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 …

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

The Well of Lost Plots (2003) (Hodder)
Jasper Fforde
Grade: B+
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
General RBC 2015: A funny book 

Former literary detective Thursday Next has recently taken up residence in the Well of Lost Plots, the place where all fiction is created. In the real world, the evil Goliath Corporation want her dead and she needs to think about the safety of her unborn child. Settling in to Cavendish Heights, an unpublished novel of dubious quality, this is the perfect time for Thursday to consider how she’s going to approach single-parenthood and how she can reverse Goliath’s eradication of her husband, Landen. Amidst training with Miss Havisham to become a Jurisfiction agent and saving Cavendish Heights from a disastrous future, Thursday realises that something is seriously wrong in the Well and must work out who she can trust, and who wants her dead …

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Seed (2015) (Electric Monkey, Egmont) (publishing 16/04/2015)
Lisa Heathfield
Grade: A+
Genre: young adult
Source: own
Seed: (1) Seed
General RBC 2015: Free Square 

Seed loves her. Seed will never let her go ...

All Pearl knows is life at Seed. At Seed, they’re all children of Mother Nature who will love and protect them so long as they remain true to each other and live pure lives. In contrast, life on the Outside is dangerous, evil and poisonous. Their tiny community reap and sow the land under the guidance of their charismatic leader, Papa S. At fifteen years old, Pearl will soon become Papa S’s Companion, a role she simultaneously looks forward to, yet fills her with unease. When a new family from the Outside joins their way of life at Seed, this is just the start of a massive upheaval affecting every aspect of their lives. Ellis forces Pearl to question everything she has ever been told about the Outside world, and he challenges some of the very beliefs that they hold dearest at Seed. As some shocking truths are discovered, it's time for Pearl to re-evaluate everything she believes in ...   

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble

The Game and the Governess (2014) (Headline Eternal)
Kate Noble
Grade: C
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: bookbridgr
Winner Takes All: (1) The Game and the Governess

Lord Edward Granville, Earl of Ashby, has never been short of luck. From his time on the battlefield to his way with the ladies and at the card table, he’s more than earned his nickname of ‘Lucky Ned’. When Ned is challenged to a wager with his best friend and secretary, John Turner, he can’t say no. John doesn’t think that Ned can win over a lady without the benefit of his title, and so the pair agree to switch identities during a trip to visit one of Ned’s properties.

Governess Phoebe Baker wants nothing more than to keep her employers happy whilst making sure that her students are getting a good education. There’s no one she’d rather avoid than the Earl of Ashby. Phoebe has a past with the Earl that she would rather keep private and so when she discovers that he’ll be staying for a week with his secretary, it’s her worst nightmare. Thankfully, she doesn’t see much of the Earl, but his secretary is persistent in crossing her path … and making her pulse flutter …

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Executioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff

The Executioner's Daughter (2014) (Egmont)
Jane Hardstaff
Grade: C
Genre: children's
Source: own
The Executioner's Daughter: (1) The Executioner's Daughter 

The people of London love a good beheading. The streets are always bustling on beheading day as spectators jostle to get the best view and satisfy their bloodthirsty curiosity. Moss can imagine nothing worse, but unfortunately, she’s present at every single one. As the daughter of the executioner, it’s her job to catch the poor soul’s head in her basket. Living with her father, Moss has never seen outside the Tower’s walls and longs to follow the river and be free of their current life. Then Moss meets Salter, a boy living independently off his wits on the river. But London – and especially the Thames – is no place for children this harsh winter. Word has it that something lurks in the water and it’s targeting children …

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep (2005) (Quality Paperbacks Direct, by arrangement with Picador)
Curtis Sittenfeld
Grade: A-
Genre: young adult
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A classic YA novel 

