Tag Archives: ‘To read’

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?

Book news: Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

6 May

I’m not normally a huge reader of horror novels but I’m planning to make an exception for this book.  In Benjamin Percy’s apocalyptic vision of the future, lycans (werewolves) revolt against the drug treatment and isolation enforced on them to fight for the rights and freedom of the lycan population. Red Moon is released on Thursday (9th May) in a beautiful hardback edition and as an ebook.  Check out the brilliant book trailer below!

They live amongst us. They are your neighbour, your mother, your lover. You think they are safe. They change.

Every teenage girl thinks she’s different. When government agents kick down Claire Forrester’s front door and murder her parents, Claire realises just how different she is.

Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and, hours later, stepped off it, the only passenger left alive. A hero.

President Chase Williams has sworn to eradicate the menace. Unknown to the electorate, however, he is becoming the very thing he has vowed to destroy.

Each of them is caught up in a war that so far has been controlled with laws and violence and drugs. But an uprising is about to leave them damaged, lost, and tied to one another forever. 

Find out more about Red Moon at:

http://redmoonbook.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/benjaminpercywriter

May 2013 new releases – hot picks

3 May

May is officially the hardest month yet to narrow down all the amazing-sounding books being published for my hot picks. There’s a deluge of books out on the 9th and I want to read them all and again towards the end of the month a lovely pile of new releases but here are the ones I’m hoping to read soon!

My Life in Black and White by Kim Izzo (Hodder , 9th May)

I really enjoyed Kim Izzo’s debut novel, The Jane Austen Marriage Manual and I love the sound of this book – it’s described as ‘A time-travel romantic-comedy set within the shadowy world of film noir.’ 

See to it you can take a slap as easy as a kiss. That is if you want to get anywhere in this world and not be anybody’s fool.

Clara Bishop feels life has served her up far too many slaps and not nearly enough kisses. When she is suddenly jilted by her philandering husband, she follows him to London, determined she must win him back.

Armed only with a suitcase of vintage clothing inherited from her grandmother, a former film noir actress, Clara discovers that the clothes really do make the woman. Dressed to kill, she adopts a new femme fatale persona: confident, sexy and set on revenge.

But on the road to retaliation, Clara discovers an unfinished film script that sheds light on her grandmother’s mysterious death years before. As Clara’s life is transported into a living, breathing film from the fifties, she discovers not only the secrets of her grandmother’s past, but the chance to write her own ending too . . .

The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke (Harper,  9th May) 

I’ve been hearing lots of good things about this one and I like the combination of mystery and travel.

Two sisters, one life-changing journey…

There are some currents in the relationship between sisters that run so dark and so deep, it’s better for the people swimming on the surface never to know what’s beneath . . .

Katie’s carefully structured world is shattered by the news that her headstrong younger sister, Mia, has been found dead in Bali – and the police claim it was suicide.

With only the entries of Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life, and – page by page, country by country – begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death.

What she discovers changes everything. But will her search for the truth push their sisterly bond – and Katie – to breaking point?

Follow me Down by Tanya Byrne (Headline, 9th May)

Tanya Byrne’s debut, Heart-Shaped Bruise had rave reviews so I’m looking forward to trying her new book.

When sixteen-year-old Adamma Okomma, a Nigerian diplomat’s daughter, arrives at exclusive Crofton College in Wiltshire, she is immediately drawn to beautiful, tempestuous, unpredictable Scarlett Chiltern. Adamma and Scarlett become inseparable – until they fall for the same guy. Soon the battle lines are drawn and Adamma is shunned by Scarlett and her privileged peers. But then Scarlett goes missing and everything takes a darker turn. Adamma always knew that Scarlett had her secrets, but some secrets are too big to keep and this one will change all of their lives for ever.

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden (Century, 9th May) 

Marlen Suyapa Bodden is a lawyer and drew on her knowledge of modern and historical slavery, human trafficking, and human rights abuses to write her debut The Wedding Gift. This sounds like gripping historical fiction!

What if, on your sister’s wedding day, you were given to her – as her slave?

When wealthy plantation owner Cornelius Allen marries off his daughter Clarissa, he presents her with a wedding gift: a young slave woman called Sarah.

The two girls have grown up together but their lives could not have been more different. Clarissa is white and is used to a life of privilege and ease. Sarah is black and is used to a life of slavery and hard work.

Forbidden by law to leave the plantation, Sarah longs to be free – in mind and in body.

But when she decides her future lies away from Clarissa, she sets in motion a series of events that will have devastating consequences for them both.

Chaplin and Company by Maeve Fellows (Jonathan Cape, 16th May)

I absolutely love the cover for this book and it sounds like a different and exciting read!

