RSS Feed

» Listings for September 2012

  1. Nicola Doherty The Out Of Office GirlMy Rating: 4/5

    Okay, let me clear something up. I am NOT a romantic person by nature (as my husband could probably confirm). However, when it comes to book the complete opposite applies. Although I read many genre's (including Crime & Thrillers) I love romance and comedy books. Sometimes for me the purpose of reading is to escape real life and to just believe that the ridiculous and sublime may just happen (even though the realist in me knows it wouldn't). Therefore, the synopsis of The Out Of Office Girl sounded perfect to me. Alice Roberts is having an awful summer and when her boss is taken ill and she is given the chance to go to Italy to interview Hollywood bad boy Luther Carson she jumps at the chance.

    As soon as I picked this book up and started reading I just adored Alice. She was a normal girl with a normal job who is thrown into the deep end and given the opportunity of a lifetime. I was hooked within a matter of pages! Alice flies over to Sicily and her job is to edit the autobiography of Luther along with his agent Sam and the publishing company's Ghost Writer. As soon as she lands we are given a glimpse into Luther's life and his bad boy antics seem just the start. Luther is an enjoyable read as well as some of the other characters such as Sam and Annabel.

    Doherty does a great job of setting the scene in Italy and she made it sound extremely idyllic. The story itself takes a few funny turns as we see Alice get herself stuck in certain situations which she isn't quite sure how to get out of. The storyline towards the end is a little predictable but if I'm being honest I quite enjoyed the fact that things worked how they should have done. This book is certainly not intellectually challenging, but to be honest its not a factor for me when reading. I read this and felt much the same as I do when I watch Dirty Dancing. Yes its’ something that would never happen but when you are in the moment and enjoying it, it's good enough. I will certainly be looking out for future publications from Doherty and think that she has written in a similar way to Lindsey Kelk. If that's the case and she keeps the great storylines up then she is well on her way to drawing e lot of fans in.



    My Rating: 3/5

    My first Jojo Moyes book was her last release Me Before You which I both devoured and loved. I was looking forward to reading another by her but if I'm being honest the synopsis didn't grab me quite as much. The synopsis explains that in France in 1916 Sophie Lefevre is trying to keep her family safe while her husband Edouard fights at the front. The Germans descend on her hotel every evening and when the new Kommandant sees Sophie's portrait it starts a terrible journey for Sophie. Almost a century later, the portrait is owned by Liv Halston who is also taking her own terrible journey as she is grieving the loss of her husband.

    I don't tend to read stuff set in the war times as it tends not to hold my attention as much. I decided that as I loved JJM's last book so much I would give this a go even though not my first choice. What surprised me the most was how quickly I was drawn into Sophie's world? Jojo Moyes did a wonderful job of ensuring the reader really understands how tough times were for the French when the Germans were invading. I found myself drawn to Sophie and keen to find out more about her life and how she ended up in the position she was. Before I knew it I was a large chunk of the way through and I actually felt quite disappointed when the story jumped forward to Liv Halston and her current situation. From there on in, the reader is taken between Liv's current dilemma regarding the painting and the life of the woman who is in it.

    Although the writing was good and I was enjoying the story I found myself yearning to read more about Sophie and less about Liv. Although Liv's story was okay, I just found the character a little on the irritating side. I much preferred the history of Sophie's story and was pleased when towards the end we start realising just what happened to Sophie Lefevre. I don't know why Liv irritated me so much, but Sophie was somebody I wanted to read more about, whereas Liv's story grated on my nerves a little and I couldn't help feeling like she was just feeling sorry for herself. Maybe the stark contrast between time and what both women endure had something to do with it? After reading and enjoying her last book, I must say this wasn't as good in my opinion. Maybe if the story focused on Sophie more it would have been just as good as her last book.

    As it was, the book was a solid read, and one I'm sure her fans will enjoy. For me it was an okay read but not my favourite book of Moyes. I will however still look forward to the next one she releases.

  3.  My Review: 5/5

    I was very excited when I received an early copy of Val McDermid's new book from the Publisher, especially since the cover looks so inviting! When you read the synopsis I was even more drawn to the story and hearing that Stephanie Harker travels through security in the USA only to watch her boy get snatched from under her nose had me itching to start.

