I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a story that perhaps takes sibling rivalry a bit too far, as suggested by the title of Sophie Ranald’s funny British novel. Ellie is the stereotypical ugly duckling sister who has lived in the shadow of her younger and more glamorous sister, Rose – but this isn’t a story about pent up resentment or sibling rivalry. Ellie and Rose love each other, live together and, most of the time, get along fine. Ellie is enamored when she meet’s Rose’s boyfriend, Oliver. Not coincidently, she embarks on a mission of self-improvement that involves dieting, exercising, new clothes, highlights and an exciting new job in PR for a hip fashion company. Soon, Rose and Ellie end up on a level playing field. Will Oliver notice?
Initially I didn’t like the premise of this book – sisters shouldn’t steal each other’s boyfriends! Not to give away the plot, but I don’t think Ellie sets out to actually steal Oliver, but rather uses him as an excuse to make some changes in her life. With the exception of lusting after Oliver, Ellie is a delightful character. I also appreciate that despite her outer transformation, Ellie never changes who she really is, even when she finds herself in some very questionable moral dilemmas. I love the dynamics of Ellie’s relationship with Rose and all the family baggage that comes along with it. I thought the characters were all well developed and appropriately flawed. Despite my misgivings, the plot was fun and original with many possible conclusions – the result was a truly surprising and satisfying ending.
Three women’s lives are about to change because of a few delicate pieces of china…
When Jenny Davis comes across a beautiful vintage tea set at an outdoor market in the English countryside, she’s convinced it’s fate. A young bride on a budget, she has her heart set on a vintage tea-party theme for her wedding—and the gorgeous gold-rimmed china before her is perfect. There’s only one problem. Two other women have fallen in love with it, too. So they come up with a solution: They’ll share it.
They establish a sisterhood, sharing the ups and downs of their lives—from broken hearts and weddings, to family drama and career dreams. When a figure from Jenny’s past threatens to ruin her big day, Alison’s teenage daughter pushes her to the limit, and Maggie’s romantic life is thrown into turmoil, the members of the Vintage Teacup Club band together—proving their newfound friendship will last a lifetime.
I thought The Vintage Teacup Club was a charming novel, with unexpected friendships and lots of heart. I enjoyed following each woman’s story and what the teacups meant for them, and I really don’t think I preferred one woman over another. You know how sometimes when you get multiple POV’s and you tend to lean towards one, always eager to read her part? I had the same enthusiasm for Jenny, Maggie, and Alison, and that made the book a lot of fun to read and also quite quick. This story is a great women’s fiction read, with relationship talk, learning how to start over, and of course – a great tale of friendships.
How far would you go to make a new start? Heart-warming and romantic, Take a Look at Me Now will make you laugh, cry and cheer Nell on from start to finish.
What a difference a day makes…
Nell Sullivan has always been known as ‘Miss Five-Year Plan’. But when she finds herself jobless and newly single on the same day, Nell decides it is time to stop planning and start taking chances.
Nell blows her redundancy cheque on a trip of lifetime to a place where anything is possible – San Francisco. There she meets a host of colourful characters, including the intriguing and gorgeous Max. Very soon the city begins to feel like Nell’s second home.
But when it’s time to return to London, will she leave the ‘new Nell’ behind? And can the magic of San Francisco continue to sparkle thousands of miles away?
I quite enjoyed this book, though the plot twist left me with mixed feelings. But let me tell you what I really loved about this book first. The San Francisco descriptions have left me begging my husband to let us book a trip there. Really nice work by the author setting the scene and giving us a taste of the wonderful city. It was so great to read about the relationship between cousins. It reminded a bit of my relationship with one of my cousins, someone who has been there for me so many times throughout our lives and I know I can turn to when I need advice or an ear. I did like the plot twist because I really didn’t see it coming, and it gave a good shakeup to what I thought would be a predictable ending. What I didn’t like so much was after the plot twist and the predictability that followed there. It was quite obvious what the reasoning was behind Max’s secret, so Nell came off pretty silly after that. One other thing – I understand the author is British and it would make sense for Nell and even her cousin to use British slang and terms, but everyone did in the book, including those living in San Fran who should not. That bothered me a bit and made it feel a little less realistic. But there was still so much I liked about the book that I can’t help but give it 4 stars!
One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends… And a very uncomfortable weekend.
Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she’s not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley’s nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like. When she arrives for the weekend at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?
I’m a big fan of Michele Gorman, and I’m happy to review her latest novel Christmas Carol. While I’m not always a huge fan of novellas, I felt fairly confident Gorman would make this an enjoyable read – and I was right! This was short and sweet, direct and to the point, and I finished it in one day. What a cute little story that breezed by. We got just enough of the characters lives to be interested, but nothing was too in-depth. I would have loved to see this as a full-length novel, though I am that way with all books. I love reading – I can’t help it! But if you are looking for a fun and quick read, check this one out!
Available globally in paperback and eBook. Here are the sales links to use as you’d like.
- Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/15SFTd9
- Amazon US: http://amzn.to/17QLuPu
- Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/19OELVb
- Barnes and Noble in the US: http://bit.ly/1gm1rB3
- Barnes and Noble in the UK: http://bit.ly/1gQ6EBh
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More reviews for Michele Gorman books!
This British Chick Lit story is about Cathy, a stay-at-home mother at a crossroads in her life. What does a woman, who’s given up her career for home and family, do when the last child goes to school? Does she join the ranks of school volunteers or get a job that actually pays? Cathy is feeling the pressure from her husband Declan and her fellow working mom friends to get a job. But Cathy has no desire to work, nor in her opinion, any marketable talents. She also has a terrible fear of interviews. She’s not feeling any appreciation for what she does as a wife and mother, either. To Cathy it seems that since giving birth, she’s entered a period of indentured servitude. This is an issue that will resonate with many mothers who’ve come to feel this way, believe me!
The story begins with Cathy receiving a post card from someone named La La. La La insinuates that she has something going on with Declan, who of course denies it. Neither husband nor wife knows anyone named La La. When more cards arrive, La La causes a whole lot of trouble for Cathy’s marriage, her friendships and her responsibilities as a mother. Who is this La La? A quest begins. As Cathy’s life spirals out of control, we’re not sure is it’s because of La La or Cathy’s own disenchantment with the way her life has turned out.
Village life, English humor and unfamiliar dialogue and slang confused me in the beginning of the book, so it took be a little while to get into the plot. Eventually I appreciated these things, because they helped set the scene for the madcap adventure Cathy embarks on to find La La and discover why she’s tormenting her. There’s a unique cast of characters in this book, many of them over the top, but I think they add to Cathy’s mystique as the slightly batty housewife. She’s definitely the beacon who brings these unlikely players together, any one of whom is just off balance enough to be La La. Because of the number of suspects, I did sometimes have trouble keeping them straight. The author successfully kept me intrigued and I found myself getting excited to see what was going to happen. There are many subplots in this story, but they all support the central mystery and all are neatly, although in some cases preposterously, tied up. The ending was very satisfying and I enjoyed the ride.
When the stresses of being an A-list actress get too much for her, Connie Gordon decides to escape to a tiny Scottish village. But little does she realise that whilst Lochnabrae might be quiet, it’s far from sleepy…
Connie kisses goodbye to her ex-boyfriends, stalkers and double-crossing agents, and prepares herself for complete relaxation.
But swapping the Hollywood Hills for the Highlands of Scotland doesn’t make for the easiest of transitions, and when she meets local playwright Alastair McInnes, who’s sworn he’ll never become involved with another actress again, sparks fly. The quiet little village of Lochnabrae will never be the same again…
Get your running shoes on to catch the latest hilarious, charming and utterly engaging novel from Victoria Connelly.
Sometimes British chick lit books can be hard for me to get into. They seem longer and sometimes more drawn out, so I started reading this book a bit apprehensively. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one! It was easy to slip into the charming village of Lochnabrae and enjoy the slow pace and friendly – and some eclectic – inhabitants. Connie is a fabulous MC to follow, and her life swap was interesting and intriguing to watch unfold. And we have to romance dabbled in there as well, and the cute little tale between her and Alastair was a lot of fun to read about. I love that this novel captured my attention right off the bat and left me engaged throughout. One I highly recommend!
What Would Kate Do? follows Cathy Dover who idolizes The Duchess of Cambridge and tries to follow her footsteps in life but fails miserably. Instead of ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ her motto in life is ‘What Would Kate Do?’ It’s a romantic comedy with an emphasis on comedy. If you enjoyed Bridget Jones and The Devil Wears Prada you will love this!
As a big (huge, giant, monstrous, etc) fan of the Royal Family and especially Kate Middleton, I couldn’t turn down this book! I won’t lie – I’ve been in situation myself and have thought “What would Kate do?” I’ve been staring into my closet and thought “What would Kate wear?” I was excited to see how this book played out, and I’m quite happy to report that I really enjoyed it. It moved along quickly, had plenty of laugh out loud moments, and had a depth that can sometimes be missed or lacking in cute chick lit books. One I recommend!
Allie Spencer’s “Save the Date!: You are Invited to the Wedding of the Year” is the cute story of Ailsa, a 30-something European who’s fresh off the heels of a breakup of her marriage. She shares a flat with her girlfriend, and just wants to put the past behind her. Her immediate plans for the future are called to a fault when she receives several urgent messages from Jessica, her spoiled cousin, who’s getting married in beautiful Tuscany. Jessica tells her “it’s a matter of life or death” that she attend the wedding, so Ailsa packs her bags and travels to Italy to spend some time with her somewhat dysfunctional family as they try to deal with each other’s presence for the wedding of the year.
