Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Covent Garden in the Snow

Title: Covent Garden in the Snow
Author: Jules Wake
Publisher: 20th  October 2017 by HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: holiday-Christmas, fiction, romance
My Rating: 4 crowns

Synopsis:
Tilly Hunter has fabulous friends, her dream job as a make-up artist with a prestigious opera company and Felix, her kind and caring husband to be. It looks set to be the most perfect Christmas yet!
But when a monumental blunder forces her to work closely with new IT director Marcus Walker, it's not only the roast chestnut stalls on the cobbles of her beloved Covent Garden that cause sparks to fly…
Super serious and brooding, Marcus hasn’t got a creative bone in his sharp-suited body. For technophobe Tilly, it's a match made in hell.
And yet, when Tilly discovers her fiancĂ© isn’t at all what he seems, it's Marcus who's there for her with a hot chocolate and a surprisingly strong shoulder to cry on … He might just be the best Christmas present she’s ever had.
My Thoughts

I am a fan of Jules Wake’s books and this one is right up there with the best of them. Always up for a Christmas read this time of year, this one was loads of fun without being over the top in any area. I like that this book incorporated more of a holiday feel, especially the wonderful Covent Garden descriptions and traditions, rather than full on commercialism. It was very relatable with all the family traditions, looking for gifts and sharing a meal - comfort reading at this time of year.

“Christmas back then, when we were young had been fun, when lunch was a long-laid back affair, in which Mum insisted we all wore our cracker crowns.”

One of the unexpected surprises about this book is learning all about the behind-the-scenes action of the opera. The main lead, Tilly,  works at the London Metropolitan Opera Company in the make-up department and loves her job except having to learn about updating stock etc on the computer. This makes for many an amusing situation. That aside, it was absolutely fascinating to learn about what goes on backstage for a production, things I had never really considered. A lot of research must have been done around everything from wig making, to costume design, to the frantic change overs - I learnt so much!

“Backstage we became shadows cocooned in a world between reality and fantasy. I loved these moments, tucked out of sight but so close to the action unfolding on stage. They held a special indefinable magic that I always wanted to hug close to me, a time when nothing else from the world intruded.”

Of course there is also some fun chick lit and the chemistry between the two leads was highly entertaining, frustrating, frivolous and rewarding.  To match the creative Tilly with the IT savvy Marcus was always going to produce some amusing encounters. You will quietly smirk or giggle with what Tilly frustratingly does to technology and how gently Marcus tries to coach her. Typically, you know what’s coming, but good writers like Jules make you enjoy every step of the journey.

All up I can highly recommend this book as there are many facets to it, not being a one dimensional chick lit read. So snuggle up this Christmas as this book is sure to put a smile on your face.

“Christmas brings out the fanciful in me. I can’t help myself. I loved this time of year and the infectious attitude in the streets.”




This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: 31 October 2017 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 240 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, contemporary, retellings
My Rating: 2.5 crowns

Synopsis:

Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cell phones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

My Thoughts

“See, it is an assumption universally made that any beautiful, brilliant, single woman who is rich as hell will be in want of a husband.”

I simply cannot help myself - when I see anything related to ‘Pride and Prejudice’ - I rush in. On this occasion we have a modern day retelling of the classic but with its own unique twists - gender reversals for a start! The characters and storyline are bought to present day in this cutsie contemporary romance with just a slight sprinkling of the beloved tale of old.

Despite my eagerness and willingness, this book just fell flat in it’s delivery on many levels. The writing for a start, is to be found wanting - from plot structure to sentence configuration. It lacked any emotional depth or deep character connections - they were petty, shallow and extremely judgemental. Now I can hear you say, but that is Darcy from the original - but this modern day female version was supposedly some high flying, self made New York millionaire - but what we got was an insolent, moody female who left a lot to be desired. The two just did not match up. And sadly, for me, Darcy never really changed or grew - she remained immature and self centred. The arrogance just became annoying.

“She was self-centered and egotistical and it was true, aside from a select few she really did only care about herself.”

Which leads me to the book blurb - somewhat misleading if truth be told. Several things made mention of simply do not appear in the book e.g. basketball stars or three cell phones. The ‘Pride and Prejudice’ references are simply that, a small referral and not to be truthfully assigned as a retelling - Austen fans be warned.

Overall, this is a quick and easy read, perfect for a weekend Christmas getaway. Whilst the concept was appealing it never really lived up to its potential.

‘Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who you get along with perfectly well but you’re not in love with, or would you rather be alone until the love of your life shows up?’



This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release