Tag Archives: Paige Toon

Books and the City Spring Blogger Evening!

10 Feb

spring blogger

Last week I was lucky to be invited to the Books and the City Spring Blogger Evening at publisher Simon and Schuster. These eveningsIMG_7258 are always brilliant  thanks to the lovely Sara-Jade Virtue and the rest of the team, and this one was no exception (check out the cakes!).

There were four author’s on the panel and another two authors joined them at the event. The super six were: Alice Peterson, Dani Atkins, Milly Johnson, Kate Furnivall, Juliet Ashton and Sarah Vaughan. It was lovely to hear them read from their laIMG_7256test books and to hear a little about them and how they go about writing the books that we love!

 

The evening ended with lots of book talk with fellow bloggers, a signing, more cake and a treat-packed goody bag!

Here are the fab books that you can look forward to this spring from Simon and Schuster.

song for tomorrowA Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson – out now!

This book is hot off the press as it was released yesterday! Alice’s books are always emotional and poignant reads and this one is no exception – based on a true story.

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world. 
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. So has Tom. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

The Liberation by Kate Furnival – out nowthe liberation

Look out for Kate’s next novel, The Betrayal too which will be out in November!

The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy’s population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate – her father is dead, her mother has disappeared and her brother is being drawn towards danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father’s name. An Allied Army officer accuses him of treason and Caterina discovers a plot against her family. Who can she trust and who is the real enemy now? And will the secrets of the past be her downfall?

Orange Blosson Days by Patricia Scanlan – 9th March

I’m typing this in cold, grey, wet England – how I wish I could jump into this cover! Patricia’s beautifully titled new book will be out in hardback on 9th March.

orange blossomIn a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya deAndalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners.

Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.

Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.

Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.

Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.

As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…

this loveThis Love by Dani Atkins – 23rd March

I loved Dani’s last novel, Our Song and I can’t wait to read This Love!

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

woman at number 24The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton – 20th April

The cover for this book has just been revealed – isn’t it fab?

Welcome to number 24, a Georgian villa in west London that is home to five separate families and five very different lives.

Up in the eaves, Sarah finds that recovering from a nasty divorce is even more heartbreaking when your ex-husband lives one floor beneath you with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her. A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?

The Spring brings a new couple to number 24. Jane and Tom’s zest for life revives the flagging house, and Sarah can’t deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she’ll never act on it … but the air fizzes with potential.

The sunshine doesn’t reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.

Love, rivalry, secrets and murder – all under one seemingly ordinary roof ….

queen of wishfulThe Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson – 4th May

This sounds like another treat of a book from Milly – add it to your wish lists now!

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

last pieceThe Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon – 18th May

I’m a massive fan of Paige’s books and have read them all so I can’t wait to read this one!

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change …

Which of these are you looking forward to reading this spring? Find out more about the books featured here and lots of other lovely reads on the Books and the City site at: http://booksandthecity.co.uk/

Book review: The One We Fell In Love With by Paige Toon

6 Jun

one we fell in love withPhoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?
 
Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…
 
But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…

I’m beginning to run out of things to say about how fab Paige Toon’s books are. Honestly, each one is a perfect little package of escapist reading heaven. And like delicious chocolates I always have to slow myself to stop from gobbling it all up on one sitting!

The One We Fell In Love With has all of the trademarks I’ve come to love from Paige; handsome, thoughtful and just a little bit dangerous men, female leads who you either want to be or be best friends with and an edge of my reading spot storyline that kept me guessing and yet again managed to surprise me! As I said before, a perfect little shiny piece of book heaven.

The focus of the title and story is Angus, the boy who moves in next door to identical triplets, Phoebe, Eliza and Rose when they are seventeen. As you can image, one handsome boy and three pretty girls is a recipe for trouble, especially with sisterly rivalry thrown in. The sisters’ relationships with each other are as much part of this story as their relationships with Angus are and I loved how Paige got their individual personalities across as well as examining how it might feel to have two other people in the world who look exactly the same as you.

