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Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom)

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Destroy All Robots
Destroy All Robots
Price: £0.77

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An action-packed, pacey read. Great stuff!, 14 Jan 2013
In a future where robots are common place and `robophobia' is rife amongst mankind, this action-packed adventure explores exactly what happens when they go on the rampage.

Set against the backdrop of a fighting robots television show on a desert island, two teenagers- Toby and Caitlin- find themselves struggling for survival when one of the robots is deliberately sabotaged. Fuelled by the lure of a multi-million pound prize, a hodgepodge cast of characters are desperate to destroy the robots, who one by one turn into lethal killing machines, as the humans turn on one another...

This story was an appealing mix of science-fiction, fantasy and adventure which never slowed its pace and had some fantastic twists and turns. It has to be said that I am quite discerning in my reading choices within those genres, but this story had me hooked immediately. The writing has a lovely cinematic quality to it and the island setting is beautifully depicted- robots aside it made me long to escape to a deserted island and experience some sunshine. I really love the world that the author has created within this novel- humans attitudes to robots was portrayed really well, with the potential for this to be explored even further in future books. I was keen to know more about Toby and his family as a result of the small aspects that were alluded to here.

Though there were a lot of characters, I found them to have great depth to them, with interesting back stories that made me want to read more. Some appeared more satire than others, which added a welcome blend of humour to the story. There was also a sweet bit of romance, which added a nice dimension to the plot. This is great entertaining, escapist reading all around and just what I needed to read at this point in time. Personally, I did find it to be a bit gory in places- but that's because I'm a wimp! There was perhaps more violence than I had anticipated though.

I am really looking forward to loose ends being tied up in the sequels of which I will definitely be reading, getting to know Toby and Caitlin's families and also reading more of the fantastic world building that has been developed here. This was an enjoyable start to a really exciting new series and one that I would definitely not hesitate in recommending, so it goes without saying that I'm really looking forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.

**Thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this novel.**

On The Pointe Of Payne (The Payne Series Book 1)
On The Pointe Of Payne (The Payne Series Book 1)
Price: £2.05

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets, lies and betrayal..., 5 Jan 2013
This was a well-written family drama, rife with lies, manipulation, broken hearts and shady con artists. Filled with secrets, lies and betrayal, it appeared bleak from the outset, but I found it to be quite a riveting read. It asks the reader to ponder what would happen if everything they thought they ever knew was a lie, and does the job beautifully.

The novel tells the story of Kate, a teenager who has been pushed throughout her life by her mother into being a ballerina; Kate's mother vicariously tries to live her own crushed dreams through her daughter and absolutely nothing will stand in the way of her ruthless goals, no matter at what cost to Kate herself. When Kate dramatically finds out she has been lied to her whole life and her only source of true happiness- her relationship with her boyfriend Dan- is destroyed as a consequence of that, her ambitions take on a whole new and surprising turn. Will Kate and Dan get the happily ever after they believe they were always destined for?

I think my summary makes this book sound a bit like a romance novel, but it certainly offers much more than that, believe me. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the dark twists and turns that this story took, from an innocent Kate at the end of her late teens, to the ambitious woman she later became. This story is all about Kate and Dan's journey and I wanted to know how it would end.

The characters are believable, if a few are somewhat unlikeable, and the plot moves quickly, drawing the reader into Kate and Dan's lives, before quickly pulling the rug out from under you. I have to say that I *did* think at the start of the book that perhaps too much was given away too quickly, and it was slightly obvious from the outset the direction that the plot would eventually take. Then again, I can't think of any other way that the revelations could have unfolded, and the hook was immediately offered to the reader from the outset. You just knew that things weren't going to turn out well for Kate and it encouraged me to keep reading to find out how she would handle everything that was thrown at her. There were also a few surprises along the way that I didn't expect.

Though the story flows well, I did notice a couple of grammar/punctuation mistakes. This may not matter to some readers, but I tend to be picky with those aspects and it was a little bit distracting at first. Once I became engrossed in the story however, I tended not to notice them so much.

For the previously disclosed reasons, I was initially torn between giving this book 3.5 stars and 4, but I did really enjoy the second pacey half of the book, which had some clever plotting, and its ending, so in my opinion it is a solid 4 overall. I would definitely read more novels by this author in future, as she has a really engaging writing style and isn't afraid of exploring some quite gritty subject matters either.

**Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy of this novel.**

Swimming Upstream
Swimming Upstream
by Ruth Mancini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful character-driven story, 23 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Swimming Upstream (Paperback)
This character-driven tale is a story of self-discovery, friendships, relationships and what happens when you realise that you aren't quite as satisfied with your life as you had always led yourself to believe.

Getting hit by a car forces the protagonist of this story, Lizzie, to take a look at her life and in particular assess her long-term relationship. When she realises that ultimately it is going nowhere, ending it is only the catalyst in a long chain of events that later leads her to seek a new job and a new home, as well as resurrect friendships from her past.

This story is nicely paced with believable characters and situations, some of which make for uncomfortable reading in a sense- including domestic abuse, abortion and mental illness- all of which are sensitively handled by the author. The story has the right balance of drama and tension and in moving Lizzie away from her comfort zone and all she knows, it also allows the reader to get to know her as an individual and realise that she is a stronger person than she gives herself credit for. I liked Lizzie a lot, in particular the way she cared about her friends. I think she is easy to relate to as a person, as undoubtedly a lot of people can identify with the break down of a relationship and in moving away from something that feels like all you have ever known.

The secondary characters were all very well drawn too. I really liked the flashback scenes as to how Lizzie met Larsen when she was a student; it made for an interesting contrast in her later relationship with him and what they had become (or not), in essence as Larsen seemed happy for the two of them to stay exactly as they had always been. Catherine, one of Lizzie's best friends, was a complex character- I wasn't 100 percent sure if I liked her or not actually, but I really felt for her predicament and I disliked her boyfriend Martin immensely for what he put her through. Again, her suffering (and her putting up with it) felt all too believable. I think Zara was my favourite character, and the way she was portrayed and her own personal turmoil, was handled very well.

It did feel in parts of this book that a couple of opportunities had been missed, which is my only criticism with this story overall. For example, I would have perhaps liked to know a little bit more about Lizzie's stepfather and the situation with her family than what was eventually uncovered. That aspect of the book did feel a little bit glossed over for my tastes, given it had impacted so much on her life and especially still resonated with her as an adult.

I really enjoyed this story. The writing flowed beautifully with some very vivid descriptions and a strong sense of place and all in all it felt very 'real.' I would certainly like to read more from the author in future.

**Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this novel for review.**

Three Sisters: A British Mystery (Emily Castles Mysteries Book 1)
Three Sisters: A British Mystery (Emily Castles Mysteries Book 1)
Price: £1.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars- an entertaining cosy mystery novella, 11 Dec 2012
**The author provided me with a free copy of her novella in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed therein are my own.**

Short stories aren't my preferred genre, but as a big fan of mystery novels, especially cosy mysteries, I was keen to meet Emily Castles, a 20-something amateur sleuth who is set to star in her first full-length mystery novel (to be released in paperback) soon. This novella is a almost a 'taster' of what is in store for Emily in future, and I have to say that with its theatrical atmosphere and array of quirky characters it has definitely piqued my interest.

Set in London, the somewhat reclusive Emily is just getting over the loss of her long-time companion, her beloved dog, when she is invited to a party at her neighbours house. Emily tentatively accepts the invitation to what turns out to be a shindig hosted by a collective of artists, and once there finds herself caught up in a real-life murder mystery... the only trouble is, that the body seems to be missing and Emily is the only person who actually believes that a crime has been committed.

This was a quick, fun read, filled with subtle humour which had an almost 'old-fashioned' tone to it which held my attention throughout. The story had some really vivid descriptions that drew me right into the events and created a strong sense of atmosphere, particularly around the house where Emily attended the admittedly odd-sounding party, which was full of knife-throwers, stilt walkers and the like. I feel that the strong imagery did make up for the little that we found out about Emily herself during the course of the story as the scene-setting was beautifully done.

Though the plot moves quickly, overall the writing flows well with a nice, fluid pace and a quick shifting between scenes that kept my interest throughout. It was also fantastic (and reassuring!) to read a book on my Kindle that has actually been proof-read- I have read some really poor quality stories lately that have definitely suffered in that department! I didn't pick up on any grammar issues whatsoever in this, which makes a lot of difference to my reading experience (and undoubtedly a lot of other people's).

