Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review: The Proposal by Tasmina Perry

A magnificent, moving epic with a haunting secret love story at its heart, which will sweep you from present-day Manhattan to London in 1958 - the year of the last debutantes. 1958. At eighteen, Georgia Hamilton is sent to London for the Debutante Season. Independent, and with secret dreams to be a writer, she has no wish to join the other debs competing for a husband. But when tragedy strikes, her fate appears to have been sealed. 2012. Hurrying to meet her lover, Amy Carrell hopes tonight will change her destiny. And it does - but not in the way she imagined. Desolate and desperate to get out of London, she accepts a position as companion to a mysterious stranger, bound for Manhattan - little knowing she is about to unlock a love story that has waited fifty years to be told. And a heart waiting to come back to life...

I had never read any of Tasmina Perry's other books prior to starting The Proposal, so I had no idea what to expect! The book was very well written with great characters; I only wish we had seen more of Annie, I loved her! The dual narrative structure worked well, though I found myself enjoying Georgia's story of her debutante season a lot more than Amy's modern day romantic troubles.The story dragged a little in the middle up until the completely unexpected reveal about why Georgia is estranged from her family-I certainly didn't see that plot twist coming! For the most part I liked Amy- aside from one stupid decision she made that made me want to shout at her for being so naive and forgiving. New York at Christmas is portrayed in film and literature as one of the most magical places on earth, and this novel is no exception. I'll make it there one day.

I have no criticisms on writing or characterisation in this novel, but I just wasn't that keen on the plot. The ending also felt a bit abrupt and I would've liked to read more about what happened to Amy. Times may change, but the enduring themes of love and heartbreak stay the same. 3/5 stars.

*Thanks to bookbridgr and Headline for sending me a copy of this book to review!*

Friday, 24 October 2014

Blog Tour: Third Time Lucky by Pippa Croft

 Today I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Third Time Lucky by Pippa Croft!
I've really enjoyed reading this series!

Third Time Lucky – #3 in the Oxford Blue Series by Pippa Croft
Published by Penguin (October 9, 2014)
Each book in the series can also be read as a standalone
Previous novels are available on NetGalley

'It's Sister Dixon from the Royal Infirmary here. I'm sorry to tell you that Captain Hunt has been involved a serious incident.'
Lauren Cusack should be on her way home for an holiday in Washington before her final term at Wyckham College, Oxford. But this call changes everything. Her relationship with impossibly handsome aristocrat Alexander Hunt has been turbulent and Lauren knows she needs to walk away. Yet now as she rushes to his side she knows she will be inevitably sucked back into his world. And sure enough, Alexander - even a seriously injured Alexander - is an intoxicating cocktail Lauren cannot resist and despite everything that is sent to thwart them - and with Alexander there is drama at every turn - she finds herself happier than she's ever been. But as her final term races by, and she is offered the perfect job back in Washington, the impossibility of their romance hits home. Can there be a future for Alexander and Lauren? The love trials of Lauren and Alexander continue in the third book in Pippa Croft's brilliant new Oxford Blue romance series.

Fans of E L James, Tammara Webber and Samantha Young won't be able to get enough of Pippa Croft's Oxford Blue romance series. Lauren and Alexander's journey begins in The First Time We Met, and follows on in the brilliant sequel, The Second Time I Saw You, which are both available as Penguin ebooks.

I had begun to get a little tired of the romantic trilogy fad that Fifty Shades seems to have started, but this series of books bucked the trend! Each book can be read as a standalone, which makes a nice change,and it's great to have a series in this genre set in England too. Lauren and Alexander are both brilliant characters, Lauren is feisty whilst Alexander is, as expected, brooding and handsome. In the final book you also see a side to Alex that hadn't really surfaced in the first two installments, making him seem more human. The books are fun and addictive, and I raced through each one, eager to see how they ended. Gorgeous setting, detestable villains, a passionate love story and a hot hero, what more could you ask for!?

About the Author
Pippa Croft is the pen name of an award-winning romantic novelist. After studying English at Oxford, she worked as a copywriter and journalist before writing her debut novel, which won the RNA's New Writers' award and was later made into a TV movie. She lives in a village in the heart of England with her husband and daughter.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Blog Tour: The Secrets of Casanova by Greg Michaels

 Today I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for the Secrets of Casanova by Greg Michaels!

02_The Secrets of CasanovaPublication Date: October 21, 2013 | Booktrope Editions | Formats: eBook Paperback; 334p
Genre: Historical Fiction

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2014 Nancy Pearl Award Winner for Fiction.

Loosely based on the life of Jacques Casanova, The Secrets of Casanova is a rich, lush novel of love, sex, family, ambition, intrigue, and adventure. Set in Paris of 1755, Casanova's luck is fading and his past is shoving up against his present with potentially disastrous consequences. What price must he pay to uncover a treasure of inestimable value? What hearts must he break along the way? Casanova's will and destiny collide again and again in this riveting historical fiction that brings to light a man of great passion and not a few secrets.

Praise for The Secrets of Casanova
“A Shakespearean actor with a flair for the dramatic and a superb ear for dialogue, Michaels's debut novel puts a brilliantly original spin on an historical figure whose very name is a cliché. This Casanova must wrestle not only with falling hopelessly and passionately in love, but embarking on a mysterious quest that is as much a spiritual awakening as a swashbuckling adventure. The Secrets of Casanova is so erotic and so sensitively written, I found it difficult to believe its author was a man.” -Robin Maxwell, national best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn

I have always been intrigued by the man that is Casanova both in fact and fiction, so I jumped at the chance to read and review this book! Jacques Casanova is, to put it mildly, a bit of a rogue. We all know the tales of his bed-hopping and authority-dodging ways, and this is exactly how we find him at the beginning of the novel. He is a character that we ought to hate but just can't. There was definite character development with him throughout the novel that made him more than the stereotypical bounder, and I couldn't help but will him to succeed in his quest. The theatrical background of the author shines through his prose; his characterisation is spot on and I found myself transported into Casanova's world. Full of intrigue and adventure, The Secrets of Casanova is a well-written tale that brings the legend to life, and makes him so much more than the lady-loving cliché.

Buy the Book
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About the Author
03_Greg MichaelsAfter receiving his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, a chance experience thrust Greg into a career as a professional actor and fight director. To date he's acted in over fifty theater productions, more than forty television shows, and choreographed dozens of swordfights for stage and screen. In THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA, Greg again proves his skill at telling a theatrical story. He lives with his wife, two sons, and Andy the hamster.

For more information please visit Greg Michaels's website. Like The Secrets of Casanova Facebook Page. Follow Greg Michaels on Twitter.