Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The L.A Commandments by Gillian Duffy


Plot
Joanne Kavanagh and best friend Suzie pack their bags and swap dreary, depressing Dublin for the cool Californian coast. Both are determined to start a new life in the land of opportunity, leaving behind the recession and their complicated families.
They make a pact at the airport to stick religiously to the ‘LA Commandments’, a list of ten ‘Thou Shalt Nots’ for their new life in LA, including ‘Thou Shall Not Fall in Love,’ but when Jo befriends sexy, shy musician Marc, and Suzie falls for womanizing bar-man Chris, not only are the commandments at risk of being broken, but also the girls’ hearts…
With all California has to offer —sunshine, shopping, killer nightlife, and drop-dead-gorgeous men, will the girls stay faithful to the LA Commandments?

My Opinion
I have just finished reading Gillian Duffy’s first novel The LA Commandments and there is only one word I can use to describe this book and that is perfect!

Duffy really brings each of the characters personalities out in this novel which makes the characters feel real and familiar. I cannot imagine any reader not liking our main character Jo, she is full of life and is such a lovely down to earth character. Jo and Suzie are best friends and we can see how much they care for each other which was lovely to read as usually best friends in books are having arguments every other chapter!

The way Duffy describes Jo’s feelings and the surroundings in California it is clear that she has done her research well I wouldn’t be surprised if Gillian Duffy has spent some time in California as the descriptive writing that she uses feels all too real. Duffy also manages to bring some of her Irish charm into the book through her characters.

This book really does have everything you could ask for in a must read descriptive writing, enjoyable storyline, a great mix of loveable characters but one thing I wasn’t expecting was for Gillian Duffy to bring a tear to my eye! There was a part of the book which I didn’t see coming that brought a tear to my eye I wish I could tell you more about this but I do not want to give anything away as I think this part made the book just that extra bit special.

This is definatly one of those reads that you never want to come to an end but the way that Duffy does end this book is stunning.

After reading The L.A Commandments all I can say is you need to pick up a copy and I for one will defiantly be keeping a look out for the next Gillian Duffy novel.






Monday, 29 August 2011

Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells

I have just finished Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells on my kindle. I love the look of the cover of this book and I think it is the ideal cover for this book.


Plot
Slapper, Slut, Adulteress. This is hardly the words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself. Yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet. Aged nineteen, she travelled halfway across the country to honour an invitation by her favourite rock band, Tusk, to join them for the last gig of their tour. And now her past is coming to tempt her... how could Tim ever stand a chance against Dan, the charming, handsome lead singer?
Sophie now twenty-eight and a budding newspaper journalist, is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years. Until recently, she was confident that Tim would eventually propose- probably as soon as he could get his act together. But just as Tim’s persistent inaction is beginning to a cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan’s sudden reappearance turn’s Sophie’s world upside down. Thus unfolds a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their rival tour- at Dan’s special request and very much against her will.
And then one fine day in Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiancĂ© Tim is ... well, doing whatever it is Tim does back in London. What is she to do now? Who wouldn’t give anything to meet their favourite star, let alone marry him?
Find out how Sophie gets into this impossible situation, and how she turns it around in Sophie’s Turn.

My Opinion
When I first started to read this on my kindle I was a little apprehensive as when we meet Sophie at the beginning of this book we don’t really know anything about her other than she is a cheat. I am not a fan of people who have affairs and I can never take to characters in stories who are having affairs. I am glad we persevered with this novel though as when we read on and get to know more about Sophie’s character I can see why it happened and I actually felt sorry for her as she seemed trapped and confused about what she really wants.


The novel flows at a comfortable pace without having any dull or low points where you usually feel like skimming the pages. I love the way this novel finishes it is not predictable and doesn’t finish like normal chick lit books which I think gives this novel an edge on similar books.


I found the storyline felt very realistic and the characters are developed so well we feel as if we really know each character.


I had to contact the author as I was a little spooked at one point in the book as something that happens to Sophie happened to me which was very strange to read and made the book feel more realistic to me.


