30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 30 ~ Book you couldn't put down.

Wow. It's the very last entry for my 30 Day Book Challenge and like the emotional little thing that I am, I feel a little teary eyed as I write this. It's been a wonderful journey, going right back to the books of my childhood to the books that I wanted to live in. I've loved it. So, today, for Day 30, I'm going to do a quick spotlight on the books that I haven't been able to put down. Unfortunately authors, I won't be able to tag you all in here, but I'm sure you'll find your way to it somehow. This is in no particular order. And thank you all, for writing and producing the magic that you do. Us readers would be lost without you.

Each and every one of the books above have had lasting effects on me, whether that be leaving me with a huge smile on my face or with a single tear sliding down my cheek. I love authors. So freaking much. Without you, I really don't know how I'd survive...

Becca xxx

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 29 ~ A book you hated.

Ooh, I have one for this. 

I don't know... It was just... boring. It could probably be to do with the fact that politics is not something that I want to read about when I'm attempting to lose myself in a good story. I just couldn't get into it, and trust me, I did try, about a thousand times. Unfortunately, the outcome was always the same. I ended up putting it down. I did like the cover though, so it wasn't all bad ;)

What's the worst book that you've read? 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 28 ~ Favourite quote from a book.

I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm actually capable of completing this book challenge business, because going right back through all of the books that I have read and choosing certain ones for different questions is muddling my mind! 

After having a really good think about it, I have come to the conclusion that my favourite quote comes from this book. 

Cecelia Ahern creates magic. I just adore her stories and I enjoy them in a way completely different to any other books that I read. My favourite quote from The Book of Tomorrow is this one...

"Nobody who says as little as he does is as simple as you'd think. It takes a lot to not say a lot, because when you're not talking, you're thinking, and he thinks a lot. My mum and dad talked all the time. Talkers don't think much; their words drown out any possibility of hearing their subconscious asking, Why did you say that? What do you really think?"

I'm not sure what it is that I love so much about this quote. I'm a very "quotey" person. I absolutely love them. It's probably to do with the fact that I'm very quiet myself. I don't tend to pipe up in group conversations, I like to think about things more than talk about them. Some say this is a dangerous way too live, spending so much time alone in your mind, but it's just the way I am, I guess. And I think this quote kinda' spells it out for me. It's true. Just because someone stays quiet, it doesn't mean that they're simple at all. The truth is, you have no idea of the multitude of thoughts that could be going through their mind.

Carry You by Beth Thomas

"Don't be dependant on anything, or anyone, to make you happy. Be strong. Be stronger than that. You can exist in the world with only you to rely on, only you, yourself. Find other ways to be happy."

Title - Carry You
Author - Beth Thomas
Publication Date - April 24th 2014
Publisher - Avon
Format - eBook
Pages - 400

The blurb

"For you mum. This is all for you."

Daisy has lost her mum to breast cancer. She's at rock bottom and doesn't think she'll ever get back up again. Her best friend Abi has other ideas - she tells it like it is and she's determined to make Daisy remember the person she used to be. 

What Daisy doesn't know is that, thanks to Abi, her life is about to take an unexpected turn, when she signs them up to do a charity walk. Added to which, someone is about to burst into Daisy's world in a riot of colour reminding her that life can be full of surprises. 

Becca's thoughts

Firstly, thank you to the publisher for accepting me and granting me an eBook copy of Carry You via Net Galley. I was so, so happy to receive an email informing me that Carry You was waiting on my dashboard. I won't lie, I fell in love with the cover instantly as it is absolutely gorgeous. After reading the blurb, I couldn't wait to get started. 

The very first thing that I noticed once I had started reading Carry You was Beth's sense of humour. Oh my life. She had me in absolute stitches. There's a particular scene where Daisy is at the hairdressers that had me almost weeing with laughter and my partner was looking at me like I had lost my mind but I could just imagine the whole scene playing out in my head and each time I imagined it, it just got funnier and funnier. I had tears in my eyes, I was choking on my own breath and I didn't want it to ever end. Thankfully, it didn't. Beth's incredible sense of humour and style of writing continues the entire way through the story, leaving you breathless after countless laughing fits. I really could not get enough. I haven't laughed that much in ages, so my enjoyment meter whilst reading Carry You was smashing through the roof. It seems that Beth and I share a very, very similar sense of humour, and I truly cannot wait to read more books from this amazing lady, especially if they have me laughing like this one did. Completely out of this world!

Another thing that I adored about Carry You was Beth's characters. The leading lady was Daisy May Macintyre, also known as Daisy Duck. I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed being in Daisy's company. Not only does Beth begin Daisy's story by a reference to the fight scene in Bridget Jones's Diary, but Daisy also has a little bit of a fascination with Jaffa Cakes, and Hugh Grant. Dunking them in her cup of tea made me love her even more, if that was even possible, and that is definitely an idea that I'm looking forward to trying out with my own Jaffa Cakes and cuppa. Besides Daisy's adorable qualities, without her realising it, she is amazingly capable and strong. Her sarcasm, wit and miserable outlook on life did not deter me one bit. Even whilst she was moaning, it still seemed funny somehow, and I don't think I could ever tire of her ramblings that run through her mind constantly. Daisy has been through a really tough time, so as the reader you don't question her negative attitude and slumpiness, it's just how she is. 

