Friday, 31 July 2015

Book Review - I Don't Want To Talk About It by Jane Lovering

Amazon UK
Title: I Don't Want to Talk About It
Author: Jane Lovering
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Choc Lit
Publication Date: 31st July 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars

What if the one person you wanted to talk to wouldn’t listen? 

Winter Gregory and her twin sister Daisy live oceans apart but they still have the ‘twin thing’ going on. Daisy is Winter’s port in the storm, the first person she calls when things go wrong … 

And things are wrong. Winter has travelled to a remote Yorkshire village to write her new book, and to escape her ex-boyfriend Dan Bekener. Dan never liked her reliance on Daisy and made her choose – but Winter’s twin will always be her first choice. 

She soon finds herself immersed in village life after meeting the troubled Hill family; horse-loving eight-year-old Scarlet and damaged, yet temptingly gorgeous, Alex. The distraction is welcome and, when Winter needs to talk, Daisy is always there. 

But Dan can’t stay away and remains intent on driving the sisters apart – because Dan knows something about Daisy… 

I sort of wish I had started to write this review before I had finished this book, purely because after something has been revealed towards the end, it is making me not be sure of the exact words or what to say about things leading up to that point. I had a weird suspicion about something throughout the book, and I was in this instance correct about it, but even if you do make a similar prediction, I don't think it will detract from your enjoyment of this book. 

This is another incredibly well thought out and written book by Jane Lovering, who has a tendency to focus on tricky emotional issues, in this case grief and also Alex suffers from a stammer. These issues are dealt, with in just the right way. You are aware of them and they seem very realistic, but not over exaggerated as can happen in books. 

Winter has moved to a small Yorkshire village, to continue writing her new book about graveyards the the people that are buried in them, and their stories. She soon meets Scarlet, a horse mad eight year old, who along with her uncle Alex and his mother, seem to be getting under Winter's skin, despite her obviously preferring to be left alone to write. 

Winter has also recently broken up with her boyfriend Dan, who also happens to be her editor. Through a series of Facebook messages, tweets and emails, you get to see Dan's thoughts about Winter, as well his correspondence to other people, mainly on the subject of Winter. 

Winter has a very close relationship with her twin sister Daisy as you may expect. Despite Daisy working in Australia, she and Winter speak very regularly, with Daisy offering various pieces of advice to Winter. 

I found this book to be a sweet romance, as well as it having some lovely friendships. I thought I Don't Want to Talk About It was an interesting and tender piece of  writing, that was enjoyable to read. 

Thank you so much to Choc Lit and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Happy Publication Day to Jane Lovering. I Don't Want to Talk About It is out today. 

Book Review - A Daughter's Secret by Eleanor Moran

Amazon UK
Title: A Daughter's Secret
Author: Eleanor Moran
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 30th July 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

Mia is a high-flying child psychotherapist, hoping to be made partner in the thriving practice where she works. But then she takes on a case which will change her life for ever, and bring back the past she has done her best to bury. 

Thirteen year old Gemma was the last person to see her father before he went on the run, fleeing from a major criminal trial. The police are desperate to track him down, pressuring Mia to tease the information out of his angry and reluctant daughter. But what does Gemma really know and how hard can Mia push without betraying her?

Both are hiding devastating secrets. Both need the other to survive. Will they learn to trust each other before it's too late?

There seemed to be almost three stories going on simultaneously in this book. Mia's present day with her current romantic involvements, Mia's past going from childhood until late teens, shown to us in small segments, explaining her troubled relationship with her own father, and then Gemma, Mia's latest 13 year old patient. 

Gemma, is potentially the key witness in a criminal case, where she is the last person to have seen her father before he disappeared. In her therapy sessions with Mia, we see one confused and angry child, who may or may not know the truth. 

Mia in her dealings with Gemma, has to confront her own past issues, and it soon becomes apparent that the professional boundaries between Mia and Gemma are conflicted, and possibly crossed. It seems as though they bond on an emotional level that I'm not sure I fully understood, and were using their sessions as a crutch almost. 

The insights into Mia's own childhood were fascinating, and made me feel very sorry for her, especially with her relationships to Lorcan and Jim. 

It is the present day current up to date Mia's story that I also really enjoyed, as she tries to make a go of things with her current boyfriend, but not everything happens as it should. 

I found A Daughter's Secret to be an interesting story,  but at times I felt slightly confused by it all. I think the premise of the book was amazing and carried it quite well, and the whole way through my main thoughts was what does Gemma really know, and will she tell anyone. 