I would defiantly recommend this book. I feel as though Nicky has a style of writing which makes it easy to read and also using more realistic scenarios which makes the books easier to relate to and enjoy. I found there were also some lovely humorous touches in this novel which were not predictable.


Thank you to Nicky Wells for sending me Sophie’s Turn to read. Nicky has also agreed to a book giveaway so if this book sounds like your kind of read keep an eye out for further information


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank and author Interview



Plot

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.


Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbour Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.


Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.



My Opinion
I have just finished Twenty Eight and A Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank. This is not the usual kind of book I would pick up but when the book was offered to me to review there was something that intrigued me about the storyline mainly to do with our main character Rose who has visions which has always been of interest to me. The book gets off to a great start and a fast pace with the first line of the book “It all started when I saw myself dead” .I think this line is going to stick in my mind for a long time as I have never read any kind of book which starts in this way and it certainly had me gripped.

Our main character in this book is Rose who I took an instant like to. She seems quirky and innocent in her ways which I think is mainly due to the sheltered life she has lived. I loved the fact that I found her funny without her even trying which only made her character more likeable. There seemed to be so much in life she had missed out on which only left me rooting for her to tackle all the things she wants to do in life.

I also really enjoyed the character of the next door neighbour Joe. We know he is keeping secrets which only make his character more mysterious and intriguing. Even though I couldn’t work out if he was a good guy or a bad guy I still found his character so likeable. I enjoyed the relationship between the two characters.

The storyline to this book is so intense there is just something happening all the time which meant I couldn’t put it down as I needed to know what was going to happen next. What I enjoyed most about this book was the suspense factor. I kept chopping and changing my mind with what I thought was going to happen and all in all I was wrong! Just as I thought the story was starting to wrap up something else would happen so to say I was then on the edge of my seat is a slight understatement!

There is such a mix to this book so there is definitely something for everyone in this book. Action, romance, suspense and even a splash of humour. I truly think this book would make for a great film.
I would recommend this book and I will also be keeping my eyes open for more work by Denise Grover Swank

Denise has been kind enough to come over and have an interview with us too hope you all enjoy....!!

What gave you the inspiration for Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes?
I took my son to the DMV to get license plates for his new car and told him it would be awesome to have a character work at a DMV. He rolled his eyes and gave me his "mom's talking weird" again look. I knew I wanted the book to be lighter and more fun than the book I had just finished and somehow out of that Rose was born. I usually have to let a character roll around in my head for a bit to get to know them, but Rose was born fully developed a raring to go.

I came up with a blurb for the book three days later and wrote the first chapter the next day.

Are you planning on a sequel to Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes and if so can you tell us a little bit about your plans for it?
Yes! I have three semi-plotted books in the Rose Gardner Mystery series. Each book will have a mystery but will also focus on Rose's continued growth as she adjusts to her new life and deals with her long distance relationship with Joe. And Violet will be just as involved.

You are bringing up 5 of your beautiful children do you find it hard to find time to sit down and write?
Yes, but the key is headphones and a laptop. I'm working on this interview in a dance studio waiting room while my younger children hide behind benches. I've written at play rehearsals, doctor's offices, Starbucks, motel rooms, the front seat of cars. And countless other places. If I have free time, I pull out my laptop.
And I also write a lot at night. I say I never thought I'd have a night job, but the majority of my writing takes place between 9 p.m. and 2-3 a.m. It's a good thing I'm a night owl and I can live several nights in a row on 4-6 hours sleep.

You self published Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes, what advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of going down the self publish route?
First, make sure you've had writers thoroughly critique your work. I have three-four for each manuscript and then I have beta readers. They're looking for plot holes, inconsistencies, etc. THEN I have a professional copy editor read through it. You may only have one chance to make an impression on a reader. You want them to read your book and hopefully be looking for your other work.

What was the last book you read?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Beautiful book, full of fascinating characters. And the movie was well done, too.


