Monday, January 19, 2015

I'll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

**** 4 stars
Really liked this book. I am officially a Miranda Dickinson fan. This is the second book in the last couple months I have read of her and I can say that they both have been solid reads. I love her characters and her descriptions of the city in this book. I also loved the ongoing question on what's in store for Bea. My only complaint is I didn't realize that I should have read "Fairytale of New York" first, as Rosie and Ed are returning characters and you are able to see how they are doing. Fortunately, I liked the bit I saw of them in "I'll Take New York", that I am going to have to go back and read "Fairytale..."

I don't often take a quote or excerpt from a book, but something about this paragraph, which was written to Bea by her Grandmother Dot in a letter, just struck a chord for me and I wanted to share.
"For my first letter, I have enlisted the help of one of your Grandpa Georges chums. Do you remember he used to refer to famous poets like that? He considered them his friends "as all writers of words that touch our hearts should be considered"."

Book Jacket Summary:
Have you ever given up on love?
When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.
Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there'll just be one love in his life: New York.
At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.

But the city has other plans . . .

It Had to Be You by Lynda Renham

*** 3 stars
This book was suggested to me by Amazon and it had such wonderful reviews, I figured why not. It was funny but at times almost cringe worthy. I couldn't imagine being the main character Binki Grayson, anything that can go wrong does for her. I think one of my biggest complaints would be it took me a while to get into and I also didn't find Binki's best friend as supportive as one would suspect.

Book Jacket Summary:
When 29-year-old Binki Grayson is offered a Christmas bonus by her boss at the office party she didn't imagine he meant a quickie over his desk. Things for Binki just go from bad to worse and by Christmas Day she is not only jobless but boyfriend-less, so when she discovers her late Aunt Vera has left her something in her will she thinks things can only get better. What she doesn't realise is that her inheritance comes with a complication by the name of William Ellis.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan

*****5 stars
Love Love Love this book! This is a follow up to Welcome to Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop and Christmas at Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop. Now, if you haven't read these, you MUST go and get them immediately, as you have missed out. I believe that Welcome to Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop won the RNA-Romantic Novel of the Year 2013. The following books are stand alone sequels and are simply great! You will love the characters as well as the description of enchanted village life. I was so excited to see this release and it was all I had hoped for. MORE More more... ;)

Book Jacket Summary:
Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it's going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together.
After all, don't they say it takes a village to raise a child?

Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan

****4 stars
I won't lie, I saw the book jacket for this book and thought it looked like the perfect read to bring in the holidays. I am not usually a holiday book reader, meaning that I don't choose a book for the season. I usually chose by author, reviews or something that piques my interest. My mother passed this year. We were terribly close and it rocked my home, so as the holidays approached and the weight of the missing loved one came, I dug in to books to escape. I have a teenager and this seems to do the trick when I wanna pull my hair out with her as well. lol Anyway, now I know what I have missed. I adored this book and it was wonderful to see Cassie the leading character grow and find herself. I do have to mention that this is my first Karen Swan book, but won't be my last.

Book Jacket Summary:
Cassie settled down too young, marrying her first serious boyfriend. Now, ten years later, she is betrayed and broken. With her marriage in tatters and no career or home of her own, she needs to work out where she belongs in the world and who she really is.

So begins a year-long trial as Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with each of her best friends in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris and London. Exchanging grouse moor and mousy hair for low-carb diets and high-end highlights, Cassie tries on each city for size as she attempts to track down the life she was supposed to have been leading, and with it, the man who was supposed to love her all along.

Christmas Gifts at the Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

**** 4 stars
Another short story follow up from The Beach Cafe and Christmas at Beach Cafe. Nice short read :) I wonder if there will be a full length book in the making with the characters as we keep getting glimpses?

Book Jacket Summary:
With her Cornish Beach Café closed for the winter, Evie Flynn should be looking forward to lazy days and a happy Christmas, with nothing more pressing to think about than when to have her next mince pie.

But her sister Ruth is coming to stay, in a cloud of heartbreak and bitterness following her marriage breakdown, along with her three unhappy children, and Evie knows she'll have her work cut out, trying to spread some festive cheer. Then her boyfriend Ed breaks the news that he's going to spend Christmas in London, for family reasons, and her heart sinks even further.

Add in to the mix a lost dog plus the hotly contested village Christmas bake-off and before long, Evie is feeling the strain. But there are still a few surprises in store for her, that look set to make this Beach Café Christmas the most memorable one yet...

Christmas at the Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

**** 4 stars
Cute follow up for The Beach Cafe, which had such a cute story and likable characters, I was happy to see them again.

Book Jacket Summary:
After a hectic summer running her beach café in Cornwall, Evie Flynn is looking forward to her first Christmas with new boyfriend Ed – she’s determined that it’s going to be the most perfectly romantic one ever. Cosy nights in front of the fire, spicy mulled wine, mince pies . . . what’s not to love?

But the peace is shattered when Ed’s ex suddenly gets in touch again, and then some unexpected guests arrive: Ed’s surly brother Jake and Evie’s heartbroken best friend Amber. Add in the stress of trying to finish her very own recipe book, snow blizzards and family dramas and Evie’s Christmas starts to look as if it’ll be a total turkey.

Will any of her festive wishes come true . . . or is this Christmas just a recipe for disaster?