Another character that I loved and who made me smile constantly was Daisy's best-friend, Abi. This girl was freaking awesome. The love and bond between Abi and Daisy was just amazing and actually brought me to tears on more than one occassion. As Daisy is living with Abi throughout the story, you get to witness a lot of their banter, their playfulness with each other and their love. They hug, tell each other they love each other and Abi always has Daisy's back. Once the plot really gets going, I guess you could say that Abi whips her best-friend's arse into shape and gets her back on her feet. Their friendship plays a HUGE role in Carry You, and it is constantly highlighted throughout. They both made me laugh, made me cry and made me want to bang their heads together on a few occassions, but in all honestly, I think I've found my new favourite fictional best-friends. I would also say that Abi is a little bit of a control freak and Daisy calls her the queen of being organised. She's fit, she's attractive and she's not ready to see her best-friend fall to her knees. It was simply amazing. Really, it was. 

Felix was another favourite of mine in Carry You. At first I kinda' wondered what his role was going to be within the story, and then I realised. I would describe Felix as being an absolute cutie. He was absolutely adorable with an incredible sense of humour. Kind, caring, and Daisy even described him as being exasperating sometimes. When Felix enters the story, he does rub Daisy up the wrong way, but I realised that this "rubbing up" was intentional, and not entirely innocent. His smart tongue and friendly attitude was just lovely, and something that never fails to capture my interest, and in this case, my heart. Any conversation that took place between Felix and Daisy ended up with Daisy becoming a little fiery and angry, but I realised that this was actually just what Daisy Duck needed. 

Carry You was holding my heart in the palm of it's hands the entirety of my reading it. I cannot put into words my joy and enthusiasm for reading this story. It was exceptional. A PURE chick-lit story that had a million and one emotions running through me all at once. It had a beautifully written emotional undertone that left me feeling a little sad. Daisy's mum played a big role in the story without even physically being there, and that was just astounding. I was completely in love with Carry You. Beth even included the aspect of Facebook status's and had other characters commenting on it through the story. I'm a bit of an avid social media user myself and I LOVED this little add-on. It made it seem so much more real and life-like. 

In all honesty, Carry You by Beth Thomas was absolutely incredible. I cannot rate and recommend it enough. To all lovers of chick-lit, romance and stories of coming back to life, this is a must-read. I really need you to add it to your to-read list and start it as soon as you possibly can. I finished Carry You with tears streaming down my face and a happy smile tugging at my lips. Seriously, it captured my heart and had it soaring within the very last pages. 

Becca's Books is giving Carry You by Beth Thomas a rating of five glittering gold stars, and about a million more too. This is now one of my favourite reads ever and I'm dead excited to read Beth's next book. Her sense of humour is just freaking priceless, and her story writing... unbelievable. 

* * *

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 27 ~ Book that has been on your "to-read" list the longest.

I cannot answer this question. It is way too hard. My to-read list is forever growing and has been since before I can remember, therefore I have no idea how long some books have been on there for. Some years, some months, some weeks and some only days. I realise this is a really crap answer for today's book challenge but... I just can't answer it! 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 26 ~ Book that makes you laugh out loud.

The most recent book that I've read that resulted in me crying with laughter has to be Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson. I absolutely adored this story, and the element of family and chaos made it all the more entertaining to me, because it is something that I am just so used to in my own home. Also, the cover is gorgeous and I love that too ;) It was a brilliant read, completely enjoyable and it's a book that I'm definitely planning on re-reading again some time in the future. 

Another book, a blast from the past, that had me giggling to death was The Undomestic Goddess by the fabulous Sophie Kinsella. I think the reason I laughed so much at this book was because the main character Samantha reminded me so much of myself because I am completely undomesticated. I just found the whole idea of the story completely and hilarious and had to stifle a laugh many times whilst riding to college on the bus ;) It was SUCH a funny and happy read, one of those classics that only Sophie Kinsella can create. 

Well, these are my choices, what are yours? What books make you laugh like no others? Feel free to share them with me in the comment box below!

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 25 ~ The most surprising plot twist or ending.

+Charisse Reid absolutely shot-gunned my mind all up the wall with her crazy-ass ending to Accepted Fate #1. 

I absolutely adored this novel, almost as much as I adore the author. Luckily, Charisse included me in the build-up to Accepted Fate's publication and sent me chapters to read through. I have to say, I was spell-bound by her incredible characters and completely lost myself to Kinzleigh & Breyson's story. And then when the ending came... just BOOM. Knocked me right out of my seat and that's no exaggeration. If there was ever a way to end a fantastic first book in a series, then this would be it. Charisse is an exceptional writer and this was a real eye opener to the emotions that some authors are capable of wringing from you. So yes, the ending to Accepted Fate was definitely the most surprising, without a doubt.  

You can see my review for Accepted Fate by Charisse Reid here.

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 24 ~ Book you're most embarrassed to say you like/liked.

I'm not sure I'm embarrassed about any of the books that I've liked, why would I be? I'm a firm believer in that whole "each to their own" philosophy, so if I like something then I like something, and I think it should be that way for everybody. I don't like the fact that when I tell someone that I loved Fifty Shades of Grey, sometimes their answer is, "Oh my god, I can't believe you liked that!" I wouldn't dream of saying something like that to someone else, so why should someone have the right to dictate my taste in books? 

Yes, I did like Fifty Shades of Grey. In fact, I absolutely loved it, as well as Mr Grey and his filthy ways. What are you going to do? Lock me up. Go ahead ;) Just make sure the FSOG trilogy is in that cell with me, or even better, Christian Grey himself, hahahah! 

