30 July 2009

Book Review: Hens Reunited by Lucy Diamond

lucydiamondhensreunitedA good few years ago, Katie, Georgia and Alice were all at each others hen nights promising to be best friends forever and looking forward to starting their married lives. Fast forward a few years later and nothing seems to have gone to plan for the girls.

Katie's husband turned out to be Mr Wrong, and although she's now back in a loving relationship, she's determined never to get married again. Georgia is now a high-flying journalist but has sold out one of her friends along the way, leaving her feeling lonely and married to her career. Finally, Alice has just welcomed her baby daughter but has had to move to a new house to get over her cheating ex, who she is still in love with. With the hens lives changing and friendships being made and broken, will the hens ever be reunited?

29 July 2009

Book Review: In The Heart of the Canyon by Elisabeth Hyde

In The Heart of the Canyon by Elisabeth Hyde

JT Maroney is an experienced river guide who takes boats up and down the Grand Canyon. This is to be his 125th trip and he's looking forward to the journey with his fellow guides, Dixie and Abo. But JT has no idea of what lies ahead.

Among his guests are Ruth and Lloyd, veterans at the Canyon but now carrying a big burden, Amy and her mother Susan who are trying to get close despite the growing gap between them, Jill and Mark Compson and their two sons, hoping to enjoy a family holiday, Mitchell and Lena, another couple with their own issues, and two singletons, Peter and Evelyn who are along for the ride. But none of them knows what is about to happen on the ride of a lifetime.

28 July 2009

Book Review: After The Break by Penny Smith

penysmithafterthebreakKatie Fisher has been finding life a bit boring since she lost her presenting job on Hello Britain!. Sure, she's got new boyfriend Adam to keep her days filled, but the TV work is drying up and Katie is worried about losing public interest. When the latest celeb reality show Celebrity X-Treme comes knocking, Katie decides to take it against the advice of all around her. She thinks she'll be fine in with a Page 3 model, a comedian, and an ex-soap actor but she isn't counting on behind-the-scenes skullduggery. Will the big paycheck and recognition be worth the embarassment and ridicule Katie is bound to suffer over in Norway for her trouble?  Or is "Celebrity X-Treme" the final nail in Katie's coffin?

25 July 2009

Book Review: The Supper Club by Sophie King

thesupperclubsophiekingThe Supper Club tells the story of a group of people coming together once a month supper parties together, with secret, lies and relationships being revealed amongst them. The instigator of the party is widow Lucy, who with her children Sam, Jon and Kate is trying to rebuild her life with new boyfriend Mike who her children don't like. Lucy's sister Jenny also joins in, but she's a single Corporate Events organiser who doesn't like to muck around.

The others include Chrissie and Martin, who are starting to venture out after the birth of their son George; Antony and new girlfriend Patsy, and his wife Maggie makes an appearance too. Things happen at the dinner parties none of them expect, but its life in between the dinners that manages to change everything for the individuals of the group.

24 July 2009

Book Review: Knit Two by Kate Jacobs

Knit Two - Kate JacobsKnit Two is set 5 years after its prequel, The Friday Night Knitting Club. Dakota is now 18 years old and at college, and she's struggling to balance her college life and her social life. This isn't help by dad James who is trying to do his best by his daughter by getting her a good education even if it isn't what she wants. Peri is running Georgia's shop and trying to set up her own line of bags as well. Catherine, Georgia's best friend, is newly singly and finding it rather liberating although she's still searching for Mr Right! Darwin has had twin babies and is finding it hard to cope with such a change of lifestyle and finally Anita has found love with Marty and is setting up for a wedding, but she is hiding a dark secret she needs to reveal before she can proceed further. What does the future have in store of the ladies of the Friday Night Knitting Club?

22 July 2009

Book Review: Feels Like Maybe by Claire Allan

** Read our exclusive interview with Claire Allan here **

Feels_Like_Maybe_B[1]Aoife is in an on/off relationship with Jake, but things hit the skids permanently when Aoife finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. Jake doesn't want to know so she is left to deal with the hormones of pregnancy and shocks of birth all alone. She hasn't even got her mum because they don't get on, and they're back home in Ireland while she's in London.

On the other hand, her best friend Beth and husband Dan have been secretly trying to get pregnant with no success, and they're devastated. They put on a brave front to Aoife, but inside they're falling apart. Why can't Beth just tell her best friend of her woes? Will Aoife and Jake work it out, or is someone special lurking around the corner?

21 July 2009

Author Interview: Veronica Henry

To coincide with the review of her latest book, Marriage and Other Games, the lovely Veronica Henry said she would do a little interview with us for the blog! In case you haven't heard of her (where have you been?!), Veronica's written 7 books which have all been really successful, and she's also a scriptwriter for TV shows as well. So let's see what Veronica has to say in her interview...

