Friday, 17 October 2014

Bargain Read: The Beach Cafe - Lucy Diamond

Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family - a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She's tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she's stuck in temp hell, with a sensible, pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy - her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something for the first time in her life, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track - and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love...

At this very moment I have a cold and Scotland has well and truly entered autumn, in a desperate attempt to ignore anything festive beginning with the letter 'C' I decided I'd delve into my first Lucy Diamond and reach for a little bit of sun.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Mini-view: Insatiable (Insatiable #1) - Meg Cabot

Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. 
But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.  
Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does.)
But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for. 
The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.  
And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.  
Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . 
If she even has one.

I've gone from being a complete paranormal romance newbie to someone who just can't get enough. You may remember me not so much reviewing but gushing about Meg Cabot in one of my previous posts so I thought, what better book to add to my growing obsession than the first in her Insatiable series?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Review: Looking for Trouble (Girls' Night Out #1) - Victoria Dahl

A good reason to be bad... 
Librarian Sophie Heyer has walked the straight and narrow her entire life to avoid paying for her mother's mistakes. But in tiny Jackson Hole, Wyoming, juicy gossip just doesn't go away, so the last thing she needs is for history to repeat itself. Falling hard for the sexiest biker who's ever rode into town would undo everything she's worked for. And to add insult to injury, the sexy stranger is none other than Alex Bishop--the son of the man her mother abandoned Sophie's family for. He may be temptation on wheels, but Sophie's not looking for trouble!
Maybe Sophie's buttoned-up facade fools some, but Alex knows a naughty smile when he sees one. Despite their parents' checkered pasts, he's willing to take some risks to find out the truth about the town librarian. He figures a little fling might be just the ticket to get his mind off of family drama. But what he finds underneath Sophie's prim demeanour might change his world in ways he never expected.

Let's not beat around the bush, Victoria Dahl is one of my favourite authors and for good reason. Dahl's books are funny, sassy and sexy and the first in her new series is wonderfully more of the same.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Mini-view: The Ocean at the end of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

Neil Gaiman is one of those authors who truly baffles me, how in the world he comes up with his tales I'll never know. Genre defying and utterly brilliant, Ocean at the End of the Lane is yet another wonderful book from a unique author. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E Smith*

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. 

This book has been on my TBR for a while and with a long-haul flight coming up I decided to save it to read on the plane. I know, I'm too cool for school, right?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Mini-view: Natural Causes (Inspector McLean #1) - James Oswald

A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a sealed room. Her remains are carefully arranged, in what seems to have been a cruel and macabre ritual, which appears to have taken place over 60 years ago. 
For newly appointed Edinburgh Detective Inspector Tony McLean this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority - but he is haunted by the young victim and her grisly death. 
Meanwhile, the city is horrified by a series of bloody killings. Deaths for which there appears to be neither rhyme nor reason, and which leave Edinburgh's police at a loss. 
McLean is convinced that these deaths are somehow connected to the terrible ceremonial killing of the girl, all those years ago. It is an irrational, almost supernatural theory. 
And one which will lead McLean closer to the heart of a terrifying and ancient evil . . .

What you might not know is that as well as loving romance novels I also love a good crime novel. Being a Scot I also have a really big soft spot for the wonderfully dubbed 'Tartan Noir'. James Oswald is a name that I'd heard a lot in relation to this sub-genre so when I saw the first of his Inspector McLean novels in the library I couldn't help but grab it.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Review: Love Me or Leave Me - Claudia Carroll*