Author interview ~ Julie Shackman

Becca's Books is delighted to have the wonderful Julie Shackman here to answer some questions about her debut novel Rock My World. Julie, it is a pleasure to have you on my blog, let's get started! 

1.) Rock My World is not only a fun and flirty read, but there's a whole lot of paranormal going on in there too. What made you want to include that aspect in your novel? Do you believe in ghosts? 

I really don't know where the idea of making one of the characters a ghost came from. I was sitting drafting ideas and characters and the idea just popped into my mind. I have an open mind on things like ghosts!

2.) One of the things I loved most about Rock My World was how you jumped back and forth to different times in the history of your character's lives. Did this ever get confusing at any point? 

No, not usually. If I thought I might get a bit confused, I'd make extra notes and then I'd have a bit more of a clearer idea where I was when I went back the next day. I wanted to try and give my characters extra depth - I hope I managed it! 

3.) Your character Matt was a bit of a hottie to say the least. Did you enjoy creating him? Was he based on anyone real or purely created from your imagination? 

Oh Matt! He was great fun to create! I wanted a hero who was obviously sexy but had a bit of an emotional edge to him. I'd seen a clip of Bradley Cooper playing Face in the movie The A-Team and there's one point where he kisses a French girl. She slaps him but he just grins at her, breaths "Ooh-la-la" and then kisses her again. I wanted to create Matt in that sexy, wolfish but slightly arrogant mould. 

4.) How long did it take you to write Rock My World? What made you choose to write and publish a story? Is it something that you've always wanted to do? 

It took several months to write and polish. Then I started sending it off to agents and publishers and Not So Noble Books were very quick, saying they enjoyed it and wanted to publish it - I was delighted! I've been obsessed with books and writing, right from an early age and being a writer was what I always wanted to do. 

5.) What would you say was the scariest past of publishing Rock My World? Has it reached as many readers as you thought it would? 

I think the scariest part was actually finishing it and then sending it out. I think most writers wonder what sort of reaction there will be to your work. The response and comments I am receiving about Rock My World are terrific and I hope people continue to enjoy it. 

6.) Are you planning to write any more novels? I think after reading Rock My World you definitely have a talent with words and writing! I loved it so much! 

Thank you so much Becca - it's great when readers tell you that! I've written my second novel (also a rom-com) and am polishing that at the moment. I've also just started jotting down research and ideas for my third novel (also a rom-com) which will feature a well-known figure from history. 

7.) What's your writing routine like? Do you like to have a hot drink whilst you write? Or some music playing in the background? Or do you just let your fingers hit the keyboard and type away? 

I have to usually get out of the house and go to a local coffee shop. I tend to get too distracted if I'm at home! I like places where there is music as I can't seem to write with just silence. I'll try and get as much down as I can in my notebook and then return home to edit it and type it up. 

8.) How long were you planning Rock My World before you actually put it all to words? 

I spent a good few weeks sketching out the characters, plot ideas and doing a bit of research on the internet before I started to write it. 

9.) There was one part in the story where Ruby has an erotic dream involving Matt. What made you want to include that? Was there a particular reason? I loved that part by the way. Definitely added a little bit of steam to the mix ;) 

I wanted to show how much of an effect Matt had on Ruby, even though she was protesting that he didn't mean a thing to her and even disliked him. There's a real chemistry there but she's so convinced (or at least thinks she is!) that relationships don't work for her, she keeps shutting him out - but for how long?!

10.) There was a huge twist that I most definitely did not see coming and it blew my mind! Did you know that you were going to make that happen from the beginning or did it come to you after you'd written a large part of the story? 

That idea came to me just after I had started writing the opening chapters and when it did, I thought "Oh, that could throw things around a bit!" It seemed to send my characters into different directions as well, which I liked. 

11.) To any aspiring writers out there, what's the advice that you would give them? 

Read lots of books, write lots and just don't give up. I don't think you can be a writer, if you're not an avid reader. If you want to be published, it will happen. You've just got to be persistent.  

12.) How important are reviews for your book? 

Reviews for any author are important - it's the feedback from readers that means the world to me and makes my writing mean so much more. 

Thanks for such a lovely interview Becca! X

* * * 

~ Julie Shackman's author bio ~ 

I trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of mine. When I've not got my head in a book or drafting one, I write verses and captions for greeting card companies. Writing at home seems to be incredibly difficult for me - I usually require coffee, music and noise. 

"Rock My World" is my first contemporary romance novel. I have just finished writing my second novel and am polishing that at the moment whilst beginning to do some research for my third. These are also contemporary romances with a good dose of humour (hopefully!). I'm married, have two sons and live in Scotland. 

* * * 

Thanks so much Julie, it's been wonderful having you here! 
Don't forget to check out the links above to find out a little bit more about the author and her novel. I hope you've enjoyed reading!
Becca xxx

Rock My World by Julie Shackman

"So many people would consider it a blessing to be given even just five more minutes with someone who they had lost."

Title - Rock My World
Author - Julie Shackman 
Publication Date - February 14th 2014
Publisher - Not So Noble Books 
Format - Kindle Edition 
Pages - 250 

The blurb

Ruby Cameron is an ambitious reporter for a local paper where she is fed scraps of news, and lives with a man whose "idea of living dangerously is to leave the heating on when we pop out to the shops." But after catching her squeaky clean boyfriend in flagrante delicto she ups sticks and moves into her own small home, only to discover the ghostly presence of a cheeky rockstar who becomes her confidant as the dynamics of her small town, and her feelings about her dashing new boss, begin to throw up more questions than she can answer. Will Ruby discover who she really is, and perhaps more importantly, who she wants to be? 

