I haven't done one of these for ages so I thought that I would share some of the books that I have been fortunate enough to receive for review recently. These are the ones that I am planning to read in the next few weeks so do please tell me if you have read any already or are looking forward to any in particular.
Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners (Allen and Unwin, 1st March 2013) Meet Grace Barnum. A very loveable but fallible, textbook editor from New York City who runs her life like a...well...a text book. A scarred child of divorce, Grace only meets her father sporadically to stop a proper paternal relationship developing and she prefers her mother slightly drunk because she is 'easier to handle' that way. Her lawyer boyfriend constantly travels for work, yet she relishes the alone time. 'Big Green' is the name of her enormous satchel, catering for her every possible want or need. are you getting the picture? Then in a split second, Tyler Wilkie ruins her life. An aspiring singer-song-writer from county Pennsylvania, Tyler meets Grace on his third day in the city. He also happens to be cute, sentimental, gorgeous and about a hundred other synonyms that describe a sexy musician. The two of them become friends, Ty's career takes off and Grace's perfect textbook existence comes crashing down. Eventually, but after a lot of tears, Grace begins to grow...
Don't Want to Miss A Thing by Jill Mansell (Headline Review, 7th February 2013) Dexter Yates loves his fun care-free London life, but everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he going to cope leaving his hedonistic life behind for a new start in the Cotswolds?
Comic strip artist Molly Hayes lives in Briarwood, the village that Dexter moves to. She's not had a great history with men and even though there's a connection between them, it looks like this isn't going to change. But lots of the village residents have secrets to discover and it soon becomes clear that Dexter isn't the only one who is going to have to adapt once these are revealed.
Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd (Bloomsbury, 24th January 2013) Vienna. 1913. It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist Dr Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room, he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty. Later the same day they meet again, and a more composed Hettie Bull introduces herself as an artist and sculptor, and invites Lysander to a party hosted by her lover, the famous painter Udo Hoff. Compelled to attend and unable to resist her electric charm, they begin a passionate love affair. Life in Vienna becomes tinged with a frisson of excitement for Lysander. He meets Sigmund Freud in a cafe, begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears to have been cured.
London, 1914. War is stirring and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence- a world of sex- scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every walking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain's safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his own life.
A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger (Penguin, January 31st 2013) Charley Lambert had worked hard a creating a pefect life. She has an aspirational flat, a job of international significance and a very good pair of legs, thanks to a rigorous health and fitness regime. Best of all, her boss has asked her out after seven years' hard flirting and a covert fumble in a mop cupboard.
Then she breaks her leg in three places, watches her boss propose to someone else and- horror- is forced to hand over her job to her nasty deputy. Charley, a certified workaholic, fears that she will go mad.
Dangerously bored, she starts helping people who are talentless at internet dating. Then William arrives in her inbox and rocks her world. Helpless, she watches herself fall in love with him and discovers she's not who she thought she was. But can she turn her back on her old life- all for a total stranger?
The Lies You Told Me by Jessica Ruston (Headline Review, 24th January 2013) When Klara Mortimer receives a letter from a mysteriously initialed N. R. all the certainties of her existence are thrown into doubt. She's always believed everything that her father told her about her mother Sadie, a former model who disappeared from Klara's life when she was six years old. But the letter leads Klara to a garage, and a mysterious box of objects and her mother's diary.
As she begins to read the diary, the fragments of Sadie's life begin to come together and the image id her mother she now sees doesn't match the picture her father has painted. She begins to question her father's own motives for distorting the truth, can she trust anything that he has told her or is there a further layer to her mother's story?
The Heart Whisperer by Ella Griffin (Orion Books, February 2013) Claire Dillon still lives in the shadow of the past. On her thirty-third birthday, she gives herself a present. One year to change her future.
Claire's mother has everything to live for. A husband, two children, a successful medical practice. Then at thirty-three she died in a tragic accident. And it was Claire's fault.
Now Claire is the same age. A floundering actress with a broken heart, a collection of draft snakes, and a talent for self-sabotage. She is frittering her life away with the help of her oldest friend, the gorgeous ex-rock star, Ray Devine.
On her 33rd birthday she gives herself one last year to be more like her mother. But you should be careful what you wish for...
Her estranged brother Nick is back from America and keeping his distance from his clingy sister and his pathetic father while he reinvents himself as a daytime TV relationship guru. But Dublin is full of memories and Nick is already dreaming of escape. While his wife, Kelly has dreams of her own. Ones she isn't telling him about. What will happen when another accident throws the dysfunctional Dillons together and the secrets they have kept from themselves and one another finally begin to emerge?