Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The It Girl by Katy Birchall

The It Girl (2015) (Egmont)
Katy Birchall
Grade: B
Genre: teen lit
Source: own
The It Girl: (1) The It Girl

New girl Anna Huntley has but a few aims in life: re-enact the ‘lift’ scene from the Lion King with her pet Labrador, Dog; not set Deputy Queen Bee Josie’s hair on fire, again; keep her two new best friends by not doing anything socially inept, and; manoeuver her way around as Britain’s newest It Girl. Anna is catapulted into the national spotlight when her father announces his engagement to the famous actress, Helena Montaine. Helena’s daughter, Marianne Montaine has already built up a formidable reputation as Britain’s biggest It Girl and by association, Anna is expected to follow in her footsteps – after all, everyone wants to be a famous It Girl … don’t they?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Death Comes to Pemberley (2011) (Faber & Faber)
P.D. James
Grade: B-
Genre: crime / historical fiction / Austen-inspired
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A crime novel 

Six years have passed since we left Pride and Prejudice and all is well: Elizabeth has transitioned into her role as the new mistress of Pemberley perfectly and she and Darcy dote on their two young sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. She’s revived the annual Lady Anne’s ball, traditionally held to celebrate the birthday of Darcy’s mother, but which had been dormant since her death. Preparations are well into the final touches on the eve of the ball in 1803, when death comes suddenly and shockingly to Pemberley … It is Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s younger, unreliable sister who brings the news in her usual state of hysteria, believing that her husband, George Wickham, is dead. And so follows an investigation that threatens to rock the Darcy family to its core …

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

The Friend Zone (2015) (self-published)
Kristen Callihan
Grade: A-
Genre: New Adult
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
Game On: (1) The Hook Up, (2) The Friend Zone
Romance RBC 2015: A new adult book

The daughter of a sports agent, Ivy Mackenzie knows better than to get involved with a football star, especially a guy like Gray Grayson who can’t turn around without bumping into another one of his sexual conquests. But what starts out as just harmless banter and texting while Ivy spends a year abroad with her mother quickly becomes much more when Ivy returns home. Not only have Ivy and Gray become the best of friends and each other’s better half through their endless texting, but the irresistible sexual spark that’s constantly been simmering in the background flares to life when they meet in the flesh. It all makes for an irresistible read: while Ivy is insistent that she won’t follow the cliché and just become another notch on Gray’s bedpost, Gray is similarly determined to seduce the pants off of Ivy – Game On.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (2015) (Egmont) (publishing 4 June 2015)
Katherine Woodfine
Grade: A
Genre: children's / historical
Source: own
Sinclair's: (1) The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

Recently orphaned Sophie Taylor is just one of many shop girls in London’s newest and most illustrious department store, Sinclair’s – and it hasn’t even opened its doors to the public yet! She’s immensely proud of her position in the store’s millinery department and though the other girls make fun of her, she’s learnt to ignore their snide comments and whispered asides and instead concentrate on building a new life for herself. When Sinclair’s is burgled the night before it’s due to open and all the precious and priceless jewels stolen from the Exhibition Gallery, including the rare and unique clockwork sparrow, London’s greatest department store only gets more famous. Sophie is of course, naturally curious about the break-in, but doesn’t expect to discover that she’s the prime suspect! With her new friends, Billy, an apprentice porter and Lil, a store model, Sophie is determined to clear her name whilst uncovering the mystery surrounding the clockwork sparrow ...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tribute by Nora Roberts

Tribute (2008) (Piatkus)
Nora Roberts
Grade: B-
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Nora Roberts 

A third generation actress and granddaughter of one of Hollywood’s greats, Cilla McGowan has very deliberately cast off her child actress persona and made a very successful business of renovating houses. Her latest project is a house that’s very dear to her heart: the house of her grandmother, the glamorous and notorious Janet Hardy. Left to ruin after her death by apparent suicide, Cilla plans to restore the house to its former glory. With the whole town invested in her project and Ford, her very hot neighbour and his dog, Spock, just next door looking on, this is the biggest project of Cilla’s career. But there’s someone in the community who wants Janet’s secrets to stay that way and they’re determined to keep Cilla from finishing the house, whatever it takes …

Monday, 11 May 2015

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (2012) (Hodder & Stoughton)
Susan Ee
Grade: B-
Genre: young adult / supernatural
Source: bookbridgr
Penryn & the End of Days: (1) Angelfall
TBR RBC 2015: A bookbridgr title 

