22 May 2013
Charley Summers doesn't have a care in the world. She lives in the lap of luxury, supported by her rich husband and surrounded by a loyal group of friends.
Until the business goes bust and her world collapses. Before long the bailiffs have taken everything, and as if things weren't bad enough, she catches her husband with another woman. Suddenly, Charley needs a job, any job, so she can start repaying some of the money her husband squandered.
But with nowhere to live and no recognisable skills, how on earth is she to do that?
Charley needs a survival plan fast!"
You can buy The Desperate Wife's Survival Plan as a paperback or an eBook now!
When Charley suddenly finds her life ripped apart around her, she doesn't know how to cope. Her husband, her hosue, her lifestyle - all of it gone in an instant. Charley has to move into a dismal flat on the worst side of town, and hates living alone. All of her old possessions have gone, and she realises that she needs a job to get by, something she's never needed before. But Charley knows she doesn't have any skills that she can use in a good job, and ends up with a cleaning job that she really doesn't like. But as she starts to make a bit of a success in her new life, and other opportunities begin to open up for her, Charley starts to think that maybe life isn't as bad she first feared it would be. Will Charley survive against the odds and make herself happy once more?!
I love a book where you can just get involved in the story straight away, and I found this was the case with this book, I loved it right from the first page! I loved Charley right from the beginning, even though she was a tad spoilt at first and really just bought everything she ever wanted without a second thought. Her marriage wasn't the best either, but I got the feeling she was just there because of their lifestyle, not for any great love! Anyway, the main story kicked off fairly quickly, and it was quite horrible to read in a way, it's your worst nightmare, suddenly finding out you have absolutely nothing left in the world and it's news to you too. Charley reacted quite predictably, but I did feel immensely sorry for her, she was taken by complete surprise and I felt that Sherlock really wrote these scenes well and realistically.
The developing story of Charley's life unravelling was really easy to read, and I didn't want to put it down each evening, I was so keen to find out what was going to happen next for her. I really did feel sorry for her, her new life did sound pretty awful, especially as she was getting used to living alone too, something I know isn't easy and the guilt of other things that had happened were weighing her down too. One of the more positive aspects of the book was the friendships she had with the other women, and I enjoyed reading about these other stories just as much as Charley's which was great! There's vain Samantha who only cares about herself and the next man she can get her claws into, single mum Juliet who finds herself with a brand new "friend" and then happily married Caroline, whose life isn't quite as perfect as she might make out. These women were realistic and believable, and their stories were ones you could really put your heart into as you read, and I cared so much about them having a nice ending.
In fact, these positive relationships are what really drive the book, showing good things can come out of bad, and a positive attitude can change so much. Charley begins feeling down in the dumps, well, as you would after losing everything, but manages to find something to be positive about. I loved the storyline involving Charley's obsession with ice-cream, it was mouth-watering in parts and it's certainly made me think about ice-cream in a different way, yum! While there's a fair bit of sadness at the start of the book, it by all means doesn't carry on and I loved the optimism written throughout, you just know something good has got to happen to these nice people. Sherlock has written them all brilliantly, making the reader care about them and want to read their stories, and I can honestly say I really did love this book. It's well written, has a story you can lose yourself in and it certainly makes you grateful that you aren't in Charley's position. A superbly written and enjoyable read, I can't wait for Sherlock's next book.
21 May 2013
You can pre-order About A Girl now as a paperback or an eBook!
"I’d lost my job. I’d lost the love of my life. My mum wasn’t talking to me. My best friend was epically pissed off. And my flatmate probably had a hit out on me by now. I never meant for things to get so out of hand…
Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when her carefully constructed Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.
After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, why shouldn’t she try out being Vanessa? With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?
But Tess is soon in big trouble – she isn’t a photographer, she isn’t Vanessa, and the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster.
Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…"
17 May 2013
A week on the sunny Greek island of Kethos is just what Alice Archer needs, even if she has to put up with her difficult sister. Stella’s tantrums and diva-like demands are a fair price to pay for crystal-clear waters, blue skies and white clifftop villas.
When Alice meets Milo, a handsome gardener at the Villa Argenti, for the first time she suddenly feels beautiful, alluring and confident. But is it just holiday magic or will the irresistible pull between Alice and Milo survive against all odds?"