‘Welcome to the Hope Street Hotel – where you check in married, and check out single.’ 
Two years ago Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar and had to leave behind everything that mattered to her. Even now she’s finding it hard to move forward. That is until she lands an incredible job, running a brand new boutique hotel. Suddenly she’s starting to put her life back together, and, apart from the fact that her hard-to-please new boss is breathing down her neck, things are looking good. 
But what goes on in the Hope Street Hotel is a far cry from anything she’s ever dealt with before. This is a pioneering ‘divorce hotel’ designed to make every aspect of breaking up efficient and pain-free. In one single weekend, Chloe’s team promises to take care of everything – legal, technical, emotional – and guests check out carefree and single. 
No one is better qualified than Chloe to understand what couples need when their relationship is at breaking point, but she soon finds herself having to tackle the heartbreak she’s tried to bury. In particular three couples need her help – Jo and Dave, Lucy and Andrew, and Kirk and Dawn – and the opening weekend is full of revelation, trouble, memories happy and sad, facts that need facing, and some very big surprises. 
It’s time to move on. And it soon becomes clear that some endings are, in fact, very exciting new beginnings …

How do these brilliant authors keep escaping me? I don't know either, but you can be assured that I'm very excited about reading the rest of Carroll's books.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Trapped at the Altar - Jane Feather*

Headstrong Ariadne Daunt is convinced she loves handsome Gabriel Fawcett, but her grandfather has other plans for her. He decrees that she marry Ivor Chalfont, thus forging a powerful alliance between the two warring families who share ownership of their valley. Given no time to plot an escape, Ari finds herself standing reluctantly at the altar, swearing to honor and obey a man who is not her choice. 
Ivor has treasured Ari as a friend ever since he was brought to the valley as a child, but now he feels a man's desires. He longs to take the beautiful young woman to his bed and make their marriage more than an empty vow. Ari may believe she loves another man, but Ivor believes otherwise—and he will not rest until he gains her heart, her trust . . . and her passion.
On reading the synopsis for Trapped at the Altar I couldn't wait to get stuck into the book. I love the friends to lovers trope and the fact that Feather's novel is set in the not often featured 1600s really piqued by interest.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Mini-view: Fanning the Flames - Victoria Dahl

Burning for you 
Some men are off-limits. Close friends of your ex-husband, for instance. Or firefighters who work in the same building as you. Yet despite her best judgment, librarian Lauren Foster can't help noticing fire captain Jake Davis whenever he jogs by…shirtless. They've always been friends, but all it takes is one not-so-chance meeting at a local bar and one not-quite-innocent walk home to ignite a fierce, uncontrollable desire between them. 
Widower Jake Davis has tried to ignore the spark he feels whenever Lauren's around, but once he sees her curves in a little black dress, there's no turning back. No matter how often she says she's all wrong for him, the sexy, outspoken divorcĂ©e is driving him wild in the best possible way. Maybe she's just blowing off steam. Or maybe he can convince her to fan these flames into something deeper, hotter and truer than they ever expected….

Fanning the Flames is the novella prequel, or taster if you will, to Dahl's new Girl's Night Out series set in Jackson. As an avid Dahl fan I couldn't resist this little snippet to whet my appetite before the release of the first in the series, Looking for Trouble.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Spotlight: All Souls Trilogy - Deborah Harkness*

A Discovery of Witches* - 
In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.  
Shadow of Night* -
Shortly after Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont timewalk to London, 1590, they discover that the past may not provide a safe haven after all. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy Matthew Roydon, the vampire falls back in step with a group of radicals known as the School of Night who share dangerous ideas about God, science, and man. Many of his friends are unruly daemonsn - the creative minds of the age who walk the fine line between genius and madness - including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot. Matthew, himself, is expected to continue to spy for Queen Elizabeth, which puts him in close contact with London's cutthroat underworld. 
Together, Matthew and Diana scour the bookstalls and alchemical laboratories of London where they follow the elusive trail of Ashmole 782 - and search for the witch who will teach Diana to control her powers. 
The Book of Life -
After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

The last in Harkness' best selling All Souls trilogy, The Book of Life, was released last week and having devoured them all I thought I should share my love for the series with you.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Mini-view: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”  Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly! In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

Having recently binged on The Mindy Project I couldn't resist picking up Mindy Kaling's book when I saw it on the shelves recently.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Review: Rogue with a Brogue - Suzanne Enoch*

