Review: Going for Two by Laura Chapman

Going for Two Book Cover Going for Two
Laura Champan
Chick Lit

Harper Duquaine is back for another season of fantasy football! This time she’s a year wiser and prepared to dominate the league. But while she finally seems to have her fantasy life in order, reality proves more challenging.

Her plans to peacefully play house with her boyfriend come to a halt when the high school suddenly names Brook its head football coach. The promotion comes with more responsibility on the field and less time at home. It also unexpectedly means more work for Harper, who already has her hands full helping a friend pull off the perfect proposal (while dodging questions about when she and Brook are going to get hitched already). Plus, a new development at work could leave her—and half of the fantasy league—jobless.

With the complications of her career and being “Mrs. Coach” adding up, Harper wonders if she’s committed to the life she’s already building or if there is something else out there.

If you told me I’d love a book about Fantasy Football, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But, I loved Laura Chapman’s The Marrying Type, which I reviewed previously, so I wanted to give First and Goal, and it’s sequel Going for Two, a shot – and I was happy I did!

In this series, Harper Duquaine joins her workmates’ Fantasy Football league as a way to make friends in her new job, and ends up with a boyfriend, a best friend, and a life she loves. Harper’s character is sweet, and relatable – at 27, she both panics about her life plan and gets fall-down-drunk at a bar. It’s a dichotomy I (at almost 27) recognise all to well. Surrounded by the men in the league, her brothers, and her co-workers at the car dealership, Harper finds herself.

In First and Goal, I fell in love with Chapman’s cast of characters. It was refreshing to read chick lit that had more men in the line up than women! Each of the guys was completely different, and all added something to the story. Really, there were only two women; Harper, and Amelia (a sister to one of the boys). I loved Amelia as much as Harper, she was strong and feisty, with a realistic dose of insecurity and hopeless romanticism. I would give First and Goal a solid 4/4.5 stars, as it kept me hooked from the beginning, and I was even invested in the results of the Fantasy Football tournament. Who would’ve thought!

Chapman’s sequel, Going for Two, saw the same characters, back for another season of football. This time, Harper’s life is a little more serious than it was the year before, and the book focuses more on actual ‘adulting’ – a work/life balance, marriage and kids. Because of these more serious topics, the competition of Fantasy Football was almost an afterthought, and overall the story was a little less bright than the first book in the series. I still liked it, but it did have a little less magic than the first instalment. All of the characters were still there, but the focus was definitely on the relationship between Brook and Harper, rather than Harper and everyone is the bigger group, which I really liked in the first book.

That said, I read that there’s a third book coming soon, and I’ll definitely be picking it up. After the ending of Going for Two, I’m very interested to see how the book brings the group back together for a third season in the League!

Amazon

I received a copy of Going for Two (and First and Goal) by Laura Chapman from the lovely Samantha at CLP, in exchange for my honest review.

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

REVIEW: Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak

Thirty Days to Thirty Book Cover Thirty Days to Thirty
Courtney Psak
Chick Lit
228

What if you were on the cusp of marrying the guy of your dreams and reaching that career goal you set for yourself, only for all of it to be taken away in one fell swoop?

What if this all happened a month before you turned 30?

This is the story of Jill Stevens, who after moving back home, finds a list she made in high school of thirty things she wanted to accomplish before her thirtieth birthday.

With a month left and hardly anything crossed off her list, she teams up with old friends to accomplish as much as she can before the big 3-0. Along the way, she discovers her true self and realizes it’s not about the material successes in life but the journey.

Courtney Psak’s Thirty Days to Thirty is a light, fun read. Jill gets fired and dumped on the same day, one month before her thirtieth birthday. With the big 3-0 looming, Jill finds herself living back at home with her parents, reconnecting with her college bestie and flirting with her ex-boyfriend in a bar. Depressed by the fact that she’s back where she was ten years ago, when she finds her ’30 things to do before turning 30′ list from school, Jill decides that there’s no time like the present to finish it.