You can buy Wish You Were Here as a paperback or an eBook now.
Alice Archer has always faded into the background, and she's been pretty happy with it that way. She works hard, makes sure that she makes time for her dad and her not-so-nice sister Stella, and is generally a nice person to everyone she meets. So when her sister offers her a free holiday to the Greek island of Kethos for a week, Alice decides Stella's diva attitude can be put up with for a short week and jets off to the sunshine. There, she meets gardener Milo, who she befriends and falls in love with Kethos too. But all of a sudden, Alice realises men are finally starting to pay her attention - what is it that Alice has done to herself that has made her irresistible, and will she be able to make her feelings for Milo into anything that can work out for the pair of them?
This book has one of the most gorgeous and summery covers I have ever seen! It is just as beautiful in real life as it is on the computer screen, and it makes me want to be on a sunny balcony looking over an ocean just as blue as the one on here! The story is set on the Greek island of Kethos. Now, I've never been to Greece myself before but this book has certainly persuaded me that it might be a lovely place to go, it sounds very idyllic, and I'm just like Alice, in that I love to go exploring and soak up the culture, rather than just sit on the beach and get burnt! Connelly does write the island so vividly, you can picture everything in your mind as Alice is walking around and seeing the sights, especially the beautiful gardens at the Villa Argenti, they just sound stunning!
I really liked Alice, she was a great character, and as things got rather strange for her after talking to the Aphrodite statue, you can't help but like her even more for it, especially when things get a bit out of control! Now, I'll quickly mention that there's a bit of a magical element to this book and you have to kind of suspend your sensibilities for a minute when you're reading. Normally, that isn't my kind of thing but I really enjoyed it in this book and had no problem just taking it at face value and letting the story go on. Anyway, Alice is a bit cynical too and I think that helped for me. I also found her relationship with her father very touching to read, and this was one of my favourite parts of the story.
However, I have to confess I'm really not so keen on Alice's awful sister Stella. Normally in a book with a bad character, there is usually something a little bit redeeming about them somewhere along the line, but there really wasn't for Stella, and she was just so dislikeable. She was selfish, mean and just not a nice person in any way so while she made Alice look like an even better person, it's a shame there wasn't just one nice thing about her at all. Now to Milo. Well, he was a perfect leading man, handsome, hard-working, family oriented and just completely loveable - you can see why Alice was rather taken by him, and I enjoyed reading all about his gardening and how passionate he is about his family. I really enjoyed his parts of the story, even when Alice was not around, and he was certainly a favourite character of mine in the book.
I really enjoyed this book, and although I had a pretty good feeling how it was all going to end for these characters, I didn't mind when the ending came and it was what I had predicted it was going to be because the story it took to get there was so enjoyable to read. I find Connelly's writing really easy to read, and dip in and out of, and I think the fact I read this book in just one Saturday when Harry was away says a lot, I thoroughly enjoyed every page. It's got a beautiful setting that Connelly brings to life on the page, and I enjoyed that while the main story of course followed Alice and her escapades, every now and then there was a chapter dedicated to Milo and his life, which were really enjoyable to read for me. Connelly will certainly make you crave sunshine and a lovely holiday after reading this book, and I'm sure you'll wish you were there with Alice and Milo! A great book that I will definitely recommend for your summer reading pile.
16 May 2013
You can pre-order Save the Date! as a paperback or an eBook now!
"Family weddings can be hell.
...and, marooned in Italy for her cousin's nuptials, Ailsa can be forgiven for thinking that this one is worse than most. With the bride and groom at loggerheads and the guests in uproar, it is a million miles away from the rest and relaxation she'd been hoping for.
And then suddenly, in the middle of the mayhem, she comes face-to-face with Nick, the man she walked out on just a few months earlier.
How can Ailsa help get the wedding back on track when she and Nick can't stop arguing? But if they do, she might remember why she fell in love with him in the first place - and then there really would be trouble..."
15 May 2013
One that she's successfully kept for years. It's meant that she's had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.
But then she meets the gorgeous Billy - an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy's glamorous - but ruthless - world.
Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?
Charming, heartwarming and utterly romantic, Billy and Me will completely capture your heart.."
You can buy Billy and Me as a paperback or an eBook now.