Rose, Phoebe and Eliza are all very different and their choices and reactions as they grew up have seen their lives take very different paths. I don’t want to give anything away so I’m not going to say much more but despite telling myself to go slowly, I still read this book in just two days and I was hooked from the start. For me, the ending was absolutely perfect! There are two characters who I rooted for through the book and I’d love to know what happens next to them.

As with all of Paige’s books I was hoping there would be a little link to previous stories or a cameo from some characters that I knew and I wasn’t disappointed – I love the little details that Paige adds in. If you haven’t read a Paige Toon book yet, I can’t recommend her highly enough and if you’re a fan, enjoy!

5/5

The One We Fell in Love With is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Paige and her writing at: http://www.paigetoon.com/ and don’t forget to sign up to Paige’s ‘Hidden Paige’ newsletter for extras and more!

 

Book extract: I Knew You Were Trouble by Paige Toon

4 Aug

Today I’m delighted to be the final stop on Paige Toon’s I Knew You Were Troube blog tour. Paige  is one of my favourite authors and has sold over a quarter of a million books to date and appeared on the Sunday Times bestseller list.

PAIGE TOONPaige grew up in Australia, America and England – thanks to her much-travelled Le Mans winner father, Vern Schuppan. For over eight years she worked at Heat Magazine as Reviews Editor. She now lives in Cambridge and is married with two children.

Paige loves to chat to her readers so do say hello at: http://www.paigetoon.com/, on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor or on her Facebook page.

Paige’s lovely publisher is kindly letting me share an extract from I Knew You Were Trouble with you today! Click the link below to read the prologue to this fab new novel but be warned – it will leave you wanting more :-)

I Knew You Were Trouble PROLOGUE (PDF will open in a new window)

 

Trouble COVER

Life as the undercover daughter of a rock god was never going to be easy. How will Jessie adjust to her old boring life again after spending her summer living it up with her dad in LA? With tough decisions ahead (and not just choosing between two love interests), can she cope juggling her two very different lives? Jessie is back in the UK and has rekindled a spark with former crush, Tom, though is still preoccupied with thoughts of bad boy Jack from LA. When her father comes to visit and invites Jessie out to dinner, he assures her that she’s safe from the paparazzi, but sure enough her photo appears in the local paper the next day and it’s only a matter of time before the media are clamouring to find out the identity of Johnny’s long-lost daughter. Summer may be over, but Jessie’s story is just beginning…

Book review: The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon

2 Aug

accidental-life-jessie-jeffersonMeet Jessie, small-town girl turned wild child . . .

Jessie has never known her real dad, and when her mum dies she thinks any hope of finding him is gone. As she goes goes off the rails, her stepdad announces that her father is Johnny Jefferson – legendary rockstar and former hell-raiser.

Still dealing with her loss, and now the daughter of a superstar, Jessie is sucked into the LA lifestyle – paparazzi, parties and hot guitar-wielding boys included.

But is Johnny up to the job? And, more importantly, is Jessie?

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson has just had a cover update to match it with the second book in this series, I Knew You Were Trouble which was released this week. I love the new cover and I think it suits the book perfectly. In preparation for I Knew You Were Trouble I’ve been catching up with Johnny and Meg, firstly in the short story Johnny’s Girl and then with this novel which takes up where the short story left off and introduces us to Johnny’s secret daughter, Jessie.

I’ve read Paige’s books right from the start of her career and Johnny and Meg are certainly up there with my favourites amongst her characters so it was with a little bit of trepidation that I started reading this novel. Would I like the newcomer to their family? Would they like her or would she cause more trouble for the couple who’ve had a fair bit of drama in their lives so far? I was intrigued to see how Paige’s writing translated to young adult fiction too, especially the romantic relationships that she is so good at writing.

Initially, I’ll admit, I wasn’t such a huge fan of Jessie but Paige certainly knows how to develop a character and by the end of the book my opinions on her had definitely changed. We meet Jessie not long after the death of her Mum. Naturally for a sixteen year old, her emotions are all over the place and I found myself putting myself not only in Jessie’s place as a heartbroken teenager but also in the place of her step-dad, Stu who she gives a really hard time to as the book opens.