Introducing … Odeline Milk, a strange young lady from the suburbs. A young lady with an obsession – you can guess what it is by the way she dresses: white collarless shirt, a waistcoat and billowing black trousers, the bowler hat. She’s on her way to London, to make her name as a great mime artist. She hopes. And typical Odeline, she’s arriving prepared. With the small inheritance left her by her mother, she’s bought herself a home, an old canal boat. What she doesn’t know yet is that for some the city’s canals have an appeal of their own. They are below the eyeline, a sort of halfworld, a good place to hide for a community of curious outsiders, all with their own stories to tell, stories which might help a certain young lady to think differently about life. Because there’s a lot Odeline doesn’t know.

The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot Wright (Simon and Schuster, 23rd May)

With a quote from Veronica Henry on the front and comparisons to Maggie O’Farrell, I’m really looking forward to this book.

In 1964 Maggie wakes to find herself in a psychiatric ward, not knowing who she is or why she has been committed. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack and slowly the pieces of the past begin to come together…In 2008 Jonathan is struggling to put his differences with his parents aside to tell them he and his wife are expecting a baby, when a detective arrives to question him about crimes committed long ago…And as these two tales interweave, the secrets of the past, long kept hidden, start to come to light in unexpected and sometimes startling ways. The Things We Never Said is a powerful novel about fatherhood and motherhood; nature and nurture; cruelty and kindness; and mental breakdown. Written in beautiful, compelling prose, it is by turns revealing, witty and moving.

The Affair by Gill Paul (Avon, 23rd May)

Gill Paul’s novel about Titanic, Women and Children First, was one of my books of the year for 2012 so I’m really looking forward to her second novel. Bargain hunters – this one is only 99p to pre-order on Kindle at the moment!

An absorbing and gripping novel that goes behind the scenes of the 1963 movie Cleopatra…

Rome 1961. As the camera rolls on the film set of Cleopatra, the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton love affair is about to capture the world’s attention.

When Diana Bailey arrives on set to begin work as a historical advisor, tensions are running high. The film is in financial crisis and a media storm is brewing over the Taylor-Burton relationship.

As Diana adjusts to a new life away from her troubled marriage, she strikes up a close friendship with Helen, a young make-up artist, and seeks solace in Ernesto, a charismatic member of the film crew. But Helen is harbouring a dark secret of her own, one that will affect Diana in more ways than she could ever imagine…

An enthralling story of love and passion, set against the backdrop of one of the most iconic films ever made.

Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher (Penguin, 23rd May)

This cover is just gorgeous and I’m predicting Giovanna’s debut will be a huge hit!

Sophie May has a secret.

One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then she meets the gorgeous Billy – an actor with ambitions to make it to the top. And when they fall in love, Sophie is whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous – but ruthless – world.

Their relationship throws Sophie right into the spotlight after years of shying away from attention. Can she handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? And most of all, is she ready for her secret heartbreak to be discovered and shared with the nation?

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgeway (Penguin 23rd May)

I don’t seem to be able to get enough of time travel books at the moment and this one sounds like a brilliant historical romance.

‘Time is like a river. It always flows in one direction.’

What if everything you thought was certain was not?

1812: On a lonely battlefield in Spain, Lord Nicholas Falcott, Marquess of Blackdown, is about to die …. But, the next moment, he inexplicably jumps forward in time, nearly two hundred years – very much alive. Taken under the wing of a mysterious organisation, The Guild, he receives everything he could ever need under the following conditions:

He can’t go back.

He can’t go home.

He must tell no one.

Accepting his fate, Nicholas begins a life of luxury as a twenty-first century New York socialite, living happily thus for the next ten years. But, when an exquisite wax sealed envelope brings a summons from the Alderwoman of The Guild, Nicholas is forced to confront his nineteenth century past.

Back in 1815, Julia Percy’s world has fallen apart. Her enigmatic grandfather, the Earl of Darchester, has died and left her with a closely guarded secret, one she is only now discovering – the manipulation of time. In terrible danger from unknown enemies, Julia flees her home to the sanctuary of neighbouring Falcott House. In this strange place Julia and a recently returned Nicholas are drawn to each other and together they realise how little Julia knew about her beloved grandfather and begin to understand his ominous last words…

‘Pretend.’

What are you looking forward to reading in May?

April 2013 new releases – hot picks

1 Apr

I can’t believe we’re a quarter of the way through the year already! As always, I found it hard to narrow down my choices for this month’s hot picks but here they are …

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (Headline, 4th April)

Jennifer E. Smith is the queen of the long title with this follow up to The Statistical Probability of Love At First SIght. I really enjoyed SPOLAFS and am looking forward to reading this new book – gorgeous sunny romantic cover too :-)

When 17-year-old Graham Larkin sends an email to a friend about his pet pig, Wilbur, the last thing he expects is a response from the other side of the country, from one Ellie O’Neill. As their online friendship blossoms, they begin to reveal more about themselves but crucially leave out the truth about Ellie’s past and Graham’s career as a Hollywood heartthrob. And when a new location needs to be found for Graham’s next film, he jumps at the chance to visit Ellie’s hometown, Henley, Maine. But, now that they’re together, it’s impossible to keep their secrets for long and there’s a lot to overcome if love is to blossom…

A Stitch in Time by Amanda James (Choc Lit 7th April) 

A time travel rom-com set in Sheffield – this book sounds like my ideal read so I’m really looking forward to getting lost in Amanda James’ debut!