If you were stuck on a desert Island what would be the 3 things you would have with you?
I'm hoping I don't have to chose between my kids. ;) I'm guessing no electricity since it's a deserted island. (Bye bye laptop and headphones!) I'm in big trouble because I'm an electronically dependent woman. I can't go more than a few days without writing so I would want the thickest notebook I could get my hands on and pen. (there's two) And I'd want a book, because I can't go long without reading either. Just don't make it War and Peace. Please. :)

Thankyou to Denise for taking the time to answer our questions and also Denise and Chick lit Plus for giving me the opportunity to read this thrilling book.


Grab yourself a copy over at Amazon  on the link below

Sunday, 21 August 2011

We have an award!!!


We have been given the Liebster Blog Award !! 

Thankyou to Sharon over at http://shazjera.blogspot.com for giving us the award.

Information about the Liebster Award

1.  Rumor has it that someone in Germany, possibly someone named Liebster, created an award for new bloggers to show appreciation and thanks for their blog.
3.  Liebster means “beloved” in German and Spanish.
2.  You can only receive the award from another blogger, who has also received the award. 
3.  Awards are to be passed forward to other bloggers, 3-5 blog sites, with followers of 300 or less.
4.  Once you give the award to a fellow blogger, you are to contact the blogger and let them know.
5.  Copy and paste the award on your blog.






Friday, 19 August 2011

What You Don't Know by Lizzie Enfield



What You Don’t Know is Lizzie Enfield debut novel. The cover gives a kind of cosy feel but doesn’t give anything of the story away. When I read the synopsis I couldn’t wait to get started as it seemed so different to your normal romantic fiction with the love interest being a plain,balding man! Not the usual hunk we are used to!

Plot
You’ve been together for fifteen years. You’ve got two gorgeous kids and a great career. All the boxes are ticked. You wouldn’t be tempted by a plain, slightly balding man called Graham.... Would You?

When Graham Parks walks into Helen Collins’ life, the last thing she expects is to fall for him.
He’s nothing like her handsome, successful husband, Alex.
But fifteen years is a long time and Helen can’t help wondering what it would be like to sleep with someone else. Has Alex secretly been thinking the same thing? As harmless flirtation develops into something far more complicated, Helen’s perfect world begins to look shaky.

My Opinion
The book gets off to a comfortable start throwing us straight in to the storyline without a gradual build up. I thought we were going to meet the “balding man” half way through the book so I was pleasantly surprised how early on in the book we meet him.  We meet our main character Helen when as her seemingly honeymoon period of marriage is wearing off. Having had children and returning to work part time and with husband Alex working away a lot it seems like she feels things could be greener on the other side.

Lizzie writes with pure emotion which shows through in Helen’s character. It did take me a long time to connect with Helens character as at first in the book it felt as if she was determined to have an affair but as the book progresses it becomes clear that through life’s stresses and strains which have an impact on her marriage she seems to have lost herself, and starts to question her husband’s intentions.

It was hard to see what attracted Helen to Graham, putting his looks aside I think it was just the fact that he had time to sit and listen to her and make her feel appreciated. I think it helped that Grahams character came across as a little bit vulnerable.

This is not a light-hearted, humorous read which is what I was expecting it to be. This book is full with pure emotion and shows the difficulties some people face after years of marriage. It will defiantly get your mind working.

I think what really came through for me was actually how realistic the storyline is, it defiantly had me thinking people are actually going through these emotions on a day to day basis.

An ideal read for anyone looking for a more indepth storyline, which is realistic and packed with emotion.





Thursday, 18 August 2011

Author Interviews - Miranda Dickinson


I am a huge Miranda Dickinson fan. I loved both of her previous novels Fairytale of New York and Welcome to my World. Miranda now has a new novel which is due out 10th November and we have now got the official cover to gaze at until it is released!

I love the new cover for It Started With A Kiss it has got a bright and fresh feel to it but yet it still manages to keep the Miranda Dickinson signature look. I for one am very excited and cannot wait for this novel to be released just in time for Christmas!

We have got a special treat today. Miranda has agreed to come over and chat to us about her new novel. So let’s all give a warm welcome to Miranda Dickinson......