Becca's thoughts

Rock My World by Julie Shackman was a fantastically written story, not only involving romance and a scumbag of a boyfriend, but also including a brilliant dash of paranormal that managed to string the whole novel together. 

As usual, I'm going to talk about the cover for Rock My World first, because as you all know, I am a SUCKER for a pretty cover. I really loved the whole out-of-this-world feel of Julie's cover, especially the shooting star just in the corner of the image. The two people watching the sky look close and comfortable together, but I can't help wondering if this is Julie's characters, Ruby and Matt, or Ruby and Stevie, who you'll find out more about later on. Either way, the cover still works perfectly alongside the story and it is gorgeous. I would love to be admiring that view, can you imagine? 

Julie's characters were fantastic. Ruby was a fabulous woman, hoping to move up in her career as a junior reporter and finally snag a bigger and better role, involving bigger and MUCH better stories. I loved Ruby's persona as a whole. She made me laugh and was quite sarcastic at time, which I always find myself giggling at. There's nothing like some good sarcasm to make you love a fictional character, it's as if it speaks straight to my own heart. Ruby's live-in boyfriend, Luke, was a complete arsehole who I detested. For starters, I'm not really a fan of blonde guys (sorry!) I'm more of a dark-haired guy lover myself. Carrying on from that, I wanted to grab hold of Luke's face and repeatedly swing my fist into it. He may have been a gym-freak with a nice, muscled body but no. Just no. I knew from the moment that he was mentioned in Rock My World that Ruby deserved so much better than the little slimeball. As soon as the story gets going, you actually get a round-up of Ruby's relationship with Luke and it doesn't look good. Constantly running off to the gym and being a miserable git doesn't bode well with any woman. I kinda' had a feeling that what happened was coming, but I won't spill the beans too much, because I hope after this you'll want to read Rock My World for yourselves ;) 

Another character that stood out to me was the gorgeous, brooding Matt! *SQUEAL* Urgh, this guy was just sex on legs. Matt strides into the story as someone who Ruby just can't deny her attraction for. In all seriousness, Matt is very, very hot. When they first meet, Matt appears right behind Ruby as she is slagging him off without realising his presence. Matt is described as "A tall figure with endless legs..." and said to have eyes that are almost "wolf-like." I think I was a bit besotted from the moment Julie introduced him to the plot. Okay. A lot besotted. He was intimidating, both looks-wise and mentally. Full of smart ideas and trying his hardest to dispel the impression that his rich background held over everybody that he met, Matt knows he wants to write for a living, all he needs to do is prove himself and that this isn't just another hobby that will eventually die out. 

As well as Ruby and the handsome Matt, there was Stevie, who inhabits Ruby's new house that she has just moved into. Stevie, and this idea was sensational, is the ghost of a rock-star that tragically died years ago. He roams Ruby's home day and night, his melodic voice bouncing back and forth between the walls of her new home. I really do think that the paranormal aspect of Rock My World was just fantastic. It added a whole other dimension to Julie's writing and seeing as I haven't really read anything paranormal before, Rock My World has given me a taste for it. Stevie's story of his passing was very emotional, and I loved how Julie took me right back to the very beginning and I was watching how it all happened through Stevie's very own eyes. There's also a HUGE twist involved in the story, something to do with Stevie, and it will blow your mind, I promise! 

The plot in Rock My World was brill. It kept me guessing all the way through and I was hooked completely. Julie managed to include so many different subjects and narratives in her story it was constantly entertaining and I loved it. There were so many different things going on all at once, it was hard to not be interested in what was happening. 

Becca's Books is giving Rock My World by Julie Shackman a sparkling rating of 5/5 stars! I loved everything about this novel and I cannot wait to see what Julie plans to bring out in the future. I'm sure it will be fantastic if Rock My World is anything to go by. It had everything. Romance, attraction, chemistry, mystery and everything in between. I promise you, you will love it!

I would also like to say a massive thank you to Julie herself for getting in touch with me about reviewing her book. There's nothing like an author sending you their work, and I cannot imagine how they are feeling when they hit the send button but I am so glad that she did because it was fabulous! So, thank you so much Julie, and don't forget, I'm here whenever you decide to write your next one ;) 

* * * 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 23 ~ Best book you've read in the last 12 months.

Ohhhh, such a toughie!
There are far too many to choose from for Day 23's challenge, so I'm going to cheat and choose about 3 ;) 

Number One ~ The Guestbook by Holly Martin 

Aurwh, I loved The Guestbook so, soo much! It was a beautifully written story about an array of crazy but adorable characters and I found it utterly enchanting. The way Holly told her story was just fantastic and an absolute breath of fresh air. If you haven't already read The Guestbook then I suggest you do so during the upcoming sunny days, because it will make you want to run away to a gorgeous cottage and leave a message in The Guestbook ;) 

Number Two ~ For Nick by Taylor Dean

for nick was a gorgeous little creation by Taylor Dean that kept me guessing the entire way through. I loved reading it and finding out who nick really was. It was romantic and special book just for being what it was. The cover wasn't too bad for the eyes either ;) Definitely a book that everybody should read at least once. It should also come with a great huge tissue warning because it will leave you blubbing like a baby and wondering if you're making the most of your precious life. 