A stitch in time saves nine …or does it?
Sarah Yates is a thirty-something history teacher, divorced, disillusioned and desperate to have more excitement in her life. Making all her dreams come true seems about as likely as climbing Everest in stilettos.

Then one evening the doorbell rings and the handsome and mysterious John Needler brings more excitement than Sarah could ever have imagined. John wants Sarah to go back in time …

Sarah is whisked from the Sheffield Blitz to the suffragette movement in London to the Old American West, trying to make sure people find their happy endings. The only question is, will she ever be able to find hers?

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen (Sphere 11th April)

One of a host of New Adult titles that have been causing a stir in recent months. Originally self-published, this book took Amazon by storm and hit number 2 on the New York Times ebook bests seller list . Time to find out what the secret is!

The girl he thinks he loves needs to disappear. I don’t want tonight to be irreversible, so I pull away, breathing him in one last time.

Ella and Micha have been best friends since childhood, until one tragic night shatters their relationship and Ella decides to leave everything behind to start a new life at college, including Micha.

But now it’s summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.

Lifesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty (Hodder 11th April) 

I really enjoyed Ciara’s last novel, Finding Mr Flood and have heard excellent things about this one. This cover is one of my favourites for a long time – so intriguing!

Kat Kavanagh is not in love. She has lots of friends, an ordinary job, and she never ever thinks about her past. This is Kat’s story. None of it is true.

Milo McIntyre loves his mam, the peanut-butter-and-banana muffins at the Funky Banana caf?, and the lifesaving class he does after school. He never thinks about his future, until the day it changes forever. This is Milo’s story. All of it is true.

And then there is the other story. The one with a twist of fate which somehow brings together a boy from Brighton and a woman in Dublin, and uncovers the truth once and for all.

This is the story that’s just about to begin . . .

Gloria by Kerry Young (Bloomsbury Circus 11th April)

I was lucky enough to hear Kerry speak at an event last week and her passion for her work and brilliant reading from Gloria made me want to run home and read it straight away!

Jamaica, 1938. Gloria Campbell is sixteen years old when a single violent act changes her life forever. She and her younger sister flee their hometown to forge a new life in Kingston. As all around them the city convulses with political change, Gloria’s desperation and striking beauty lead her to Sybil and Beryl, and a house of ill-repute where she meets Yang Pao, a Kingston racketeer whose destiny becomes irresistibly bound with her own. 

Sybil kindles in Gloria a fire of social justice which will propel her to Cuba and a personal and political awakening that she must reconcile with the realities of her life, her love of Jamaica and a past that is never far behind her. 

Set against the turbulent backdrop of a country on the cusp of a new era, Gloria is an enthralling and illuminating story of love and redemption.

Poison by Sarah Pinborough (Gollancz 18th April)

I’ve already read this book and really enjoyed it! Poison is the first in a three-volume set which re-imagines the classic fairy tales of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Look out for my full review later in the month!

POISON is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires.

The Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella (Bantam Press 25th April)

It’s Sophie Kinsella – queen of chick lit; what more do I need to say?!

Lottie is tired of long-term boyfriends who don’t want to commit to marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. There will be no dates and no engagement—just a straight wedding march to the altar!  Next comes the honeymoon on the Greek island where they first met. But not everyone is thrilled with Lottie and Ben’s rushed marriage, and family and friends are determined to intervene…

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (Ballantine Books 30th April)

I was beside myself with excitement when I got approved to read this on Netgalley and have only heard good things so far. A must-read for fans of Lauren and Gilmore Girls!

It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing “important” work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates―her best friend Jane, and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer―are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything—and finding a hair product combination that works.
 
Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for.
 
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job.

Also out this month and on my reading list: Rising Dark by Thea Harrison, The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion, Midnight in St Petersburg by Vanora Bennett, The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro, The Nightingale Sisters by Donna Douglas and The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke.

What are you looking forward to reading in April?

March 2013 new releases – hot picks

6 Mar

There are piles of lovely books out this month with some exciting debuts and new releases from some of my long time favourite authors! Here are the books that will be top of my reading pile.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell (Windmill Books 7th March)

I’m reading this now and the two lead characters really jump off the page!

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved. 

Marnie and her little sister Nelly have always been different. Marnie leads a life of smoking, drinking and drugs; Nelly enjoys playing the violin, eating cornflakes with Coke and readingHarry Potter. But on Christmas Eve, the sisters have to join forces and put their differences aside. And when Lennie, the old guy next door, starts to get suspicious, it’s only a matter of time before their terrible secret is discovered.