What could be so bad about spending the week in Tuscany & celebrating with your cousin just before her nuptials? Well, if you’re Ailsa, a few things. Take for instance the fact that she runs into her ex-husband – who, as luck would have it, is staying in the room just next door to her. He’s there on business, she’s there to forget about him. Life just isn’t that easy, though. Throw in a cute stray dog (who steals the story, in my opinion) that won’t leave Ailsa’s side, an over-eager wedding planner who is driving everyone insane (including the bride), and lots of funny moments, Save the Date is a modern girl’s travel guide to Tuscany. Allie Spencer writes with such clear descriptions of the streets, cafes, and Italian art, that I could literally picture myself walking the streets and alleys with Ailsa.
This was my first British Chick-Lit book – and it took me some time to get use to the writing style. I learned a few new British vocabulary words and lots about the beauty of Italy. This is a cute book, especially for a beach/summer read, but also for anytime you want to escape and just have a fun story. I’m giving 3 stars because at times, it seemed like it was one drama right after another which went on and on. It was a little much, but overall the story was cute, fun and worth a read.
I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Although the countryside town of Beeversham looks picture-perfect, nothing is quite as it seems. Behind closed doors, three women are struggling to lead the lives they want…
Vanessa seems like she simply must have it all – she’s beautiful, rich and married to gorgeous actor, Conrad. But beneath the glitz, she is asking herself whether this really is the life she wants to lead – when she has so much, why does she feel so empty?
Meanwhile, Fleur is trying desperately to save the farm that her family have lived on for hundreds of years, when playboy Beau makes her an offer she can’t refuse…
And Catherine has given up the high-flying career she thought she always wanted, and is trying to build a wonderful new life in the country. But finding rural bliss is harder than it looks.
Hopes and dreams, loves and losses – and lots and lots of secrets – let Jo Carnegie take you behind the scenes of one very special town…
The entire time I was reading Party Games I felt like I was watching a guilty-pleasure marathon of my favorite Lifetime movies. I found myself thinking about the characters when I wasn’t reading, rather insanely wondering what was going on in Beeversham while I was cooking my family supper. The POV alternates (though not in a fixed pattern) between Vanessa, Fleur, and Catherine. Each of these women has unique challenges, and though I couldn’t actually identify personally with any of them, I very much enjoyed delving into their lives. You see a wide range, everything from virginal sweetheart Fleur –my favorite—to ultra-bitchy Vanessa, and let’s not forget the men! They run the gamut as well, and I couldn’t quite decide which I liked best; each was juicier than the next.
If you decide to read this novel, find yourself a good British slang website—you’ll need it. Also, at the risk of showing how fashionably challenged I am, I didn’t recognize many of the designer references. In fact, I was a bit frustrated with all the name dropping. They’re rich; I get it. I don’t need to know they’re wearing La Perla underwear. The number of characters introduced in the first few chapters and their lengthy backstories were overwhelming as well, but you will need all of those backstories eventually, and while it’s somewhat cheesy and predictable at times, overall, it’s still a good read.
I received a copy of Kept by Elle Field in exchange for an honest review.
‘Did she really just say that? I am fifteen again, except the reality is I am experiencing full parental horror, aged twenty-five. I want to die.’
Life hasn’t quite worked out how Arielle Lockley imagined it would. Becoming the next Coco Chanel was always her childhood dream, but she’s spent the past four years living a dizzying whirl of glitzy parties, luxurious holidays and daily shopping sprees – all paid for by boyfriend Piers – and not doing anything to make her Coco dreams happen.
When the recession hits, it’s not just the economy that takes a tumble and Arielle finds herself living back with her parents, on bad terms with Piers, and having a CV that’s as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. And maybe it’s the location, but she’s also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart are popping into her head…
What’s a girl to do? Can Arielle figure out what it is she now wants to do with her life and move on, or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life dwelling over her worst mistakes, stuck listening to her parents’ embarrassing dinner table talk each night?
This might be a bit of a strange review, because I was kind of all over the place with this book. There were moments I loved, parts I disliked, areas where I was scratching my head, and then scenarios that made me laugh out loud. The bottom line – I enjoyed this book. Arielle was a funny character, someone who I thought of as unique and spirited. It was a little hard to really stand behind her when she did nothing but seemingly mooch off her boyfriend for four years, but I could see how Piers wasn’t doing much to help that situation. Sometimes the romance between her childhood sweetheart tripped me up. I don’t like to give anything away in my reviews, but the ending was where I was scratching my head. Sometimes I disliked too that everything was quite easy for her. I know we see her penniless and homeless for a few pages, but really, she was quite fine throughout the book. And even in the end when she wanted to do something on her own, an opportunity just fell into her lap. I liked that she ran with the opportunity and really worked hard at it, but still – she didn’t have to do much to make it happen in the first place. With that being said, like I stated earlier, I enjoyed this book. I was sucked into Arielle’s strange little world and I thought the writing was quite snappy and fast-paced. So even though I think I had a love/confusion relationship with Arielle, she still thoroughly entertained me.