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» Listings for September 2011

  1. Paige Toon Baby Be MineMy Rating: 4/5

    ** NOTE - IF YOU HAVE NOT READ `JOHNNY BE GOOD' THIS REVIEW WILL INEVITABLY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

    I only read my first Paige Toon book a few weeks ago which happened to be `Johnny Be Good'. I was so impatient for the sequel that this one suddenly shot straight to the top of my `to read' pile.

    In the book Johnny Be Good we met Meg Stiles working as a PA to the hottest rock star on the planet Johnny Jefferson. She has a turbulent relationship with her boss Johnny and although she is madly in love with him we see her finish the story having got together with Johnny's friend Christian.

    For those that have already read that book you will know that it ended with Meg realising that her pregnancy was more than likely the result of her one night fling with Johnny and not her current live in boyfriend Christian. I admit, I was crushed when I realised it was an ending like that, but thankfully for me as I only recently picked Paige's books up I didn't have long to wait. We catch up with Meg and Christian who now live in the South of France with their son Barney. Except Meg is the only one that Barney is not in fact Christian's, but her ex-boss and one time love Johnny Jefferson.

    In the last book, I loved Meg and Christian but wasn't that much of a fan on Johnny. This new book changes my opinion slightly, but not entirely! Strangely, although Johnny is a naughty so and so that doesn't appear to keep out of trouble I found myself warming to him anyway.

    As usual Paige takes us on the messy and sometimes laugh out loud funny journey of Meg's revelation to both Christian and Johnny. The turbulent times ahead for her drag us along as a reader and I found myself completely immersed in their world. Paige Toon also has an uncanny knack for making you feel like you are sitting on the couch of their home with them, or looking out over the fabulous view of Los Angeles, she has that knack to take you wherever they go.

    As I made my way to well over the halfway point, I wasn't sure if I was going to entirely like the ending and as predicted I'm still not to sure, but think that is entirely down to personal preference and not the writing. As ever I finished the book feeling strangely satisfied, but craving more Toon!

    Thankfully for me I have lots of books of hers I have yet to read so I can get my next fix when I need to. I can honestly say that I think Paige Toon fans will be grateful for this sequel and I would highly recommend her books, but suggest starting with the earlier ones and working your way through them.

  2. Molly Hopkins It Happened In ParusMy Rating: 5/5

    I happened to see some favourable reviews for this book which is Molly Hopkins debut so took a chance and ordered it on my Kindle. I had zero expectations, with all new debut novels and surprisingly found myself laughing out loud within the first chapter.

    The one thing I want to point out is that Chick Lit is meant to be whatever the author chooses. It doesn't have to be meaningful, or in particular close to real life. My own opinion means that I read this type of book to sometimes get away from real life. If this is the sort of book you want, along with one that can make you laugh out loud give this a go.

    Evie Dexter is a hilarious character. She and her flatmate Lulu seem to be a combination of a few of my personal friends. To give you an example, early in the book the pair of them try out a workout DVD, to which they complete the warm up and then decide to "watch the actual workout with a glass of wine, so they know exactly what they need to do".

    The characters that appear throughout the story are all very loveable (with the exception of Rob who I just couldn't stand). The situations Evie manages to get in are both funny and ridiculous at the same time. This feel good kind of story kept me reading until I had finished in one sitting. Think Bridget Jones crossed with Becky Bloomwood, and I think you are somewhere close to Evie Dexter.

    This is not a book with a deep and meaningful moral to it; but boy will it make you laugh. Read and enjoy the fact that it is what it is, a light-hearted romantic comedy sort of book. I found myself wishing that her follow up book was nearer to publication as I really want to read the next instalment. I think for anybody that wants to kick back with a glass of wine and cheer themselves up, this is the book to read. Highly recommended and an absolutely brilliant debut novel by Molly Hopkins.

  3. Emlyn Rees Hunted
    My Rating: 4/5

    Well the first thing is that this type of storyline is certainly not original. It has been done many times over by many different authors so this sort of storyline is certainly not an eye opener. However, although I admit some authors may do this genre better, as soon as I started turning the pages of this I couldn't seem to stop!?!

    I actually liked the character Danny Shanklin, but, (and there is a but), he wasn't original enough to stick in my memory. Sadly for Emlyn Rees, there are many authors out there that are at the top of their game in this genre and have a loyal following. Having said all of that, this certainly didn't take away the fact that it was still a great book. High octane, and quicker than lightning, is the best way to describe the pace of the book. The story starts with Danny in a hotel room and before you know it he is on the run. The story doesn't let its foot off the pedal until the very end meaning it was a very easy read.

