Tuesday 28 April 2009

Confessions of a shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a shopaholic

I have been meaning to read this one for years, I even think I started it and wasn't that into it. But now I loved it. After I had seen the movie I knew I had to go back and read these books. By the way, the movie was funny, Isla Fisher was great and the clothes were gorgeous.

Rebecca Bloomwood has a boring job at a small financial magazine. But she has plenty of trendy clothes, she lives in a fun part of London, and she has great friends. And she loves to go shopping.

But her jobs doesn't give her much money, the Endwich bank has been after her for months, her Visa bills keeps on coming, and she tries to cut back. She comes up with schemes that ends up costing more than it was supposed to and she is up to her ears in bills.

Then something shows up that could change it all, but give up shopping, perhaps not....

I started on this book yesterday and finished it this morning. Maybe it wasn't haha out loud all the time, but it was funny, the pace was great, it made me giggle and go oh no! It also made me check out the libraries homepage for the next book, it's in the book mobile and I want to read it. And I suck at street names, lol, I am so gonna call my mum to figure out where on earth those streets are, and if they are near me today ;) I wanna know more about Rebecca's adventures.

If the movie made me want to go shopping than this one makes me want to hide from the stores. It makes me fear I am a shopaholic, which I am not. Sure I love clothes, but I have this nose for 70 %, I even found something at 90 % once. While Rebecca hits the stores for 20 % or if she gets a free lip gloss with it. She buys everything from slippers to skin products to kitchen supplies. And those bills keep on coming.

There is also the love interests, maybe her flatmates Scottish cousin that's a bit strange, or perhaps Luke that gives her 20 pounds for her sick grandmother. Or that is so she can get that cute scarf.

It give me laughs, comical situations, and a warm hearted book about a heroine that just needs that one more sweater. In certain situations I can see myself if I didn't have that self-control, and it makes me love Rebecca.

And there was the Finland angle too, 2 letters in the book in Finnish and that made me smile. of course wouldn't it have been better if they had been translated too cos we got it, but what about the rest...

If you want some fun chick-lit then check out this series. I will go and hunt for A shopacolic takes Manhattan.

Saturday 25 April 2009

An Angel for Emily - Jude Deveraux

An Angel for Emily by Jude Deveraux

1998, 320 pages

Emily Jane Todd is a small town librarian who in her spare time delivers books to libraries in need around the Appalachians. She loves her work, and she loves her town. On one of those trips she by mistake runs over a man with her car. He seems to be ok and he claims that he is an angel and that his name is Michael. He is very sexy and even though she has a fiance she offers him a room over the night. Just to see that the poor man isn't totally insane.

But Micheal is something different, she feels calm and beautiful around him. He makes her laugh and he knows things about her that he shouldn't know. He claims that he is there to save her from a great evil, but she has no idea what that could be. He says that her soul is a rare beauty, and she can't help fall for the strange man. She is willing to risk heaven in his arms.

I spent most of the book wondering of the poor guy has had his brain fried out, or if he really was an angel. He sure had a lot of guys after him, FBI, one crazy woman and the mob. This was then a real hard book to place, it's contemporary romance but with this hint of paramormal in it. She has written it in a way that just makes you wonder.

Emily was a nice enough heroine, plain and thought herself as somewhat boring. Maybe cos that was what her ass of a fiancé told her. But Michael saw to just more than her outside, which was beautiful too, but also her inside and loved her for her pure soul.

Still this book is no where near as good as her historicals. Those make me ache while this one was cute enough for the ride. Nothing to cheer over, but could be read cos I do like her style and I sure wanted to know if he actually was an angel. And not that it had any heavy religious inputs but it did have the vibes that just made it too sweet and wholesome. It could have been more, better, cos nothing wrong with the story.

Never did think Michael was sexy either, never got a feel for him, I just wondered if he was insane. But I wanted them together, I wanted a HEA, and could it happen?

But if you want a cute book, with some danger and romance in it then go for it. If you never have read Deveraux then don't start with this one. Start with the lovely historicals and then come back to this one because you will enjoy it more then. *hinthint* Velvet Song ;)

Have a nice weekend :) I sure will, we are having some lovely weather here.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

White Star by Elizabeth Vaughan

White Star by Elizabeth Vaughan

White Star is the sequel to Dagger-star that came out last year. It's fantasy romance set in a world she described in an earlier trilogy.

