The last reads of 2018

So last week I chose my favourite books of 2018 which was so hard to narrow down and I feel bad for the great books that I had to miss out. But since then I’ve read another 4 fabulous books that I wanted to share with you (well if I’m honest I’ve read more than 4, but these are the ones I’m going to share).

3 of them have been patiently waiting of my shelf for some reading attention for far too long.

First up we have Natasha Lester‘s fabulous historical fiction novel The Paris Seamstress. If you read my End of Year Wrap-up blog, you will know that her novel A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald was one of my favourite reads of 2018, well Ms Lester has now well and truly earned a place on my buy now read what the books about later list, as her second historical fiction novel Her Mother’s Secret was a 5 star read also.

Natasha Lester manages to wring out every emotion while telling the most incredible stories of love, loss, dreams and heroes. The Paris Seamstress surpassed all expectations, it was an emotional and humbling read. The Paris SeamstressDespite not knowing anything about fashion, or being particularly interested in it, I was able to imagine every new creation that Estella bought into being, just as in the Her Mother’s Secret where she drew on the incredible history and creation of cosmetics, another thing I have no interest in, I was completely immersed in the skill and the passion it took to create these beautiful clothes.

I do love the dual timeline narrative which Natasha has used so well in this story. The heartbreak, love, dreams and loss mirror each other beautifully and ask can the next generation learn from mistakes made in the past and does the past shape the future. Estella’s story is set during the war, the beginning of Germany’s invasion into Paris and then Estella’s escape to America to bring about her and her mother’s dreams. We learn about the resistance fighters, who so valiantly did what they could to save British airmen from the Germans despite the risk to themselves. Every small act was an act that helped to win the war and save a life. Estella’s story along with that of Alex and Lena, was a heartbreaking one, full of passion many of us can only dream about and secrets that can tear people apart, secrets that can damage a persons soul if they allow them to. My heart was often in my throat during these times and a few tears were definitely shed. Lena’s story and what she survived was heartrendingly horrific and to believe such evil can exist in a human being is devastating, but to realise that these acts still go on today and that the women who suffer at the hands of these monsters still do not very often get the justice they deserve, is even more devastating and something that needs to change. Fabienne’s story, her love for her grandmother Estella, her own dreams. the secrets she will uncover about the past and her own love for Will along with both their heartbreaks was wound so well with Estellas’s story that I was completely engaged with both timelines. I highly recommend this story that I didn’t want to put down for even one minute.


Next up we have Come Back To Me a time travel romance by Annie Seaton which definitely sat on my kindle shelf far too long. When I heard book 2 in the Love Across Time series Follow Me was being released in February, I thought I’d better get my reading skates on.

I absolutely loved this time travel romance by Annie Seaton which I happily give 5 stars. Come Back to MeTime travel has always intrigued me and since reading Cross Stitch (Outlander) nearly 20 years ago, I’ve come across several good novels that ask the question can love survive when 2 people are from different times or places. When Megan travels to England for the Glastonbury festival in 2011, she encounters her idol from the 70`s, Davy Morgan’s lookalike, or is he…
Sparks fly after a rough start and the two have to come to terms with their feelings and the incredible and almost unbelievable situation they find themselves in and figure out if this is a love that was truly meant to be. Megan has left a life changing career situation back home in Australia which she will need to return to to sort out one aspect of her future. And Davy has a record to make to ensure his future, or his past. Will the hands of fate turn in the right direction for these two souls.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Then we have Rebecca Raisin‘s The Little Bookshop on the Seine which I thoroughly enjoyed.

IThe Little Bookshop on the Seine (The Little Paris Collection, #1; The Bookshop, #2) so enjoyed this trip to Paris with Sarah, I could imagine myself strolling along with her while she discovered new things about the city as well as about herself. I however would never be as brave as Sarah to pick up my life and move to a country where I can’t speak the language (though Sarah could to a degree) and where I know no one. Her boyfriend Ridge I was completely in love with and wanted him all for myself, but I wasn’t sure if their relationship could survive his being away all the time, I know mine wouldn’t (if I had one). The trials that Sarah faced in dealing with taking over the running of Once Upon A Time were so many that I completely empathised with her and took my hat off to her that she continued to persevere, many people would have up and run away. The cast of characters in this delightful story were so varied in their personalities, it was a joy to meet them all and see where their stories led. I look forward to my next trip to Paris to find out more about The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower.


Now we have another 5 star novel, a new release by Lily Malone Cafe by the Bridge (book #2 Chalk Hill).  After reading Water under the Bridge (book #1 Chalk Hill) last year, I jumped on this immediately as that was my favourite Lily Malone book. Well this has now taken the place as my favourite Lily Malone book, until book 3 anyway.

❤️ What a fabulous read this was, I was completely drawn into the story and the lives of all the characters. First up The Cafe by the Bridge by Lily Malonewe have Abe the owner of the Chalk Hill Cafe who is trying to put a bad situation from his past behind him. But along comes Taylor who wants him to rehash it all and help her sort her brother out as he’s been a victim of the same misfortune as Abe. I loved getting to know Abe and Taylor and share in their problems and see where the solutions led. Taylor could be like a runaway train when she got the idea to help, but she had a heart of gold so you forgive her for that. Abe was gorgeous, even when struggling to cope he was lovely. I loved finding out how Jake and Ella from the first Chalk Hill book are doing down the track, and look  I definitely am looking forward to the next book in the series to find out how these couples are travelling. Lily highlights the growing concern of male depression and the need for people to ask for help and to offer help if they think a friend or loved one might need it. A couple of secrets come out during this story and I look forward to hopefully finding out more down the track. Chalk Hill is a great town and I love reading about local places I have visited and am able to picture the characters there so vividly.


If you are interested in taking a look at any of the 246 books I read during 2018 then please check them out on Goodreads.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them.

Claire Louisa x


4 thoughts on “The last reads of 2018

  1. Hi Claire

    I loved The Paris Seamstress and amazing book and I am looking forward to her new coming in 2019 and I do have her others waiting for me on the massive TBR pile, I also have Lily Malone’s calling to me soon I hope, I haven’t had as much reading time over Christmas fingers crossed I get more soon

    Have Fun



    1. Oh you definitely need to get to Natasha’s other books. I lent my sister Her Mother’s Secret and she thought it was fabulous too. And yes, you must read Lily’s book. I hope you get some more time for reading. I admit I’ve been all over the place this week with which book I’m reading.


  2. I loved A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald and couldn’t stop talking about it when I read it in 2016. I think it was my favourite book that year. After reading The Dream Daughter I have come to enjoy Time Travel so I’m now keen to get a copy of Come Back to Me. Lily Malone is also another of my favourite authors so The cafe by the Bridge is on my must buy list for 2019.


    1. I’m really looking forward to reading The Dream Daughter. Yes, I have lived all 3 of Natasha’s historical novels, I can’t wait until next year for the new one. I hope you enjoy come back to me, I’ve already preordered book 2. And I love Lily’s books, I look forward to reading your thoughts on these books and more.


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