Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Book Love ~ June

This month I am sharing 6 reads that have kept me entertained on my travels during June. Some of these have been languishing in my to read pile for some time, and I am now wondering why I've left them so long. This month's reads have taken me to the far flung places of  Hollywood and Greece, and contemplate running, gardening and opening a café on an idyllic island off the Thames coastline. They have evoked many childhood memories and a gap year in Greece!.... here's what has been keeping me entertained during June.
Mattie Rose is the advice columnist for the Chicago Gazette under the pseudonym of "The Plate Spinner", mum to a brood of children, and husband to a hunky paramedic. In reality she's sworn off men, strapped with debt, haunted with childhood taunts of "fattie mattie" and slowly recovering from being jilted at the altar 2 years previously. Mattie's ex-fiancé is on the run for embezzlement and fraud, having framed his twin brother Nick to take the fall for his shenanigans. Nick having lost everything from his brothers scams is also trying to recover. Mattie & Nicks paths cross again when Nick is hired by the newspaper to coach The Plate Spinner to run the Chicago marathon…. Much fun, and heartache ensue as Mattie & Nick find themselves on a running journey. I really enjoyed this book and found Mattie adorable, she made me laugh lots, her enthusiasm for exercise is on a par with mine!... a fun read, perfect for anyone looking for inspiration to run a marathon.
The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café – Jenny Oliver    Annie White has recently inherited The Dandelion Café on the Thames-side island of Cherry Pie. Cherry Pie is Annie's childhood home, she returns to tie up loose ends, and renovate a tired looking café with the option of selling it. Soon the island, the cafe and its habitants (especially the gorgeous millionaire Matt) creep their way into Annie's heart and she has to decide what she wants. This is the 1st book of a new series by Jenny Oliver and I really enjoyed it, great characters and looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Coming up Roses - Rachel Lucas
Daisy's parents take off for a midlife crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of renovating their ramshackle garden. A move to the countryside of Steeple St John couldn’t come at a better time for Daisy and she relishes nurturing the garden back to its former glory. Daisy befriends Elaine and Jo in the village who are both battling their own problems and collectively the 3 ladies embark on helping each other. Outside of their problems the village is battling its own problems with greedy garden developers and Daisy soon finds herself fighting to save her beloved garden with the help of pensioner Thomas.
This is a glorious book for the summer, and a perfect read following my recent trip to Chelsea Flower Show, Rachel's description of the allotment evoked so many memories of me & Gramps trundling wheel barrows between the greenhouse and allotment and the character of Thomas could easily have been my granddad. Obviously Daisy needs a love interest and this comes in the guise of a charming Irishman and a hunky vet, both vying for her affection in different guises. I loved this book, its beautifully written and absorbs you into an idyllic village setting, a perfect book to transport you into a different world whilst travelling through the tunnels of London on the tube,… delightful Rachel Lucas.
Mandy Baggot always writes some of the best heroes in her books and TMG doesn’t disappoint in the guise of Yan. Ellen's life has fallen apart and suddenly the capable, confident and career driven women is no more. Finding herself accompanying her Bridezilla sister Lacey to the island of Corfu to plan her wedding, she is hoping the time away will help her sort herself out and distract herself from her problems. What Ellen hadn't factored into her holiday plans was Lacey suddenly getting cold feet and her finding herself enjoying the company of a hunky Bulgarian holiday entertainer Yan. This book was a romp of a read. It's both emotional, & funny, and the  perfect holiday companion whether on a sun lounger or staycation it will keep you entertained.
I first met the characters of Zoe and Maggie in Kate's novella The Perfect Christmas, Picture Perfect continues the story and also shares the back story of both women. Maggie is Americas sweetheart actress of 20 years and Zoe is one of Hollywood's most successful managers where stars clamour to be represented by her. The ladies are the best of friends and have each other's backs, especially as they both embark on journeys and relationships which take them away from their comfort zones of Hollywood expectation. Dylan enters both their lives, a young girl searching for her birth mother, and has an impact on both of them in ways they never expected, suddenly their picture perfect lifestyles aren’t looking so solid.
 It was so lovely to catch-up with these characters again and the old & new storyline thread running through the book is reminiscent of the blockbusters of Shirley Conran and Jackie Collins of my teens. This book had a real "Lace" feel about it, but totally up to date in its Hollywood setting … a great read with lots of storylines running together to culminate in a book filled with glitz, glamour and intrigue.
Growing up Pippa's summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. Here she spent her days dreaming of her own tea shop alongside her childhood friend Nikos…. Grown-up life has given Pippa a secure accounting job and a sensible suave boyfriend. Returning to the village of Taxos after many years, Pippa's idyllic memories are tainted by how tired the little village has become, something her boyfriend Henrik is keen and quick to point out. Soon it is apparent that Henrik is here for different reasons to Pippa and with Pippa discovering her childhood friend Nik is no longer a gangly irritating boy but a bit of a greek hunk life suddenly doesn’t seem so safe and sensible anymore. With threats of development looming, Pippa finds solace in baking her legendary scones for all and soon the Tastiest Little Tea shop takes a life on its own and could be the villages saviour.
Having spent many summers in a fishing village on the island of Rhodes and a gap year island hoping, this book touched many memories. The camaraderie and community spirit of the village was so familiar it evoked memories of smells, tastes and  friendships. Enjoyed the character of Pippa, but it was Nikos grandma that I adored, so typical of that generation and Nik was delicious :-)… only wished that Samantha had shared the recipes of all the delicious scones that she described.