The book is leading up to an emotional finale, one that I definitely wouldn't have been able to predict, occurring as it did.  I really enjoyed A Daughter's Secret, and think it is definitely worth a read.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this review copy. This was my honest review. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Book Review - I Knew You Were Trouble by Paige Toon

Amazon UK
Title: I Knew You Were Trouble - Jessie Jefferson Book 2
Author: Paige Toon
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Publication Date: 30th July 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Life as the undercover daughter of a rock god isn't going to be easy. How will Jessie adjust to her old boring life again after spending her summer living it up with her dad in LA? With tough decisions ahead (and not just choosing between two hot boys), can she cope juggling her two very different lives? 

Summer may be over, but Jessie's story is just beginning…

I have been desperately wanting to get my hands on a copy of this book, from the second I finished The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson and it was definitely worth the wait. In fact my only complaint about this book is that I read it far too fast as I was so absorbed by it, and I fear I will have an even longer wait for book 3 in this fabulous series. 

Those of you who read my reviews regularly may have noticed I may be a bit of a Paige Toon fangirl, and having read this my opinions of her have gone up even higher. 

I Knew You Were Trouble deals with when Jessie returns to England, and having to go back to school, while knowing she is the daughter of Johnny Jefferson, but trying to act normal, It isn't before long that the press get wind of who she is, and then Jessie's life changes for ever. 

We see a lot of Jessie's friendships both with her school friends and new boyfriend Tom, but also the crowd she was hanging around with in Los Angeles last time around. The budding relationship with Tom, is very sweet, and it is clear he really cares about her. It is also good to see Jessie is making new friends at school and that an older friendship is starting to strengthen again. 

Although this can be read as a stand alone, I am so glad I had read the first one, as I find with series, the more you read, the better you get to know and love the characters. 

This is definitely true of Meg and Johnny. They are adjusting as well to having a new 15 year old daughter in their lives, and there are some lovely scenes between Johnny and Jessie. It is clear that he really loves her and is trying his hardest to be a father figure, and relations between Jessie and Meg seem a lot friendlier this time around. 

One of the things I love about this book is that it gives real insight into the crazy life of a teenager of famous parents, although the media frenzy surrounding Jessie was always going to be insane, since she is the "long lost daughter".  I think young adults especially that read this, that may be celebrity mad, will stop and think twice if instant celebrity is really what they want, after reading this book, as all Jessie really wants is a normal life, without bodyguards following her everywhere. She starts longing for the very things that the majority of people take for granted - privacy, anonymity, and to be able to decide which boy shes actually in love with!

I Knew You Were Trouble is a fabulous continuation of Jessie Jefferson's story. It is witty, upbeat and entertaining and just perfect to read over the summer holidays. And don't worry about it being a young adult title, older adults will enjoy this too, or at least I know I did. I loved every single second of this book, and read it in a matter of hours, as I couldn't bring myself to put it down. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Childrens for this review copy. This was my honest review. 

I Knew You Were Trouble is published today. Happy Publication day Paige. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Release Day Blitz - Up To I Do by Samantha March

Emerson Sinclair, twenty-seven year old hotel heiress, has said yes. With just over a year to plan her extravagant, over the top nuptials to Logan Worthington, it’s all hands on deck with the wedding plans. A Sinclair marrying into the Worthington family is the talk of their small New Hampshire town, and ideas include filming the wedding for a TV segment. But as the items get checked off the list, plans start to go ... not as planned. From not getting a designer dress to a selfish bridesmaid and unaccountable best man, Emerson is afraid her wedding will be more a joke than anything. 
When both her mother and sister seemingly begin to lose interest in her wedding plans in favor of their own personal lives, Emerson fears her big day will turn into the forgotten wedding. With the pressure to pull off a beautiful and elegant event that everyone expects from their respectable families, Emerson starts to forget the reason why she is saying I Do in the first place.

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About Samantha March

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all-around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up-to-date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and beauty related. In 2011, she launched her independent publishing company, Marching Ink, and has four published novels—Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, and Up To I Do. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.

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Book Review - Pleasure Island by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Amazon UK
Title: Pleasure Island
Author: Anna-Lou Weatherley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookoutre
Publication Date: 31st July 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Secrets. Scandal. Betrayal. In Paradise, pleasure comes at a dangerously high price…

Three couples each receive an exclusive invitation to the fantasy holiday destination of a lifetime… 

The host: Martin McKenzie, global billionaire and media mogul. Charismatic, powerful and always gets what he wants. 

