How could you not love a book that has such an adorable cover! Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning is a charming and sweet tale about an old woman, a young boy, and of course dogs. I listened to the audiobook of Almost Perfect narrated by Caroline Miller and I thought her narration suited the story being told. I found the story delightful and I think listening to it on audio just added to my enjoyment of it.
Bess Rutledge is seventy years old and most of her life has been about dogs. Her dream has always been to win the Westminster Dog Show but at her age now she realizes it isn’t likely to happen anymore. But then fourteen-year-old Benny comes into her life and shakes things up. Benny hasn’t had an easy time in life so far. He suffers from mild autism and ADHD and he struggles. Bess’ old dog McCreery does wonders for him as pets so often do and he loves the dog. Needless to say it isn’t long before Benny gets the notion to compete in the Westminster Dog Show himself and with none other than than McCreery – the aging standard poodle he loves so much!
Both Bess and Benny have different reasons for wanting to win at Westminster. Obviously for Bess it’s been her dream but for Benny it’s a way to hopefully impress his mother who is no longer with him and his dad and doesn’t seem to want to have much to do with Benny either. He needs his mother and if he can finally prove himself worthy of her love maybe she’ll come back. The journey Bess and Benny take on their way to and at Westminster is one that will change both of them.
Almost Perfect was a really enjoyable story for me and it touched my heart in all the right places. If you’re like me and you love dogs and the Westminster Dog Show then you’re sure to enjoy this heartwarming tale. For me the audiobook really brought the story alive in my mind and enabled me to almost feel as though I was right there with everyone.
Recommended for dog lovers and those who just enjoy a good story! In addition this book is on tour at the perfect time since the Westminster Dog Show will be taking place on February 16/17 of this year. Visit the website for more information!
RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
Giveaway ends February 20/15. Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter.
Source: Audiobook copy received from the author for an honest review. Giveaway sponsored by the Tour Co. No compensation has been received.
Happy Thursday everyone. I’m currently under sedation at a dentist’s office much to my horror but I’m still here to post about a book that I’m anxious to read. It’s called Walking on Trampolines (love the title!) by Frances Whiting and it releases on February 3. Today I’ve got a spotlight for you but I’ll be reviewing this one for you come March so stay on the lookout for that. Two of my favorite authors – Beth Hoffman and Liane Moriarty – have praised this book so I’m pretty sure I’m in for a really good read. In the meantime enjoy the spotlight and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for your chance to win a copy!
Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.
“Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.”
From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.
Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.
Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…
It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
Advance praise for WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES:
“Tender, madcap, and ultimately bittersweet, Walking on Trampolines chronicles the delightfully zigzag journey of a late bloomer who discovers her truest self in the most surprising ways.”
-BETH HOFFMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Me and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
“A tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love.”
– LIANE MORIARTY, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret
About the Author
Frances Whiting is one of Australia’s best known and most popular writers. A senior feature writer for Queensland’s premier weekend magazine, Q Weekend in the Courier Mail, Frances is also a much loved columnist for the Sunday Mail, and other Sunday newspapers around Australia, with her weekly column now in its nineteenth year. Two bestselling collections of her columns have been published in Australia: Oh to Be a Marching Girl (2003), and That’s a Home Run, Tiger! (2006). Frances lives in Brisbane, Queensland with her husband and two children.
GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
1 c0py up for giveaway!
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date February 14/15
Source: All post info obtained from the Simon & Schuster website. Giveaway sponsored by Simon & Schuster. No compensation was received.
Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb is a fascinating journey back in time. It takes us into the lives of sculptors Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and sweeps us through their passionate and often volatile relationship together.
Camille Claudel was not your typical woman of the 1800’s. Not only was she a talented sculptor; she was also fiercely independent and determined to succeed as an artist in a man’s world. Growing up with a mother who never showed her love and constantly berated her for one reason or another only made Camille strive harder for the future she wanted.
Meeting the great artist Auguste Rodin changes Camille’s life forever. He not only makes Camille his apprentice but also his muse. The attraction between the two is magnetic and inspires them both to create amazing works of art. Not all is perfect in their relationship though. For years Rodin has lived with a woman called Rose who has taken care of him and given him a son. Despite his troubled relationship with her he is unwilling to leave her. This sparks a fierce jealousy in Camille who believes if Rodin loved her as much as he claims to he should be able to leave Rose and make her, Camille, his whole life. It is not to be and eventually the volatile nature of their relationship and the pressures of trying to succeed in the male dominated art world pushes Camille to the edge of madness and beyond.
Rodin’s Lover is a beautifully written book and steeped in history. From the first to the last page I was fully drawn into the lives of Camille and Auguste and enjoyed every minute. In fact this novel prompted me to do further reading on both characters because I was so intrigued by them and their art. Rodin’s Lover is perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction and will also appeal to those who enjoy novels about dramatic relationships. Highly recommended!
GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
1 paperback copy up for giveaway.
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date February 14/15
Rules (as per Tour Co.)
– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review. Giveaway sponsored by the tour co. No compensation was received.
It’s no secret to anyone who reads my blog that I adore books written by the very talented Jill Mansell. In fact I’ll be reviewing Jill Mansell’s newest book The Unexpected Consequences of Love next week but in the meantime I’m going to spotlight the book for you and give you a chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a Jill Mansell book bundle!
