Fiction Friday – So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

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Today is the first post in my new series “Fiction Friday” which will be all about the books I have read or listened to, book reviews and books I have to be read, this will appear on the blog each Friday.  To kick off the series I am going to share with you a book that I have just finished listening to.

I downloaded So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter to listen to on Audible as I had heard so many good things about the book (plus I really like Dawn O’Porter, her Instagram is lovely).  I’ve never read (or listened to) any of her other books but, since this one, I have saved her other ones to my wishlist of books to read!

The book is about 3 different women, Lauren, Beth and Ruby, whose lives on the outside appear to be perfect, however, behind closed doors things are completely different.  The book follows them in a plot that sees them all crossing paths and along the way, the not so perfect details of their lives are revealed.

This book was a really fun read and made me smile and even laugh in places, and made me feel sad in others along with cringing at certain things that happen to the characters.  It made me realise that we are all prone to judge people on the lives that they portray rather than the real lives they have, that we don’t always know, or speak about, or are even comfortable with people knowing what we deem as bad aspects but in reality, I think people are a lot more understanding than we give them credit for.  The book also made me think about friendships and how we connect with people in different ways and that most of our friends and even people we meet are much more supportive than we realise.

If you like a good story about friendship and the trials and tribulations of life then I really recommend this book to you.

Have you read this book or any others by Dawn O’Porter?  And if not, what have you been reading recently?  Let me know in the comments!

A Box Of Stories – Unboxing

I stumbled upon A Box Of Stories one evening back in December when I was looking for quirky book gift ideas.  The site says that you get a surprise selection of books, spanning 20 genres, selected from over 250 titles and sent to you for the princely sum of £9.99 (+ p & p).  The great thing about this company is that 50% of the profits goes to support The World Literacy Foundation which is even better.  The only thing I am sad about is that the company won’t be around forever…once their stocks have gone, that’s it…

The site offers 4 different boxes – I Love Surprises – Adult – A selection of Fiction and Non-fiction for adults, I Love Surprises – Mixed – 1 Adult and one Kids Fiction, 1 Adult Non-fiction and 1 Kids colouring, I Love Surprises – Kids 6 – 10 – A mix of kids fiction and colouring suitable for kids aged between 6 – 10 and I Love Surprises – Kids Up to 5 – a mix of kids fiction and colouring for kids up to 5.

I chose the Adult box.  Payment was really simple – paypal is always the easiest for on-line purchases!  Once payment had been made I eagerly awaited my delivery.  The company emailed to say that they had received my order pretty much as soon as I had made the payment and I recieved an email on 5th January to say that the order had shipped with Royal Mail and provided me with a tracking number.  The parcel was posted second class.  I received my order on the 8th January.

Here’s a look at what I received…

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The books came in a plain cardboard box (I have removed my name and address), and it was sealed shut across the edge with sellotape and was pretty secure.

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Inside was a sheet of brown paper protection stuff (I have no idea of the technical name for this!)

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Underneath were the books…

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Here are the 5 I received….There is a pretty good selection!

 

A Summer Scandal – Kat French

“When Violet inherits a Victorian pier on Swallow Beach from her mysterious grandparents, she falls in love immediately.  All she wants is to make it popular again, and when she meets hunky Calvin, inspiration strikes.  What if she turned the pier into an adult-themed arcade full of artisan shops?

But not everyone in Swallow Beach is happy with the idea.  As tensions worsen and the heat between her and Calvin begins to grow, Violet must make a choice – stay and fight, or turn and run.  Can she find her happy ending before the swallows fly North for the winter?”

An Orphan’s War – Molly Green

“Liverpool, 1940.  When her childhood sweetheart is killed in action, Maxine Grey loses more than her husband – she loses her best friend.  desperate to make a difference in this awful war, she takes a nursing job at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital.

A Broken Heart.  Maxine takes comfort in the attentions of a handsome surgeon, but Edwin Blake might not be all he seems.  As the Blitz descends on the capital, Maxine returns to Liverpool heartbroken and surrounded by the threat of scandal.

A Brave Spirit.  When offered a job at a Dr Barnardo’s orphanage, Maxine hopes this is the second chance she has been looking for.  And one little boy in particular helps her to realise that she needs the orphans just as much as they need her.”

True Lies – Ross Slater with Douglas Wight

“When ex-Paratrooper and policeman Ross Slater took on a close protection security job for Greenpeace he got more than he bargained for.  Soon he found himself a double agent, spying on his eco-warrior paymasters for Special Branch and ultimately a government twitchy about any kind of protest activity on British soil.

During five explosive years as an insider, Slater immersed himself in the radical lifestyle of the environmental activist, blurring truth and lies and battling to stay straight while drug-taking and a free love spirit took hold around him.  In that time he was taken hostage, caught plotting an attack on a nuclear power station and nearly arrested outside No 10 Downing Street.  But all the while he provided UK law enforcement with the most comprehensive breakdown it has ever received of the organisation’s global hierarchy.

The role of undercover police officers in environmental groups has been bought into sharp focus in recent times and now Slater gives a unique perspective on what it takes to be an undercover agent and how our government spies on green groups.”

The Lie – C.L.Taylor

“Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales.  She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie.  jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened.  Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves…”

Nobody’s Child – Michael Seed with Noel Botham

” ‘Sometimes today I still cry for the lonely, frightened little boy I was then – so unhappy and so longing for love – and marvel at not only surviving the brutality and other appalling abuse but also, in the end, triumphing over it all.’

Abused by those who were supposed to love and cherish him, Michael Seed had to fight for survival against his violent and emotionally deranged father in a broken home.

Born into a life of poverty, Michael was starved, beaten, and sexually abused by his father from the age of five.  After losing his mother to suicide, a haunting depression grew inside the young boy and he long considered following in her footsteps.  Yet, even in the midst of such tragedy and brutality, he always found that his desire to live outweighed his wish to end it all.

Anchored by his faith, Michael overcame his horrific childhood to become an inspiration and a guide to help others, both in the church and the secular community.  Rather than dwell on the past, he has used it to change lives for the better.

Nobody’s Child is a poignant, at times agonising, tale of abuse and loneliness that no child should ever have to endure.  Above all, Michael’s words provide a lesson for us all in courage and the power of hope and forgiveness.”

I’m pretty pleased with the selection that I received and, aside from one (The Lie, C.L.Taylor) I have not read any of them but they would be something I would pick up and read.  Once I have started to read them I will post my reviews of each book!

What are you reading at the moment?  What books would you recommend?