14 December 2010

Book Review: The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Ellie is a journalist who is at a loss at to what to do for her next article. Her editor is on her back for something special, but she really is stuck. Then she comes across some love letters from the 1960's, and is sure she can make an article out of them somehow, but she's got to find out who the recipients are first. How is Ellie going to be able to trace these people from nearly 50 years ago? Back in 1960, Jennifer wakes up from a car accident and worryingly has no idea who or where she is. She certainly doesn't recognise the man everyone tells her is her husband, and feels like a visitor in her own grand home. When she meets a journalist, Anthony, by chance, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship which quickly develops into something neither of them expected. How much is Jennifer willing to risk to be with Anthony?

I have never actually read a Jojo Moyes novel before, but I'm  not entirely sure why. When I received this one in the mail, it was wrapped in brown paper with a gorgeous pink ribbon, and it really made it stand out in my memory when I was looking for something new to read. It's quite a chunk of a hardback book, something I quite enjoy because that means there is a nice long story to get stuck into, and I was hoping that my first foray into Moyes' work would be a successful one that would introduce to me to a not-so-new author that I could begin to love with.

13 December 2010

Book Review: Walking Back to Happiness by Lucy Dillon

Juliet is hiding away again. It wasn't even a  year ago that she lost her beloved husband Ben to a young and tragic death, and Juliet just wants to shut the world out and go about her grieving in her own way. However, her mother Diane and sister Louise have different ideas about what Juliet needs, and manages to get her a job as the neighbourhood's unofficial dog-walker. Reluctantly, Juliet agrees, and finds that the fresh air and dogs are all she needs to finally start coming out of her shell. She's sure it doesn't mean she is ready to start talking to people again, let alone about her lovely Ben, but she's more open to getting out, and even speaking to her mad Irish next door neighbours Emer and Lorcan. Will Juliet find her own way back to happiness or is her life destined to be one long, lonely road?

This is Lucy Dillon's third novel, and she is certainly one author who seems to be getting better with every book. Her last title, Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts which I really enjoyed, won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2010, and while I think that was deserving, I would say that this book also deserves that title! The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I think it certainly adds to the books appeal, especially at this wintery time of year. It seems that dogs are pretty important to Dillon as its her second book in a row to feature them, so canine book fans will undoubtedly be looking out for this one too.

6 December 2010

Book Review: No Ordinary Girl by A. M. Goldsher

Abbey Beynam has super powers. No really, she does. She is super strong, she can fly, she can read people's minds and many more things that Abbey hasn't even discovered about herself yet that choose to present themselves at the weirdest of times. Abbey chooses to hide her "weird stuff" (her name for her super-powers) from everyone except her direct family, but when her FBI employed boyfriend Murphy admits he knows about Abbey's weird stuff and they want her to come and work for them, she suddenly becomes very unsure. She doesn't want her powers to be widely known about, and she just wants a normal life...except for the occasional night time flight which she really rather enjoys.

I am quite a fan of the Little Black Dress range of books, they are always quirky and fun to read, and when I pick one up, I generally know what I am going to get. With this one, the cover really enticed me in and I thought it was thoroughly gorgeous... the bright blue with the girl on the front really works, and I think it's a great cover. I was really surprised to find out that A. M. Goldsher is actually a male author, Alan Goldsher, and this is probably why they've chosen to abbreviate his name, so readers wouldn't be put off by a male author writing for LBD. In my opinion, a male or female writer certainly wouldn't deter from picking up a book, and I wonder why LBD weren't keen to put Alan's full name on the front rather than hide behind initials!

3 December 2010

Book Review: Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

Christmas has recently been a sad time for Holly Brown. Her beloved husband Dan died at Christmas after falling into a frozen lake, and therefore Holly has decided she doesn't actually want to celebrate the festive season anymore. So when she gets a call from her house-sitting boss about a remote house in the middle of nowhere for the Christmas period, Holly jumps at the chance of being alone so she can ignore it altogether. However, when she gets there she discovers that the home of the Martland family isn't as deserted as she thought, and that are quite a welcoming family who like to get involved with their guests. Couple that with Holly's gran's diaries that she is reading, and Holly doesn't have the quiet festive season that she anticipated... not to mention the fact that it seems Holly has more of a link to the Martland's than she ever could have imagined. Will Holly finally be able to enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas?

I absolutely adore festive reads at this special time of year so when a copy of the gorgeous looking Twelve Days of Christmas landed on my doorstep a few days ago, I couldn't help but pick it up and start to read the first few pages, and it had me hooked! There's something nice about reading about characters celebrating the Christmas period along with us, and it's cosy to read about cold winter scenes when we are going through them too! I wondered if Ashley's take on her Christmas tale would be slightly depressing due to the main character Holly not liking the festive season, but instead I was greeted with a warm and wonderful tale of a family taking a lonely young widow under their wing at the most fabulous time of year!

29 November 2010

Book Review: The One Before The One by Katy Regan

Caroline was pretty sure she had made the right decision when she ended her engagement, and comes out of the relationship she has been in since she was at school. She knows she has hurt her ex but realised that to be happy, she had to be free to do what she wants. However, Caroline's plans are scuppered when her 17 year old half sister Lexi turns up on her doorstep and announces that she has come to stay for the summer. Caroline doesn't know what to do with a 17 year old, and so tries her best to make it work with Lexi despite the upheaval in her own life. She knows she has to make some decisions about the direction of her life, and whether her on/off relationship with married lover Toby will last, whether she will ever find happiness with Mr Right despite her family's less than successful rate with relationships, and whether a 17 year old has anything to teach her about living?

This is Katy Regan's second book, and I was really excited to read it because I loved her first novel, One Thing Led to Another, a book based on Katy's own experience of having a baby with her best friend. This one has been delayed a couple of times, but finally has hit the shelves, and a great read it is too. I have to say I am really not a fan of the cover,  I don't think it's particularly attractive to look at or fresh and modern, but of course you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover are you?! Either way, I hoped the story inside would be as good as Regan's previous offering and sat down hoping to devour it, and luckily I did just that.

24 November 2010

Book Review: All I Want For Christmas by Amy Silver

Bea is about to spend her first Christmas with her baby son Luca, but it's going be a bittersweet Christmas for the pair of them. Bea's Italian café The Honey Pot and is as usual doing a booming business, and she loves the characters she meets along the way. Outside, with just 12 days to go until Christmas, Olivia ends up on the pavement after nearly being run over. She's taken inside The Honey Pot by Bea and is taken care of, but is she running away from the pressure of hosting her fiancé's entire family for Christmas? Then there's Chloe whose relationship with Michael seems to be falling apart at the special time of year. She's lonely, she wants to enjoy her man but hates that he has to go back to his family every night instead of being with her.With just 12 days to go until Christmas, will the lives of Bea, Olivia and Chloe be sorted out and will they all get their Merry Christmas?