Paige is excellent at getting emotion onto the page and I had a lot of sympathy for both of them as they struggle to come to terms with their loss.Paige shows the impact of Jessie’s grief not just on her relationship with her step-dad but also her friends and particularly her best friend Libby and I was rooting for them to get their friendship back on track throughout the book.

As Jessie finds out the truth about who her real Dad is, a whole new world opens up to her. I loved the different perspective that Jessie gave to Meg and Johnny’s relationship and it was brilliant to go to LA with Jessie and discover the sights with her again. I found her relationship with Meg and Johnny very interesting and I found myself trying to guess what their reactions were and telling the story from their point of view in my head! I’ve not been in a situation before where the parents in a novel are characters that I know and love but I think Paige got the balance right and gave both sides well.

As Jessie finds herself with some new friends and  two possible romantic interests towards the end of the novel, I’m looking forward to finding our what happens next and seeing where the new characters go. The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is a must read for Paige’s long term fans and will open up her writing to a whole new generation of readers too – an excellent start to an exciting new series.

4/5

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Paige and her writing at: http://www.paigetoon.com/

Short Story Spotlight: Johnny’s Girl by Paige Toon

19 Jul

johnnys girl

Meg’s life has taken a turn for the perfect. She is the envy of millions with her drop dead gorgeous husband, their two beautiful sons and her new mansion in Henley. Her celebrity PA days are over. But desperate to keep up with her rock star husband, Johnny Jefferson, she uproots her perfect family and moves back to LA.
Meg has to learn to live with her new celebrity status and the insecurities of her old life, which keep reappearing. Under the paparazzi flash of an A-List party, complete with red carpet, champagne and canapés, Johnny’s rock star past catches up with him and Meg’s worst nightmare becomes a reality…

Regular blog readers will know that I’m a big fan of Paige Toon and I’ve read almost everything that she’s written! This summer I’m taking the opportunity to catch up with books (hard copy and on my Kindle) that have been waiting for me to read them for a while. I’m taking part in the blog tour for Paige’s new novel, I Knew You Were Trouble early next month so have started my catch up with Johnny’s Girl.

Johnny’s Girl is an ebook short story set after Baby Be Mine and if you haven’t read that or the earlier book featuring Johnny Jefferson, Johnny Be Good then you might want to stop reading now! For those starting here, this short story gives a summary of all that has gone before so if you haven’t read the books that introduce us to Johnny and Meg then this quick read will bring you bang up to date!

Johnny’s Girl gives a lovely update on Meg and Johnny and I was so happy to be back in their (very glamorous) world. I loved seeing Meg and Johnny as parents and catching up with other old friends in LA from Paige’s previous novels. Going back to where it all began and seeing things from a new perspective. Paige really does give the sense that her characters and their worlds are real.

Things seem to be going beautifully for the lovebirds but of course there has to be a spanner in the works and this one comes in the form of an exciting new character to get to know! The story leads into Paige’s first Young Adult novel, The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson which is next on my reading list so look out for a review of that soon and please do check out the blog tour for I Knew You Were Trouble!

Johnny’s Girl is out now as an ebook exclusive.

Johnny Be Good, Baby Be Mine and The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson are out now in paperback and ebook formats.

I Knew You Were Trouble will be released in paperback and ebook formats on 30th July.

Find out more about about Paige Toon and her novels at: http://www.paigetoon.com/

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Book review: The Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon

6 Jun

sun in her eyes pbb front mediumBlinding sunshine… A bend in the road… What became of the little girl with the sun in her eyes?

Amber was three when a car crash stole her mother’s life. She doesn’t remember the accident, but a stranger at the scene has been unable to forget. Now, almost thirty years later, she’s trying to track Amber down.

Amber, meanwhile, is married to Ned and living on the other side of the world in London. When her father has a stroke, she flies straight home to Australia to be with him. Away from her husband, Amber finds comfort in her oldest friends, but her feelings for Ethan, the gorgeous, green-eyed man she once fell for, have never been platonic.