February 3, 2015
Sophie has no interest in finding love. But what happens when love finds her?
Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family’s hotel, he can’t understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him—or any man for that matter—into her life. He also can’t understand how he’s been duped into employing Sophie’s impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited. Both girls remain mum about the reasons behind Sophie’s indifference to love. But that doesn’t mean Josh is going to quit trying…
Excerpt from The Unexpected Consequences of Love
“Nearly done… Oh, it’s you.” Turning, she glimpsed him in the doorway and straightened up. Nodding at Griff, she said, “Have you come to get him? He’s shattered now. I’ve just finished the shoot.”
“I know, I saw the family driving off. And I am sorry. Dot did warn me about the door-opening thing,” Josh admitted. “I just forgot about it. Can I blame it on the jet lag?”
She gave him a look. “Only if you’re a complete wuss. You’ve had a whole week to get over it.”
Her eyes were bright and sparkling, silver-gray with very white whites. Her well-defined eyebrows were dark but tipped with gold and there was a smudge of mud on her left temple.
It wasn’t an expression he’d ever thought of using before, but it occurred to him that she had joie de vivre.
“True.” He dipped his head in acknowledgment. “All my own fault. So how did it go in the end?”
“Come over here and I’ll show you.” Leading the way across the room, she picked up her camera and began scrolling through the shots, starting with the half dozen or so pre-Griff originals, then on through the second stage of the shoot.
“These are great.” Josh nodded at them, genuinely impressed. “So it ended up not being such a disaster after all.”
“Thanks to me being a complete genius,” she agreed happily. He liked her attitude. “What’s your name?”
“Hi, Sophie. I’m Josh.”
“I know. Haven’t you noticed everyone whispering about you since you’ve been back?”
“Not really. Well, maybe a bit. You don’t take much notice after a while.” He paused. “Do you have a business card?”
She took one from an envelope in the side pocket of her black canvas camera case and handed it over.
Sophie Wells Photography. Portraits, Weddings, Commercial was written in silver on a black background, along with her contact details. Josh noticed that as well as the bracelets on her left wrist there was a key attached to a plain silver bangle. He reached out and touched it briefly. “What’s this for?”
“It’s the key to my secret Swiss bank account.” “Amazing. I didn’t know Swiss banks used Yale locks.”
A dimple appeared in her left cheek. “I started wearing it after I locked myself out of my flat three times in one week.”
“Look,” said Josh. “I still feel terrible about the photos.” “No need. I told Emma I’d do them for free.”
“But that means you’re losing out. Which is even worse.” Sophie shook her head. “They all like what we ended up doing instead. Emma’s still happy to pay.” “But their clothes…”
“They live on a farm. She says the mud’ll come out in a boil wash.” “But when I came back here with Griff, she was in tears.”
“I know, but you weren’t actually to blame for that. Relax,” Sophie said cheerfully. “It’s your lucky day. You’re off the hook.”
Women, he’d never understand them. Still, it was a positive result. Somewhat distracted by her eyelashes—were they also gold- tipped beneath the mascara?—Josh said, “Fine then. So long as you’re sure. Can I ask you a personal question?”
“You can try.”
He was charmed by her easy smile, playful humor, and feisty can-do attitude. Okay, and her body was pretty amazing too. “Are you single at the moment? Or seeing someone?”
If she were, he would have to say with good-natured regret, “Well, that’s a real shame,” and leave it at that.
“Me? Oh no, I’m not seeing anyone.” Sophie shook her head. “Completely and utterly single, that’s me.”
Excellent. Enjoying her honesty, Josh said, “So would you like to come out for dinner with me one evening?”
“It would have to be an evening.” Sophie nodded gravely. “Otherwise it wouldn’t be dinner; it’d be breakfast or lunch.”
“Definitely evening,” he agreed. “We could do it tonight if you like.” This is going so well.
“Oh, I can’t.”
“Yes, bit short notice. Friday, then? Or Saturday? You choose, whenever suits you best.”
But even as he was saying it, Sophie was shaking her head. “Sorry, no… I mean, thanks for asking, but I can’t meet you for dinner.”
“Right.” Taken aback, Josh said, “Not at all?” “No.”
“Okay. That’s fine.” It wasn’t remotely fine. What was going on? Did she have a small baby at home, or an elderly relative who couldn’t be left unattended? “Am I allowed to ask why?”
Her eyes sparkled. “Oh dear, are you offended?” “Of course not,” lied Josh.
Sophie gave him a who-are-you-kidding look. “I think you are. Don’t be. I’m just pretty busy right now.”
“So maybe in a couple weeks?” He couldn’t quite believe he was still asking.
“Look, thanks again, but no thanks. I just don’t really want to go out to dinner with…anyone.”
Aaaand another knock-back.
“No problem.” Josh wished he’d never started it. “Sorry.”
He managed a rueful smile. “Hey, all I need is a few months for my ego to recover. I’ll be fine.”
“It’s not you.” Sophie’s mouth was twitching. “It’s me.”
Okay, now she was making fun of him.
“Well, obviously,” said Josh.
About the Author
With over 9 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.
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