I too have issues with turning 30 and not having achieved enough by then, and I also spent a good chunk of my twenties locked away in law school, so I understood where Jill’s head was. Trying to leave her city-life and cheating boyfriend behind, and readjust to the suburbs, Jill spends her time trying to find a way to live with her parents again, starts spending time with her best friend and her family again, and when she runs into an old flame, Chris, they can’t deny they’re still drawn to one another. Worried about falling into another relationship – especially given what a disaster the last one was – Jill tries to focus on her list, and Chris becomes a fixture in her life as he helps her tick items off the list.

I liked the premise of this story, and thought Jill and Chris were well developed. Liz, the best friend, a little less so, but I did like the inclusion of her character and own family issues. Jill’s parents were also hilarious, and recognisable – I could definitely see my parents in them! That said, I was very put off by the timeline. The story was very literal – Jill had one month to save a life, travel the world, ride roller coasters, learn yoga and french, kiss a stranger, be on TV… and fall in love. As much as I enjoyed the story, I just couldn’t believe in it. If it had been a year, or even if it had just been a few months, I would have been a lot less distracted. However, the pace of this love-story just kept me a little offside. That said, I still enjoyed it, and it was a nice light read – not bad for a day on the beach!

Amazon

I received a copy of Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

Review: Once Lost by Ber Carroll

Once Lost Book Cover Once Lost
Ber Carroll
Fiction

Are some things better left unfound?

Best friends Louise and Emma grew up next door to each other in a grim inner-city suburb of Dublin. Now Louise, an art conservator, is thousands of miles away in Sydney, restoring a beautiful old painting. She meets Dan, whose family welcome her as one of their own, but she will always feel lost until she finds her mother who walked out when she was just eight years old.

Back in Dublin, Emma is stuck in a job where she is under-appreciated and underpaid, but her biggest worry is her ex-partner, Jamie. Emma has lost so much because of Jamie: her innocence, her reputation, almost her life. Now she is at risk of losing Isla, her young daughter.

So where is Louise's mother? Will Emma ever be free of her ex? Both women frantically search for answers, but when the truth finally emerges it is more shattering than they had ever expected.

Just over a year ago, I read Worlds Apart by Ber Carroll. That book told the story of Erin and Laura, in Ireland and Australia – I loved it. It was so honest, and I was hooked from the beginning, completely wrapped up in how their stories were unfolding.

So, when I got an email about reviewing Carroll’s latest book, Once Lost, I was excited. On it’s face, it seemed like it would be just as good as Worlds Apart – two women, half a world away from one another, dealing with life, and everything it throws at them. I wasn’t disappointed!

Emma and Louise are both very well written, and the reader immediately sympathises with their situations, even though they may not have experienced anything similar themselves. It’s not easy to write characters that are so realistic, so Carroll should be commended for that. The characters were quite reminiscent of Erin and Laura in Worlds Apart though; even insofar as they had the same initial!

Also beautifully written are the descriptions of life in Ireland and Australia. Being an Aussie girl myself, I always love it when Australia features in a story, and I’ve visited Ireland too, so I was happy to be reminded of my adventures there.

This is definitely a book I’d recommend. A little more serious than ‘chick lit’, this is fiction that is worth reading in a cozy chair with a warm cuppa. Now, please excuse me, I’m off to hunt down some of Carroll’s other books!

Amazon

I received a copy of Once Lost by Ber Carroll from CLP in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

REVIEW: The Curvy Girls Baby Club by Michele Gorman

The Curvy Girls Baby Club Book Cover The Curvy Girls Baby Club
Michele Gorman
Chick Lit
120

Ellie is fresh back from her honeymoon and can’t wait to share her news with her best friends Katie and Jane. To everyone’s surprise, mother-of-two Jane has news of her own… The women are due a day apart, on December 25th and 26th, and Katie can’t wait to be an honorary aunt to the babies.

But it’s hard to keep your sense of humor, not to mention your self-esteem, in the face of hemorrhoids and elasticated waistbands. Add a clingy mother-in-law, a career in cardiac arrest and a sex life that makes Mother Theresa look lusty, and soon their lives are as out of control as their bodies.