I read and adored Amy Silver's debut novel Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista last winter, so when I heard Amy was back this winter, this time with a festive themed book, I was really excited to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible! I think the cover is absolutely gorgeous, the publishers have really hit the nail on the head with this one! It suits the book perfectly, it matches the story, it looks festive, and it's just gorgeous to look at! It did seem that this book was going to be totally different from her first, but I love when authors do something different, so I excitedly began this book, and just couldn't put it down, it's fabulous.

17 November 2010

Book Review: It's Got To Be Perfect by Claire Allan

Annie Delaney just wants to be happy. She wants a big white wedding, a family and a happily ever after, but she's suer that isn't what she is going to get with her current boyfriend Pearse. He seems more interested in the running of his restaurant than he is paying Annie any attention, and she's had enough. When she wakes up one morning with another man in her bed, she thinks fate is trying to tell her something and decides that maybe what her and Pearse have just isn't perfect after all. Annie's best friend Ffion is also heading down the aisle with her Mr Right, making Annie realise what she wants, but when things start to unravel, can Annie hold it together for Ffion and find her own perfect ending too?

This is Claire Allan's fourth novel with Irish publishers Poolbeg, and considering how much I have enjoyed 2 of her previous books I have read, I had high hopes for really enjoying this one as well! I find that Claire's books are always very realistic, with characters that you can imagine knowing in real life and I am always hooked by her stories too. I do love a book that you can imagine actually taking place, and Claire's books always deliver on that for me. It's Got To Be Perfect has a gorgeous red and white themed cover, it's quite under-stated and I feel that works well for the book - it is one that would attract me to pick it up so it was  a good start for me!

15 November 2010

Book Review: Promises, Promises by Erica James

Maggie Storm is really fed up her life. Her husband Dave only ever speaks to her when he wants a cup of tea or the sitting room to be hoovered, and her son Dean isn't the model child either. She works as a cleaner for families who make her feel worthless, and she doesn't know why she puts up with it. When she meets Daryl by chance at a neighbour's house, Maggie gets a glimpse of what it could be like to be loved properly, but something is holding her back. Maggie made a New Year's Resolution to hold back on what she wants and what she thinks, and she doesn't want to break it just yet.Decorator Ella Moore gets a commission at Ethan and Francesca's home, and is sick of being treated like a lacky by Francesca. Ethan on the other hand is more than affection to Ella, and she doesn't feel entirely happy about it. She's recently got out of a relationship with Lawrence and his 2 children, so she isn't ready to dive into anything new just yet. Are either Ella or Maggie ever going to pursue the happiness that both of them deserve? Or are the promises they've made themselves too hard to break?

I first read an Erica James novel a few years ago called Tell It To The Skies and really enjoyed it, although the subject matter of the tsunami wasn't exactly all that happy. I was drawn to this book because of it's gorgeously wintery looking cover, but after reading the book, I can't help but feel the publishers have only gone for this theme of cover because of the season the book is being released it - it really doesn't have much to do with the book at all since it isn't specifically set in winter or at Christmastime! Either way, I was really looking forward to reading the book, and quickly got stuck in.

10 November 2010

Book Review: Swimming With Dolphins by Deborah Wright

Julia Rothwell is at a bit of a loss. She's just lost her high-flying job as a hedge fund manager in a big bank, and doesn't really know what to do with herself. So when her best friend and flatmate Reece suggests that she writes a "10 things to do before I die" list, Julia gets stuck in and coming up with a pretty exciting list. She wants to swim with dolphins, visit Tokyo, have relations with an Italian man and many more too! Thanks to her exciting list, Julia ends up jetting all over the globe alone, with her friends and with a few strangers she meets along the way too. Julia soon begins to realise that there is much more to life than working crazy hours and getting promotions at work, but what is she going to discover about herself along the way too? Will Julia achieve all 10 of her dreams, or will she get more than she bargained for?

I read and adored Deborah Wright's previous novel The Celebrity Mother earlier this year, so I was really surprised to discover that just 11 months later, Deborah had another book coming out. I loved her the previous one, so I was really excited to read this one and see if Wright's story-telling would live up to my expectations. In deep contrast to many of the latest releases we have seen on the shelf recently, this book has a gorgeous summery themed cover, and is certainly one to read and brighten up these somewhat dull autumn/winter days. I think the cover really reflects the book perfectly and it's nice to see something bright and sunny on the shelves for once!

3 November 2010

Book Review: Ambition by Immodesty Blaize

Sienna Starr is grateful for what being the daughter of burlesque star Tyger Starr brings her, but also wants to break out on her own. She loves being a chorus girl in a dancing show, but is determined to be a star in her own right, and shine as the lead dancer. Unfortunately, Sienna seems to have made an enemy of the show's leading lady Brandy Alexander, and she's determined to make Sienna's life hell, not wanting her to take any shine off Brandy herself. However, when someone from Brandy's past shows up and threatens to wreck everything she has worked hard for, how far will Brandy go to protect herself? Will Sienna be able to reach her dreams of being a leading lady herself, and sort of her own personal demons with boyfriend Max too? When does too much ambition become a bad thing?

Immodesty Blaize hit the women's fiction market last year with a bang when her beut novel Tease was released to rave reviews. Somehow that book passed me by, but when I was sent her second novel Ambition to review, I was curious to see if it would be my sort of read and so decided to give it a go. It actually wasn't as sexually graphic or gratuitous as I was expecting which was quite good, but still had a really OTT and exciting story to keep your interest as you are reading! This book would definitely appeal to fans of Louise and Tilly Bagshawe, Sasha Wagstaff, Lulu Taylor, and books along those lines so if you're a fan of any of those authors, look out for a copy of an Immodesty Blaize book!

29 October 2010

Book Review: Priceless by Nicole Richie

Charlotte Williams pretty much has it all. Her financier father's success means that Charlotte wants for nothing, and she has a close group of friends who she enjoys going out with and having fun regularly. But when her father is arrested for a huge fraud case, Charlotte finds that her world has started to collapse around her. She's got no money, no family and no one to look after her. She decides to flee to New Orleans and the home of her former Nanny, the only place she knows she will feel safe from the paparazzi. She begins to work for the first time in her life, and also reignites her own love for music and singing, but there is someone out there determined to make Charlotte pay for what her father has done to hundreds of people. Can Charlotte escape the madman before he gets to her?

I have to confess that I don't know all that much about Nicole Richie other than the fact she is the adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie, and she has 2 babies herself now, so when I was sent her book for review, I wasn't at all sure what to expect. I've had a little look online to see if there is any information about whether Nicole actually wrote this herself or used a ghostwriter as many celebrity "authors" tend to do these days. I didn't find anything, but that doesn't mean anything of course, it could just be a well hidden secret! Either way, I tried to go into the book with an open mind, and tried to put out of my mind that this was another celebrity book. The cover is quite eye-catching, but as Leah has mentioned before,the image used on the cover does look uncannily like Nicole herself, and I don't know why the publishers would choose to use an image that looks scarily like the author, it seems a bit cheesy!