Though this story is only short, I do feel perhaps that the title alludes to too much of the premise of the plot for my personal tastes and I did find the storyline a little bit predictable as a result of this. However, this is only a small criticism and with it being a novella, this does not matter as much as it would have perhaps in a longer novel.

Ultimately, I think this short story lays a good foundation for establishing Emily as a character, as well as creating an incentive for wanting to get to know her a bit better within the context of the authors full-length novel. That is certainly a book that I would really like to experience now that I have been introduced to Helen Smith's work. I would recommend this short story to fans of cosy mystery/crime novels, and also to those wishing to make the acquaintance of Emily Castles, prior to the release of the full-length book.

You Had Me At Hello
You Had Me At Hello
Price: £2.20

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes a while to get going, but worth hanging in there for, 3 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to be honest: after reading the first couple of chapters of this book I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this novel one iota. I found the writing style to be a bit clunky and with it being told from the first person perspective, I didn't think the format would work. I mean this sentence on the first page jumped out at me right away:

"I batted a particularly plucky and irrepressible wasp away from my Coke can..."

Come on! Who on earth actually thinks like that? I nearly cast this story to one side entirely and was looking to go off in search of a Sue Moorcroft book instead.

You know what though? I actually ended up enjoying this novel a lot, once the pace picked up and I got to know the characters and understand their situation. It took a little while to get going and it wasn't without its flaws, but at the end of the day I wanted an easy to read romantic comedy and this book delivered on all fronts.

This book poses the question "What if?" Namely, what if you'd actually told the man of your dreams how you *really* felt about him ten years ago? And what if circumstances hadn't prevented you from ever getting together? That's the dilemma facing Rachel when she bumps into Ben, her former university best friend; the sparks are clearly still fizzing between them, only a lot has changed in the past decade and now the object of her affections is married. Rachel who has recently ended her own long-term relationship looks back at her and Ben's time spent together and realises that things between them could and *should* have been a lot different...

Typical of the chick-lit genre, this book is predictable and slightly contrived in places and is also chock-full of the typical misunderstandings that stand in the way of a much easier happily ever after for all concerned--but that's part of the fun. Do you really expect anything different in a romance novel?

The flashback scenes worked well and I enjoyed getting to know a younger Ben and Rachel, by contrast to their current selves. After all, who wouldn't be scared of taking a risk and going from friendship to something deeper? That scenario is a common one and I've read this theme many times before but for me personally, it never gets boring. McFarlane has crafted a well-written romance here and I am keen to read more of her work in future.

All in all, this was a good girly read and the perfect romantic pick me up. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a light-hearted romance.

The Secret Keeper
The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I devoured this book!, 20 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Secret Keeper (Hardcover)
I am completely in awe of Kate Morton's evocative writing style and the intriguing mysteries that she manages to so skilfully weave within her dual-time narrative stories. When the opportunity to review The Secret Keeper came up, it's no exaggeration that I practically jumped at it. I also had really high hopes for it, having loved her writing in the past.

Despite some mixed reviews from some of the online blogs I frequent, which suggested that this wasn't as strong as her other books, I wasn't disappointed with this novel by any stretch of the imagination- which is to politely say, that I inhaled it. Yep. Couldn't put it down. I found this book to be a completely engrossing read, and to be honest, it's one of those books where every other one I pick up after it for a while might feel a bit `meh' in comparison.

Kate Morton does admittedly have a bit of a formula when it comes to her plots. That's not to say it's a bad thing, but at times the scenario can feel a bit like you've encountered it before, though in the end there's a spin on it and it always evolves into something wonderful and new. Just like here. Often, there's an old lady reflecting back on memories, a young daughter or granddaughter tracing some sort of family mystery that has been hidden for decades, romance and of course, the dual time narrative. This book has all of that and more, I'm pleased to say.

