Holiday reads: Part 2

Here it is, part two of my holiday recommendations! I will be nearing the end of my holiday now, but these are some more books that you can escape into wherever you are! Happy reading!

What a girl wantsTess Brookes was the girl with a plan.

Now she’s the girl with a choice.

Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick?

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants.

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

 

 

 

22463759When Evie Stone’s grandparents enlist her help to save their home in Cupid’s Way, Evie is happy to oblige. On the cusp of her thirties, and still disappointingly single, Evie’s so-called dream job with a firm of architects has been driving her crazy for months. What she needs, even more than a new man, is a challenge.

But saving Cupid’s Way won’t be easy. A perfectly preserved Victorian terrace, surrounded by modern estates and retail parks, the street is a proud oasis of quirky characters, cobbled pathways and communal gardens. Unfortunately, it also sits on prime development land worth millions.

Dynamite Construction have the deal in the bag, and soon the residents of Cupid’s Way will be forced to sell up and ship out – CEO Michael Andrews, charismatic and super-successful, has certainly never let sentimentality get in the way of business. At least, he hadn’t until he met Evie Stone.

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

 

 

 

18280725Last year, Bronte left Sydney for a wedding in England, where she met newly single Alex. After a night of passion they parted ways, and Bronte returned to Australia. Now working on a picture desk for a magazine in London, Bronte is about to meet her new colleague, who turns out to be all too familiar. Although awkward at first, as Alex is now engaged to the girl he was on a break from when they met, they soon become friends. But as the two get closer, and the wedding day looms, it is clear that Alex and Bronte have unfinished business…

You can read my review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

21065817The third book in the delightful series set in Carrington’s Department Store.

Georgie Hart and Carrington’s Department Store have got the world at their feet. Since a reality TV series put them both on the map, life has been amazing! Carrington’s profits are in the pink, Georgie has carved herself a place in the nation’s heart and her romance with Tom, the store’s boss, has finally blossomed.

Now summertime has come to Mulberry-on -Sea and Georgie is in great demand. The town is holding a big summer festival and she and her mates from Carrington’s are planning on making sure that Mulberry puts on the show of its life!

But Georgie is about to get the offer of a lifetime – one that is just too good to turn down and something that will test her loyalties to their limits… Will Georgie be able to pull off it off once again, or has her luck finally run out?

You can read my review here.

 

 

18657684Holly has learnt that life isn’t about seizing the moment. She might have harboured dreams about travelling the world as a teenager, but she let go of those – just as she let go of Alex.

But what if the feelings never really went away?

Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It’s a fresh start in a new city, and he knows that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Well, probably.

How do you know if it was meant to be. or never meant to happen at all?

A brilliantly funny, feel-good story of first love, second chances and everything inbetween, perfect for fans of romantic comedies like Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones.

You can read my review here.

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Author interview: Lindsey Kelk

Lindsey Kelk March 2012-24 c Rachael Wright

So, today I have massive news. Actually it’s even bigger than that. I’d say it’s mahoosive!! The lovely Lindsey Kelk is here today for an author interview as part of her blog tour for What a Girl Wants and I am pretty damn excited and may even do a bloody great fangirling eek sort of noise…

     1. Hi Lindsey and welcome to Sheli Reads. What can we expect from Tess this time in What a Girl Wants?

The last book saw Tess having the rub pulled out from underneath her in every aspect of her life. This time, she’s dealing with decisions. I think there is a ton of pressure on women to make huge decisions and you’re constantly worrying about cocking everything up and ruining your entire life if you make the wrong choice. I wanted to take a look at that and maybe show someone who isn’t entirely sure of herself try to work out what she wants, rather than what she thought was the right thing to do, which would have been exactly what the old Tess would have done.

2. Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

I really like everyone in these books actually! I love writing Tess because I don’t think she’s that typical a character – she can be a little bit selfish and forget that other people have things they want out of life, that they’re not just there to make her life easier, but it’s never from a bad place. She’s used to being very single-minded and ambitious and now she’s got to learn how to be at the bottom of the all over again. At the same time, I love Paige and Amy, they’re so different to each other but so similar at the same time and I love writing men because it lets me see stuff from a completely different perspective. Whether I’m right about that perspective or not, is a different matter altogether.

