We absolutely loved Anna Bell's new novel Don't Tell The Boss, in which Penny Robinson (lovable heroine of 2013 book Don't Tell The Groom) returns for more secrets and shenanigans, this time turning her hand to professional wedding planning (rather accidentally!). Having been unable to put the book down, we just had to put our weekly questions to Anna to find out more about the Don't Tell series and what's coming next!

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Penny accidentally moonlights as a wedding planner, putting her day job in jeopardy.

What inspired you to write Don't Tell the Boss?
I loved writing Don’t Tell the Groom. The main character Penny was so much fun and when I tried to write another book it was her I kept imagining. Once I’d decided I was going to write a sequel it was a matter of trying to work out what else Penny would keep secret, all I knew at first was that it had to be wedding related.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I’m lucky enough to have my own writing room, although I've not been able to use it yet. We’re having our house renovated and because no one has to sleep in my office it seems to get used as the dumping room for the contents of whatever room is being worked on. When I finally do get to use it, it will be great. It has bright yellow walls, a lovely big desk and a comfy sofa. I've got canvases on my book covers hanging on the wall to inspire me, along with photos from my traveling adventures.

What have you been reading recently?
I've been reading a lot of thrillers lately. Dan Brown, David Baldacci and Scott Mariani. Looking after a small baby means I don’t get a lot of time for reading (or writing) and so I've been trying to steer clear of reading rom-coms whilst I work on my latest book. I’m about to have two months off writing over the summer, and on my to be read pile are Ali Harris First Last Kiss and Dorothy Koomson's Flavours of Love.

Which part of Don't Tell the Boss did you enjoy writing the most?
My favourite scene is where the main characters go out to a restaurant and Lou, Penny’s best friend, causes all sorts of mayhem after a case of mistaken identity. I love it when you write a scene where there’s lots of characters that play off one another.

Do you have any writing tips you can share?
I always think writing a quick and dirty first draft is good to get the creative juices flowing. There’s plenty of time to finesse and polish what you've written in the editing stages. I always think that the longer time you spend on the first draft, the more self doubt and writers block you get.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I’m working on the third part in the ‘Don’t Tell’ series. Penny’s back and she’s got another big secret. I can’t tell you too much as it might ruin Don’t Tell the Boss, but except more bridezillas and a maybe the pitter patter of tiny feet!

Thanks, Anna!

You can find out more about Anna Bell and her books by visiting her website and following her on Twitter.

Don't Tell the Boss by Anna Bell
When newlywed Penny turns her hand to some casual wedding planning she only wants to help other women afford the big day of their dreams.

But taming bridezillas turns out to be a full-time occupation, and what began as a hobby becomes a personal and professional nightmare.

Soon Penny is struggling to keep her day job and prevent her own marriage from collapsing under the strain: tired, stressed and knee-deep in ivory satin, is Penny's life and livelihood hanging by a thread?

BOOK NEWS: The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan

The Mill River Redemption is the second novel by New York-based Darcie Chan, bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse. Released on 26th August, The Mill River Redemption focuses on two estranged sisters, Rose and Emily, who are led to work together to locate a special key...

Two estranged sisters. Their mother’s final wish. A life-changing discovery. A captivating tale of family, love and forgiveness, perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy and Erica James. 

Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River, to live with Josie's aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up - until a shocking tragedy tears them apart.

Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother's will, where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie's safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. 

And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them...

GIVEAWAY: Win a copy of Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

Only Ever Yours is the new novel from former ELLE writer Louise O'Neill, and we have a copy to give away.

Freida and Isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions - wives to wealthy and powerful men. The alternative - life as a concubine - is too horrible to contemplate. But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty - her only asset - in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future - even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known...

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email with 'Only Ever Yours' as the subject header. The winner will be chosen at random and notified on 4th August.

Good luck!

UNCOVERED PICKS: Ready for Christmas

Even though we're still in the midst of a surprisingly hot summer, it hasn't stopped us from getting a little excited about news of winter chick-lit releases. So when the time comes to swap beach reads and cocktails for Christmassy tales to enjoy curled up with a hot chocolate and blanket (bliss, yes?) here are five festive novels.