As Ethan and Amber grow closer, married life in London feels far away. Then Amber receives a letter that changes everything. ‘Before your mother died, she asked me to tell you something…’

I recently went to a book launch and was enjoying the book chatter when one of the publishing team for the event asked a really interesting question; who are the three authors whose books you always read? The first name that sprang to mind was Paige Toon; I’ve been a big fan of her writing ever since I picked up a copy of Lucy In The Sky and I’ve read all of her adult books (her YA books are next on my list!). One of the things I love most about Paige’s books is her consistency; I have my favourites of the books she’s written but they are all really good gripping stories and I can totally rely on her to provide an all-consuming reading escape!

The Sun In Her Eyes is no exception; I was caught up in the story straight away. The heart breaking prologue which sees Doris witness the car crash that kills Amber’s mum and hear her dying words, set my curiosity into overdrive and I didn’t stop turning the pages until I had all the answers I wanted. I find I have to force myself to pace my reading with Paige’s books but despite trying to slow down I raced through this one in a weekend and enjoyed every minute.

Paige creates intriguingly flawed characters and puts them in situations that always make me think ‘what would I do?’ In this book, Amber heads home to Australia when her Dad suffers a stroke. There she reconnects with her childhood friends including her best friend and unrequited first love, the handsome Ethan. Amber isn’t getting on so well with her husband Ned and so the scene is set for fireworks!

For me Amber was an interesting character to read because I didn’t necessarily agree with her actions but, and this is where Paige is a talented author, I understood them and even had sympathy for her during the book. The Amber, Ned, Ethan triangle is very well done and for much of the book I was as confused as Amber as to where her heart should lie and I found it very difficult to predict the ending.

Paige writes a gripping emotional roller coaster for Amber and her loved ones. The stroke storyline is well researched and believably highlights both the victim and their friends and families’ reactions whilst dealing with the aftermath. With a strong supporting cast, The Sun In Her Eyes had an excellent mix of mystery, passion, romance and heartbreak and I enjoyed getting to know Amber and her friends and family. Reading Paige’s books is like meeting up with old friends and I had fun spotting the links to her previous novels – another surefire hit for Paige and I’m already counting the days to the next book!

5/5

The Sun In Her Eyes is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more and sign up for Paige’s fab newsletter at: http://www.paigetoon.com

Perfect reads for Wedding Season (and beyond!)

18 Aug

Weddings are everywhere in fiction this year! Here are ten books to see you through wedding season and beyond!
thirteen weddingsThirteen Weddings by Paige Toon (Out now!)
One of my favourite books of the year so far and covers a wonderful array of weddings through the eyes of wedding photographer, Bronte. You can read my full review here and read about Paige’s own wedding day here!
Sometimes you have to step out of the light to see clearly again…

Bronte never expected to see Alex after their one night together, but she never stopped thinking of him. So when she arrives at work one day to find that Alex is a new colleague, she is secretly thrilled. The only problem is that Alex is now engaged to Zara, the girl he was on a break from the night they met.

Determined to move on with life, Bronte becomes a part-time wedding photographer, alongside her day job. Surrounded by loving couples, warring couples, tearful bridesmaids, mischievous pageboys and interfering mothers-in-law, she tries to navigate her way through wedding after wedding while her heart is being torn apart. 

As Alex’s own wedding day draws ever nearer, Bronte and Alex’s chemistry becomes harder to ignore, and Bronte must decide whether to fight for the man she loves, or to let him go forever.
Two Weddings and a Baby by Scarlett Bailey (Out now!) two weddings and a baby
The first summer novel from lovely Scarlett Bailey – a lovely, funny, romantic summer read!

From reluctant bridesmaid, to accidental mother.

Tamsyn Thorne has not been back to her home town of Poldore for five long years.

But now her brother, Ruan, is about to get married and she has no excuses left.

Her plans to arrive in Cornwall looking chic and successful are dashed when a huge storm turns her from fashion goddess to a drowned rat. Worse, she ends up insulting the local hunky vicar – and then finds a tiny baby abandoned in his churchyard.

badbridesBad Brides by Rebecca Chance (Out now!)
Another fabulous read from Rebecca Chance – be warned, this one really sizzles!!
Good brides promise to obey. Bad brides wouldn’t dream of it…

Milly Gamble is an up-and-coming actress, and the perfect English flower child. At 23, she’s always been cast as the innocent heroine. But looks can deceive. Calculating and fiercely ambitious, Milly is determined to be the most famous star in England. And how better to achieve her goal than by dating Tarquin Ormond, lead singer of the biggest folk band of the moment? Tarquin is madly in love with Milly; Milly is only in love with herself. 

