Mini reviews: A Mixed Bag. Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer – MC Beaton 2*. An Act of Defiance – Irene Sabatini 2.5*. Meet me in London – Georgia Toffolo 5*.

Goodreads synopsis

The team of bells at St. Ethelred church is the pride and glory of the idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna, together with the most dedicated bell ringers in the whole of England: the twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin.

As the village gets ready for the Bishop’s visit, the twins get overly-excited at the prospect of ringing the special peal of bells created for the occasion and start bullying the other bell ringers, forcing them to rehearse and rehearse . . . so much so that Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer, yells at the sisters that he ‘felt like killing them’!

When the twins’ home is broken into one night and Millicent is found dead, struck from a hammer blow, suspicion falls onto the lawyer.

Our review

Uhhh….. I’m not sure what I just read. I love the Agatha Raisin books, but this was just a bit too ‘eh?’ for me.

It was all over the place. The narrative was jumpy, the characters numerous, the storyline was all over the place and some of it was just plain weird.

Not sure what happened to MC Beaton when she wrote this one, but she goes on about body odour, people defecating on desks… It was all a bit much.

I, of course, will be reading the other books that I’ve not read yet, it hasn’t put me off because I know how good they have been before this one, but if I’d have read this as my first Agatha Raisin then I imagine I would have stopped there.

I’d not recommend this particular one, but do go and read the others, they are usually fab!

Goodreads synopsis

How can you imagine the future when your story traps you in the past?

Harare, 2000. Gabrielle is a newly-qualified lawyer fighting for justice for a young girl. Ben is an urbane and charismatic junior diplomat, attached to Harare with the American embassy. With high-level pressure on Gabrielle to drop her case, and Robert Mugabe’s youth wing terrorising his political opponents as he tightens his grip on power, they begin a tentative love affair. But when both fall victim to a shocking attack, their lives splinter across continents and their stories diverge, forcing Gabrielle on a painful journey towards self-realisation.

Our review

I read this book as a departure from my usual reads and I had hoped that I would enjoy the change…

I managed to get through it all, but I wouldn’t say I necessarily enjoyed it. The storyline was a good premise, and it was executed well. I just didn’t particularly like any of the characters or find myself caring much about them.

It was a bit depressing and sad, even against the backdrop of the beautiful country, the politics and horrible human aspects took away from the love story that was the main focus of this book.

Although, I didn’t like it, I can appreciate the writing and the storytelling. It just wasn’t my thing. Perhaps fans of this genre would like it more than I did. But for me, it’s a 2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

Sorry! :/

Goodreads synopsis

What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real…

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea, and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her. A girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion. Something to keep his mother from interfering while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting, as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…

Our review

Loved it!

I’m a thriller girl through and through, but every now and again I like a good girly read. Something light, and fresh. This was that book, and I was not disappointed!

Everyone loves a good Mills and Boon, and the fact it was Georgia Toffolo writing it was also a plus on the cheese scale…. Or so I thought. It was actually a really good, thoughtful read. I enjoyed the story – it’s been done before in some form or another, but the way it was written was fresh and exciting – I enjoyed the characters and the way they interacted with each other. Some deeper things are touched upon, but not enough to drag the book down, it stays light and charming right through to the end.

I would 100% recommend this to anyone looking for a bit of an escape and innocent, heart warming fun.


Happy Reading

Becca and Kate xxx