Monday, March 28, 2011

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend by Jenny Colgan

****4 stars
I was hesitant on reading this book. I have had it on my shelf for a while and put of reading it for fear that the descriptions seemed so shallow. I was completely wrong. This was a good read. It had a bit of everything in it and I truly liked the main character Sophie and how she grew. I look forward to her new release in April, "Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe".

Book Jacket Summary:
Sophie is a girl about town - living the party lifestyle with Daddy footing the bill. But when she gets embroiled in a scandalous affair, she is thrown out of home and left to fend for herself on the mean streets of London. Scraping a living as a cleaner in a photographic studio, living in a bedsit on the Old Kent Road, eating baked beans from the can - this is one spectacular fall from grace. On top of that, she is papped by photographers every time she leaves the flat, with her so-called friends laughing at her downfall. But stepping in to solve a crisis at the studio, Sophie discovers that she is also quite handy with a camera, and a new career behind the lense is born. But when she is hired as the photographer for a society wedding, Sophie is thrust back into her old lifestyle, and discovers that perhaps money can't buy you happiness after all ...

RSVP by Helen Warner

*****5 stars
Loved this book! It had great characters and I really liked the way it was told. It jumped around a bit at the beginning, so watch the dates, but you won't have any problems keeping up. You will find your biggest problem is putting the book down. I truly lost an entire day with this book. I hope to see more by this author soon :)

Book Jacket Summary:
Four women, one wedding and a day to remember - or rather forget ...Anna's world is rocked when she receives an invitation to her ex Toby's nuptials - Toby was The One, The Love of Her Life, The One That Got Away. Will attending his Big Day finally give her the sense of closure she so desperately craves? Or will it only re-open old wounds? Clare is Anna's best friend, the person who was there for her when she and Toby split all those years ago. But little does Clare know that Toby's wedding day will also change her own life for ever. Ella is a classic femme fatale. She loves men and leaves them without a backward glance. But the one person who's never fallen for her charms is Toby. As he prepares to get hitched, is it too late for a last-ditch attempt to win his heart? Finally, Rachel is the blushing bride-to-be. This should be the happiest day of her life. So how come she feels nothing but a terrible sense of foreboding?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde

*****5 stars
This is another great read by Fforde. I almost think that it is my favorite by her. I loved all the characters and the way that the story unfolded. There are several sub-plots going which makes the book keep a quick pace. I had so looked forward to this book and my only disappointment was the book had to end. I look forward to her next book :)

Book Jacket Description:
Sian Bishop has only ever experienced one moment of recklessness – a moment that resulted in her beloved son Rory. It’s not that she doesn’t love the outcome of that wild night, but since then she has always taken the safer route. So when dependable, devoted Richard suggests a move to the beautiful English countryside, she leaves the hustle and bustle of the city behind, and she throws herself into the picture-postcard cottage garden, her furniture restoration business, and a new life in the country.
Her good intentions are torpedoed on a glorious summer’s evening with the arrival of Gus Berresford. One-time explorer and full-time heartbreaker, Gus is ridiculously exciting, wonderfully glamorous and a completely inappropriate love interest for a single mum. But Gus and Sian have met before…
Sian has no use for a fling, she simply mustn’t fall in love with the most unlikely suitor ever to cross her path – even if he has now crossed her path twice. But who knows what can happen in a summer of love…

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Single to Rome by Sarah Duncan

***** 5 stars
This was a great book! I really liked the characters, as well as the way Duncan described Rome. I hope to one day make this a vacation destination. I found the character Natalie a bit self-absorbed but loved how she grew. I look forward to my future reads by Duncan.

Book Jacket Summary:
A warm and romantic tale of love, sex and making the right choices from the increasingly popular author of NICE GIRLS DO and ANOTHER WOMAN'S HUSBAND
When Michael tells Natalie that he 'needs space', she’s devastated. She thought he was the love of her life but now Michael’s found himself a new girlfriend. So much for space. Natalie tries speed-dating, but how could she move on when she's still yearning for Michael? One of her speedy dates is Guy and, despite the lack of chemistry, at least she's now got a date for her best friend's wedding. But past indiscretions are about to come to light. Natalie needs to escape. Guy happens to own a flat she can borrow... in Rome! There Natalie makes some fabulous new friends and discovers who puts the Rome into Romeo. She's falling in love – but is it with Rome, or with someone she finds there?

