Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 5 Romances of 2013

Ok, admittedly I am still in a Christmas induced food coma and haven't had that much time to do any reading or reviewing, but I thought that it'd be a nice way to wrap up the year with a quick overview of some of my favourite romances of 2013.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bargain Read/Review: Here's Looking at You - Mhairi McFarlane

Anna Alessi – history expert, possessor of a lot of hair and an occasionally filthy mouth – seeks nice man for intelligent conversation and Mills & Boon moments. 
Despite the oddballs that keep turning up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. As a 30-something with a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, things weren’t always this way, and her years spent as the ‘Italian Galleon’ of an East London comprehensive are ones she’d rather forget. 
So when James Fraser – the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school – walks back into her life, her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. Polite. Mature. Funny, even. People can change, right? So why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?

I loved Mhairi McFarlane's first novel You Had Me at Hello and I couldn't wait to read her next, so much so that I bought it myself as an early Christmas treat.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Bargain Read: Goodness, Grace and Me - Julie Houston*

When Harriet’s husband, Nick, throws in his safe, but boring job in order to set up a new business during the current recession, Harriet is distraught. More so when she realises Amanda, her and best friend Grace's old enemy from school is back in their lives. Amanda, it turns out, is Nick’s new boss’s wife and, because of her legal and language skills, will be accompanying Nick on his business trips to Italy. How will Nick not succumb to the ruthless charms of the utterly gorgeous Amanda once he’s away from Yorkshire and in glamorous Milan? 
Knowing Nick is being seduced is bad enough, but when Grace falls madly in love with Sebastian, Amanda’s precious, much younger son, it can only mean trouble ahead. Determined to fight for her man, Harriet’s seduction techniques go into overdrive. Unfortunately she is hampered in her attempts by two bolshy teenagers, an increasingly eccentric mother and a job teaching horrible children. Not to mention something very strange going on at the bottom of her garden! Can Harriet save her marriage, and also her friendship with Grace? And what will happen if Nick’s new venture fails, especially now that the one thing Harriet has not even considered in all this mess appears to be staring her right in the face…?

Let's be honest, Christmas isn't the cheapest time of year but I'm here to the rescue with a new bargain read.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mini-view: Hard to Handle (Love in the Balance #2) - Jessica Lemmon*

ONCE BURNED Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she's bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can't resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn't let herself fall in love...
TWICE AS TEMPTING Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he's determined to win back the woman he's always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden's not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?
Although the second in the series this is my first Jessica Lemmon novel, like many series though, Hard to Handle is perfectly enjoyable as a standalone book.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Mini-view: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris - Jenny Colgan

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris.

It's a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime - to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate - and herself - than she ever dreamed.
Ok, so it's not necessarily a Christmas book but what's more indulgent and festive than chocolate? Exactly. I actually read The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris way back in October and if you follow me on twitter (cough, cough) you'll know that I came in prepared...

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Review: Christmas at Claridge's - Karen Swan

‘This was where her dreams drifted to if she didn’t blot her nights out with drink; this was where her thoughts settled if she didn’t fill her days with chat. She remembered this tiny, remote foreign village on a molecular level and the sight of it soaked into her like water into sand, because this was where her old life had ended and her new one had begun. 
Portobello – home to the world-famous street market, Notting Hill Carnival and Clem Alderton. She’s the queen of the scene, the girl everyone wants to be or be with. But beneath the morning-after makeup, Clem is keeping a secret, and when she goes too far one reckless night she endangers everything – her home, her job and even her adored brother’s love. 
Portofino – a place of wild beauty and old-school glamour, and where a neglected villa has been bought by a handsome stranger. He wants Clem to restore it for him and it seems like the answer to all her problems – except that Clem has been there once before and vowed, for her own protection, never to return . . .

You know, it's been a long time since I've liked a book so much that I wanted to savour it and not sit there and gobble it up all in one sitting. You might have guessed that Christmas at Claridge's is a book that I loved, to the point that I started to worry a little bit when I saw I only had a hundred pages left (gasp!).

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Review: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy (Austen Addicts #1) - Victoria Connelly

Of course she's obsessed with Jane Austen... Surrounded by appalling exes and fawning students, the only thing keeping professor Katherine Roberts sane is Jane Austen and her personal secret love for racy Regency romance novels. She thinks the Jane Austen Addicts conference in the English countryside is the perfect opportunity to escape her chaotic life and finally relax... But then she encounters a devilishly handsome man at the conference who seems determined to sweep her off her feet. Is he more fiction than fact? Or could he be the hero she didn't know she was looking for?

