage to keep him away. My boys enjoy the illustrations by Ben Cort and this has become a recent favourite on our book shelf.

Verdict: A recent favourite on our book shelf

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: May 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: None
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Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler(illustrator)

Charlie Cook cover artCharlie Cook is reading a book about a pirate captain, who is reading a book about Goldilocks, who is reading about a knight, who is reading about a frog . . . From kings and queens to aliens and ghosts, there’s something for everyone in Charlie’s amazing book Entertaining and original – another winner from the best picture book team in the world.

We are big fans of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler and my four year old is busy ensuring we get the whole collection as quickly as possible!

While this story doesn’t capture the interest of Samuel, who is almost three, like a lot of Donaldson/Scheffler books do, Joshua who is four and a half really enjoys it. Told, as usual, in rhyme and with fabulous illustrations this story goes round in a full circle, starting with Charlie Cook who is curled up in a cosy chair reading his favourite book, in which the main character finds a book… As it goes on, each character in each book goes on to find a book in which is the next main character.

Maybe that sounds confusing, but you quickly get into it and on first reading it’s a surprise to find out what’s on the next page.

Verdict:You can’t fail to be drawn in by Julia Donaldson’s wonderful poetry and Alex Scheffler’s fabulous illustrations and while this may not be quite suitable for very young readers, I think older pre-schoolers will really enjoy it.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Macmillian Children’s Books
Publication Date: September 2006
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British book
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Belonging

Karen Ann Hopkins

belongingRose became Amish so she could be with Noah, but is this where she really belongs?
‘I left everything I knew behind. but it was worth it. He was worth it’.
No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren’t even allowed to see each other. Not until I’ve proven myself.
If I can find a way to make it work, we’ll be Rose & Noah, together forever.
But not everybody believes this is where I belong’.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Temptation’(read my review here), Karen Ann Hopkin’s first book that introduces us to Rose and Noah and their blossoming young love with all it’s trials. In fact for Rose and Noah they have suffered and are suffering more trials than your average young couple as Rose is ‘English’ and Noah is Amish. Rose and Noah meet when Rose is new to the area, they fall quickly and hard for each other but face much opposition both from Rose’s protective family and Noah’s very traditional Amish community. At the end of Temptation we leave Rose and Noah in love and prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary in order to be together. And to make this a possibility, Rose decides to join the Amish community.

I was very pleased to receive an advanced reader copy of ‘Belonging’ and pretty much devoured the book over a couple of days. Without wanting to give too much from the first book away, Noah is recovering from an accident and Rose has made a commitment to be part of the Amish community, leaving her father and brothers and moving in with an Amish family in order to learn their ways and to show them how much she is prepared to work to prove her love and commitment to Noah.

Rose’s dad and brother, whilst not happy with her decision gave their blessing, secretly safe they believe, in the knowledge that Rose will get a shock and come to her senses and not last more than a couple of weeks. Rose meanwhile is on a steep learning curve having been told that she will not be allowed to court Noah until she has become a member of the Amish church and that this will not happen until she’s had ample opportunity and time to learn their ways and become more like them.

I really enjoyed learning more about the Amish in this book. With Rose living with them, this community is where the story is mostly set and we get to read about all their activities; their services, feasts and different occasions. All the while Rose is fighting against her natural and very ‘English’ ways and desires and trying to fit in with the Amish as best as she can.

Rose makes begins to make friends among the girls and she begins to realise that not all Amish girls are sweet and innocent… Also she still has to deal with Ella Weaver who wants shot of Rose as she is interested in Noah for herself.

Noah meanwhile, is watching Rose and worrying about how she is settling, behaving and stressing over who she is becoming friends with and what sort of influence they will be. He soon finds out when the boys meet up with the girls in the middle of the night in the woods after a sleepover sneak out. As secrets are shared Rose discovers that while the Amish may project a particular image of purity and high moral standards, in fact there is a lot more going on that she realised and that one of her friends in particular has suffered horribly within the community.

Rose is coping with an awful lot considering her still very young years and is finding the change in lifestyle tough, especially as she misses her father and brothers. However she perseveres and eventually is able to join the church and is allowed to officially court Noah. But that doesn’t mean their happy ending is in sight. There is a lot more to happen to Rose and Noah yet.

I just loved this second book. From a kidnap, and misunderstanding between Rose and Noah, new relationships and creepy dealings with creepy Levi Zook which actually put Rose’s life in danger, I don’t want to give too many spoilers away but there is a lot going on and I couldn’t put the book down.

verdict: I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next chapter in Rose and Noah’s story.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 416
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Received from author
Challenge: None
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