Title: Barbara the Slut and Other People

Author: Lauren Holmes

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

A fresh, honest, and darkly funny debut collection about family, friends, and lovers, and the flaws that make us most human.

The Review

Barbara the Slut and Other People is a quirky collection of short stories from Lauren Holmes. Whilst I enjoyed reading the collection and it was a welcome distraction from some of the heavier novels I have been reading lately I must admit that I cannot recall many of the stories in the collection. Therefore, I would describe Barbara the Slut and Other People as a good collection but ultimately the stories do not play on your mind after you finish reading.

Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes is available now.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.hc.com.

Title: A Brief Encounter: A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort

Author: Julia Williams

Pages: 34 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books/Harper Collins

The Blurb

A snow storm in the village has meant waitress Rachel is working an extra shift on Valentine’s Night. Hopefully, though, she’ll still get home in time to have her Prosecco with her boyfriend Jamie and tell him her secret…

Daniel is stuck in the snow. He should have left work earlier but he hopes his girlfriend Claire will understand – especially when he produces a very special gift.

He stops to shelter and wait out the storm in a hotel he passes.

Who’s have thought that this one decision could change more than one life forever…

The Review

Well this is a cute little story.

The meet cute between Daniel and Claire happens in a nice hotel. On Valentine’s Day. In the snow. Need we say more?

Well, yes actually.

CUE THE ROMANCE!

For such a short story, Julia Williams packs an awful lot in. It is a cheeky romance about finding the perfect person and the not so perfect time. It is cute and adorable and what I refer to as a cheeky little commute read.

My one bug bear is a personal one and doesn’t really apply to the writing but I am not a big fan of using “big dates” such as Valentine’s Day as a day to propose. It just creeps me out but that is just my own hang up.

A Brief Encounter by Julia Williams is available now.

For more information regarding Julia Williams (@JCCWilliams) please visit www.maniacmum.blogspot.com.

For more information regarding Avon Books (@) please visit www.facebook.com/AvonBooksUK.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Pages: 513 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions – not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or walking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks n his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and travelling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow,, he vows to make this year long escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turn their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

The Review

I don’t really know what I was expecting from Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I was seduced by the slightly Byronic cover. I wasn’t expecting an intercontinental LGBT swashbuckling adventure.

It was rather a good romp around Europe.

The main crux of the story is the forbidden love between Monty and Percy amidst the hope of developing medicine in the 18th century. Throw in thievery, alchemy and piracy and you somewhat got a picture of how this story develops.

One thing that can be said with utter conviction about The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is that there is no other book out there like it.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee is available now

For more information regarding Mackenzi Lee (@themackenzilee) please visit www.mackenzilee.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.

Title: The Stained Glass Heart: A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort

Author: Kat French

Pages: 39 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books/Harper Collins

The Blurb

The Enchanting One: Part of the Love…Maybe ebook short story collection. Xanthe, Alice and Sarah, three ageing ghostly beauties who haunt number seventeen Delaney Street. None of them has ever known true love, and forbid any resident to know it either. Will the new owner, Helen, fall prey to their magic, or can she break the spell once and for all?

The Review

I really, really enjoyed this short story.

The Stained Glass Heart by Kat French mixes the supernatural with the realistic. It focuses on a house of heartbreak. Anyone who lives in this house suffers heartbreak or death. So when new resident Helen moves in you think she will be subjected to the same fate.

However, with a dramatic twist The Stained Glass Heart really pulls the rug from under your feet.

My one complaint is that this is a short story. I WANT MORE! I really feel that these charming characters could be shown in a full novel or a series of books. The concept of the living and the living dead co-existing and not in a terrifying zombie way seems pretty interesting.

Also Xanthe’s story could be a stand-alone noel. Her story of heartbreak hinted at an interesting past and would be brilliant to read.

Get on it, Kat French!

The Stained Glass Heart by Kat French is available now.

For more information regarding Kat French (@KFrenchBooks) please visit www.kittyfrench.com.

For more information regarding Avon Books (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.facebook.com/AvonBooksUK.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

4 Stars

Title: Single, Forty and Fabulous! A Love…Maybe Valentine eShort

Author: Claudia Carroll

Pages: 38 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books/Harper Collins

The Blurb

The Feel Good One: Part of the Love…Maybe ebook short story collection.

It’s Valentine’s Day and, for single girl Kate, the only thing that could make that worse would be having to go to her own fortieth birthday party as well! Every year it’s the same: people asking if she has got herself a man yet. And every year she has to say no.

Once upon a time the idea of a fabulous, successful career seemed more important than ‘settling down’ but now she’s beginning to wish she hadn’t bid her teenage crush goodbye to take a job in London…if only, thinks Kate, she and her best mates could turn back time and be 21 again.

But Kate should be careful what she wishes for…

The Review

Well this was a cute little story. It plays on the whole ‘what if’ premise. What if we could have out time again? And it leaves the message that you should be grateful for what you have in life.

Single, Forty and Fabulous is a mixture of 13 Going on 30 meets Big. It is only with a reflection of the past that we can appreciate the future and vice versa.

Do I think the story could have been developed more? Yes, I think it would have made a good novella rather than a short story and I also think in the modern correct time period that more could have been made of the character James but overall it was a sweet little read.

Single, Forty and Fabulous by Claudia Carroll is available now.

For more information regarding Claudia Carroll (@CarrollClaudia) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Avon Books (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.facebook.com/AvonBooksUK.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

3 Stars