1. Can you describe your latest novel in a sentence?
The theme is forgiveness - should you always be expected to forgive in a marriage, or are there times when you should forget your vows and move on?

2. How easy was it to make the transistion to writing novels from scriptwriting?
They are two very different disciplines.   Scriptwriting is collaborative, you are very much part of a team, but there are also more restrictions - time limit, budget, continuity - that have to be taken into consideration.  It also teaches you the craft of plotting, which was useful when I jumped ship.  With novels you have more freedom, but you have to motivate yourself.  I love both, but feel I am able to put more of myself into my novels.

Book Review: Wedding Season by Katie Fforde


Sarah Stratford is a wedding planner with a difference - she doesn't actually believe in love. She is great at her job and loves organising wonderful weddings for people but that's as far as it goes - she's got no love life herself. She's got 2 friends she counts on for help at her weddings - hairdresser and make up lady Bron whose stuck in a loveless relationship, and dressmaker Elsa who likes it behind the scenes.

When Sarah manages to sign herself up for 2 very important weddings on the same day, she needs her friends more than ever and they all have to pull together to pull off the amazing weddings their clients want. They're so busy, they haven't got time to even think about their own love lives, but is love coming out from the most unlikely places?

17 July 2009

Book Review: Marriage and Other Games by Veronica Henry


**Check out our exclusive interview with Veronica Henry!**

Charlotte is absolutely mortified when her husband is arrested for a committing a crime that implicates her in his bad behaviour. She decides to flee to her friend's ramshackle house in the small Exmoor village of Withybrook where no-one knows whats gone on between her and Ed. She's surprised to find the villager's lives are all as peaceful and calm as she imagined either, and she soon befriend local bad-boy and celebrity Sebastian. His marriage isn't going too well, and is drinking himself into oblivion while his wife works in London. Fitch, married to Hayley is also struggling but with his wife's wild demands and juggling fatherhood too. Finally, GP Penny is free and single, and is determined to make the most of love this time around, but with who? Will Charlotte regret her move to Withybrook, or is it going to turn out to be the best move she ever made?

16 July 2009

Book Review: I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

At her best friend's wedding, Angela walks in on her long-term boyfriend Mark cheating on her with someone on the back seat of their car. Nice. So she does what any self-respecting woman would do - flees... not just the wedding, but the country as well! Angela ends up in New York City with no friends, no money and no job.

But she soon makes friend with hotel receptionist Jenny and she's determined to put a smile back on Angela's face. Cue a LOT of spending in Bloomingdale's, getting drunk and meeting a couple of hunks along the way too. Angela also lands her dream job of being a writer - it seems everything is going right for her at last. But despite blogging her romance ups and downs, can Angela figure out which man is right for her? Does she heart NYC more than home?

I heard about this book quite a while before I got to actually read a copy, so by the time my library had it in for me, I was quite excited to finally read it and see if it lived up to the hype. It's bright and colourful cover screams out "chick lit" from the shelf, and plot sounds perfect for me too - exactly the sort of thing I really enjoy reading. I've been lucky to enough to visit New York (April 05 and December 05), and I still want to go back! I hoped this book would bring back some memories for me, and it definitely did that!

The book opens with a hilarious scene, and I hoped this was a sign of the rest of the book to come as well. It had me really laughing out loud, and I immediately loved the character of Angela, she seemed so normal and likeable, you couldn't help but feel sorry for her being cheated on by love-rat Mark! Luckily for us, this is pretty much all we see of the awful Mark, so thank goodness for that. He's one of those awful male characters you can hate with a passion but then, that's the point of him isn't it?! The other characters were well written as well, I really liked Jenny who despite her calm exterior is really a bit bonkers, Tyler the super-suave businessman was a bit too smooth for me and rock-God Alex who wasn't my cup of tea but still felt like real people and the relationships between them all were so well done by Kelk.

As Angela runs off to New York, this is where the book starts to become slightly unbelievable, and although that isn't some people's thing, I actually don't mind it in a book because I sort of expect everything to be better than it would be in real life! Yes, meeting Jenny and becoming best friends really quickly is unlikely, and yes, meeting 2 gorgeous men and dating both straight away is also unlikely, but it makes for great reading! Angela isn't sure of anything and the reader can feel her apprehension about the situation yet I still loved it. It made Angela feel normal, and the unlikeliness of the situation yet normality of the lead character made it that bit funnier for me.

