Well, last month was a bit poor - I don't know where the time goes and the pressures of work before the hols and going away straight away sort of conspired to eat into my serious reading time! Sadly, August doesn't seem to have got much better. However, I know the problem this month, firstly I decided to make a scrapbook of my trip to Venice, which will be gorgeous but is an epic undertaking considering I took about 550 photos which I managed to cut to 160ish! That lead to lots of looking on sites for papers, die cuts etc (see almost a scrapbooking pro...maybe a sideline on the blog?!!) and I've found e-bay! Yes, I'm a late starter in life, I know and facebook still remains a mystry to me, but not only did I find all these crafting things, I'm addicted to trawling through for Radley bags etc. So, there goes my reading count...I have no idea how I'll manage going back to work...talking of which, I haven't actually done any work in the past 5 weeks which means it'll be a rush job from now on until the start of term - argh!
Still books so far...
Could it be Magic? by Melanie Rose
Sadly not...overall found this disappointing, although I raced to the end to see if it was going to redeem itself but too contrived for me and very much in the style of Cecilia Aherne, which I also find annoying (particularly that one about lost things.) Lightening strikes just as Jessica meets the man of her dreams and then is struck by lightning - well, it saves going through the corny chat up lines, I suppose. Dan is dull - what's to like about him - oh, yes he's nice to his dad...who appears purely for that purpose. Though the chracters were poorly developed, Jessica is happy until she becomes an instantly natural mother to Lauren's four children. Lauren has no redeeming features until the end when Jessica realises that the husband was a total rat and she was trying to protect the children?! Not for me.
It's the Little Things by Erica James
I love Erica James and this is a fab book - totally loved it and devoured it over two days. Not twee, the character of Sally is really unpleasant and she deserves her come-uppance, however, it all worked out too well for her in the end, in my opinion...that lady deserved to suffer! The sexy curate Seth with his interesting back story, made it all the more readable, although Chloe was a bit too slow to catch onto herself, but it all works in the end. Fantastic holiday read...highly recommended.
Hotel las Flores by Kate McCabe
Enjoyable, although a little too predictable. For me there were too many characters introduced early on and not enough to distingusih between them, so I spent a bit of time flicking backwards and forwards trying to find who was who. Also some of the romantic pairings happened so quickly, Edward proposed in less than a week - get real...he'd agonised over working for a year New Zealand for ages and then decides the more importnat life changing event in seconds?!! I also didn't feel that the farming family needed a lottery win to make their story workable...so make it a bit "unreal". However, pleasant and inoffensive enough, regular Irish chick-lit that won't hurt!
Folly by Alan Titchmarsh
People might knock him, but his books are really easy reading and this is one of the better ones. based in Bath around the art and autioneering world I found the backstory based in Oxford and the modern day romance engaging. However, the trauma that pulled the couple apart...(spoiler here...) Missy finds they both had the same grandfather, but different grandmothers, that makes them cousins? I know it's not great but I though legally cousins could marry?!! That sort of ruined the drama of why they couldn't be together for me...However, apart from that i really enjoyed it.
Rumour Has It by Jill Mansell
Someone else, I love...Jill Mansell is great and doesn't rely on seedy, unnecessary sex scenes to make her books work. Gorgeous men, slightly stroppy female lead, unrealistic working conditions and setting...total bliss!
Just a Family Affair by Veronica Henry
I read the Honeycote books ages ago and wish I'd had better recall of the characters and events this leads on from. Some of it seemed familiar but it took me a while to get into it! The ending appears to lead into a continuation into the next in the saga, so was a bit weak...but i will definately read the next one. Covers the consquences of a past affair, first loves and the potential loss of the family business, well written but a little slow at times.
Changing Grooms by Sasha Wagstaff
Loved it! It's a bit of a cross between Jilly Cooper and Fiona Walker, indeed Fiona Walker had a "blurb" on the cover, so shes probably bessie mates with the author! Lots of gorgeous, rich people in the countryside, celebrity traumas and misunderstanding between the two main cahracters. Total holiday read, but excellent fun!