    The majority of the story is spent alongside Danny as he tries to evade capture meaning there are quite a few hairy moments for him which keeps you interested all the way through. You also have the added terrorism element of the story keeping it pretty current and up to date.

    Although I had that sinking feeling of been here and read this before, I still read the book in one day and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it was all too familiar, it seemed like safe territory in terms of story and plot, but the writing was great. In addition to this, the ending is left on something of an opener for the next book which leaves room for the next instalment to be even better.

    I will definitely read the next one, I just hope that in addition to the great writing skills, we see something a little bit different to keep my interest amongst the huge list of the longer standing authors producing recurring characters such as Reacher, Bolitar and Cross. If you don't usually read this genre, then this is a good place to start and will certainly keep you interested. I can honestly say I am looking forward to the next one in the hope we get more originality and hopefully a new Kernick in the making.

  4. James Patterson Kill Alex Cross
    My Rating: 3/5

    Mmmmm, let me think on it for a minute. I feel very torn trying to write a review on this book and if I am being honest I really wanted to like it. Like many readers, when you have read a series as long as this you want things to be great all the time, but inevitably there will come a point when maybe things just don't sit right any more. I think that maybe I am leaning towards that opinion more than anything right now. Cross Country I absolutely loathed, I, Alex Cross was better but certainly not his best. With this one, I just feel it was mediocre.

    The story itself had all the right ingredients, the kidnapping of the two most famous children in America and a terrorist attack on D.C. But somehow it just seemed too much like we had been there before and Alex Cross is maybe going over old ground. The writing style still has the magic Patterson touch with the short sharp chapters that keep the pages turning. That certainly wasn't lacking, I just felt that there was a major `something' missing and I cannot for the life of me place exactly what it is.

    The character himself was lacking the magic sparkle this time around and I didn't particularly think he was written in the same manner either. Alex Cross has always been a man who works hard, but this time round his family were a very poor second to his work and that made me think badly of him.

    I know it sounds ridiculous to some, but when you have read 18 books over as many years, as a reader you feel you know the character. I certainly finished this book feeling like I didn't know Alex Cross at all. The terrorist element of storylines in general is wearing a little thin with me as there seems to be so much of it around. I also felt that this part of the story, although very realistic, was a little rushed, and almost like an afterthought to bump the original storyline up a notch.

    I am left feeling like I don't know what just happened. Has Alex Cross finally run out of cases to solve, or has Mr Patterson bitten off more than he can chew with the amount of books he writes and co-writes? In my opinion it has to be one of the two, I just can't make my mind up which one it is!

  5. Patricia Scanlan Love & MarriageMy Rating: 4/5

    Patricia Scanlan has now released the final part of her trilogy entitled Love & Marriage. The first two books were Forgive and Forget released in 2008 and Happy Ever After released in 2009.

    We again meet the same characters and their daily struggles. Bryan and Debbie are now newly married and feeling the pinch financially. Their marriage is already looking uncertain and as things get harder Bryan tends to bury his head in the sand even more.

    Connie who has done her bit for her daughter Debbie and son-in-law Bryan is celebrating a new man in her life. Drew is everything her ex-husband Barry wasn't. Sadly, Drew's ex-wife likes to make a habit of ringing and calling upon Drew in her hour of need which is not doing much for Connie's relationship with Drew.

    Connie's ex-husband Barry re-married Aimee who is the ultimate career woman. Barry is ecstatic when he realises that Aimee is pregnant. This is his chance to be a better father the third time round. With his elder daughter Debbie and youngest Melissa the new addition is something to look forward to. Aimee feels differently and with the added stress to their marriage of their daughter Melissa's eating difficulties things are looking tough.

    Lily's daughter Judith is recovering slowly from a car accident that left her in a coma. The good thing is that they are finally building a relationship. Judith has become a different person and wants to make the most of her life and together they start to enjoy life as mother and daughter.

    Ken and Juliet Davenport have been married for many years. However Judith is sick of her surgeon husband expecting things to be done the same now as they were years ago. When Juliet decides to take action and make her own life for herself independently, Ken struggles to accept that their married life will change forever.