For anyone who has been to New York City, this book will definitely reignite some memories for you. Kelk writes in great detail about the glorious lights of Times Square, the breath-taking views atop the Empire State Building and the bitter cold as well! I could totally see in my mind where Kelk was writing about for the most part, and I loved reading about the bits I didn't get to see when I was there as well. In terms of location research, Kelk has clearly done hers meaning its a great read for both visitors and non-visitors of NYC, although it will make you want to go back there!

If you like your chick-lit fun, readable and funny, then definitely pick up a copy of I Heart New York! With a great cast of characters, a great location and a brilliant (if idealistic!) storyline, its the perfect summer read, and one I will definitely re-read if I ever make it back to the Big Apple! Also, for those of us who love Angela, fear not - its not the last we've seen of her! Kelk has another 2 novels following Angela due out soon, I Heart Hollywood (late 2009) and I Heart Paris (2010) so I can't wait for those! A full 5 stars from me, a really great book.

Visit the themed website with a blog from Angela: http://www.iheartnewyork.co.uk/

Rating: 5/5

15 July 2009

Book Review: The Trouble with Marriage by Debby Holt

The Trouble with Marriage by Debby HoltTilly and Robin have been married for years and have 2 beautiful children together, Sam and .

But when Robin's ex-girlfriend shows up on the scene much to Robin's mothers delight, Tilly isn't happy at the way Robin is acting towards her.

And when Tilly drops a bt of a bombshell onto Robin, will their marriage survive?

Can she make Robin fall in love with her again and bring the magic back into their marriage?

14 July 2009

Book Review: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

babyproofemilygiffinClaudia has never wanted children, and she was worried about finding a man who would share her feelings on the subject. But when she meets Ben and finds out he thinks the same as her, the pair marry and are happily settled.

However, their friends soon start having children, and Ben starts to change his mind about babies. However, Claudia isn't willing to change hers and she faces one of the toughest decisions of her life. Will she be willing to lose Ben over it?

13 July 2009

Book Review: Three Men and a Maybe by Debbie Carbin


Beth Sheridan is happy with her life, she's got a good job and she is totally in love with Richard. The only problem is that Richard has no idea she's in love with him, and he's shacked up with another woman in Portugal.

But Beth doesn't care because she knows one day he'll come back to her, and she's preparing herself for that very moment. But in the mean time, her best friend Vin is determined to find her another man, but Beth manages to meet 3.

Should she choose Sean from the office who isn't quite as strange as he first seems, handsome millionaire Rupert who she's only contacted through email or Brad, who she met at a speed dating event and gets on really well with. Is Beth going to pick one of her three men or is she still holding out for her maybe??

11 July 2009

Book Review: Rogue by Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel - RogueMaxine Williams loved being married to millionaire Blake, he was a great entrepreneur, brilliant and a great person. The problem was that he wasn't as good at being a husband as he was a businessman, so Maxine left with their 3 children in tow.

The pair are still friends, and the children get to see both their mum and dad as much as they want, although they don't want their parents ending up with anyone else! So problems arise when Maxine meets fellow doctor Charles, the kids aren't happy and they're even unhappier when Blake falls in love as well.

But when a tragedy strikes, Maxine and Blake are thrown together once more, and she begins to wonder if The Rogue himself has changed. How will things work out for the pair?

10 July 2009

Book Review: This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

marianthischarmingmanThis Charming Man is based on four very different women, all living in Ireland and whose lives have been changed dramatically by one very charming man, Paddy de Courcy.

Paddy is a politician and thinks of himself as a bit of a cad who can get any woman he wants. But Lola, Marnie, and Grace know the truth about Paddy.

That he isn't as nice as his public persona leads people to believe, that he hasn't any respect for women, and most importantly, they're all united by a secret which just might come back to bite Mr de Courcy on the bottom!

9 July 2009

Book Review: The Wrong Sort of Wife by Elise Chidley

Elise Chidley - The Wrong Sort of WifeLizzie Buckley had it all - a huge house, handsome husband James and 2 beautiful twin children Ellie and Alex. But when Lizzie accidentally sends a moaning email meant for sister Janie in Australia to her husband, her life starts to fall apart around her. James doesn't want her anymore, she's left in a grotty cottage with 2 toddlers, no money,  no job and feels very alone.

Lizzie is determined to win James back, so sets about getting a new body and career thanks to best friend Tessa, hoping it's enough to get James to fall back in love with her again. But is it all too little, too late to the couple? And was Lizzie really just the wrong sort of wife?

7 July 2009

Book Review: Please Forgive Me by Melissa Hill

Leonie was happily in love and engaged to fiancé Adam, but now she's living halfway across the world from him in San Franscisco. She doesn't want to be found, and she doesn't want people to know the secret she ran away from either.

When she moves into a new home, she finds a box of letters all to the same woman from the same man, Nathan, begging for forgiveness. Leonie is curious and decides to find out who the mystery recipient is.

