Showing posts with label Romance/Contemporary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romance/Contemporary. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

Borrowed Dreams by Susanne O'Leary

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Borrowed Dreams There’s nothing like a romance set in Saint-Tropez, one of the most famous resorts in Europe, where the well-heeled escape from it all to their shiny yachts in the glorious sunshine.

Daisy Hennessy isn’t exactly well-heeled, though. She’s rather desperate, in fact, to find a job after splitting up with her rather unscrupulous on-off boyfriend. House-sitting a luxury villa amongst the mega-rich and looking after a couple of pooches is the perfect distraction…she hopes. But when she borrows some designer clothes from the absent owner’s wardrobe to attend invite-only parties, she finds herself caught up in an ever-decreasing circle of lies. Famous Irish author Liam complicates her situation. Not only does she have to extricate herself out of her web of deceit…which seemed a harmless bit of fun to start with…if she’s going to get anywhere with the handsome writer, she suddenly finds herself rather close to home, when there's a series of robberies from the glitteratis' luxury villas.

Susanne has a wonderfully uncluttered and refreshing style and never fails to provide characters who are easy to like; she lures you into their lives and into the beautiful setting—you can feel the warm sun on your skin, see the sparkling azure-blue sea and almost taste the fine French cuisine in the topnotch restaurants.



This book follows Selling Dreams, but stands alone, which is one of the things I love about Susanne’s books. Each book is complete but she leaves the door slightly ajar so that anyone of her characters can squeeze through and tiptoe into another book; it’s rather fun trying to guess who will slip into another adventure.

As always, highly recommended.


Read more

Silver Rain by Jan Ruth

AMAZON UK

Marshmallow or nougat? A marshmallow that’s soft and sweet, easy to swallow but immediately forgotten? Or nougat that’s something to get your teeth into and you want to enjoy for a bit longer? 



Silver Rain is nougat. 

What a delightful story. It boasts a cast of solid, credible characters. Few of them win any medals for being perfect, but it’s precisely their lack of stereotype that makes them so believable and thoroughly likeable. 

What is also rather charming is the fact that this romance’s boy and girl are not that. Kate and Al are fifty-ish been-theres. So they’ve been through jobs, marriages, children—grand-children, even—divorces, deaths and learnt a thing or two along the way, perhaps with a little cynicism. Neither is looking for love, especially. Al’s in a sort of relationship, mainly physical, while Kate, after two husbands is rather sceptical and well, who’s going to want a middle-aged, twice-married woman, anyway?

Not only charming, this story is a well-woven tapestry of unhappy pasts, secrets, untimely revelations, strength of character, lust, fun, humour and good old-fashioned romance.

It’s is a story you feel you want to jump into to get to know Kate and Al. It’s real, it’s earthy, it’s sensible. You want to help Kate with her problems. You want to shake the lovable, but slightly frustrating Al. You want to knock some sense into his brother. You want to offer help to Al’s kind-hearted, animal-loving sister-in-law. You just want to make them all your family and sort them out. And as far as the reader is concerned, there’s no predictability about Kate and Al nor any guarantees. Their outcome isn't revealed until the very end...literally...but what an enjoyable ride to find it out.

I absolutely loved it.

See also:

Midnight Sky


Read more

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Very English Affair by Faith Mortimer ebook epub download

READ EBOOK
DOWNLOAD EBOOK

A Very English Affair by Faith Mortimer


Summertime, for some reason, seems to be a great time for romances…reading them, that is…and one to include has to be A Very English Affair. Faith has a few very enjoyable romances tucked under her belt, and this one is no exception.


Danielle, in her mid-thirties, seems to have done well: a successful travel agency and owns her own home. Then, the icing on the cake comes in the form of handsome Christian, who sweeps her off her feet and a passionate love affair leads to an undying love for each other they know will last forever. How long, though, is forever?

A Very English Affair by Faith Mortimer


A bit of a tearjerker, this one, but without being sloppy, cliched or oversentimental. As always, the story is perfectly balanced, and the characters likeable, credible and well portrayed. You’re always in good hands with Faith and you know what you’re going to get, whether it’s a romance or one of Diana Rivers’ adventures: a good, clean, structured plot with characters you can identify with, written with sincerity and feeling.
We’ve had A Very French Affair, now an English one…where next, I wonder…Italy, Spain?


Read more

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

READ EBOOK
EPUB

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes


I’m a good many books away from having read a traditionally published book, so I thought I would dip in, just to see if all those harsh critics of self-published books had any basis for their unfavourable comments. Well, on the basis of this book…they haven’t.

The One Plus One features Jess, a single mum struggling to support two children after the departure of their father: a mum who wants to do the right thing whatever the circumstances and who wants instil the same ethic in her children. Tanzie is a mathematical child prodigy, and Nicky is taunted by neighbourhood bullies. They're both ‘different’ in their own way, and Jess wants to do her best for both, but a financially unsupportive ex-husband makes life very difficult.

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Ed Nicholls is a computer software genius, financially secure with a glowing future—glowing until an error of judgement in some pillow talk rocks his world. Jess and her business partner, Nathalie, clean his house, and her relationship with him is strictly professional, but as it happens, a great deal is about to changefor him and for her.

