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Little White Lies
Little White Lies
by Bernadette Strachan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Little White Lies - 5 Nov 2007, 10 July 2010
This review is from: Little White Lies (Paperback)
I had been a fan of Bernie and her writing since The Reluctant Landlady in 2004. So when I left my (smuggled out of Hodder Towers) proof of Little White Lies in a friends car for nearly a month (back in 2007)I was gutted...

Thankfully, said friend finally dropped it back I was over the moon to be able to get stuck in.

It's adorable. My only criticism of Bernie's last book (Diamonds and Daisies) was that for some unspecific reason I couldn't stand her leading lady (Sunny). Not so with Little White Lies.

Billie Baskerville is summoned by her Aunt Babs to deepest, darkest Sussex. Aunt Babs is going to Australia on a OAP-GAP year, and needs Billie to take over running her wedding dress shop. Putting a cynical, groom-hating, wedding-loathing, bride-detesting girl in charge of such a shop should be a disaster waiting to happen, but Billie can't help but get swept away with the romance of her customers and with village life. She gives the shop a much-needed makeover and starts rebuilding her life again.

Scattered with very funny characters - the illustrator Gay Best Friend, hippy chick Dot and Chav Debs, together with Billies "actress" mother and inspirational speaker brother - Bernie has written a PROPER laugh-out-loud-in-places book. I chuckled a lot whilst reading this, even though I feel quite miserable at the moment - and was hooked till the end.

The end is however, very surprising. I won't give anything away, but it all felt like a bolt out of the blue, and I'm not sure whether I wanted to happen, what did happen (if you see what I mean). But it doesn't take away from the fact that Billie is a much much better character than Sunny - and I loved the whole "running away to find happiness" lesson.....if only I had my own Aunt Babs.


My Best Friend's Girl
My Best Friend's Girl
by Dorothy Koomson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars I am a buffoon, 10 July 2010
This review is from: My Best Friend's Girl (Paperback)
Why oh why I didn't read "My Best Friend's Girl" by Dorothy Koomson when I got the proof from Time Warner (remember them?) in May 2006, I will now never know. Maybe it was because I don't so much like the name Dorothy. Maybe it was because I don't so much like kids. Maybe it was because I am clearly a buffoon, cause it's cracking. And yes, I know Richard & Judy said that before me....

The book tells the story of Kamryn who, following the death of her best friend Adele, takes in her daughter Tegan. We learn what Adele did to break Kamryn heart, we get to know her ex-fiancé Nate, and we meet new love Luke...and along the way we see Kam's relationship with Tegan grow and grow. Other reviews I have read about the book say it's funny and quirky. I didn't find that so much - but I did find it incredibly well written - a beautiful story, told beautifully.

Dorothy Koomson has a really nice website - have a look yourself. Oh, and buy the book.


How To Lose A Husband And Gain A Life
How To Lose A Husband And Gain A Life
by Bernadette Strachan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How To Lose..., 9 July 2010
I finished How to Lose a Husband and Gain a Life in the bath one morning last March (I spend WAY too much time doing things other than gettingreadyforwork in the morning....)

I hope I'm not too biased, given that I LOVE the author, but I love the book too... it really is brill. Ruby Gallagher has a seemingly fabulous life. Big old gangster dude husband, much shopping and not much housework...la la la. Then Gangster Dude gets done for fraud and Ruby finds out some rather unpleasant hidden truths about their life together - forcing her to take stock and turn her life around with the help of a feather dusty, a clown, a superb gay couple Teddy and Kendall, and new best-friend-hiding-a-secret Maria.

As ever, Bernadette delivers a classic holiday read, it's fast and pacy, funny and warm with brilliant characters, a great storyline and the feel-good factor you now come to expect.


The Nearly-Weds
The Nearly-Weds
by Jane Costello
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Book Two - bit late to the party!, 9 July 2010
This review is from: The Nearly-Weds (Paperback)
The Nearly-Weds is the second book from great new chick lit author, Jane Costello, and tells the story of poor old Zoe Moore, who having been jilted at the alter by childhood sweetheart Jason, buggers off to the US of A to become a nanny. She gets dumped again by the new family she is supposed to go and work for even before she meets them, and ends up with single dad Ryan and his two kids Ruby and Samuel....

Ryan is a complete dish, and Zoe quickly falls in lust with him, despite still being firmly in love with Jason and embarks on a steamy affair... all the time sorting out the kids and the home with the help of her new friends.

If you are popping off for some Summer sun you could do worse than slip this into your beach bag. It's short, sweet and good fun.


Certain Girls
Certain Girls
by Jennifer Weiner
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certain Girls, 9 July 2010
This review is from: Certain Girls (Paperback)
Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner continues the story of Cannie Shapiro, who we first met 8 years ago in Good in Bed. Cannie is now married to Peter and living an anonymous life writing scifi under a pseudonym. Her daughter Joy is struggling with barmitzvah pressure and hearing aids, and the brand new knowledge that her mums bestselling fiction book might actually be the real story of her own life...