Although I don't profess to be Austen's biggest fan I like her as much as the next person, what I don't like is being beaten around the head with her. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Review: A Christmas to Remember - Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon & Marilyn Pappano*

Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection! 
Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance . . .
Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .
Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.
Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .
Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Is anyone else excited? What better way to ease ourselves into the season with a wonderful collection of Christmas short stories?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Miniview: Searching for Someday - Jennifer Probst*

Kate has given up on love—at least for herself. She is both blessed and cursed with the ability to sense a romantic connection between two people—a gift that her family passed down for generations. When Kate launches her own matchmaking company, Kinnection, with her two best friends in a cozy New York town, she has to put aside her own romantic disasters to make her business a success.

But when a furious man stalks into her office and accuses her business of being a scam, Kate is given the ultimate challenge to prove herself. Slade puts himself in her hands and asks Kate to find him love. Enraged at his arrogance but stubbornly eager to prove herself, Kate agrees, dedicating herself to the journey of finding him love...only to find herself falling for him along the way

The first in Jennifer Probst's new series is something a bit different for me, I don't normally go in for these paranormal style romance novels but you've got to try something new every now again, right?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Book Week Scotland

It's Book Week in Scotland which means that there are a lot of fun things to do out and about around the country, but for those of you who don't live in Scotland there are fun things to do online too! Yes, I am talking about book quizzes.

I love a good book quiz, and a good bit of procrastination, so when the 'Who in Fiction Are You?' quiz popped up on my Facebook newsfeed I knew I had to give it a go. I love a good, fun personality quiz and I always dither over the answers but this time I fired right through and got a fairly interesting result. Intrigued?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Any Man of Mine (Chinooks Hockey Team #6) - Rachel Gibson

Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots--not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam LeClaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her run. And she did--right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life. But Monday morning jolted her back to reality, and before she could say "pass the coffee," Sam was gone.
Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn hasn't clapped eyes on the heart-breaking hockey superstar for over two years... until she organizes his teammate's "Special Day," where Sam makes a BIG play to pick up where he left off! But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps. Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever?

I am currently up to my eyeballs in deadline hell, so you're all going to have to forgive me and accept a second mini-view of the week. When I'm coming up to a deadline I really don't have time to read anything other than my work, but I just can't sleep without reading a chapter or two of something nice and easy. Not really caring what I read I just opened up a random Gibson (a great go to author) on my Kindle and settled in.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Mini-view: A Rake's Guide to Pleasure (Huntington #2) - Victoria Dahl

True Pleasure. . .
Raised by a titled, yet degenerate, father, Emma Jensen never imagined the gambling lessons she learned as a child would one day serve her well. When she finds herself in dire need of money, she concocts the alias of Dowager Lady Denmore and sets off to bewitch London's noblemen by engaging them in games of chance. The fact that respectable ladies do not gamble does not intimidate her in the least. But the darkly handsome Duke of Somerhart does--for he's awakened a deep, sensual hunger in her. . .  
Is Always Worth The Gamble. . .
The dashing Duke of Somerhart has the notorious reputation of being one of London's most incurable rogues. When he meets the alluring Lady Denmore, he is immediately intrigued. Her recklessness and innocence intertwined titillates him as no other woman ever has. But what secret is the lovely Lady Denmore hiding? He's determined to find out. But first he must seduce her until she surrenders completely to his most wicked desires...

Victoria Dahl is a force to be reckoned with and her contemporary romances are amongst my favourites and any new releases are an automatic read for me. Having just released a new novel in her Jackson series that I can't seem to get hold of in the libraries or on the Kindle over here (grrr...), I decided to pick up one of her early, historical romance novels in its place. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Review: Wild Child - Molly O'Keefe*

Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, this sizzling romance tells the story of a sexy small-town mayor and a notorious “bad girl,” who discover that home really is where the heart is. 
Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while. 
Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.

This book caught me off guard a little and looking at other reviews I was not alone. From the blurb I was expecting a light and delightfully fluffy romance, but light and fluffy Wild Child is not.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Bargain Read Review: No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday - Tracy Bloom

Never has a late-night stand led to such chaos! 
Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other ever again after they end up in bed together following a school re-union. 
So all is forgotten...until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy's baby. Oblivious to the mayhem unfolding, Matthews highly strung wife frets over giving birth to twins and Katy's much younger boyfriend refuses to take fatherhood seriously. 
Love and life are messy but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot. 
How will they navigate their way through this almighty pick-up?