It Started with a Kiss is your 3rd novel can you tell us a little bit about it?

It Started With a Kiss is a story about following your heart. Shortly after disastrously declaring her love for her best friend Charlie, Romily Parker has a brief encounter with a handsome stranger when he comes to her aid. He kisses her and then has to leave - before Romily can ask for his name or number. But their meeting was so amazing that Romily decides to spend the next year (until Christmas Eve) searching for him again. Romily is a wedding singer in The Pinstripes wedding band with her friends, so the search goes through a year of them playing at other people's weddings - good and bad!

Your heroine in It Started with a Kiss is Romily, can you describe her to us in 6 words?

Positive,
Creative,
Fun,
Heart-chaser,
Brave,
Loyal.

What inspired you to write It Started With a Kiss?

Like Romily, I sing with a wedding band and I love the unique view of weddings that it gives us. When you work at a wedding you get to be a real 'fly-on-the-wall' - you can see family feuds, rivalries, desperate pulling attempts and embarrassing relatives, but also are privileged to see really touching, beautiful moments in other people's special days. I wanted to write about this and thought it would give an excellent backdrop for Romily's search to find the stranger who kissed her.

The idea of the quest came about when I was talking with my friend Kim about 'what-if' moments - where you wonder what would have happened if you had pursued them. When I spoke to more of my friends it turned out that almost everyone had a 'what-if' story - like my friend who saw a girl he really liked on the tube in London and posted a message on twitter in the hope that she might see it. It's all about believing that anything is possible and having the guts to go for it!

The location for Romily's chance meeting with her handsome stranger is Birmingham's famous German Christmas Market, which takes over the centre of the city shopping area every year. It's really magical with coloured lights, music and sweet little wooden stalls selling everything from hand-carved wooden toys and beautiful jewellery to gingerbread and German Berliner doughnuts. I love it there and it's the most romantic setting - so the perfect choice for Romily to meet the handsome stranger!

You have been keeping a video diary whilst writing It Started With A Kiss which is available for readers to follow on your blog, what made you decide to do this and do you plan on carrying on with the diary for book 4?

My video diary - or 'vlog' - started out as a daft New Year's resolution to myself to chronicle a year writing, editing and eventually publishing my novel. The main reason for this was that I wanted to remember the various stages of the book, and I thought that maybe one or two people might be interested to see it. I've been blown away by the response - over seven thousand people a month have been watching my vlogs!

The loveliest thing about it is that people have really got involved - asking me fantastic questions so I can give everyone the information they really want to see. It's meant that I haven't felt alone in the process (an occupational hazard for most writers) and that I've been inspired to write the story for the lovely people who have been watching my vlog. It feels like It Started With a Kiss is something that we all can share in - and that's the best feeling!

I think I'll definitely carry it on for next year - I'm addicted to making the videos now and as long as people want to watch them, I'll continue making them!

You have already started writing book number 4 ( Rea does a little happy dance!) what can you tell us about your plans for this book?

It's all at the very early stages of writing (just two chapters so far) but already the characters are appearing and I think you'll love them! I can't say too much at the moment, but the book will be a bit of an ensemble piece - I wanted to write something where you get an insight into several characters' feelings and views of a situation. The main character, Elsie Maynard, is someone I know you're going to love, and there's a brilliant character called Woody Jensen, former front man of 80s one-hit-wonder rock band Hellfinger, who now sees himself as a bit of a guru - I'm loving writing him at the moment! There will be music, rivalry, comedy, love... and maybe even the odd jazz-hand!

How will you be celebrating It Started with a Kiss being published?

I'm hoping to organise a book launch that's also a gig, with my friends in the wedding band playing. I've written some songs specifically for the wedding band in the book - there's one song called 'Last First Kiss' that Romily and her friend Jack write in Chapter 8 - so we'll perform those at the gig (and will video it, of course!)

What was the last book you finished reading?

To My Best Friends by Sam Baker. It's an absolutely beautiful portrayal of a group of friends trying to honour the last wishes of a woman who didn't know them as well as she thought. I loved every minute!