25 October 2010

Book Review: Why Do We Have to Live With Men? by Bernadette Strachan

Cat O'Connor didn't quite expect her life to go the way it has. She works for an advertising agency, but is having an affair with one of her married bosses, and no one else knows about it. However, when things become public at work, Cat ends up with the rough end of the stick and finds herself with a loose end. When Cat's friend Germaine decides she is going to open a women only commune, Cat is originally horrified but soon comes around to the idea. The women move out to a dilapidated old house, and start to get to know each other day by day. How are the women going to find it without men around for 6 whole months? Not only that, but Cat has to contend with a big family drama in the middle of it all. Is a house full of women just a problem waiting to happen, or will it be a better time that they all expected?!

This is the second of Bernadette Strachan's books I have read, and since I really enjoyed her previous novel How To Lose A Husband and Gain A Life, I was really hopeful for this being a good read as well. I think the cover of this book is really striking, it has had a redesign since the original cover was released, and was made brighter and all the better for it I think. It is definitely a cover which would make me look at it twice in a shop, and therefore I think will be popular with fans of the genre. It's quite a good chunk of a book, and therefore something to get your teeth into.

20 October 2010

Book Review: Down to Earth by Melanie Rose

Michaela Anderson isn't really a risk taker, but when her company organises a charity parachute jump, she can't really refuse. When she gets up in the skies, she doesn't want to jump but after everyone else seems to safely make it down, Michaela decides to take the plunge. But as she plummets back to Earth, a huge gust of wind takes Michaela by surprise. She lands with a bump and is a bit unsure why everything around her seems to have changed. The airfield has disappeared and there's no sign of her colleagues anywhere, or Matt, her instructor. More oddly, when Michaela makes contact with Matt and her boyfriend, it seems she has been missing for over 6 years and everyone thought she was dead. Just what happened to  Michaela when she made that jump, and where have the past 6 years been? Is it magical forces at work or something more sinister?

This is the third novel by author Melanie Rose, and I was so excited to read this one because of how much I have enjoyed her previous 2 books. Usually, magical type stories are not my thing, I prefer to read something rooted a little more in the real world, but there is something utterly charming about Rose's books that I just cannot put down. The cover follows suit with her previous 2 novels, and once again I love it - the green is certainly different and stands out, and makes the book seem the something different that the book itself is. Melanie's first book Could It Be Magic? focussed on the changed life of a woman struck by lightning, her second was Coming Home about a woman who loses her memory after being caught in a storm so this one about a missing 6 years seems to fit the form of Rose's books quite well!

18 October 2010

Book Review: The Birthday Party by Veronica Henry

When Delilah Rafferty's 50th birthday begins to loom, she decides that she is going to throw herself a huge birthday bash and invite lots of people to make it even more fun. However, Delilah doesn't bank on the strife her family manages to get themselves into just before her birthday, and when it threatens to ruin her birthday altogether, Delilah realises she has had enough. Her husband Raf, an actor, has got his first acting job in 10 years but Delilah is sure it's going to drive a wedge between them once more. Her daughter Coco is struggling with a secret problem with her job on a soap, youngest daughter Tyger is hiding a secret that is going to shock the Rafferty family to it's core when it comes out and middle daughter Violet is a budding musician but is keeping a rather surprising romance secret from her family. How are the Rafferty's going to heal their rifts, and will they do it before Delilah's special birthday party?

I am a huge fan of Veronica Henry's books, and her last book, The Beach Hut, which was a short story collection was one of my favourite reads by Henry of them all! Therefore, when I was sent this book to review, I was really excited to read it and hoped that it would live up to The Beach Hut which was just brilliant. The cover is really striking, I love the purple and pink images and it would certainly be a book I'd grab in a shop, so I think the cover designers have done a great job with this particular book. It is quite a thick book, but the story moves along at a good pace and there's always something to keep your attention, so you don't notice the pages flying by.

15 October 2010

Book Review: A Season to Remember by Sheila O'Flanagan

Claire and Neil Archer love running the Sugar Loaf Lodge Hotel in Ireland. It's always been Claire's dream to have a hotel, and there is definitely something special about the Sugar Loaf Lodge that keeps people coming back time and time again. However, the financial crisis has hit the hotel hard, and Neil and Claire are worried about filling the rooms up. When Christmas comes around though, it seems people still want to go away as the rooms magically begin to fill, and Claire feels like a special festive season is upon them all. Join the Christmas residents of the Sugar Loaf Lodge hotel for one special Christmas season, and find out what brings each of them to the hotel at Christmas time.

It has been a while since I read one of Sheila's books, so when I was sent this gorgeous festive themed read, I couldn't help but tuck in straight away. The cover looks beautiful in the image to the left, but it is so much more beautiful in real life, with a sparkly heart on the front, and is certainly a book you'd be proud to be seen reading! The book is actually a sort of short story collection rather than one big novel, which actually suits the book because you can dip in and out of it quite nicely, and I can certainly imagine it will be a great one to read on a cold winter evening in front of the fire! So I dove straight in hoping to love it, and luckily for me, Sheila didn't let me down!

11 October 2010

Book Review: The One That Got Away by Lucy Dawson

Molly Greene loves being married to her husband Dan, and thinks that the pair of them have a pretty perfect life. They both have good jobs, a nice house, and are both still very much in love. However, when Molly finds one of her ex-boyfriends on Facebook, she can't resist sending him a little message to say hi. She doesn't realise though that it is going to set off a chain of events which just might ruin everything Molly has ever worked for, and might push her beloved Dan away for good. Molly knows she has made a huge mistake contacting him again, but she can't take it back, so what is she going to do? Hide it from Dan and hope it never gets out, or tell him the truth and face up to the fact he might leave her forever? And what happens when Molly can't shake him off? How far will he go to get Molly back for good?

This is author Lucy Dawson's 3rd novel, and luckily for me, she seems to be getting better and better with each book. I didn't like her first novel at all, but thought her second, What My Best Friend Did, was fantastic. It was a gripping sort-of thriller and really kept me guessing until the very last page which was great. Dawson seems to enjoy doing these edgy chick lit novels, not something you would usually expect in the genre but it really fits in well and seems to be popular too - after all, no one else seems to write books like these at the moment, and that is where I think Dawson has got her edge. When I first saw the cover of this book, I was really disappointed because it looked a bit bland, and after reading the book, I think it definitely deserves a much better cover than it has been given!

4 October 2010

Book Review: Famous Last Words by Annie Sanders

Lucy Streeter thought she had her life pretty sussed out. She runs a clothes shop, where she also gets to show off her own designs that she does in her own spare time, she's mum to her grown up son Nat who is at University, and she gets on really well with the other occupants of Paradise Street, where their shops are based. However, Lucy decides to pay a visit to a fortune teller one day, and finds out a bit of shocking news... she has just days to live. Lucy is horrified that her time on Earth is nearly up, and makes some radical decision and changes that the old Lucy never would have done. Is Lucy going to be able to make the most of her last few days with her family and friends, or is it just too little, too late?

I have read quite a few of Annie Sanders' novels in the past and really enjoyed them, so I was really looking forward to getting around to this one. I have to admit I wasn't too keen on the cover when it was released but in real life, it doesn't look quite as dull as the pictures online make it look. What I love about Annie Sanders' novels are the realism - you can always count on characters that you recognise or can imagine being friends with, and that is exactly what I hoped I would get from this novel once more. So here's my review!

