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Archiwum - Listopad, 2013

I Heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk / Book Review

26 lis

 

 

I heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Harper

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 21st November 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Purchased / Kupiona

 

Amazon Summary:

 

Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…

• Enormous Christmas tree
• Eggnog
• Eccentric British traditions
• Gorgeous man

But Santa’s throwing her a few curveballs – new job (as if it’s not mental enough already), new baby-craze from her best friend Jenny, and Alex determined they should grow up and settle down. Once friends start turning up uninvited on her doorstep (and leading her astray), can Angela really have a merry little Christmas? So much for happy holidays – something’s got to give…

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

I can’t believe that it’s already the sixth book in the „I heart…” series and I just want more, and more, and more. The books are always fresh, always new, always interesting, not like some other series written only to be written. I really do hope it is not the last of Angela’s adventures.

 

Angela. The one and only. Prone to accident, naive, sometimes silly, but with big, big heart, friendly, lovely, funny, warm, hating confrontations, living her life, just like many of us. So true, so likeable, so real. Well, Angela is back and it’s great, with all her tricks. This time she’s starting a fab new job, she must cope with Jenny wanting a baby, and all this in the time of Christmas, which she’d like to spend only with Alex, just her, him and lazy, merry Christmas. But then it all starts: apart of the job and Jenny, there is also Cici wanting to work for her and claiming that she changed, there is Alex with his big surprise which means moving apartments, there is Luisa suddenly appearing in New York with Grace, there are the parents who want to come for Christmas as well, there is a guy from work with crush on her and to top it all over, there is Alex, who wants to have a baby. Merry Christmas.

 

It is a chaos. A big chaos. A big, large chaos written in this fantastic, Lindsey – style. I think nobody has such a way with words as Lindsey. Her writing style is oh so casual, but oh so funny and oh so sparky, and so sharp and clever. Lindsey has done it again, she has written another fantastic book, with hooking plot and brilliant pace, with sharp, clever dialogues and actually all you can wish for.

We meet here all the characters that we know so good from the previous books and that we love so much. They are so lively, so brilliantly written and so, so funny. And let me tell you, Angela, don’t worry, each time that we drive to Ikea we are having a fight with my husband. Every bloody single time. Don’t have to tell you that I don’t remember when we were there the last time.

If I could, if I only had the time, I am sure I would devour this book in one ago, as I couldn’t put it down in the moments that I had time to read. It was great to catch up with all my favourite characters, with their new ideas, with hilarious situations and ways they were coping with unexpected issues. There were moments of course that I wanted to slap Alex particularly, but on the other hand I could understand him and his wish. Jenny was as crazy as ever, it was great to have a little more Louisa and Grace was as a toddler in her age should be. Of course the characters have developed and grown up, and it is actually brilliant to see them matured – well, they are all a little older and we can expect it from them. Sure, maturing doesn’t immediately mean behaving like proper adults, doesn’t it, Jenny? Angela? It mustn’t be :)

 

And last but not least, let’s not forget the cover of „I heart Christmas”. Like all the previous covers, and also the covers of Lindsey’s stand – alone books, it’s cute and eye – catching and really festive. It is really fantastic addition to the „I heart…” series, and great festive read, although I think I could read it in the middle of the summer and enjoy it the same. Lindsey put some important issues in this book as well but has done it in a perfect way, with her usual humour. I personally think this is the best book in the series and I really recommend it.

 

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

A Cinderella Christmas by Holly Kingston / eBook Review

20 lis

 

A Cinderella Christmas by Holly Kingston

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Novelicious Books

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 19th November 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

 

Lucy Tilley dreams of a career in show business. But this isn’t quite what she had in mind…

This year’s Cinderella pantomime is the hottest production in town. What’s more, Lucy is starring alongside Ryan Aspall: famous TV actor, sex symbol and potential love of her entire life. One teeny problem – Lucy is tripping the light fantastic as… the back end of the comedy cow. Surely nothing kills a flirty moment quite like wearing a massive set of udders?

At least she has the support of glamorous (if potentially flammable) Charmaine; a reality star diva of a Cinderella, who Lucy is completely fascinated by. But behind the fame and beauty, Charmaine is not all she seems.

With more drama off the stage than on it, and everyone wanting to be star of the show, will Lucy find the confidence to make it out of the cow suit and into the spotlight this Christmas?