The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews 
Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Wallace. Louise usually says no to evenings out but she's decided to let her hair down tonight. It's the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she's looking forward to some champagne and fun. She's completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party - until she's pulled into those games herself ...Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It's going to be a night to remember at The Christmas Party. 

A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby 
Annabel Buchanan has it all. A privileged life. Pots of cash. Looks and manners born of generations of fabulous breeding. At least, that's what she likes people to think. But Annabel's carefully created image is about to come crashing down. With her beloved daughter Izzy in need of a kidney transplant, Annabel is desperate to find a suitable donor. That's how she comes to admit that before Annabel Buchanan there was Daisy Benson, given up for adoption by her teenage mum and dad. Hoping her biological family will be able to help, Annabel traces the Bensons and is horrified by the embarrassing, chavvy bunch she discovers. They're definitely not her kind of people. And she is equally baffling to them. But as Christmas approaches and Izzy's situation brings the Benson and the Buchanan families closer, will Annabel discover at last that blood is thicker than water? 

The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan 
Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it's going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together. After all, don't they say it takes a village to raise a child? 

Confetti at Christmas by Abby Clements
Holly Madison never set out to be a wedding planner. She was just helping her stressed sister Lila with cakes and décor for her big day. But when Lila and Jack's summer ceremony is a runaway success, with high-profile guests raving about the food and styling at the pretty treehouse venue, word about Holly's expertise soon spread. 

A year on, Holly has a fast-growing business on her hands, and she is struggling to keep up. 

Boyfriend Marco worries that with so little experience she could be heading for a fall. After all, Holly's clients expect the very best - she's promised lawyers Mia and Eliot a snow-covered castle in the Scottish Highlands, and laidback couple Josh and Sarah a bohemian beach wedding in a Caribbean paradise. But as weather, in-laws, and wilful brides conspire against her, will she be able to deliver? 

I Will Marry George Clooney (by Christmas) by Tracy Bloom 
There comes a time in every woman's life when the only answer is to marry George Clooney. 

For Michelle, that time is now. 

Slogging her guts out in a chicken factory whilst single-handedly bringing up a teenager who hates her is far from the life that 36-year-old Michelle had planned. 

But marrying the most eligible man on the planet by Christmas could change all that, couldn't it?

Sometimes your only option is to dream the impossible - because you never know where it might take you.

NEW RELEASES: The Wrong Knickers by Bryony Gordon, and her five life lessons...

Ever thought that your twenties weren't as great as you had envisaged? If so, you're not the only one! In her recently-released memoir The Wrong Knickers, Telegraph writer Bryony Gordon looks back on the reality of her twenties, and the myth of glamorous London singledom. As part of the Hidden Prologues event, Bryony shared the five key life lessons that she had learned through her twenties - and they're fantastic...

Bryony Gordon survived her adolescence by dreaming about the life she'd have in her twenties: the perfect job; the lovely flat; the amazing boyfriend. The reality was something of a shock. Her Telegraph column was a diary of her daily screw-ups; she lived in a series of squalid shoe boxes; and her most meaningful relationship of the entire decade was with a Marlboro Light.

Here in THE WRONG KNICKERS Bryony busts open the glamorized myth of what it means to be a young (perpetually) single girl about London town, and shares the horrible and hilarious truth. The truth about picking up a colleague at the STI clinic; sinking into debt to fund a varied diet of wine, crisps and vodka; and how it feels when your dream man turns out to be a one night stand who hands you someone else's knickers in the morning.

Bryony's wonderfully ridiculous and ultimately redemptive story is essential reading for everyone whose 'best years' weren't quite what they were expecting...

COMPETITION: Win a Low Expectations goody bag from Quercus!

To celebrate the release of Low Expectations, the debut novel by Elizabeth Aaron (who joined us for the Uncovered Q&A on Friday!), publishers Quercus have some goodies up for grabs.

To be in with a chance of winning a goody bag filled with make-up and perfume samples from Elizabeth (@eaaronwrites), simply tweet ‘Can't wait to read the smart, raunchy & laugh-out-loud funny LOW EXPECTATIONS by @eaaronwrites. A goody bag would be FAB too @quercusbooks’.

