Nov 132013
 

The Sum of All Kisses: Number 3 in series (Smythe-Smith Quartet) Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

This is the third novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet and another great book from Ms. Quinn. Something I always love about her work is the way she wraps romance and humour around a great story-line.

The prologue refers to the same event as the prologue in the previous book but it’s told from the other point of view, and the fall out from that comes to a head towards the end of this book in a dramatic fashion.

Sarah is a complete drama queen and does everything in the most dramatic fashion possible, Hugh is a bit of a nerd and the sparks that fly when they interact are anything but boring. Hugh has a damaged leg and emotional scars but an imperfect man is always more loveable!

Of course no book in this series would be complete without the usual references to the annual musicale and it’s hilarious watching Sarah and her cousin Iris trying to dissuade Daisy from performing an impromptu performance.

The minor characters in this book are as great as the protagonists, in particular Sarah’s youngest sister Frances who steals the show at times.

Overall a great book with equal parts humour and romance, a must for fans of Julia Quinn.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet (3)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Jun 072012
 

Sarah’s blind date was going from bad to worse – it turns out he is a vampire and to top it off he bites her. Before she can get used to her situation she finds herself being chased by vampire hunters who refuse to believe she is not evil incarnate. Things start to look up however  when she meets sexy Thierry de Bennicour who happens to be 600 years old and looking mighty fine with it!

This book was humorous and enjoyable with the plot being simple and easy to follow but did lack a bit of substance, I do not feel that very much happened. The romance aspect of the story was very minimal and definitely took a back seat to the humour, even the ending seemed a bit rushed.

Our heroine Sarah did annoy me at times with how stupid she seemed to be – no common sense, although as the story developed she did grow a set as it were! Thierry is the strong silent type which is all well and good but really he was a very minor character in this book after the first few pages – too silent and uninvolved!

I enjoyed it while reading, but after finishing it I struggled to remember exactly what happened in any great detail, probably because there is no great detail in the book. If you are looking for a light-hearted read, which will not twist your brain into knots trying to work out what is going on, this book is for you.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Michelle Rowen
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Aug 172011
 

Books should be guarded by fierce felines… or cute ones at least ;)

 

Fizz has taken to lying on my books when my lap isn’t available, it can’t be comfortable yet she seems very happy ;)

What do you think?

 

Jun 042010
 

I don’t often read non-fiction books and its even more rare for me to read an autobiography.  A couple have caught my eye and I’ve thought ‘yes, I’d like to read that’ but not gone any further. I’m not sure why I find them so hard to get in to but then everyone’s interests are different and my taste mainly runs to fiction.

However, Jo Brand is one of my all time favourite comedians, I love her dry sense of humour and honest observations about life, and have been a fan for many years.  Look back in Hunger has just come out in paperback and all my excuses were out of the window (these days I can’t afford to buy many hardbacks and then there are the space issues which are a completely different consideraton).  I started reading yesterday morning and could not put it down.  I finished it last night and was struck by just how well her sense of humour translates into writing.

She’s led an amazing life by all standards and some of the trials of growing up she talks about are just laugh out loud funny.  As a Psychiatric Nurse for many years, she has a lot of insight into serious mental health issues that aren’t commonly talked about but she delivers her experiences of them with an up front, no nonsense attitude with a twist of that dry humour.  The other thing I love about her and it comes across well in the book is her sense of style and her weight.  She makes no apology for who she is or how she looks and has never compromised that.  In short, the woman has balls!  And I love her for that.

If you are a fan of Jo Brand, this is a must read.  If you like funny, thoughtful, insightful biographies, this is a must read.

Just read it ;)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Jo Brand
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Oct 252009
 

A usual day in the Burg for Stephanie Plum, finding a body in Morelli’s basement, taking care of the teenager of a missing woman who seems to be connected with the body and then there is the missing nine million dollars who everyone wants to find.  Only everyone thinks it’s buried somewhere on Morelli’s property and wants to find it… including Grandma Mazur.  Throw in working for Ranger on a security detail for an ageing singer, Stephanie is up to her eyeballs in trouble and the eye twitch is out in full force.

