Title: The Improbability of Love

Author: Hannah Rothschild

Pages: 408 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Books

The Blurb

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting – a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called ‘The Improbability of Love’. Delving into the painting’s past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.

The Review

The Improbability of Love is a low key heist novel about the displacement of an expensive piece of art: The Improbability of love. Within the multi-narrative novel we see crooked art dealers, we see relationships blooming, and we also see the difficulty between families.

It is an interesting story, a bit tongue in cheek, but for me it was a bit of a slow burner. Things get more interesting later on in the novel when the origin of the artwork begins to unfold but it did take over half of the book to get there.

The most interesting chapters were the ones told by the painting itself. It sounds strange but the unique voice of The Improbability of Love was witty, entertaining and a little pompous so it is worth a read just for this character alone.

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild is available now.

For more information regarding Hannah Rothschild (@Hannah71771890) please visit www.hannahrothschild.com.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Books (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

Stealing Marilyn MonroeTitle: Stealing Marilyn Monroe

Author: Sophie Warren

Pages: 214 Pages

Publisher: Alloy Entertainment

The Blurb

Juliet Chadwick has it all—a job at a New York art gallery, a great boyfriend, and a long-term career in the family business: theft. But unlike her father, Juliet plays it safe, sticking to small-time art heists and always covering her tracks. Until one day when her father’s creditors show up, demanding that she pay off his debts—or else.

And so Juliet comes up with a desperate plan, the greatest con she’s ever attempted: She’s going to steal Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe from bachelor billionaire Edward Aster. All she’ll have to do is pose as the Aster family’s new nanny until she can get her hands on the painting. How hard can it be?

But all too quickly, Juliet finds herself falling in love with Edward’s children, and maybe even with Edward himself. Can she bring herself to pull off the ultimate theft—if it means stealing from a man who’s stolen her heart?

The Review

Well, how much fun is Stealing Marilyn Monroe? Let me tell you. A lot of fun.

Stealing Marilyn Monroe is a caper-filled adventure filled with intrigue, romance and art heist romps to boot.

The story is about Juliet Chadwick – art thief and mistress of disguise who steals high end canvases from the art world. Unlike her criminal counterparts she doesn’t sell them but steals them because her love of art and she wants to build up her own collection.

However, when her imprisoned father is beaten up by a bunch of heavy handed criminals, Juliet needs to steal for purpose; that purpose, to clear her father’s debt.

It is through this escapade that Juliet inevitably falls in love with billionaire and art collector Edward Aster. But will her love for him keep her grounded or just give her new opportunities for her stick fingers?

Stealing Marilyn Monroe is just a jolly good fun read. It is a speedy well paced read with plenty of mystery and intrigue. A great book to escape into.

Stealing Marilyn Monroe by Sophie Warren is available now.

For more information regarding Alloy Entertainment (@alloyent) please visit www.alloyentertainment.com.

3 Stars

And Were OffTitle: And We’re Off

Author: Dana Schwartz

Pages: 261 Pages

Publisher: Razorbill Books

The Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who’s always nurtured Nora’s talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expenses-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to study history’s most famous artists. The only catch? Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It’s a no-brainer: Nora is in!

Unfortunately, Nora’s mother, Alice, is less than thrilled about the trip. She worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter—and her opinions haven’t gone unnoticed. Nora couldn’t feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they’ve ever been. But seconds after saying goodbye to Alice at the airport terminal, Nora hears a voice call out: “Wait! Stop! I’m coming with you!”

And . . . they’re off.

The Review

Oooh, it isn’t rare that a book will get me incensed but usually it is because I am screaming at the choices the characters make it is not usually because of an individual character. This is exactly what happened when I read And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz.

The set up of the story is that protagonist Nora Holmes is going away for the summer to study at an art institute in Ireland. She is travelling through Europe for a few days before and after her course and it will be her first sense of freedom. There is only one problem though – Nora’s overbearing mother.

I can’t honestly recall a time when a character has angered me as much as Alice Parker did. I love my mum, she is my best friend but if I had planned a holiday and she announced that she was tagging along and she then started changing my plans I would be fuming. During this book there were very few redeeming features of Alice Parker. I felt so much sympathy for Nora who had to endure her mother’s antics. My anger was tangible.

There were some things that I would have liked from the book that I didn’t get. I wanted to see more from Callum at the end and I also wanted the crazy wild goose chase to find a café in Paris explained but overall And We’re Off was a one sitting read and I really, really enjoyed it.

And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz is available now.

For more information regarding Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) please visit www.DanaSchwartzDotCom.com.

For more information regarding Razorbill Books (@RazorbillBooks) please visit www.razorbillbooks.com.

4 Stars

Title: The Scribblings of a Madcap Genius

Author: Noel Fielding

Pages: 300 Pages

Publisher: Canongate Books

The Blurb

Enter the surreal, diverse, self-styled madcap universe of Noel Fielding, comedian extraordinaire (Mighty Boosh) and the maddest man on TV. Originally trained at art college, this collection represents some of his superbly original paintings, drawing, thoughts, scribbles, portraits, designs, defacing’s and much more. Essential for both fans and anyone else.

The Review

I love Noel Fielding, that androgynous bird of prey! He is, as the title of his book suggests, a ‘Madcap Genius’. I think the reason why I love Noel Fielding is that he is so very silly. He takes his stories or his characters to places that you would never think that they could go to. This is definitely the vibe that you get when you look at his book of art The Scribblings of a Madcap Genius. It is crazy, silly and to some extent very serious. You can see that Fielding takes his talent seriously and if I was being a bit pretentious I would say that his work is a reflection of postmodern society but since I don’t have a clue about art, I won’t.

Either way, if you like Noel Fielding you will like this book.

The Scribblings of a Madcap Genius by Noel Fielding is available now

For more information regarding Noel Fielding (@noelfielding11) please visit www.noelfielding.co.uk.

For more information regarding (@canongatebooks) please visit www.canongatebooks.co.uk.

3 Stars