The List: Can Perfect Be Put on Paper by Carmen Shirkey

****4 stars
Great first book for Carmen Shirkey. I had downloaded this on my kindle and had forgotten about it. I am glad that I found it when searching for a new book. This was like a breath of fresh air. I really liked the characters and especially loved the location, as it is set in D.C. and I am from Richmond VA. It was a great read and I wish it didn't have to end so quickly. I will be sure to have to share this with my friends as the friendships in it remind me of mine. :)

Book Jacket Summary:
People make lists for a variety of reasons. There are grocery lists, errand lists and to-do lists. Candace Sanders is a 30-something with her own list – a list of almost 50 qualities she wants in her future husband. She’s excited when she finds her Mr. Right, as he earns check after check on her love itinerary. However, when she starts to fall for another man that’s the opposite of what she thinks she wants, she wonders: can perfect be put on paper?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

*****5 stars
My first read of Lucy Dillon, and I can say I am hooked. I was so sad to see this book end. It is so warm and heartfelt, even if you aren't a dog lover, which I am. The book is based around Rachel as the main character, but there are many secondary characters. They are all so real, like friends you hold close to your heart. This will definitely end up in my collection to reread. :)

Book Jacket Summary:
When the abandoned strays from a local dogs’ home are matched with brand new owners, it turns out it might not just be the dogs who need rescuing.
Rachel’s aunt has left her a house, a Border Collie and, despite knowing nothing about dogs, a crowded kennels. But since her life has collapsed she’s not sure she can deal with any more lost souls.
Zoe’s ex-husband has given their children a puppy. The kids are in love, but she’s the one stuck training Toffee the impossible Labrador. She’s nearly at the end of her tether – until Toffee leads her to a handsome doctor...
Meanwhile Natalie and Johnny’s marriage hasn’t been easy since they started trying for a baby. But is a fridge-raiding, sofa-stealing Basset hound like Bertie really the child substitute they’re looking for?
As the new owners’ paths cross on the town’s dog-walking circuits, their lives become interwoven. And they – and their dogs – learn some important lessons about loyalty, companionship and unconditional love . . .

Postcards from the heart by Ella Griffin

***3 stars
This was Griffin's first book and has gotten amazing reviews. I really liked that there were multiple story lines going on and how they all interconnected. I really liked the contemporary edge and storyline going between the different couples and their outlook on love and marriage. It kept a fast pace that kept rolling til the end. Will look forward to seeing her next book.

Book Jacket Summary:
Life is looking up for Saffy. She has a great job, a gorgeous flat in the most desirable part of Dublin and - after six years - it looks like her boyfriend, Greg, is going to propose. Greg (just voted the 9th most eligible man in Ireland) is on a high, too - he's about to swap his part as a heart-throb in an Irish soap for a break in Hollywood. His best mate Conor wakes up every morning with Jess, the most beautiful woman on the planet but, even after seven years and two kids, she won't get married. He spends his days teaching teenagers and his nights writing the book he hopes will change everything, including Jess's mind. But their happy endings are playing hard to get. It seems everyone's keeping secrets - one night stands, heartbreak, grief and loss are all in the mix. It's going to take some tough questions and even tougher answers before anyone's being honest - even with themselves. POSTCARDS FROM THE HEART is a book about four friends in their thirties. It's about love, lust, life, death, balloon rides and missing hamsters. But most of all it's about figuring out how to stop saying 'I don't' and how to start saying 'I do'.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Weekend With Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

****4 stars
If you are an Austen fan and love the movie adaptions, the contemporary fiction based loosely on Austen, or just an Austen fan alone, you will love this book. I read this in a day and absolutely loved it. When I finished I had to pop in my copy of Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly and Mathew McFaden. I had to get the complete fix. I really enjoyed the characters in this book and also learned a couple facts about Austen I was unaware of. I look forward to her next book which is also geared toward Austen fans.