Brianna Jade is an all-American pageant girl. The daughter of Tamra Maloney, a stunning billionairess, Brianna is a sweet, pretty girl who is more than happy to go along with her mother’s ambitious plans for her. Now Tamra’s brought her to the UK and hooked her up with an Earl. He has a crumbling stately home and needs a rich wife to help restore it to its former glory. Tamra is as ambitious and determined as Brianna is sweet and innocent – is this more a case of mother-in-law-zilla than bridezilla?

Both Milly and Brianna’s upcoming weddings will be huge, lavish events that garner national press. But with the cover of the biggest magazine in the country to be won, things are about to get very dirty…

 

Lily Does LA by Nicola Doherty (e-book short story published on 25th September) LILY does LA
The second installment in Nicola Doherty’s fab new five-part Girls on Tour series. I really enjoyed the first story in the series and am looking forward to jetting of to LA with Lily!

Lily is an actress. At least, that’s what she tells people, even though she’s currently working in a call centre and her last big part was an ad for Sofa Warehouse. So when she’s invited to her cousin Alice’s wedding in LA, it’s a dream come true. Alice’s fiancé Sam is actually a Hollywood agent; how can Lily fail to get talent-spotted? There’s only one problem; not only is Lily banned from mentioning acting, parts or producers to Sam, she’s expected to spend the entire week doing wedding-related prep (read: chores) with Sam’s boring groomsman Jesse. But Lily firmly believes that rules were made to be broken …
after the weddingAfter the Wedding by Roisin Meaney (Out now!)
I’ve heard so many good things about Roisin’s books so am looking forward to reading this one soon.
It’s the beginning of May on the island of Roone and Nell Mulcahy, having called off her wedding to the handsome Tim Baker, has finally admitted her love for his brother James – a love everyone else on the island recognised long before she did. Now Nell is setting off for County Clare, to a church overlooking the sea, to say ‘I do’ to the Mr. Baker she was meant for all along.

But when James and Nell return to their home after the wedding, they find Roone rocked by the disappearance of a young girl holidaying on the island.

As the summer progresses, and Nell and James navigate the ups and downs of life as a married couple – along with Tim’s return to Roone – the search for the girl continues. And the island residents discover that everything can change in a single moment. But will happiness be restored before autumn comes?
The Wedding Speech by Isabelle Broom (Ebook short story released on 28th August)
 wedding-speech-9781471138980_lg
I’m looking forward to discovering a new author when this short story is released at the end of the month!
Ed waited until all the eyes in the room were on him before he began. He took a deep breath, inhaling as he did so the sweet scent from the lilies, which were arranged extravagantly in front of him. ‘Ladies and gents, I promise to try and keep this short and sweet…’

When Billy asked his best mate Ed to be his best man, Ed knew he would have to make a speech and he was dreading it. But he also knew how important it was to Billy – and to his soul mate and wife-to-be, Amelia. So Ed is determined to do them proud. But little does he know that it will be the most important speech he will ever make, and his toast – ‘To Billy and Amelia – together forever’ – will mean more than he ever thought.

A beautiful short story to remind you of the importance of love.
youre the one that I wantYou’re the one that I want by Giovanna Fletcher (Out now!)
A second huge romantic hit for Giovanna Fletcher and one of my favourite covers of the year so far!

Maddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob – the man she’s about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben – best man and the best friend any two people ever had.

And that’s the problem.

Because if it wasn’t Rob waiting for her at the altar, there’s a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right?

Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it…

The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch (Out now!) WeddingBees_US_final_cover-330

I loved this sweet and magical book – full of Southern charm!

Sugar Wallace did not believe in love at first sight, but her bees did. . . .

Every spring Sugar Wallace coaxes her sleepy honeybee queen—presently the sixth in a long line of Queen Elizabeths—out of the hive and lets her crawl around a treasured old map. Wherever the queen stops is their next destination, and this year it’s New York City.