The plot follows the lives of three very different women, all of whom are inextricably linked by a shocking secret. The story starts in a rural village in 1960's Oxfordshire one hot summer's day, when teenager Laurel witnesses her mother plunging a knife into a strange mans chest, killing him instantly. Now in the present day, Laurel's mother is on her deathbed, yet Laurel is still haunted by the events of that terrible afternoon and the crime she witnessed, to which her mother always claimed was self defence- though Laurel knows that isn't entirely the truth... A mysterious photo in her mother's possessions leads Laurel to start facing up to some unanswered questions about her mother's past, in a journey that will lead her back to WWII and beyond.

I think this has to be my favourite Kate Morton book so far. The writing is hugely atmospheric with some wonderful scene-setting, whether it is WWII London during the Blitz, 1960's Oxfordshire or the present day. It is clear her research has been extensive as the level of detail is impeccable (but thankfully not too over the top) and feels completely authentic during all time periods. The small nods to the varying social attitudes at the times also felt realistic.

This is admittedly a long book, but I personally feel it was just the right length for all of the content and the themes addressed- and as a reader I became really drawn into the events. The balance seemed fair and equal footing was given to all of the different time threads, though I was more intrigued with the Vivien/Dorothy storyline than the present day.

There are some great little twists and turns in this story as well as some really gripping revelations that kept me turning the pages too. I was anticipating them on some level having experienced her previous books as well as picking up on subtle hints within the plot itself, but when they happened I still sat there saying `ooooh' because they were so well crafted and just worked so aptly. That to me is always the sign of a great storyteller. Pace, timing, characterisation- this book was never boring and I felt genuinely sad when it ended. There are characters to love and loathe and I really wanted to know how circumstances would turn out with all of them.

I wait with bated breath for what Kate Morton comes up with next. No joke. I would recommend this novel to absolutely anyone looking for a historical mystery/romance novel to sink their teeth into.

A Girl's Guide to Fairy Tales
A Girl's Guide to Fairy Tales
Price: £1.36

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guaranteed happily ever after- a great girly read, 1 Nov 2012
**Full disclosure: the author provided me with a copy of her novel in exchange for a review**

If you're looking for a fresh new romance with a happily ever after, then look no further ladies- this is a book for you to add to your wish lists immediately. Laurey Buckland brings a strong new voice to the romance genre with this tale of friendship and love.

Meet Maddie, Clare, Isobel and Sophie: four best friends who are all facing their own problems. Daydreaming Maddie is stuck in a job she hates, yet doesn't have the courage to follow her dreams; perpetual romantic Sophie has to face up to the notion that her perfect relationship might not quite be so perfect after all; OCD sufferer Clare struggles to banish the beliefs that have long dominated her life and actress Isobel wants her time in the spotlight, yet is still unable to show people the real her. `A Girl's Guide to Fairy Tales' follows the lives of these women and upholds the optimistic belief that happy endings aren't just found in fiction...

Though the premise of love and friendship is in itself nothing new, the writing of this story flowed beautifully and really engaged me as a reader. At first it felt quite `dialogue heavy' which took me a bit of getting used to, but therein lies its charm; and with chapters told from alternating perspectives of the four characters, you feel like you get to know them. In fact, by the end of the novel, they did seem like old friends, each with their own distinct voices.

Character-wise, I have to say that the author has managed to create four very different people, who somehow mesh well together in a group, as well as keep the storyline moving at an appealing pace. Their attributes and personalities fit together, and at the fundamental heart of this story is their close friendship and them being there for one another, offering support and advice in the different ways befitting to them. Maddie, I liked a lot as a character. She resonated with me the most and to me, she seemed the most genuine person out of all four girls.

Isobel, I feel I perhaps only got to know on a surface level, but given her personality traits I'm not sure if this is deliberate on the authors part or not as she did seem a bit `aloof' on occasion. Despite this, I really admired her continual loyalty to the others and her dedicated sense of ambition. I wasn't sure if I was going to like Clare or not either, but as the book went on she seemed to undertake more of a journey than the rest of the characters, and I enjoyed getting to know her and finding out what made her tick. She seemed to be the most complex of the four, and though I started off feeling a bit sorry for her, my opinion later changed. Like the rest, I wanted her to find her happy ending, whatever form it would take.