As you can see I have had so much fun with my reads this month, and surprised myself with 6 books making the Read pile. My book reads have influenced my instagram feed and lifestyle during June!!

  • David Gandy launched his swimwear range at the beginning of the month and the advert launched to support completely had me thinking of Yan in TMG.


    • The sneakers are out and i'm walking more, not quite to marathon standards just yet!
    • Completely obsessed with roses this month, and have snapped and savoured when ever I have seen them, including a trip to The Rose Garden at Hever castle.
    • Cherries are in season and I can't go a day without sampling and seeking opportunities to make cherry pie... still can't get it as good as the ones my nan made.
    • A sneaky scones & jam was the perfect accompaniment to Game of Scones, alas not on a greek island but on the rooftop of work.
     My pile is overflowing for July and I am struggling with what to pick as so many of my favourite authors have released books in recent weeks. Pop back next month and see what has made the cut! Here's some posts from previous months. What has grabbed your attention recently on the book front, what would you recommend, would love to hear from you.

    1 comment:

    Mandy said...

    Thank you so much for including Truly Madly Greekly! I'm so glad you enjoyed your holiday in Corfu!

    I think I need to watch the David Gandy video again... and again... and maybe once more... and repeat!

    Mandy xx

    Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    Book Love ~ June

    This month I am sharing 6 reads that have kept me entertained on my travels during June. Some of these have been languishing in my to read pile for some time, and I am now wondering why I've left them so long. This month's reads have taken me to the far flung places of  Hollywood and Greece, and contemplate running, gardening and opening a café on an idyllic island off the Thames coastline. They have evoked many childhood memories and a gap year in Greece!.... here's what has been keeping me entertained during June.
    Mattie Rose is the advice columnist for the Chicago Gazette under the pseudonym of "The Plate Spinner", mum to a brood of children, and husband to a hunky paramedic. In reality she's sworn off men, strapped with debt, haunted with childhood taunts of "fattie mattie" and slowly recovering from being jilted at the altar 2 years previously. Mattie's ex-fiancé is on the run for embezzlement and fraud, having framed his twin brother Nick to take the fall for his shenanigans. Nick having lost everything from his brothers scams is also trying to recover. Mattie & Nicks paths cross again when Nick is hired by the newspaper to coach The Plate Spinner to run the Chicago marathon…. Much fun, and heartache ensue as Mattie & Nick find themselves on a running journey. I really enjoyed this book and found Mattie adorable, she made me laugh lots, her enthusiasm for exercise is on a par with mine!... a fun read, perfect for anyone looking for inspiration to run a marathon.
    The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café – Jenny Oliver    Annie White has recently inherited The Dandelion Café on the Thames-side island of Cherry Pie. Cherry Pie is Annie's childhood home, she returns to tie up loose ends, and renovate a tired looking café with the option of selling it. Soon the island, the cafe and its habitants (especially the gorgeous millionaire Matt) creep their way into Annie's heart and she has to decide what she wants. This is the 1st book of a new series by Jenny Oliver and I really enjoyed it, great characters and looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
    Coming up Roses - Rachel Lucas
    Daisy's parents take off for a midlife crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of renovating their ramshackle garden. A move to the countryside of Steeple St John couldn’t come at a better time for Daisy and she relishes nurturing the garden back to its former glory. Daisy befriends Elaine and Jo in the village who are both battling their own problems and collectively the 3 ladies embark on helping each other. Outside of their problems the village is battling its own problems with greedy garden developers and Daisy soon finds herself fighting to save her beloved garden with the help of pensioner Thomas.
    This is a glorious book for the summer, and a perfect read following my recent trip to Chelsea Flower Show, Rachel's description of the allotment evoked so many memories of me & Gramps trundling wheel barrows between the greenhouse and allotment and the character of Thomas could easily have been my granddad. Obviously Daisy needs a love interest and this comes in the guise of a charming Irishman and a hunky vet, both vying for her affection in different guises. I loved this book, its beautifully written and absorbs you into an idyllic village setting, a perfect book to transport you into a different world whilst travelling through the tunnels of London on the tube,… delightful Rachel Lucas.
