July 2013 new releases – hot picks

1 Jul

July is just packed with wonderful book releases – here are my recommendations!

Frisky Business by Clodagh Murphy (Hachette, Ireland 1st July)

A lovely story that made me laugh out loud – look out for a full review later in the week.

Romy Fitzgerald’s life is firmly on track. She runs a successful business, has great friends and knows what she wants.
That was until her father died. Suddenly she’s not sure about anything anymore.

So when she has a one-night stand at a party with a stranger dressed as Darth Vadar, she tells him things she’s never told anyone before . . . about herself and her father’s death. They’ll never see each other again so her secrets are safe, right?
Until Romy realises that she’s pregnant with Darth Vadar’s baby and now she has to face some awkward questions about what really happened the night of Luke’s conception.

Romy’s going to have to come clean, but when her ex-boyfriend Kit Masterson returns from New York and seems happy to go along with the charade of playing the part of Luke’s father, it seems like the answer to her prayers. Kit was the love her life, and maybe her secrets, and the true identity of Darth Vadar, can stay hidden forever.

But Kit has his own reasons for coming home and buying into the ready-made family. And as masks slip and true identities show, Romy and Kit quickly discover that in real life secrets never stay hidden, especially when it comes to love . . .

Closed Doors by Lisa O’Donnell (William Heineman, 4th July) 

I enjoyed Lisa’s darkly funny debut, The Death of Bees when I read it earlier this year and I’m looking forward to reading her new novel.

‘There are no strangers in Rothesay, Michael. Everyone knows who you are and always will. It’s a blessing but it’s also a curse.’

Eleven-year-old Michael Murray is the best at two things: keepy-uppies and keeping secrets. His family think he’s too young to hear grown-up stuff, but he listens at doors; it’s the only way to find out anything. And Michael’s heard a secret, one that might explain the bruises on his mother’s face.

When the whispers at home and on the street become too loud to ignore, Michael begins to wonder if there is an even bigger secret he doesn’t know about. Scared of what might happen if anyone finds out, and desperate for life to return to normal, Michael sets out to piece together the truth. But he also has to prepare for the upcoming talent show, keep an eye out for Dirty Alice, his arch-nemesis from down the street, and avoid eating Granny’s watery stew.

Little Beauty by Alison Jameson (Doubleday Ireland, 4th July)

This sounds like a thought provoking read and I love the cover.

1975: Laura Quinn has spent her life on the remote and beautiful Inis Miol Mor – Whale Island- off the west coast of Ireland. After the death of her parents, and faced with the continuing reluctance of her lover, Martin, to marry her, she realizes she needs to leave the island for her life really to begin. She accepts a job as a housekeeper with a wealthy couple on the mainland. But a year later, Laura is back, and this time she is not alone. She has at last found the love of her life: a baby son named Matthew. But what sort of life can an unmarried mother have on a remote Irish island in the 1970s?

In this complex situation is revealed a picture of a tightly knit community where Laura inevitably comes under pressure to conform to the rules of society. At times humorous and ultimately heart-breaking, Alison Jameson’s “Little Beauty” is a brilliant portrayal of love, motherhood and sacrifice.

The State We’re In by Adele Parks ( Headline, 4th July)

I’m reading and thoroughly enjoying this at the moment – I’ve heard so much about the ending and can’t wait to find out the secret!

What are the odds that the stranger sitting next to you on a plane is destined to change your life? Especially when they appear to be your opposite in every way.

She’s a life-long optimist, looking for her soul mate in every man she meets; he’s a resolute cynic – cruel experience has taught him never to put his faith in anyone.

People can surprise you. In the time it takes to fly from London to Chicago, each finds something in the other that they didn’t even realise they needed.

Their pasts are such that they can never make one another happy and it’s when they get off the plane that their true journey begins…

The Son In Law by Charity Norman  (Allen and Unwin, 4th July)

Another gripping read from Charity Norman!

On a sharp winter’s morning, a man turns his back on prison. Joseph Scott has served his term. He’s lost almost everything: his career as a teacher, his wife, the future he’d envisaged. All he has left are his three children but he is not allowed anywhere near them. This is the story of Joseph, who killed his wife, Zoe. Of their three children who witnessed the event. Of Zoe’s parents, Hannah and Frederick, who are bringing up the children and can’t forgive or understand Joseph. They slowly adjust to life without Zoe, until the day Joseph is released from prison…

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell (Century, 18th July) 

A new Lisa Jewell – what more do I need to say apart from … Yay!!

Meet the Bird Family

All four children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden.

But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.

The years pass and the children become adults and begin to develop their own quite separate lives. Soon it’s almost as though they’ve never been a family at all.

Almost. But not quite.

Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in – and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago.

By My Side by Alice Peterson (Quercus, 18th July)

This sounds like a beautiful read.

One step can change everything…

Cass Brooks loves her job, her boyfriend Sean, her life. Until, leaving home one morning, distracted and hungover, she steps into the path of a truck.

When she wakes up, she can’t walk. And suddenly all her hopes and dreams, the plans she’d made with Sean, the future she thought she’d have, seem out of her reach.

But then fate intervenes again. Cass meets Ticket, a loyal golden Labrador who refuses to leave her side. And on a flight to Colorado, she sits next to Charlie, who believes he can show her a life full of possibilities, if only she’ll let him.

Cass wants her life back the way it was. Charlie knows this cannot be. Yet a future beckons all the same…

The Harbour by Francesca Brill (Bloomsbury, 18th July) 

I’ve heard lots of good things about this debut from Francesca Brill.

Hong Kong, 1940. For the reckless young journalist Stevie Steiber, days at the Happy Valley racecourse slip into dangerous, hedonistic nights. Meanwhile Major Harry Field, a British Intelligence Officer, is investigating the recent arrival of Wu Jishang, a sophisticated publisher who owns a controversial political magazine. 

But it is Stevie, Jishang’s close colleague and lover, who really fascinates Harry. As the British community continues to party despite the looming threat of war, the two are obsessively drawn into a dark passion. And when the Japanese army seizes the island, they are faced with terrifying challenges – how far will they go to protect each other?

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth (Allison and Busby, 29th July) 

Having loved Bitter Greens when I read it earlier this year, I can’t wait to get my hands on Kate’s new book!

Once there were six sisters. The pretty one, the musical one, the clever one, the helpful one, the young one…

And then there was the wild one. Dortchen Wild has loved Wilhelm Grimm since she was a young girl. Under the forbidding shadow of her father, the pair meet secretly to piece together a magical fairy tale collection. The story behind the stories of the Brothers Grimm.

Please also take a look at, ‘Ten Books to Travel With – Summer 2013‘ for more lovely summer reads coming in July!

What are you looking forward to reading this month?

One Response to “July 2013 new releases – hot picks”

  1. Rachel 2nd July 2013 at 11:20 am #

    OOh another Lisa Jewell and Charity Norman book. Very tempting. The book by Francesca Brill lots intriging too, politics, love and secrets. !

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