Archive | June, 2010

Summer reading challenge part two

25 Jun

The final five books in my summer reads list are:

I heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk

Angela is in the city of love – but romance is taking a nose-dive…

When Angela Clark’s boyfriend Alex suggests a trip to Paris at the same time as hip fashion mag Belle asks her to write a piece, she jumps at the chance.

But even as she’s falling for the joie de vivre of Paris, someone’s conspiring to sabotage her big break. And when she spots Alex having a tête-à-tête with his ex in a local bar, Angela’s dreams of Parisian passion all start crashing down around her.

With London and her old life only a train journey away, Angela can’t decide if should stay and face the music or run away home…

Wish Upon A Star by Olivia Goldsmith

Life in the city isn’t all about sex, shopping and Cosmopolitans! For Claire, a secretary from Staten Island who takes the ferry each morning into Manhattan, it’s spent working 9 to 5 at a law firm, listening to her friend’s disastrous love life and reading romantic novels, desperately wishing that her life could be as full of excitement as the heroines featured. The only highlight is catching an occasional glimpse of devastingly sexy law partner Michael. Until the day Michael offers her the chance of a trip to London — all expenses paid. When Claire sets foot on British soil she falls head over heels in love — with a country. From red double-deckers to afternoon tea, she’s finally found her home. Friends, family and even Michael are abandoned as she rents a room and sets out to make a whole new life as an American in London. But she reckons without the obstructive efforts of a very strait laced Englishman!

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Meet Valentine, an unforgettable and passionate woman with a heart and a dream as big as New York City. Her dream? To design the perfect pair of shoes …The Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. Now, in the twenty-first century, the company run so devotedly by Valentine and her grandmother Teodora faces financial ruin. Juggling a romantic relationship with dashing chef Roman Falconi, her duty to her family, and a design competition for a prestigious department store, Valentine accompanies her grandmother to Italy in the hope of finding inspiration. There, in Tuscany and on the Isle of Capri, she discovers her artistic voice and much more, turning her life around in ways she never expected.

Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon

If you fall too fast, you just might crash…Daisy has been dumped, unceremoniously jilted. Not by any ordinary guy, no…Daisy has a secret in her past that she won’t even tell her best friend, Holly. She’s given up on men – and on her own family. But life still has to be lived and where better to recover than as far away from home as possible. Grabbing a chance to see the world, Daisy packs her bags and joins the team catering to the world’s highest-paid, supercharged racing drivers on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. From Brazil to Italy, from Melbourne to Monte Carlo, life passes in a dizzying whirlwind. But nothing – and no one – can stop Daisy from falling again…this time for a man who is prepared to risk his life, and his heart, for the sake of speed, danger and ultimate success.

Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

Heartbreak, headlines and Hermes – welcome to Brooke’s new world…

Brooke and Julian live a happy life in New York – she’s the breadwinner working two jobs and he’s the struggling musician husband. Then Julian is discovered by a Sony exec and becomes an overnight success – and their life changes for ever.

Soon they are moving in exclusive circles, dining at the glitziest restaurants, attending the most outrageous parties in town and jetting off to the trendiest hotspots in LA.

But Julian’s new-found fame means that Brooke must face the savage attentions of the ruthless paparazzi. And when a scandalous picture hits the front pages, Brooke’s world is turned upside down. Can her marriage survive the events of that fateful night at Chateau Marmont? It’s time for Brooke to decide if she’s going to sink or swim…

So that’s my summer reading sorted; an assortment of old and new titles to sooth my wanderlust. I’m hoping to review one a week and complete the challenge by 31st August so drop by to see how I get on and let me know what your summer reads are.