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

„A Cinderella Christmas” is a debut story by Holly Kingston and as a debut it was a damn good and funny book. Perfect for the festive time and a great quick read.

It is based around Lucy who is an actress and who has just landed a new role in a panto. And what a role. She is namely a back part of a … cow. She got the role thanks to Charmaine, who plays Cinderella and whom Lucy considers as her best friend. Charmaine is a kind of celebrity in a theatre and she owns a dog, a little chihuahua who’s name is Lenin. After one of the Beatles… I guess I don’t have to mention that Charmaine is blonde. Her soul is also blonde. No offence, I am also blonde.
There is also Ryan, who – Lucy hopes – will once realise that he’s in love with her, and marry her immediately, and there is also Ben, Lucy’s best mate, who – Charmaine hopes – will once realise that he’s in love with her and marry her immediately.

Lucy is such a pushover, oh my, she’d like to play better roles but she’s just to shy. And Charmaine uses her in every known way but Lucy doesn’t realise it of course. But there is something cute and sweet in Lucy that made me like her from the beginning. She is likeable, normal woman, maybe a little too naive but funny and makes a great friend.
Charmaine is manipulant, arrogant and stupid, Ryan is a narcise and Ben is great. There is also Lucy’s flatmate Bridget who is like a sunshine, funny and just lovely.

This short book is brilliantly written. Not too serious, I like the way the author is having a laugh at all the „celebrities”, their behaviour and how serious they are about themselves. There were moments that I was laughing out loud, there were moments that I wanted to slap some people or shake them – I just had feelings for all of them and I cared about them. I have really keeped my fingers crossed for Lucy, she was so hopeless, but so real in this hopelessness and naivety.
Although this is a short story only and describes only a few days, it was full of action, dialogues, the plot was thought over and was refreshing, and to be honest, to the last moment I have thought that Sophie is Ben’s girlfriend:) Hilarious.

I am for sure going to watch for Holly as her writing style, the pace of the book, the humour are totally my pair of shoes and I guess she can be a hot name in a chick lit world soon.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

Wish Upon a Star by Trisha Ashley / Book Review

19 lis

 

 

Wish Upon a Star by Trisha Ashley

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Avon

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 7th November 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

 

The perfect gift isn’t always under the tree…

Single mum Cally’s life is all about her little girl Stella. She’s resigned to the fact that the only romance she’s going to get is from the rom-coms she watches, and with her busy job and her daughter, she doesn’t have time to even think about love.

But life gets very tough when Stella gets sick. Balancing her job as a recipe writer and looking after Stella is all consuming, so when Cally meets handsome baker Jago the last thing she wants to do is fall in love, especially when she’s been badly burned by a Prince Charming from her past. Can laid-back, charming Jago unlock Cally’s frozen heart and help her find true love and magic under the mistletoe?

 

Rating/Ocena: 2/5

 

 

It looks that my adventure with Trisha Ashley will be like a rollercoaster ride, from very low to very high. This time it was unfortunately low.

After reading „Good Husband Material” I hoped that all other Trisha’s books will be likewise brilliant and I started „Wish Upon a Star” with big, big hopes. Unfortunately, reading it further and further I have found myself totally loosing interest.

 

Cally must fund – raise money for her daughter Stella who must be as soon as possible treated to an operation because of her heart condition. To do it, she sells her flat and moves to good, old Sticklepond to live with her mother. Although there are some issues from the past connected with Cally and her family, the whole village helps of course to raise the money.

Welcome Jed. After breaking with his girlfriend and winning some money in the lottery, he is looking for premises for his own wedding – cake business and in the meantime works with his friend in his macaron shop. Cally and Jago get to know each other, they spend more and more time together but there are two people who want to destroy the new happiness, namely exes of both of them.

 

So. While I find the idea of the book very nice and full of hope, I found the book itself much, much to slow. The beginning was not that bad but after then actually nothing happened. There were again many, many repetitions of the same conversations, the same ideas chewed through and through and I skipped really a lot without a feeling that I’m missing something. I felt for Stella, of course, she was actually the funniest character in the book but there was a moment that I couldn’t care less if they raise the money for her operation or not. There was not any tension about this fact, the raising itself was nothing original, there was no development at all.

There was a lot of talking about this experimental operation in Boston but when it came to this fact, it was over after few pages.

