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!