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan (Sphere 14th March)

Jenny’s books are always a delicious treat and this one sounds particularly mouthwatering!

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

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

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate – and herself – than she ever dreamed.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday 14th March) 

The premise for this book is so interesting – I love the idea of exploring what it would be like to have the chance to live your life over and over again.

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? 

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.  

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually  be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through  the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

The Accidental Husband by Jane Green (Penguin 14th March)

I’ve been a Jane Green fan ever since my Mum bought me a copy of Bookends one Christmas so I’m really looking forward to reading her latest novel.

Maggie and Sylvie are perfect strangers: two very different women, living very different lives on opposite coasts. But they share more in common than they could ever imagine.

Both women have beautiful children on the verge of flying the nest, the home they worked hard to build and always longed for, and a handsome and devoted husband they can’t believe belongs to them. Both women think their lives are seamlessly secure, but they couldn’t be more wrong . . .

For each is about to discover a secret that will shake their world to the very core, throwing into doubt everything they ever thought they knew, and bringing Maggie and Sylvie together in the most unexpected way.

Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley (Tinder Press 28th March) 

Having loved Tinder’s debut, I’m very excited to read the next release from the new imprint – it sounds like a gripping read!

NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO BE SAVED.

AMITY & SORROW is a story about God, sex, and farming.  It’s THE LOVELY BONES meets WITNESS: an unforgettable journey into the horrors a true believer can inflict upon his family, and what it is like to live when the end of the world doesn’t come.

In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her barely-teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, and flees from the cult her husband ran. After four days of driving, Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most. 

AMITY & SORROW is the story of these remarkable women, their lives before the night they fled, and their heartbreaking, hopeful future. For, while Amity blossoms in this new world, Sorrow will move heaven and earth trying to get back home.
And, meanwhile, the outside world hasn’t forgotten about the fire on the compound.

Melting the Snow on Hester Street by Daisy Waugh (Harper Collins 28th March)

Set during one of my favourite historical periods, this sounds filled with glamour and intrigue!

Rich. Beautiful. Damned.

Sumptuously evoking the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time when money is built on greed and love can be a trick of the light, Daisy Waugh’s stunning new novel is a compelling portrait of love, fame, and survival.

It is the blistering summer of 1929 and Hollywood’s glamorous set appear to have it all. Everybody everywhere is living the Hollywood dream, including the elegant and charming, high-society couple, actor and actress Maximilian and Eleanor Beecham. But beneath the sophistication and glamour their insecure and unhappy marriage is on the brink of divorce and their finances are teetering on a knife’s edge after a series of failed films.

When the creditors come in to take possession of the house, it seems all is lost and they have nowhere to turn but into the arms of their waiting lovers.

But when they receive an invitation to one of the legendary weekend house parties at Hearst Castle – which they know will be filled every Hollywood big-shot around – they cannot resist one last shot of making it in the film industry. With gossip, glamour, scandal and decadence the party is the epitome of the Golden Era, but for Maximilian and Eleanor the time has come to make a decision that will change their future.

Will they sacrifice everything for fame and fortune or can Eleanor and Maximilian learn to love each other again?

Not Without You by Harriet Evans (Harper Collins 28th March) 

More movie and Hollywood glamour with a mystery at heart!

Sophie Leigh’s real name is Sophie Sykes. But she hasn’t been called that for years, not since the surprise hit of a budget movie. Now she’s LA movie star Sophie Leigh, she can forget all about her old life near Swindon. But in the process of leaving it all behind, she’s lost something of herself, too.

Eve Noel didn’t choose her new name. A Hollywood man did. In fact, he makes all the decisions about her. What to wear, when to smile, who to love. A product of the 1950s, Eve has none of Sophie’s modern self-confidence, but she knows she must follow her heart. One day, she simply vanishes: no-one knows where she went, or why…

As Sophie’s perfect-on-the-outside world begins to crumble, it seems her life might be linked to Eve’s. As past and present collide, Sophie must unravel the mystery around Eve’s disappearance to save them both – but is she already too late?

A Cottage by the Sea by Carole Matthews (Sphere 28th March) 

Carole Matthew’s books are always a lovely treat to cosy up with and this sounds like a lovely story of friendship.

Grace has been best friends with Ella and Flick forever. The late-night chats, shared heartaches and good times have created a bond that has stood the test of time.

When Ella invites them to stay for a week in her cottage in South Wales, Grace jumps at the chance to see her old friends. She also hopes that the change of scenery will help her reconnect with her distant husband.

Then Flick arrives; loveable, bubbly, incorrigible Flick, accompanied by the handsome and charming Noah.

This is going to be one week which will change all their lives forever…

Join Grace, Ella and Flick for a week of love, laughter, tears and friendship in A Cottage by the Sea

Also out this month and on my wish list: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, Husband Missing by Polly Williams, The Perfect Retreat by Kate Forster, Good Husband Material by Trisha Ashley, Losing It by Cora Carmack and Black Roses by Jane Thynne.