27 September 2010

Book Review: The Fame Factor by Polly Courtney

Zoe Kidd loves being her band, Dirty Money, with her three girl friends, but they are really struggling to hit the big time. Despite the numerous letters and demos they have sent to record companies, they've never gotten further than the local clubs and pubs, and Zoe is sure Dirty Money is never going to be the global sensation she desperately wants. So when American hit maker Louis Castle insists he can help the girls go much further with the band, they snap him up. Unfortunately, it seems that Louis has other ideas about how to get the attention of the record company... and it doesn't involve ALL the members of Dirty Money. Will Zoe be able to turn her back on the band she's put her heart and soul into?

This is the first book by author Polly Courtney I've read, and I'm really pleased that I gave this one a go! I really loved the cover when it arrived, the striking blue and white of it really make it stand out, and anyone who enjoys reality shows such as The X Factor will probably be drawn in by the title, although be aware it isn't based on any sort of talent show. It is published by Avon, a division of Harper Collins, and the little picture guide on the back says we should look out for drama, laughs and romance so I was quite intrigued to read more and find out what was going to be revealed about Zoe and her band, and whether they'd get the fame and recognition they so badly wanted.

22 September 2010

Book Review: Lovers and Liars by Nina Bell

Sophie Raven thought her life was pretty perfect. She is happily married to Harry, and together they have 3 gorgeous daughters, a lovely home and her photography career is pretty successful too. Her sister Jess on the other hand is the total opposite of Sophie. She can't settle in a job, hasn't ever had a serious boyfriend and dislikes her family quite strongly. But when the girls find out something threatens to destroy their family forever, they have to come together to protect their mother and work out how to deal with the tough situation. Will the family survive the shocking revelations, and what are the lies being hidden behind the scenes of the Raven family?

I read Nina Bell's last book Sisters-In-Law last year and loved it, so I was thrilled to receive  copy of Lovers and Liars this year. Even better than that, a quote from my review last year has made it onto the front page of this book too, I can't tell you how excited I was to notice that! Anyway, the cover of this book is quite striking with the black and purple cover, it would certainly catch my eye, and it sounds exactly like the sort of thing I enjoy reading, but do be aware it isn't light-hearted reading.

17 September 2010

Book Review: Homecoming by Cathy Kelly

Eleanor Levine left Ireland as a small child and moved over to New York where she spent the rest of her life. However, the death of her beloved husband Ralf has led Eleanor to make the move back to Ireland again, and so she finds herself alone in a quiet Irish town watching the world go by, trying to put her life back together before it's too late. Rae is hiding a terrible secret from her darling husband and son, but isn't sure how it will affect her family forever. To everyone in the town, Rae is a happy woman who runs the local teashop, but how will they see Rae once her secret is out? Connie O'Callaghan is a teacher at a local girl's school and loves her job very much, but she's very unlucky in love. Her ex-fiance Keith has left her broken, and Connie no longer has the confidence to find the man of her dreams. Finally, Hollywood starlet Megan Bouchier arrives in Ireland hiding from the press after her romance with a married movie star has put the stops on her career, and she doesn't know where to turn next. Will a quiet Irish town help Megan mend her broken heart? Is it a Homecoming for all the women?

If I am honest, the past 2 Cathy Kelly books that I have read have been a disappointment to me, they've been quite slow and taken too long to go anywhere for me, so I really hoped that Homecoming would be a return to the Cathy Kelly of old, with her easy to read and enjoyable stories. I think the cover is absolutely gorgeous and would definitely encourage me to pick the book up in a shop, so fingers crossed the story would match up to my expectations. This is actually Cathy Kelly's 12th novel which is pretty amazing to still be bringing out quality books, so let's see if Homecoming is worth a read!

8 September 2010

Book Review: The Affair by Santa Montefiore

Children's book author Angelica is quite happy with her lot. She has a successful career, 2 beautiful children and a French husband who works hard for his family in the world of banking. They have a very comfortable existence, and although the excitement in her marriage has petered out a little, Angelica still feels lucky with her life. However, when she meets South African wine maker Jack, she doesn't expect to develop strong feelings for him, so much so that she is willing to risk her safe and stable family life just for a few moments of passion with Jack. But after they embark on their affair, something shocking happens that shocks Angelica to her very core and question everything she has done. Can Angelica put her marriage back together and save her family before it's too late?

This book was sent to me by the publishers for review, and I am actually very glad that it was because the cover and title would not at all inspire me to pick it up in a bookshop or a library, but I really would have missed out on a superb book. After a little bit of online research about the author Santa Montefiore who I confess to not having heard of before this book turned up on my doormat, I found she's actually written quite a few books in the romance genre, and her previous novel to The Affair, The Italian Matchmaker, was shortlisted for the RNA's Romance Novel of the Year award, so I had high hopes for The Affair despite the wishy-washy cover and non-descript title. Luckily for me, it wasn't a let down at all, in fact I loved it!

27 August 2010

Book Review: Bad Girls by Rebecca Chance

Model Amber Peters has a successful career, money and men at every turn. But she is hiding a secret addiction to drugs that threatens to ruin everything that she holds dear. Petal Gold is the daughter of a famous rock star, and pretty much lives off her last name being "Gold". Petal is enjoying living the high life in London but when some unsavoury pictures of her and her boyfriend end up in the papers, Petal's father sends her to rehab telling her if she doesn't go, she'll be cut off from him and his fortune. Skye Ellwood is a lap dancer who has bigger dreams for herself but has no idea how to get out of the situation she's stuck in. However, one of her clients offers her an opportunity that might just be too good to  miss. And finally, Hollywood heart-throb Joe Jeffreys has got everything perfect - his fiancée, his career is on the up and he's generally happy. But when he's caught at a strip club, Joe is keen to save his image and so heads to rehab for his sex addiction. But none of them plan on the events that happen when they enter  - should they have just said "No, No, No"?

When I was sent an early copy of Rebecca Chance's Bad Girls to review for the site, I was really thrilled because I had loved her debut novel Divas which came out last summer. The book was originally titled Drama Queens but after reading it, I think that 'Bad Girls' certainly suits it far better so I applaud whoever decided on the title change. I also love the cover, I think the white and silver really works well with the blue shoe being the stand out piece, and it is definitely a book I would pick off the shelf if I were looking for a good read. She is very much in the vein of a blockbuster type read, so if it that is what you like, I'd highly recommend giving Rebecca Chance a read. Anyway, back to the review!

24 August 2010

Author Interview: Tasmina Perry

I recently read and reviewed Tasmina Perry's latest novel Kiss Heaven Goodbye which was absolutely brilliant, and Tasmina's publishers got in contact with us and asked if we'd like to interview Tasmina for the site. Of course, I jumped at the chance and sent over some questions, and Tasmina has kindly answered them for me. Enjoy!

Q1. Tell us about your latest book, Kiss Heaven Goodbye.

