Love to Hate YouTitle: Love to Hate You

Author: Anna Premoli

Pages: 259 Pages

Publisher: Aria

The Blurb

Jennifer and Ian have known each other for seven years. They are leaders of two different teams in the same London bank, and are constantly engaged in a running battle to be number one.

Ian is a handsome, wealthy and sought-after bachelor; Jennifer is a feisty, independent lawyer. When they are thrown together to work on the same project, Ian makes Jenny an offer she can’t refuse: to have free reign of their rich client if she pretends to be his girlfriend.

Soon, it becomes more and more difficult to tell the difference between fiction and reality…

The Review

Once again, my book reading has been led through the cover and not the blurb of the book. In the case of Love to Hate You by Anna Premoli I was very lucky because it is a brilliant, feisty and fun read.

Love to Hate You tells the story of Jennifer and Ian, bitter work rivals who sass and snark with each other on a daily basis and the tension between them is palpable. It really is only a matter of time before all the tension turns sexual.

I bloody loved this book; it was the kind of story that made me antisocial. As per usual with romantic stories, I bcame completely invested in Jennifer and Ian’s relationship. It was frustrating that Jennifer couldn’t see that she needed to get together with Ian and that she wouldn’t just allow herself to be happy. I think that is how you know it is a good book, when you begin to offer imaginary advice to the make-believe characters.

Love to Hate You tackles issues of class prejudice (from both sides), ambition and the emotional rollercoaster that is falling in love. It is engaging and funny with a big dollop of romance on top. It is, for me at least, the perfect summer read.

Love to Hate You by Anna Premoli is available now.

For more information regarding Aria (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

5 Stars

London Belongs to UsTitle: London Belongs to Us

Author: Sarra Manning

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books

The Blurb

Twelve hours, two boys, one girl . . . and a whole lot of hairspray.

Seventeen-year-old Sunny’s always been a little bit of a pushover. But when she’s sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows she’s got to act. What follows is a mad, twelve-hour dash around London – starting at 8pm in Crystal Palace (so far away from civilisation you can’t even get the Tube there) then sweeping through Camden, Shoreditch, Soho, Kensington, Notting Hill . . . and ending up at 8am in Alexandra Palace.

Along the way Sunny meets a whole host of characters she never dreamed she’d have anything in common with – least of all the devilishly handsome (and somewhat vain) French ‘twins’ (they’re really cousins) Jean Luc and Vic.

But as this love-letter to London shows, a city is only a sum of its parts, and really it’s the people living there who make up its life and soul. And, as Sunny discovers, everyone – from friends, apparent-enemies, famous bands and even rickshaw drivers – is willing to help a girl on a mission to get her romantic retribution.

A fast-paced, darkly funny love letter to London, boys with big hair and the joys of staying up all night.

The Review

When I look back at my life (32 and a half years of it) I don’t remember the specific days when I went to work or when I spent time revising for exams or idling my hours away texting friends (yes, I had a mobile phone at 16…although to be fair it was an Orange brick and you couldn’t technically send text messages) however, what I do remember are the crazy, unexpected adventures that I had. Days and nights when I went out and things didn’t go as planned but I ended up with henna tattoo’s and had made friends with random people. Ah, youth.

This is exactly what Sarra Manning’s latest book London Belongs to Us is all about. It follows a day in the life of Sunny and how having a cheating scumbag of a boyfriend has led to her having the adventure of a lifetime. You know what? This book is bloody brilliant.

In 288 pages, Manning manages to make you feel a kinship to protagonist Sunny, you want to wind your neck all out of shape as she takes on her cheating boyfriend, go on all of these crazy escapades even though you will probably get arrested at some point…or lose a shoe. Though what I mostly felt was that I wish I was still young enough to have wild potentially foolish adventures just like Sunny and co. London Belongs to Us made me miss being young in the best possible way. Equally, it made me remember some of the mad things that my friends and I got up to over the years. Memories.

If you are young you should read this book to make you realise that there is adventure around every corner and you need to make the most of it. For us who are no longer in our late teens, or as I used to refer to them, our ‘twenteens’, read London Belongs to Us and look back fondly on your life.

London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning is available now.

For more information about Sarra Manning (@sarramanning) please visit her on Twitter.

For more information about Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit the official website www.hotkeybooks.com.

4 Stars

PUUA1Recently, my boyfriend and I stayed in London. This isn’t unusual for us. We live 241 miles apart so most times we get together we meet in the middle (sort of) which just happens to be our nation’s capital.

This time, we had planned to take in a show. We were going to see The Book of Mormon which is being performed in The Prince of Wales Theatre which is nicely placed in between Leicester Square and Piccadilly. We stayed at the Radisson Blu by Leicester Square (they do amazing club sandwiches – seriously, yummy).

Our hotel also happened to be ridiculously close to Charing Cross Road. Charing Cross Road happens to house the five floor Foyles bookshop which I have been desperate to go to. So boyfriend in hand and an approved potential book buying list I headed off. On the way there I had a tourist moment when I saw the theatre that The Cursed Child is playing in (at the time they were getting ready for opening night) and I took a picture. With that my cursed phone ran out of battery. My book list was on that phone.PUUA2

Once in Foyles, I kind of had a mini panic attack. It was too big. There were so many books. My list was gone. In the end I rooted around my panicked mind and remembered only on title from the list. It is a book called Paris Up, Up and Away by Hélène Druvert. It was a book that I had previously seen being discussed by Jen Campbell (author of Weird Things People Say in Bookshops and The Bookshop Book) on her YouTube channel (which you should all check out – this girl seriously knows good books).