3. In About a Girl we follow Tess to Hawaii. Do we get to visit any more exotic locations in this latest instalment of her adventures?

Well, she was offered a job in Milan at the end of About a Girl and whether she ends up taking it or not, given the cover of the book, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see her in Italy!

4. Did you start out wanting to write a story about love rivals or did the story and characters just develop that way? I’m Team Nick by the way!

I did want to write a love triangle. It’s a situation a lot of women find themselves in, or wish they did! The challenge for me was to start out with obvious stereotypes, the good guy and the bad guy, and turn them around a little bit so maybe the good guy isn’t the usual wet, wimpy option and perhaps the bad guy is a bit more complex – but not a bastard with a heart of gold, he’s still a bastard, it’s just that perhaps he’s worth putting up with. Or perhaps not. I’m still undecided.

5. Which other writers in your genre do you admire?

There are so many incredible writers out there at the moment, I hate naming names because I always miss someone off and feel awful. From a personal point of view, it’s an incredibly supportive community right now, without the other writers I talk to on Twitter, I’d go mad. I love Lucy Robinson, she’s become such a good friend and if that was the only thing I got out of these books, I’d be ecstatic. Rowan Coleman has been a huge inspiration for me too, professionally and personally, but really, there’s amazing writing going on from amazing people. I feel privileged to be putting stuff out alongside them.

6. Do you have any routines or rituals to help you get into writing mode?

I sometimes think I do but really, anything I do is procrastination. I really just have to sit down and start writing. That’s the hardest part, for sure.

7. Where is your favourite place to write?

Usually I’m at home, on the sofa or crosslegged on the bed but I love to get away and write when I can. I’m having a total affair with LA at the moment and I love getting up in the morning and going outside to sit in the sunny garden to write. It makes everything seem a little bit easier, I mean, how mad can you get when you’re eating an orange off your own orange tree?

8. Lastly, the big question that I know all your fans will want to know the answer to. Are you planning on writing any more books in the I Heart series?

I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you. Um, well, I’m writing an I Heart ebook for winter called Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas and after that, we’ll see. Angela will definitely be back in some shape or form, one day, but not for a little while.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Lindsey for answering my questions and to Amy at Harper Fiction for arranging this blog tour. The itinerary of all stops on the tour is below.

Lindsey blog tour banner

 

What a Girl Wants

What a girl wants

Tess Brookes was the girl with a plan.

Now she’s the girl with a choice.

Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick?

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants.

My opinion: I read About a Girl last year and absolutely loved it, so when I was offered the chance to review the next installment of Tess’ life and take part in the blog tour, I jumped at the chance!

What a Girl Wants picks up right where About a Girl left off. Tess is back in London follwing her trip to Hawaii and has gone from being unemployed to needing to make a decision about whether she wants to start an advertising company with Charlie, or follow on from Hawaii and go to Milan as a photographer. The choice isn’t going to be easy, but Tess needs to make a decision as having her cake and eating it probably won’t work out.

I was hooked in by this book as soon as I started reading. As it’s nearly a year since I read About a Girl, I had to remember what happened last time as this book picks up directly from the last. I had to wrack my brains at first, but soon got reacquainted with the characters and remembered that I was very much Team Nick in the first book. This book is just as hilarious as the last and I love that Tess is just a normal girl and I can really relate to her. This is one of the great things I find about Lindsey’s writing and characters –  they are all down to earth, sometimes outrageously behaved and you are guaranteed to laught out loud on a number of occasions.

In What a Girl Wants we catch up with favourite characters including Kelpiki and Amy, and also meet some new ones. I loved the Milan location of parts of the book and wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next. If you loved About a Girl, you won’t be disappointed, but you may not get all of the answers to the questions you have – there HAS to be another book after this one!