Sugar sets up her honeybees on the balcony of an East Village walk-up and then––as she’s done everywhere since leaving South Carolina––she gets to know her neighbors. She is, after all, a former debutante who believes that manners make the world a better place even if they seem currently lacking in the big city.

Plus, she has a knack for helping people. There’s Ruby with her scrapbook of wedding announcements; single mom Lola; reclusive chef Nate; and George, a courtly ex-doorman. They may not know what to make of her bees and her politeness, but they can’t deny the magic in her honey.

And then there’s Theo, a delightfully kind Scotsman who crosses Sugar’s path as soon as she gets into town and is quickly besotted. But love is not on the menu for Sugar. She likes the strong independent woman she’s become since leaving the South and there’s nothing a charmer like Theo can do to change her mind . . . only her bees can do that.

The Wedding Bees is a novel about finding sweetness where you least expect it and learning to love your way home.

honeymoon hotelThe Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne (Released on 11th September)
I’m a big fan of Hester’s books and can’t wait to read this new novel!
The Bonneville Hotel is the best-kept secret in Mayfair: its art deco suites and glittering ballrooms a former home-away-from-home for royalty and movie stars alike. Recent years haven’t been kind, but thanks to events manager Rosie, the Bonneville is reclaiming some of its old cachet as a chic retro-glam wedding venue.

While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t; she’s focused on the details, not the dramas. But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to the Bonneville staff, Rosie finds herself up against an unprecedented challenge: a rival whose predilection for the unconventional could derail not only Rosie’s own career, but the most elaborate, high-profile wedding the Bonneville has ever seen.
From Notting Hill with Four Weddings … Actually by Ali McNamara (Published on 23rd October)four weddings
The third novel in Ali McNamara’s From Notting Hill series and one of my most anticipated books of the year. It’s not out for a while yet but I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

Movie addict Scarlett O’Brien is finally living the jet-setting life she’s dreamed of – but it all hangs by a shiny, golden thread.

Flying between London and New York, running two businesses, planning her wedding to handsome fiancé, Sean, with best friends Oscar and Maddie – life couldn’t be better.

But then Scarlett meets paparazzi darling, Gabriella Romero, and life suddenly becomes even more extravagant and glamorous. As she begins to experience the other side to being rich and famous, it’s not only Scarlett’s perfect wedding that’s put in jeopardy, but her whole world.

Guest post: My Wedding Day by Paige Toon

2 Aug

I’m so excited to have Paige Toon as my guest on One More Page today! Paige has been one of my favourite authors for a long time now and her latest novel, Thirteen Weddings is a brilliant summer read. To celebrate Thirteen Weddings Paige has embarked on a thirteen stop wedding themed blog tour and today shares with us the details of her very own wedding day. Welcome Paige!

paige toon weddingI’ve always been a bit of an optimistic pessimist. I try to think the worst so I won’t be disappointed. I think the biggest mistake I made when I got married was to completely forget to adopt this philosophy. I had thought about my wedding day all my life. It’s supposed to be the Best Day of Your Life – but jeez, talk about putting the pressure on!

My husband and I were one of the first of our group of friends to tie the knot, so we didn’t have a lot of experience in how to do things. Looking back, I really wish we’d hired a wedding planner – although in reality, I’m a bit of a control freak and we also didn’t have a lot of money.

I was so tied to the organisation of our wedding that I found it hard to enjoy the day. I noticed every little thing that went wrong. Nobody else did, it was just me. In fact, lots of people said it was the nicest wedding they’d ever been to – including my husband, so I really wish I’d been able to step back and enjoy it more.

Aside from the amazing man I married (that goes without saying, surely!), my favourite bit about the day was wearing my dress. I didn’t have high hopes for finding a dress that I’d look good in – I never, ever wore white. So when I found it, it was a very happy moment indeed. (You can see a picture of it on shazsbookboudoir.blogspot.co.uk.)

I also loved the church we got married in: St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden. In fact, I used this church for Thirteen Wedding’s thirteenth wedding, and borrowed some facts for the book, like the sound of the buskers in the plaza behind the church. My best friend, Bridie, came over from Australia to be my Matron of Honour, and some of my closest family members did, too.