A Rogue For Every Lady
London, 1817: Stuck in a Mayfair ballroom, thanks to his lovestruck brother, Highlander Arran MacLawry wants nothing but a bit of distraction from an arranged betrothal—and a clever auburn-haired lass in a vixen's mask promises just that . . . until he discovers that she's the granddaughter of the Campbell, chief of clan MacLawry's longtime rival. Despite their families' grudging truce, falling for fiery Mary Campbell is a notion too outlandish even for this Highlander…
The Thrill Of The Forbidden
Raised on tales of savage MacLawrys, Mary is stunned to realize the impressively strapping man in the fox's mask is one of them. Surely the enemy shouldn't have such a broad chest, and such a seductive brogue? Not that her curiosity matters—any dalliance between them is strictly forbidden, and she's promised to another. But with the crackling spark between them ready to catch flame, love is worth every risk…

It wasn't until starting Rogue with a Brogue that I realised how long it's been since I've read a historical romance, and boy am I glad that I started again.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Bargain Read: Do You Remember the First Time - Jenny Colgan

As her best friend Tashy cuts into her wedding cake, 32-year-old Flora realises she is disillusioned with life. Suddenly, her well-paid job, cosy flat and stable relationship with sensible Olly don't amount to a whole lot. Flora wants to be 16 again. She closes her eyes and wishes. Her wish has come true. 
Waking up the next morning is a shock. But now Flora has the chance to right some wrongs. Trading crows feet for pimples, love handles for a torso Britney Spears would kill for and dull dinner parties for house parties where White Lightning and snogging are the order of the day, Flora revels in a life where things are far less complicated and just much more… FUN. 
It's not all laughs though. Will what she does change the future? How can she get back to the present and her ordinary life? And does she even want to?

What are you still doing here? Jenny Colgan is only 99p! Go now! Sprint to Amazon and then come back and read the review (obviously).

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: The Country Escape - Fiona Walker*

Hidden amid lush Herefordshire parkland, Eardisford is the ultimate English country retreat and it's just been sold for the first time in its history. Romantic daredevil Kat Mason has been bequeathed the estate's lakeside sanctuary, Lake Farm, until she dies or marries. But the new owners want her out now . . .  
In rides charming playboy Dougie Everett, the man hired to sweep Kat off her feet and off the property. Although pursuing the Hollywood dream has not been all he'd hoped, Dougie loves nothing more than the thrill of the chase, but does he risk losing his heart along the way?

Anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that Fiona Walker was one of the first romance authors I read and her books hold a special place in my heart (if you missed this you can read those posts here and here). You can imagine my excitement when I received an advanced copy of Walker's latest.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Review: Thirteen Weddings - Paige Toon*

Last year, Bronte left Sydney for a wedding in England, where she met newly single Alex. After a night of passion they parted ways, and Bronte returned to Australia.
Now working on a picture desk for a magazine in London, Bronte is about to meet her new colleague, who turns out to be all too familiar. Although awkward at first, as Alex is now engaged to the girl he was on a break from when they met, they soon become friends.
But as the two get closer, and the wedding day looms, it is clear that Alex and Bronte have unfinished business

I read Thirteen Weddings when it came out back in May, May! and yet I've never seemed to get round to talking about it and how much I love it. I feel very Austen-esque, maybe if I loved it less I could talk about it more.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Mini-View: Date Expectations - Paul Reizin

Date Expectations tells the hilarious true story of some of the most disastrous dates in the history of courtship, as Paul sets out on an increasingly fraught quest to leave singledom behind ... These include the date with the psycho hippy nutter; the date who didn't turn up; the world's shortest date; and the date with a face like a bag of spanners.

Learn to interpret the secret language of the lonely hearts columns (e.g. 'bubbly' = fat). Learn how to read between the lines of a recorded message - fine tune your radar for those tell-tale references to cats and anger-management classes. And much, much more ...
Remember - blind dating is like life. By the time you've learned how to do it properly, you no longer need to . . .