It’s about four students holidaying on a private Caribbean island to celebrate the end of their exams. On the last night they find a dead body on the beach and each suspect the other of murder. The book follows them over twenty years as the incident influences and shapes their glamorous lives – and in the end, threatens to destroy everything they love.

Q2. In the book, there's a bit of a murder mystery involving the 4 friends Miles, Grace, Alex and Sasha - is this something that interests you and that you like to read yourself?

Yes – I always have a mystery element to my stories which probably comes from the fact that I love thriller and crime novels so much. Harlan Coben, Agatha Christie, Michael Connelly, Nikki French are just some of my favourite authors.  Before my journalism career I actually qualified as solicitor, so I guess it’s the lawyer in me that likes to solve problems.  At law school my favourite part of the course was criminal law. Police procedure and the law surrounding it has always fascinated me.

23 August 2010

Book Review: A Funny Thing About Love by Rebecca Farnworth

Carmen Miller thought she was set up in her life - she has a good job at a comedy agency, she has a great flirty banter with Will from her office who she's pretty sure likes her too, and she has a great group of friends. However, when her ex-husband gives her a call to say his new girlfriend is pregnant, Carmen starts to feel like she's losing control of her life a little bit. When she's offered the chance to move to Brighton, Carmen grabs it with both hands hoping a fresh start is just what she needs.

When there, she bumps into single dad Daniel and is immediately smitten... however, Carmen's hiding a big secret that she is sure will jeopardise the future of her relationship with Daniel, and any other men she might meet too. Just what is Carmen hiding that she thinks is so bad, and will Carmen's life in Brighton be the barrel of laughs she is longing for?

I first came across Rebecca Farnworth when I found out that she was the ghostwriter for Katie Price's female fiction which is quite successful, and I have actually a few of those books too so when she brought out Valentine last year, I was really looking forward to it and luckily I loved it and thought it was one of the great summer reads of 2009. Rebecca is back this summer with her new book, A Funny Thing About Love, so when I was given the chance to review it, I jumped at the chance because I had loved Valentine so much. Would Rebecca be as successful in her second outing?

20 August 2010

Book Review: The Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

Jane Milton's beach hut, also known as 'The Shack' has been in her family for many generations, but when her husband dies and leaves her with huge debts, she knows she has no choice but to finally sell the hut and make a bit of money to live on. She's worried about the reaction of her 3 sons, but more about leaving the glorious beaches of Everdene for good after one summer party.

As summer descends on Everdere once more, the residents of the huts flock to the beach for a few days peace, but some end up with more than ever bargained for. For Roy, the man who has helped look after the beach huts since he was a little lad, he's extremely sad to hear that Jane might be leaving for good. Are a few beach goers going to get more than they bargained for this summer?

I've been a fan of Veronica Henry's work for a few years so when I was sent an early copy of her latest book, The Beach Hut, for review I was really thrilled because I knew it would be great .This book, however, is a little different to her traditional books I've read in the past. It seems almost like a short story collection as each of the chapters is pretty much a stand-alone story, yet they are woven together to create a fantastic tale of Everdene and its residents for a few weeks of the year. I actually sent the book to my mum before I read it myself as she's a huge fan and she told me it was brilliant, and typically for my mum, she wasn't wrong!

11 August 2010

Book Review: Forbidden Pleasures by Jo Rees

Savannah, a British IT girl whose Daddy runs a rather successful casino in Las Vegas, is somewhat sick of being a boring socialite. She wants more, but she doesn't want to be a good girl to get there. A horrible accident at home means Savannah is forced to take stock of her life, and re-evaluate a few things too. She's sent to a remote island for rehab which her family hopes will bring Savannah back onto the straight and narrow. On the other side of the world, Lois, an ex FBI cop, is finding her feet working for some more casino bosses, and working out what exactly they want from her, and what she wants from her own life too. Just how are the paths of these women going to cross, and with what consequences?

This is the second novel from author Jo Rees, who first burst onto the chick lit market last summer with her fantastic summer blockbuster Platinum. I really loved that read, and consequently I've been very excited about being able to read this one too. I must admit that when I saw the original cover, I wasn't too impressed as it seemed a bit garish and brash for my liking, but luckily the publishers have had a rethink and they've come up with the much nicer design pictured on the left! Anyway, you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover are you?! Either way, I eagerly started to read Forbidden Pleasures, and luckily it wasn't a let down!

10 August 2010

Author Interview: Adele Parks

I recently had the opportunity to ask the lovely Adele Parks some questions after reading her newest book Men I've Loved Before, a book I really enyoyed reading myself. It's actually Adele's 10th published novel, and her first with new publishers Headline so Adele said she was happy to answer some of my questions which is fab of her! Here's the interview:

Q 1. Tell us about your new book.

The book is about a genuinely lovely couple, Neil and Nat who seem to be a unique match made in heaven. They have loads in common; they have shared values, ideals and ambitions (as well as a hate of Marmite and a love of the missionary position) – they agree on the big stuff and the small things The one thing they are absolutely in agreement about is the fact that they both definitely do not want children.

At least that’s what Nat thought. But five years into their marriage Neil has had a change of heart, and now he’s practically begging her for a baby. Nat, however, has no intention of giving him his hearts desire - she won’t or can’t - because of a deep and tragic secret in her past. As the cracks in their relationship start to show, Nat wonders if Neil really is the man of her dreams. If he is, how come they are making one another so miserable? Is it possible that someone from her past could actually be ‘the One’?

Nat’s little black book, filled with the names and addresses of previous lovers, could hold the answers she’s looking for. Or it could be a one-way ticket to all kinds of trouble. This book explores the concept of ‘the One’. How do you know when you’ve met the one you’re meant to be with? Is it a matter of destiny or just good timing? And is the perfect match too much to ask for?

Q2. The book is based around the idea of having children, and the fact Nat has decided she never wants them. How did the idea for the book come about?

I have a few friends who have made the decision not to have children and I have a couple of friends who can’t have children, I also have loads of friends who do have children; I find that these groups are quite divided, both in their opinions of the world and the world’s opinions of them. So interesting! I wanted to explore the various viewpoints. I was particularly interested in writing about what it’s like to be a man longing for a child; frankly women now hold all the fertility cards. I always look for fresh subjects to write about, I don’t think these issues have been seriously looked at within our genre.

9 August 2010

Book Review: Kiss Heaven Goodbye by Tasmina Perry

Miles and Grace Ashford, Sasha Sinclair and Alex Doyle were carefree teenagers when they holidayed at age 18 on the private island of Angel Cay. But when a shocking incident happens that leaves the four young people harbouring a secret between themselves, what repurcussions is it going to have on them?

When the four grow up in adults and begin in the world of work, is the dark secret going to affect their choices forever more? How will affect Sasha in her determination to be a successful model, and will it affect Alex's chances of being a global musician? How about money-driven Miles and his shy sister Grace? Will the consequences of that one secret night on Angel Cay ruin the rest of their lives? And just what price will the four have to pay?