If you were stranded on a desert Island what would be your 3 items you would want to have with you.

That's a tough one! Erm... a guitar to entertain myself (and annoy the local wildlife), a humungous notebook and a pen (preferably with everlasting ink!)


Thankyou very much to Miranda and we wish you every success in the launch of It Started with a Kiss. If you are interested in the vlog we mentioned in the interview please head over and check it out on the following link.
http://www.coffeeandroses.blogspot.com/
It Started with a Kiss is available for pre-order so head over and get your copy follow the amazon link below

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Gypsy Wedding by Kate Lace


One if the books which were sent to me recently was Gypsy Wedding by Kate Lace. I have always been fascinated by the Gypsy way of life which was spurred on more so by the recent Television series, so when this book arrived I couldn’t wait to read it even after reading many negative reviews. The cover of this book looks like a typical chick lit cover that catches your eye with its mix of bright pink colours and a wedding dress similar to one shown on the recent Television series.


Plot
Vicky has been engaged to the gorgeous Liam for nearly two years. Now that she’s seventeen- high time for a traveller girl to settle down- everyone is planning for the big day. Everyone, that is, except Vicky. She’s got other things on her mind; like persuading her father and Liam to let her go to college to learn dressmaking.
Her father’s not impressed, but Liam just wants to make her happy, so she’s given one year, just enough time for her to make her own bridesmaids’ dresses.

But a lot can happen in a year, and as the final fitting for her spectacular dress approaches, Vicky no longer knows what she wants. If only she had listened to her father and stayed at home. Maybe then she wouldn’t have fallen in love with someone else....

My Opinion
Kate Lace strongly brings the true Gypsy culture into this book so if you have no interest in their way of living then this book isn’t going to be the one for you. I was surprised what a quick read this was I finished it in 3 hours and the book flowed along at a great pace.

Our main character is Vicky who is very mature for her age but this seems to be the way for traveller girls as they are brought from an early age to follow the ways of their mum helping with the house hold chores and living a somewhat sheltered life. Vicky it is clear from the start is different from the typical traveller as she has a dream and ambition which is something that traveller girls do not have or if they do they do not act upon it incase of brining shame on their family.

I found Vicky’s character easy to read although we cannot relate to her as few of us have lived alongside this culture to know how she is truly feeling although her feelings are brought through in this book quite clearly.
I was shocked by the ending of the book I felt as though her feelings had taken an unexpected change which made the ending of the book unpredictable. Without spoiling the ending for you all I will say is I was a little disappointed by the ending of this book I was hoping for a happy medium.

I would defiantly recommend this book to you but as I mentioned before the travellers culture is strong in this book so if this is something you do not like or have not interest in I would say this is not the book for you. 


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Star Struck by Jane Lovering



I have just finished Star Struck by Jane Lovering. This is the first book by Jane Lovering which I have read and also the first book published by Choc Lit and I have to say after reading this book I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more books published by Choc-lit if this book is anything to go by. I also hope to now read some of Jane Lovering’s other books.

Plot
Our Memories define us don’t they?

And Skye Threppel lost most of hers in a car crash that stole the lives of her best friend and fiancĂ©. It’s left scars inside and outside, which have destroyed her career and her confidence.

Skye hopes a trip to the wide dusty landscapes of Nevada- and a TV convention offering the chance to meet the actor she idolises- will help her heal. But she bumps into mysterious sci-fi Jack Whitaker first. He’s a handsome contradiction- cool and intense, with a wild past.

Jack has enough problems already. He isn’t looking for a woman with self-esteem issues and a crush on one of his leading actors. Yet he is drawn to Skye.

An instant rapport soon becomes intense attraction, but Jack fears they can’t have a future if Skye ever finds out about his past.....
Will their memories tear them apart, or can they build new ones together?

