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Pink Champagne and Apple Juice by Anne Brooke

September 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

PinkChampagneAnneBrookeI read this book a little while ago and I knew then I was going to love this book even before reading it.

My measure of a good read is how fast I get through it.  By that, if I’ve read it within a few days, it was because I couldn’t put it down.  Well, I’d read this book cover to cover in two days!  And I’ve re-read it since.

So why was it so good?  It has a brilliant mixture of humour, characters and a very different storyline. I was able to visualise all the characters, even down to how the buildings would look.

The storyline is essentially about Angie who flees from her very loving home to make her mark in the world.  She looks up her Uncle John who she hasn’t seen for many years and turns up unannounced.

Maybe Angie should have had some hints that all would not be as it seems, when she asks for directions and is met with ‘you want where?’.  Her first meeting with Uncle John is a memorable one and the story of why Uncle John has not been around for years unfolds with interesting reasons.

Mix this in with some suberb characters who either know or work for Uncle John and the entangled love interests that unfold within the story.

This book would make a fantastic Brit Film.  I thought it then and I still think it now.  Simon Pegg  and Nick Frost would be brilliant at turning this into a film and it’s a genre they haven’t yet covered.

But don’t just take my word for it.  Other people who have read this book have this to say:

“Splendidly raunchy and funny without being superficial,Pink Champagne & Apple Juice is full of wonderful larger then life characters that get up to things that are beyond your wildest fantasies!”

“The story is as sparkling as its title. I was gripped from the first page and had to know what the history was behind the mysterious Uncle John.”

Check out Anne’s own website for more details – www.annebrooke.com

Back Spin by Harlan Coben

August 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

BackSpinHarlanCobenThis is the first book I’ve read by Harlan Coben and it certainly won’t be the last.

His style of writing is easy, humourous and to the point ie he describes what is necessary and doesn’t go over the top like some authors.

Back Spin is set around the world of golf with Chad, the son of Jack Coldren a ‘come back’ player,  going missing during his father’s most  important tournament – a tournament he lost 23 years ago and now looks set to win.

His mother Linda Coldren is also top of her game and more successful than her husband.

Myron Bolitar,  a sports agent is asked to look into the case due to his background and because the kidnapper demanded no police. Plus he is about to become Linda Coldren’s agent.

Chad was born and raised in luxury but has vanished on Philadelphia’s mean streets – last seen in a down-town sleazy hotel.   Crossing through the high society and the streets low life Myron  starts to realise what a dangerous game he’s caught up in.

This is a real page turner that you won’t be able to put down.

Other readers of this novel have this to say:

“This is definitely not one of Coben’s greatest work.”

“Please order all of Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar novels at once. Not only will you read about the world’s most honorable sports agent Myron Bolitar but you get a murder mystery to follow as well as some memorable characters to cheer for. The mysteries are excellently written, hilarious and fast-paced.”

“Harlan Coben continues to prove that he is one of the best thriller writers around at the moment. A page turner is a much used phrase but in this case it is really appropriate. The author’s books are always so well structured and his character’s well rounded.”

Sanctuary by Nora Roberts

July 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

SanctuaryNoraRobertsPhotographer Jo Hathaway has carved out a good career for herself away from Sanctuary her old home.  She’d spent many lonely years there after the sudden and unexplained disappearance of her mother.

Someone has suddenly started to send her strange pictures with the most shocking one being a picture of her mother – dead.

She decides to return to Sanctuary to face her past.  While the visit stirs up old family problems, she realises that Sanctuary may not be the safest place to be after all, especially when she starts receiving photographs there too.

This book has a good story line.  If you have read Nora Roberts before they do tend to follow a pattern.  Mixed up girl or boy, meets up with another mixed up boy or girl who don’t feel they should get together.

Events usually conspire to bring them together and we then have the romance blooming through with the usual ending up in bed scenes.