Disclaimer: I really don't like writing negative reviews of books for several reasons: firstly, let's be honest, authors have a considerable amount of talent and have slaved away for hours to produce their work and no one should dismiss that; secondly, someone who knows a damn sight more than I do thought that the book was worth publishing, so it can't be all that bad; and finally, books are so subjective just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that you won't.

Having said all that, this is my blog and these are my opinions and share them I will!

Monday, 14 October 2013


Have I told you guys about Riffle yet? I'm a proud romance expert over at Riffle so I thought I should fill you in on a few details.

Riffle is a relatively new site that is somewhat similar to Goodreads, but more list friendly. I love a good list and Riffle lets you create as many as you want, what a dangerous thing. A quick and easy website that lets you see what someone has read and whether they'd recommend it, I describe Riffle to newcomers as the book lovers Pinterest.

See what I mean?

Go check it out and have a look around, you can find me and my ever expanding lists here.

Let me know what you think of Riffle in the comments. Do you think you can ever have too many book websites?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Review: Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.  
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. 
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . . 
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? 
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? 
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

For anyone who read my review of Eleanor & Park it will come as no surprise that I am a big Rainbow Rowell fan and couldn't wait to read her latest novel. Excitingly, I read Fangirl as part of the launch of Tumblr's first official book club, Reblog Book Club, and have posted a few long winded thoughts as part of that that you can read here.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Shameless Plug

Did you know you can now follow my blog on bloglovin'? Well you can. Along with many other awesome blogs I might add. Bloglovin' is a brilliant tool to keep all your favourite blogs in one place and it even sends you handy notifications when your favourite blogs have new posts! Handy, eh?

Review: 'Starry Night: A Christmas Novel' - Debbie Macomber*

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.  
 Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.  
Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.  
Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.

Is it too early to mention the 'C' word? Because I'm gonna. I ended up reading Starry Night  on the train and initially I did find it a little weird trying to get into the Christmas spirit so early in October, however, it was more than worth it in the end.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review: All God's Children (the Peacemakers #1) - Anna Schmidt*

Beth Bridgewater, a German American, finds herself in a nightmare as World War II erupts—a war in which she takes no side, for she is a Quaker pacifist. Just as she gains opportunity to escape Germany, Beth decides to stay to help the helpless. Meanwhile, Josef Buch, a passionately patriot German, is becoming involved in his own secret ways of resisting the Nazis. . . . Despite their differences, Beth and Josef join together in nonviolent resistance—and in love. Does their love stand a chance. . .if they even survive at all?
A bit of a change from my usual reads I decided to pick up All God's Children due to my longstanding interest in Second World War History. I do seem to be picking up a lot of alternative reads to my usual romances at the moment, don't worry I'll be back on track soon!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Mini-view: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.  
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 
Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
I've been reading a lot of YA books recently and I love a good fantasy novel so when a friend gave me a copy of Throne of Glass I couldn't wait to get started.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Review: Welcome to My World - Miranda Dickinson

A travel agent who longs to travel. An intrepid explorer who just wants to find a place to call home. And a Big Idea that changes everything!. Close your eyes and imagine the world is your oyster! And now imagine never seeing it. Welcome to Harriet Langton's world. All her life she's dreamt of travelling the globe - fate always got in the way. Working as a travel agent, the closest Harri comes to her dream destination of Venice is booking the trip for someone else. But everything changes when travel fanatic Alex drops in. With her boyfriend Rob tied up with work, Harri is persuaded to help Alex in his quest for love. But in her attempts to help, Harri soon discovers that she's alienating those around her. Desperate to leave her life behind, will her dreams finally come true? Or will Harri's leap of faith be her biggest mistake yet?

I picked up Welcome to my World for twenty pence from my local library from the withdrawn pile. Reading the back I was excited to go home home, soak in a bath and read this delightful bit of fluff while I relaxed. This is not, exactly, how it turned out...

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mini-view: Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion

R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...