A great read and I’m sure it will be a holiday hit this year. I’m already looking forward to finding out what happens next and will have to make do with catching up on the “I Heart” series in the meantime!

My rating: Four stars

I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I Heart New York

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Get ready to meet Angela Clark as she flees the world’s worst wedding for a new life…

It’s official. Angela Clarke is in love – with the most fabulous city in the world.

Fleeing her cheating boyfriend and clutching little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport, Angela jumps on a plane, destination – NYC.

Holed up in a cute hotel room, Angela gets a New York makeover from her NBFJenny and a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. Before she knows it, Angela is dating two sexy guys. And, best of all, she gets to write about it in her new blog (Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out). But it’s one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemmas, it’s another figuring them out for yourself …

Angela has fallen head over heels for the big apple, but does she heart New York more than home?

My opinion: I have had a few of the I heart series in my TBR pile for a while now, and after reading About a Girl last year, I knew I wanted to read them sooner rather than later.

I Heart New York is the first book in the series and we meet Angela Clark as she is carrying out bridesmaid duties at her best friend’s wedding. It all kiks off very early on when she finds her fiance cheating on her in the back of their car at the wedding reception. Within hours and armed only with the contents of her massive handbag, a bridesmaid dress and some fabulous shoes, she flees England on the first flight she can get on. Which just happens to be going to New York. After checking into a random hotel, the receptionist, Jenny Lopez, takes her under her wing and soon she is getting made over, both on the outside and inside, and is considering a new life. Couple that with a fabulous freelance job and dates with two hot men, she embarks on quite an adventure!

I was hooked on this book from the very first page. The scene at the wedding where Angela catches her fiance having sex with someone else in the back of their car is an absolutely mortifying situation, but was so, so funny when I was reading it. The style of writing reminded me of one of my favourite authors, Jane Costello. I really liked Angela right from the word go and thought that she was really brave to go to the other side of the world with no plan and no friends or contacts there, even if she was running away from her situation in the UK.

When  Angela gets back on the horse and starts dating both handsome banker Taylor and hot rock star Alex, I had a clear favourite between them and loved the twist that really proved me wrong in my choice. I won’t say too much here as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it!

A fantastic, funny chick lit book which proves to me why I enjoy the genre so much. Pure fun and escapism, with some romance and shopping chucked in for good measure. If you haven’t read any of the I heart series, then I can definitely recommend it.

My rating: A fabulous five stars

About A Girl

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I’d lost my job. I’d lost the love of my life. My mum wasn’t talking to me. My best friend was epically pissed off. And my flatmate probably had a hit out on me by now. I never meant for things to get so out of hand…

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when her carefully constructed Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.

After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, why shouldn’t she try out being Vanessa? With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?

But Tess is soon in big trouble – she isn’t a photographer, she isn’t Vanessa, and the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster.

Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…

My opinion: This is the first Lindsey Kelk book I’ve read, despite having a couple of her I Heart books on my TBR pile. I think this book was a fab place to start because I LOVED it!

The story is about a girl called Tess whose life has always gone to plan. Until now. Everything goes spectacularly wrong for Tess and after spending a few days dealing with it in the only way she can think of (under her duvet), she makes some drastic decisions that change her life and take her on adventures!

We follow Tess as she flies over to Hawaii and pretends to be Vanessa on a photography job. She is to be working on a fashion shoot which doesn’t quite go to plan and has to keep up her alter ego whilst interacting with the journalist, art director and locals. She finds this quite difficult and you just know that adventure will ensue!

I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. I loved Tess and that she is a normal girl in extraordinary circumstances. The storyline kept me hooked and I just couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. The characters were great and I really liked that there was a real mix of likeable and villain type characters (I’m thinking of the real Vanessa here!).

I would definitely recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more of Lindsey’s books. I have to warn you though, this book has the biggest cliffhanger I have EVER read in a chick lit book and it will leave you with questions that need to be answered and a huge book hangover!!

My rating: A fantastic five stars