Posts filed under: ‘Modern‘

Moonshadows by Melinda Hammond

I was eager to read this book as soon as it was released. Here is the synopsis:

Right man, wrong century?

Feeling trapped between an attraction to her rich, handsome boss and loyalty to her penniless boyfriend, Jessica “Jez” Skelton hopes a visit to her aunt’s house will clear her head. Instead, a box of inherited letters raises the dust of the past—and clouds her present even more.

The eighteenth century letters resurrect the tragic love story of Sarah, a woman who was mysteriously erased from the family history. A woman whose love for a rich and powerful lord forms a disturbing parallel to Jez’s life. Is it a warning not to succumb to her boss—or risk suffering the same unhappy fate?

Piers Cordeaux knows his advances are forcing Jez into a corner, but he can’t seem to help himself. Something about her reaches deep inside him, awakening needs that all his money can’t satisfy. He can’t shake the conviction that they are meant for each other.

As Jez tries to ignore her growing attraction to Piers, she is drawn deeper into her ancestor’s desperate story. And she begins to wonder if her connection to Piers is an accident…or the work of a ghost whose determination to claim his lady reaches across two centuries of time.

Well what can I say? Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Why can’t mainstream publishers release more stuff like this? It was such a nice change, well-written, page turning (or the ebook equivalent of page turning). It had everything, a simple yet enthralling storyline, great characters you really cared about and a lovely ending.

I love historical fiction (it had that), I love modern fiction (it had that too)…On the publishers website here, it categorisies it as a paranormal romance. I wouldn’t call it *that* paranormal (not that I’m an expert). Anyway, if you a reader who isn’t sure about paranormal books – don’t be put off by that label.

I loved the way Piers chased Jez, and the historical paralelled story worked really well along side it and was very moving. There were eerie bits that were enthralling. It was a bit like Cinderella meets the ghost of christmas past.

I would say more, but I would have to be more specific and I don’t want to give the story away – you’ll have to discover it yourself by reading it!

Well done Melinda, a great book. Hope you do more like this.

Rating 9.5/10


2 comments September 5, 2008

An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell


I got this out of the library because I wanted to see what all the fuss about Jill Mansell was. I picked up the book the other night to have a flick through it just to see what it was like. 2 Hours later I was still reading and realising that I was loving the book.

Here is the synopsis:

Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend Dougie’s snobbish mother offers her £10,000 to break up with him. Then she discovers a secret that makes her think again. Dougie would probably have broken up with her in the long run, and this way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world.Ten years later, though, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. But she broke Dougie’s heart and he’s about to discover that she was paid to do it. She can never tell him the truth, so can she get him back? Well, Lola’s very attractive and very persuasive. But even she’s got her work cut out this time…

I thought I would never read another “Click-lit” book (not bec I’m snobby) but after the Freya North debacle, (see earlier review) I decided not to waste my time with “that sort of stuff” again. However, what I didn’t count on was Jill Mansell being a terrific writer!

Her writing is very modern and funny and witty and readable and….I could go on, but I think you get the drift!

The main character (Lola) is refreshing in that she is self-assured, she knowswhat she wants and she goes out to get it. She tries to get her ex-boyfriend (Dougie) back (asking him some outrageous things) and along the way many things happen in her life. Ordinarily I would of got bored reading the non-romantic bits, but Jill Mansell has a way of making the other stuff really interesting and page-turning.

What the synopsis doesn’t tell you is that there are other characters in the book who are given quite a lot of coverage in the book. Gabe and Sally are the sub characters who have a great story too and they made the book for me.

Couple of minor gripes – at the end when Dougie finally gives into Lola and takes her back, I kinda felt it was not quite beleiveable that he had an about face. But maybe thats just because the man’s point of view was never written. Also, I thought about 4/5ths through it was dragging a little.

Anyway, if you’ve not read a Jill Mansell book before, give it a try. It was really very very good. And you all know what a fussy reader I am!

Rating 8/10

Add a comment August 31, 2008

Blue Remembered Heels by Nell Dixon

Nell Dixon has a new book out with Little Black Dress, here is the synopsis:

Life is sweet for con-woman Abbey Gifford until, one ordinary Wednesday afternoon, she’s struck by lightning. They told her she might have some bizarre side effects, but nothing could have prepared Abbey for the fact that, since that fateful day, she can never tell lies again! Truthfulness is a big drawback for a con-woman, especially when suddenly she’s being followed by the suspiciously gorgeous detective Mike Flynn. If only Abbey could stop blurting out secrets every time he asks her a question! And if only Mike knew the real reason Abbey spends her life tricking other people out of their money!

I must admit, I’m not exactly the target reader for Little Black Dress, and I have tried a few before but not been overly impressed. However, they have struck gold with Nell Dixon. Having read most of her previously published work, I was sure whatever she had written for Little Black Dress would be good. I was correct.

This book has a brilliantly thought-out plot, and characters. The relationships between everyone (be it siblings, aunts, and others) are realistic, as are the characters themselves. In fact, as I read it, I thought perhaps that this book could have been longer and more in depth, but I realised that Little Black Dress don’t do long books. It keeps the reader wanting to turn the page, and I read it very quickly (always a good sign).

Couple of things: I loved the fact that Abbey was in the shadow of her sister – who is more attractive than her. I thought the scenes where Abbey had to answer Mike thruthfully were hilarious (I didn’t want them to end) and I almost (just almost) wanted Abby and Phillipe to get together…..

I was slightly disappointed that the romantic element of the book between Mike and Abbey wasn’t persued more. I’d have liked to have seen more interaction between them, especially when Abby had to answer his questions (as I’ve mentioned before), but this doesn’t take away from the fact that this was a great read, and I’d highly recommend it.