Having just moved I've come across a box full of second hand books that clearly caught my attention at one point but that I never managed to quite get round to reading, wanting something a bit easy to settle down with I plucked Date Expectations off of the top of the pile.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Review: The Wrong Knickers: a decade of chaos - Bryony Gordon*

For years, women have been told that their twenties are their golden years, filled with fun, parties, sex and glamour. Countless TV shows and movies tell us the same story: this is your perfect decade - don't waste it! You'll never be so happy - or thin - again. 
Here, in her hilariously honest memoir, Bryony Gordon gives us a fresh perspective. Like Carrie Bradshaw, she may have had a column in a national newspaper, but her twenties weren't one long episode of Sex and the City, instead they were a decade of hangovers, heartbreak, and hideously awkward mornings-after, all over her overdraft limit.

Something a bit different on the blog today with a review of a memoir from Bryony Gordon,  a coloumnist for The Telegraph and one of the paper's best loved writers. As I'm sure we'll soon be hearing from everyone, Gordon has produced the Bridget Jones for the noughties with the added bonus that it is all hilariously true.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Review: Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society #1)- Jayne Fresina*

These Book Club Belles are ready to put down their novels and find some real-life leading men!

In the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior, five young ladies of the local book society are reading a salacious romance called Pride and Prejudice. Upon finishing the book, the ladies race to find their own Mr. Darcy, and the handsome, mysterious Darius Wainwright is the perfect mark. 
Justina Penny can't understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyed in the newcomer's arrogant presence. But if the town's only eligible bachelor marries anyone, it should be her sweet, beautiful sister. And it's up to Justina to make it happen. How could this plan possibly go wrong?
How has it been so long since I've read a historical romance? I know, I know, it's terrible. But you'll be pleased to hear that I've put an end to this drought and have read and reviewed the first in a wonderful new series from Jayne Fresina.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Troublemaker Next Door (the MacCauley Brothers #1) - Marie Harte*

Flynn McCauley never thought he’d be so clichĂ© as to fall for the girl next door. But when Maddie calls him over to help fix her faulty sink, he’s a goner. Too bad the fiercely independent interior designer wants nothing to do with him. Even worse, he’s forced to rely on the advice of his nosy brothers—and his five-year-old nephew!—to figure out how to make her give him a shot.
It feels like a long time since I've been introduced to a new contemporary romance author and I can't think of a better addition to my digital shelves than Marie Harte. Having never read any of Harte's books before I wasn't hundred percent sure what to expect, what I got was an enjoyable erotic romance.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Review: Nobody (Men of the White Sandy #3) - Sarah M. Anderson*

Nobody Bodine came from a nobody and will always be a nobody. He can disappear into the shadows—no one can see him if he doesn’t want them to. He exists on the edge, in neither the white man’s world nor the tribe’s, dispensing vigilante justice when he sees fit. There’s no other place for a man like him in this world. 
Until Melinda Mitchell shows up on the rez. From the first moment he lays eyes on her, he can tell there’s something different about her. For starters, she’s not afraid of him. She asks where his scars came from, and why he has so many. But more than that, she sees him. For the first time in his life, Nobody feels like a somebody in her eyes.
Melinda has come west to run the new day care on the White Sandy Reservation. She’s intrigued by this strange man and his tattered skin, and when she discovers that he’s a self-appointed guardian angel for the boy in her care, she realizes that there’s more to Nobody than meets the eyes. But how far will he go to keep the boy safe? And will she be able to draw him into the light?

If you follow me on twitter you'll know that recently I've been going through deadline hell so I haven't had much time for reading or reviewing, and then I moved! I was worried for a while that I'd never be able to read again.

Anyway, what you might now know is that Nobody was the best companion through this deadline hell. I was only able to read the book in little snippets here and there and it took me a whole two weeks to finish the book, but I looked forward to each five minute snippet that I grabbed.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Blog: Liebster Award

So, I've been away for a while and what better way to ease my way back into blogging than with a little tag thing. The Liebster Award is an award that is given by bloggers to other bloggers, a way of supporting little blogs that you love to read. I was nominated by the lovely Katie Thompson at Into the Bookcase, one of my favourite blogs, so I'd definitely recommend that you go over and give her reviews a read (as well as her own answers to the Liebster Award). Katie asked some brilliant questions and I'm going to get on with answering them after the cut

Monday, 28 April 2014

Top Ten: Young Adult Fiction

As my deadlines are still looming I 'm still starved for reading time, so here we go with another "time-saving" blog post (actually, it probably took me longer to think about my top ten books than it would have taken me to read and review a new book!).