What are you looking forward to reading in March?

January 2013 new releases – hot picks

2 Jan

There’s a huge pile of fab new releases out in January and here are the eight books I’m planning to read this month.

After the Fall by Charity Norman (3rd January)

Charity Norman has been likened to one of my favourite authors – Anita Shreve and I’ve heard excellent things about this book.

In the quiet of a New Zealand winter’s night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He’s fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn’s fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he’s prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn’t telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever. 

Tragedy isn’t what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare.

They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all.

Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family.

No Such Thing as Immortality by Sarah Tranter (7th January)

A new vampire novel to sink my teeth into – yipee!

I will protect you until the day I die … forever

A vampire does not have to feel any emotion not of his choosing. And Nathaniel Gray has spent two hundred years choosing not to feel. But when he accidentally runs Rowan Locke off the road, he is inexplicably flooded with everything she’s feeling, and that’s rage, and lots of it. He is consumed with the need to protect Rowan at all costs including from himself. To Nate what is happening is unthinkable and is pretty much as unbelievable, as the existence of faeries.

But you see, ‘There is no such thing as …immortality.’

This is Nate’s story …

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan (17th January)

I’ve heard so many good things about this book so I’m excited that it’s being released in paperback in the UK this month.

A passionate love. A brutal betrayal. Unwavering hope.

In a town where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection, pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises. Emma doesn’t want anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is.

When Emma unexpectedly finds love, it challenges her to recognize her own worth – but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown (17th January)

Looking forward to this debut – the start of a new series based around Carrington’s department store.

Georgie Hart loves her job–running the luxury handbag concession at Carrington’s Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry-On-Sea , and treating herself (once too often!) to a red velvet cupcake with buttercream icing in Carrington’s café.

But Georgie is thrown into disarray when Carrington’s is plunged into a recession-busting makeover, cueing the arrival of femme fatale Maxine, who wields the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands.

It spells a recipe for disaster for Georgie and soon she is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her gorgeous boss, James. And when hot newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie…

The Valentines Card by Juliet Ashton (17th January) 

This debut sounds like it has the potential to be a real tear-jerker and I love the cover!

The Valentine’s card was meant to be Orla’s fairy tale ending, but really, it was only the beginning . . .

Orla adores her actor boyfriend, Sim, who’s away filming a sumptuous costume drama. Although the long-distance relationship means that she can eat toast for dinner and watch as much reality TV as she likes, she misses him like crazy.

But Valentine’s Day changes everything . . . The same morning Orla learns that Sim has died, she receives a card from him. As Orla travels from Ireland to London, to live and breathe Sim’s final moments, can she bring herself to open the Valentine’s card and read his final message?

The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris (17th January)

I’ve already been told to have a box of tissues handy when I read this! I loved Ali’s debut Miracle on Regent Street and can’t wait to read more from her.

How do you hold on to a love that is slowly slipping away from you?

Can you let go of the past when you know what is in the future?

And how do you cope when you know that every kiss is a countdown to goodbye?

This is the story of a love affair, of Ryan and Molly and how they fell in love and were torn apart. The first time Molly kissed Ryan, she knew they’d be together forever. Six years and thousands of kisses later she’s married to the man she loves. But today, when Ryan kisses her, Molly realises how many of them she wasted because the future holds something which neither of them could have ever predicted…

Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell (31st January)

I’ve already had a peek at this one and have loved what I’ve read so far!

Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope? 

Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood – a much better place to work on his parenting skills – and he and Molly become neighbours. There’s an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter’s going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people’s secrets…and about himself.

The Reckoning by Alma Katsu (31st January)

The sequel to The Taker which was one of my books of 2011. This is one of the novels I didn’t manage to squeeze in last year but I’m determined to read it this month to celebrate the paperback release!

I turned to Luke and reached for him. My blood felt as though it had seized up in my veins.

“Lanny, what is it?” Luke asked.

I clutched his lapel desperately

“It’s Adair. He’s free.”

For 200 years she’s been hiding.

He gave her immortality. She tried to destroy him. Now he is searching for her. They must not meet.

Or there will be a RECKONING

So a busy and exciting reading start to the year. Which January releases are on your wish list?

Top picks: Ten Autumn releases to cosy up with!

21 Sep

It’s been a while since I did a ‘chick lit’ round up and there are so many lovely reads being released this autumn that I thought I’d share my favourites. As the nights draw in I love nothing more than snuggling up with a good book! I’m not including Christmas reads here – I’ll be doing a separate round up of those next month :-)

Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd (September)

How’s this for an absolutely gorgeous autumnal cover? And I love the sound of this story too. Thursday’s in the Park is out now from Quercus.

What do you do if you’ve been married to a man for half your life and out of nowhere he leaves your bed – permanently? 

When this happens to Jeanie, she’s furious and determined to confront George, her husband of thirty years. Is he in love with someone else? What did she do wrong? He won’t tell her. 