If you can live with this then you will love Nora Roberts.  At least something good usually comes out of her stories, some of them really gritty.

This was a good ‘who is it’ although I had guessed the culprit early on in the book.  Personally I like Nora, her books are great to escape into at the end of the day and this was no exception.

Other fans have this to say:

“This was the first Nora Roberts book I ever read.. and it sent me straight out looking for more. It is an excellent story, cleverly written with loads of suspense making you eager to turn the pages, while at the same time hoping never to reach the end of the book. Best of all for me, you don’t find out who the ‘baddie’ is until the last few pages of the book. Let’s have more like this please!”

“Nora Roberts is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As usual with her books, I couldn’t put it down because I needed to know what happens next. If you’ve never read a Nora Roberts before then now is the time to start, easy to read, plenty of suspicion and a good mix of different and likeable characters, and a bit of romance, what more do you need.”

“This book is a classic Roberts. Jo and Nathan are fascinating characters who have their own demons to deal with, as once again people are being murdered – like Jo’s mother – on the island of Sanctuary where Jo and her sister and brother grew up. The entwining of Jo’s and Nathan’s lives only adds to the suspense as does the fact that Jo is the killer’s prime target!”

Simisola by Ruth Rendell

July 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

SimisolaRuthRendellHaving heard but never really watched the Inspector Wexford mysteries on television, I was not sure what to expect from Ruth Rendell.   I was pleasantly surprised and the storyline drew me in immediately.

Only eighteen black people live in Kingsmarkham.  One of them is Wexford’s new doctor, Raymond Akande.  When the doctor’s daughter, Melanie, goes missing, the Chief Inspector takes more than just a professional interest in the case.

Melanie, just down from university but unable to find a job, disappeared somewhere between the Benefit Office and the bus stop.  Or at least no one saw her get on the bus when it came.  What might have happened to Melanie and should the family fear the worst? And what other secrets does Kingsmarkham hold?

There are many aspects and to this book that keep you on your toes and have you guessing all the way through.  A superb read and again one that was difficult to put down.

Further Reviews of this Book:

“What a pleasant experience this book proved to be. The characters are superbly drawn, Wexford particularly so, but the Akande family was portrayed exquisitely. A sympathetic view into another culture is always welcome, since we ofays rarely have a proper glimpse into other worlds. This book strongly reflects the issues facing the UK’s race relations today . . . .”

Absent Light by Eve Isherwood

June 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

absentlightThis is the first novel for author Eve Isherwood and what a start!.  A thoroughly enjoyable page turner that was hard to put down. The story is expertly woven always leaving you wanting more and the author one step ahead.

Set in and around Birmingham Helen Powers was a Scenes of Crimes Officer with the West Midlands police who deciding to do the right thing ends up losing her job and her lover.

Fast forward four years, Helen has taken up a new career as a portrait photographer, when after a series of vicious attacks on her she fears someone is out to take revenge.   But for what?  As Helen’s past starts seeping back into her new life she faces a series of challenges that puts her life in danger.

Further reviews for this fantastic book.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were totally belivable and when you had finished one chapter, you couldn’t wait to start the next. Can’t wait for the next installment.”

“Eve Isherwood is a very good author and this book is a delight to read. The detail is vivid and the characters easy to see. I’m hoping for many more books from this talented lady.”

” . . .Action packed and exciting all the way through. I couldn’t put it down.  Helen is a heroine I could identify with, and the story is well told. Excellent. More of the same please.”

“This first novel from Eve Isherwood is well written and fast paced – the book is a real page-turner. For me, a characteristic of the work is the way the heroine, Helen Powers, moves from one dangerous scene to the next throughout, but the author holds us in each desperate situation for page after page with great skill before extricating Miss Powers to move smoothly on to the next difficulty.
The names Eve Isherwood and Helen Powers are destined to become famous with the reading public.”

A Stranger is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark

June 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

astrangeriswatchingWarning. Give yourself plenty of time, this is not a book you will be able to put down!