Who doesn't love a good bit of YA fiction and at the moment the spotlight has never been more focused on this budding genre, jumping on the bandwagon I thought I'd share some of my favourite YA books. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

To Be Read - April/May

If you follow me on twitter (I'm going to keep mentioning this until you follow me so you might as well just do it now) you'll know that I am currently in deadline hell and am substituting some review posts with blog posts. Today I thought I'd expand more on my TBR 'pile' (a bit euphemistic, it's more of a TBR bookcase at this point) which I talk about a lot. Most of you will know that TBR stands for 'to be read' and I thought I'd share some of the books languishing on that list today.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Review: Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan

Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their townhouse, she has to move miles away from everyone, to the sleepy little seaside resort of Polbearne, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.
And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it.
Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.

Having recently rediscovered Colgan I've been eagerly anticipating her latest for some time now. This Easter gave me the perfect opportunity to take some time off, lock myself away and completely devour Little Beach Street Bakery (and a packet of hot cross buns...).

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mini-view: Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy - Lucy-Anne Holmes

'My love story may not be the sort you read about in books or see in films . . . Love stories have glorious highs and ghastly lows. But when it comes to my own life, I'd have to say, you can keep your fabulous highs and I'll happily steer clear of the terrible lows.' 
After a rocky start in life, Jenny Taylor, 27, star receptionist at the local doctors surgery, has things all worked out thanks to 'The Smiling Fanny Manifesto' - a list of 10 daily things she must do to keep the blues at bay. But her life is turned upside down when she meets aspiring musician Joe King. And reliable boyfriend Matt proposes. And then her mum leaves her dad and moves into Jenny's flat determined to 'bond'. 

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Lucy-Anne speak about her No More Page 3 campaign at the University of Edinburgh. A highly skilled and charming speaker I was instantly compelled to seek out one of her novels and the library happily obliged with a copy of Just a Girl sitting there right on the shelf, for little old me.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Review: The Geography of You and Me - Jennifer E. Smith*

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met. 
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

At the moment I am really enjoying the YA scene which, I've said before and I'll say again, is going from strength to strength of late and is becoming increasingly prominent in the book world. Jennifer E. Smith is a new author to me and having adored this, her latest novel, her previous books are going straight onto my somewhat bulging TBR (to be read) pile.

Review: Animal Attraction (Animal Magnetism #2) - Jill Shalvis*

She’s tempting his basic instincts…
Sunshine, Idaho, is a quiet ranching town, a perfect place to give injured animals a refuge…or to find one yourself. Veterinarian Dell Connelly suspects there’s a reason his clinic’s uber-efficient receptionist has taken shelter here.
Jade Bennett couldn’t be happier to escape the big-city jungle to work with hurt animals, and have a forlorn stray kitten make its home under her desk…or enjoy the gorgeous views of her ruggedly sexy boss.
Jade is used to planning everything in her life, but Dell’s seductive, alluring ways have sparked an uncontrollable desire. And though Dell has never had time for love, Jade’s strength and sass is the kind of call no red-blooded male can resist…

Last month I reviewed the first in the Animal Magnetism series by Shalvis and since then I've been off devouring them all and I have to say I am loving this series. Shalvis is quickly becoming one of my go to authors for a quick, heart-warming romance with added steam and emotion.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bargain Read: If I Could Turn Back Time - Nicola Doherty*

What if you found The One, then lost him again? 
Or not so much lost him as became the neurotic, needy girlfriend from hell. The girl who tried to make him choose between her and his job, and got seriously paranoid about his relationship with his best female friend... 
Zoe knows she doesn't deserve another chance with David. But if there's the tiniest possibility of making things right, she'll snatch it. Even if it means breaking the laws of physics to do so...

