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

‘If you’re looking for an original romance with a quirky twist, look no further.’ – Books with Bunny

What the Dickens is going on?
Edie Dickens is a shark of a divorce lawyer. She doesn’t believe in love and she scoffs at happily ever afters, however she’s agreed to be maid of honour for her oldest friend, Mel in two weeks and she still has the hen night to endure. But she has even more to endure when she’s visited by Jessica Marley’s ghost and finds out she must change her ways or end up being damned to an eternity watching other people’s happiness. Edie is visited by the Ghosts of Weddings Past, Present and Future, every Friday night until the day of the wedding. Can she learn from her mistakes in time? And did the ghosts send the hunky new lawyer, Jack Twist, to distract her?

The Review

My reasons for wanting to read No One Wants to be Miss Havisham were pretty simple. Firstly, I love Great Expectations and secondly, I too – like many other women – fear becoming the crusty old depressed Miss Havisham.

Admittedly, when I first started reading No One Wants to be Miss Havisham I was confused and a little bit put off by the premise of the story. It is essentially a modern day retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol but then by having Miss Havisham in the title and then having characters named after or similar to Dickensian characters I felt it was a little, dare I say it, lazy. However, once I got over my whole cross referencing issues (which I assure you dear reader were solely my own weird hang ups) I actually really enjoyed No One Wants to be Miss Havisham.

No One Wants to be Miss Havisham is a story about Edie Dickens, a hardcore divorce lawyer with a swinging brick where her heart should be. She is closed off from everyone and almost sees other peoples’ lives as an inconvenience to her own. Three weeks before her best friend wedding starts the visit from three ghosts who all show her how her life has taken a wrong turn. Seeing the error of her ways, Edie tries to make amends before it is too late.

You can see where the story is going, right? I think part of the reason I enjoyed reading this book is that I knew it could only have a happy outcome. That was kind of comforting. What I also liked about the No One Wants to be Miss Havisham is that whilst the reasons for Edie becoming an “Ice Queen” are justified they aren’t played on. In some books the author tries to rely on pop-psychology to rationalize a person’s actions but Brigid Coady lets it be a reason without dominating the entire story.

No One Wants to be Miss Havisham is definitely a hearty read with an outcome that you will enjoy. It should definitely be added to your book pile.

No One Wants to be Miss Havisham by Brigid Coady is available now.

Follow Brigid Coady (@beecee) on Twitter.

No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham

Title: No Place Like Oz

Author: Danielle Paige

Pages: 125 pages

Synopsis

No Place Like Oz is the prequel to Dorothy Must Die. In this novella we find out how Dorothy made it back to Oz and how she came to be its most feared ruler.

Review

In my review of Dorothy Must Die (posted earlier this week) I said that I felt the book was a bit slow paced in parts. Since reading No Place Like Oz, I can pinpoint why II felt like this. It is because we, the reader, knew nothing of Dorothy’s motivation to be evil. All we knew was Amy’s current view on things and the few things that had been revealed by the Wicked.

No Place Like Oz was a lot more likable because we were seeing how things had evolved into being. How Dorothy had gone from nice sweet girl to tyrannical and fascist dictator. I believe that had we been given either Dorothy’s back story or had been given her perspective in Dorothy Must Die the story would have been more enjoyable.

No Place Like Oz is a really good novella due to how much is revealed. It gives Dorothy Must Die more purpose and in retrospect made the story more enjoyable. In my opinion, it would have been better if these stories had been combined in some way.

No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige is available now.

You can follow Danielle Paige (@daniellempaige) on Twitter

No Place Like Oz

 

Synopsis

When a Tornado sweeps across Amy’s hometown, the trailer in which she lives with her mother and pet rat is swept up and lands Amy in Oz. Yes, that Oz. Amy swiftly learns that the Oz that we have read about in the classic stories is not all what it seems. Now ruled under a reign of terror at the hands of Dorothy, Amy has to try her hardest to stay alive.

Review

The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favourite stories. More so due to the movie rather than the books (although I do plan to read the whole series of Wizard of Oz books in 2015) however, I cannot seem to warm to any of the literature that has been created in light of the original story.

Well, actually that is a lie. I bloody love Wicked The Musical. The book Wicked didn’t do it for me though. Dorothy Must Die is an extremely clever concept. The idea that Dorothy had turned evil and changed Oz for the worse is so clever. It usurps everything that we know about Oz and our beloved characters and the way Paige tells the story it seems almost plausible that Dorothy would be angry at another girl arriving in Oz by tornado; sheesh, get your own entrance!

There are interesting twists on characters and a few third act surprises that do keep you on your toes. However, I did find that there was far too much exposition and not a lot of action happening. I felt that the pace sometimes dragged.

Overall, Dorothy Must Die is a brave attempt to take on a classic story and for the most part Paige succeeds. With the subsequent sequels I do hope that a lot more action takes place.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is available now.

You can follow Danielle Paige (@daniellempaige) on Twitter.Dorothy Must Die

Synopsis

Assuming that her boyfriend Ben was about to propose, Juliet was more than surprised when she found evidence of his philandering ways. Rather than sit and sulk she decided to take up a lucrative festive job offer to work one last time as a chef at country estate Thornton Hall before going home to America to retrain to become a psychologist.

However, Christmas madness is rife at Thornton Hall and Juliet must control herself around her randy boss Jasper and the head chef Edward; whom she has secretly harboured a crush on for a very long time.

Review

Ok, this is difficult for me. Christmas at Thornton Hall is a really well written book. The storylines are entertaining, intriguing even and the characters are well developed and very distinguishable. In fact, the whole story is well thought out and is a very accurate representation of what I personally believe life in a huge country manor is like. I just didn’t warm to this book like I do with other stories.

Take, for example, the protagonist Juliet. She was understandably upset by Ben’s cheating but she just couldn’t seem to make a decision over which man she wanted to be with. I found that frustrating. In each chapter she felt strongly for a different man in the cast. Her flightiness wasn’t appealing when as a reader I want to identify with the heroine.

Whilst I understand the need for all the plot twists – and which I admit they were executed well – it was hard at times to keep plot threads in order. I felt that this book was meant to be a romantic comedy not a mystery novel.

I think the real indicator for me as to whether or not I enjoyed a book or not is how quickly or (in this case) slowly I devour the story and it took me a very long time to Christmas at Thornton Hall. It just didn’t hook me the way I expected it too.

Overall, as I say Christmas at Thornton Hall is written well and on paper it has everything you need – intricate plot, handsome male heroes, happy endings – it just wasn’t for me.

Christmas at Thornton Hall by Lynn Marie Hulsman is available now.

Christmas at Thornton Hall