Number Three ~ The Regret by Victoria Ashley 

I loved loved loved This Regret by Victoria Ashley, especially her main male character, the sexy Kellan Haze. God that guy was like a god. I still can't get him out of my mind now. Filthy swearing habits, tattoos, piercings and even plays guitars. Do I have your attention ladies? Anyway, the story of Kellan and Phoenix was a captivating one, one that had me hooked from the very first page. A dramatic and real love story between two people that nothing and no-one could ever keep apart. It was passionate, fiery and one that will remain with me for a very long time. Definitely planning to re-read This Regret when I get the chance. Kellan won't wait forever ;)

So, that concludes my three 'best books you've read in the last 12 months.' But trust me, there'd be about a million on here if I had the chance to name them all! There's just too many brilliant books out there to choose one. 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 22 ~ Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise.

Erm. Erm. Erm. Least favourite plot device? I really have no answer to Day 22's challenge. One thing that sometimes grinds my gears a little bit is when a fictional couple split up, and then the female character finds out that she is pregnant. Is this classed as a plot device? I'm not 100% sure actually, but I think sometimes it can become a little samey same and the whole shabang happens, and I'm thinking, "Here we go again..." To be completely honest with you though, plot devices don't really bother me. If a books good it's good, I don't tear it apart and pick out every tiny detail. It's the writer's creation and it's what they wanted to do. That's my view on it anyway. 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 21 ~ Book you tell people you've read, but haven't (or haven't actually finished).

Hmm, to be honest, there aren't that many books out there that I haven't finished. Although, The Harry Potter series is one that I started, but I never managed to get to the end of The Philosopher's Stone. I'm not sure what it was about the Harry Potter series. I know there are some fabulous fanatics out there and I love hearing them talk so passionately about something that they love so much, but the books never managed to keep me hooked the way some books do. I think I've probably told people that I've finished the first book in the series before but I actually haven't. Ooops, sorry Harry Potter lovers :(  

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 20 ~ Favourite childhood book.


The answer for this particular book challenge really depends on which part of my childhood we're talking about. I think the first proper books that I loved reading when I was tiny were the Where's Spot? books. I had so much fun lifting up the flaps and opening cupboards trying to find Spot ;) These books kept me entertained for hours on end. 

I used to love all of the Roald Dahl books as I got a little older. Matilda was one of my favourites, closely followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and I can't forget The Twits! That book was amazing. Roald Dahl's books fuelled my imagination when I was younger, they were so full of magic and enchantment and I'd sit and read them for hours. 

Once I was in school, and I had the entire library to feast my mind upon, I became a little obsessed with the Goosebumps and the Point Horror collections. Man, I think I read every single one of those books. I've actually been looking on Amazon UK for collections because I miss them so much. There was a particular Goosebumps book that has always stayed in my head, called The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight by R.L Stine. Ah, this creeped me out to no end and kept me awake for a few nights. R.L Stine had such a great writing style and I LOVED basically ALL of the Goosebump books. After I had finished these, I moved on to the Point Horror collections, and again, became obsessed. These seemed a little more grown up compared to the Goosebumps series, and so whilst reading them, my mind grew as well as myself. These books held me captivated and my mind was full of creepy stories for weeks on end. I am so thankful for that old library in my school. Unfortunately, it's all been knocked down now and no longer stands where it once did. I feel so sad about that, I spent most of my school time sitting in that library, at a corner table, reading the days away. 

There are way too many books that I read during my childhood to just choose one as my favourite. Every book I read back then held a special part in me somewhere, because I just loved them all. My passion for reading was just beginning and I was crazy about each and every one of them. 

So, my favourite childhood & teenhood books ;)
Tell me, what were yours? 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 19 ~ A favourite author.

I'm going to share with you my all-time favourite author, one who's books never fail to make me feel as if I'm floating above the clouds when I finish reading them. 

Jill Mansell is the lady that I always look forward to reading. No matter what mood I'm in or what's going on in real life, these books are my ultimate favourite for losing myself in. Jill writes with such an ease and makes me feel all gooey inside with her beautifully created plots and characters, it's impossible not to love them. I guess I'm just a hopeless romance at heart, and Jill's novels just sing right to the centre of me, each and every time. 

The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot

"... as far as women went he had three rules: plenty of them, never at home, and no repeats..."

Title - The Right Side of Mr Wrong 
Author - Jane Linfoot 
Publication Date - March 6th 2014
Publisher - Harper Impulse UK
Format - eBook 
Pages - 174

The blurb

One-off, moving on sex, wasn't meant to be this hot...

When determined singleton Shea Summers is persuaded to become the "wife" of the Lord of Edgerton Manor, the last thing she wants to do is play house with a stranger. 

Brooding playboy Brando Marshall is far from happy when Shea turns up at his sprawling estate with production crew in tow. Surely she's just another woman after his wallet? And if she's looking for Mr Right, she's definitely hitting on the wrong guy. Then again, after catching an unscheduled glimpse of her knickers, perhaps Brando needs to teach this "gold-digger" a lesson! 

She's seizing the moment, he's breaking the rules, and when bad boys can be so much fun, who can resist getting on the right side of Mr Wrong...

Becca's thoughts

Well damn. Simply saying that I enjoyed The Right Side of Mr Wrong would be a complete and utter understatement. I LOVED, I repeat, LOVED reading this, and it is a gorgeous, flirty novel to add to your girly, romantic, chick-lit collection. 