Someone I have never yet managed to pick up a copy of any of Tasmina Perry's 5 novels, even though they actually look like the sort of thing I really enjoy to read - a proper blockbuster type novel. I really can't pinpoint why this is so when I was offered the chance to review her latest book, Kiss Heaven Goodbye, I jumped at the chance. The gorgeous cover screamed summer at me, and I was really excited to get stuck in and find out whether it would live up to my expectations. It's a huge chunk of a hardback book at well over 500 pages, but rest assured, it's definitely one you're going to want to make room in your suitcase for.

5 August 2010

Book Review: One Kiss in Havana by Michelle Jackson

Emma is devastated at the sudden death of her husband Paul, but is overjoyed when she discovers he had booked a holiday to Cuba for them before he died. Emma decided to go anyway, and wants to take her youngest sister Sophie... without realising that it was Sophie that Paul was intending to take all along. Sophie knows she has betrayed her sister in the worst, but has to go on the holiday to keep up her secret.

Their middle sister Louise knows Sophie's secret and is worried about it coming out while her sisters holiday in Cuba. But Louise has her own problems to deal with. Her marriage to Donal is in trouble because she feels like it is going nowhere, and when her previous lover Jack Durran comes back into Louise's life unexpectedly, she's faced with a decision she never thought she'd have to make. Will Louise choose pastures new or stick with the life she knows?

And how exactly with one kiss in Havana change Emma's life forever?

I read and adored Michelle's last  novel Three Nights in New York last year so when she announced on Facebook earlier this year that she had another book coming out this summer, I was really excited to read it because I just knew I would love it as well. The cover makes the book scream out "Summer Read" and being someone who would love to visit the country of Cuba one day, One Kiss in Havana sounded like the perfect read and when Michelle kindly sent me a copy, I devoured it in just a few days because it was so good! It's definitely one of those books I would love to read again and again.

23 July 2010

Book Review: Wicked Games by Sasha Wagstaff

Judd Harrington is back in England to cause a stir, and he's intent on succeeding. He brings along his wife Kitty who is petrified of Judd and his awful temper and his 2 sons, Elliot and Sebastian. None of Judd's family actually like him but live in fear of him. Ace, his third son, is the only one who is still in America and is still being controlled by him.

Life for Judd's arch-enemy Lochlin isn't going too well either. His record company Shamrock is struggling against the newly formed Jett Corporation, run by none other than Judd. His relationship with his wife Tavvy and son Shay has seen better days, and he's trying to stall his talented singing daughter Iris from joining the ruthless showbiz world.

Judd, however, has other plans. He's determined to sign Iris to his record label, and uses his son Ace to get her despite what Ace wants. Judd wants to make Lochlin suffer, and at any cost - he wants to ruin the Maguire family once and for all. Will the ruthless Judd Harrington succeed in destroying Lochlin and his family?

This is Sasha Wagstaff's second novel, but I hadn't actually picked up a copy of her debut Changing Grooms yet. When I was sent this by the publisher to review, I was drawn in by the eye-catching red, white and gold cover - it looks very elegant and certainly like a book I'd really enjoy. The book seems to be marked as a bit of a blockbuster, much in the vein of Tilly Bagshawe and Tasmina Perry, and having loved the formers books so far, I expected to enjoy this. Luckily, I wasn't at all let down and really liked the story - it travels around, has great characters and a thrilling story that keeps you guessing until the last page!

22 July 2010

Book Review: Desire by Louise Bagshawe

Lisa Costello is leading a charmed life - until she wakes up the morning after her glamorous Thailand wedding to find her new husband Josh dead in their bed, the murder weapon in her hand. She remembers learning at the wedding that Josh had been unfaithful, but she certainly doesn't remember killing him. As Lisa flees the scene for Europe, ex-FBI trainee Sam Murray is on her trail. Catching up with her, he's quickly convinced she's been set up, and they start to work out which of movie producer Josh's many enemies could be behind the hit. It's a race against time to unearth the truth and keep Lisa out of jail - or gunned down by the professional assassin tailing them. And the danger only adds to the excitement of the passion brewing between them...

I've been a huge fan of Louise Bagshawe's books for a long, long time. It was actually her books that got me into Chick Lit quite a few years ago, so you can say I owe my obsession with the genre to her a little bit! Louise has recently taken a bit of a shift in the direction of her books, and perhaps she is all the better for it. Her latest two books, Passion, and now this one, Desire, have been a little darker and grittier than her previous releases and I must say that I really loved this one far more than I was expecting, and I just couldn't put it down!

Desire begins with a fairly shocking beginning, with the introduction of a mystery assassin and the storyline leading up to the murder of Josh. I love that from the beginning, the audience is in on who the murderer is, whether we know the assassin's identity or not, but this just makes it more exciting because you want everyone else in the book to know too, and therefore I just wanted to keep reading and finding out whether it would dawn on people what is going on. The pace of the book is very quick, with a lot happening very fast, and this continues right the way through the book.

The characters are all fantastic, especially the leading lady Lisa. She is a British character in amongst an American setting so she stands out immediately and that's important to the people reading the book as she is the one that requires our sympathy, and you have to want it to work out right for her. She is very likeable, and I enjoy her character development throughout the book. She starts off as a bit of a bimbo trapped in a world she doesn't understand, but as the story moves on, so does Lisa as a character and I really enjoyed this. Bagshawe has also written a great relationship with Sam, the American journalist who tries to help Lisa, and he's also very likeable, and a bit of a "hero" character!

As well as following these characters, the book moves across several different countries as well, and I really enjoyed this aspect of it. Bagshawe really translates each of these places onto paper really well, and I had no difficulty in imagining them in my mind when I was reading which made it all the more exciting. There were some great action scenes in there, which weren't too over the top and fitted well into the whole book. There are two big dramatic scenes which went really well in the book right near the end, and I was literally on the edge of my seat reading them, it was really well done and I couldn't believe how much I loved them!

I was a little worried about a chick lit book about an assassination because the two don't really go hand in hand but for this book it definitely works! Bagshawe definitely has a real talent for writing and I think that if this is the direction she is going to take her books in from now on, then it's going to be very successful because I can't think of anything else like it out there at the moment! The characters were all well written and believable, the plot was fast paced and exciting, and the book as a whole was just great. I loved it, and cannot recommend it enough, particularly if you like something a bit different from your normal chick lit! Fabulous! 

Rating: 4/5

20 July 2010

Author Interview: Alison Bond

I recently read and loved Alison Bond's new book A Reluctant Cinderella, and was delighted when Alison was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her and her books. If you haven't read A Reluctant Cinderella yet, I would definitely recommend that you do because it's a brilliant book, and don't let the cover fool you because it certainly isn't what you'd expect from that. Without further ado, here is my interview with the lovely Alison Bond.

Q1. Tell us about your book 'A Reluctant Cinderella'.