The location: A breathtakingly beautiful undiscovered island, nestled in the Aegean Sea. Private, secluded and not quite as it seems. 

The details: Seven days of pure hedonism, five-star luxury tailored to every desire, also includes… secrets, lies, and infidelity. 

As the guests begin to enjoy everything the luxury island has to offer, cracks begin to surface between the three couples. But that is not all. Someone is watching them. When they discover the truth – it will be explosive in more ways than they can ever imagine. 

A jaw-dropping, absorbing and spectacular blockbuster of a novel. THE beach read of the summer you won’t want to be without. 

From the second I saw this book announced, complete with its absolutely gorgeous cover, and interesting sounding blurb, I knew I wanted to read this. The second I could get hold of a review copy I did, and I am delighted that I did, as this is easily one of the best books I have read this year. 

Within minutes of starting to read the prologue I was utterly hooked. I wanted to know why the people were doing what they were doing, and far more details about the situation. I had a feeling I may be reading something special, and the rest of the book did not disappoint. 

The main action gets fully going at around 15% into the book, and what happens there got my adrenalin pumping, and into a state where this book was clearly going to be a page turner. 

In the bit before that we are introduced to the three couples that have been invited to the exclusive Pleasure Island, and the reactions to receiving the invitation. However none of them could ultimately resist a trip to an exclusive exotic island where there every need is going to be catered for free of charge. 

The descriptions of Pleasure Island, conjure up a beautiful place, that is untouched by commercial tourism, and is the ideal location for  a spot of rest and relaxation. There is all manner of sports facilities, a spa, pools, beach and fabulous weather. What more can you really want. 

However not everything on this trip is as it seems, and before long a few of the guests, start getting curious as to why they were there, and a general feeling of paranoia.

Interspersed with chapters on the island, we get sections based on the host of this trip's point of view, as to what he and his friends are observing, and doing, as well as the occasional chapters on other view points, one that you wouldn't have seen coming initially. 

I am of course being deliberately vague as to the entire contents of this book, as I feel I can't reveal one thing, without possibly giving away a hint as to something else that happens. It is a fast paced, engaging read, by an exceptionally talented author. 

My best way of describing this, and how I was thinking as I was reading the start of the book is, that Pleasure Island reads like a cross between Tasmina Perry and Victoria Fox. If you are fans of either of those authors then you should definitely read this book. 

Pleasure Island is a book full of secrets and revelations. It is an island for every hedonistic need, and there is sex, drugs, a rock and roller, scandal, revenge, betrayal, life changing events and then if all that was not enough a finale that was mind blowing.  Although some things had been revealed to the reader over the course of the books, there were still things left that left me shocked, amazed and generally incredibly impressed with how well this whole story comes together. 

Ultimately Pleasure Island is a spectacular and intriguing story that is perfect summer reading. My only regret about reading this book was that I didn't save it for my own holiday to savour while lounging by the pool, in a destination that wouldn't have been quite my own Pleasure Island!

Thank you so much to Bookoutre and Netgalley for allowing me to review this fabulous book. This was all my own honest opinion. 

Pleasure Island is out on Friday in ebook. Pre-order now while it is at a bargain price!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Book Review - The Piano Man Project by Kat French

Amazon UK
Title: The Piano Man Project
Author: Kat French
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 30th July 2015 
Rating: 5 Stars

Finding love isn’t always black and white…

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

This Piano Man Project had me hooked right from the start and showed no signs of letting up its grip on me. I was thinking about it during the day at work, and was lucky not to mess up my commute as I was so involved with the story. 

Honeysuckle Jones (known as Honey), is just as sweet as her name suggests. She works in a charity shop that is attached to an old age care home, and manages to humour her best friends Nell and Tash when they discover something slightly shocking about Honey. 

Their response to this discovery, is that they reckon she needs a man who is good with his hands, and so attempt to set her up with some pianists. 

In the mean time Honey also has a new neighbour, Hal. Hal is pretty much the complete opposite of your typical book boyfriend, but yet there was something about him that gets not under just Honey's skin, but mine too.  He alternates between being drunk and anti-social, to a great listener, to quite gruff, to small moments of such tenderness. There is of course a reason for the way he is, but I don't want to say what it is. 

Honey ends up somehow juggling the multiple balls that are the various parts of her life, with some skill. She becomes involved in the fight to save her job, and the homes of the residents of her care home, and also of her two best helpers in the charity shop, Mimi and Lucille. Mimi and Lucille and a few other residents play huge parts in this book, and they are wonderful characters.

