Title: Love Locked

Author: Tess Highcroft

Pages: 106 Pages

The Blurb

It’s not how Jocelyn planned to fall in love.

In fact, Jocelyn isn’t looking for love at all. She has a good job, and a great apartment, in a city she loves: she’s happy.

But then she meets a (somewhat angry) stranger when she mistakenly locks her bike to his. Lucas is nothing at all like any guy Jocelyn’s ever dreamed of, but she can’t get him out of her mind from the moment she meets him.

Is it love? Or lust? Or could it be both together?

Love Locked follows Jocelyn and Lucas on a romantic romp filled with plenty of both love and lust.

**Contemporary Romance with mature content Recommended for 17+ due to mature language and adult situations.**

The Review

Ok, so I am a sucker for the concept of fixing a lock to a bridge with the one you love to symbolise forever love. I know that probably makes me a huge girl who likes fairies and unicorns. I’m not ashamed of it but I feel that you should know that this was the reason I chose to read Love Locked – the image on the cover made me want to read it. I judged the book by its cover, sue me!

Love Locked is about a girl called Jocelyn who falls pretty quickly for a guy called Lucas. They met when (for some strange reason) she decided to lock her bike around his and a lamppost. Yes, this was their meet cute. Like all love stories there was an obstacle stopping them from getting together there and then – that obstacle is Lucas’s girlfriend, Charlotte. The whole story revolves around Jocelyn and Lucas who keep bumping into each other thus making Jocelyn fall harder for Lucas. Like most romances, the things keeping them apart only get resolved near the end.

Love Locked is an interesting book to write about. I can’t say that I loved it because I didn’t swoon for the characters or scream at the book in frustration. I was kind of indifferent to it. I think the reason for this was because in the first few chapters the writing style was written in a very detached manner. Ergo, I felt very detached. I also think that some of the scenes of a sexual nature were unnecessary.

If you are looking for a quick read then Love Locked is definitely a good one to start with. It doesn’t gnaw away at you afterwards or leave you with a book hangover; if you want a book with more substance, then Love Locked is not for you. However, it is an entertaining book for the right audience.

Love Locked by Tess Highcroft is available now.

Love Locked

The Blurb

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever travelled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light.

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome – but that will define his life forever.

In a remarkable and precise prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.

The Review

I can’t even begin to give you a synopsis or description of this novel. A Little Life is too big and too magnanimous to be squashed into a paragraph or two. It just cannot be done. However, as poor an attempt as it will be I shall try my best.

First and foremost A Little Life is about the friendship of four young men – Jude, Willem, Malcolm and JB – and follows them through their lives into adulthood.

That is all you are getting!

A Little Life streamlines the story to focus on one character – Jude. St Jude is the patron saint of lost souls and it is no surprise to find that is exactly what Jude is – lost. He is taken under the wing by the people around him as they try to convince him of his self worth. However, old wounds are difficult to heal.

A Little Life will leave your feeling a thesaurus of emotion; you literally step onto a rollercoaster of feelings with the turn of every page. I have laughed, cried, been angry, hurt, felt like I was suffocating, been heartbroken, was given hope, felt bone-crushing terror among a lot of other things whilst reading the novel.

I will warn you, it is not an easy read. Besides the subject matters encased in between the covers, A Little Life is a long book and at times can seem narrative heavy. Do not go into this book hoping for a light bit of escapism. However, I do think that people need to read this novel. It is truly amazing. It should be one of this year’s major prize winners because it is a beautifully told story. It has everything that you want from a novel and more.

Buy it. Buy it now.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is available now.

A Little Life

The Blurb

Every summer has a story…

Since Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parents’ farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for a date. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety.

When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for!

But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … Then again, this is Cornwall.

Set on the gorgeous Cornish coast at the height of summer, this is the perfect romance to take on your hols!

Debbie is the author of Cold Feet at Christmas, the #1 Christmas bestseller!

The Review

Whenever my friends come to me feeling a bit down or bummed out by life, my advice to them is always the same; read a book. This year I have made many recommendations but I have to admit one of the books that kept cropping up over and over again was Debbie Johnson’s Cold Feet at Christmas because it was just so damn good. Therefore, I was more than excited when I heard that Johnson was releasing a new book in the rom-com oeuvre. Her new offering, Pippa’s Cornish Dream, is just wonderful. The story goes like this:

Pippa has had to deal with a lot in life, she has become a parent to four children through circumstance not choice, runs a farm as well as long or short stay accommodation. She spends her days mucking out cows and cleaning up pig poo. This isn’t exactly the life that the Oxford-bound Pippa was expected to lead.