The brightest day of her week is Thursday, the day Jeanie takes her granddaughter to the park. There, one day, she meets Ray, kind, easy to talk to, and gorgeous – he is everything George isn’t. 

But does she have the courage, while facing opposition from all sides, to turn her life upside down for another shot at love?

Uncoupled by Lizzie Enfield (September)

Another cover that I love! This sounds like such an intriguing story. Out now and on my ‘to read’ pile.

‘We are getting early reports of a train crash on the Brighton to London line…Emergency Services are on their way to the scene’. Holly knew that by staying with her he was putting himself at risk. But, as he held her in the darkness, she didn’t want to let him go.

Holly’s a mother with children, a husband she loves and a time-consuming job up in London. She copes, and life is good.

So when she is in a train accident on the London to Brighton line, Holly knows that it’s just a small chapter in her life and nothing has changed. But Holly can’t forget the younger man who comforted her in the chaos of the crash, and when she seems him again on her daily commute up to town, there’s a flash of recognition between them. Is it embarrassment? Curiosity? Or is there something more? And what of Anne-Marie, another passenger who has survived. Just what is her story?

Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman (September)

I loved Rowan’s last book, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud, and this one sounds like a lovely read too. Dearest Rose is released next week!

‘You are a remarkable woman and you deserve all the happiness, contentment and love in the world. I, for one, know that I have never met anyone quite like you.’

When Rose Pritchard turns up on the doorstep of a Cumbrian B&B it is her last resort. She and her seven-year-old daughter Maddie have left everything behind. And they have come to the village of Millthwaite in search of the person who once offered Rose hope. 

Almost immediately Rose wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake – if she’s chasing a dream – but she knows in her heart that she cannot go back. She’s been given a second chance – at life, and love – but will she have the courage to take it?

Looking For Fireworks by Holly Cavendish (October) 

One of my favourite covers of the year so far and it sounds like a great read to cosy up with!

When her father becomes ill, single city girl Laney Barwell moves to the Cotswolds to look after him. She’s been looking for fireworks in her love life ever since she broke up with her predictable ex-boyfriend Giles, but she has no thoughts of kindling the spark she’s looking for here. If she can’t find love in a big city like London – with all its internet dating, singles nights, and socials – how can she ever hope to meet the man of her dreams in the tiny village of St Pontian? But there are two prospects when she gets there: Martin who can always be depended on for a kind word of advice. And Toby, who is distant, but who sets her heart ablaze. When it comes to love, should Laney trust the logic of her head or the racing of her heart?

 The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Green (October)

I’ve heard lots of good things already about this debut and I love the original premise for it.

At a car boot sale in Sussex, three very different women meet and fall for the same vintage teaset. They decide to share it – and form a friendship that changes their lives . . .

Jenny can’t wait to marry Dan. Then, after years of silence, she hears from the woman who could shatter her dreams.

Maggie has put her broken heart behind her and is gearing up for the biggest event of her career – until she’s forced to confront the past once more.

Alison seems to have it all: married to her childhood sweetheart, with two gorgeous daughters. But as tensions mount, she is pushed to breaking point.

Dream A Little Dream -by Sue Moorcroft  (November)

I really enjoyed Sue’s last book and Choc Lit books are always a romantic treat so I’m looking forward to curling up with this one.

What would you give to make your dreams come true?

Liza Reece has a dream. Working as a reflexologist for a troubled holistic centre isn’t enough. When the opportunity arises to take over the Centre she jumps at it. Problem is, she needs funds, and fast, as she’s not the only one interested.

Dominic Christy has dreams of his own. Diagnosed as suffering from a rare sleep disorder, dumped by his live-in girlfriend and discharged from the job he adored as an Air Traffic Controller, he’s single-minded in his aims. He has money, and plans for the Centre that don’t include Liza and her team. 

But dreams have a way of shifting and changing and Dominic’s growing fascination with Liza threatens to reshape his. And then it’s time to wake up to the truth …

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern (October)

I have to admit that my relationship with Cecelia’s books is a bit hit and miss but I think this one sounds like it has potential to be brilliant!

Journalist Kitty Logan’s career is being destroyed by scandal – and now she faces losing the woman who guided and taught her everything she knew. At her terminally ill friend’s bedside, Kitty asks – what is the one story she always wanted to write?

The answer lies in a file buried in Constance’s office: a list of one hundred names. There is no synopsis, nothing to explain what the story is or who these people are. The list is simply a mystery. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.

With everything to prove, Kitty is assigned the most important task of her life: to write the story her mentor never had the opportunity to. Kitty not only has to track down and meet the people on the list, but find out what connects them. And, in the process of hearing ordinary people’s stories, she starts to understand her own.