Book review – A Single to Rome by Sarah Duncan

24 Jun

When Michael tells Natalie that he ‘needs space’, she’s devastated. She thought he was the love of her life but now Michael’s found himself a new girlfriend. So much for space. Natalie tries speed-dating, but how could she move on when she’s still yearning for Michael? One of her speedy dates is Guy and, despite the lack of chemistry, at least she’s now got a date for her best friend’s wedding. But past indiscretions are about to come to light. Natalie needs to escape. Guy happens to own a flat she can borrow… in Rome! There Natalie makes some fabulous new friends and discovers who puts the Rome into Romeo. She’s falling in love – but is it with Rome, or with someone she finds there?

The cover of this book really drew me in. I thought it was elegant and pretty and I love the use of blues to create a dusky evening in Rome.  The red roses set it off perfectly.  The love birds and roses on the front hint at romance and I just wanted to sit back on that balcony and enjoy the view!

Rome is at the top of my list of places to visit so I was looking forward to getting a feel for the sights and sounds through the book and I wasn’t disappointed. Sarah Duncan conjures up not only sights and sounds but smells and tastes and people and a real sense of place.  I loved seeing Rome through Natalie and Guy’s eyes and the different perspectives brought by the other characters in the book.  The only slight disappointment was that the build up to Natalie going to Rome was a little long and drawn out and I found the beginning of the book a bit slow.  But from chapter seven , as Natalie sets foot in the Eternal City I was gripped and didn’t put the book down until I’d finished it.

The variety of characters in Single to Rome is excellent, from Claudio, the classic Roman male to Natalie’s best friend Jax who tells it like it is (and was my favourite character), Teresa who speaks the language of food and Guy, who I thought was just lovely. I have to admit, I didn’t warm to Natalie at first and wanted to give her a good talking to while she was mooning over Michael but the book very cleverly takes you through the changes in Natalie as she moves on and I loved the way her character developed.

This book will appeal to many readers, it has history, travel facts, a bit of mystery and even a ghost or two not to mention romance and love in buckets. And the ending was perfect!

This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah and I will definitely be adding her others to my wish list. You can find out more about Sarah and her books at:


Summer reading challenge part one

23 Jun

Bournemouth is the exotic location for my summer holiday this year and while I’m sure it will be fab I thought I’d widen my horizons with my summer reading challenge. I’ve picked ten books themed around travel and summer from my ‘to read’ pile and ‘wish list’ and will aim to read and review them by the end of the summer.

My first five summer reads are:

A Single to Rome by Sarah Duncan

When Michael tells Natalie that he ‘needs space’, she’s devastated. She thought he was the love of her life but now Michael’s found himself a new girlfriend. So much for space. Natalie tries speed-dating, but how could she move on when she’s still yearning for Michael? One of her speedy dates is Guy and, despite the lack of chemistry, at least she’s now got a date for her best friend’s wedding. But past indiscretions are about to come to light. Natalie needs to escape. Guy happens to own a flat she can borrow… in Rome! There Natalie makes some fabulous new friends and discovers who puts the Rome into Romeo. She’s falling in love – but is it with Rome, or with someone she finds there?

Living la Vida Loca by Belinda Jones

Carmen has been feeling the need to break free for Too Darn Long. So when her equally frustrated friend Beth suggests the ultimate escape – dancing their way through a series of scorchingly-hot countries – she can’t resist!

There’s just one catch… they can only go on this adventure if they participate in a reality TV show, one intent on teaching them the mournful tango in Argentina, the feisty flamenco in Spain and the sassy, celebratory salsa in Cuba!

As they travel from Buenos Aires to Seville and ultimately steamy Havana, each dance has a profound effect on the girls – and indeed the sexy gauchos, matadors and dirty dancers who partner them…

But, when the sun goes down, do they have what it takes to go beyond the steps and free their hearts for love?