To be honest, I really couldn't stand Sophie though. I realise that this isn't the intention and that the author wanted her to be a fun and likeable girl, but she was too much of an irrational drama queen for me to relate to at all, and her constant use of `text speak' made me repeatedly grit my teeth. Maybe I'm just not `down with the kids' enough to get it, but it genuinely got on my nerves! Needless to say, I'm sure a lot of other readers will like her and probably even be able to identify with her, or have friends just like her.

Text-speaking Sophie and a few minor issues with grammar aside, this was a fun, girly read. It had its moments of drama, humour and tension, but what I found most reassuring about it was the friendship between the four girls themselves which remained rock-steady throughout the plot. I also believe that the way the story ends definitely leaves this novel open to a sequel- I would enjoy catching up with the lives of these girls again in future as well as seeing what Laurey Buckland comes up with next. This is a book I would recommend for fans of Trisha Ashley or Victoria Connelly and would be a great present for your female friends this Christmas.

She Looks Pale
She Looks Pale
Price: £1.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing and poignant short story, 17 Oct 2012
This review is from: She Looks Pale (Kindle Edition)
I must confess that I don't always get on with Novella's. I think this is down to the fact that as a reader you generally have such a short time to engage with the plot and the characters, and this can sometimes be to the story's detriment. Needless to say, because of my past experience with novellas and despite the inherently appealing premise for this one, I did approach it with something not akin to caution.

I needn't have worried. This was excellently written with some beautifully flowing language that still managed to capture the child narrator's voice in a convincing fashion without coming across as remotely twee or fanciful. I think that was one of my initial reservations with this book actually, but thankfully the author pulls the voice off particularly well and the short plotline was very well paced throughout.

This is a remarkably sad short story, which is all the more impressive as it manages to convey so much in so few pages and as a reader you completely connect with what is going on. It is a tale of a modern day child who is held a prisoner by the very old-fashioned beliefs of her parents. Narrated from Hannah's perspective the reader realises that her parents have some dangerous beliefs about today's society, but that in shielding their daughter from them, they are ultimately doing her more harm than good. The ending is definitely memorable and it really resonated with me.

Though it isn't possible in a story of this length, I would have perhaps liked to know a little bit more about what led Hannah's parents to have such beliefs in the first place- but that is the beauty of such a short story- it inevitably lets the reader draw their own conclusions, which I liked. I can't see how this would have been made any better for being longer in length either, that actually may have spoiled it entirely.

As far as novella's go, this is one of the strongest that I have encountered in a long time; I really loved the author's fluid writing style and can heartily recommend this if you are looking for a short, memorable read.

The Gourmet Detective (The Gourmet Detective Mysteries Book 1)
The Gourmet Detective (The Gourmet Detective Mysteries Book 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars A mystery to really sink your teeth into (3.5 stars), 5 Oct 2012
**Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel via the publishers in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

In the first book of this culinary mystery series we are introduced to the `Gourmet Detective,' a man renowned for tracking down hard-to-find ingredients for high calibre eateries and answering the most tricky of food questions. This time though, he may have bitten off a bit more than he can chew after he inadvertently gets pulled into solving the murder of an investigative journalist at a high-end dinner party. A bit of real sleuthing is called for as he eagerly follows in the footsteps of his hallowed fictional detective heroes, working with Scotland Yard in a bid to crack the perplexing case, for which there are any number of suspects...

When I am reading culinary mysteries the first question I ask myself is: does it make me feel hungry? The answer here was an unequivocal: YES!

I must admit that this book was much better written than I had initially anticipated, with some great scene setting, particularly that of London and the restaurants themselves, and some vivid food descriptions that really made my mouth water. It's definitely more culinary than `cosy,' with lots of emphasis on food and drink and a few minor swear-words- though a surprising lack of violence or gore, which is why I'm finding it a bit hard to categorise it! I learned useful details about food and drink too, which is always great, as it was drip-fed to the reader in quite a subtle fashion.

Personally though, I think this book would have perhaps worked better if it hadn't been written in the first person narrative; it does tend to get overly bogged down in some of the technical details and as a reader you only comprehend what the narrator is thinking and feeling and merely witness his speculation towards other characters. It does become clunky and repetitive at points- especially when he is trying to pair his food choices with music which occurs consistently throughout the novel and just feels a bit TOO much like name-dropping. I'm all for enhancing the eating experience, but those aspects did feel long-winded and distracting at times. That's not to say that I didn't like the narrator of course- I did- it's just that a third-person narrative would have allowed for a much wider scope of information within the plot and far less inadvertent marketing of varieties of wine.