The Lady High Priestess Evelyn is virtuous and loved. She is one of the leaders of the rebellion against the usurper who has claimed the throne. She is a healer who helps the injured and the sick.

Orrin Blackheart, the scourge of the Palins is despised and hated. He is known as an evil man who stands at his Duchess side against those who rebel. He has killed many, and he stood by his Duchess and Sorceress as she created an army of the dead. An army that plagues the countryside and claims more for their ranks.

Orrin takes Evelyn prisoner during the war and takes her to the castle at Black Hills. Here she knows what she will face, death and torture, but instead they both find something in each other that they didn't expect, passion, but can it withstand?

I liked this book, it was cute and I do love my fantasy so what better than romance and fantasy. And it had zombies, I am not a fan of zombies, they can give me nightmares. What more horrific than something that just keep coming at you. And yes these zombies keep coming. But that is jsut what this book needs.

This is then book 2, I didn't know that, and you can read the book without reading the first one. Of course where did elves come from? I did wonder about red gloves and queen Gloriana, and the obession with a lord called Josiah. Still she explained vital things in the beginning and what I wondered about I got answers to in the end, well except where those 2 elves came from.

Early in Evelyns capture Orrin learns that his Duchess is dead, and he lets Evelyn go, and negotiates a truce for his men. Then he must stand trial for the crimes he has commited. I will not say more, but their love doesn't have an easy road to take.

Evelyn seems to be a good hearted heroine, but she does have past too with darkness. There is nothing that makes me dislike her. Orrin, oh he has been wicked, truly evil, I have to like him. Because even though he has done horrific things in the past and he wants redemption, he wants to change, he wants his men to have their freedom. He is a good man who sure took the wrong way, but love makes fools of all of us. He wants her, but he don't wants to spoil her purity with his evil past and ways.

Can there be a HEA, and even if there is one, he will always be hated. They are such opposites and that shows too in how they look. Evelyn always in white with white hair. A beacon of light to his own darkness. I do want their happy ending, they both deserve to be that. And I have a soft spot for the bad guys.

I did wonder about those elves in the beginning and I do want to know more about this world, or at least see a map. That would help to build it better. But the story is more focused on romance, and wiping out those zombies. The war behind them, and politics is not focused on. If the lands are rebuilt I do not know. But in the end I don't care, I get romance and action and can be happy with that.

A third book is on its way and there we will see two characters from both previous books.

Friday 17 April 2009

Mucho Caliente! by Francesca Prescott

"Wish upon a Latin Superstar"
BookStrand Publishing (2008), Paperback, 344 pages

Mucho Caliente! is author Francesca Prescott's first book, and she got the idea while staying in Ibiza. The result was a romantic comedy.

Thirty-seven year old Gemma is leaving Geneva, and her cheating husband. She has dismissed a generous divorce settlement, and wants to start a new life. Being financially independent, and working with what she wants to do on a Spanish Island in the sun. What she hadn't reckoned with was being seated to famous Latin heartthrob Emilo Caliente on her way to Ibiza.

Falling in love with an twenty-nine year old pop superstar was not part of her plan to start a new life for herself. Everything tells her to stay away from Emilio and his oh so lovely cinnamon kisses. His life is in turmoil, his single hit rock bottom and his manager seems to be crazy.

But fate brought them together, and does she dare to risk her heart on a star when is seems to be the opposite with what she wanted to achieve?

They (bf's family) must have thought I was crazy because while reading this book I sat with a stupid grin on my face and giggled every minute. But I couldn't help it, this book was hilarious, a pure giggle feast.

I love Gemma, I feel like I am her, well younger, but still. She is insecure, she thinks like me, and oh so many other women out there. She is normal which is perfect. And she is funny, maybe it's because it's reality and she has the same thoughts that may wander through my head when I wake up with bed hair, when I so need a shower, or when I wonder if my pores show.

