Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To the moon and back by Jill Mansell

*****5 stars
I am a huge fan of Jill Mansell. She always seems to nail her characters to a T and have such an emotional story. That is true with To The Moon and Back. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Her books pull you immediately in, without giving away too much the plot I had tears running by the second chapter. Her books are so vivid with detail and keep your attention. I find that long after I have finished reading her books, her characters stay with me. I do have to say that this one deals with life and it's many curve balls, about things ending and the strength to begin again, so although you may think it to be a sad story throughout, it's not, it's about finding strength and your own place. :) It is definitely a book to be reread and passed on to a good friend, that you know will return it. This book will stay in my library like many of my *****5 star books for a reread. Do enjoy!

Book Jacket Summary:
The gorgeously indulgent, funny and touching new novel from the bestselling author
When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she's ready for a new start - at work, that is. She doesn't need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company...
Zack McLaren seems to have it all, but the girl he can't stop thinking about won't give him a second glance. If only she'd pay him the same attention she lavishes on his dog.
Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill...

You don't have to say you love me by Sarra Manning

*****5 stars
I loved this books. I got this on my kindle as a recommendation by Amazon and saw the great reviews and synopsis and thought it sounded good. I was more than pleased with this book. It was a great in depth read. I really loved the character Neve and understood her plight. I think the truly sad thought is throughout the whole book she is trying to accomplish being a size 10, which seems to be an American 14, funny how standards are different everywhere. I am happy to have my US sizes, I know they aren't anything but a number, but still an American 12 beats shopping for a UK 16 any day. lol I am definitely going to pass this one on to friends.

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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Final Hitch by Samantha Scott-Jefferies

***3 stars
Good follow-up to I Do, I Do, I do. This picks up with Izzy walking down the isle and us not knowing who she is marrying. Then it goes back to the night where I do, I do, I do left off and brings us up to date. The description of Majorca is still vivid and if you weren't interested in visiting before you may now. Also, her descriptions of weddings and all that they entail will have you flipping through the pages. I found this another quick and fun read.

Book Jacket Summary:
Here comes the bride...
Izzy Mistry loves her job planning weddings in Majorca but she wasn't expecting any proposals herself. And certainly not from two different men in one night! So now she's chosen the one she wants - old flame Harrison - and fallen madly in love with a rustic house in the mountains, Izzy's life is looking a lot more romantic.
But as the happy couple wrestle with renovations and struggle to settle into village life, suddenly everything seems a little less rosy. Izzy's starting to feel the heat. But is this normal pre-wedding nerves... or is she about to make a massive mistake?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Do, I Do, I Do by Samantha Scott-Jefferies

***3 stars
Let me start off by saying that you should have the follow-up book "The Final Hitch" ready to go for when you finish this book. I Do, I Do, I Do is a cliff hanger book that you are questioning what is going to happen next. Fortunately, I do have this on hand and am gonna start that now. I really liked Izzy, the main character, and thought she was almost two different people in this book, which I found very realistic. The location Majorca, is beautifully described. The book dealt a lot with weddings. The weddings were well thought out and detailed as this was Izzy's day to day routine. I did feel that we never really got to see what Izzy was thinking or feeling or was she home sick? Occasionally there would be a little insight, but I felt as though Izzy was all work and was wondering where the plot was going to go... I would have liked to seen more of her getting to know the area and forging relationships with the locals. I do have to say that the book is fast-paced and you will find yourself enjoying it. :)

Book Jacket Summary:
Romance, revelations and fun in the Mediterranean sun

Isabelle needs to get away from it all. With a boss from hell and a boyfriend so elusive he’s almost non-existent, life’s looking pretty drab. Then a humiliating cock-up costs Izzy her job and things seem so grim not even a shopping spree can lift her spirits. What’s a girl to do? Six months as a wedding planner in Mallorca could be Izzy’s answer. If she can’t make it work with a man, at least she can help make other women happy with theirs. But when love is in the air, things don’t always go the way you plan...

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Disengagement Ring by Clodagh Murphy

*****5 stars
What a great book. I was looking for something to keep my mind off the weekend ahead and have some down time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it to be a great read. The characters were all very well formed and I found myself hoping that there were spin-off books about the other characters, with more depth, as they only scratched the surface with them. I can't wait for my next read by Clodagh Murphy!