Also, Cally and Jago are in my eyes two of the biggest pushovers and doormats that I have read about. The conversations and interactions with both of the exes were ridiculous and I really can’t understand a real person being such persistent and silly as Aimee and Adam. Too unrealistic.

We meet some of the old characters from the previous books as well but they are just mentioned and they don’t add much to the whole story, except Raffy perhaps.

 

What saved the book for me were the nice recipes and baking. Yes, I am a sucker when it comes to baking and I love every mention of macarons, cakes or cupcakes in the stories. The writing was very detailed but for me unfortunately too slow. Of course, it is heart – warming and optimistic but I won’t be reading it second time. Nevertheless, hope for another Trisha’s book.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 2/5

 

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill / Book Review

15 lis

 

 

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Ebury / Simon & Schuster

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 24th October 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

 

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man… literally.

One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wrecked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aiden. As she discovers the mysterious stranger’s world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she’s ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aiden be the happy ever after she’s always imagined?

 

Rating/Ocena: 4/5

 

Although Melissa Hill is a big name in a woman’s literature, „The Gift to Remember” was my first book by her that I read. And having read many enthusiastic reviews before I have expected something really brilliant.

 

Darcy is living her life, she is a bookstore manager and actually books are all her life. She doesn’t need a man, or at least she thinks so, as long as she can dive into world of Jane Austen. I think I don’t need to mention why her name is Darcy, her mother was also a big book fan. Her parents died in a car accident when she was 12 and since then Darcy has been living with her aunt Katherine, who is totally different to Darcy, namely she’s a business woman.

Darcy is also an enthusiastic biker and she goes everywhere with her bike, even to some events. And one day, while driving to work, she hits a man, who is then transported unconscious to the hospital. There is also a dog involved, a husky named Bailey, a very clever husky, and Darcy must take care of him. Needless to say, Aiden – the man who was hit by Darcy – loses his memory and Darcy is doing everything to help him find who he really is. In the meantime she starts to thinking that maybe Aiden can be the one and only for he. Is he?

 

I like the idea of this book. We are bombarded with unexpected situations, with many mysteries and puzzles and problems to solve. One clue led to another but nothing was obvious at all and I was really, really curious what kind of man Aiden is. What I really liked were the chapters devoted to Aiden himself and told in his point of view because in my opinion we got a totally different picture of Aiden as the one that Darcy painted with her searching. And we were given a feeling that there is something really not okay, that the elements of the puzzle doesn’t suit each other, which made the reading more interesting.

 

Although I must admit that I have skipped some of the description. They were too long, the insights into Darcy’s thoughts were a little too much for me, especially when she was thinking the same things. Too many „what ifs” from Darcy for me. But I must admit that I was intrigues with all the secrecy, and I wouldn’t guess in a thousand year what kind of special thing Aiden has organized.

Melissa Hill is very experienced with the words and she writes beautifully. The writing is great and engaging, even if there were too slow moments,  and for my liking there was too little action.  But actually I think I haven’t read such a book in a very long time, or maybe even never, with all its twists and turns, a calm, delicate book without unnecessary fireworks, but a book that also worked for me in its way.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Is this Love? by Sue Moorcroft / eBook Review

13 lis

 

 

Is this Love? by Sue Moorcroft

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Chock Lit

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 15th November 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

 

When Tamara Rix’s sister Lyddie is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves her in need of constant care, Tamara resolves to remain in the village she grew up in. Tamara would do anything for her sister, even sacrifice a long-term relationship.

But when Lyddie’s teenage sweetheart Jed Cassius returns to Middledip, he brings news that shakes the Rix family to their core. Jed’s life is shrouded in mystery, particularly his job, but despite his strange background, Tamara can t help being intrigued by him.

Can Tamara find a balance between her love for Lyddie and growing feelings for Jed, or will she discover that some kinds of love just don’t mix?

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

This is the first book by Sue Moorcroft that I had a pleasure to read and let me tell, it won’t be the last, this I am sure.

The book introduces us to Tamara Rix and her older sister Lyddie. Lyddie is mentally an 11 – year – old after hit – and – run accident in her teenage years. Tamara feels guilty of the accident, feels that it was her fault that Lyddie was hit. But she loves her sister over all and would do anything for her. She will do her hair in Princess Leia style, she will go with her every day to admire the same puppies, she will do the same yoga exercises with her.