You can positively feel the sexual tension between Hal and Honey, and some of their scenes together are just superb.  In fact there is assorted emotion packed all over this book, there is some comedy, and there are also sections where I was welling up with tears in happiness mainly. 

The blind dates with pianists are all hilarious, and I especially loved Robin's date, and Robin's character generally. 

I have now read both books by Kat French and loved them both so much, that I am really looking forward to seeing what she can come up with next. 

The  Piano Man Project is a fabulous book, full of heart, uplifting moments, a brilliant cast of characters, sexual chemistry and was a book I found very hard to put down. So everything I am looking for in a book and a bit more too!

Thank you so much to Avon and Netgalley for this review copy of The Piano Man Project. This was my honest opinion. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Book Review - Home Comforts by Ali Chrisp

Amazon UK
Title: Home Comforts
Author: Ali Chrisp
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied review copy
Publisher: Corazon Books
Publication Date: 24th May 2015
Rating: 3.5 Stars

A laugh-out-loud comedy about families, friendship and romance. The perfect feel-good summer holiday read. 

Jo Longford's life takes an unexpected turn when her bosses wrongly accuse her of stealing from a client. Suddenly, she needs to find a new job and a new home for herself and ten-year-old son, Tom. Not to mention their small menagerie of badly behaved pets. 

Her selfish mum isn't much help; obsessed with keeping up appearances, nothing her daughter does is ever good enough for her. But at least Jo can rely on best friend Val for support. They've been getting themselves into mischief since they were teenagers, and that includes an eventful school reunion and joining a cringeworthy dating agency. Some things never change! 

Life certainly doesn’t get any easier for Jo. Will she be able to fend off her sex-mad landlord – a retired businessman who struts around in Lycra and thinks he’s God’s gift to women? Are her new employer and quirky clients at the Handy Jobs Domiciliary Care Agency all they seem? 

And will Jo ever be able to sort out her chaotic love life when two equally unsuitable men gatecrash her world? 

I really am in two minds about this book. The first half or more of it, I found to drag quite a bit, the scenes that were clearly meant to be funny, I just wasn't laughing at, and I was finding the writing style to be a bit simplistic in places. However as the book progressed I was finding myself enjoying it a lot more and the last fifth I didn't want to put down. 

Home Comforts is clearly a good debut novel, it certainly has moments that shine, and the cast of characters were highly amusing, I just felt it was missing that spark, that would have turned it from a good book into a fabulous book. I'm not even convinced there is anything wrong at all with it, it just didn't hit all the right notes with me. 

 I did enjoy reading about Jo's attempt to turn the bad situation of being accused of stealing and losing her job, around to end up with starting her own business, Home Comforts. As a single mother, trying to look after Tom, enjoy nights out with her best friend, attract the attention of the first man she has fancied for years (despite not being sure if he plays for the right team!), and the possible reintroduction of an ex, it is a topsy turvy time for Jo, and she endures is brilliantly. 

Tom is a wonderful young man, wise beyond his 10 years, and a real asset to his mother Jo, although I was a bit surprised the issue of who is father was, didn't come up. Doreen Jo's mother was hard to like, possibly due to a lot of her old fashioned views. Jo's best friend Val is a tonic, as is Jo's new landlord, who is a complete "character" and very entertaining. 

There are a lot of funny scenes, but I found them slightly lacking, or at least they weren't making me giggle. Home Comforts has a lot of positive points to it, and it does have a lovely finale.

Thank you so much to Ian at Corazon Books for offering me this review copy. All opinions in this review are my own and honest. 

In case you missed it, a month ago, Ali Chrisp the author of Home Comforts wrote a lovely guest post for us called "It's Like Riding A Bike". Make sure to check it out. 

Book Review - Drive Me Crazy by Portia MacIntosh

Amazon UK
Title: Drive Me Crazy
Author: Portia MacIntosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 24th June 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime...
In reality it was a business trip, prettied up as a romantic mini break, but the man behind the wheel was meant to be Candice Hart’s boss and (married but separated, I swear!) lover. Not Danny the new guy!

Not only is Candice faced with a new driver, but the office’s far too handsome hipster expects her to share the cramped space inside his “fully” restored VW Beetle, aka The Love Bug, and put up with his constant opinions about her life…

Before long she is tired of playing the ‘good girl’ and, with Danny’s help, is determined to finally show the world the real Candice Hart!

