Title: London Nights

Author: Lucy Lord

Pages: 34 Pages

The Blurb

A short story from the hilarious author of A Girl Called Summer – find out what Bella was up to before her Ibiza adventures!

Bella and Andy need to finish packing up their London life before their blow-out ‘Goodbye London’ party tonight. But with a screaming baby, missing moving men and some kitchen calamities, will they ever be ready on time??

A cracking short story that takes place just before the events of A Girl Called Summer.

The Review

In the third instalment of the A Girl Called Summer short story prequels we meet Bella and Andy; a young couple with a small child who are currently making the life changing move to Ibiza. However, the closer that they are getting to moving day the more stress seems to be piled upon them. Delivery people aren’t arriving to collect their final belongings, the air mattress that they are sleeping on is deflating and besides all this they have to organise, execute and attend their farewell do. It is all going on.

This is the third set of characters that we have met in this series and it is after reading London Nights that I feel I may have been a bit harsh on my review of the second in the series New York Nights. I felt in the last one that nothing seemed to happen. However, both of these books – whilst less octane than LA Nights – have provided a lot of exposition for A Girl Called Summer. So whilst the tales seem to be quite small they are in fact setting up the stories to come.

Let’s see what the next in the series – Ibiza Nights – delivers.

London Nights by Lucy Lord is available now.

Follow Lucy Lord (@LucyLord1) on Twitter.

London Nights

The Blurb

Dear Ava,

How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?

Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can’t remember the last time she had a second date. It’s a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.

Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she’s in love with someone else. Someone she’s never even met.

It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.

Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she’s determined to unmask Mr Writer…and find out once and for all if he’s Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

A hilarious summer read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Mhairi McFarlane and Michele Gorman

The Review

I love a good love story. More than that, I love a good happy ending. Just the Way You Are by Lynsey James is a story that can make your heart sing and will leave you with a perma-smile attached to your face. This is exactly what Just the Way You Are does to you. It is an honest-to-goodness-will-they-won’t-they tale of love and I couldn’t put it down.

Admittedly I wanted to shake some sense into our protagonist Ava; she just couldn’t see the love that was right in front of her. Her whole life she has been tied up by a feeling of being unworthy, of feeling abandoned and let down by men. Worse than that though, she blames herself. So because of that she just cannot see when someone is offering her the world. We see this throughout the book and I have to admit that it made me so frustrated. Also, if I had as many dudes after me that Ava seemed to then I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed my 20s more (they were pretty great, to be fair).

In Max, Lynsey James gave us a hero that we can all fall in love with. Who wouldn’t love him? He is Ava’s best friend, the person she tells her adventures to, the one who wipes away the tears when life kicks her hard and the person she can count on the most. Yes he is the dream.

Author – Lynsey James – is a new writer on the romantic novelist block but she is one that should not (and will not) be ignored. This lady knows how to write a passionate page turner. I hope that she is writing her next one because I cannot wait to read it!

Just The Way You Are by Lynsey James is available now.

Follow Lynsey James (@Lynsey1991) on Twitter.

Just The Way You Are

The Blurb

Life’s great when you’re 29 years old with a gorgeous girlfriend and fulfilling job. Until you have to move back in with your mum . . . Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they’ll ever save enough for the deposit is by moving in, rent-free, with Dan’s mum. It’s a desperate solution, but it’s only for six months. And Gemma’s determined to make it work, no matter how bad things get. But between Dan’s mum’s kitchen karaoke, her constant innuendos, irrepressible argumentative streak and – worst of all – her ham and pineapple curries, life back at home would test the patience of two saints. Which Dan and Gemma most definitely are not. Then, as they’re trying to convince themselves it will all be worth it, Gemma’s past comes back to haunt her. And suddenly the foundations of their entire relationship are shaken to their core…

The Review

Gemma and Dan have a great relationship but it is put to the test when they make the very grown up decision to buy a house. To save money, they move in with Dan’s mum Belinda and it is then in the claustrophobic environment that the cracks begin to show.