I really did enjoy this. It was a very appealing story with some engaging characters, great dialogue and a drooling dog you just had to adore. It was very easy to climb right inside the story and feel you were part of it all. Jojo is obviously very good at her craft. However, I think she’s spent too much time in the US…whilst the writing is distinctly British, a few very American phrases have crept in, and they stood out like a sore thumb; they just weren’t necessary. I also had to raise my eyebrows at the speed at which a character was attended to in A&E. You don’t just drop in and get treated without waiting for at least two to four hours, I’m afraid.

What I was surprised…and irritated…by was the standard of editing. One of the main criticisms of the anti-indie community is just that: poor editing. The editor of this book had no idea of comma usage, there was a time and tense discrepancy and annoying font changes…I had to keep changing the font size of my Kindle. So I’m disappointed that a big publisher and this author simply don’t care about standards or their readers. As long as they’re skipping all the way to the bank with their £££s, that’s enough, it seems.

I do recommend this book, but I have read better-edited self-published books.






Read more

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hot Gossip by Susanne O'Leary

Ebook
KINDLE BOOK
Hot Gossip is the sequel to Hot Property. Susanne has done an outstanding job of enabling it to stand alone, with well-thought-out references to its prequel.

Also set in the beautiful Irish countryside, Hot Gossip features Janine Marchand, a rather enigmatic (and charismatic) young and beautiful Frenchwoman, with an intriguing and colourful past. She seeks to escape the more unsavoury aspects of that past in a small, quaint village in Ireland, backdropped by austere and stunning landscape. Her endeavours to stay incognito are not helped by two men in the village, who are captivated by her, and the daughter of one of them, twelve-year-old Nelia, whose impressionability and somewhat hasty immature actions lead to near tragedy.

The story weaves expertly back and forth from a heady time in Egypt, back to the sleepy Irish village, the times and events a sharp contrast to each other. As with Hot Property, it’s obvious the fondness O’Leary has for her adopted Ireland: she sells it better than any Lonely Planet guide!

Janine, Nelia, Jake (the significant other from her time in Egypt), and Mick (Nelia’s father) are all strong, know-their-own-minds characters. Makes for some delightful ‘fireworks’, and it’s wonderful to see Polish Beata and her big-bear husband, Boris, (from Hot Property) making a reappearance.

Wonderfully written, as always by this author, this is a ‘fine romance’.


Read more

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ebook Torn by Gilli Allan

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I’m often teased for my dogged determination to finish every book I start, regardless of its quality. Had I been the sort of person to discard a book at the early stages because it wasn’t grabbing me, this might have been one such book. At the beginning, I couldn’t engage with the main character, Jess—a fast-living, good-time girl with a young son of indeterminate paternity. I'm so glad I have a ‘read-it-at-all costs’ policy! This turned out to be a romance with attitude and gumption, and I found myself page-turning frantically.

Ebook Torn by Gilli Allan

With a three-year-old young son, father unknown—the product of alcohol- and drug-fuelled free living, Jess finds herself fleeing her abusive boyfriend, taking refuge in rural England. Her old habits die hard and she finds herself boomeranging between a young ‘eco-warrier’ and a ‘gentleman’ farmer. Two men, completely different, both with their own ‘baggage’ and crosses to bear. She loves both. She knows one is unsuitable and the other perfect husband material. She is torn.

Allan brings the three main characters to life vividly. Actually, she brings all her characters to life. They are superbly drawn, and I had a clear picture of all of them. Allan didn’t make me work hard to imagine them. Her research, too, was in-depth and meticulous. There are many references to and scenes involving farming practices. Far from blinding me with science, they were described in just enough detail to set the stage, but fascinating at the same time.

I didn’t like Jess at first, but she grew on me, despite her questionable morals. She knows her own mind, is strong, focussed, and determined. Her choices aren’t obvious. And that’s what I liked about this romance: there was no predictability about it. 

Ebook Torn by Gilli Allan


Unfortunately, I had an issue with the editing, or rather lack of it. It was obviously self-edited, and it was littered with innumerable errors, some wayward tenses and the dreaded homophone it’s/its. Too many errors for me to be able to give this five stars, regrettably. It’s such a shame when the standard of writing isn’t matched by the standard of editing.


Read more

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Blow-In by Susanne O'Leary

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I’ve read a number of this author’s books. Whilst there’s no question that I obviously love her books, I’d be hard put to say which is my favourite because they’re all good, and The Blow-In is no exception. It’s another five-star read.


In this, we have the sassy, no-nonsense (my favourite female character!) Finola stepping down from edgy journalism to revive a local newspaper in a little Irish town. Not a bad place to start a calmer, less stressful life, away from failed relationships and controversial reporting. But we all know what happens to well-laid plans…conspiracy, good-looking men and way-too-adorable puppies upset the rural-bliss applecart.

O’Leary’s romances are mature, wholesome and robust. The plot is never predictable; there are surprises and twists. The Blow-In ticks all those boxes, along with some snappy, witty dialogue, characters who are colourful, interesting, funny, annoying, arrogant, all contributing to a cracking read.

See Also:
A Woman’s Place
Borrowed Dreams
Finding Margo
Hot Gossip
Hot Property
Hot Pursuit
Selling Dreams 
Sonja's Place



Read more