Paris Up, Up and Away by Hélène Druvert is a children’s picture book about the Eiffel Tower going on adventures throughout Paris. It is told completely in poetic form and besides being wonderfully charming it is illustrated beautifully too. What makes it even more special is that the majority of the images are laser-cut.

Paris Up, Up and Away by Hélène Druvert is a beautiful book and it is just plain adorable. It was originally published by Thames and Hudson in 2014.

For more information on Thames and Hudson (@thamesandhudson) titles please visit www.thamesandhudson.com.

PUUA3

Hello Erin. Thank you for joining me today on LisaTalksAbout to talk about your fabulous new book Somewhere Only We Know.

As you know, I recently read this book and fell completely in love with it. You probably get asked this a lot but where did the inspiration come from to write Somewhere Only We Know?

I didn’t have to look very far for inspiration as my best friend was also a Russian-born, London-based lady and spent several years in and out of hearings about her visa status and her rights to stay in the UK. Like Nadia in the book, my friend had lived here all her known life, and spending years knowing that at basically any time she could be deported – dragged away from her friends and her partner – was horrible. And eventually, she was. I knew I wanted to write a book where the main character was inspired by how amazing and strong my best friend was through it all, I just wasn’t sure what the story was until the character of Alex wandered into my head one day. His downtrodden, mopey Britishness was a perfect foil to the get-up-and-go of the Nadia character who had been brewing for months. And a love story was born, haha!

Immigration is a particularly contentious issue at the moment. Was it a conscious decision to have it as the central theme in Somewhere Only We Know?

Immigration is definitely a hot topic – one that’s grown even hotter since I first started drafting Somewhere Only We Know. You hear about “30,000 Romanians” about to migrate to London, and when you already can’t fit on the buses that take you to work in the morning, or you can’t get your child a place in a school within ten miles of your house, it’s definitely acceptable to be concerned. What I tried to get across with Nadia and with Somewhere Only We Know though was that we should never lose sight of the individual. 

London is as much a character as Alex and Nadia in Somewhere Only We Know. You describe the city beautifully. Where are your top recommended spots/favourite places to visit in the Big Smoke?

I do love London. It’s a very special city. Like Nadia, Alex and co I spent my early twenties living there and there definitely is no better way to experience it! “Nadia” has very helpfully written a series on hidden secrets of the city, but those of the “usual suspects” that definitely shouldn’t be missed are a walk along the Southbank (maybe down to Shakespeare’s Globe! You can sometimes get on-the-day tickets for £5!); grab something tasty at Borough Market; grab a gin at the Ten Bells pub in Whitechapel and muse over who Jack the Ripper really was……

Do you have a particular writing process?

I have a full-time job so my writing gets slotted in wherever and whenever it possibly can! I do spend a long time turning a story over in my head before I move to a notebook, jotting down a giant mess that would make no sense to anybody but me. So I’m usually quite confident in the story and its characters and progression before I actually begin writing and as a result my first drafts are super clean – neither of my novels have materially changed from first draft to publication – they just get tarted up a little! 

What piece of advice would you offer to the budding novelist?

Try and write something – anything! – and read every single day – any athlete would exercise, and so should you. 

So, what is next for Erin Lawless? Can you give us any clues on your next project?

I’ve just moved onto the “notebook” stage of my new book, so we’re a long way from land with it yet! What I can tell you is that I am completely in love with my main character, Lacey (probably because she is the character closest to me that I have ever written, heehee!). It’s a romcom all about the fall-out after a couple decide to make a list of all the celebrities they’re allowed to sleep with. Let’s just say one half of the couple takes it more seriously than the other…

Thank you for speaking with me today.

Thank you so much for having me!!

Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless is available from 11th June 2015.

Follow Erin Lawless (@rinylou) on Twitter.

Somewhere Only We Know

The Blurb

Boy meets girl…
Alex Bradley can’t help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.

Girl meets boy…

Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back to Russia.

Girl gets deported?

It’s going to be a bumpy ride, one she’s dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.

From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?

Funny, addictive and always honest, this is a love letter to London, friendship and the unexpected from the author of the bestselling The Best Thing I Never Had.

The Review

First there was Bridget and Mark; then there was Em and Dex and now there is Nadia and Alex. Oh, my heart.

Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless is a full on modern day romance centring on Home Office worker Alex – a man who is just being carried along by life rather than actually living it. His life consists of spending time with his flatmate Rory and Rory’s girlfriend Lila….who Alex is secretly in love with. When Nadia comes into his life everything is turned upon its head. She makes him start living rather than just existing. It seems that this project is her swan song as she is currently undergoing a trial that might extradite her from the country that she calls home.

Besides Somewhere Only We Know being a tradition love story between a boy and a girl it is actually a bit of a romance with the city of London. The London described is gorgeous; the best places – besides the obvious tourist spots – are shown perfectly. I wanted to go to those places; I wanted to spend time in the company of characters in those places too. It is this want to be in the story that I think makes Somewhere Only We Know a magical book.

You can’t help but fall in love with Alex and Nadia; you can’t help but yell at the book because you want them to realise that they love each other; you cannot help but swoon. This is the kind of book that makes you fall in love.

Somewhere Only We Know is the book I have wanted to read for a very long time; longer than it has been in existence. How is that possible you may be asking yourself? Well, let me tell you. It is a rare thing to be able to make the love between two fictional characters become so real that you actually champion their love from your very roots but this is exactly what I did for Nads and Alex. And I know you will too.

Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless is available from June 11th 2015.

Follow Erin Lawless (@rinylou) on Twitter.

Somewhere Only We Know