    The first two books in the trilogy were as usual good reads, but if I am honest her second book was the weakest of them all. This final part to the trilogy was lovely, so easy to read and a typical curl up with a cuppa type of book! When I first started reading, I kept thinking "I'm sure I have already read this book" and then it finally dawned on me that it was a trilogy.

    It didn't take me long to catch up with the characters and their lives. It also didn't take me long to detest Bryan who is possibly the most obnoxious character I have read in a long time.

    The story itself is always turning and rolling into another part of the story which I loved. The characters are all linked somehow, whether they are family, colleagues or just friends. Patricia Scanlan dealt with the pretty serious issue of anorexia in this book but just like the last one this was dealt with sensitively. The story of Melissa and her eating disorder combined with trying to bond with other family members was very real. It made for a heart-warming read when you see the positive steps she takes in the book.

    All in all, this latest release from PS was as usual a great read. It's not a ten out of ten with a wow factor, but there is something very comforting with her books as you know just the sort of thing you are getting. I look forward to the next one and meeting some new characters.

  6. My Rating: 4/5Sheila Quigley Run For Home

    I had never read (or heard of) Sheila Quigley until it was recommended to me. I brought the first book as, although debuts are not always the authors best, they certainly give you a feel for the sort of writer they are.

    This book I eventually got round to, and I have to say I am very pleased that I did. The story starts by the reader meeting the Lumsdon family. The main characters seem to be the eldest daughter Kerry, but we also meet all the brothers and sisters, as well as their mother.

    When a body is found on the infamous Seahills Estate Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt joins the story. In addition to the body, Kerry's younger sister Claire goes missing and pretty soon Lorraine is trying to solve both crimes.

    The writing and characters I thought were great. Before reading this book I had read other reviews and found that some readers didn't like the use of the word "yer". I was a little baffled by this as I take it as a way of the author putting across the kind of characters in the story. I found it was no different to reading books where characters have a cockney accent and letters are frequently missing from words used.

    I liked character of Lorraine but found it a little harder to warm to Kerry; having said that, I still enjoyed the book a great deal. The crime element of the story covers the murky world of kidnap and as the story came towards the end, it sped up and we reached what I thought was a pretty good ending.

    I would probably say that as a debut this is a cracking book, but I am also guessing that like many authors her work has got better the more she has written. I have already ordered book two in the series and look forward to reading the next one.

  7. Paige Toon Johnny Be GoodMy Rating: 5/5

    I am not sure how, but to date I have never read any of Paige Toon's books. Having seen this in a charity shop a few months ago I picked it up and promptly forgot about it, as it became consumed in my ever growing to read pile. Wanting something new I picked this up recently and decided to give it a go, and boy am I glad I did.

    The moment you start reading you realise that this is Chick Lit for the dreamers amongst us. Can you imagine working as a PA to the hottest rock star on the planet? Err, when I was 15 maybe? Having said that I adore books like this which manage to transport you right back to your dreams and wishes! Although the story itself is based on the less realistic scale of `things that could actually happen', the characters aren't. We meet Meg who is on her way to become a PA to Johnny Jefferson, who just happens to be a sexy Rock God. It took me less than two chapters to immerse myself in this outlandish fairytale story.

    Although the fairytale seems to come true for Meg as she arrives at Johnny's plush pad in LA, it soon starts to become a little more difficult than she first though. Johnny himself was what you would expect from a rockstar; difficult, impatient and constantly surrounded by booze and women. I can honestly say that although I wasn't overly keen on Johnny, the story made total and utter sense. Meg is a great girl who is in a position many can only dream of. What makes the story great is the fact that Meg is a normal girl, living and working in an unusual place. Johnny's best friend Christian is also a main focal point of the story as he is along for the ride whilst writing Johnny's biography.

    There were some funny moments in the book too and I found myself reading quicker and quicker. I loved the fact that you are submerged into the crazy world of Johnny and his ever increasing demands. The story towards the end was looking a little predictable, but that didn't faze me as that was where I wanted it to go. One thing I was NOT prepared for was the ending, which left me screaming "no" with frustration. Thankfully, for once leaving a book too long has worked in my favour. The follow up to this book entitled "Baby Be Mine" was released a little under two months ago (yay), and has already been ordered!

    This certainly wasn't a challenging book (just how I like it), but the story and characters flowed easily. It is a perfect beach read and I literally cannot wait to read the follow up, I'm just sad that I waited this long to read it!