Book Jacket Summary:
After a series of hopeless relationships, Kate O'Neill is ready to settle down, so when her New Age Shaman boyfriend Brian finally asks her to marry him, she accepts. Even though her clannish, close-knit family disapprove of him, Kate knows that deep down Brian loves her.
But Kate’s eccentric actress mother, Grace, is determined to prevent Kate from making the biggest mistake of her life. She hatches a plot to scupper the engagement, enlisting the help of the whole family, even roping in Will Sargent, manager of mega cool rock-band Walking Wounded, and unrequited love of Kate’s life, in the hope that he can provide a change of direction for Kate’s affections.
Reluctantly enlisted, Will offers Kate a job cooking for Walking Wounded, while they are holed up in Tuscany working on their new album.
As temperatures in the kitchen begin to heat up, will Kate realize her feelings for Will are stronger than ever, or does Grace’s plan backfire and send Kate straight back to Brian?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Always by Harriet Evans

*****5 stars
I am a HUGE Harriet Evans fan. I really looked forward to this book and found that I wasn't disappointed. This was a great read. There was an intensity in this book that I haven't seen in her previous books. Nat, the main character, is given her deceased Aunt Ceily's diary, which died at a young age, so there is Nat's story as well as Ceily's story going on throughout the book. The two are related and it really adds a depth to the book. Love Always deals with how a families dynamic is suspended from secrets and a traumatic incident, which will also help Natasha figure out with everything around her crumbling, how to dig herself out and figure out who she is. This is a book not to be missed.

Book Jacket Summary:
A compelling and heartbreaking tale of lost love, family secrets and those little moments that can change your life for ever.
Natasha Kapoor's life is at a turning point. Leaving London for the magical Cornish coast to attend the funeral of her beloved grandmother, this trip will reunite her with her large and complicated family. As she and her family sort through her grandmother’s possessions and prepare to sell Summercove, the idyllic coastal home that has been in their family for decades, Natasha is given the long-lost diary of her aunt Cecily, who died in a tragic accident at the age of fifteen.
Returning to her home in London’s trendy Shoreditch, Natasha must get back to normality – to her job as a jewelery designer and to her soon-to-be ex-husband. But how can she forget the tragic tale of love, rivalry and heartbreak that emerged from the pages of Cecily’s diary? And will Cecily’s words, though written forty years ago, inspire Natasha to take a chance on love?

Kissing Mr. Wrong by Sarah Duncan

****4 stars
I really liked this book. I was a bit hesitant when I read the book jacket and saw that it was about WWI and some about genealogy, but they really worked and I found myself very interested in the subject. I liked the characters and felt that they were very well done and terribly realistic.

Book Jacket Summary:
Lu Edwards may write and illustrate books for children, but she's certain she doesn't want children of her own. She believes in travelling light, with not even a goldfish to tie her down, until Nick – a WWI expert with more baggage than Heathrow, right down to the kids, ex-wife and hamster – blows into her life. He's absolutely not Mr Right, but as he helps Lu trace a strand of her family history, she finds herself being drawn into his chaotic but warm world. Being the wicked step-mother was never a role Lu fancied playing, though, and she's not sure that loving Nick will be enough for a happy ever after together...

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Way to a Womans Heart by Christina Jones

***3 stars
I loved the premises for this book. I loved the characters all pitching in for a cook off from their home, to move through the competition to win a restaurant of their own, each having their own specialty to add to the meal. I also loved the setting of this book and found the simplicity of it nice. The character were all likable, but it just never pulled me in fully. If you are a huge Christina Jones fan, it has the magical aspect that draws you to this writer, and you will definitely enjoy it, just wasn't one of my favorites by this author.

Book Jacket Summary:
Cooking seemed like the perfect distraction - until a delicious chef was thrown in the mix ...Escaping from corporate city life into the heart of the Berkshire countryside, Ella Maloney hopes to find rural tranquillity and a chance to sort out the problems in her long-term relationship. On arriving, she realises tranquillity is in short supply, but welcomes the distraction her chaotic new life offers - until she meets devastatingly gorgeous, but equally attached, chef Ash Lawrence, and realises that he's maybe one distraction too many. And when Ella's favourite top-rated TV cookery programme - Dewberry's Dinners - comes looking for a venue to film their latest show, she pulls out all the culinary stops in an attempt to keep her mind on the task in hand (and not on the sexy Ash), but it's hard to keep your head when all around you people are losing theirs ...

From Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara

****4 stars
I really enjoyed this book, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. Scarlett is an avid movie goer and feels that something in her life is missing. She feels that life can be like in the movies. She is out to prove to her family and friends that she isn't flighty but that everyone can have a happily ever after. I truly felt this was a fresh take at chic lit and it made many references to chic flicks that I know we all have turned to at one time or another. It was cute to see how Bridget Jone's Diary, Pretty Woman, Notting Hill and Love Actually among other movies were talked about and how she wanted to have scenes from them in her life. It will have you smiling and remembering bits of some of our favorite movies. If you aren't a big movie buff, this just may not be your cup of tea. If you have ever had a rainy Sunday, lounged up on your couch and look to these for entertainment, this book is right up your alley :)

Book Jacket Summary:
She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy ...wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant. Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiance David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now ...When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill - the setting of one of her favourite movies - Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too. Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?