Good luck!

Low Expectations by Elizabeth Aaron
Georgie has a glamorous career in fashion.

Her boss doesn’t know her name, but working for a genius will pay off one day. She hopes.
She also has great friends. Granted, they’re sometimes a bit superficial, but who wants to discuss a global crisis on a Friday night? And she’s enjoying her single life. Eighteen months of celibacy, and not a hot prospect in sight. Perhaps life’s not quite what she was hoping for...

But how can she change it, and what does she really want? Stuck somewhere between a quarter-life crisis and self-fulfillment, Georgie is determined that this year, everything will be different. Armed only with her sense of humour, some black eyeliner and her best attempt at ‘charming’, she’s on the way. But just how long will the new improved Georgie last?


Elizabeth Aaron's fashion-focused debut Low Expectations hit the shelves last week. Elizabeth, who studied fashion design in London, interned at Alexander McQueen and Jonathan Sanders, and also worked on a freelance project for Givenchy. In 2012, she moved to Paris to work as a nanny and write Low Expectations - in which single Georgie, working in fashion for a boss who doesn't know her name, decides to change her life in a year...

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
A comic love story about trying (mostly failing) to pull yourself together in your 20s!

What inspired you to write Low Expectations?
I had started writing comedy sketches in my final year at University but I didn’t have the self-confidence to preform them. It had always been my dream to write a book, so I decided to take a chance and create a narrative around the ‘voice’ that was emerging in the sketches. My goal was simply to write what I wanted to read on holiday - something smart but also fun, absurd and true to life (with all the dubious morality and griminess that can accompany this). I also had a wealth of hideous social gaffes and romantic disasters that were ripe for exploitation in fiction!

Where do you do most of your writing?
I wrote most of Low Expectations in cafés, but for a few months now I’ve had one of those bamboo bed-desk things that keep your laptop from overheating. Which is dangerous as I have become electively bed-ridden, moving only to walk two paces to the kitchen…

What is your favourite book?
Hard to say, there are so many! The last book I read where I fell utterly in love with one of the characters was East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I wanted to climb into it and marry Samuel Hamilton. Even though he’s about 70. The magic of fiction!

Which part of Low Expectations did you enjoy writing the most?
Probably the situations in which my lead character Georgie is most wild, uncontrolled and badly behaved! Of which there are quite a few. The fashion related scenes were the hardest - to make them feel true and fair while also acknowledging some of the problematic aspects of that world (it’s also pretty hard to describe designer togs in detail without sounding like a tool!).

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Mae West. She’s unique in being both a writer and performer but also a sort of living, life-long literary creation herself. She never broke character. She just went ahead and did what she wanted, with incredible wit and verve. She was a trailblazer in so many ways (as well as a gloriously camp icon).

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Write what you would like to read! Trust your taste. Draw a line under the project and finish it after a set period of time. Even if it is imperfect, send it to agencies to see what response you get. That’s the only advice I feel qualified to give at this point, I am still a novice in many ways.  

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I am getting started on my second novel, though over the summer I’ll be concentrating on a one-woman stand-up comedy show I am putting on this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Low Expectations: The Unpublishable Material is made up of material that was cut from Low Expectations for being too full-on, plus lots of new jokes! I’ll also be projecting my comic illustrations. It’s a terrifying prospect but in a weird way it feels natural, like things have come full circle.

Thanks, Elizabeth!

Low Expectations by Elizabeth Aaron
Georgie has a glamorous career in fashion.

Her boss doesn’t know her name, but working for a genius will pay off one day. She hopes.

She also has great friends. Granted, they’re sometimes a bit superficial, but who wants to discuss a global crisis on a Friday night? And she’s enjoying her single life. Eighteen months of celibacy, and not a hot prospect in sight. Perhaps life’s not quite what she was hoping for . . .

But how can she change it, and what does she really want? Stuck somewhere between a quarter-life crisis and self-fulfillment, Georgie is determined that this year, everything will be different. Armed only with her sense of humour, some black eyeliner and her best attempt at ‘charming’, she’s on the way. But just how long will the new improved Georgie last?