Two years ago, magazine editor Steve Peterson lost his wife Nina to a vicious killer. Now he’s trying to rebuild his life; providing for his troubled son, Neil, and allowing romance to blossom with journalist Sharon Martin.

In two days time, Ronald Thompson is to be put to death for the murder and Sharon believes she may be able to help the family move on. But there’s a problem – they’re executing the wrong man.

For the real murderer is still at large. A cunning psychopath who has been patient, very patient – but who can be patient no more. And as he sits, and waits, and watches, a terrible plan is forming.

Other people who have read this book have this to say:

“This is one of those books you don’t want to put down – it flows from beginning to end with the ubiquitous twists and turns… A wonderful read!”

“This is a very good book. I felt like I was sitting on the edge of my seat, watching a movie. The entire book takes place in two days, and are they ever exciting. You get to see the killers perspective as well as that of the victims. You will be keeping track of the minutes. This is a fun read.”

“Yet another Mary Higgins Clark book that I just couldn’t put down! Steve thinks that the nightmare is over when a man is sentenced to death for his wife’s murder, but is an innocent man about to die? When Steve’s son and girlfriend disappear it seems that someone knows his every move. The plot then becomes a fast-paced, exciting rollercoaster ride with time quickly running out. Will the innocent live to tell the tale? Read it and see, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!”

The Colour of Law by Mark Gimenez

June 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

thecolouroflaw1A. Scott Fenney is a bright corporate lawyer at a big Dallas firm. At 33, he is in the prime of his life earning $750,000 a year, driving a Ferrari and goes home every night to a gorgeous mansion in a very exclusive neighbourhood in Dallas.

For Fenney, life could not be better.

He has a beautiful wife, with whom he has a much-loved daughter, Boo. But when a senator’s son is killed in a hit-and-run, Fenney is asked by the state judge to put his air-conditioned lifestyle on hold to defend the accused – a black, heroin-addicted prostitute – a very different client to the people Fenney usually represents.

And, more importantly, she is not going be paying $350 an hour for the privilege of his services. Under fire from all sides, Fenney drafts in a public defender to take the case on. Does Fenney believe in the principle of justice strongly enough to jeopardise everything in his life he holds dear. And to what lengths is the dead man’s power-hungry father prepared to go to test Fenney’s resolve?

Other people who have read this book have this to say:

“Loved this book and was really surprised at how good it was. Great characters and a wonderful plot reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird.”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I purchased it but to may amazement it managed to exceed all my expectations. If I had to describe Mark Gimenez’s writing style I’d say is a cross between Grisham and P.D James because it has all the impact of a court room thriller and all the suspense of a “whodunnit.”

The Playground Mafia by Sarah Tucker

June 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

playgroundmafia11This book is unputdownable. You can really visualise the characters, want to cheer for the ‘goodies’ and cringe at the women who were classed as the mafia.

For any parent who has to do the daily school run and knows about the ‘politics’ in the playground this is a must. It’s funny and has some laugh out loud moments.

The story is about Caroline who is newly divorced with a son Ben and has moved to the trendy area of Frencham where she joins up with her long-time best friends Heather and Eva.

If settling in to a new life is bad enough, settling in to a new school is even worse (and that’s just for the mums!).

In between recruiting people to the PTA activities and dominating life at school, the mafia also have a gossip radar which they are not afraid to use. But when the mafia target Caroline and her friend Heather a battle ensues and they bite off more than they can chew.

Other people who have read this book have this to say:

“Read this book if you have children! I emabarked on by children’s school life many years ago with genuine excitement at them enjoying a nice education in a nice prep school. How wrong could I be! School was lovely the teachers were great but the playground….well it was Hell.”

“The school playground is a peculiar place where parents, especially mums, assume unnatural roles, for some strange reason. This book very nearly described the playground I know, from its location and characters to the cafe.”

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