    The first couple of chapters are usually slow burners with a majority of books as the authors go about explaining the characters or settings. None of that happens with this book and it takes a mere few pages for us to meet Stephanie and the five year old Jimmy as they go through security at the airport. With Stephanie watching Jimmy go through the metal detector she follows him and promptly gets stopped. She has no idea that as she gets stopped her life will change forever and she watches in disbelief as somebody in uniform comes along and leads young Jimmy straight out of the door. Within the first couple of chapters I was already at the edge of my seat and reading in disbelief as things go wrong very quickly for Steph.

    As Stephanie gets led away be airport security to be questioned the story starts its real journey. It becomes clear pretty quickly that Stephanie is innocent and she is trying to explain to airport authorities that Jimmy has been snatched and they need to act immediately. As the FBI get involved and start to question her Stephanie sits back and tells the story of `how it all began'. We are taken back to the beginning by Stephanie herself as in small bursts we see her history and how she meets Jimmy's mum who is a famous TV reality star.

    As Steph tells the story of how she came to meet Scarlett Higgins things start to make a little more sense. Scarlett is only famous for being famous and with a very strange upbringing she is determined to make a successful career out of her short reality TV stint. She then contracts cancer and begins her battle to keep her public image up, raise her son and generally gets the most out of life. As we fast forward to Steph trying to help the FBI to track down who may have taken Jimmy Higgins, and then back to the time before she had him you begin to question what everybody in Steph's life is up to, and whether they have an ulterior motive.

    The layout and way the story is told certainly rings a few bells and had some ring of truth to it, especially in regards to a famous reality TV star who fought cancer in this country! But that aside, the way the story was told and the fact that each time we revisit Steph during her interview with the FBI you feel the tension rise. I literally couldn't put this book down. Towards the end I thought I had it all figured out and was irritated to see there was still quite a bit left, what more could there be? Turns out I was completely wrong and the ending threw me sideways, I certainly didn't see that one coming! All in all a book I couldn't put down and thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended!

  4. My Review: 5/5

     *Sighs and scuffs feet* Why? Every time I buy a Jessie Keane I promise myself I will take my time. But no, who am I kidding? I do what I always do, get thoroughly engrossed and then race through the book only to feel disappointed that I have again finished a JK book and now have the long wait until the next one! When I realised that Jessie Keane was introducing a new character I was pretty excited. Having said that, I wasn't sure whether they would live up to the fantastic characters that feature in the Annie Carter series

    In this book we meet Ruby Darke who is a mixed race girl being brought up in War torn London by her abusive father and two elder brothers. While her two elder brothers get involved in the criminal underworld, Daisy works in the family shop and tries her best to keep everybody happy. When she is encouraged to lead a secret life she goes along not knowing that she will be swept off her feet by the dashing aristocrat Cornelius Bray. When she finds herself pregnant and gives birth to twins she is forced into giving them away. What happens next is that the book tells us Ruby's life story. We see her become a success in business but forgo love because of her desperate desire to never be hurt again.

    I was truly engrossed from the very first few pages. Ruby Darke is a young girl with real spirit and you really get a feel for how she is treated in the 40's for being mixed race. Her family are nothing short of awful but it made me feel like I had to keep willing her on in my mind because she was such a likeable girl. Every few chapters there would be a slight time change and the years start to progress and we see how each passing year changes things for her.

    We see some absolutely blinding characters emerge and they all form part of the story in different ways. Michael Ward is a pretty central character and I really liked him from the get go, along with many other characters that just add to the authenticity of the story. Jessie Keane has an uncanny knack of taking you back to that time and really making me feel like I could grasp a little more what the street s of London were like around the war. As the years progress I got more and more caught up in the story and as more shock twists were thrown in I wondered what on earth else could happen. One particular part of the ending shocked me (not impressed) but the other part had me shrieking towards the ending as I wanted to see what happens next.

    All I can say is that Jessie Keane is a force to be reckoned with in the crime genre now. Not only has she produced a great series (Annie Carter) she has also written some absolutely blinding stand alones. With this latest addition, Jessie Keane is quickly proving herself to be un-stoppable. Nameless has only made me want to read more (I sincerely hope this is going to have a follow up!) and as usual Jessie Keane does not disappoint. BLINDING!!!