As the co-founders of The Curvy Girls Club, where loving yourself is the only rule, will the friends be able to practice what they preach?

The Curvy Girls Baby Club follows on from the aptly named Curvy Girls Club, which I read, reviewed and loved last year. I was excited to read the novella sequel, and was happy to see Ellie, Jane and Katie return. I whizzed through the book, and enjoyed it, although not as much as the first.

To be honest, there was a little too much cliché in this book. The ladies all get pregnant, and all end up giving birth on the very same day… Sure, it made for a fun read, but was lacking some of the realism and depth of the first instalment.

That said, I loved that the girls brought their body positivity with them into this story. Being pregnant is actually a fear of mine – I desperately want kids one day, but have no real desire to be pregnant. I’ve already spent my entire adult life worrying about my figure, and pregnancy is guaranteed to bring those fears out in full force. So, I completely understood the struggle that these ladies faced.

Because the story was so short, I felt that their struggles weren’t really explored. Yes, there were body issues raised, particularly with Jane, but there wasn’t a realistic explanation as to how they were dealt with; one pep talk from hubby and some cheery compliment cards probably wouldn’t cut it with a woman who’d been hospitalised a year earlier with an eating disorder.

I did like Ellie’s struggles with her mother-in-law, and found Jane’s struggle with her producers interesting – weight based discrimination is a real, and terrible thing. Katie didn’t really make much of an appearance though, perhaps because she was the star of the last book? But her unexpected pregnancy would likely have caused the biggest issue, and could have been explored further.

Overall, I liked that this book maintained a focus on body positivity, but it definitely wasn’t as uplifting or meaty as the first book. If Gorman writes a third instalment, I hope it’s full-length and regains the spirit of the first!

Amazon

I received a copy of The Curvy Girls Baby Club by Michele Gorman in exchange for a review and an honest opinion. 

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

Review: When Girlfriends Find Love by Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Find Love Book Cover When Girlfriends Find Love
Savannah Page
Chick Lit
401

Sophie Wharton is in control. Whether life is going according to plan or throwing her for a loop, Sophie is determined to remain calm and in charge. It's no wonder she's the successful owner of one of Seattle's most charming cafés, The Cup and the Cake. Her lemon meringue cupcakes, petite French treats, and cappuccinos always leave customers coming back for more. Naturally, her camaraderie of college girlfriends are still thick as thieves a decade later. And it should come as no surprise that she has her own cozy apartment in the hip part of town and grand goals for her future.

Of course Sophie has had her share of rough times, and recently some unexpected surprises have emerged. Her best friend Claire has moved across the state, the demands of her café are mounting, and some major changes among her circle of friends are shaking things up. But it's nothing Sophie can't handle.

When it comes to her love life, however, Single Sophie's at a loss. She approaches it the way she does nearly everything in life--by trying to call all the shots. But love doesn't work that way, and as Sophie examines her past relationships--thinking back on romantic trysts in Paris; college mistakes; the relationship responsible for the Year of Heartbreak--she must come to accept that love is an unpredictable, untamable, and often unexpected force.

This is the witty and heartwarming conclusion of the When Girlfriends collection, a novel about examining the past, moving forward, and following your heart. It's a story about friendship, relationships, acceptance, and learning to love again. About what happens when girlfriends find love.

When Girlfriends Find Love by Savannah Page is the final (seventh) book in the ‘When Girlfriends’ series. It focused on Sophie, who was also the focus of the first book, so things had come full circle.

I have read several other books in this series, and found my interest in them depended on how much I related to the character. For example, ‘When Girlfriends Let Go’ focused on Jackie, and I really found her vapid and shallow… which didn’t let me love it. In contrast, I much preferred ‘When Girlfriends Take Chances’, because I liked the characterisation of Emily better. I found Sophie quite relatable, and had forseen the romance that unfolded in previous books, so was happy to see it come to a conclusion.