Six weeks ago, angels came to Earth and destroyed humanity as we know it. The streets are deserted, houses are ransacked and for those lucky enough to still be alive, it’s a fierce survival of the fittest. Seventeen-year-old Penryn is left distraught when an angel flies away with her wheelchair-bound younger sister, Paige. Enlisting the reluctant help of Raffe, an injured angel she finds on the streets, who’s been cast out by his own kind, the unlikely pair make their way across the devastated landscape with individual missions in mind: Penryn will do absolutely anything to get her sister back and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies in order to be made whole again.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

For the Roses by Julie Garwood

For the Roses (1995) (Pocket Books)
Julie Garwood
Grade: A
Genre: American historical
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
Claybornes' Brides: (1) For the Roses
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Julie Garwood 

When four young street urchins in New York find a tiny, perfect baby girl thrown in a dumpster, their lives change forever. Though they’re little more than children themselves, Adam, Cole, Douglas and Travis shoulder the responsibility of bringing up the little girl they call Mary Rose Clayborne. All four have pasts they’re trying to escape from and so they head west, in the hope that they can find a place where they can erase the past and build the future that Mary Rose deserves.

Fast forward nineteen years and the Claybornes are well-respected in the tiny town of Blue Belle, Montana. Bringing up Mary Rose by themselves was a challenge and a learning curve, but the Clayborne brothers have strived to provide her with every opportunity as befitting a young woman of genteel upbringing. Enter Harrison Stanford MacDonald, a Scottish lawyer who’s worked in England for many years. He arrives in Blue Belle with a secret agenda and befriends Mary Rose, who adopts him for her own, much to the confusion and annoyance of her brothers. When Harrison’s news is revealed, it’s sure to turn this tight-knit family upside-down …

Thursday, 7 May 2015

21 Proms by various (anthology)

21 Proms (2007) (Point, Scholastic Inc.) (short story collection)
Grade: C
Genre: young adult / anthology
Source: own

21 popular young adult authors come together in this anthology to share a story about high school’s biggest event: the Prom. With female and male protagonists alike, prom enthusiasts and prom-haters, chaperones, corsages, boutonnieres and limos aplenty, there’s a story for everyone, whether you sit in the enthusiast or hater camp. Whether the night is a success or failure, each will be a night that you will never forget …

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Austenland (2007) (Bloomsbury)
Shannon Hale
Grade: C
Genre: chick lit
Source: own
Austenland: (1) Austenland
Romance RBC 2015: A book that became a film 

Thirty-something Jane Hayes has always had a slight obsession with all things Jane Austen-related, and her obsession has only intensified over time. Proud owner of all the books and DVDs of television and film adaptations alike, Jane has modelled her perfect man on none other than Mr Darcy (the Colin Firth version, of course), meaning that all her boyfriends have never quite lived up to her expectations. When a wealthy aunt leaves Jane an all-expenses-paid-for three-week trip to English countryside retreat ‘Austenland’ in her will, where visitors immerse themselves into nineteenth century living, Jane can’t say no. Jane sees this as her opportunity to get her final fill of Jane Austen and close the door on her unattainable fantasies, but will this trip give Jane the closure she wants, or could she possibly get a Mr Darcy of her own?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Night Moves by Nora Roberts

Night Moves (1985) (Silhouette Books)
Nora Roberts
Grade: C+
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A romance novel 

When award-winning Hollywood composer and golden child Maggie Fitzgerald leaves her comfortable life in L.A. for a rundown and abandoned house in the tiny town of Morganville, population 142, no one believes she’ll last. Least of all, Cliff Delaney, the local landscaper Maggie’s hired to tackle her overgrown garden. Their chemistry is instantaneous and explosive, yet both parties try to deny and suppress their feelings based on a mutual dislike of the other. When Cliff’s crew dig up a body where Maggie envisages her new pond, a ten-year-old mystery is dredged up that somebody wants to keep a secret …

Friday, 1 May 2015

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Th1rteen R3asons Why (2007) (Razorbill, Penguin)
Jay Asher
Grade: B-
Genre: young adult
Source: own

When Clay Jensen receives a package of cassette tapes in the post, the last thing he expects is to hear a dead girl talking to him. Hannah Baker killed herself several weeks ago, and no one knows why. For Clay, who had a secret crush on Hannah for ages, yet never worked up the courage to ask her out, to hear her story now is devastating. Relatively new to the town and school, Hannah found herself saddled with a reputation amongst her peers that was, for the most part, undeserved and utterly false. Through thirteen stories, Hannah reveals the thirteen people at school who helped her make the decision to end her life. Told through Hannah and Clay’s dual narrative, Jay Asher’s debut explores how the smallest actions and remarks can have a massive impact on others’ lives.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Something Rotten (2004) (Hodder)
Jasper Fforde
Grade: A-
Genre: fiction / crime / alternate reality
Source: own
Thursday Next: (1) The Eyre Affair, (2) Lost in a Good Book, (3) The Well of Lost Plots, (4) Something Rotten
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Jasper Fforde 