She enlists the help of her neighbour Alex who has a fair few secrets herself - but is Leonie doing it for Nathan and his love, or to exorcise her own demons once and for all?

I've been an enormous fan of Melissa Hill's novels since I read my first one quite a few years ago now, and Melissa is one of those fantastic authors who just seem to get better with every book. Her last release, Before I Forget, was a triumph and is highly recommended by us, so I was thrilled to get a copy of Please Forgive Me, which amazingly is Melissa's 8th book! It promises to have yet another of Melissa's trademark twists which keep you absolutely glued to the pages, so I made sure I had plenty of free time when I began this one!

This book drew me in immediately, and this is mainly due to the brilliant main character of Leonie. She's an Irish girl who's upped sticks to live in America to escape her ex-fiance Adam, although we aren't told why she's done so for a long while yet! This is what I really love about Hill's books - the mystery of the story is told slowly throughout the book and is intertwined with the main story, and this really does work so well, making the book incredibly readable and drawing the reader right into the middle of the story. It's told in the third person which allows for flicking between characters and time periods too, which was interesting to read.

As with all of Melissa's books though, it isn't just the main character who I liked in the book. My other favourite character is Alex, Leonie's neighbour who she meets a while into the book. She's a real all-American girl, totally opposite to Leonie but this is why the friendship works so well between the pair. Their relationship changes and develops as the book progresses, and you can believe it's a real friendship too, it's so well written. Other characters pop up; Seth, Adam, Suzanna, Andrea and more and add so much to the story, they are all vital in their own way.

However, the thing that made this book stand out for me is that it isn't set in Ireland, although the main character is very Irish of course! Hill keeps the esssence of Ireland in there with Leonie's frequent references to her homeland and the flashbacks of Leonie and Adam's relationship, but the setting of San Francisco is perfect for this book. Hill perfectly describes the ever-changing weather, beautiful scenery and day-to-day life of the place and the reader is able to imagine they are sat there with Leonie staring out at the Golden Gate bridge in her bay window!

The letters aspect was completely intriguing and I never in a hundred years would have guessed the eventual outcome of this storyline. I guessed things along with Leonie and Alex and ended up being wrong at each turn and was surprised with what had happened - it wasn't at all what I had expected but still a good conclusion. But more gripping for me was what had happened between Leonie and Adam, a tale that was so skillfully unwound it was a pleasure to read and allowed me to sink into the life and woes of Leonie even though I didn't know what she was woeful about!

This book is an absolute must-read, especially if you haven't read any of Melissa's books before. It's elegantly written, compulsive reading at its best, and is a welcome addition to any reader's bookshelf. I loved every single page and found it hard to put down, even when I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open! The characters are fantastically written, the setting is beautifully written and it is a joy to read. I can't recommend it highly enough - the perfect read, all year round!

Rating: 5/5

Thank you so much to the publishers Hodder for sending us a copy to review.

6 July 2009

Book Review: Just The Three Of Us by Clare Dowling


Geri and Bob have a good marriage, or so they both thought. They have 2 children, have good jobs and a nice home. But when Bob meets Debs by chance in a sandwich shop near work, sparks fly and the two embark on an affair, without Geri being any the wiser of course. Debs loves Bob very much and wants him to be a part of her life,  but Bob is of course far more reluctant.

But as things begin to get serious for Debs and Bob, will their sudden relationship survive the scrutiny, and is Geri ever going to find out that it's more than just the two of them in her marriage?

3 July 2009

Book Review: The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder by Holly McQueen (CHLOE)

hollymcqueenglamorousdoublelifeisabelbookbinderIsabel Bookbinder is a wannabe author and works for her local paper measuring the column inches on the weeks stories. Isabel decides she is going to be abest-selling author, but is annoyed when her best friend gets an agent before she does.

So Isabel decides to work with one of the countries best selling authors as a PA to get her foot on the ladder but things don't quite go to plan, and Isabel realises she hasn't actually written a word of this "best-selling" novel she is convinced she can write...

1 July 2009

Book Review: Mummy Said The F-Word by Fiona Gibson

Fiona Gibson - Mummy Said the F WordMummy Said The F-Word is a book based around Caitlin Brown, a mother of 3 young children whose life is turned upside down when she accidentally finds out her husband Martin is having an affair with dopey Daisy from the water-cooling firm.

Cait kicks him out, and takes on single parenthood with gusto, relying on her best friend and single-dad Sam to share her woes. Cait soon finds she needs a job, and so ends up working as a agony aunt at her friend Millie's magazine Bambino, and is convinced her doling out advice is fraud. But soon she starts getting emails from a man who signs his emails 'R'....