I did find it a little unusual that the final book only focused on Sophie; yes, the series returned to where it started, but Sophie was really no more important than any of the other girls… so why not use the final book to wrap up everyone’s stories, from all perspectives, rather than just Sophie’s? That said, I was looking forward to seeing how Sophie’s story played out, so it wasn’t really a bother to me.

I love it when I get to read a series through to it’s conclusion – it drives me mad when a series is never finished (*ahem* The Obernewtyn Chronicles, or Galaxarena series…). So, I was always going to like this book! Honestly, it’s not super deep, but the entire series would be perfect for a light chick-lit read on a sunny beach.

If you’d like to read it for yourself, author Savannah Page is giving away a signed copy, and vouchers to Amazon and Anthropology! Just click here to enter the rafflecopter giveaway.

Amazon

I received a copy of When Girlfriends Find Love by Savannah Page through Chick Lit Plus, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

‘What Would Mary Berry Do?’ by Claire Sandy

What Would Mary Berry Do? Book Cover What Would Mary Berry Do?
Claire Sandy
Chick Lit
450

For fans of The Great British Bake Off, this is a story about family life, unfriendly rivalry and flat Victoria sponges.

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

This is a delicious feast of a funny novel, perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Allison Pearson.

If you’re a die-hard Great British (or Australian!) Bake Off fan, and love a bit of chick lit, then this is the book for you. Leading lady Marie is tired of being the Mum who brings the store-bought treats to school fetes, so embarks on a year long journey to learn from the Fairy Grandmother of baking – Mary Berry.

As a great admirer of the spunky Mary myself, I was drawn to this book and wasn’t disappointed. Marie was a great character. She wasn’t perfect, but she was REAL. A mother, a wife, a dentist, a homemaker; Marie was trying to keep the family running smoothly while dealing with job security worries, a perfect next-door neighbour who seems to one-up her on everything, a moody teenager and mischievous twin girls, a worried husband and the promise of a croquembouche to be delivered on New Years Day!

As the story developed, all the characters were well developed and I grew to love them all. The overarching theme of the book questioned whether the grass really is greener on the other side, and I liked how the author dealt with exploring  that. I know I think about the green grass in other people’s yards often, so this was something I related to.

I really loved this book. I couldn’t put it down, was invested in all of the story lines, and was glad it was a longer read so that I could really get my teeth stuck into it. DEFINITELY worth a read on a cozy night, with a cuppa tea and a scone!

Amazon | Book Depository

I received a copy of What Would Mary Berry Do? from Netgalley in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

The Pitch by Belinda Williams

The Pitch Book Cover The Pitch
Belinda Williams
Chick Lit
306

She's in a long-term, committed relationship. With her business.

In three years Madeline Spencer has single-handedly grown her marketing agency, Grounded Marketing, into one of the country's fastest growing companies. But her success has been at the expense of her social life, and her girlfriends have had enough. They'll do whatever it takes, from speed dating to blind dates, to show her there's more to life than work.

Only Maddy is having a hard time forgetting about her business. She's about to pitch for her biggest client ever and the mysterious media mogul, Paul Neilsen, has volunteered to mentor her. Maddy might just be in with a shot of landing the account – if she can keep her mind on the job. Working with Paul is not at all what she'd imagined, and Maddy finds herself torn between her ever increasing workload and her feelings for Paul. She's discovering playing in the big league means making sacrifices ... and Maddy must decide what she can't live without.

I love a good chick lit read (no surprise there!), and The Pitch was no disappointment. I immediately warmed to Maddy, with her business savvy and take-no-prisoners attitude. Her self-starter, a rapidly growing environmentally focused marketing business, was the kind of business I’m interested in, which probably attracted me to the book even more.

As the book progressed, Maddy did too. Her single minded work-attitude softened as she discovered the benefits of a work-life balance, and her friends helped to keep her sane as an unexpected romance turned everything she knew on its head.

The one thing that rankled as I read was Maddy’s physical description; Williams describes an Amazonian goddess, completely flawless… Her beauty was a recurring element in the book, and at times I just wished she was more ‘regular’.