    Mandy Baggot always writes some of the best heroes in her books and TMG doesn’t disappoint in the guise of Yan. Ellen's life has fallen apart and suddenly the capable, confident and career driven women is no more. Finding herself accompanying her Bridezilla sister Lacey to the island of Corfu to plan her wedding, she is hoping the time away will help her sort herself out and distract herself from her problems. What Ellen hadn't factored into her holiday plans was Lacey suddenly getting cold feet and her finding herself enjoying the company of a hunky Bulgarian holiday entertainer Yan. This book was a romp of a read. It's both emotional, & funny, and the  perfect holiday companion whether on a sun lounger or staycation it will keep you entertained.
    I first met the characters of Zoe and Maggie in Kate's novella The Perfect Christmas, Picture Perfect continues the story and also shares the back story of both women. Maggie is Americas sweetheart actress of 20 years and Zoe is one of Hollywood's most successful managers where stars clamour to be represented by her. The ladies are the best of friends and have each other's backs, especially as they both embark on journeys and relationships which take them away from their comfort zones of Hollywood expectation. Dylan enters both their lives, a young girl searching for her birth mother, and has an impact on both of them in ways they never expected, suddenly their picture perfect lifestyles aren’t looking so solid.
     It was so lovely to catch-up with these characters again and the old & new storyline thread running through the book is reminiscent of the blockbusters of Shirley Conran and Jackie Collins of my teens. This book had a real "Lace" feel about it, but totally up to date in its Hollywood setting … a great read with lots of storylines running together to culminate in a book filled with glitz, glamour and intrigue.
    Growing up Pippa's summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. Here she spent her days dreaming of her own tea shop alongside her childhood friend Nikos…. Grown-up life has given Pippa a secure accounting job and a sensible suave boyfriend. Returning to the village of Taxos after many years, Pippa's idyllic memories are tainted by how tired the little village has become, something her boyfriend Henrik is keen and quick to point out. Soon it is apparent that Henrik is here for different reasons to Pippa and with Pippa discovering her childhood friend Nik is no longer a gangly irritating boy but a bit of a greek hunk life suddenly doesn’t seem so safe and sensible anymore. With threats of development looming, Pippa finds solace in baking her legendary scones for all and soon the Tastiest Little Tea shop takes a life on its own and could be the villages saviour.
    Having spent many summers in a fishing village on the island of Rhodes and a gap year island hoping, this book touched many memories. The camaraderie and community spirit of the village was so familiar it evoked memories of smells, tastes and  friendships. Enjoyed the character of Pippa, but it was Nikos grandma that I adored, so typical of that generation and Nik was delicious :-)… only wished that Samantha had shared the recipes of all the delicious scones that she described.

    As you can see I have had so much fun with my reads this month, and surprised myself with 6 books making the Read pile. My book reads have influenced my instagram feed and lifestyle during June!!

  • David Gandy launched his swimwear range at the beginning of the month and the advert launched to support completely had me thinking of Yan in TMG.


    • The sneakers are out and i'm walking more, not quite to marathon standards just yet!
    • Completely obsessed with roses this month, and have snapped and savoured when ever I have seen them, including a trip to The Rose Garden at Hever castle.
    • Cherries are in season and I can't go a day without sampling and seeking opportunities to make cherry pie... still can't get it as good as the ones my nan made.
    • A sneaky scones & jam was the perfect accompaniment to Game of Scones, alas not on a greek island but on the rooftop of work.
     My pile is overflowing for July and I am struggling with what to pick as so many of my favourite authors have released books in recent weeks. Pop back next month and see what has made the cut! Here's some posts from previous months. What has grabbed your attention recently on the book front, what would you recommend, would love to hear from you.

    1 comment:

    Mandy said...

    Thank you so much for including Truly Madly Greekly! I'm so glad you enjoyed your holiday in Corfu!

    I think I need to watch the David Gandy video again... and again... and maybe once more... and repeat!

    Mandy xx