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Cover reveal time: Daisy James

IMG_2167Today I’m helping the lovely Daisy James publicise her latest cover and it’s just perfect. That’s the thing about covers, they’re there to draw the potential reader into their snare with a neon Buy Me tag glistening on their shiny cover ( even if it’s matt) but they’re also a gift. A present from the writer to you with the storyline encapsulated on a 6 X 9 piece of board. If you close your eyes you can almost imagine the Greek sun wreaking its havoc as she grabs a hat from one of the market stalls on her way to her painting class…. want to read it in Daisy’s words, not mine? Go buy the book… Available to buy here on pre-order

SUNSHINE AFTER THE RAIN

The new delightfully uplifting beach read from Daisy James. Perfect for fans of Mandy Baggot, Christie Barlow and Zara Stoneley.

A summer that changes everything…

Frazzled workaholic Evie Johnson has finally had enough! When she’s blamed for a publicity disaster at the art gallery she loves, she decides to flee the bright lights of London for the sun-drenched shores of Corfu and turn her life upside-down.

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A wild Persuit, Eloisa James

IMG_2178Book blurb

It is whispered behind the fans of London’s dowagers and in the corners of the fashionable ballrooms that scandal follows wilfully wild Lady Beatrix Lennox wherever she goes. Three years earlier, the debutante created a sensation by being found in a distinctly compromising position. Now the ton has branded her as unmarriageable, her family has called her a vixen, and Beatrix sees no reason not to go after what – and who – she wishes.

And she wants Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, the handsome Earl of Spade. Beatrix, with her brazen suggestions and irresistibly sensuous allure, couldn’t be more different from the earl’s ideal future bride. Yet Beatrix brings out a wildness in him that he has tried to deny for far too long. Still, he’s not about to play love’s game by Lady Beatrix’s rules. She may be used to being on top in affairs of the heart, but that will soon change.

Available here

My review

I’d heard of EJ, of course I had. She’s a best selling writer after all however this was my first EJ read (the first of many).

But that’s all I knew. I had a name but these days a best selling book can be as much about the marketing as about the words and I’d been disappointed before: those glorious bright shiny balloon books searing through the charts turning out to be soggy bags of hot air and wind.

That said I took a chance and approached this blind. I didn’t read a review. I didn’t check her writing credentials. I just read, over two days and nights – it’s a long book, an unputdownable book. My favourite read of the year up to now book. I’m digressing…

I was confused at the start. My fault. I’d read the blurb and then found none of the characters I was expecting in the first chapter – duh! I even sneaked a peek at the back (not to be recommended) in case this book wasn’t for me. But I didn’t realise as well as being a composite story teller EJ is a clever one. I didn’t realise she is an English Prof with a love of all things Shakespeare –  however, I did sort of work that one out for myself. There’s a Shakespearean comedic feel about this book. Things not what they seem, people running in and out of the wrong bedrooms in the style of a Twentieth Century drawing room farce not what they seem kind of way. I was strongly reminded of probably my favourite romance of all time, Possession by A S Byatt by the end, not that they are in any way alike apart from the poetry.

A.S is one of my favourite writers. She’s also a very clever one. However these are very different books, one a English literary masterpiece, the other an historical American one. They are pitched at very different readers and different markets and written in different styles but the research is impeccable, the writing flawless and the plot… well let’s just say I’m thinking of rolling over and catching up on some sleep.

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Summer at the Little Wedding Shop: Jane Linfoot

Book blurb 

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy! Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?
Available here on pre-order. Published 18th, May.

My review 

We’ve all heard about the wedding of the year, this is the Literary equivalent…

I love romance. What’s not to love? The  psychological kitchen sink drama’s seem to have taken over the literary world but, as a genre I avoid them like the plague.  Yes, they’re well written, well crafted masterpieces but they’re just not my bag. I don’t like surprises. Surprises are for News at Ten. Surprises as an adult aren’t the surprises of a child. They aren’t a last minute trip to the beach, or that special gift just because you deserve it type of surprise.  When was the last time an adult got a nice surprise just because…. Just because they were doing what adults do. Jobs. Housework. School run. Taking the bins out – oh no, that’s the man’s job! These days surprises are usually the little loving gestures brought in by the cat and those are the kind of surprises I can do without.

I think you get I don’t like surprises and yet Jane’s book ended up being just that. I know she’s a good writer, she is best- selling after all and I thoroughly enjoyed the first two in this series however I LOVED THIS ONE. But, funnily enough, at the start I didn’t love all the characters…

The MC, Lily is well rounded, sweet and a good friend. With a failed marriage behind her, a spandex, gym bunny of a mother and no job to call her own she’s searching for a new path and a short term wedding planner job seems to be the short term answer to her  prayers. The men, yes there are two, aren’t easy to like at the start. There’s Kip, the wild boy and even wilder man and wedding business rival – the surly Heathcliff sort and then Fred, the lighter, brighter boy next door type; I disliked both. Or, at least I did until Jane chunked out their characters and their true natures revealed themselves.

There’s lots going on here but this holds its own set of risks and trip wires for the writer. Sub-plots can lead to the reader either getting confused or bored but Jane has excelled herself. There’s Kooky characters coming at you from all sides. If it’s not Lily’s BF’s Instagram stunts with rival Bridzilla, it’s the wedding shop owner’s antics with jet hopping perma-tanned uncle and the continued saga of her mother – just who wants a mother like that!

Well done, Jane but I didn’t expect any less from you. I have just one question- when’s your next one out?