But, that aside, I loved gentlemanly Paul, his sweet children, and Maddy’s gaggle of girlfriends – I was excited to discover that Williams has already written one book from the perspective of Maddy’s best friend, which I am on my way to download as soon as I post this review!

On the whole, this book left me feeling cheery and all plot twists were wrapped up nicely (leaving room for another book in the series, of course!). Really, what more do you want than to put down a book and feel happy!?

Amazon

I received a copy of The Pitch by Belinda Williams in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

REVIEW: French Fry by Glynis Astie

French Fry Book Cover French Fry
French Twist
Glynis Astie
Chick Lit
322

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…

As promised, here is my review of the lovely Glynis Astie’s latest book, French Fry! 

For the last book in the French Twist series, we return to Sydney Durand’s whirlwind life to find her pregnant – naturally, a little ahead of schedule, and definitely unexpectedly. What follows is nine months of trying to keep crazy pregnancy hormones under control, juggling a best-friend bridezilla, dealing with the unexpected arrival of an eccentric French mother-in-law, and everything else a pregnancy throws at you!

I loved diving back into Sydney’s world. Having already read French Twist and French Toast (you can read my review of the first two books in this series here!), I already knew all of the wonderful characters and was excited to read what happened next in this semi-biographical whirlwind romance. So, I was able to completely enjoy every page from the get go.

Astie writes in a friendly, honest way, including the reader by giving them a peek into Sydney’s head and sometimes addressing them directly. It was lovely to pick up this book and feel like I was being welcomed back into her family.

This trilogy is a great example of great chick lit. It’s different from the same-same mould so many books follow, with plenty of twists and hilarity. Frankly, I’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to Sydney and her life! These books are definitely worth reading.

Amazon

I received a copy of French Fry from author Glynis Astie, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Blog Sign-off

Book Release! French Fry by Glynis Astie

Almost a year ago, I read the first two books in a trilogy, and I was hooked. French Toast and French Twist were the first two books in a series by Glynis Astie, based on her quirky meet-cute and shotgun marriage with a handsome Frenchman and the chaos that ensued. I really enjoyed the two books (you can read my review here), so I was excited when Astie reached out about the launch of the final book in the series, French Fry!

Here’s an overview of what happens when three weddings end in a looming patter of tiny feet…

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. French Fry by Glynis AstieAll she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…

I’m keen to know what happens, and you should be too! If I haven’t convinced you yet, come back on Thursday when I post my official review. For now, I’m lucky enough to be able to give you some words from Glynis Astie herself, about how her travel and marrying a Frenchman impact her writing and inspire her!

Travel Inspiration

One of the biggest difficulties I have as an author is finding inspiration. I wish I could be one of those people who has ideas spilling out of her head; someone who has characters fighting in her mind to get their stories told. Well, not in a creepy way. I’m not looking to pad my husband’s file for my commitment hearing or anything, but I wouldn’t mind a little stroke of brilliance–courtesy of a fictional character–now and then. Alas, this has yet to happen.

The truth is, I never planned to be a writer. I toiled away in corporate America for years, until my second son was born and I somehow fell into writing. My new career began when I decided to write a series of books based on the whirlwind romance my husband and I experienced, regaling the world with our swoon-worthy story. A big part of this epic tale is our cultural differences which result from our being raised in two very different countries. He is a charismatic Frenchman and I, well, I am a neurotic American. We make for quite the interesting pair!

Clearly, I added a dose of France to my life in the form of my husband, so inevitably, I would travel to this majestic country on a regular basis to visit his family. Meeting my new French relatives for the first time opened my eyes to a whole other way of living. The laid-back attitude, flexible nature and raucous sense of humor exhibited by my husband’s father and uncles took my breath away. Nothing seemed to faze them! His mother and aunts took me into the fold immediately and did everything possible to make me feel welcome–including sharing the family’s top secret cream puff recipe. The outpouring of love I was lucky enough to experience on that first trip made me want to be a better person. I knew there was a more relaxed, trusting and perhaps adventurous version of myself in there somewhere.