Emilio, well he is a hot one. I can't help falling for him and every bone in my body is wishing them luck and saying you go girl ;) I am holding my breath and wishing for a HEA. Because she deserves to be happy and loved. And as the book progresses I learn more about him, he is not just some superstar, he is a normal guy who wants to be loved like the rest of us.

"I don't like olives," whispers Emilio, kissing my eyelids." And from what I gather, neither do you. But I like stars, I believe in stars. And you, amor, you shine!".

There is a lot of funny situations in this book, and there is a lot of things to make you giggle and make you go weak in the knees.

Besides it's not something I am particularly proud of - I once spent an entire afternoon watching certain sequences of his video clips frame by frame, just to see whether the rather frightening bulge in his leather trousers was an optical illusion, or something Guinness Book of Records should be made aware of.

The love affair has its ups and downs, everything can't go right all the time now can it. I feel with them, and I hope with them, oh and laugh at them (and with them of course), all between my grins and smiles. It has a bit of everything put in, and it goes so well. It's a smooth ride to the end.

This book is a keeper, it will make you giggle, and make you feel all warm and tingly inside, I highly recommend it.


received a copy for a review

Wednesday 15 April 2009

The Loner's Guarded Heart by Michelle Douglas

Harlequin Mills & Bonns 2008
186 pages

Josie was touched that her brothers had arranged a holiday for her--she certainly needed one. Only, the location isn't the lively resort she'd expected, but a rustic cabin in a beautiful but isolated Australian idyll....

Her only neighbour for miles is the taciturn, if incredibly attractive, Kent Black. Following a family tragedy, Kent cut himself off from the world. Josie can't help but be intrigued by this solitary man, and with her bubbly, warm personality, she's determined to pick away at the iron padlock around his heart.

- blurb from the back (yes I was lazy today)

I wanted something sweet, and what better to pick up than a book with the word sweet on the cover. A total promise for a HEA.

And it sure was, I started the book this morning and finished it a while later. Not that many pages, and it was so easy to read. You just went with the lovely flow if it. Totally adorable and heart warming.

A nice normal sweet heroine, who could sure bake. I so need chocolate cake now and all the other yummy things she made. A guarded hero, and of course I knew he would let his guard down and let her in. And a cute dog, and I am not really a dog person but they all went together so nicely.

So if you are looking for an easy book, with a full promise of a happy ever after then this is that kind of book.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Dancer by Collum McCann

It's a fictional story about Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nurejev. From his humble and poor Tatar upbringing, to when he studied at the famous Kirov in St Petersburg, to his jump to the west where he was adored by royalty and celebrities. And to his ultimate fall, his love affairs which brings him to his deathbed in Aids.

My problem with real characters is that I always have to google them, so yes I knew that he defected (not like I wouldn't have otherwise, he was too big for Soviet), and that he would die of Aids. )

I loved this book, ask me to explain and I don't know why. It just took me by surprise, McCann is a master with words and he knows how to spin a story. It all begins with soldiers coming home from WWII, and how they are bathed in Rudolfs home town of Ufa. It's glimpses out to the real world and they are shown through out the book.

"They looked out over the steppe and saw the bodies of fellow soldiers, a hand in the air, a knee in a stretch, beards frozen with frost, and they leaned to steal the dead man's clothes before he became stiffened in them, and they leaned in to whisper, Sorry comrade thanks for the tobacco.

Rather then seeing the world through his eyes, we see the world around him through those of his friends, family, and strangers. And in the beginning through his eyes the sentences are short, like thoughts sometimes. He is so busy so he only thinks of the things he must do to get better. The thing I then love is the fact that we see the world though the eyes of others, not only what they think about him, but how they are feeling. Hungry, tired, loved, everything that is crucial in life. I truly enjoy these glimpses into their lives. Some are fictional and some of them are real. McCann is not afraid to show the real world, and not some glamour bubble around one of the worlds greatest dancers.

Even though I do love this book, the end of the 3rd part and the 4th part gets tiresome. There is a lot of how he screwed everything that moved through out the 60's to the 80's. He really should be in sex addicts anonymous. Not to mention that is what killed him. Not explicit sex scenes no this is not that kind of book. But it's just so much, and it's so depressing.