Firstly, let's admire Jane's beautiful cover for The Right Side of Mr Wrong. That floral dress/skirt and those delicious heels are sure to hit a girl right in the heart. They are just perfect. I'm not going to lie, I would love a pair of those shoes, what girl wouldn't? And they're definitely eye-catching, that's for sure. I love everything about this cover, from the pretty feminine side of it, to the sexy, long-legged, heeled side of it. It just screams romance and attraction, and I adore it. Top marks from me for the cover, Jane! 

The plot behind Jane's story in The Right Side of Mr Wrong kept me entertained the entire way through. It was very entertaining and comical, as well as fiery and sexy too, which I loved. It kept me hooked and I really didn't want to be waiting too long before finding out where Jane took Brando and Shea next. It was definitely one of those "I just can't put this down" books, and those books are just the best. 

Shea Summers was a brilliant character. She was attractive, intelligent and just incredibly likeable, and I genuinely began to find myself caring for Shea and her feelings just after the plot really started to get going. I loved how Jane took Shea and placed her in this huge country manor with a charming, very dashing man. The attraction between Shea and Brando was electric, and watching their physical relationship bloom was the cherry on the cake. But let's be real, who would be able to keep their hands off and away from Brando? His swagger and confidence only added to his sex appeal, and when he found himself breaking his usual rules when it came to women, I couldn't help but say, aurwhhh. Because it adorable, but still hot and sexy, obviously. 

I loved EVERYTHING about this novel. The plot. The characters. The chemistry. The fact that Shea and Brando were complete opposites of each other from the get go. It was brilliant. A pure, chick-lit read that I would gladly lose myself in, again and again. 

Becca's Books is giving The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot a fabulous rating of 5 golden stars. I'd recommend this book to anybody who loves hot, romantic reads with a great cast of characters. 

* * * 


30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 18 ~ A book you wish you could live in.

I really wish that I could live in About A Girl by the fabulous Lindsey Kelk. That would honestly be amazing. 

This wonderful, chick-lit, feel-good book had me wishing that I could trade places with Kelk's main character Tess and hop off the plane in Hawaii. Although Tess's life is slowly beginning to fray around the edges, she soon realises that maybe this is just what she needs. With romance, beaches, hot weather and comedy antics, About A Girl is definitely one of my favourite reads and I would LOVE to trade places with Jess even if only for a day. I'm highly anticipating Lindsey's sequel, What A Girl Wants, which is due out July 17th 2014. Wahoo! Cannot freaking wait!  

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 17 ~ Author I wish people would read more.

Ah, well this one is easy. +Victoria Ashley is an author that I wish all my friends would read because she is just completely and utterly and amazing, and I love EVERYTHING that she writes. 

Victoria's latest novel This Regret contained my favourite book-boyfriend of all time. Mr Kellan Haze. Honestly ladies, if the whole bad-boy, tattooed and pierced, plays guitar, swears a lot is your thing, then you need to read This Regret right this instance and feast your minds upon Kellan. I'm becoming hot & flustered just thinking about him ;) 

I read Victoria's first novel Wake Up Call a while back, and fell head over heels in love with everything that she created. Her plots, her characters, her settings and the way she writes. She is just amazing, and will always be one of my most favourite authors. 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 16 ~ Most thought-provoking book.

This is going to sound completely and utterly ridiculous, and yes, I am bringing up Mr Stephen King, but whilst reading the masterpiece that was Needful Things by the legendary writer himself, it was hard for me to not have my thoughts provoked in one way or another. 

This story was sooo amazing. I mean, I love all of Mr King's work that I have read, but this one blew my mind, well and truly. The whole plot is based around actions having consequences. And how, as people, it turns out we will do anything for something that we think we need. The story was so cleverly written and put-together. Needful Things by the king, Stephen King. If you haven't read it yet, then I suggest you do so. 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 15 ~ A character who you can relate to most.

This is actually a really hard question to answer when it comes down to it, but when I sit and think about it properly, even though I'm not a mother, I'd have to say Alice from Fiona Gibson's Take Mum Out. You're probably wondering why on earth I'm relating myself to a mother of twins, but the fact that Alice is a mother actually doesn't have a lot to do with it, believe it or not. 

I'm relating myself to Alice because I think I get a crystal clear image of what she endures on a daily basis. If you didn't already know, I am the eldest of seven children. I'm twenty-one and the age gap goes all the way down to my youngest sister who is three. In Take Mum Out, Fiona Gibson creates scenes of utter chaos, messiness and stress! Living with children is not easy, and I'm not even their mother. Everything is turned upside down, you hoover one minute and the next the floor is covered again, screaming, shouting, fighting. As I was reading Take Mum Out, I was re-living scenes from my days at home and to tell you the truth, I absolutely loved it. I think I relate to Alice because I know exactly what she goes through, I know what it's like to go into the bathroom and find all manner of disgusting things, to find the toothpaste squirted all over the sink and to try and have phone calls out of earshot but failing miserably. 

So, there you have it. A character who I think I can relate to most. Tell me, which character do you relate to most?  

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 14 ~ Book that made you cry.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini made me blub like a baby. This story was absolutely amazing and shot my emotions right up the wall. I think this writer is just brilliant. I'm always completely obsessed with the stories that he creates and can't seem to get them out of my head for months after finishing. I cried my heart out to The Kite Runner. Read it for yourself and I promise that you'll cry too. 

The Sentinel by Holly Martin

"If you need to run, you run. No one knows about this, no one. Don't look back, don't take anyone with you, just run if you have to."