Rating: 9/10

2 comments August 8, 2008

The Cinderella Substitute by Nell Dixon

After the disaster that was Pillow Talk, I needed something I knew would be a good read in order to restore my faith in modern fiction. So of course, I read a Nell Dixon!

The Cinderella Substitute is the first published of the Mayer family siblings (like the other’s I’ve reviewed). Here is the synopsis.

In the two years since the tragic car crash that killed his fiancée, Nathanial (Nate) Mayer has successfully avoided another relationship. His family and especially his twin sister Nathalie are worried.

Jennifer (Jenni) Blake is Nate’s personal assistant. Hired after the accident, she has had her own problems to deal with, including the deaths of her adoptive parents and the debts incurred by their nursing care. But those difficulties pale into insignificance when Jenni finally traces her birth mother…

This was another page turner from Nell. Each of the stories are very individual to the characters and this one was just as good as the others. I really liked Jenni, and the embarassments she felt at being poor. I also loved her slow “make over” she gave herself.

The picture painted of Nate was good too – a workaholic but with a big heart. He really swept Jenni off his feet. Really sweet the way he did little things for her. (And it’s the little things that make all the difference!)

Definitly recommended again!

Any criticisms? Well I’m a great hater of people who own second homes in rural area’s – and Nate had a holiday home in Devon that was at empty most of the time….ok ok I know it’s fiction!!! (Reality check!!) But I’m sure Jenni will get a lot more use out of it when they are married….won’t they Nell??

Rating: 8.5/10

1 comment April 21, 2008

Pillow Talk by Freya North


This book won Romantic Novel of the Year 2008. All I can say is this: if this book won, the rest in the competition must have been dire.

The book started off well, and the synopsis looks really interesting (I love a love lost but re-gained story):

By day, Petra Flint is a talented jeweller working in a lively London studio. By night, she sleepwalks. She has 40 carats of the world’s rarest gemstone under her mattress but it’s the skeletons in her closet that make it difficult for her to rest. The insomniac. At one time a promising song-writer, Arlo Savidge now teaches music at a boys’ boarding school in North Yorkshire. He assumes he’s happy with his isolated lifestyle. But, like Petra, ghosts from his past disturb his sleep. Putting the past to bed. Petra and Arlo loved each other from afar during their schooldays. Now, seventeen years later, in a tiny sweetshop one rainy day, they stand before each other once more. Could this be their second chance?

So, this is a book about two people meeting again….well not quite – not until a third of the way into the book, and after you have to read about Petra’s oh so good sex that quite frankly, as you read it doesn’t sound great at all. Then you have to put up with really boring scenes as she visits her parents and such. Several yawns later and I was starting to wonder what was going on – where was this award winning romance?

So, in the end I skim read the boring bits and finally got to the bit where they meet. – almost half way through the book! What a let down…esp as they meet then one runs off and they don’t meet again for about 5 chapters later!

Oh dear – by this time I’m really wondering why I’m reading this at all….so I flicked through the rest of the book and have given up on it. No point in wasting time on boring books where I lost any interest in the characters long ago…

It seems with chick-lit these days, the first half of the book you have to put up with the heroines dodgy boyfriend and guess how they will break up (usually it’s because he cheats – no exception in this book). I did keep wondering whether it was me – not the book…this book has some great reviews on Amazon…and of course it won that award I mentioned earlier…who knows, but this book wasn’t for me.

Rating: No rating because I didn’t finish this book


1 comment April 11, 2008

Dangerous to Know by Nell Dixon


I seem to be on a roll with Nell’s books. This one I read very quickly and like her other books, I enjoyed very much. This one has a lot more action than the others I’ve read, but it was just as good.

In this one we get to know Jerome and Gemma and how their relationship develops when Gemma is dumped by her boyfriend and Jerome begins to realise that he wants a more serious relationship.

I particularly liked the fact that the heroine was a character I’ve met before and that in the other story (Be my Hero) she was a bit of a mouse of a girl, but in this one she got to have her day (and get her man).

The plot was very interesting and had a lot of real life connections (the evil man who wants to trash the countryside to build houses for a start!) and you did wonder what was going to happen next. It’s a rollercoaster ride. Like Nell’s other books I wished it had gone on for longer.  

I liked it that Jerome has liked Gemma but could only make a move on her now that she’s single.  Also, the fact that Gemma needs to re-discover herself when she’s single again and realise that her ex was just bringing her down.

Jerome was very dangerous to know…poor Gemma, she certainly puts up with a lot, but he was worth it, I feel.

Rating: 8/10

Dangerous to Know is available as an ebook here.

1 comment March 31, 2008

Be My Hero by Nell Dixon

Having promised to look out some more of Nell Dixon’s writing, I did just that and have read “Be My Hero”, a novella (I think) as an ebook. (Again at a bargain price of £1).

This story didn’t disappoint – it’s one of love lost and re-gained (always a good one in my opinion). The plot revolves around two people who are tormented by their past and need to get over current problems in order to get together. It was heart-warming and though at times you really felt for their problems (especialy the woman – don’t want to give anything away) it was a lovely ending.

This story is one of a series (that can be read independently). I’ll be checking out the others because the supporting characters were well drawn and interesting. Thank you Nell for few hours of happy reading.

Criticisms? Well actually only one with the publishers website Moonlit Romance – it’s not easy to navigate or look around and I’m no techo-phobe! Though on the plus side – they do take paypal!

Rating 8/10

Add a comment March 13, 2008






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