Wednesday, January 16

The Rest of the Books I Read in 2018

Once I reached my GoodReads goal of 12 books back in July I wrote a post on 'Books I Have Read This Year' and since I managed to read another 11 before the end of 2018 I thought I would write an updated version. I've increased my 2019 GoodReads goal to 16 - keeping it achievable so I don't put myself off reading. 

Veronica Roth's Allegiant

Even though I didn't really enjoy Insurgent I still wanted to follow Tris and Four's story to the end. This story much more enjoyable than the second divergent book but I'm just not sure how I feel about the ending...

Rating: four stars

Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door

I saw this book in Waterstones when it first came out but it took me years to get round to reading it. Following a couple who baby is taken when they are next door it has lots of twists and turns. I can see why this book had so much praise - I'd recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller. I read the last quarter over one afternoon because I couldn't put it down.

Rating: four stars

Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood

Another book I raced through - I was hooked from the very first chapter. Following the main character, Nora, who goes to a hen party despite not seeing the bride for ten years. When there is a dark turn to their weekend there are so many unanswered questions. Although I had my suspicions about what might happen I couldn't work it out properly until the very end. Perfect if you want a page turner to read over a few days because you won't be able to put it down.

Rating: four stars

Nick Spalding's Mad Love
This is the first novel of Nick Spalding's I've read and I really enjoyed it. I picked it up on Amazon because it was only 99p and I like to have some back up books to read on my kindle. I've watched the TV show '
Married at First Sight' and this is a similar idea although complicated somewhat by the dating app this is a publicity stunt for. The end was slightly predictable but there was a twist I didn't see coming. Although it took me most of the book to arm to Adam.

Rating: four stars

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I thought I had read this book properly years ago but reading it again there was so much I didn’t remember. Even though this is the longest Harry Potter book it is the perfect length - I fact I could have kept reading (just not about evil Umbridge).

Rating: five stars

Giovanna Fletcher & Tom Fletcher's Eve of Man

I've read mixed reviews about this book so I was unsure if I would enjoy it. I spotted it in my local library and picked it up anyway. Turns out I am the first person to read it which is cool. More of a young adult, dystopian fiction which I've read quite a lot of but I thought it was interesting to only have one female. I really enjoyed it too - the story line, while maybe a little predictable, was gripping. Looking forward to the next two books in the series. Hurry up and write them Tom and Giovanna!

Rating: four stars

Ruth Ware's The Lying Game

I loved this book despite the characters not being totally perfect. This is the third book I've read from Ruth Ware and I turned the pages just as quick as 'The Woman in Cabin 10' and 'In a Dark, Dark Wood'. Four friends are reunited when a body is discovered near this old school but it quickly becomes clear someone isn't telling the truth.

I had suspicions about how the story would turn out but there was twists and turns along the way and the ending was great. My only problem was with the main character, Isa, lying to her partner. I can't relate to not telling my boyfriend everything - then being annoyed when he is angry he has been lied to. Felt like that was totally justified.

Rating: four stars

Ruth Hogan's The Keeper of Lost Things

‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ is slightly different to my usual choice but it was a delightful and uplifting read. Filled with different, intertwining tales and short stories I loved it so much that I wrote a review you can read here.

Rating: five stars

Nick Spalding's Bricking It

The second of Nick's books I picked up for my kindle for 99p. 
When siblings Dan and Hayley inherit their late grandmother’s farmhouse all they have to do is fix the place up and sell it for a tidy profit. 

My parents are architects so I know a lot more about the process of designing and building a house than most people so this part seemed a little far fetched. I could also predict the ending well before the end. However, it is still an enjoyable and easy read.

Rating: three stars

Michelle Frances's The Temp

The second of Michelle's book I read in 2018. Carrie is already a successful producer but when she hired Emma, a temp,
she charms her way into Carrie's life, winning over her husband and her colleagues one by one, Carrie suspects Emma is after more than just her job. At first I thought this book was going to be the same story line as 'The Girlfriend' but with twists and turns along the way it turned out to be quite different. I loved it!