I’m not sure if this book was better than they have been recently or if having a bit of a break from the series and reading other stuff allowed the magic to return.  Either way, it was a really good read with all the usual suspects leading to a  funny, frantic story with all of Stephanie’s charm and haplessness in full force.  Joe and Ranger were as macho and funny as ever and I love their interactions, even by proxy through Stephanie.  Although Ranger didn’t feature that much, he was his usual hot self when he was around.  Joe just had me laughing at every turn, as he deals with the fallout of the missing money rumours, Stephanie’s ability to find corpses and also her working with Ranger.  I think if his blood pressure goes up any more, he might pop!

I don’t know how Janet Evanovich comes up with all the situations she gets Stephanie into but they are hysterical.  The blue dye moment was just inspired and had me laughing every time it came up.  I also can’t wait to see where Lula’s cornering of Tank takes them, definitely an explosion waiting to happen.

Fearless Fourteen is a great addition to the series and highly recommended if you want to head back to the Burg and Stephanie Plum.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Janet Evanovich
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Oct 232009
 

About Rachel Gibson

When not writing she can be found shoe shopping, boating with her husband or trying to love an ungrateful cat (I know that feeling!).  With numerous awards and fifteen books under her belt, she has become one of America’s (and quite a few brits too!) best loved romance authors.

http://www.rachelgibson.com/

My Comments

The first book I read was Simply Irresistible and it couldn’t have been more perfectly titled because it really was.  I think it was one of my first brushes with the romance genre, having had trouble finding sci-fi and fantasy to read.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.  It was funny, touching and extremely engaging.  While it was also good and steamy in places, it was also really well written and brought the characters to life in a way that made you love and care about them from the start.

Now, having devoured everything else she has written I can say that stays true in all of them.  There is not a bad book in the set and they are all very entertaining.

Bibliography

Feb 242009
 

About Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell is a full time writer (when she’s not procrastinating) and lives in Bristol with her family. With 20 books all still in print, and over a decade of experience, she is one of Britain’s best loved writers of romantic comedy.

http://www.jillmansell.co.uk/index.html

My comments

Perfect Timing was the first book I read by Jill Mansell, and I loved it so much I had to read it again straight away. My only experience of humourous romance up til then had been Jilly Cooper and it was a revelation to find someone who also created larger than life characters who were funny, charming, witty, and above all, very human. I regularly re-read them and I am always entertained and get very excited when she has a new book published.

Bibliography

Jul 212008
 

Jojo, Gemma and Lily are three very different women who are linked together through love, life and publishing. Gemma and Lily used to be best friends until Lily stole Anton from Gemma. Then Lily has the audacity to have a book published which was also Gemma’s dream. Jojo is the literary agent who works with both of them and has her own problems with love. Sleeping with the boss is definately not the best way to get ahead in publishing.

I think it’s the characters that make this book the funny, touching story it is. The plot is fairly negligible and predictable but with three very strong female characters, it almost has to be that way. You switch between loving and hating each girl as they go through their individual tales, but overall it is a very humerous look at the publishing industry. The book is in sections as the focus switches between characters, and it’s interesting to see shared events from different perspectives. I enjoyed it a lot.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jul 212008
 

Maggie Walsh is the safe, sane, dependable and potentially boring member of the Walsh family. She shocks everyone when she leaves her husband and escapes to LA to visit her best friend Emily. Is it a voyage of discovery or has she taken leave of her senses and will she ever find them again?

I think Angels is very cleverly written. At the start you feel Maggie is a fairly selfish individual who has become bored with married life and is seeking some kind of thrill. The truth is very far from it and as the story unfolds, you find out more of what was going on and the reasons behind why she had to leave. It’s poignant at times, very funny at others and as with the rest of the Walsh books, the family interactions are hysterical. I didn’t want to put it down and I was quite sad when I came to the end, but I was definately not unhappy with the way it turned out. Very enjoyable!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jul 212008
 

Lucy Sullivan visits a psychic and is told she will be getting married within 18 months. As the predictions for her friends seem to come true, she half believes her own and ends up looking at all new men as prospective husbands. Could it really be the feckless and irresponsible Gus?

The main problem I had with this book, is I never really clicked with the main character. I love Marian Keyes’ work and I really wanted to enjoy it, but Lucy just plain irritated me. All the aspects for a good book are there, the pace was fine and the plot was good but perhaps the subject matter of alcoholism is a little too close to home for me right now. I never considered not finishing it and I was pleased with the way it turned out, but I didn’t put it down with that warm glowy feeling of having been engaged and entertained.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marian Keyes
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)