My Opinion
The day this book arrived on my doorstep I had mixed feelings. The cover was very eye catching and would defiantly be one that I would pick up in a store. I then read the Prologue as I do with all my books when they come through and after reading the Prologue I was a little hesitant about starting this book as it really didn’t sound like my kind of read! The prologue instantly felt like I was reading some kind of Star Wars book which I do not enjoy (sorry to any Star Wars fans!)

There was no need to worry as straight from the off of the first chapter the book got off to a great pace and had my full attention. Although the story is based around the convention of Fallen Skies we are not bombarded by information about the actual series it is more to do with the actors and screen writer’s personal lives that we see.

Our heroine in this book is Skye Threppel and Skye is very easy to read and we warm instantly to her from the first chapter. Having had an accident and losing her memory and confidence Skye doesn’t leave the house if it can be helped. Her nervousness about leaving familiar and safe surroundings, and getting into awkward situations become clear with her panic attacks. It is all the little details like these that gives Skye’s character a sense of vulnerability.

I loved the suspense we feel around Jacks character, there is a secret about himself he is hiding and Jane Lovering manages to keep this under wraps all the way to the end and it is this along with the great storyline which kept me gripped all the way through this book.

The ending to this book is wrapped up nicely without feeling, rushed but not leaving us on a cliff hanger.
This is a must for your To Be Read piles.  A great storyline with a mixture of interesting characters, and a splash of suspense thrown in to top it off. The recipe for a great book!


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Guest Blogger Review

We have a guest blogger over today, Lindsay from Turning The Pages, with a great review on Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close.




Summary (from chapters.ca):

Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love-all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she's on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he'll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won't fall for the sleazy bartender-a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

Review:

"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride"

As spring and summer approach, those traveling in large social circles must open their mailboxes while holding their breath. For there is nothing worse than the dreaded wedding invitation - such a joyous occasion to the family of the betrothed, a wedding can be single girl's worst nightmare. Okay, worse is picking up the phone and hearing the words, 'I would be honoured if you would be in my bridal party!' Oy!

Jennifer Close's description of weddings as you age was bang-on perfect. The first weddings that you attend after graduation are absolute gong-shows... binge-drinking to your heart's content, dancing all-night-long, and staying out until sunrise. As you get older and the weddings become more frequent, the drinking is less (as you tend to look like the crazy single lady that people stay away from), the dancing is slower (high heels hurt), and the all-nighters are now midnighters (who can handle staying up all night anyways). I often found myself nodding in understanding as Isabella, Mary and Lauren discussed the next event they HAD to attend.

Being an avid fan of a good wedding story, I really enjoyed that Girls in White Dresses looks at the other side of the story and isn't from the brides point-of-view. It was very refreshing and brought into focus that the day isn't always about the bride... unless you ARE the bride!!

Girls in White Dresses will be proudly displayed - on my bookshelf - next to Nora Roberts wedding quartet series because it ranks right up there as one of my favourite wedding reads. A perfect summer story that will make you laugh out loud as you journey through the lives of these three wonderful, loveable, women.

Overall, this is a fantastic novel and I look forward to reading many more from Jennifer Close. She is a true gem to this genre!!


Thank you Lindsay for a great Guest Review. You can follow Lindsay on twitter @TTPBookReview
And be sure to check out her blog http://www.turningthepages.ca

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wrapped Up In You by Carole Matthews

I am a huge Carole Matthews fan.. I cannot walk past new Carole Matthews book without picking it up. I was so excited when an advanced copy of Wrapped up in You arrived in my letter box to review, all wrapped up in a lovely little bow, my Christmas had come early!






Plot.


A Christmas fling, or has Janie found the real thing? Thirty-something hairdresser Janie Johnson's single status is a constant source of gossip for her friends and clients. So after too many nights in with her cat, a blind date disaster and news that her ex is getting married, Janie realises it's time to do something dramatic with her life. It's time for an adventure! Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books an exotic trip to Africa. Her friends think she's mad and Janie thinks they may very well be right ...but then she falls head over heels for her tour guide ? and fully fledged Maasai Warrior ? Dominic. But can Janie now face spending a snowy Christmas back home without him? Packed with unforgettable characters, romance and laughter, Wrapped Up In You is your very own perfect Christmas Carole!