Rating: four stars

Stuart MacBride's Shatter The Bones

Finally I read the 7th book in the Logan McRae series which I enjoyed just as much as the first six (especially because they are set in Aberdeen). It was good to see some development in McRae's character and I'm sure it won't be long before I pick up the 8th book.

Rating: four stars

I've already finished my first book of 2019, A Stranger in the House, and I'm reading Gordon Ramsey's autobiography at the moment so I'm sure it won't be long before there is another one of these posts. Also on Charlotte's recommendation I've bought Crazy Rich Asians and Dark of Night Trilogy.

Remember you can keep up with what I'm reading if you give me a follow on GoodReads.

Friday, January 11

My Quiz Maxi Dresses Picks

The party season might be over (not that I actually went to any parties) but that doesn't stop me from looking at gorgeous Maxi Dresses like these ones from Quiz and crossing my fingers that I'll be invited to an event I can wear one!

Red Frill Sleeve Fishtail Maxi Dress | Champagne Cap Sleeve Chiffon Maxi Dress | Emerald Bardot Frill Dip Hem Maxi Dress
I love this red dress - I can imagine it turning heads and it isn't like anything else in my wardrobe. Perfect for a black tie event if I had the confidence to pull it off. The next one is included because it is delicate and pretty like my Geoscience Ball dress from last year if you are looking for something similar. Finally this green frilly dress is the most gorgeous colour that would really go with my hair. I love the shape too so this is one I'd love to try on and see how it suits me.

Champagne Woven Sequin Flare Skirt Maxi Dress | Emerald Sequin V Plunge Neck Fishtail Maxi Dress | Navy Lace Embellished Fishtail Maxi Dress
At the moment I can't imagine where I might go that would be fancy enough for a dress as sparkly are these champagne and emerald coloured numbers but a girl can dream right? They are both really different though so you could justify having both in your wardrobe... Finally this navy fishtail dress is a lot more understated and classy perfect for a wedding.

Mid BlueChequered Blazer | Alex's Navy Jersey Blazer | Navy/Red Check Blazer
I did not know that quiz also stock Men’s Blazers so I had a look through and picked some I would like my boyfriend to wear if he was lucky enough to be my plus one to this fancy event. 

I like a subtle check through a suit so these blue checked blazers are really nice and both different - I think they would look really good and stand out from the other suits in the room. The navy one in the middle is made of Jersey so it would be great if you want to be smart but a bit less dressed up. 

This blog post is sponsored by Quiz but love 
of dresses (and dressing up) is all my own!

Wednesday, January 9

What I Got For Christmas 2018

Christmas day feels like along time ago now so this post is long over due. I've been hanging back because I'm still waiting on couple of things. My Aunty has to pre-order my present so it should be here soon and my cousins forgot to bring them when we met up for a swap - oops! 

I had a lovely Christmas morning waking up with Scott, eating scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast, opening presents then heading to my Mum and Dads for Christmas Day. I got some lovely bits and pieces which I'm excited start using. 

My gift from Scott this year was a lovely festive night in Edinburgh the weekend before Christmas which couldn't have been more perfect. 

I've been after a heavy, cast-iron casserole dish like this one for along time because we don't have anything that can go in the oven with a lid so my parents very kindly bought us this one. It is from TK Maxx and is a gorgeous teal colour and I can't wait to cook with it.

Scott's parents got us some really thoughtful bits to go along with our main present which will be a fancy meal out sometime soon. Along with a bottle of wine and a box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates (which are both long gone) we got this Asian cookbook inspired by our trip to Vietnam last summer and these candles which smell so good. 

Last but not least my cousins got me these Christmas jammies. My little cousin picked them because they have Dalmatians with antlers on the bottom. I'm actually banned from buying myself new pyjamas so this was a nice treat. I can't wait until it warms up a little and I can wear short sleeves in the house again.

I'm going to update this post with any new bits I might receive in the coming weeks but I just couldn't wait any longer to share these with you.