Title - The Sentinel 
Author - Holly Martin 
Publication Date - October 16th 2013
Publisher - 
Format - eBook
Pages - 317

The blurb

What if saving the world meant losing everything? 

When Eve is rescued from a horrific coach crash by her teachers, she is shocked to discover they possess super strength and speed. But what happens next is even more harrowing. 

In the aftermath of the crash she discovers that everyone in her life from neighbours, doctors, dentists, teachers, shop keepers and even her family and friends are actually super strength Guardians sent to protect her. They all have one thing in common, a single minded ferocity that she must be kept alive at all costs. 

However, she is surrounded by secrets and lies. Those in the know deny all knowledge of what happened that fateful night. Everyone else carries on as normal, seemingly unaware of the new strange world that she has stumbled against. 

With the help of Seth, her best friend, Eve discovers the prophecies surrounding her true identity and the super strength she too holds. With her Guardians pledged to protect her, her closest friends ready to die for her, her own hopes and dreams are put on hold whilst she battles to control the amazing powers she has been bestowed with. 

But those that seek to destroy her move ever closer. Will the Guardians be enough to protect her when so many are prepared to stop at nothing to see her dead? And will she be strong enough to fulfil her destiny when the time comes? 

Becca's thoughts

The Sentinel was insanely good.I mean, INSANELY insanely good. More so because I don't usually enjoy fantasy books and this was completely out of my normal genre range.And do I regret it? Hell to the no, because The Sentinel by Holly Martin rocked my freaking world. 

Firstly, the whole idea behind The Sentinel was amazing. I swear, the imagination of Holly Martin was phenomenal. She creates the craziest scenarios, adds her magic of words to the mix, and BAM! You've got a novel that's impossible to put down, impossible to forget about, and impossible to not rant and rave about too. She could bottle up that mind of her's and sell it for millions. She really, truly could. The beginning of The Sentinel was brilliant. Completely hooked me in, and then continued to keep my hanging by a thread the entire way through. I could not tear my eyes away for a single second. There was always action taking place, some kick-ass fighting on Eve or her Guardian's behalf, and the powers that Eve held were just AMAZING. I wanted to be in her shoes so many times throughout reading The Sentinel, just to be able to read somebody else's mind or have conversations with them without actually moving my lips ;) I was completely immersed within Eve's new strange and unusual world, holding my breath and cheering her on constantly. The plot really was something else. There wasn't one single moment where I felt my attention waning. With every turn of the page (or swipe of my finger on my Kindle screen) something new was happening, or developing at the very least. I was never bored. Never, ever, ever. 

Holly Martin's characters in The Sentinel were absolutely fantastic. Firstly, there was Eve, Holly's protagonist. I admired Eve so much whilst reading, mainly because her life was turned upside down pretty much as soon as The Sentinel began. Despite the awful turn of events, Eve comes out the other side stronger than she has ever been, and a lot more powerful too. (In more ways than one!) I found her to be brave, courageous, and more than once Holly provided a side to Eve that proved she was still completely and utterly human, no matter what super strength powers she may have. 
Seth was another character that I adored. Mm, I found him to be on the rather yummy side too ;) Seth had been Eve's best friend since they were children, therefore knew Eve before everything went up in the air. The relationship between Eve and Seth was a raw, beautiful one, and they both knew it. I loved reading about them interacting with each other, and definitely found Seth's protective and caring nature towards Eve incredibly endearing. I loved him, he was always there for Eve, and I was just waiting for something more to blossom between them. 
As well as Eve and Seth, there were Eve's many Guardians. They were totally amazing and I was captivated with each and every one of them. I found them intriguing to say the least, especially the males with their huge muscles and heroic characteristics. One of the Guardians I found particularly interesting was Eli. Eve knew Eli when she was younger. He was incredibly protective over Eve, more so than the others I felt, besides Seth. He was also quite strict with Eve, not wanting to let her leave his sight. I found it charming but could understand completely why Eve felt the way that she did sometimes, basically being constantly under lock and key. 

One thing that I just have to comment on, as silly as it may sound, is the fact that Holly titled her chapters. It has been so long since I read a book with titled chapters, and I can't even say why I enjoyed it so much but I loved it. Just absolutely loved the fact that her chapters had titled. It's such a traditional way to write a story, one I remember being around much more when I was a child, and I felt like I was slipping back in time. 

Becca's Books is rating The Sentinel by Holly Martin with an incredibly worthy rating of 5 out of 5 gorgeous glittering stars. As I said at the beginning of my review, totally not the sort of book that I would normally go for, but totally the sort of book that I'm now willing to pick up and read again and again. The Sentinel would be perfect for any fantasy lovers out there, anyone who loves a fast-paced, action packed novel full of weird and wonderful ideas that will absolutely blow your mind. In fact, to hell with it, my normal genre is chick-lit and I freaking loved it, so I'm going to recommend this book to everybody and anybody. It's definitely one to read if you haven't already. Take it from me. 

* * * 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 13 ~ A book that disappointed you.

Hmm, a book that really disappointed me? I guess I'd say that The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez disappointed me a little. 

I really liked the idea of the story, but I just couldn't get into it. I'm not sure why. I think there was a lot of hype about this one. It was rich in settings and culture, but I couldn't lose myself to it the way I normally do with a book. So, yes, I was a little disappointed to say the least. 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 12 ~ A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't.

I have always, always, always, always wanted to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I've heard it's amazing, one of those truly thought-provoking books that have the power to change the way you think. It has been on my to-read list for a while now, and I keep saying that I'll get around to it and still haven't. I guess once my huge to-read pile has quietened down a little, then I'll finally be able to. I cannot wait for that day! 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 11 ~ Favourite classic book.