Tamara is a yoga – instructor and her relationship with Max comes to  the end, because she doesn’t want to move with him to another town when he gets a new job offer. She is not going to leave Lyddie alone.

Meet Jed. He comes back to the village after years of absence and surprises the family with unexpected news about the accident. He and his brother Manny are also working as  … who? bodyguards? minders? for the secret Mr. H and his wife. Then Tamara starts working for the isolated from the world wife of Mr. H. and soon finds that she is a part of the wife’s game.

 

I really admire Sue Moorcroft that she wrote such incredible book about mental disability. Lyddie is wonderfully described, we get to know all her ups and downs and as the downs can be really extreme and not too pleasure, I didn’t feel too overwhelmed with them. It is not easy to cope with such disability and Sue made it clear that the life of Rix family is not only bed of roses but they are coping and they are doing wonderful job. The relationship all the characters have Lyddie, let it be the family, or friends, of just normal people, is touching, is tender, is full of patience and understanding. It’s really brilliantly written.

The characters themselves are also great. I liked Tamara from the very beginning, she’s a tender, loving and loyal person and I was really curious what she’s going to do with Jed, who was indeed Lyddie’s teenage sweetheart. She has her moments of course as well, moments when I just shook my head and sighed, but altogether she’s a very likeable, normal, warm person. And there are no easy ways for Tamara and her love life, oh no, she must fight with her conscience.

The other characters were also very likeable. Nothing was obvious and I was wrong more than twice, thinking that I know what’s going to happen, so brilliant, not predictable and full of surprises! The love between Tamara and Jed was also not so obvious with happen, with their past and with actual problems. I must admit that I’m missing such characters like Jed in the books that I read, please more Jeds! Strong – minded, handsome, brave and intelligent, I loved the interaction between him and Tamara and his determination to make things good.

 

This book has it all. Drama, almost crime, family issues, affairs, secret lovers and funny moments. Oh yes, there was a moment that I was really laughing out loud. But there were also things that made my eyes water. It was also brilliantly, engagingly written and I enjoyed every page of this story. It had a right pace, enough action and was skilfully written, with a lot of  subplots that kept me hooked all the time.  The characters had depth, complexity and intelligence. I really loved this book and am looking forward to more Sue’s books. And this one I highly recommend.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

Step Back in Time by Ali McNamara / Book Review

08 lis

 

 

Step Back in Timy by Ali McNamara

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Little, Brown Book Group

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 7th November 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

 

An irresistibly romantic time-travel comedy—how many lifetimes would you travel to find a love that lasts forever?

When single career girl Jo-Jo steps onto a zebra crossing and gets hit by a car, she awakes to find herself in 1963. The fashion, the music, her job, even her romantic life: everything is different. And then it happens three more times, and Jo-Jo finds herself living a completely new life in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. The only people she can rely on are Harry and Ellie, two companions from 2013, and George, the owner of a second-hand record store. If she’s ever to return from her travels, Jo-Jo must work out why she’s jumping through time like this. And if she does make it back, will her old life ever be the same again? Step back in time with this fabulously fun and feel-good comedy of time travel and romance.

 

Rating/Ocena: 4/5

 I have really, really enjoyed Ali McNamara’s both books in the „From Notting Hill… Actually” but her stand – alone „Breakfast at Darcy’s” didn’t belong to my favourites and so I was curious how it is going to be with „Step Back in Time”.

First of all I must say that I am totally in love with the cover of the book. I have a proof copy and its cover is black with four Jo – Jo’s on it, while the new cover is dark blue with only one Jo – Jo and I guess it is Henry, and while it is also great I must admit that I like the proof copy cover much better.

Nevertheless, to the book itself. „Step Back in Time” introduces us to Jo – Jo who is an accountant with her own firm and who is actually a workaholic. She has time for nothing else, either for her parents, her friends nor for her herself. Then one day she is hit by a white sports – car when she’s on zebra crossing and here starts her time – travelling adventure. She will find herself in the 60s, then 70s, 80s and finally 90s. There are some people who are travelling with her although they don’t seem to be aware of this fact, maybe later. She gets to know new people and she starts to learn herself and sees what she misses in her real life, back in 2013. One of the things that she is for sure to meet while time – travelling are also the Beatles clues which should help her to find an answer why is she travelling.