BOOK REVIEW: Don't Tell the Boss by Anna Bell

Following on from 2013 novel Don't Tell the Groom is Anna Bell's sequel Don't Tell the Boss, in which Penny Robinson is back for more wedding planning - though this time, not hers.

Don't Tell the Groom saw Penny plan the wedding of her dreams on a strict budget after a gambling habit wiped out the majority of her savings, leaving her to arrange the happiest day of her life under the elaborate guise of a TV-inspired 'surprise'.

Now Penny's back, happily married to husband Mark and, after successfully planning a wedding for pal Lara, lands herself the opportunity to plan the budget wedding of Henri Scott. Despite vowing not to plan anymore weddings, Henri refuses to back down until Penny agrees, and pretty soon Penny finds herself tasked with the nuptials of a potential bridezilla who thinks 'budget' is a dirty word.

But there's a reason why the seemingly affluent Henri Scott is having to plan her wedding so cheaply - and it's a reason, Penny soon discovers when she meets husband-to-be Nick,  that's particularly close to home...

Meanwhile, Penny's day job in HR is looking up when new boss Giles announces the possibility of promotion. The downside? Penny must compete for the position with 'frenemy' Shelly. But with her great organisation skills, and her new assignment - plan the army-themed company team-building event - Penny's set on success. That is, until she discovers her new boss's view on secondary jobs. And when Henri becomes more demanding, it's only a matter of time before Penny's two jobs collide...

Juggling the team-building weekend and a fight for promotion, reluctantly embarking on a second job as a wedding planner and being the budget-bride guru on popular blog 'Princess on a Shoestring', things are soon proving to be tough for Penny, especially with husband Mark and their plans for a baby.

Can Penny successfully send Henri down the aisle of her dream wedding, bag the promotion and keep it all from her stern new boss?

Don't Tell the Groom is a wonderfully-written novel that I was unable to put down. Granted, having loved Anna Bell's previous book Don't Tell the Groom, I had already expected a fantastic read. I loved Penny and her busy life (I could definitely relate!), and the story was so well-paced and made me continue reading. Anna writes in a such a funny way that you instantly fall in love with the characters - well, maybe not Henri (not first of all, anyway!), and the comedy moments make this novel perfect. I'm hoping there's more from Penny in future! If you enjoy books by Sophie Kinsella, Kirsty Greenwood and Tracy Bloom, then I would definitely recommend Anna Bell.

Rating: 5/5

NEWS: Online magazine The Page Girls is launched!

Brand new lit magazine The Page Girls (www.thepagegirls.com) is has launched this week, and the celebration has begun! The Page Girls is an online magazine with an emphasis on books, cocktails, and female friendships, with a weekly themed issue containing short stories, book reviews, essays, videos, cocktail recipes, and more. Sample issues include The Craziest Thing I Did For Love and LYLAS (Love You Like a Sister).

This week, The Page Girls is celebrating its 'birthday week', which involves a giveaway every day - plus other goodies! See below for a list of fab prizes.

And, as we're celebrating the release of the new magazine, we have a copy of e-book Here for the Cake by Emily Poule, along with a gorgeous set of Page Girls coasters. To be in with a chance of winning, simply email us with 'Page Girls' as the subject header.

Sign up for The Page Girls’ weekly newsletter to get notified about new issues, and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

UPCOMING RELEASE: Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Earlier this year, Uncovered reviewed Liane Moriarty's novel The Husband's Secret - an addictive, mysterious tale about a secret that, once revealed, is enough to tear an entire family apart. We were excited to find out about Liane's next novel, another mysterious novel titled Little Lies (Big Little Lies in the US), which is released at the end of July.

Jane hasn't lived anywhere longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic seaside town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane finally feels like she belongs. She has friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste - two women with seemingly perfect lives ...and their own secrets behind closed doors. 

But then a small incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground causing a rift between them and the other parents of the school. Minor at first but escalating fast, until whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful. It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder...

BOOK EVENTS: Festival of Romantic Fiction 2014

Tickets are now available for the 2014 Festival of Romantic Fiction, which will take place in the market town of Leighton Buzzard from 12-13 September.