Book Jacket Summary:
A romance-filled page-turner for any Austen fanatic who’s ever dreamt of spending a weekend with Mr Darcy…
Katherine Roberts is fed up with men. As a lecturer specialising in the works of Jane Austen, she knows that the ideal man only exists within the pages of Pride & Prejudice and that in real life there is no such thing. Determined to go it alone, she finds all the comfort she needs reading her guilty pleasure - regency romances from the pen of Lorna Warwick - with whom she has now struck up an intimate correspondence.
Austen fanatic, Robyn Love, is blessed with a name full of romance, but her love life is far from perfect. Stuck in a rut with a bonehead boyfriend, Jace, and a job she can do with her eyes shut - her life has hit a dead end. Robyn would love to escape from it all but wouldn't know where to start.
They both decide to attend the annual Jane Austen Conference at sumptuous Purley Hall, overseen by the actress and national treasure, Dame Pamela Harcourt. Robyn is hoping to escape from Jace for the weekend and indulge in her passion for all things Austen. Katherine is hoping that Lorna Warwick will be in attendance and is desperate to meet her new best friend in the flesh.
But nothing goes according to plan and Robyn is aghast when Jace insists on accompanying her, whilst Katherine is disappointed to learn that Lorna won't be coming.
However, an Austen weekend wouldn't be the same without a little intrigue, and Robyn and Katherine are about to get much more than they bargained for. Because where Jane Austen is concerned, romance is never very far away…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Girl in a Spin by Clodagh Murphy

****4 stars
This is my second book I have read by Murphy. After reading The Disengagement Ring, I went out and ordered this one. I was by no means disappointed. Her characters are all so likable and real. I truly enjoyed this book and found myself sad it had ended. I look forward to future reads by this author :)

Book Jacket Summary:
Jenny Hannigan might be a good-time party girl but all she secretly craves is a life of domestic bliss and solid respectability – worlds away from her troubled upbringing back home in Ireland.
So when she crashes into the arms of Richard Allam – the young, handsome, recently separated politician hotly tipped to lead his party to victory in the upcoming election – she thinks she’s found exactly what she is looking for.
But Jenny isn’t exactly politician’s-wife material so Richard recruits the intensely private, charismatic publicist Dev Tennant to ‘spin’ Jenny to the Party . . . and the public.
As the election gathers momentum, it turns out that Jenny has more than one skeleton in her closet and Dev is working overtime to try to keep them there.
And suddenly Jenny isn’t sure what she wants anymore ...

Love in the Making by Roisin Meaney

***3 stars
This is a cute book. I really liked the setting and there was a lot going on, which kept me turning the pages. It really started out strong but I found myself by two-thirds the way through, kinda loosing interest. It really caught me off guard and after I finished I still couldn't pin point what had changed for me. Still an enjoyable read, just felt it had more steam at beginning and wish it had kept it throughout.

Book Jacket Summary:
Hannah Robinson is just about to open the doors to her new shop Cupcakes on the Corner when out of the blue her boyfriend Patrick announces that he’s leaving her for another woman. Faced with starting a business on her own, Hannah begins to wonder if her life-long dream has just turned into a nightmare.
So her best friend Adam sets his birthday as a deadline - seven months to make her shop a success, or walk away from it all. And as Hannah immerses herself in early-morning icing, she soon discovers that she’s too busy to think about Patrick and his now pregnant girlfriend . . . or to notice an increasingly regular customer who has recently developed a sweet tooth for all things cupcake . . .
But while Hannah is slowly piecing her life back together, family friend Alice’s is falling apart. Her husband Tom’s drinking is getting out of control and things are about to get a whole lot worse.
As the seven-month milestone approaches, Hannah must decide her future. And while she’s figuring out what’s really important, it becomes clear to everyone that happiness in life, and in love, is all in the making.