When 15-year-old Lee Fiora is offered a scholarship at prestigious boarding school Ault, her parents, though puzzled about why she would choose this education, reluctantly allows their eldest child to move away. But boarding school isn’t quite what Lee envisaged after the glossy brochures and her preconceived ideas about what life and classes would be like. Very much an outsider for her four years at Ault, Prep follows Lee as she establishes a tenuous position in the school’s hierarchy, until one thoughtless mistake throws her life into the balance …

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Virgin by Tiffany Reisz

The Virgin (2015) (Harlequin)
Tiffany Reisz
Grade: B
Genre: erotica
Sex scenes: hot
Source: NetGalley
The Original Sinners: (prequel) Seven Day Loan, (The Red Years): (1) The Siren, (2) The Angel, (3) The Prince, (4) The Mistress, (The White Years): (5) The Saint, (6) The King, (7) The Virgin
Romance RBC 2015: A book with a writer heroine 

For years, Kingsley had warned Eleanor that there would come a time when she, lover of a Catholic priest, would have to leave for her own good. Twice a year for six years, she and Kingsley ran through his evacuation plan if one of his five scenarios arose and it was time for her to get out … When the time came, there had been no drill, no practice run that would have ever prepared Eleanor for what she was forced to face in 2003, the year that became known as that year

Knowing that Søren and Kingsley will do all they can to find her and drag her back into their lives, Eleanor escapes and finds some measure of peace in the one place they cannot follow … with Eleanor gone, Kingsley too flees from his kingdom in New York and finds himself on a beach in Haiti. It is there he meets Juliette, the one woman he wants more than anything, and the one woman he cannot have …

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Little on the Wild Side by Robin Kaye

A Little on the Wild Side (2015) (Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Robin Kaye
Grade: C
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: NetGalley

Bianca Ferrari, former supermodel turned high-flying businesswoman, almost has it all. Brains, beauty and a successful modelling agency, Bianca has built life and career from the ground up after emancipating herself from her parents. When she discovers that she’s pregnant, Bianca has no inclination to contact the father, with whom she’s only shared a handful of nights. By his own admission, Trapper can only maintain a relationship for seventy-two hours and Bianca has no desire to test that limit.

What Bianca didn’t expect was the strength of Trapper’s responsibility when he surprised her with a trip to New York and discovered she was pregnant with his child. Her high blood pressure and inability to keep any food down works against her and before she knows it, Bianca is on a plane out to live with Trapper and be surrounded by his family for the foreseeable future. Bianca slowly comes to realise that Trapper might be just the thing that’s been missing in her life …

Sunday, 22 March 2015

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars (2014) (Hot Key Books)
E. Lockhart
Grade: A
Genre: young adult
Source: own 
General RBC 2015: A book without a love triangle

“Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family. No one is a criminal. No one is an addict. No one is a failure.”

Cady, Johnny, Mirren and Gat. Gat, Mirren, Johnny and Cady. The family call them the Liars after Gat first arrived on Beechwood Island in summer eight. Though the four lead separate lives during the year, they are utterly inseparable during their summer months on the family island. To the outside world, life for the Sinclair family is privileged, effortless and enviable – that is, until summer fifteen. All Cady knows is that she had an accident on the island and the past two years have been spent in a haze of pain and pills, as her selective amnesia prevents her from remembering much of what happened. Now, Cady is back on Beechwood for summer seventeen, the first time since her accident two years ago and everything has changed irrevocably. What is the truth? What is a lie?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Midnight (2013) (Grand Central Publishing)
Elizabeth Hoyt
Grade: A
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
Maiden Lane: (1) Wicked Intentions, (2) Notorious Pleasures, (3) Scandalous Desires, (4) Thief of Shadows, (5) Lord of Darkness, (6) Duke of Midnight
Romance RBC 2015: A book with a green cover 

Artemis Greaves, lady’s companion to her cousin, Penelope, is more than familiar with Penelope’s odd, whimsical and often outlandish requests. When a wager sees them lurking on the dangerous streets of St Giles after dark, they nearly lose their purses and lives – that is, until the Ghost of St Giles comes to their rescue. The Ghost roams London’s most dangerous streets after dark, ridding the city of its evil gin distilleries, pickpockets, murderers and their ilk. The Ghost leaves an impression on Artemis, as well as a ring which suggests he’s of noble birth …

