The Love Detective by Alexandra Potter

The Love Detective by Alexandra Potter

Published by Hodder

Price £6.99 (amazon links here)

Pages : 359

Reviewer Rating: Off the Radar!! 10/10 x a million (yes I love this book that much!)

'In a way, I'm a bit of a love detective. Because what's a greater mystery than love?'

Meet Ruby Miller. A write who makes happy-ever-afters happen. Until she discovers her fiancé is a lying cheat and loses her faith in love. So when her sister invites her on a beach holiday to Goa to forget about him, Ruby jumps on a plane... and into an extraordinary adventure.

Stolen bags, a runaway sister and a handsome American stranger sweep Ruby into a magical mystery tour across India. Amid fortresses and fortune tellers, and a whirlwind of weddings, she uncovers fascinating stories of love, lost and found.

But as the mysteries deepen, secrets are revealed that turn Ruby's life upside down. And what started as a journey to find her sister, becomes a journey to find herself - and love - again.

I admit that I fell for this book the second I saw the cover and read the cover. I am a magnet for all things pretty and love inspired. However, I was not prepared to be so captivated that I would  read over 350 pages of pure gold in a week! Time flies when you're having fun and I even tweeted that I was 50 pages from the end and wasn't sure that I was ready to let Ruby or the handsome American (otherwise known as Jack) go.

We have all been in the place where we're heartbroken, maybe after facing the discovery of a lying cheat in our lives ( I know I certainly have) and this is what makes Ruby as a character so identifiable. I absolutely loved how detailed Ruby's journey through India was, it was a clear sign that Alexandra had most expertly done her research on the country that brings magic back into your life and transforms you - cracking open your heart as it did in Ruby's case. The journey of Ruby finding her little sister, in turn helped her find herself, beat the writer's block (as a fellow writer I know all to well how self-depreciating this can be), and find love in all un-presumed places.

Like the roads of India, Ruby's journey had many twists and turns that keep you deeply captivated and page turning. The romance between her and Jack was sweet and pure romance - highly believable and achievable! It's almost somewhat difficult to put into words just how amazing this book was to read, it's definitely one of those "You just have to read it!" titles.

The magical theme of this book comes through in a gentle and profound way that makes you feel as though you are there right by Ruby's side experiencing it all with her.  Discovering India through Alexandra's words made me want to embrace all things 'Taj Mahal', and witnessing how the culture slowly seeps through into your very core (Yoga optional), is truly mesmerizing.

The exciting news about The Love Detective is that it's the start of a brand new series and through Twitter I got chatting to Alexandra and discovered that not only is she already working hard on the follow up book to this one which will be see Ruby (and perhaps Jack?!) in Paris, the Capital City of Love... and in a future Ruby Miller book, Venice will make an appearance!

This is truly a book to get excited about! Perfect for the long haul flight, poolside/beachside reading whilst topping up your tan, you simply won't be able to put it down. It's my favourite read of the year so far, and really comes up in line with Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic Series mixed with Eat Pray Love.

Find Alexandra here :




Once in a Lifetime ... by Cathy Kelly

Published : 3 March 2009
Publisher : Harper
Pages : 480
Price : RRP £7.99
Amazon Price £5.59

Author : Cathy Kelly
Reviewer Rating : 10/10

Something happens that changes you forever…

Ingrid Fitzgerald is flying high. A successful TV presenter, she's happily married with two wonderful children. But as they fly the nest, she's about to discover a secret that will shatter her world.

Natalie Flynn is falling in love – but the secrecy surrounding her mother's past still troubles her.

And Charlie Fallon loves her family and her job at Kenny's Department Store, but could now be the time to fight for her own happiness?

The woman with the power to help them is free spirit Star Bluestone. Experience tells her that the important things in life must be treasured and the chance for real joy comes only once in a lifetime…
Before reading this book, I was a 'Cathy Kelly' virgin having read none of her work ever. However, despite the slow start (and rather lengthy opening chapters) by the turn of the last page I was a full convert and scooped up her "The Honey Queen" in my local supermarket for more of Cathy's magical wordage.
I've always been a HUGE chick lit fan, and "Once in a Lifetime" was a grown up version of this which is why I have included this on the blog (and because I simply LOVED it!). Weaving life in and out of 5 major characters in this book along with their friends, and family you never once feel left out, you simply are travelling along this discovery journey with each character in anticipation of what they will uncover and share with you.
Natalie gave me the most "laugh out loud" moments especially when she discusses her keeping a 'Gratitude Journal' which in less than a week turns into an 'Anti-Gratitude Journal' that happens to benefit her far more as a person that being positive 100% of the time ever could. The discoveries Natalie makes are soul searchingly beautiful for many reasons.
Ingrid, represents that high powered, self assertive, all-knowing woman we have within us, know of, and want to be more like. But as Ingrid shows through her own tapestry of life, sometimes not even those key skills in life can stop your heart from momentarily breaking.
Charlie, is the best friend that we all love and would never wish harm upon, she is also the strong willed woman who puts her family first and knows where her true morals and values lie - a highly inspirational character.
Star Bluestone, the glue of these character's universe - She was a calming, thrilling and yet peacefully captivating woman who was wise, truly knowing and a white witch in helping all these characters lives make sense, feel wholesome and complete, and I have to say, Star worked a bit of her magic upon me. 

"Once in a Lifetime" is not just a book that was written way back and published in 2009 and therefore should be left on the shelf as it's not a "NEW RELEASE", it's a book of healing, magic, memories, togetherness, community and wisdom beyond years. I highly recommend this book, and I keep nudging my Mum to read it next after she finishes her current read. If I had to sum this book up in no more than 5 words, it would be easy.