Things change for Pippa when a handsome, yet familiar, man comes to stay on the farm. It is then that Pippa really starts to live.

Now I know what you are thinking, woman falls for handsome man. What is so special about that? For me, it is Johnson’s characters. They are so three dimensional. Everything and everyone has a reason for happening or acting in the ways that they do. Plus Johnson never goes for the conventional male hero. There is always a layer that you have to break through first. I think it is this that makes her stories so interesting and fun to read.

Pippa’s Cornish Dream is only a small book but Debbie Johnson packs an awful lot of good story in there. If you are looking for a good, light-hearted summer read then I would totally recommend the latest Debbie Johnson.

Pippa’s Cornish Dream by Debbie Johnson is available now.

Follow Debbie Johnson (@DebbieMJohnson) on Twitter.

Pippas Cornish Dream

The Blurb

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her cheating husband and their posh Florida life, she finds herself transported back home and back to square one. In need of saving herself, she sets out to find and resurrect a beloved high-school English teacher who has retired after a violent incident in the classroom. But she quickly learns that it’s not a one-woman job. Luckily she meets a few people on her journey. Can Chuck, the handsome brother of Portia’s old school friend, together with a sassy nun and a metal-head little boy, help Portia’s chances in her bid for renewed hope in the human race? It’s going to be quite a ride. Moving and funny, Love May Fail is about the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know deep down you are meant to be.

The Review

I would like to start this review with the following exclamation. OH. MY. WOW!

I’m sorry for the dramatic outburst but Love May Fail by Matthew Quick has floored me. I am currently having what the cool kids call a “book hangover”. It was just so damn good. I’m finding hard to actually express my feelings about Love May Fail in a coherent and concise way because it was just so damn beautiful.

The multi-narrative tale is told from four perspectives – Portia, Mr Vernon, Mr Vernon’s mother Maeve and Chuck Bass (not to be confused with the Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl) and their lives are all intrinsically linked. Each of these characters has a cross to bear and they are all struggling to find meaning or a connection. Yet they all help each other – sometimes on purpose and other times accidentally. It is through the theme of loss that they can all relate to each other.

This sounds very simplistic but I genuinely do not want to give too much away. Ideally, I would like those of you reading this review to run to your nearest bookshop and buy Love May Fail.

Having read all but one of Matthew Quick’s previous novels, I can say with conviction that Love May Fail is his finest work to date.

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick is available now.

Follow Matthew Quick (@MatthewQuick21) on Twitter.

Love May Fail

The Blurb

Classic story meets the modern world…and out of this world.

From the halls of a high school to hip night clubs to the depths of space, Never Be Younger gives Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets a fresh spin for a new audience. Nine authors pay tribute to the Bard by taking his timeless tales to new heights, entrancing readers all over again. A Shakespeare story by any other name still reads as sweet.

All proceeds from the sales of Never Be Younger go to United Through Reading, a charity dedicated to uniting military families through reading.

Authors include Rachel Bateman, Jessica L. Pierce, S.M. Johnston, Adrianne James, E.L. Wicker, Olivia Hinebaugh, Cortney Pearson, Christina June, and Nicole Zoltack

The Review

Ahh, the Bard! One of best (if not the greatest) English literary exports of all time has been re-envisioned by various authors in this anthology of stories. I won’t lie to you. I did not enjoy it.

I know that my dislike of these stories is because I am a purist (which I understand is totally on me and therefore I do implore you to read other reviews on Never Be Younger) but I just didn’t enjoy reading this book.

To be fair, the stories were written really well and kudos to the authors for being able to re-imagine such classical stories but at times I did find it difficult to find the link from the Shakespeare play to the authors understanding of it.

This book of shorts did not keep me hooked and I found it very tedious reading.

However, I have to give praise to the writers who are selling this anthology as all the proceeds go to help military families.

Never Be Younger: a YA Anthology by Rachel Bateman is available now.

Never Be Younger