It doesn’t take long for Artemis to connect the Ghost to Maximus, Duke of Wakefield, currently the object of Penelope’s undivided attention. With her twin brother Apollo wrongly imprisoned in Bedlam for three murders he didn’t commit, Artemis has no qualms about using her knowledge of the Duke’s secret identity to pressurise Maximus into setting Apollo free. As they are brought together under Penelope’s suit and Artemis’ increasingly desperate pleas for help, they learn first-hand just how tempting forbidden fruit can be …

Friday, 13 March 2015

Shameless by Anne Stuart

Shameless (2011) (Mills & Boon)
Anne Stuart
Grade: B-
Genre: historical romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
House of Rohan: (1) Ruthless, (2) Reckless, (3) Breathless, (4) Shameless
Romance RBC 2015: Free Square 

When Benedick Francis Alistair Rohan, Sixth Viscount Rohan arrives in London, he has two items on his agenda: find a proper and eligible wife while seeking another to fulfil his sensual pursuits. He’s mildly distraught to discover that his Mrs Cadbury’s, his previously trusted and favourite establishment has shut up shop, with Lady Melisande Carstairs to blame. Melisande (or ‘Charity Carstairs’ to her condescending neighbours) is the recent widow of Sir Thomas Carstairs and has turned her home into something of a halfway house for Emma Cadbury and her former prostitutes, determined to find them better lives. When one of her girls goes missing, Melisande links her disappearance to the freshly revived Heavenly Host, a shadowy club that has taken its previous debauchery to sadistic measures. Melisande suspects Benedick’s brother of being involved somehow and their efforts in tracking down the masterminds behind the Heavenly Host have dangerous repercussions …

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Story of a Girl (2007) (Little Brown)
Sara Zarr
Grade: C
Genre: young adult
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A prize-winning novel 

After being found by her father in the back of Tommy Webber’s Buick aged 13, Deanna Lambert became that girl overnight. Never mind the fact that Tommy was 17 and her brother’s supposed friend. Three years later and Deanna is still known as the ‘school slut’, her father has barely spoken to her since that night and tensions in their house might explode any minute. Deanna wants nothing but a life where one mistake when she was 13 doesn’t precede her. Through confronting the perceptions of the people around her, Deanna begins to realise that starting afresh begins within …

Monday, 2 March 2015

Her Mother's Keeper by Nora Roberts

omnibus cover
Her Mother's Keeper (1983) (Silhouette)
Nora Roberts
Grade: D
Genre: contemporary romance
Source: own
Romance RBC 2015: A book by Nora Roberts 

Gwenivere Lacrosse had left home with an innocent naivety to make a life and career for herself in New York. Two years later and she’s returning to New Orleans for a well-deserved break and to sort out the small problem of her mother’s infuriating lodger … Luke Powers is a celebrated writer who is said to be just as adept with women as he is with words. Gwen has grown up with a houseful of strangers but never one like Luke who has insinuated himself so readily into her mother’s life. When Gwen starts her campaign to get him out of her mother’s house and life, she doesn’t expect her plan to backfire quite so spectacularly …

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments (2011) (Orion Books)
Rainbow Rowell
Grade: B+
Genre: fiction
Source: own
General RBC 2015: The first book by a favourite author 

The year is 1999 and the Internet is still in its earliest stages. Lincoln has just started a new job at the offices of a local newspaper, enforcing the office’s new IT policy which entails reading emails flagged by the system. He’s quickly drawn into the lives of repeat offenders, Beth and Jennifer who email back and forth about their love lives and family troubles. At first, their emails offer a welcome distraction from the monotony of the night shift but before he knows it, he finds himself falling for one of them and it’s too late to issue a warning without revealing that he’s been reading their emails all along. Does love before first sight exist?