After the service, the congregation piled on to a couple of red London double decker buses and had a champagne tour of the Christmas lights while we went on to the reception venue – the Barbican Garden Rooms – to do the photographs.

As for the things that went wrong, there were plenty, but here are but a few…

During the service, I couldn’t get my words out because I started to cry, which was highly embarrassing! I felt like I didn’t have enough time to compose myself before it was my moment to speak again, so every time I spoke, I was laughing with embarrassment through my tears. I can’t tell you how many people asked me afterwards if I was laughing or crying – it was mortifying!

I wish, wish, wish we’d splashed out on proper wedding photographers like Lina Orsino (who helped with the research and also thirteen weddingsfeatures in Thirteen Weddings) and her partner Tom (linaandtom.com) because most of our shots had flash, so we looked very bright and the background looked very dark. The official photographs looked dreadful and my husband and I both wish we’d gone on the buses with everyone else instead. I never got a single shot of me with my brother, and that still upsets me, but we made up for it at his wedding, thankfully!

Two nights before the wedding, we finally put a playlist together for the DJ – it wasn’t a typical wedding list, but we put a lot of thought into it, from the chill-out music to start with, finally building up to some cooler, indie songs and ending with the cheese. But then the wedding DJ didn’t have any of our music, and the person who took it on instead, played the playlist in any order so we had the cheese played during dinner. Argh!

We went on our honeymoon very early the next morning, so didn’t have any time at all to dissect the day, or to see close friends and relatives who’d come from overseas. I think since then, people generally realise it’s good to have a break before going on their honeymoon, and this is the one thing I’d recommend for anyone reading this.

All in all, though, I can’t really complain. I’m still happily married to my hubbie eleven years later, and that’s the main thing.

Thanks Paige!

Thirteen Weddings is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Please do check out the other brilliant stops on Paige’s blog tour which includes deleted scenes, song and picture inspiration for Thirteen Weddings, a character interview with Bronte, how Thirteen Weddings links to Paige’s other books plus a competition to win your name in her next book! 

Read my reviews of Paige’s books

A note from Paige: Sign up to my book club, ‘The Hidden Paige’, at www.paigetoon.com for free short stories, competitions and the chance to find out more about me and my characters and what we’re all up to.

Follow me on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor or visit me at www.Facebook.com/PaigeToonAuthor

Book review: Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon

3 Jun

thirteen weddingsLast 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’m a huge fan of Paige Toon and her books and have been eagerly anticipating her new release. I’m totally in awe of the way she manages to pull me in to a story time and time again and make me love her characters, new and old and Thirteen Weddings is no exception. In fact, it’s up there with Chasing Daisy as one of my favourites!

Thirteen Weddings is Bronte’s story (love her name!). Bronte meets Alex on her friend’s hen night and their connection sparks, leading to a very passionate single night together. I loved the romance of Bronte and Alex’s encounter and Paige immediately sets up the tension of the story as Bronte has to return to Australia and Alex has to decide if he can salvage the relationship that he is on a break from when he meets Bronte. The story quickly moves forward a year and the fates conspire to throw Alex and Bronte together again. But Alex is now engaged and Bronte, who hasn’t stopped thinking about him, is heartbroken.

I have to admit I felt torn by the Alex and Bronte storyline; one the one hand, their connection is beautifully written and half of me wanted him to choose Bronte, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for his long term girlfriend, now fiancé and I didn’t want Alex to throw away a long term relationship for a brief encounter! Needless to say, Bronte is just as confused as I was about what should be happening and then she meets fellow Australian Lachie which adds a whole new dimension to the plot! I’m not going to say much more about the romance aspect of the book as it would spoil the story but I think this is a book that will divide readers and it will be interesting to see if Team Lachie or Team Alex is more popular!

So, where do the ‘thirteen weddings’ of the title come into all of this? The weddings provide a brilliant backdrop to the story as Bronte meets wedding photographer Rachel and begins to help her out as her assistant. The details of the wedding photographs are excellent and Paige clearly did her research! It was lovely to read a book set in the UK that covered some different parts of the country to London and I really enjoyed reading about the different settings and themes for the weddings and the wonderful variety of guests and stories as the year moved on.

