21 April 2011

Book Review: Here Come The Girls by Milly Johnson

With their 40th birthdays approaching, Ven, Frankie, Roz and Olive all promised to do something spectacular when they were young kids, but now that doesn't seem likely. Frankie and Roz are no longer speaking after an awful row many years ago, and Ven and Olive are fed up of running as go betweens and being friends with both while avoiding getting together in a group. But when Ven wins a luxury cruise for 4 people, she decides to take along her 3 best friends in the world and sod the consequences. On board the beautiful ship, the ladies begin to relax and enjoy their holiday touring the mediterranean with their every whim catered for, and lots of glorious sunshine and fun. But will the rift between Roz and Frankie ever be healed? What is the secret that Ven is so vehemently hiding from her friends? And will Olive be able to cope with her return to the land where her long lost love resides?

Milly Johnson has quickly become one of my favourite authors, and I always really anticipate any of her new releases because I know I am going to enjoy reading it so much! When Here Come The Girls landed on my doorstep, I was desperate to devour it in one sitting but decided to take my time and enjoy the story unfolding, and I'm glad I did. At just over 500 pages, it is quite a long book but every page was worth enjoying and I found myself not wanting to put it down every evening, I just wanted to immerse myself even more in the wonderful cruising world of Ven and co for far longer!

14 April 2011

Book Review: Meet Me At The Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan

Issy was strolling along in her life, she had a secure job, a pretty okay relationship, a gorgeous flat and an even better flatmate in nurse Helena. However, Issy's life is turned upside down when she suddenly loses her job and her boyfriend in one fell swoop. She has to quickly find another job, and when the quaint little shop near her home becomes free, Issy decides she wants to become a baker just like her beloved grand-father. With the help of his recipes, her new friend and business partner Pearl and a lot of cakes, the Cupcake Cafe is open for business and Issy is loving her life. But when her slimey ex-boyfriend comes back on the scene, is it going to mean problems for Issy and her wonderful cafe?
I have tried to read some of Jenny Colgan's novels previously, but I've never been able to get into them. Mind you,this was a few years ago before I started reviewing for the site and I didn't have the perseverance I do now so I gave up far too easily if I wasn't gripped within a few pages! When a gorgeous copy of this very pink and girly book landed on my doorstep, I have to admit it did catch my eye and make me want to read it, so I was quite pleased that I was down on our schedule to review this one. The cover was originally blue but I think the pink suits it far more and I'm really pleased the publishers changed it to the more girly and cute looking pink version we see today.

12 April 2011

Book Review: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield were the closest twin sisters you can imagine, and they love each other dearly. However, something shocking has happened which has caused such a rift between the sisters that they haven't spoken for over eight months, Elizabeth has moved across the country to live in New York, miles and miles away from the home she had in Sweet Valley with her sister Jessica, who is now convinced everybody hates her, and she pretty much hates herself too. Despite a successful career in journalism, it's not enough for Elizabeth but she doesn't know how to fix everything she left behind. And with another failed marriage behind her, Jessica just wants to be happy but she can't without her sister around her. Will the Wakefield twins ever heal the rift or this is the end of Elizabeth and Jessica as we know them?

I dare so most women my age, older and younger as well, have grown up reading some form of the numerous Sweet Valley novels with the Wakefield twins, or at least seen the TV show which was on a lot throughout the 1990's. I really loved those books, I read a lot of them, probably not all but a huge portion so when I read that the author Francine Pascal was bringing the characters back, but ten years on from when we first met them, I was both curious to read it and also somewhat dreading it at the same time - would they be as good as I remembered or would it be a cringing revisit to the past that perhaps should have been left there? My copy, with its somewhat dated looking pink cover dropped through my front door, and I sat down to devour it, hoping for the best.

5 April 2011

Book Review: Dirty Tricks by Jo Carnegie

Saffron loves her life in London, so everyone is a bit surprised when she announces a surprise move to her mother's home in Churchminster, a very quiet and sleepy country suburb. Saffron is determined to finish her debut novel, and is sure that will be easier to complete away from the glitz and glamour of London. However, she doesn't count on the surprise arrival of her boyfriend's identical twin brother Rex to Churchminster, disrupting her peace and quiet, and something else too...  Saffron's best friend Harriet is still living in London, but decides to volunteer at a community centre which needs all the help it can get. Harriet struggles to befriend the manager Zac and is sure he sees her a rich girl wanting to help the poor, and wants to change his opinion as soon as she can. Have both of the girls taken on more than they can handle, or will they be able to juggle their busy lives without burning out?!
This is the fourth novel in Jo Carnegie's Churchminster series, and I have really enjoyed all of them so far. They certainly are "bonkbusters" in that they are a bit rude, there's lots of loud and brash characters but they certainly make for fun reading. The characters keep popping up in all of the books, so it's easy to get into them which is something I really like about reading a series. I have to say that when I saw the cover for this book, I was a tad disappointed as it looked a bit bland compared to the other books, in its shades of beige and certainly didn't stand out like the other covers. However, I put that to one side and decided to dive straight in back to Churchminster again!

4 April 2011

Book Review: Chances by Freya North

Vita is feeling a bit like a lost soul. She runs her gift shop That Shop by herself, despite it being co-owned by her ex-boyfriend Tim and it is the only thing that really keeps her going. Tim cheated on Vita and broke her heart, but Vita is wondering if she should give him one more chance, one more chance to love her as she deserves to be loved.  Oliver, single dad and hard-working tree surgeon is reluctant to start dating again for fear of forgetting his beloved wife DeeDee, and he doesn't want to upset his precious son Jonty. But when a pear tree in Vita's garden unites the pair, at first in hatred, both begin to wonder if they deserve more than what life has dealt them so far. Will they take a final chance to be happy or walk away once and for all?

I really used to enjoy reading Freya North's novel, but for some reason I couldn't at all get into her last few which I felt was a real shame. When I was sent a copy of Chances, I did at first dismiss it because of my track record with her last few books but luckily something made me pick it up to give it another chance, and I am really glad I did. The cover is gorgeous, its shades of pink and gold look like a real summery read, and actually suits the book quite well now I have finished it. The cover actually makes the book look quite whimsical whereas I found much deeper than I expected, and that is what was enjoyable about this book overall.