Warm Bodies was given to me with a heartfelt recommendation. Having seen and enjoyed the film I wasn't sure how much more I would get from the book. Marion's book is, unsurprisingly, much more detailed than the associated movie and has much more to say.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Review: Bargain Reads - Radio GaGa - Nell Dixon

Over the airwaves everyone can hear you scream! 
Radio researcher and part-time presenter Chloe Lark is certain her big show biz break is just around the corner. Live it Up radio may not be the big time, but surely - one day soon - fame will come her way. And, if she could convince the hunky guy next door to give her a chance, her love life might improve too. 
Ex-soldier Ben isn’t sure if his new ‘Z’ list celebrity neighbour is crazy or on medication. Either way he’s looking for a quiet life out of the spotlight. The last thing he needs is an accident prone media hungry blonde complete with mystery stalker. Problem is - Chloe doesn’t seem to have received that particular memo…
Finally, the bargain read returns! I'm so bad at this consistency lark, forgive me? Good. Let's move on. Another Brit-lit entry the blurb of Radio Gaga appealed to me, it also meant that I went around the house singing Queen for the day, much to the joy of my flatmates. Anyway...

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Mini-view: History of Love - Nicole Krauss

Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive. But it wasn’t always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book. . . . Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of “extraordinary depth and beauty” (Newsday)
I'm trying out a new feature on the blog, so let me know what you think! I read a lot more books than I review so if I have any strong feelings about a book or think it will be of interest to my readers I'm now going to give you a little mini review, a miniview! Yay, more of my opinions.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Eleanor & Park has caused a bit of a sensation recently and as usual I am late to the party. To be honest, it’s been sitting in my ‘to be read’ [TBR] pile for quite a while and it was only with the nudging of one of my Goodreads pals (don’t forget to check out my book group on Goodreads here) that I finally dug it out and read it.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Review: You Had Me at Hello - Mhairi McFarlane

What happens when the one that got away comes back? 
Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. 
It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away. 
From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders… 
Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.
 It took me forever to get a hold of You Had Me At Hello, I was on the waiting list at the library (patronise your libraries people!) for over five weeks. Any book commanding this amount of attention six months after its release surely had to be read.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

RARM: My Favourite Romances #2

I did say I was indecisive. After reading over my last post I noticed that I hadn’t included any historical romance, what an oversight! So, since it’s still Read-a-Romance Month, and will continue to be so until the end of August, I thought I’d sneak another wee favourites post in.

RARM: My Favourite Romance Reads


So here it is, my favourite romance reads. I hope you all appreciate the agonising effort that went into picking my favourites. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Read - A - Romance Month

August is national Read - A - Romance Month (RARM) so to celebrate that I thought that I would do something a little different on the blog this week and talk in the defence of romance and why I read and love romance novels.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Review: Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams - Jenny Colgan

Were you a sherbet lemon or chocolate lime fan? Soft chewy ones or hard boiled sweeties (you do get more for your money that way)? The jangle of your pocket money . . . the rustle of the pink and green striped paper bag . . . 
Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong. 
Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton s sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. As she struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, she also wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully coloured sweets.
Welcome to Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop of Dreams, a novel, with recipes.

Warning: Do not read this novel if you are on any sort of diet or health kick. Seriously.

Back in May Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams (let's just call it Sweet Shop for short) won the Romance Novelists' Association's Romantic Novel of the Year, 2013, and with an accolade like that you can't not pick up this calorie packed indulgence.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Review: What the Bride Wore (Bridal Favours #3) - Jade Lee*

Jade Lee's hot Bridal Favors series is set in a daring, high-energy Regency world where deep longings, secret scandals, and the competition for social stature are all set against the glittering weddings of the season.
Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle, finally has the funds he always pretended to have, and what he wants now is a woman. That woman is Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings. A recent widow, Irene longs for love again, but she's afraid to risk her heart, especially to the notorious Grant Benton

What the Bride Wore was a book that managed to get me through a very long, very uncomfortable train journey.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Review: Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. 
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. 
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. 
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time

I thought that Me Before You was decidedly not my type of book. I had avoided it during it's huge success last year only to have it thrust at me last week by sister with the words, "You must read this. You have to." I had to? So I did.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Review: The Rogue Steals a Bride (The Rogues' Dynasty #6) - Amelia Grey*