Candice has been having an affair with her married boss, Will. He has promised her a week long road trip (masquerading as a business trip), to sort out exactly what is happening between them. Will also seems to have a bit of a controlling streak and has slowly transformed Candice's personality into how he thinks a girl should act. 

However the night before they are due to leave on their trip, Will pulls out but tells her to take someone else from work. Just to annoy him, she picks Danny, the new guy. This is the IT geek, who on his first day in this new job, asked Candice out on a date! She finds Danny oddly irritating but knows it will drive Will crazy!

And so Danny and Candice travel around the UK, in his car "The Love Bug" a marginally more modern version of "Herbie, the love bug". Danny has one aim for the week, and this is to break Candice's "Stepford wife" persona and to find true girl within her.

I loved every second of the road trip, it is full of laughs, embarrassing situations, dubious decisions, a small bit of food poisoning. Watching Candice slowly unravel into a much more rounded person is fantastic to see, but its Danny that really captured my heart and imagination. He is a cheeky Geordie chap, clearly a geek but with a body to die for. He was definitely a very enjoyable book boyfriend to make the acquaintance of. 

Drive Me Crazy, I read on a Sunday afternoon thankfully, as I didn't want to put the book down at all. It was so enjoyable and was a pleasure to read. I can't believe this is the first book I have read of Portia's and makes me know I really should read at least the other that is lurking on my kindle!

Drive Me Crazy is a brilliantly fun story, that is incredibly entertaining, and highly enjoyable. 

Thanks so much to Netgalley and Carina and Portia MacIntosh for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Book Review - Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover

Amazon UK
Title: Cocktails at Le Carmen
Author: Isabelle Andover
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Fig
Publication Date: 19th June 2015
Rating: 3 Stars

 When job cuts at Chloe Saddler's London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family's social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris. 

I had really been looking forward to reading this book, and I'm sorry to say I was ultimately disappointed. IT is a serviceable chick lit book, but I found it didn't really have any distinguishing features, and I fear it will be instantly forgettable. 

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy reading the book, and there are some lovely moments, but overall I found it just left me flat, and glad that it was finished. 

The most entertaining sections were the interactions between Chloe and her sister, who is the ultimate bride-zilla and thinks everything is about her. There are lots of amusing incidents that are mentioned in the blurb, which I did enjoy, but the rest of the book I just felt dragged a bit. 

I found Cocktails at Le Carmen to be a decent debut by Isabelle Andover, slightly slow to read, with some amusing segments in amongst the rest of the story that felt marginally repetitive. 

Thank you to Simon & Fig and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest review. 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Book Review - Sparkling Stilettos by Jess Wright

Amazon UK
Title: Sparkling Stilettos
Author: Jess Wright
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publication Date: 23rd July 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

Book one in the A Sparkling Novel series

Chasing dreams can be tough, even when you run as fast as your bespoke stilettos will take you…

As Megan Winter’s wedding day approaches, her heart flutters with excitement. Dylan Dunkin-Buckshaw is a great catch. Handsome in a sharp, confident kind of way, he's everything she’s ever wanted in a man and a husband. A match made in heaven—right?

With a fledgling shoe design business that’s set to take off, Megan decides to take control of her life and strut her stuff. With the help of loyal friends and a handsome stranger she begins to turn heads and get noticed. She’s hitched her wagon to the stars and she’s planning on enjoying the ride, wearing her best stilettos whilst she does it!

But will she reach those glittering stars? Is there something lurking in the shadows to hold her back? Under all the excitement and sparkle of her new found adventures there seems to be an ominous presence trying to take the shine from her happiness.

Sparkling Stilettos is the debut book from TOWIE actress Jess Wright. I found it a fun and frothy read, that does have a more sinister side to it. 

Megan is an upcoming shoe designer who dreams of making it into the big time. As we meet her she its her wedding day to Dylan Dunkin-Buckshaw, and you can tell she isn't completely convinced about marrying him, despite on paper him being everything she ever wanted in a man.  Ultimately she makes the brave decisions and jilts him last minute. 

She decides to focus her energies on the shoe business and thanks to her fab friends is soon feeling more like her old self, and of course there is a new "Hot Guy" on the scene to make things more interesting. 

Despite not being the biggest fan of high heeled shoes, I was loving the descriptions of the shoes Megan makes, and think if I ever had the need to wear a pair of incredibly high stilettos then Megan's shoes are the ones I would be wanting to wear. Her career is just starting to take off, and then something happens...