Still it's a lovely portrait of a man loved by ballet fans. McCann waves the fabric of his life into a wonderful tapestry which I highly recommend to all. He shows him to be what he was, arrogant and temperamental, still loved by all. They couldn't help it.

And since he was so beautiful that everyone wanted him I do have to leave you with a photo since I didn't know how he looked either.

Nurejev and Fonteyn:


Wednesday 8 April 2009

Uptown Girl by Olivia Goldsmith

Kate left her Brooklyn roots and made it to Manhattan. She has a good job and great friends there. But then one of her old Brooklyn friends shows up heartbroken, Bina has fallen apart after her boyfriend left to explore his "singleness". What to do in a situation like this? Well there is always the enigmatic Billy Nolan, all Brooklyn and all gorgeous. Not to mention that when ever he dumps a girl that girls marries the next guy that comes along, and it doesn't take that long either. Could he be the answer to Bina's problem? She can date Billy, get dumped and wait for Jacks return. But the problem might be what Billy feels about the whole thing.

This book got me thinking because I honestly didn't care for Kate, early on she mentions how glad she is to be out of Brooklyn, and how much better she is because of it, and this cos she dress better. That comes back later on when she thinks that even if she has the most "simple" dress she still looks so much better than the rest at the wedding she is on. I did recent that only because she lives in Manhattan she is so much better, more worth than those not living in the real big city. All this because of the expensive and fine clothes she wears. What kind of message is that? Or perhaps she only wants to diss Brooklyn, but I took it in too, and it means me too then.

And what is with this obsession to get married. Sure I love it in a book, but it was like they couldn't live without it, it defined them. And why marry someone you haven't known for long? Can that really tun out great, it wasn't like they showed in great emotions either, like it was kismet.

Oh and I am really tearing at the book now. It wasn't that bad actually. Yes it never did have me laughing or smiling, first once at the end. I was never that interested, and I quickly understood how everything would turn out. But I am sure others could love this book, well at least like it. I guess that because of what Kate said early on I never warmed up to her, and she was bitchy throughout the book, in a way.

I think I will stop giving ratings, it is so hard. But since I didn't like the book in the end, I can't recommend it. I rather say that it's up to each to make their own impression of it., but..

Books I don't like others love. That is life. Maybe others can laugh at it, if it seems to be something for you.

Though I can say that I give most of my books 3, because it's so hard to choose, and this book wasn't a 3 even if it was an easy read that didn't take much out of you.

Friday 3 April 2009

The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies

The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies

It seems this book wasn't what I thought it was about, but that was just fun.

It's a book about 3 people, even though it focuses mostly on 2 of them. First there is a Jewish captain who is sent to see if Rudolf Hess is crazy or not. He is being held prisoner in Welsh. Then there is the main focus of the story, Esther, a 17 year old Welsh girl. She works in the local pub, and she longs to see more of the world outside. She meets a soldier, Colin, an English soldier who is there building a POW camp.

It's also the story of a German soldier, we meet him before he was capture and learns why he went to war. And then he end up in a Welsh POW camp.

Rooted in the story is the word cynefin, it has no English meaning. It has to do with the sheep, they know where to stay on the hill and never venture further. The know where they belong. It's seen through out the novel, Esther wants to escape, the Jewish captain who's mother is Lutheran and he is too, still he had to flee. And he keeps saying he is not Jewish. And at last, Karsten, the POW, who ordered his men to surrender to save them, and is troubled by this.

There is also the nationalistic angle in this book, the Welsh frown upon the English that is everywhere and they can't even write letters in Welsh cos the censures can't understand it.

It's a good book, I read it easily and I wanted to know what would happen. It was very well-written, but even if I didn't love the book it was worth reading

Not that I so much about Rotheram, the Jewish captain but he was an interesting character. He started and ended the book. I did like Esther, I felt that I could understand her and her doubts. And I even liked Karsten. It's not a book that points and says he is the bad guy, no they all have faults, and they all have those things that make you understand them. He has managed to capture something genuine in this book.

I will give the book a 3/5, because even if it was a great book, I felt it was just ok. Worth reading yes, but that all depends on the person reading.


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