Holly Would Dream by Karen Quinn

Fashion historian Holly Ross often wishes she lived in a simpler time when the clothes were beautiful, the men debonair and the endings happy. But, about to be married and with a big promotion promised, her life seems finally to resemble the movie stars she idolizes. So where did it all go wrong? How, in the space of one day, does Holly find herself homeless, jobless, penniless – and fiance-less? Why is she cruising the Mediterranean in pursuit of property tycoon Denis King? And how come she’s trying to track down a suitcase full of stolen Audrey Hepburn gowns before Interpol tracks her down? The madcap adventures of the endearingly accident-prone Holly make for a fast-paced, feel-good and wickedly funny read. Will she get the promotion she deserves – or will she get thrown in jail? Will she capture the heart of Denis King before he marries society girl, Sydney Bass? And will she ever be able to stop saying ‘if only’ and accept herself for who she really is?

A Summer Fling by Milly Johnson

When dynamic, power-dressing Christie blows in like a warm wind to take over their department, five very different women find themselves thrown together at work. But none of them could have predicted the fierce bond of friendship that her leadership would inspire…Anna, 39, is reeling from the loss of her fiance, who ran off with a much younger woman. Her pride in tatters, these days Anna finds it difficult to leave the house. So when a handsome, mysterious stranger takes an interest in her, she’s not sure whether she can learn to trust again? Then there’s Grace, in her fifties, trapped in a loveless marriage with a man she married because, unable to have children of her own, she fell in love with his motherless brood. Grace worries that Dawn is about to make the same mistake: orphaned as a child, engaged to love-rat Calum, is Dawn more interested in the security that comes with his tight-knit, boisterous family? When a sexy, footloose rock singer catches her eye, will Dawn have the courage to follow her heart? At 28, Raychel is the youngest member of their little gang. And with a loving husband, Ben, and a cosy little nest for two, she would seem to be the happiest. But what dark secrets are lurking behind this perfect facade, that make sweet, pretty Raychel so guarded and unwilling to open up? Under Christie’s warm hand, the girls soon realise they have some difficult choices to make. Indeed, none of them quite realised how much they needed the sense of fun, laughter, and loyalty that abounds when five women become friends. It’s one for all, and all for one!

Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella

Will travel broaden the mind…or loosen the purse strings?
For Rebecca Bloomwood, life is peachy. She has a job on morning TV, her bank manager is actually being nice to her, and when it comes to spending money, her new motto is Buy Only What You Need – and she’s really (sort of) sticking to it. The icing on the brioche is that she’s been offered a chance to work in New York.
New York! The Museum of Modern Art! The Guggenheim! The Metropolitan Opera House! And Becky does mean to go to them all. Honestly. It’s just that it seems silly not to check out a few other places first. Like Saks. And Bloomingdales. And Barneys. And one of those fantastic sample sales where you can get a Prada dress for $10. Or was it $100? Is Becky too dazzled to care?

Shopaholic Abroad – for the biggest culture shop of your life.

So that’s Rome, Buenos Aires, Seville, Havana, The Med, Barnsley and New York covered on our world tour.  Come back tomorrow for my first review and on Friday for part two of my summer reading challenge with books covering Paris, LA, London, Tuscany, Isle of Capri, New York (again), Melbourne, Monte Carlo and Brazil!

Welcome to my blog

23 Jun

Have you ever picked up a book that you just can’t put down? Do you find yourself saying “Just one more page… and I’ll … ring my mum … put the washing on …walk the dog … go to sleep?” My husband came up with the name for this blog after asking me for the fifth time to turn the light off and getting the same response … “One more page…!”

I’ve been talking about starting a blog to record all of the lovely books I read since the beginning of the year and have finally taken my head out of the pages long enough to have a go.  This is my first attempt at blogging so please bear with me if I don’t always get it right (are there blogging rules?)

The books I review will be varied; a mix of new releases and older books. I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to pretty covers and I have an ever expanding ‘to read’ pile – more on that later.  My reading tastes can vary a lot but my mainly I tend towards chick lit and women’s Fiction with a bit of historical fiction thrown in. I’ve recently been dipping my toe in the YA pool and have discovered some brilliant novels.

Please say hello if you drop by – it would be lovely to chat about the books we’ve read and I’d appreciate any tips or comments on the blog.

Happy reading xxx