After two years as the ‘Bellman’, head of Jurisfiction in The Well of Lost Plots (the place where all fiction is written), Thursday has decided that she’s had enough. While the work keeps her busy and certainly keeps her busy, she needs to get back to the real world to get her husband, Landen, uneradicated by the mammoth Goliath corporation and let her son grow up in a world out of books. Tasked with acclimatising Hamlet to the real world, evading both her official stalker and the assassin trying to kill her, stopping a coup against President George Formby, trying to save all Danish books from a terrible fate and preventing the end of the world with an awesome game of Superhoop, will Thursday ever have time to fix her own troubles?

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now (2014) (Hodder Children's Books)
Ann Brashares
Grade: C+
Genre: young adult / time travel
Source: own / NetGalley
General RBC 2015: A book set in the future 

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

These are the most important rules of Prenna’s community – the rules that she knows she must abide by if they’re to blend in and appear normal. Ethan is the first and only person who makes Prenna want to risk revealing her community’s secret: that they’re from another time … In the future, a mosquito-borne disease is rapidly killing huge swathes of humanity. The early twenty-first century is identified as a ‘safe haven’ where those who have managed to avoid the disease can start over. But the restrictive rules about never revealing where they’re from, never dramatically changing the course of history and never being intimate with someone from outside their community are put to the test as Prenna and Ethan are drawn into a course of events that has the potential to destroy the world – and history – as they know it …

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

A Knight in Shining Armor (1989, 2002) (Pocket Books)
Jude Deveraux
Grade: B+
Genre: time travel / contemporary romance / historical romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
Montgomery: ... (16) A Knight in Shining Armor
Romance RBC 2015: An AAR Top 100 Romance 1998 

Dougless Montgomery is used to being the failure in her family, whether this is in relation to her job, her friends or her love life. When she is unceremoniously deserted in the middle of the English countryside by the man she thought she loved and his bratty daughter, Dougless is at her wit’s end. Her family are the last people she wants to turn to, but as she considers her (limited) options in an old church in a tiny village, she realises that she has no other choice … that is, until, a knight in shining armour literally appears out of nowhere …

One moment Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck was locked in a tower awaiting his execution, and the next he finds himself in a strange, fast-paced England where his title means nothing and he supposedly died over four hundred years earlier, leaving behind a damning reputation and legacy. At first, Dougless thinks Nick is simply a very authentic and dedicated role-player, but as he reveals more about his life, she is forced to re-evaluate. As the pair help each other navigate unfamiliar ground, they are launched into an adventure that will change their lives – and the course of history – forever …

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Me and Mr J by Rachel McIntyre

Me and Mr J (2015) (Electric Monkey, Egmont)
Rachel McIntyre
Grade: B++
Genre: young adult
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A book on Egmont's frontlist 

Lara Titliss (Worst. Surname. Ever.) has recently found salvation in her new diary – an unexpected and unwanted gift from her grandmother. It is in these pages that Lara documents the bullying and torment she suffers from her peers as a result of being a tall, gangly red-head and the least popular girl at school, yet also her discovery of her soulmate. One problem – he’s her teacher. Mr Jagger is the best thing that has ever happened to her school. All the girls in Lara’s class unashamedly throw themselves at him, but she’s the one who he praises in class and asks for help with a special project. He’s the first person who takes her seriously and takes the time to listen to her problems; it’s no wonder that she falls helplessly over heels in love with him. Surely he can’t love her back …

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood (2011) (Hodder)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Grade: B
Genre: young adult / supernatural
Source: bookbridgr
Covenant: (1) Half-Blood
General RBC 2015: A book based on a myth 

The Hematoi descend from the union of Gods and mortals. Children of two pure-blood Hematoi possess god-like powers and are like the royalty of their community. Children of a pure-blood and a mortal – not so much. They have two choices in life: become a slave in the households of pure bloods, or train to become a Sentinel and protect their community.

Three years ago, Alexandria Andros was taken away from the Covenant by her mother. Now that her mother’s dead, Alex has been returned to the Covenant and must fight for the right to stay – not easy given that she’s missed three years of training. The delectable Aiden has taken responsibility for Alex’s training and Alex is determined to prove that she’s got what it takes to become a Sentinel. Her journey isn’t helped by both others’ wish that she fail and her forbidden attraction to pure-blood Aiden …