After a few days in my husband’s childhood home, I found myself affected not only by the interaction I had with his family, but also with the country itself. I discovered breathtaking scenery, exquisite architecture and riveting history. But what threw me the most was the extremely fluid sense of time. Things will get done when they get done. If an opportunity to do something great shows itself, a deadline may have to be pushed. Beauty, wonder and fun are rather unpredictable. For someone who lives and dies by her datebook, this concept was decidedly foreign.

And then there’s the food! I’m a girl who LOVES to eat. You can’t turn a corner in France without running smack into something delectable–be it cheese, bread, confection, wine… Oh, the list goes on and on! Given the astounding quality of the boulangeries and restaurants (don’t get me started on the patisseries), I know I could never live in France. There aren’t enough exercises in the world to combat the pounds I would pack on in the presence of such delicious offerings, but it’s comforting to know I have a place to visit which will inspire me to do great things!

We’ll be taking a trip to visit our French relatives this summer and the timing couldn’t be better! I’m ready to start writing my fourth novel and I’m convinced there is great insight waiting for me in those rolling hills, gorgeous beaches, historic villages and, of course, my mother-in-law’s kitchen. It may take longer than expected to find said inspiration, so I’ll have no problem extending the trip if necessary. That’s how dedicated I am to my craft.

Thanks for coming to share Glynis! I’m super excited for French Fry, and have my fingers crossed that this weeks book launch goes well. If you’d like to win your very own copy of this trilogy, you can enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway here (US only) – or, you could by a copy for yourself on Amazon.

I’ll see you back here on Thursday to give you some more reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on this great chick lit read!

Blog Sign-off

REVIEW: Secrets in the Sky by Pauline Wiles

Secrets in the Sky Book Cover Secrets in the Sky
Saffron Sweeting
Pauline Wiles
Chick Lit
340

How far should you go to keep a secret?

No-one ever accused Sophie Campbell of being a coward. From caving trips to rooftop pranks, it appeared nothing could hold her back, especially once she landed a dream job promising travel all over the world.

But Sophie’s jet-setting lifestyle is not what it seems and she’s been spending more time in the quiet English village of Saffron Sweeting than she cares to admit. When her beloved Great Aunt Wol dies suddenly, Sophie loses one of the few people who truly know her. As friends, family and an old flame gather for the funeral, questions soon follow. Worse, Sophie finds herself increasingly attracted to the man most likely to expose her secrets. Can she manage to guard her past, yet finally follow her long-held dream?

Featuring both new and familiar characters, this stand-alone romantic comedy is set two years before Saving Saffron Sweeting. With side helpings of British tea, cake and wit, Secrets in the Sky explores how finding the courage to be yourself can be the toughest challenge of all.

Secrets in the Sky had a lot going on. Family death, unexpected inheritance, at least two family secrets, some blackmail, old friends, a phobia, romantic misunderstandings and gossipy neighbours. That said, Wiles combined all of these elements to make a great chick lit read.

Sophie was a layered, complex character who’s life was really in a bit of a mess. Thanks to reconnecting with Bella, an old friend, she starts getting help with her crippling fear of flying – a great idea, seeing as everyone in Saffron Sweeting thinks that she is a flight attendant! Slowly, as Sophie’s well-meaning lies begin to unravel, she starts to find her way back to who she really wanted to be.

Saffron Sweeting was filled with quirky characters that helped flesh out the story, but didn’t overwhelm it. Some secrets lasted until the last pages, others came out along the way, with the help of an old flame and a helpful pilot.

I really enjoyed this book, and would love to read more about what happens to them next. I know Wiles has written another book, Saving Saffron Sweeting, which is set in the same town but features different main characters… but I want to know more about what happens to Sophie, Tom, and Bella!

Amazon | Book Depository

I received a copy of Secrets in the Sky by Pauline Wiles from the lovely Samantha at Chick Lit Plus, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Blog Sign-off