There are only a few debut novels in a year that I ever really look forward, and one of those for 2013 definitely had to be Giovanna Fletcher's debut novel Billy and Me. Giovanna is the wife of McFly singer Tom Fletcher, but is a journalist and now published author in her own right. I hadn't read anything from Giovanna previously, but I had a feeling that I was really going to enjoy this one. After reading the blurb, it sounded like it was perhaps going to draw on Giovanna's own experiences of being married to a famous man herself, and I was so excited to read more about the story of Sophie May and Billy Buskin.
Sophie May always thought she was a normal girl. She's content working in her best friend Molly's teashop, staying around to look after her mum and save up ready to take over the tea shop if the opportunity ever arises. But when a handsome stranger starts coming into the teashop and flirting with Sophie, she wonders if she could have finally found someone worth taking a chance on. Then she discovers that man is none other than Hollywood actor Billy, and the pair quickly fall in love. Sophie is thrust into the media spotlight, her worst nightmare after years of keeping her head down and living a very quiet life. Will Sophie be able to handle the pressure of a high-profile relationship with Billy, and can their love survive the limits their relationship is pushed to?
I do love a good old fashioned romance story, and as you can see, this one seems to fit the bill perfectly. I loved Sophie from the start, and there is simply nothing to dislike about her. You can tell she's affected by something that happened in her past, something that she is keeping secret from everyone bar those who are very close to her, and I was intrigued to find out what it was. Sophie is a very quiet woman, very kind-hearted and treasures her close friendship with Molly, who was another of my favourite characters. The relationship between the pair is wonderful to read, and I loved how the age gap between them wasn't ever an issue, and you could feel the love between them, Fletcher has written this relationship perfectly.
Billy, too, was a perfect character in so many ways. Yes, he's a famous actor but from the way he is generally and the way he is with Sophie, you would never guess it. He and Sophie really did seem like a perfect match, and I was really invested in their story and wanted them to make it and get the happy-ever-after that Sophie deserved. The book doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of having a relationship in the spotlight, especially poor Sophie who hates the media attention. The emotions of Sophie feel very real as you're reading, and I felt so sorry for her, certain things that happened were her worst nightmare (and mine!) and you can understand why she struggled so much. As the book hurtles towards its conclusion, I was hoping above hope that Billy and Sophie would make it through and be happy, but Fletcher left it so that you aren't sure what's going to happen!
Fletcher's writing is so warm and inviting, I was looking forward to picking the book up at the end of a hard day at work, and immersing myself in Sophie and Billy's story once more. I was both rooting for them and eager to see what secret Sophie is hiding, even from Billy. It was a very emotional book, from the highs to Sophie's real lows, and are swept into the story so easily. I never wanted to put the book down, I wanted to keep reading until the final page but at the same time, I didn't want the story to end because it was such a joy to read. Heart-warming, heart-breaking and full of love, Billy and Me is a dazzling debut that will leave you with a warm feeling inside, and eager to read more from the lovely Giovanna Fletcher. Her writing was so easy to read, sweeping me up into Sophie's world, and taking me on a journey of love and life with her. I really felt like Fletcher had drawn on her own experiences for this book, and it definitely comes across that way when you're reading it. I loved every page, and shall be adding this one to my special 'Keeper's' shelf. A beautiful story.
By the way... the cupcake above was designed just for me by Giovanna! Blog tour participants were asked to let Giovanna know which emotion we felt when looking at the Billy and Me book cover... I chose 'romance' and here is Giovanna's interpretation in cake form! :)
Enter the Billy and Me giveaway now!
Check out the previous blog tour stops so far:
14 May 2013
You can buy By My Side now as an eBook or pre-order it as a paperback.
"One step can change everything.
Cass Brooks loves her job, her boyfriend Sean, her life. Until, leaving home one morning, distracted and hungover, she steps into the path of a truck.
When she wakes up, she can't walk. And suddenly all her hopes and dreams, the plans she'd made with Sean, the future she thought she'd have, seem out of her reach.
But then fate intervenes again. Cass meets Ticket, a loyal golden Labrador who refuses to leave her side. And on a flight to Colorado, she sits next to Charlie, who believes he can show her a life full of possibilities, if only she'll let him.
Cass wants her life back the way it was. Charlie knows this cannot be. Yet a future beckons all the same..."