Holiday reads: Part 1

As I am currently soaking up the rays with lots of good books (and possibly a cocktail in my hand!), I thought that I would share with you some of my recommendations for books to read wherever you go on holiday this year – whether it is a deckchair in the back garden or somewhere slightly more exotic. The first five of my picks are featured today, with the second part on Thursday! Enjoy…

18516205Imogen and her friends have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.

So when one of the group wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona’s hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in surroundings of unapologetic luxury.

But as they mingle with movie stars, mafia bosses and millionaires, it becomes clear – with riotous consequences – that even in the most glamorous of locations, things can go wrong. Very wrong . . .

You can read my review here.




22351228Faye Dobson has lost her sparkle. Living on film star fantasies and vague memories of a marriage that once was, she can’t help feeling that life is passing her by. She dreams of being whisked to Paris for dinner, making three wishes at the Trevi fountain and having sex under the stars. But the wrinkles are multiplying, her husband’s passion is for plumbing, and the nearest she’ll get to Rome is a take-away pizza.

So when Faye meets Dan the gorgeous Australian surfer guy working in the local deli she can’t help but wonder what it would be like to see the world. He is blonde, tanned, ten years younger and bakes the most amazing lemon cake. Unlike her husband Dan actually listens to Faye, his smile makes her feel fizzy inside, and when he smiles… Oh. My. God.

But is Faye being silly? What would Dan see in someone like her? Even if he did have feelings for her, could she give everything up to be with him?

A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet comedy about taking your life back before it’s too late.

You can read my review here and my interview with Sue here.


22032626At her beloved husband’s funeral, Carla Pride discovers that Martin never divorced his first wife and has been living a double life with her. And his other wife, Julie Pride, is determined to take everything from Carla – her home, her money, and her memories.

When Will Linton’s business goes bust he at least thinks that with the support of his trophy wife Nicole he will rise to the top again. But Nicole isn’t going to stick around with ‘a loser’ and Will finds himself at rock bottom.

Molly Jones is being bullied into going into a retirement home by her ‘concerned’ daughter-in-law Sherry and son Gram. Then the love of Molly’s life walks in through her door – a man who broke Molly’s heart into little pieces many years ago. But he says he is dying and wants to spend the time he has left with her.

All people in need of a little love and compassion which they find by chance in the stationery and teashop on the corner run by the ever-cheerful Leni, a woman that site developer Shaun McCarthy finds annoying beyond annoying for her ability to remain unrealistically upbeat about everything.

But is the world of Leni Merryman as full of rainbows and sparkles as everyone thinks? Or is her smile papering over many cracks in her heart that will soon be shattered unwittingly by her new friends?

You can read my review here.

18394999Two couples, one honeymoon destination, and enough secrets to end both marriages. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell

How can one honeymoon cause so much trouble?

Much as Emma loves Tom, she would never have got married if he hadn’t insisted. But with Tom sick for the whole week, shouldn’t she at least take advantage of the entertainment?

Winston married Melissa after a three-month whirlwind romance. As a breakfast TV fitness star, he’s anxious to keep things private. But the arrival of Melissa’s two children soon puts paid to that.

Rosie arrived at the Villa Rosa homeless and pregnant when she was just seventeen. Now, sixteen years later, she runs the place. However, the appearance of Winston throws her into confusion. He might not remember her, but she has never forgotten him.

By the end of the week, none of their lives will be the same. But how will they cope after the honeymoon is over?

You can read my review here and Janey’s guest post here.


21194214Is Italian really the language of love? A new class of students hopes to find out. Anna’s recently been told the father she’s never met is Italian. Now she’s baking focaccia, whipping up tiramisu and swotting up on her vocabulary, determined to make it to Italy so she can find him in person. Catherine’s husband has walked out on her, and she’s trying to pick up the pieces of her life. But she’ll need courage as well as friends when she discovers his deception runs even deeper than infidelity. Sophie’s the teacher of the class, who’d much rather be back in sunny Sorrento. She can’t wait to escape the tensions at home and go travelling again. But sometimes life – and love – can surprise you when you least expect it. As the evening class gets underway, friendships form and secrets from Italy begin to emerge. With love affairs blossoming in the most unlikely places, and hard decisions to face, it’s going to be a year that Anna, Catherine and Sophie will never forget.

You can read my review here





The Time of Our Lives


Imogen and her friends have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.
So when one of the group wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona’s hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in surroundings of unapologetic luxury.
But as they mingle with movie stars, mafia bosses and millionaires, it becomes clear – with riotous consequences – that even in the most glamorous of locations, things can go wrong. Very wrong . . .
Hilarious and heart-warming by turns, The Time of Our Lives is Jane Costello at her very best.

My opinion: Jane Costello is one of my favourite authors, and when I saw that her new book was available as an ARC on Netgalley, I clicked Request straight away!

The story starts off with three friends on a grotty break for a hen do. After a number of unfortunate events, they vow to save up for a luxury holiday together!