It's been a huge stretch between books, almost four years, and while I'd like to say I've been busy having children and moving to the Cotswolds (both of which happen to be true) the more honest reason is that my first attempt at a third novel was abysmal.  I tried my hand at romantic comedy that the likes of Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Colgan do so well and it didn't quite work out.  We spent a lot of time (too much time maybe) trying to make it better but in the end I threw up my hands and started all over again with A Reluctant Cinderella.  Obviously it was all terribly frustrating but looking back it was a very valuable lesson in writing what you truly want to write.   A Reluctant Cinderella is the kind of glamorous, twisting tale I feel much happier with.  Samantha Sharp is a powerful woman who encounters scandal at work, in her family life and in her love life.  It’s about how she deals with adversity by facing up to her past.

Q2. What sort of research did you have to do to be able to write this book?

Samantha Sharp is forced out of her high-powered job when evidence suggests that she’s been involved with some dodgy dealings.  She relocates to Krakow in Poland and a lot of the book is set there.  Krakow is one of my favourite cities so it wasn’t so much a case of research as writing about what I know.  We lived in Krakow for a while and I had such an affinity with the place that I think I must have been a Polish princess in a previous life.  Hopefully I managed to capture some of its mysterious charm in this book.   For everything else I used my imagination.

16 July 2010

Book Review: Men I've Loved Before by Adele Parks

Neil and Nat thought that their relationship was a  match made in heaven. They are both deeply in love, and have both decided that they don't want children. But when Neil suddenly springs on Nat that he actually does want to start a family with  his wife after all, she's distraught. She thought that their life together was perfect and that nothing would be a threat to their marriage. Nat starts to doubt everything about her relationship with Neil, and on a trip back to her parents, discovers her "Little Black Book" containing all the numbers of her ex-boyfriends. It makes Nat wonder if Neil really is 'The One', and if not, who is? And how is Neil going to cope with the fact his wife doesn't want his children? Does it mean the end for their perfect marriage?

I haven't read anything by Adele Parks for years. I remember reading something of hers a while ago when I just started reading chick lit but I didn't get on with it, and so I tended not to pick up anything by her again because I wasn't as open minded with books as I am nowadays! When I heard that Adele Parks had moved publishers, and that this was being touted as her best book yet, I was determined to give it a go and hoped that I'd like it. This is the author's 10th book and has been combined with a massive publicity drive so I was sure there had to be something there for me to enjoy, and I was right... it makes me wonder what other Adele Parks books I've missed out on in the past because this one was brilliant!

12 July 2010

Book Review: Single In The City by Michele Gorman

Hannah Cumming has moved over to the UK on a bit of a whim. She's an American who recently lost her job, and so decided to do something completely new and exciting... move to another country. However, when she gets here, Hannah realises that perhaps she's made a bit of a mistake because she hasn't really got a clue about anything. She's got no job, no place to live, and doesn't seem to understand half the things the British people around her are saying. Hannah's determined to make it work, and when she meets the lovely Mark, it looks like things might be on the up for her. But when the going gets tough, is Hannah going to get going again?

This is author Michele Gorman's debut novel, and it has to be said it's a pretty good one. Michele actually made the move over from America to the UK herself so I did wonder exactly how much of the book is autobiographical when I was reading it, but either way it is a great idea for a book and leant itself to a lot of comedic moments. The book was originally titled 'The Ex-Pat Diaries' but I think Single In The City suits it far better, and the cute little cartoon cover to go with it makes it pure chick-lit. It's certainly a book I would pick up off the shelf in a shop, and I think it'll definitely be popular with fans of the genre.

8 July 2010

Book Review: Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

'Will you marry me?' I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 'Lily?' he prompts. It's been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak...Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her. 

Pictures of Lily is the fourth novel from Paige Toon, an author who is quickly working her way into the top ranks of chick lit authors out there in terms of her fantastic books, and the expectation surrounding her new releases. When I first saw the gorgeous cover of the book, I couldn't wait to read it and was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publishers, and I couldn't resist reading it as I was so excited about it. Paige Toon is known for bringing her characters back from other books so I wanted to see who'd make a reappearance in this book, and how it would pan out overall. I just hoped it would live up to my expectation and be as good as her previous 3 books!

I was surprised when I opened the book to find that our main character Lily was only 15 years old. To be honest, this didn't start me off of a good foot as I tend to avoid YA novels with characters of these age because I don't get on with them and prefer books with adults as central characters so I was surprised that Paige has brought such a young character in. I thought it would only be for a few chapters as an introduction but over a hundred pages in, we were still with the 15 year old... while I was enjoying it I was wishing the time away until we met Lily again as an adult which is a shame as I feel this really hindered my enjoyment for the rest of the book.

Eventually, we do see Lily as an adult, and that's when we meet our first characters from a previous book too, which is great because this is when I felt that the book really picked up for me and I started to enjoy it a bit more. Lucy and Nathan from 'Lucy in the Sky' pop up quite a bit in this book which is nice to see, and there is a mention of a few characters from 'Chasing Daisy' too. As the book goes on with the 'Will she, won't she" scenario, I did think the pace slowed down again which did annoy me slightly. I felt it seemed to take ages to get anywhere, and I was annoyed with Lily for being so indecisive, and actually somewhat cruel in parts, I really didn't warm to Lily at all. 'I loved the parts of the book set in Lily's work, she was a great character then but as soon as she was in a scene with Richard, she became a whiner again. I knew a certain something was going to happen, and I admit I really enjoyed it when it did, but it was still quite slow and lethargic, it didn't have the pace or rhythm of her previous books.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the read as I always expect to with Paige Toon's novels, I can't help but feel this doesn't match up to her previous 3 books in terms of charm and readability. Yes, I enjoyed revisiting characters from her previous books, but there was just something about it that doesn't make me want to shout about it from the rooftops like I did when I read Johnny Be Good and Chasing Daisy before. I actually toyed with giving this a 3 out of 5 but I am not sure it warrants that much of a low rate. It's really well written with good characters, but I felt it was all a bit slow paced for me, and I don't understand why half the book was set with a 16 year old - that's really not that age of character I look to read about in a chick lit book. It was a good read, but I still feel disappointed, maybe it's my fault for hyping it up too much.

5 July 2010

Book Review: I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk

Angela Clark is back again, and this time she's off to the city of love... Paris! Angela and her boyfriend Alex are quite happy trundling along in their relationship, but when Alex is told that his band has to go to Paris to promote themselves and their album, he wants Angela to come along too. She mentions it to her boss at TheLook.com where she blogs, and they quickly hook her up with a column in prestigious fashion magazine Belle to write a feature on Paris, and the trendiest parts.

Angela's somewhat worried, and it's not helped by the fact things seem to go wrong right from the off for her when she lands in Paris,  on a separate plane to Alex as well. As she struggles around the city with her guide sent to her by the French edition of Belle, Angela starts to find out more about Alex's past that she really didn't want to know, and even starts to doubt where she actually wants to be. Yes, she might "heart" Paris, but is Angela's own heart really where it wants to be?

This is our third outing with Angela Clark, the character who first popped up in last year's summer blockbuster read 'I Heart New York'. That book was a huge success, and Harper have been quick to put out the second, I Heart Hollywood, at the start of this year, swiftly followed by this summer's release, I Heart Paris. Strike while the iron's hot, hey?! I loved Kelk's first book, and while I enjoyed the second, it didn't quite live up to my hopes so I thought maybe this one would get the series back on track for me. The cover is gorgeous and certainly is a book I'd pick up off the shelves, and I fully expect this one will be a hit as readers will want to find out what's happening with Angela and Alex this time around!