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli Roland (November)

My mum is a huge Pollyanna fan so the title grabbed my attention immediately. It sounds like another fab read from Talli :-)

Thirty-something Emma Beckett has always looked down on ‘the glass is half full’ optimists, believing it’s better to be realistic than delusional. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé in the same week, even Emma has difficulty keeping calm and carrying on.

With her world spinning out of control and bolstered by a challenge from her best friend, Emma makes a radical decision. For the next year, she’ll behave like Pollyanna: attempting to always see the upside, no matter how dire the situation.

Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea?

When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson (November)

I’ve been a fan of Miranda’s books from the start and I’m already very excited about her fourth release. Guaranteed to be a heart-warming romantic read!

What happens when your happy ever after is suddenly and painfully taken away from you?

Elsie Maynard has a whole new life she never expected to have.

From inadvertently founding a choir like no other with former 80s rock star Woody Jensen, to daring to date again, Elsie steps out into an unknown future – a future that could include gorgeous designer Olly Hogarth, a man who seems intent on winning her heart. Overcoming problems, challenges and the occasional frustration – namely overconfident Torin Stewart who seems to be everywhere – Elsie believes she is making the most of her life.

But then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the last item on a very important List.

Can Elsie take the final step and lay her past to rest? Join Elsie as she battles to start again, with the help of a disastrous, newly-formed singing group and her father and sister armed with dating hopefuls.

From Notting Hill to New York… Actually by  Ali McNamara (November)

One of my most anticipated reads of the year – I can’t wait to pick up Scarlett’s story and find out what happens to her in New York!

Scarlett O’Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She’s convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn’t quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. 

From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure – including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie’s search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she’s so in love with Sean . . .

It’s going to be an exciting bookish autumn and I can’t wait to add these to my shelves. Which new releases are you most looking forward to this autumn?

July new book release preview – on my wish list

25 Jun

Here are my six ‘hot picks’ from the July releases:

The Raising by Laura Kasischke
Released 1st July
Published by Corvus
Website:
http://www.corvus-books.co.uk/

This book sounds so intriguing – I can’t wait to read it!

A sudden death.
In Godwin Honors Hall, the walls are draped in black. The college is in mourning for Nicole Werner, a blonde and beautiful prom queen who died in a car crash last semester. She was a straight-A student, and a prized member of the Virgin Sisters, the most powerful sorority on campus.

A feverish obsession.
Nicole’s boyfriend Craig was at the wheel that night. He has no memory of the crash, but he is plagued by guilt. For as winter sets in and the nights darken, Nicole’s death dominates college life. Candlelit vigils and fetishistic rituals become nightly events –and then the hauntings begin.

A flicker of suspicion.
Craig’s roommate, Perry, doesn’t believe in ghosts. A no-nonsense type who always thought Nicole was as manipulative as she was charming, he refuses to be swept up by the hysteria. But when he and his fellow sceptics join forces, he too sees Nicole’s spirit in the crumbling college halls.

Something very strange is going on…

David by Mary Hoffman
Released 4th July
Published by Bloomsbury
Website:
http://www.maryhoffman.co.uk/

I haven’t read anything by Mary Hoffman before but I intend to change that with David!

Michelangelo’s statue of David is renowned all over the world. Thousands flock to Florence to admire the artistry behind this Renaissance masterpiece, and to admire the beauty of the human form captured in the marble. But the identity of the model for this statue that has been so revered for over five hundred years has been lost . . .

In this epic story Mary Hoffman uses her persuasive narrative skills to imagine the story of Gabriele, an eighteen-year-old who, by becoming Michelangelo’s model, finds himself drawn into a world of spies, politicking, sabotage and murder. Set against the backdrop of Florence, this is a rich, colourful and thrilling tale.

All For You by Sheila O’Flanagan
Released 7th July
Published by Headline
Website:
http://www.sheilaoflanagan.net/

I really enjoyed Sheila’s last book, Stand By Me and this one sounds like another great read.

As TV’s favourite weather forecaster, Lainey is good at making predictions. But what she doesn’t foresee is that her own life is about to hit a stormy patch. With a string of failed relationships behind her, surely history isn’t about to repeat itself with her beloved Ken? To add fuel to the fire, her estranged mother announces that she’s returning to Dublin. Deanna has always been dismissive of Lainey’s choices – particularly in men. And Deanna’s lectures are the last thing Lainey needs now.

Yet is there more to her mother than she knows? Uncovering some long-concealed family secrets, Lainey begins to reassess her life. Is the happy-ever-after she’s always dreamed of really what she wants after all?

California Dreamers by Belinda Jones
Released 21st July
Published by Hodder
Website:
http://www.belindajones.com/

I’ve always wanted to go to California and I loved Belinda’s last book Living La Vida Loca. This sounds like an ideal summer read.

Ever wished you could make-over your life?

Make-up artist Stella is an expert at helping other people change their images, but when it comes to transforming herself, she doesn’t even know where to start.

So when her new friend, glamorous Hollywood actress Marina Ray, summons her a movie set in California, Stella can’t resist the chance to start afresh – it is the land of sunshine and opportunity after all!