I enjoyed Certain Girls so much more than I expected to. Good in Bed I remember as being great fun, but Certain Girls has definately grown up, and whilst there is some fun and laughter, this is not your typical chicklit tale of shoes and happily ever after with some cocktails and sex thrown in for good measure. It hits home hard on some very sensitive and emotional issues, and the ending is a real punch to the stomach. I loved it, and look forward to reading the rest of the impressive backlist from Jennifer soon.


The Secrets We Keep
The Secrets We Keep
by Colette Caddle
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caddle Up, 9 July 2010
This review is from: The Secrets We Keep (Paperback)
I am growing ever fonder of Colette Caddle. She has grown into one of my favourite current authors, and I am hopeful that her latest title, The Secrets We Keep, will secure her place in the hearts and minds of every other like-minded book reader.

I closed the pages of the trade edition (which was published early for the export market) and I had a wee tear in my eye and flutter in my soul.

Colette is already a bestselling author in Ireland, but the UK has yet to jump on her with the same gusto they have with some other, more famous, Irish writers - but I have every faith that if the readers pick up her books, they will love her every bit as much as they do Cecelia Ahern or Marian Keyes...


The Importance of Being a Bachelor
The Importance of Being a Bachelor
by Mike Gayle
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Being, 9 July 2010
Oh My - what a cracker. I love, love, love Mike's books, and have been a firm fan since back in the days of My Legendary Girlfriend some 10 years ago. This bad boy concentrates on the three Bachelor boys - bar owner Adam who is persuaded by his mates that WAG's and Page 3 girls just aren't the right type of girl to date anymore, Luke who has baggage to deal with before he can move forward with fiancé Cassie and then poor old youngest son Russell, in love with a woman he can't have.

There is something about a dude writing books about relationships and love and stuff that I find fascinating and fabulous - and the other perspective he brings in the never ending Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus debate is refreshingly frank.


The Brightest Star in the Sky
The Brightest Star in the Sky
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant doesnt cover it, 9 July 2010
What I can tell you is that The Brightest Star in the Sky had me hooked for a week, and despite my desperate dragging it out attempts, I finished it way too soon.

You know what? I didn't get what that bold letter thingymagig was you know, until almost right at the very end... and whilst I only cried the once (a miracle for me with a Marian in my hands) they were right good fat cleansing tears that left me feeling calm and happy.

She has a knack does Ms Keyes. A gift, a knack, whatever you want to call it. But she writes like a dream, creates believable characters, makes you laugh as well as cry and draws you deep into the story till you can't bear to put her books down to go to work, go to bed or go to the dinner table.

66 Star Street is a converted house with 4 flats, and this story intertwines the lives of all the inhabitants - soon to be 40 Katie and her workaholic boyfriend Conall, angry taxi driver Lydia and her Polish flatmates, telephone psychic Jemima and her gardening son Fionn and married couple Maeve and Matt.

And yes, whilst some may argue that so much "life" would never happen in such a small space, and such a small amount of time - I don't care what those people say. They can go to hell on a spacehopper as far as I'm concerned.

By hook or by crook you should get yourself to a shop this weekend and buy yourself either the big gold hardback edition or the brand new paperback edition of this book, stop off at the supermarket on the way home for a couple of bottles of something pink and fizzy, sit on your stoop in the sun and enjoy!


Twenties Girl
Twenties Girl
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.50

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mmmmm, 9 July 2010
This review is from: Twenties Girl (Paperback)
Like The Undomestic Goddess, Can You Keep a Secret? and Remember Me?, Twenties Girl is not a Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic title...it tells the story of Lara and her great-aunt Sadie Lancaster and the search for a missing dragonfly necklace.

It's a completely daft story till about page 341 - and I wasn't all together sure whether I would ever really care enough, but then it all hots up, and things fall into place, and character become real, and emotions so raw - that by the time the big reveal plays out on page 391 I had my heart in my throat and a tear down my cheek pretty much till the end.

It's not my favourite ever Kinsella book, but keep going and you too will be thinking of your old relatives in a whole new light.


The Gift
The Gift
by Cecelia Ahern
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not What You Would Think, 9 July 2010
This review is from: The Gift (Paperback)
Cecelia Ahern's The Gift is not quite what you would expect from the lady that bought us PS I Love You, but totally in keeping with If You Could See Me Now and A Place Called Here. Kind of supernatural it tells the heartbreaking story of city slicker Lou and his strive for success at work to the detriment of his personal life. Running here and there, always short of time, always in a hurry he lets everyone down, his wife, his kids, his dad - but when he meets homeless man Gabe, things take a turn. We aren't supposed to like Lou, we aren't supposed to feel any sympathy for his plight, but as he realises the error of his ways you cant help but warm to him. A brilliant story, as ever, I was left with a fair few tears at the end - and will be lending my copy out to a few of my career driven friends asap...


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