Along with the house being a massive money pit it also has awkward sellers and an estate agent who doesn’t seem to be on Gem and Dan’s side. To throw in further complications Gemma’s past catches up with her; thus making the already fraught situation seem worse.

The Love Shack is a story of love. It may sound cheesy but real love. Love that is complicated by reality, the things in life that you can’t always control and I think that is why it is so good. Jane Costello has created characters that you genuinely care about and wish you were friends with so you could give them the advice that you are so intently shouting at the book, hoping that they hear what you have to say…but you know, them being fictional makes it a tad hard to do.

Personally, there was another element of the book that I enjoyed greatly was the Liverpool setting. This probably won’t titillate everyone who reads it but being a girl who was born and raised (and who still resides) in Liverpool I loved that I was able to connect the dots and really visualise actual places and to see that Costello was true to their beauty (seriously, Liverpool has some fantastic architecture) throughout The Love Shack.

I really enjoyed The Love Shack. It was a fun and to some extent easy read that did deal with some gritty issues. I think that shows Costello’s skill as a writer. As this is the first of her book that I have read I can safely say that it won’t be my last. One thing is for sure, I am now genuinely terrified about ever buying a house.

The Love Shack by Jane Costello is available now.

Follow Jane Costello (@JaneCostello) on Twitter.

The Love Shack

Synopsis

Everybody has secrets. Everybody. The world would be a boring and potentially less complicated and fascinating place if we didn’t. However, secrets can be dangerous things too. What if the secret that you have determined everything about your life? What if that secret was so dark that it could tear your family and your world apart?

Review

Well that is the over-riding theme to Abigail Tarttelin’s second novel Golden Boy. In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice the great bard wrote ‘The truth will out’ and that is exactly what Max Walker’s family have spent the past 16 years trying to prevent. Max was born intersex. Even now, not a lot is known about how this happens but the affect that it can have on the individual – let alone their families – can be devastating. The Walkers have managed to keep Max’s intersexuality clandestine, only close family and friends are aware of his “condition.” However, when someone close to Max takes advantage of him the protective walls that have been put up around Max come tumbling down with distressing results.

It has to be said that it is so very rare to find a book that will simultaneously break my heart, have me clutching my chest in panic and have me aching so palpably for the characters; when I find a novel that can do that I know that I have found something special. Golden Boy is a fantastic insight into a world that we may have little or no knowledge of – in this case hermaphroditism – and combines it so seamlessly with worlds we have been a part of such as the intricacies of family life, being a parent and being a teenager. Tarttelin’s seemingly effortless switch between different character voices is truly remarkable that one can only sit in awe of this promising young talent.

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin is available now.

You can follow Abigail Tarttelin (@abigailsbrain) on Twitter.

* Review originally published on Different Scene

Golden Boy

Title: New York Nights

Author: Lucy Lord

Pages: 34 Pages

The Blurb

A short story from the hilarious author of A Girl Called Summer – find out what Poppy was up to before her Ibiza adventures!

Poppy has flown to New York for the stag dos of her favourite GBFs (Gay Best Friends) Chase and Marco, before their civil partnership tomorrow. With the pressure on for the biggest and best Studio 54-themed bachelor night – and new husband Damian bending her ear about what might come next – Poppy needs to be on top of her game!

A cracking short story that takes place just before the events of A Girl Called Summer.

The Review

I really loved LA Nights – the predecessor to New York Nights – because it was fun, fast and frisky. If I’m totally honest, the second part of the series fell a little flat. It was still interesting and it was fun to meet some more of the cast members that are going to make up A Girl Called Summer but it just didn’t have the high octane dramarama of LA Nights. It is a shame because it had a lot of potential.

The theme of the story – a celebration of nuptials between Poppy’s friends Chase and Marco – was a great springboard for what could have been a great tale. I particularly liked all the references to 1970s disco. I think that New York Nights fell short due to its length. It is a hard skill to condense a story to a short amount of pages and sometimes it is a winner and sometimes more is needed and for me personally, I needed more from this story.

Let’s see what the next in the series brings.

New York Nights by Lucy Lord is available now.

Follow Lucy Lord (@LucyLord1) on Twitter.

New York Nights