Saturday, 23 November 2013

Last Christmas by Talli Roland

All Lucy wants to do is avoid Christmas this year after last year’s disaster when she had taken long-term boyfriend Robert to Paris, and her plans had not worked out to be what she had expected, and she had been left broken-hearted.

Lucy soon realises that Christmas is everywhere and she cannot get out of it, so she decides to throw a huge Christmas party, even though it will clash with another significant event. To pay for it she pawns a watch, a gift that was supposed to be for Robert. This leads to a chance meeting with James who works at the shop, and when Lucy’s friend sends party invites to absolutely everyone in Lucy’s email contacts, James is accidently invited to the party, even though they have only just briefly met, the pair decide to go out for a drink and Lucy finds they have a lot in common.

Can James help Lucy forget her Christmas past and to embrace her Christmas present?

I am in the mood for Christmas now!  This book is another wonderful, well written, winter, Christmas novella, from author Talli Roland. I really enjoyed it. I thought the story was beautifully put together and as always with Talli Roland books you can expect good humour and an entertaining read, and this book is perfect for this time of year.

Evergreen Girl by Sybil Powell

Fran Grainger works her way up from the bottom in the hotel trade right to the top, working for the Evergreen group of hotels. She has come a long way in her life having had a difficult family life, and after having no support from her mother, who constantly puts her down and criticises her.

Fran may be doing well in her professional life, but the same cannot be said in her private life and after being unlucky in love Fran decides to dedicate her life to her career. But when American businessman Jason enters her life, and Trevor a farmer both possible love interests, two men who could not be more different from one another.  Will Fran decide to take a chance on love?

There is an old-fashioned feel to this book; by this I mean I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the present day and not in the past. The story itself is not too bad, I just found it too long in parts and uninteresting, but in other parts I did find the storyline to be interesting and good. I liked the fact that although Fran has not had an easy start to life that she overcome all obstacles to become a successful business woman.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Christmas Ever After by Nell Dixon

Lottie breaks off her engagement to her unreliable fiancĂ© who badly lets her down just before their wedding. Knowing that there will be a media interest in her doing so, regarding her being a Lady and her place in society, she flees  to Tything Manor in Northumbria, her best friend Sophie’s home and a place where Lottie had spent  a lot of her time growing up. It was a place that always made her feel safe.

With Christmas approaching and with Sophie not able to come and stay with Lottie at the manor, Lottie finds herself staying with Sophie’s older brother Rafe.  Rafe is reserved and aloof and comes across as being anti-social, but when they find that Rafe has to go ahead with traditional Christmas festivities at the manor in Sophie’s absence, they soon throw themselves into organising and preparing for these Christmas events.

Soon they find themselves drawn together, but can shy Rafe share his feelings with Lottie before she returns home to London?

I really enjoy books by Nell Dixon and I really liked this one.  I liked how Rafe differs from the usual romantic hero breaking the usual stereotypes. I really enjoyed the romantic storyline, set at Christmas time and the wonderful way the story is written, making me not want to leave my warm cosy chair by the Christmas tree.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

Marianne Coltrane is an award winning, investigative journalist. She uses her journalist skills to do good, to campaign for justice and to expose wrong doing wherever and whenever she can.

When Marianne goes through a series of tragic events in her personal life, in a short space of time, she decides to take a break from work and to go to recuperate and reflect to the west of Ireland to the quiet remote Island of Innishmahon.

But the peace and quiet she is looking for in Innishmahon is soon shattered when she has an unpleasant meeting with actor Ryan O’Gorman, having just landed the major role of his career; he too is looking for escape and a quiet break away from journalists.  So Ryan is convinced Marianne has followed him to get a story.

Finding Ryan to be both ignorant and arrogant she does not want to have anything to do with him. But when he comes to her rescue and then circumstances keep on throwing this unlikely couple together could life have other plans for Marianne?

This book is not only a romantic love story but it is also full of adventure and packed with drama. Sometimes it can be a little too much when a lot of tragic events happen in one book, but I found the way this book is written it just leaves you wanting to read more, and it makes you really care about the leading character Marianne.  It gives good background to the character too.  I really liked the wonderful cast of characters of the Island of Innishmahon, which added to the interest of the story. There is never a dull moment in this book making it a lively and action packed read. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Favourite Things by Liz Ringrose

Kirsty really enjoys her job as a Sound of Music coach tour guide in the Austrian city of Salzburg, taking tourists and fans of the film on a trip around the city to see all the famous places were scenes were filmed in the city.

When a man called Mark Hayes oddly gets on the tour, several days in a row, Kirsty finds this strange and is curious to why he keeps doing this.  She soon shows a helpful interest in Marks life and finds herself reflecting romantically on her own life too.

A delightful storyline, that as a touch of romance and a touch of mystery that draws you in and makes this a wonderful, warm read.  I read this novella in one sitting and I loved the connection to the Sound of Music.