I remember rummaging through the shelves in my college library, feeling like it was time to step away from my usual chick-lit adventures and dive into something more timeless and classic. Of course I love all the usual works, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights etc. But one book that I found amongst those dusty, old covers was called Of Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence.

I loved this story, so so much. It was beautifully written, in that old classic way that just enchants and intrigues you. There was a whole load of family issues involved, as well as love and secrets. I found it impossible to put this book down. I am so glad that I found it in those shelves that day. 

30 Day Book Challenge ~ Day 10 ~ A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving.

Oh, oh, oh! I have the perfect one for today's book challenge.

Rowena's Key by A.J. Nuest wasn't something that I would have normally read, but A.J took the time to send me a request email so I accepted, and man was I glad that I did. 

Rowena's Key is actually part of a series by A.J. Nuest called The Golden Key Chronicles, and you can find my reviews of her other books in the series right here on Becca's Books. All the books in the series are fantasy based, which is why I didn't think that I was going to like them. In actual fact, I was right. I didn't like them. I LOVED THEM. I was completely absorbed within A.J.'s fantasy kingdom, and Rowena and Prince Caedmon are my favourite fantasy couple. (Something I never thought I would hear myself say) Honestly, this series is something else, and I completely surprised myself when I finished reading Rowena's Key and actually missed the characters. 

Breathe into Me by Sara Fawkes

At times like this, I had to tell myself over and over that being with him was better than being at home, but it no longer felt like the truth. 

Title - Breathe into Me
Author - Sara Fawkes
Publication Date - April 8th 2014
Publisher - St. Martin's Griffin
Format - eBook 
Pages - 288

The blurb

How did my life get so broken? 

It's a question that Lacey St. James asks herself every day. Stuck raising her little brother in a trailer park while she works a dead end job at a grocery store, she has a stalker ex-boyfriend, a bad reputation, and no way out. 

And then, she meets Everett, who changes her entire existence. 

Everett is an outsider who's house-sitting his family's mansion off the coast, and for reasons Lacey can't understand, he's completely transfixed by her. He seems determined to show her that life can offer more than she'd ever hoped for, if only she believes in herself. She desperately yearns to trust him, but what happens when she finds out that everything he's told her is a lie? 

Becca's thoughts
(I received Breathe into Me by Sara Fawkes via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

I had never heard of Sara Fawkes before I read Breathe into Me. After browsing through NetGalley's recently added titles and having a read of the description, I decided it sounded like my kinda' book and requested it immediately. Thankfully, I was accepted and I began reading it right away. 

I thought that the cover for Breath into Me was absolutely beautiful. It's so romantic and incredibly intimate. It worked so well with the plot, turning the cover into so much more than just an image. The positioning of the female model, the way she is curled into the male, makes it seem as if he's protecting her, and I just love that. 

The plot itself was superbly written. Lacey has had such an awful life so far. My heart went out to the girl. She has a horrible grandmother, a real jackass of a violent and extreme boyfriend, and her trailer park home feels more like somewhere that she's never belonged. Her wages are taken from her for imaginary bills and costs, her once alive and kicking mother is now a shadow of her former self, and her little brother Davy is turning out to need her help more than she bargained for. Everything is falling apart around her, and alls I really wanted to do was to lean into my Kindle and give her a huge hug. 

Lacey herself was a beautiful person with a gorgeous soul. I loved her personality, her unrelenting need to protect her little brother and provide him with the best life possible, her dream to get away from the dusty trailer park and the paused life. Sara Fawkes did a fantastic job of really getting that idea across to the reader. Lacey seemed tired, worn-down and beaten by her life and her job and the people that surrounded her. Her grandmother was a very mean, bitter woman that I seriously took a dislike too. Constantly taking Lacey's wages and storming around the trailer like a tornado, she was a strong presence in the book that enjoyed making Lacey seem small and useless, when in actuality, Lacey worked her ass off. As well as the grimy presence of her grandmother, there was also Macon, Lacey's violent, nasty, evil boyfriend. Urgh, this guy disgusted me. He was just horrible. He enjoyed inflicting pain upon Lacey, keeping a hold over her and unwilling to let her stray too far. He definitely had two sides to his persona, and chose to show the different sides depending on  who he was with. When he was with Lacey, the nasty, vile side of him was shown. I really wanted to slap him upside the head. In front of anyone else, alls he had to do was give one look to Lacey and she was at his side. He had a power over her that I was dying for her to break free from. As soon as Everett came along, I knew good things were going to come her way. Everett was adorable. So caring, kind and gentlemanly. He was the perfect guy, and just what Lacey needed to bring her out of her slump. 

Everything was so effortlessly put together in Breathe into Me. The relationships were fantastically built, and I loved watching them evolve. Lacey's depressed, beaten character was chipped away at to reveal something so much more beautiful. Someone who was happy and excited and felt like a real human being. 

I have to say, this book had me a little breathless. I was completely and utterly absorbed in the plot, I felt insanely involved with the characters and I really hope there will be a sequel to Breathe into Me. I am dying for Sara Fawkes to continue the story of Everett and Lacey. 

Becca's Books is rating Breathe into Me with a wonderful 4/5 stars! it was a joy to read. Emotional, heart-grabbing and dramatic. Definitely a winner with me. Oh, and we can't forget the hearthrob that is Everett, can we? 

* * *