Sparkling Stilettos is book one in a series, but what really annoyed me was the ending. It wasn't even remotely concluding any loose ends, and although it didn't say "to be continued" you are left in no doubt that the next book is bound to be a continuation. I really hate books that you enjoy the whole way through, and then realise to get any sort of closure on the story and characters, you have to buy the next book.

I found Sparkling Stilettos to be a very light read, there is some depth to it with the story of the jilting and what Dylan does next, but Megan and her friends are rather shallow, but nice people, full of pep. If you are wanting to read something very simple, and enjoyable, and don't mind being frustrated by the end of a book, then this is a fabulous book. Don't go into this expecting a work of literary genius, but for some poolside reading in a hot country, where your brain is being fried, this is brilliant. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Book Revievw - Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Amazon UK
Title: Royal Wedding
Author: Meg Cabot
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

From Meg Cabot, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first New Adult instalment, featuring the now grown-up Princess Mia!

Royal Wedding follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding - but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community centre, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements, Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone - especially herself - that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

I feel I should start by saying this is the first of the Princess Diaries books that I have read. I have watched many times both the first and second films, but never had a chance to read the books of the series before. As a result, I found the first 15-20% very confusing as I was picking up a story from a different angle to most people, and there were many characters that I didn't recognise at all, but there wasn't a handy recap to them either.

 I suspect as someone new to the series/franchise this is definitely readable as a standalone, it definitely works as a sequel, but if like me you have only seen the films, it will take some time to get into the rhythm of the book. 

However once I got into the swing of the book, I was able to put aside the confusion and enjoy Royal Wedding for what it is, a very entertaining addition to this much loved series. And once I relaxed into the story, and stopped over thinking everything, I found I didn't want to put it down, and was very keen to read all of it to find out what happens. This is especially true once some of the most hidden secrets of the Renaldi family come out. 

I love a story that has many revelations throughout the book, some were considerably more shocking than others, but Mia deals with each and every one as a young princess should. Or at least how a young person who feels passionately about something may react.. action first, think it through fully later. 

There is a new young character who becomes featured in the book who is wise beyond her years, and an absolute delight, although the cynical side of me does wonder if she has been introduced purely so that Meg Cabot can create a new spin off series (not that I could blame her if that is the master plan!)

One of my favourite bits was the setting where Michael proposes to Mia, such a romantic location, one that if my future fiancee happens to be reading this, I would love replicated! Michael is such a sweetheart and I think he really is the perfect future Prince of Genovia. 

I was marginally disappointed that almost all of the book was set in New York, and not Genovia itself, as I had been really looking forward to reading descriptions of the country I only know from the films. 

Royal Wedding is a glorious read, and if you are a fan of the series, I don;t think you will be disappointed. If you are new, then take it as a standalone, very enjoyable and funny story about young love and the challenges facing a young 21st Century princess. 

Thank you so much Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. This was my honest review. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Promo Post - I Wish For You by Camilla Isley

Happy Publication day to Camilla Isley. I Wish For You is out now, in ebook, and I wish you all the best with your debut novel. 

If all your wishes could suddenly come true, what would you do?

A year ago when the love of her life dumped her for no apparent reason, Ally thought she had hit rock bottom. But now that she has seen him with another woman, and one she knows only too well, her life seems to have reached a whole new level of low.

Yet, when she stumbles across an ancient object infused with magical powers and a stranger with a dark past appears out of nowhere promising to grant all her wishes, she finds herself hoping again.

Suddenly Ally’s life is turned upside down; she has a mystery to solve, a rival to beat, a millenarian curse to break, and well, she wants to have some fun playing with her new “gifts”…

But can she wish her way to happily ever after?

If the blurb has interested you, then click on the banner below for a PDF excerpt of the first 3 chapters of the book, absolutely free!

Author self-presentation:
Hi! I’m a writer of romantic comedy, cat’s lover, coffee addict, and shoes hoarder.
Besides writing, I love reading (surprise, surprise), cooking—and eating—especially pasta, going to the movies and obviously ordering a gigantic bowl of popcorn, and watching too much TV.
I understand that mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem as a part of other animals’ diet, and I don’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but I could really live without them.

Author bio:
Camilla was born in 1984. She’s an engineer that has always had a vivid imagination and a more creative approach to life. After working in a corporate job for some years, she left everything to follow her husband around the world in a new adventure. Upon finding herself with loads of free time for the first time in a long while, she decided to begin pouring some of her fantasies into words…

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