Matson Brentwood has finally met the woman of his dreams. The lovely, red-haired Sophia Hart heats his blood like no other lady. Her alluring countenance has stopped him dead in his tracks. But no matter how attracted he is to her, he can’t give into his desire to possess her in every way because she is the ward of the man he’s sworn to hate. 
Newly arrived in London, Miss Sophia Hart is in need of a husband, but not for herself. She has twin, spinster aunts and one of them has decided she wants a man. Sophia agrees to help her aunt by allowing older gentlemen to call on her and then make sure Auntie spends more time in the gentleman’s company than Sophia does. But when Sophia meets the darkly handsome and intriguing Mr. Matson Brentwood, she knows that for the first time, she in danger of losing her heart.  
But there’s more than just an adversarial guardian and a long list of beaus standing between Sophia and Matson. Sophia promised her dying father she would honor his lifelong plan for her as an heiress and marry a titled gentleman. Matson isn’t titled so she must deny her love for him and make up to her father for costing him the love of his life.
Ameila Grey is yet another new author to me, where have I been?  Rogue Steals a Bride was a promotional book given to me by NetGalley and I jumped in on the first day of my holiday full of excitement.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: Don't Look Down - Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

SHE is a director of dog food commercials who's just been recruited to finish a four-day movie shoot. But as soon as Lucy Armstrong arrives on set, she discovers that the staff is in chaos, the make-up artist is suicidal, and the stunt director just happens to be her ex-husband. That, and the temperamental lead actor has just acquired as an advisor a Green Beret who has the aggravating habit of always being right. HE thought that hiring on as a military consultant for a movie star was a to-die-for deal: easy work, easy money, easier starlets. But his first day on the job, Captain J.T. Wilder ends up babysitting a bumbling comedian, dodging low-flying helicopters, and trying to find out who's taking "shooting a movie" much too literally
I'm decided to brave a book I've been putting off for a while. Mistake? I'm still unsure...


Apologies for my extended absence everyone, I've been visiting my father in the wilds of nowhere and he shuns all this new fangled modern technology, including the internet! I know, I was shocked too. However he does get beautiful scenery, so I suppose it's ok.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Review: The Boy Next Door (Boy #1) - Meg Cabot

Gossip columnist and single New York City girl Mel lives lives in the most exciting place in the world, yet she's bored with her lovelife. But things get interesting fast when the old lady next door is nearly murdered. Mel starts paying closer attention to her neighbors—what exactly is going on with the cute boy next door? Has Mel found the love of her life—or a killer?

Time for me to review another one of my favourite romance reads, I love doing this - what an excuse to go back and re-read an old favourite. Meg Cabot is a name that most people associate with YA fiction, with her hugely successful Princess Diaries series, but she has, in fact, written several 'adult' series including the 'boy' series, the Heather Wells mysteries and the 'Queen of Babble' books.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review: Bargain Reads - Game, Set, Match - Nana Malone

Off the court, tennis star Jason Cartwright's playboy image is taking a public beating. On the court, he's down forty-love. A knee injury is shutting down his game, and the paparazzi are splashing his love life on every magazine. A comeback is in order, but the makeover he needs to save his faltering career is in the hands of the woman he loved and left fifteen years ago. 
While single-mom, Izzy Connors, sees people for who they really are through the lens of her camera, even without it, she knows Jason isn't the star he appears to be. Although his charm and good looks haven't dimmed since he broke her heart, all she sees is his wasted talent and playboy lifestyle. 
Can Izzy put the past behind her and help Jason get his game, and his image, back on track? Or will the click of her camera shatter his world as well as his heart?

"Free book" - are there any sweeter words? I say not. Anyway, this month's bargain read is Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone available free on the Kindle. This month is a bit of a tight one so a free book was more than welcome. Initially I was a bit weary I must admit, it didn't really sound like my kinda thing at all but a free book is a free book.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Review: Emma: a latter-day tale - Rebecca H Jamison*

NOT Looking for Love: Single woman (23) seeks best friend to chat on the phone, shop the clearance racks, watch chick flicks, try out messy cooking projects, and eat Dove dark chocolates.
Emma isn’t so good at the whole life-coaching thing. Her first client ended up with a broken heart and is threatening to relapse into bad habits. Now Emma has problems of her own to deal with, and they all start with one name: Justin.
Justin is her best friend, so it’s hard for Emma not to feel betrayed when she suspects he’s falling for her childhood rival. And she knows she’s losing him despite her best efforts. How is she supposed to help other people when she’s drowning in her own failures?
Fans of Jane Austen’s Emma will love this modern retelling of the classic romance novel. Fall in love with Emma’s latter-day tale of redemption, forgiveness, and the quest for true love.

Now, I know some people immediately distrust any sort of re-telling of Austen but I honestly think these books have their place. While I understand part of the appeal of Austen is the richness of language and the immersion in the historical era, sometimes you do just want the story and I've known many people who have read a modern version of Austen and only then been tempted to read the original. With that in mind, I thought I'd give Emma: a Latter-Day Tale a go.