As will all of Paige’s books, Thirteen Weddings is a fab stand alone story but for those of us who are long time fans, you will be pleased to know that there are updates on a number of characters from Paige’s previous books in this one including a very exciting appearance from Lily and even a mention of Lucy (from Paige’s very first book, Lucy in the Sky). 

With plenty of involving side stories and sub-plots including the heartbreaking mystery surrounding Bronte’s relationship with her Dad, I couldn’t put Thirteen Weddings down once I’d started reading.  As the tension built towards the thirteenth wedding, I still had no idea who Bronte would end up with and my heart was in my mouth as I read but I thought the ending was perfect!

So, Team Alex or Team Lachie? Read it and let me know!

5/5

Thirteen Weddings is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank Simon and Schuster for providing a review copy of this book via Netgalley.

Find out more about Paige and her books at: http://www.paigetoon.com/

Paige is also launching a new free book club this summer with a briliant twist where you’ll be able to read exclusive extra chapters, short stories and news of your favourite characters. Sign up now on Paige’s website!

 

Book review: The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon

7 May

‘Don’t wait for the storm to pass; learn to dance in the rain…’ 

Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But a week before the wedding, Matthew made a terrible mistake.

Escaping the humiliation that is now her marriage, Laura is whisked off to Florida’s Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. Laura’s instant attraction to him knocks her flying, and she falls hard. 

As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn’t want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

Paige Toon has for many years now been one of my favourite authors. Her books never fail to grab me from the first page and keep me frantically reading until I’ve finished them. The Longest Holiday is no exception – I stayed up way past my bed time reading this book and finished it in two days. I’m massively impressed by Paige’s ability to keep producing books of such a high standard – she’s one of a handful of ‘must read’ authors that never disappoint.

This is Laura’s story. If you’re a fan of Paige’s books, you’ll remember Laura as Will’s girlfriend in Chasing Daisy. Just to be clear, this isn’t a sequel and you don’t need to have read any of Paige’s earlier books to enjoy this new one – it stands alone perfectly well – but if you have read the earlier books you’ll not only enjoy learning more about a character that was on the sidelines before but will also be treated to little updates on other characters in the world Paige has created. I love these little linkages between novels – it’s one of my favourite things about the books that Paige writes.

As the novel opens Laura is being whisked away to the beautiful Florida Keys to get some distance from the events in her personal life. Having only been married for seven months, she’s just made a heartbreaking discovery about her husband Matthew and Paige Toon takes us straight into the story with the dramatic details of Matthew’s transgression. Paige has created a terrible situation for her leading lady and I couldn’t help but think ‘what would I do?’ in that situation. As Laura narrates, we see all of the ups and downs of her feelings and I felt sympathy for her right from the start.

Laura is supported on the holiday by her best friend Marty and Marty’s friend Bridget. Bridget turned out to be one of my favourite characters in the book largely because her sentiments on Matthew’s betrayal matched my own! I loved how Paige worked the different perspectives on Laura’s dilemma into the story as Marty, Laura’s parents and newly discovered friends in Key West all weigh in on what she should do about her relationship with Matthew.

Laura’s holiday takes an unexpectedly romantic yet complicated  turn when she finds herself with a strong attraction to handsome diving instructor Leo.  Leo is certainly smouldering and the chemistry between them really does jump off the page. Paige Toon has a knack of writing bad boys with a heart and Leo is no exception as the sadness in his past is revealed. I honestly didn’t know which way Laura would go for most of the book as the twists in the story kept coming but I could never have seen the massive twist at the end coming and when it did my heart was actually racing!

This is a top book to pack in your suitcase this summer and had me longing to pack my bags and escape. The detail and the surroundings are beautifully described and the heat and passion of Leo and Laura’s relationship is perfectly set against beautiful Key West. The Longest Holiday is a brilliant read and I’m so glad Paige will be producing two books a year from now on!

5/5

The Longest Holiday is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

Find out more about Paige and her books: http://www.paigetoon.com

I’d like to thank Ally at Simon and Schuster for sending me a review copy of this book.