The festival will bring together authors and readers of romantic fiction with great events and workshops, such as a Fiction into Film class, Chocolate Workshop, author party, Afternoon Tea and a book fair. Authors such as Mandy Baggott, Jane Lovering, Rowan Coleman, Liz Fenwick and Tracy Bloom will be attending the Festival, which will also provide an opportunity to pitch your novel live to publishers and literary agents, and see the Romance Reader Awards live.

The Festival of Romance will be supported by a variety of publishers such as Carina, Choc Lit and Mills & Boon.

For a full programme and to book tickets, head over to the festival website. You can also follow the festival on Twitter (official hashtag #romancefest14)

E-READS: Behind the Glass by Kristen Morgen

Behind the Glass is the recently released, new adult romance from Kristen Morgen, about Rebecca and Michael and their determined relationship...

Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seem picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork, until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.

Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend is something she can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and moulded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted, but remains just out of her reach.

Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.

You can find out more about Kristen Morgan and Behind the Glass at her website, or follow her on Twitter.

NEW RELEASE: Poppy Does Paris by Nicola Doherty

Poppy Does Paris is the first novel in Nicola Doherty's Girls on Tour series and is said to be perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk's bestselling I Heart series. Poppy is heading on a work trip with shallow yet handsome colleague Charlie. Lily Does LA, the next book in the series, is due for release in September.

Paris. City of love, city of romance. The last place you want to go to on a work trip when you're in the middle of an epic dry spell. But that's where Poppy is headed, along with her colleague Charlie, who's shallow and annoying but very, very good-looking. During a white-wine-fuelled session with her friend Alice, Poppy concocts the perfect plan: work by day, and have some no-strings fun with Charlie by night. Of course, it might prove a little more complicated than that, but it's nothing Poppy can't handle - or is it?

Girls on Tour is an irresistible series of interlinked stories about four friends, ordinary girls who have extraordinary fun in faraway places. Expect the unexpected, the utterly hilarious and unforgettable, on this rollercoaster ride of love, laughs, surprises and sparks. You have a VIP pass to join each girl's adventure, so pack your bags and buckle your seatbelts, because just about anything is possible...

BLOG TOUR: You Had Me at Merlot by Lisa Dickenson - Book Review

You Had Me at Merlot is the new four-part digital romantic comedy from Lisa Dickenson. Lisa's 2013 debut novel, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, scooped the Novelicious Debut of the Year award, which made this new release even more exciting. You Had Me at Merlot is being released in four parts (part one is available now, part two on 21st July, part three on 28th July and part four on 4th August), and I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy of this hilarious novel in which two friends head to Tuscany for a singles' holiday.

Elle and Laurie are best friends with totally different outlooks on romance. Elle is perfectly happy with the way her life is; she's single and independent with a job she enjoys, and the single life suits her just fine. Laurie, on the other hand, is desperate to find Mr Right. And the sooner, the better.

When Laurie asks Elle to accompany her on a 'group' holiday to Tuscany, Elle is reluctant. After all, as fun as Laurie is making it seem, it's a singles' holiday - and a rather cheesy-sounding one at that. However, after some contemplation, and time with their happily-settled friends who are hoping to get the two single ladies up the aisle and pregnant as soon as they can, Elle finally agrees to the 'You Had Me at Merlot' package. After all, it's a vineyard in Tuscany. Beautiful sights, potential romance, and of course, plenty of wine.

With the chance of Italian sun, wine aplenty and her (slightly mad!) best friend for company, Elle heads off for the Merlot experience. What follows is laughter, adventure, and romance for the adamantly independent Elle...

Lisa Dickenson is a talented author, and it shows in You Had Me at Merlot. For anyone looking for a witty, romantic tale, this is the perfect read. I instantly loved Elle and her funny yet serious manner, a contrast to that of Laurie. You Had Me at Merlot is a wonderful book; hard to put down and full of laughs, friendship and the setting of gorgeous Tuscany. It's a highly recommended summer read.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author
LISA DICKENSON was born in the wrong body. She was definitely meant to be Beyonce. Despite this hardship, she grew up in Devon attempting to write her own, completely copyright-infringing versions of Sweet Valley High, before giving Wales a go for university, and then London a go for the celeb-spotting potential. She's now back in Devon, living beside the seaside with her husband and forcing cream teas down the mouths of anyone who'll visit. She is sadly still not Beyonce.