Fast forward six years and they are finally going on a luxury holiday thanks to a lucky competition win and negotitation with the travel company to turn it from a romantic holiday for two into a luxurious break for three. The only difference is that they are all now nearing thirty, Imogen has a young daughter and a traumatic past, and Meredith is extremely pregnant. What could possibly go wrong?!

This is another fantastic book from Jane Costello and I honestly think that with every book I read, her writing just gets better and more hilarious!! I’ve read her last two books lying on a sunlounger in Gran Canaria and Rhodes, so reading this one in a very wet Wales was a different reading experience. Luckily this one transported me away to Barcelona with the girls, so that made it a lot better!

I was on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster with this book. As can be expected from a Jane Costello book, there were loads of laugh out loud funny moments, but there were also a few bits where I could feel myself welling up. Although it had some sad moments, it wasn’t a depressing book by any means, but quite uplifting and a great story about friendship and coming to terms with the past.

A really great read, and I’m sure it will grace the side of many pools over the summer. I would definitely recommend this one and am just sad now that I will have to wait again for the next one!

My rating: A fantastic five stars!!

I received an advance copy of this book courtesy of Simon and Schuster UK and Netgalley in return for an honest review.


The Wish List


There are six months left of Emma Reiss’s twenties. . . and she has some unfinished business.

Emma and her friends are about to turn thirty, and for Emma it’s a defining moment. Defined, that is, by her having achieved none of the things she’d imagined she would.

Her career is all wrong, her love life is a desert and that penthouse apartment she pictured herself in simply never materialised. Moreover, she’s never jumped out of a plane, hasn’t met the man she’s going to marry, has never slept under the stars, or snogged anyone famous – just some of the aspirations on a list she and her friends compiled fifteen years ago.

As an endless round of birthday parties sees Emma hurtle towards her own thirtieth, she sets about addressing these issues. But, as she discovers with hilarious consequences, some of them are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

My opinion: I absolutely love Jane Costello’s books and was very exciting to hear that she had a new one coming out! I was very restrained and managed to save it to read on holiday and enjoy the thrill of it being a holiday book!

I wasn’t disappointed! Emma is about to turn thirty when she finds a list that she made as a teenager detailing everything she wanted to do before she turns thirty. Much to Emma’s dismay she finds that she hasn’t completed one of them and sets out to change that! Her comfortable, predictable life soon gets turned on its head as she starts to live a little!

As can be expected from one of Jane Costello’s books, The Wish List is filled with fabulous characters, madcap adventures and lots and lots of laughs! I enjoyed the storyline of this so much I often interrupted my boyfriend from his reading next to the pool to regale him with the plot of this book. The conversation usually started “You’ll never guess what has happened” and by the time I had finished the book he was asking me how it ended!

Jane Costello’s books are always well written with a strong storyline, and this one is no exception. Another fantastic book that will have you chuckling from one of my favourite authors.

My rating: A fabulous five stars!

The Nearly Weds


What’s the worst thing that could happen to a blushing bride? To somebody warm, loving, and fun – like Zoe Moore? When she finds herself jilted at the altar by her fiancé Jason, Zoe knows she doesn’t deserve this heartache and humiliation. Unable to face the pitying faces of her friends and family, Zoe takes drastic action: she flees to America. Specifically, to Boston, where she takes up a post as nanny to five-year-old Ruby Miller and her little brother Samuel.Ruby and Samuel have lost their mother in an accident. They may as well have lost their father, too, for Ryan Miller is so wrapped-up in his grief that he barely notices his two attention-starved children. As Zoe sets about tidying up Ruby and Sam’s home, and injecting some fun back into their lives, she finds herself gaining their trust and love. At the same time, Zoe grows more and more frustrated with Ryan’s bullying behaviour, and his shameful neglect. Whatever happened to the loving man she keeps hearing about from his neighbours? Zoe can’t find any sign of him.

The only thing saving Zoe from despair is the small, close-knit group of British nannies who quickly befriend her. There’s boisterous Trudie, man-mad but hiding a painful secret; Sloanie traveller Amber, who sports a Buddhist tattoo that, unbeknownst to her, reads ‘Batteries Not Included’. And chilly, tight-lipped Felicity, whose cut-glass voice gives little away. But will these new friends be able to save Zoe, when she discovers that the past isn’t all that easy to escape, no matter how far you go?

My opinion: I love Jane Costello’s books and had managed to hide this one away for a rainy day! I flew through this in just under two days and enjoyed every minute of it.

This story is about Zoe who decides to take up a job in the US as a nanny following being jilted at the church by her fiancé Jason who she thought was he love of her life. Zoe has lived a very sheltered life up until this point, so moving out to the US is a huge, scary adventure for her!

The writing was quick witted and as funny as ever. The story is full of shenanigans and awkward moments, but is also romantic and feel good. I have to say, Zoe’s mother was infuriating, and at some points I wanted to punch her right in the face!

All in all a fab book and I can’t wait to read Jane Costello’s new book! I know what I will be buying to go on holiday!

My rating: 4/5