My Opinion
Sighhhhhhhhhhhh! I Loved it....The End!


Carole Matthews has come back with a bang this year. From the first chapter of Wrapped Up in You I was hooked. I connected with the main character from the moment I met her. Janie works as a hairdresser which is a similar industry that I work in so when we first meet her at work with her chatty clients talking about love and holidays, I felt like I was reading about my working day! Janie's character comes over as very warm and caring if a little vulnerable. We only hope that she can soon find the love and happiness she deserves.


Carole teases us in this book with two gorgeous men, Dominic and Mike, who are two worlds apart and who are both perfect in every way and will have you looking at your partner wondering why he isn't more like these characters!


The descriptive method of writing Matthews uses in this book really gives this book an intriguing and exciting feel to it. I think this book should come with a warning on the festive front cover as once you have read this it will have you looking at holidays in Africa!


As you will see from the picture above now that Carole has moved over to Sphere she now has a fresh new look which in my opinion looks much more inviting. I was expecting more of a festive feel to the book judging by the cover so I was a little surprised y the storyline when Janie leaves the festive setting for a gorgeous setting in Africa.


We also get our little touches of humour in this book, my favourite involving a difficult escape route! The book starts at a great pace and continues the whole way through with no dull points to the book. I thought by the second chapter that I knew how the story was going to pan out but I was wrong. This novel is beautifully written and the ending is wrapped up in a lovely way not leaving us hanging and not feeling a rush to the close. 



This is one of my favourite Carole Matthews books and I cannot recommend it enough, everyone needs this book sitting under their Christmas tree.

Wrapped up in you is released in paperback on the 27th October so put this one on your Christmas List or pre-order to make sure you do not miss out!







Thankyou to Carole and her publishers for sending me an advanced copy of Wrapped Up In You.







Saturday, 6 August 2011

Saturday Letter Box

I had more goodies arrive today!! Take a look.


Until the End of Forever by Shannon Hart
I will be reviewing Shannon Harts book for my blog tour with Chick-lit Plus so thank you to both Samantha and Shannon for the opportunity to read this book.

Star Struck by Jane Lovering
Thank you to Choc-lit for sending me Star Struck I have to say I LOVE the front cover!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Sometimes It Happens by Pauline Barclay




I have read very mixed reviews about Pauline Barclay’s Sometimes it Happens book. I decided because I am not having a holiday this year it would be nice to read a book which takes me away!



Plot
“Winning the lottery was just the beginning for Doreen Wilkinson, nothing prepared Doreen for her holiday at Villas Bonitas and nothing prepared Villas Bonitas for Doreen Wilkinson. Sometimes It Happens...is about secrets, deception, lies, love and laughter. Tears will flow because this is one holiday that will never ever be forgotten by many!”



My Opinion
This book has got a real mix of characters. From rags to riches is how you would describe this bunch of characters. I loved our main character Doreen although reading about her character made me feel like I was reading about my mum as she is also called Doreen who is a cleaner and is always found with a fag in her mouth and speaks in a South London twang! Unfortunately that is where the similarities end as my mum hasn’t won the lottery!

I found Doreen’s character easy to read but that is because I have grown up in the South East so I am used to her way of talking, I can imagine for people who are overseas reading this book they may not understand her way of talking. I had to mention this as the negative comments I have seen about this ook seems to mention this each time.

I absolutely loved the way each character has got their own personal reason for being at Villas Bonitas.  They all held a secret as to their being there and other than one I couldn’t predict what these secrets would be. This is for me what kept me gripped as I do love the element of suspense in a book.

Although we see each of the characters points of view Barclay manages to bring each of the characters together. There are many characters and many story lines in this book but because of the way Barclay weaves them altogether I never found I was losing my way in this book.

I did find the novel was a little slow to start but once the pace got going I soon felt myself lying round the pool at Villas Bonitas. This is defiantly an ideal holiday read. It brings you the idyllic scene to get you into the holiday mood, with an easy storyline which enables you to pick up and put down at ease.  

