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!