Is it just me who wishes that authors would stop using titles similar to popular songs? I haven't been able to get If I Could Turn Back Time out of my head all week and I think my sister has had enough of my Cher impressions.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Review: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Sarra Manning

Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don't get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve's heart since university. But William's been in LA for three years, and Neve's been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he'll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.
So she's not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she'd better get some, well, experience.What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia's colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he's such a man-slut, and so not Neve's type, she certainly won't fall for him. Because William is the man for her... right?Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve's lost her heart - but to who?

A few weeks ago I reviewed my first ever Manning novel It Felt Like a Kiss and since then I have been predictably squeezing in a few of her older reads in between everything else that has been languishing on my TBR pile. It has to be said that You Don't Have to Say You Love Me could have over taken It Felt Like a Kiss as my favourite Manning novel to date.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review: The Time of Our Lives - Jane Costello

Imogen and her friends have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.So when one of the group wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in surroundings of unapologetic luxury.But as they mingle with movie stars, mafia bosses and millionaires, it becomes clear - with riotous consequences - that even in the most glamorous of locations, things can go wrong. Very wrong . . .

I was actually lucky enough to win an e-book copy of The Time of Our Lives over on twitter and giddy with the high of actually winning something (I think the last thing I won was a swimming contest at age seven) I sat down to read Jane Costello's latest after a horrible week of deadline hell.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bargain Read/Review: A Day at the Office - Matt Dunn

Julie kissed Mark at the office Christmas party. She doesn't seem to remember, but he's not been able to forget. What better day to jog her memory than Valentine's Day?
Calum's found the girl of his dreams on the internet. Trouble is, he's not been completely honest about himself. Tonight he's meeting her for the first time. But will it also be the last?
Nathan's organised his usual Anti-Valentine's party for the office singletons. Sophie's going - again. Though this year, if she gets her way, they might just be leaving together.
One office. Five lives. On the most romantic day of the year.

I have never been one to need an excuse to eat chocolate but at the moment there is the perfect reason to have that cheeky little bar. Galaxy currently have a promotion running in conjunction with Kindle on all of their irresistible reads packs; if you buy a single bar of chocolate you can claim a free Kindle e-book from a small selection, and their bigger bars give you the chance to win your very own Kindle (to read all those new books on). Being a chocolate fiend I have had the chance to read a few of the books on offer and decided to review them for you guys, first up is Matt Dunn's A Day at the Office.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Mini-view: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) - Kelley Armstrong*

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

A few months ago I reviewed the first in Armstrong's hugely successful Women of the Otherworld series, a bit of a first for me as a fully-fledged supernatural romance novel. Having really enjoyed Bitten and having a bit of a soft spot for YA fiction I thought I'd give the first in Armstrong's latest YA series a go.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Review: Run to You - Rachel Gibson*

Ex-marine Beau Junger likes fast cars and loud music. His body is covered in tattoos and makes girls go weak at the knees. But Beau's not interested in love this year: No women. No sex. No complications. His only worry is saving Stella Leon.

Stella doesn't need saving. She's always been independent, confident, strong. At least on the outside. And she definitely doesn't need a man. After all, she's never known one she could depend on.

But when Beau turns up and spirits her across state to meet her estranged sister, everything changes. They've both got their demons to face, but as the southern heat brings tensions sizzling to the surface, something sparks between them. This tough guy has finally met his match - and they're both about to fall harder than a ton of red-hot bricks...

Rachel Gibson is one of my go to authors as she always guarantees a fun and romantic read and Run to You is no different.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bargain Read: How to Get a Love Life - Rosie Blake

Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown. Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date. 
Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola's reluctance to lose control means she's living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine's Day. 
The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it's an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn't quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it's rather a lot of fun...

I briefly mentioned Rosie Blake's How to Get a (Love) Life in my Bargain Reads roundup last week and since then this fabulous little novel has shot down to 89p, so I thought I'd better get my review up quick-sticks.