My Letterbox

Look what we have this week in the letter box! All I can say is I think your To be Read piles are going to start growing!



What You Don't Know by Lizzie Enfield. This is Lizzie's first novel and is available on paperback from 18th August. This book promises warmth and humour and we all know that humour is something I love in a book so this is going to be my next read.

Private Lives by Tasmina Perry. I love the sound of this. This novel promises A sizzling cocktail of naughty celebrities, sexy Lawyers, cheeky tabloids and super-injunctions. What more could we ask for! This book is now available in Hardback and as an e-book

Gypsy Wedding by Kate Lace. I am very curious about this book. I find the lives of gypsies intriguing especially after getting a little insight from the recent series so I am looking forward to reading this book to see how things pan out when a traveller girl wants to go to college and learn dress making.

Thank you to Headline Review and Arrow for sending me these books to review. I look forward to reading them and giving you all my honest opinion.








Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon

One of my favourite authors is Paige Toon. I have read all of her books and have thouroghly enjoyed each one. When I heard that Paige had a new book being released I was so excited I pre-ordered it so I knew it would get here quickly and safely!


Plot
‘He’s not mine, is he?’ That’s the question I fear the most. You see, I have a secret. My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but by one of the most famous rock stars that ever lived. And he doesn’t even know it. One-time celebrity personal assistant to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg Stiles is now settled and living in the south of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and their son Barney. But they’re living a lie – a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out – because as Barney reaches his first birthday, Meg can no longer deny that her son is growing to look more and more like his rock star father every day, and less and less like Christian, and sooner or later, the world is going to realise.


My Opinion
As I said before I am a huge Paige Toon fan and this book surprised me as it was slightly different from her other novels. Firstly the cover has changed, Paige Toon has always had a similar stly to her books which made them instantly recognisable and familiar. I still like the colours used on the cover of Baby Be Mine and the book is still inviting although I still prefer the old style covers. The second thing which is different from the previous novels is this book follows on from a previous book Johnny Be Good. Although we have had characters pop up from one book into another book they have never actually had a sequel.

Paige Toon’s style of writing is so easy to read and has you hooked from the first page. I cannot compare her style of writing to any other author. There are never any dull points to any of her books.

The book gets straight off to a fast start with Meg feeling guilt ridden that she is living like a happy little family with boyfriend Christian who thinks he is the father of Meg’s one year old boy Barney.  Meg hoped that the baby would be Christians but it is clear when she looks at her little boy that he is her ex Johnny’s child. When the book started off like this I thought that the whole of the book was going to be about trying to keep the truth hidden from both Christian and Johnny which I thought was going to make the book drag a little, why o why did I not have more faith in Paige! The whole will he find out question is answered early on in the book which gives us the rest of the book to see how Johnny is going to cope with fatherhood and also what is going to happen in Megs love life!

I loved the character of Meg in Johnny Be Good and so it was good to have her back again the characters feel so real it is like catching back up with old friends again! Johnny the sex, drugs and rock and roll star is back on true form again, what is about this bad guy that makes him so addictive to Meg and to us the reader! 

He is everything we should despise in a man yet we cannot get enough of him! Even Meg whose actions were not innocent is quickly forgiven by me which is unusal as she has slept with someone else and she has lied and caused huge heart ache yet for some reason I still love her and felt sorry for her through the majority of the book and I was just hoping for a happy ending for her.

I cannot give this book enough praise I would highly recommend this book. It will have you gripped from the first chapter. I read this in under 7 hours as I just couldn’t put this down.
A 5 star rating doesn’t seem enough for this book so we are giving this book our little gem rating!




Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Post Box

Look what arrived in my post box yesterday and put a big smile on my face!!


Now I just need to work out how to read it without undoing the beautiful bow! Excitement is going to take over and it will be like Christmas ripping off the wrapping paper and beaming from ear to ear when I start reading!! 

Thank you for Carole Matthews and her publicist for sending me a review copy. Christmas as well and truly come early!

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