Monday, 25 May 2015

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Death Comes to Pemberley (2011) (Faber & Faber)
P.D. James
Grade: B-
Genre: crime / historical fiction / Austen-inspired
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A crime novel 

Six years have passed since we left Pride and Prejudice and all is well: Elizabeth has transitioned into her role as the new mistress of Pemberley perfectly and she and Darcy dote on their two young sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. She’s revived the annual Lady Anne’s ball, traditionally held to celebrate the birthday of Darcy’s mother, but which had been dormant since her death. Preparations are well into the final touches on the eve of the ball in 1803, when death comes suddenly and shockingly to Pemberley … It is Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s younger, unreliable sister who brings the news in her usual state of hysteria, believing that her husband, George Wickham, is dead. And so follows an investigation that threatens to rock the Darcy family to its core …

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

The Friend Zone (2015) (self-published)
Kristen Callihan
Grade: A-
Genre: New Adult
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
Game On: (1) The Hook Up, (2) The Friend Zone
Romance RBC 2015: A new adult book

The daughter of a sports agent, Ivy Mackenzie knows better than to get involved with a football star, especially a guy like Gray Grayson who can’t turn around without bumping into another one of his sexual conquests. But what starts out as just harmless banter and texting while Ivy spends a year abroad with her mother quickly becomes much more when Ivy returns home. Not only have Ivy and Gray become the best of friends and each other’s better half through their endless texting, but the irresistible sexual spark that’s constantly been simmering in the background flares to life when they meet in the flesh. It all makes for an irresistible read: while Ivy is insistent that she won’t follow the cliché and just become another notch on Gray’s bedpost, Gray is similarly determined to seduce the pants off of Ivy – Game On.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (2015) (Egmont) (publishing 4 June 2015)
Katherine Woodfine
Grade: A
Genre: children's / historical
Source: own
Sinclair's: (1) The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

Recently orphaned Sophie Taylor is just one of many shop girls in London’s newest and most illustrious department store, Sinclair’s – and it hasn’t even opened its doors to the public yet! She’s immensely proud of her position in the store’s millinery department and though the other girls make fun of her, she’s learnt to ignore their snide comments and whispered asides and instead concentrate on building a new life for herself. When Sinclair’s is burgled the night before it’s due to open and all the precious and priceless jewels stolen from the Exhibition Gallery, including the rare and unique clockwork sparrow, London’s greatest department store only gets more famous. Sophie is of course, naturally curious about the break-in, but doesn’t expect to discover that she’s the prime suspect! With her new friends, Billy, an apprentice porter and Lil, a store model, Sophie is determined to clear her name whilst uncovering the mystery surrounding the clockwork sparrow ...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tribute by Nora Roberts

Tribute (2008) (Piatkus)
Nora Roberts
Grade: B-
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Nora Roberts 

A third generation actress and granddaughter of one of Hollywood’s greats, Cilla McGowan has very deliberately cast off her child actress persona and made a very successful business of renovating houses. Her latest project is a house that’s very dear to her heart: the house of her grandmother, the glamorous and notorious Janet Hardy. Left to ruin after her death by apparent suicide, Cilla plans to restore the house to its former glory. With the whole town invested in her project and Ford, her very hot neighbour and his dog, Spock, just next door looking on, this is the biggest project of Cilla’s career. But there’s someone in the community who wants Janet’s secrets to stay that way and they’re determined to keep Cilla from finishing the house, whatever it takes …

Monday, 11 May 2015

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (2012) (Hodder & Stoughton)
Susan Ee
Grade: B-
Genre: young adult / supernatural
Source: bookbridgr
Penryn & the End of Days: (1) Angelfall
TBR RBC 2015: A bookbridgr title 

Six weeks ago, angels came to Earth and destroyed humanity as we know it. The streets are deserted, houses are ransacked and for those lucky enough to still be alive, it’s a fierce survival of the fittest. Seventeen-year-old Penryn is left distraught when an angel flies away with her wheelchair-bound younger sister, Paige. Enlisting the reluctant help of Raffe, an injured angel she finds on the streets, who’s been cast out by his own kind, the unlikely pair make their way across the devastated landscape with individual missions in mind: Penryn will do absolutely anything to get her sister back and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies in order to be made whole again.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

