Blog Tour: Book Review - Be My Baby (The House on Camden Square #3) by A.L. Michael

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be sharing my book review of A.L. Michael's Be My Baby, the third book in the The House on Camden Square series, as part of the blog tour, organised by Jenny over at Neverland Blog Tours.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - Be My Baby
Author - A.L. Michael
Publication Date - November 7th 2016
Publisher - HQ Digital
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by tour host)
Pages - 171

Blurb
Two's company...
If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she'd have to cover her daughter's ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie's never been happier. Well, that's what she'd tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different - not better... just easier - with a team mate.

Three's a crowd?
But Esme's dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn't interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can't believe her eyes. And soon, she's got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn't want her to?

Review
First of all, let me just say that this book was just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Be My Baby by A.L. Michael is actually the first book I've had the pleasure of reading in Michael's The House on Camden Square series, which is pretty bad considering this is the third and final instalment, isn't it? Having said that, I do have Goodbye Ruby Tuesday on my Kindle waiting for me, so I'm sure that as soon as I possibly can, I'll read the first and second books in the series too, and after loving Be My Baby as much as I do, it now feels like an absolute must rather than a want.

In A.L. Michael's Be My Baby, readers meet the fantastic Mollie. Single mum to the incredibly sassy and smart eleven-year-old Esme and a passionate advocate for healthy food, Mollie is the independent face behind 'Mollie Makes...' and seems to be about to go places. Even though she's more than happy with her lot in life, Mollie can't help but wonder sometimes how different things would be now if her past had gone a little differently... But her wondering is brought to an end all too soon, because before she realises it, old faces and old memories are reappearing, knocking her right off her stride.

A.L. Michael opens this world and her characters up to her readers in the most beautiful, warm and inviting way. I cannot tell you how effortless it was for me to lose myself in this story. The relationships were gorgeously crafted, the characters themselves fantastically real and seeming to dance right off the page and into my imagination. Michael's style is witty and cosy, entertaining and a joy to read, so much so that I really didn't want to put this book down. I was reading right until I couldn't keep my eyes for a single second longer, no matter how badly I wanted to stay awake to continue (which I did, trust me). One thing that I absolutely adored was the strong and unbreakable bond between Mollie and her best friends. They were so close and honest with each other, and had helped each other throughout life whenever the other had needed it. It warmed my heart completely, and the author managed to get it completely spot-on.

Another thing that the author managed to nail completely was the beautiful mother and daughter relationship between Mollie and Esme. Mollie had raised Esme herself and, in my opinion, had done a brilliant job of doing so. She wasn't your typical eleven-year-old, she loved reading and listening to music from before her time, which sort of set her apart from the rest of the girls at school. She's happy and funny and incredibly clever, but she knows that she's different from her peers in more ways than one, and one of those ways is that her father isn't around. Being able to relate to this on a personal level, I couldn't believe how perfect the emotions that Esme felt were. It felt very real and very close to me, which made it all the more powerful in my mind. Michael handles these sensitive and heartfelt issues in the most mature of ways, displaying the emotional side of an absent father in crystal-clear terms.

Not only is this story about the blessings that are family and friends, but it's also about confronting your fears and letting go of the past to be able to focus on the future. It's a story of acceptance and forgiveness, of moving forward and trusting your heart to lead you in the direction. There's romance too, and plenty of those moments that have you holding your breath, waiting to see what the characters will do next...

A.L. Michael seems to have gone from strength to strength since the last book I read. This was crisp and clean, written so brilliantly with fantastic characters who steal your heart completely away. I loved it from beginning to end, and can only thank the author for writing such a heartfelt novel. I'll be back for more from you, A.L. Michael! It's five cupcakes from me.


Giveaway

(UK ONLY)

About the author
A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative
Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative
Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.
She's a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows
up, but she'll settle for lying on the page.

You can find A.L. Michael on Facebook | Twitter | almichael.com

Be sure to keep up with the rest of the blog tour!

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