That aside, I did enjoy getting to know the gourmet detective and following his journey as he became a `real detective.' Earlier within the book he does concede that he is a "private person as well as a private eye," and I would welcome reading more books in this series to see if that still remains the case, as well as seeing if some of the characters in this book make a welcome reappearance in future- especially burgeoning romantic interest Winnie.

I would not hesitate in recommending this book to mystery readers whose `tastes' tend to favour culinary fiction. This is certainly a pleasing addition to the genre.

Just Wishing
Just Wishing

4.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for..., 24 Sep 2012
This review is from: Just Wishing (Kindle Edition)
** Full disclosure: A free copy of this novel was provided to me by the author in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.**

I am known to be quite discerning when it comes to my choice of chicklit. It has to be well written with likeable, plausible characters to engage me enough to keep reading. Some degree of froth is good- but with just the right degree of balance to prevent it being pushed over into the `twee' or cringey category. I have picked up some doozers in my time; believe me- a lot of which I couldn't even finish.

That's why I am so pleasantly surprised by what an engaging read `Just Wishing' actually was; particularly given that it was a debut, self-published novel. It was also reassuring to see correct grammar, punctuation and no noticeable spelling mistakes that I could discern throughout- again, another pet peeve of mine. Thusly, I read this from cover to cover on a rainy Sunday afternoon and it was actually the perfect escapist read.

Pam is a Liverpool-based secretary who isn't content with her lot. She covets the wardrobes and bodies of the rich and famous, particularly the WAGS (wives and girlfriends) of the premiership footballers and spends her days wishing her life could be different, despite the assurances from her friends that she is terrific just the way she is. One drunken evening, Pam clicks on an advert through Facebook promising her three wishes. Pam's wishes? To be a millionaire... to be a size six...

Before she can make a third drunken wish however, her computer fizzles out. Pam heads to bed and thinks nothing more about the advert- until she awakens the next day a few stone lighter and with a bank balance of six figures...

This story explores the question of what happens when someone gets everything that they had thought they ever wanted- and the repercussions that it actually has. I immediately felt some sort of affinity with Pam, who though not always likeable felt very real. I could identify with her feeling her life had passed her by to some degree and that she was stuck in a job she didn't like. Oh, and her issues with her weight struck a chord too: I would love to drop a good few dress sizes overnight! I think that is why this book is so appealing in a sense: who doesn't dream of the chance to change their life? The fact that Pam actually gets the opportunity to make this happen and the wishes that she chooses will undoubtedly resonate with a lot of girls out there. Some aspects of the story are poignant too- it isn't all just humour, holidays, boozy nights out and shopping; there is depth given to the characters, especially to Pam's previous relationships and as to Matt's background and fractured relationship with his parents. Gabriella also has trouble with an abusive partner, though this is something I would have liked to have seen explored a bit more than it was. I enjoyed the way that the book focused on the group of friends and Pam's journey and how her new lifestyle impacted on their friendship.

If I had to make any criticisms of this novel I suppose it would be that the ending was a little bit rushed for my tastes. Again, this is down to personal preference; an open ending is always good as it lets the reader form their own opinions, but I sometimes enjoy it when everything is tied up with a neat little bow! I can't be too critical though- this ending still left me with a smile on my face and I was glad to discover how Pam's story ended. There was also a reference to something that had happened to Pam a while ago- something serious- but it was mentioned once (briefly) and then never again. I would have perhaps liked to have seen this elaborated on just a little bit more than it was.

Laura Rose is a talented new voice in women's fiction and I'm glad I read this novel- it certainly proves that money can't buy happiness and that being thin isn't everything, which is assuring (though I would still love to be a size ten!). I think fans of Victoria Connelly or `Sophie Kinsella' are sure to appreciate this book and I will definitely read what Laura Rose comes up with next. This was a fun, escapist novel and most certainly a solid debut within the chicklit genre- great stuff!

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