For the Roses by Julie Garwood

For the Roses (1995) (Pocket Books)
Julie Garwood
Grade: A
Genre: American historical
Sex scenes: hot
Source: own
Claybornes' Brides: (1) For the Roses
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Julie Garwood 

When four young street urchins in New York find a tiny, perfect baby girl thrown in a dumpster, their lives change forever. Though they’re little more than children themselves, Adam, Cole, Douglas and Travis shoulder the responsibility of bringing up the little girl they call Mary Rose Clayborne. All four have pasts they’re trying to escape from and so they head west, in the hope that they can find a place where they can erase the past and build the future that Mary Rose deserves.

Fast forward nineteen years and the Claybornes are well-respected in the tiny town of Blue Belle, Montana. Bringing up Mary Rose by themselves was a challenge and a learning curve, but the Clayborne brothers have strived to provide her with every opportunity as befitting a young woman of genteel upbringing. Enter Harrison Stanford MacDonald, a Scottish lawyer who’s worked in England for many years. He arrives in Blue Belle with a secret agenda and befriends Mary Rose, who adopts him for her own, much to the confusion and annoyance of her brothers. When Harrison’s news is revealed, it’s sure to turn this tight-knit family upside-down …

Thursday, 7 May 2015

21 Proms by various (anthology)

21 Proms (2007) (Point, Scholastic Inc.) (short story collection)
Grade: C
Genre: young adult / anthology
Source: own

21 popular young adult authors come together in this anthology to share a story about high school’s biggest event: the Prom. With female and male protagonists alike, prom enthusiasts and prom-haters, chaperones, corsages, boutonnieres and limos aplenty, there’s a story for everyone, whether you sit in the enthusiast or hater camp. Whether the night is a success or failure, each will be a night that you will never forget …

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Austenland (2007) (Bloomsbury)
Shannon Hale
Grade: C
Genre: chick lit
Source: own
Austenland: (1) Austenland
Romance RBC 2015: A book that became a film 

Thirty-something Jane Hayes has always had a slight obsession with all things Jane Austen-related, and her obsession has only intensified over time. Proud owner of all the books and DVDs of television and film adaptations alike, Jane has modelled her perfect man on none other than Mr Darcy (the Colin Firth version, of course), meaning that all her boyfriends have never quite lived up to her expectations. When a wealthy aunt leaves Jane an all-expenses-paid-for three-week trip to English countryside retreat ‘Austenland’ in her will, where visitors immerse themselves into nineteenth century living, Jane can’t say no. Jane sees this as her opportunity to get her final fill of Jane Austen and close the door on her unattainable fantasies, but will this trip give Jane the closure she wants, or could she possibly get a Mr Darcy of her own?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Night Moves by Nora Roberts

Night Moves (1985) (Silhouette Books)
Nora Roberts
Grade: C+
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A romance novel 

When award-winning Hollywood composer and golden child Maggie Fitzgerald leaves her comfortable life in L.A. for a rundown and abandoned house in the tiny town of Morganville, population 142, no one believes she’ll last. Least of all, Cliff Delaney, the local landscaper Maggie’s hired to tackle her overgrown garden. Their chemistry is instantaneous and explosive, yet both parties try to deny and suppress their feelings based on a mutual dislike of the other. When Cliff’s crew dig up a body where Maggie envisages her new pond, a ten-year-old mystery is dredged up that somebody wants to keep a secret …

Friday, 1 May 2015

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Th1rteen R3asons Why (2007) (Razorbill, Penguin)
Jay Asher
Grade: B-
Genre: young adult
Source: own

When Clay Jensen receives a package of cassette tapes in the post, the last thing he expects is to hear a dead girl talking to him. Hannah Baker killed herself several weeks ago, and no one knows why. For Clay, who had a secret crush on Hannah for ages, yet never worked up the courage to ask her out, to hear her story now is devastating. Relatively new to the town and school, Hannah found herself saddled with a reputation amongst her peers that was, for the most part, undeserved and utterly false. Through thirteen stories, Hannah reveals the thirteen people at school who helped her make the decision to end her life. Told through Hannah and Clay’s dual narrative, Jay Asher’s debut explores how the smallest actions and remarks can have a massive impact on others’ lives.