It didn’t work for me so, so much, I think it is the idea of time – travelling itself that I have a problem with, too unrealistic and while refreshing and funny it isn’t my idea of entertaining. And I was very curious how Ali is going to explain why Jo – Jo is actually travelling in time. In the end I would say it was not too novelicious, not too original, and even George’s explanations were not helping me at all.

It is also hard for me to judge Jo – Jo because we have so many versions of her, and every one is different, that there wasn’t enough chances for me to get to know the real Jo – Jo. She is either a teenie, or an adult but with different jobs, different background and in the end I really don’t know who she was. Yes, I know she is a hard – working woman with her own business and she doesn’t have time at all, but that’s all about her.
I couldn’t also warm to Henry, doesn’t matter what times, he was too meh for me, to smooth, more like a baby boy and not a man. And I couldn’t imagine him as a sour, unhappy punk as well, oh my, too exaggerated for my liking.

Altogether it was not a bad book. It was light and in some ways funny, and also different with the time – travelling idea. Not my favourite but nevertheless worth reading.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Just for Christmas by Scarlett Bailey / Book Review

03 lis

 

 

 

 

Just for Christmas by Scarlett Bailey

 

Publisher / Wydawca: Ebury Press

 

Publishing Date / Data wydania: 7th November 2013

 

Source / Zrodlo: Received from publisher, thank you! / Od wydawcy, dziekuje!

 

Amazon Summary:

 

Her best friend’s wedding…


When Alex Munro learns that the love of her life is getting married to another girl, all she wants is to be alone – and as far away from Edinburgh as possible.

Moving to a Cornish cottage, which comes complete with the world’s scruffiest dog, Alex finds that her new neighbours are determined to involve her in their madcap Christmas festivities.

Then she meets her sexy neighbour Ruan – and somehow Alex doesn’t want to be alone this Christmas after all. But having lost one fiancee, Ruan has no intention of letting anyone get close to him again…?

 

Rating/Ocena: 5/5

 

Oops, Scarlet Bailey just did it again. She just knocked me out of my feet with „Just for Christmas” which I have already put on my FAVOURITE BOOKS shelf.

 

The idea of releasing books as Scarlett Bailey „just for Christmas”, or rather just before Christmas is great and I hope it will stay a tradition. Ekhm, a little hint for the author.

 

The book introduces us to Alex, who I have immediately fallen in love with and I want her to be my new best friend. Alex has just move to Poldero where she got a job as a first time ever woman harbour master. She has left her town because of two reasons: her best friend Marcus and her father.

In Poldero she starts a brand new life with brand new friends and a dog who is brand new for her, but actually is already 11 years old. I love books with dogs but Buoy was a special one and I have poured buckets of tears when I read how he helped Alex. She finds herself not only with a dog but with a sexy, albeit a little grumpy neighbour Ruan and as being a part of a traditional town – pageant.

 

Like I’ve already said, I loved Alex. It was so good to read about a woman who is not taking care about her looks, although obviously she looked great. And who was not as thin as a stick, and who was not able to use an eye – liner by herself. Because I can’t too. Who didn’t care what she wears and who thought she’s not a girly – girl. But she obviously was. But what I loved most about Alex was the way she was, so easy, so uncomplicated, so friendly, so loyal and so honest.

I have also loved all the people from Poldero. Even Marissa was brilliant. Ruan’s sister Cordelia was the coolest nanny I have ever met in a book and I really liked it.

It was fantastic how all the people warmly accepted Alex, although some of them didn’t believe in a woman harbour master.  They were not at all overwhelming and they didn’t like gossip, oh no, but some way or the other they knew all about each other.

 

We have a love story here as well, and a one with twists and turns. With surprises and understatements and all of this with a lot of humour and written in a brilliant way. If I only had time, which I don’t, I would devour this book in one. It is a fantastic, enjoyable, light story and Scarlett Bailey is a wonderful story – teller, with some best lines ever. I have laughed, and I have cried as well, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole book. It was a real page turner, written in my favourite way, and I really didn’t want it to end. I actually can’t wait for the next Christmas because I hope for a next Bailey’s book. I admit – I received a copy of this book from publisher in exchange for a review but if I haven’t, I would go and immediately buy this book. This is how much I have loved it.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2013 Releases, Rating 5/5