30 June 2010

Book Review: Kissing Mr Wrong by Sarah Duncan

Lu Edwards is sure she is never going to find Mr Right. She knows exactly what she's looking for, but it just seems somewhat impossible to find. When she meets handsome, rich and nice man Marcus in a bar, she thinks she may have struck lucky but it turns out he's off to America, so that's another hope for Lu gone.

As well as trying to find her Mr Right, Lu is desperately trying to do something very important for her elderly grandmother - find out exactly what happened to her parents back in the war. Lu ends up meeting Nick, a man who specialises in military history, and he helps Lu find out more than she could have planned for... but with several things in his world that Lu doesn't want in hers, is she ever going to be able to find her Mr Right, or is is she destined to always  kiss Mr Wrong?
This is the second Sarah Duncan novel I have read this year. I read A Single to Rome a few months ago, and very much enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading this one too. The gorgeous summery looking cover hints at a lovely summer read inside, and the dash of red poppies is a wonderful tribute to the sub-plot about the war going on throughout the book. I was curious to see how Duncan would be able to weave a love story alongside a search for someone's family throughout the war, but it made me interested enough to give it a read, and I'm really glad I did as this book was a surprise for me by the end.

29 June 2010

Author Interview: Tilly Bagshawe

We have a great exclusive for you today... an interview with the lovely Tilly Bagshawe! I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to put some questions to Tilly after reading her latest book Scandalous which I reviewed yesterday. I've been a big fan of Tilly's books for a few years now, so it was a really exciting chance for me to get to ask her some questions I had been thinking about for a while, so here it is! My huge thanks go to Tilly for taking the time to answer my questions. Enjoy!

Q1. Can you tell us about your latest book, Scandalous?

Scandalous is a tale of love, passion, betrayal and ultimate revenge.  It begins in Cambridge, and the action sweeps from there to new York, Los Angeles and Tokyo as our heroine plots the downfall of the man who has tried to destroy her.

Q2. There's quite a bit of scandal(!) happening at Cambridge University in the beginning of this book, did you know of anything like this going on while you were there or is it complete fiction?!

The scandal itself is complete fiction...but there is plenty of backstabbing, rivalry and of course sex going on in all universities, and Cambridge was no exception.  I loved Cambridge though, so I wouldn’t want to slander it too badly!

28 June 2010

Book Review: Scandalous by Tilly Bagshawe

When Sasha manages to get into Cambridge University, she is sure that she's going to become a hugely successful physicist and really do well. Her professor, Theo Dexter, however, has totally different plans for Sasha, plans she isn't at all happy about. When it turns out that he has betrayed her in the worst way possible too, Sasha swears revenge and is determined to succeed at all costs.

Theo's wife Theresa has known about several of his affairs with students, but been willing to put up with it because she loves her husband. But when Theo's career really takes off, will the man she adores turn his back on her once and for all, or is Theresa enough for the famous Theo? And how exactly is Sasha planning to get her revenge on Theo once and for all?

I have read almost everything that Tilly Bagshawe has written, so I was really excited when I received a copy of her new novel Scandalous to review. The cover looks really great, like a perfect summer blockbuster read so I eagerly started to read it pretty quickly after it arrived. Straight away, I was hooked by the book and couldn't wait to  find out how the story was going to pan out. I was even more thrilled when I was given the chance to interview Tilly who kindly answered all of my questions, and we'll be posting this exclusive interview with Tilly tomorrow! But until then, back to the review...

21 June 2010

Book Review: Midnight Girls by Lulu Taylor

Allegra, Imogen and Romily were all happy at boarding school together until a terrible accident occurs that binds them together with a secret forever. The girls are determined to keep what they know quiet, but at what personal cost is it going to be at?

Fast forward several years, and the girl's are all living very different lives. Allegra helps her Uncle run a very exclusive club in London, with ideas to start her own clubs as well. Imogen is a trainee lawyer and enjoying the party scene in London, something she never thought she would do, and Romily is living the life of an heiress as best she knows - holidays, beautiful clothes and lots of fun. But when one of the three seems as if they may be in trouble, can they put their past secrets and lies behind them to save each other for the last time?

I read Lulu Taylor's debut novel Heiresses last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was very pleased to get a copy of Midnight Girls from the publishers for review. I adore the purple cover, I have seen it on the shelves in a few supermarkets and it certainly stands out so it has that going for it, as well as sounding like a great story. I find Taylor's books to be similar to those of Tilly Bagshawe, Jo Rees and other "bonkbuster" writers so if you like their work, then you may well enjoy a read of Midnight Girls, it'd make a great beach read.

7 June 2010

Book Review: Rock Chicks by Ronni Cooper

Behind every great musician is a great wife... or is there? Marny has been in love with her rock star boyfriend Sly since they first met, and nothing has changed now Sly has become a global superstar. Is Marny going to be able to handle the attention that her boyfriend gets, or will it push their relationship to breaking point? Coco has always dreamed of running away from her stifled life, and decides being a groupie is the best thing. She quickly attaches herself to the band and into their hearts, but what is Coco running away from? Finally, there's Lori, the band's manager. She's determined to succeed in an industry dominated by men - and she isn't afraid of it either. Will these Rock Chicks stand by their men whatever comes their way, or is the rock lifestyle too much for some?

I have been looking forward to this book for quite a while, it's had a huge lot of press about it, it's been all over the net and it's being billed as a huge summer read. However, I was a bit nervous because it is splashed with warnings of its explicit content, and it certainly wasn't one I was therefore going to take out in public and read, who knows what people might have thought lol?! Either way, when this rocked up on my doorstep in its glitzy pink bubble envelope, I was quite excited and decided to start it straight away and see what I thought.

1 June 2010

Author Interview: Martel Maxwell

Author Martel Maxwell was kind enough to let me ask her a few questions after the release of her debut novel Scandalous which was a fun read. If you enjoy books set in the world of showbiz, it might well be the book for you. I really appreciate Martel taking the time to answer my questions, and we hope you enjoy the interview!

Q1. Tell us about your new book, Scandalous.

Scandalous is a romantic comedy following half sisters Max and Lucy Summers, lifting the lid on London’s showbiz scene.

Q2. The book is set in the world of journalism - how much did you draw on your own experiences as a journalist/broadcaster when writing the book?

Not so much from broadcasting but I poured my experiences as a showbiz reporter (I used to work on The Sun’s Bizarre desk) into Scandalous. One of the best things about the reviews (like chicklitreviews) has been the feedback that’s it offers such an accurate portrayal of the showbiz scene. Piers Morgan, who started out as an entertainment reporter, said it was a ‘waspish, funny and insightful portrayal of the mad, bad world that is Planet Showbiz.’ That’s me showing off! Max is a showbiz reporter and every A-list party she crashes, the things she does for a scoop, it’s all based on the many and varied things I used to do.