6 October 2009

Book Review: Naked Truths by Jo Carnegie

jo carnegie naked truthsCaro and Benedict were happily settled in the village of Churchminster, but Benedict's job means they have to move to London, something Caro isn't too keen on. They find them in the small mews that Benedict owns, and Caro soon grows to love life in the mews and her neighbours too. There's Sebastien and Klaus, recluse Rowena who has never been seen, and Saffron and Velda, a niece and aunt. Caro begins to make friends with her new neighbours, and finds that some of her old neighbours from Churchminster are closer than she thinks. Caro is happy at last, but another bump in the road is yet to come...

Magazine editor Catherine loves her job, and also her new PA Harriet who is a god send, but Catherine is hiding a big secret that would ruin her reputation if it got out. When old boyfriend John comes back on the scene, she's worried about it coming out. How far is Catherine willing to go to keep her past buried and all colleagues in the dark about it? And what is the big secret she's hiding?

Naked Truths is the follow on from Jo Carnegie's debut novel Country Pursuits. I haven't read this yet, although I do have a copy of it on my bookshelf upstairs, so I was worried about whether I would be able to get into this having not known any of the back story or what happened in the first book. I needn't have worried though, because the book was so well written and enjoyable I felt like I hadn't missed anything and got straight into the characters without a hitch. Anything related to Country Pursuits was well explained, so this book is perfect as both a follow on for those who know the characters but it works equally well as a stand alone book too which is great!

The book starts with Caro and Benedict's move to London, so we don't actually see too much of Churchminster in this book, but it does pop up every so often which is nice. Clearly Carnegie knows her stuff about London because she writes it very well and you can picture in your mind the small mews where Caro lives and it sounds idyllic! Caro's character is one I didn't think I would like, but it turned out I really did. She's very likeable, funny and the relationship between her and Benedict was very realistic and great to read  about, I really did care about them and that's important with a book like this. The other characters in the mews, especially Velda and Klaus were also great, quite over the top but it works in a book like this.

For me though, the best storyline was Catherine, the magaine editor. From what I can gather, Catherine is a new character for Naked Truths and she's a great addition. Her story is somewhat of a mystery throughout the book and I enjoyed this part, I tried to guess several times about Catherine's past and I was never right, so it was a real surprise when it is revealed right near the end of the book. It really made sure the book ended with a bang and I think it's definitely the best story in the  book by far. John was a character that comes about in Catherine's story and a really nice man, someone you can imagine yourself fancying a bit because he sounds perfect!

Carnegie has used all her knowledge of magazines in this book, as you see it from both a journalists and an editors point of view, and the insight was interesting for me! Carnegie doesn't bog the book down with too much information, just enough to keep the reader interested, and having characters like Saffron and Catherine in these roles was even better as they are both very readable and enjoyable. The setting was very well written as well, and I think all in all, it is a really great and one I thoroughly enjoyed. It does have some sex scenes in the book and some colourful language, but for me this just added something to the book and made sense, it wasn't over the top and just makes it more a fun read!

I can highly recommend this book to chick lit lovers, it's got everything, great character, fab story, sex and fun! The writing is easy to read and Carnegie clearly has the knack for writing very enjoyable women's fiction that is definitely going to be very popular! I like that there are a good few characters in the book to follow, and they are all brilliant, and the plot weaves all these stories together in a great way and I found it a very enjoyable read. There is going to be another "Churchminster" book due out in 2010 called Role Play and I can't wait to read that just to be back with these great characters again! A brilliant book to read, and highly recommended by me, well done Jo Carnegie!

Thank you to the publishers Corgi for sending me a copy to review.



  1. Sounds like my kind of book, plus I quite like the cover!

  2. sarah broadhurst6 October 2009 at 22:44

    soounds like a great read - another on the list to look out for!