But are they really friends or does Marina have an ulterior motive? What is the secret that both women are hiding about the nautical (but nice) men in their lives? And what will it take to really make both of their California dreams come true?

Baby Be Mine by Paige Toon
Released 21st July
Published by Simon and Schuster
Website:
http://authors.simonandschuster.co.uk/Paige-Toon/62701361

I don’t really need to say much more about this do I? I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for so long!

‘He’s not mine, is he?’
That’s the question I fear the most.
You see, I have a secret. My son is not fathered by my boyfriend, but by one of the most famous rock stars that ever lived. And he doesn’t even know it.
One-time celebrity personal assistant to wild boy of rock Johnny Jefferson, Meg Stiles is now settled and living in the south of France with her doting boyfriend Christian and their son Barney. But they’re living a lie – a lie that will turn their lives upside down and inside out – because as Barney reaches his first birthday, Meg can no longer deny that her son is growing to look more and more like his rock star father every day, and less and less like Christian, and sooner or later, the world is going to realise . . .

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Released 26th July
Published by Atom
Website:
http://www.andreacremer.com/

Another eagerly awaited sequel (to Nightshade) – I can’t wait to find out what happens next to Calla, Ren and Shay!

‘You’re an alpha, a leader. That’s what we need. It’s what we’ve always needed.’ When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save her pack – and the boy – she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure.


In my mailbox (20)

23 Jan

In My Mailbox is hosted by the Story Siren to highlight books bought, borrowed or received each week and is a great way to find lots of new ideas for books to read.

Just two for me this week – one for review and one that I just had to buy!

For Review

Marrying Out of Money by Nicky Schmidt
Kindle Edition out now; Paperback release 30th March 2011
Publisher: Prospera

‘Marrying out of Money’ is the story of Lou Hubbard, modern-day heiress to a billion pound fortune, who is determined not to marry aristocratic playboy Harry Stomeworth in an arranged marriage. In order to extricate herself, she decides to become as undesirable as possible, but things go awry when she finds herself falling for a man who repulses her.

Bought

Bloody Valentine (A Blue Bloods Novella) by Melissa de la Cruz

I love this series so couldn’t wait to add this one to my collection and I’ve just started reading it.

They’re Young, Fabulous and Fanged…Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shapeshift and more. But all too often the only thing that eludes their grasp is love. So when two young lovers are kept a part by a centuries old decree, they’ll be forced to learn that, in matters of the heart, not even immortals have total control…or do they?

So that was my mailbox this week. Happy reading everyone!

In my mailbox (17)

19 Dec

It’s been a quiet book month for me and this is the first week I’ve had books to post about.  I got some very exciting mail this week – it felt like Christmas came early!

For review

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Released 28th December
Publisher: Atom

I’ve been raving about the cover of this book for a while now and it’s on my December wish list so it was a lovely surprise to receive a copy from Atom this week. It is such a beautiful book and even more lovely in real life! I totally wasn’t expecting to get this so I’d like to say a huge thank you to Atom for sending me a copy to review :-)

She can control her pack, but not her heart …’I wanted him to kiss me wished he could smell the desire that I knew was pouring off me. You can’t, Calla. This boy isn’t the one for you.’ Calla Tor has always known her destiny: graduation, marriage and then a life leading her pack. But when she defies her masters’ laws to save a human boy, she must choose. Is one boy worth losing everything?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Released 8th February 2011
Publisher: Headline

This book caught my eye when I saw it in another blogger’s IMM a while ago and I’ve been lusting after it ever since! I was so excited when Caitlin at Headline offered me a proof. I worked as a trainee librarian at the Bodleian Library and lived in Oxford for a year so I’m really looking forward to reading this! Many thanks to Caitlin and Headline for the review copy.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…

Won

The Best Friends Guide to Life by Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby

I won this one over at Dot Scribbles (thank you Dot!)

It’s a fab book with lots of interesting lists and snippets to dip in and out of.

From the back cover:

What makes a great friend? Has Facebook ruined dating? What’s the secret to effortless style?

“Hello! This is a book written by proper best friends – us! – who have been hanging out together for over ten years. We thought that if we shared some of our own experiences and views on friendship, relationships, leaving home, studying or starting a new job, then it might help you on your own journey.

Inside you’ll find loads of stories – some funny, some sad, and some that make us cringe with embarrassment – as well as tips and advice on things like dating and looking good. We’ve included our best photos from over the years (even the dodgy ones!) and drawings that Fearne has done especially.

Let’s face it, life isn’t easy at times so we hope that this book will make you laugh, entertain you, but most of all that it might be a bit like talking to your very best friend.”

Bought

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I decided to buy this one after reading Danielle’s review over at Chick Lit Reviews. It sounds like a lovely Christmas love story and is set in my favourite city of New York! I also love the cover.

“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Have a great Christmas everyone!! xx