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 fiancĂ©e, 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.