Lisa's first novel, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, winner of the Novelicious Debut of the Year Award, was an instant hit with readers who were won over by her wit, charm and naughty sense of humour - she's got her fingers crossed that everyone feels the same about You Had Me at Merlot. Follow her on Twitter for all her book news and Beyonce-related chatter: @LisaWritesStuff

You can read more about Lisa Dickenson and You Had Me at Merlot on Lisa's blog tour! Check the dates and blogs below for Lisa's daily stops.

BOOK NEWS: Upside Down by Lia Riley

Upside Down is the debut novel from Lia Riley, released on August 5th, about 21-year-old student Natalia. Despite dealing with OCD, Natalia realises that some things cannot be controlled. Especially when she meets handsome surfer Bran....

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying goodbye to painful memories and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll pretend to be a carefree exchange student. She’ll try to forget about the mistake under the boardwalk and the terrifying moments of panic and OCD. Everything is going to plan until she meets a surly surfer with hypnotic green eyes, and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he slunk back to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defences. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. A single semester abroad won't cover something this serious. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

BOOK REVIEW: Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by the lovely Sue Watson - who joined us for our Q&A recently! - was released on 27th June. I had already heard very good things about this new romantic comedy, so naturally, I couldn't wait to read it.

Forty-something Faye Dobson is getting slightly tired of life. Her sex life is waning, thanks to her plumbing-obsessed husband, and her only daughter is away at uni, living her own life, growing up, and only adding to Faye's loneliness.

Dreaming of a life full of movie-star glamour doesn't exactly help matters, either - when reality kicks in, Faye's fantasies of seeing the world and sharing romantic adventures are dashed. A boring marriage, a regular job (even though her colleagues are hilarious) and a severe lack of passion are NOT what Faye wanted out of her life, and her marriage.

However, things are about to change for Faye when she meets Dan, the gorgeous Australian who has just started working at the deli down the street. He's lovely, adventurous, funny, a very talented baker, and seems to like Faye too...

Despite the ten-year age gap, Faye soon begins to realise that she isn't just being silly; that the tanned, handsome Dan is really interested. After showing off his baking talents with cake-loving Faye, the seemingly mismatched pair instantly take a liking to one another. Cue some wonderfully funny moments with loud-mouthed colleagues, and Faye's daughter who seems to assume, after meeting Dan in the cafe with her mother, that Faye is actually trying to set her up...

Can Faye really get the life of fun and romance that she yearns for? And could she throw away everything she has to be with Dan?

I absolutely loved this book. As previously mentioned, I had already heard good things about it, so I was already expecting a good read. What I didn't expect was to be unable to put it down until I had finished. Sue's witty, hilarious writing style had me hooked from page one, and I adored the cute and clumsy Faye, who is given the choice of living a life she has dreamed of. Sue Watson is a brilliant writer, a wonderful new talent with a fantastic style and lovable characters. I devoured this book in one sitting, and I'm already waiting for Sue's next offering!

Rating: 5/5

BOOK NEWS: Batter Up by Robyn Neeley

Robyn Neeley's new novel Batter Up is released on 1st August from Escape Harlequin. Bake shop owner Emma, responsible for magical cake batter that supposedly causes true love in the town of Buttermilk Falls, is about to get a visit from one highly curious reporter...

She mixes more than flour and sugar into her cake batter, and he’s about to find out if a little bit of magic is to his taste...

Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret — a delicious, slightly unorthodox secret. Each Monday, she mixes up a premonition to share with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, and sets one lucky man on the path to true love.

When reporter Jason Levine finds himself mixed up in a Las Vegas bachelorette party, he hears the strangest rumour: the marriage is happening thanks to magic cake batter. Seriously skeptical, and sick of frauds, Jason journeys to the backwater town of Buttermilk Falls to expose the baker and release the townspeople from her evil clutches.

But when Jason meets Emma, tempers flare and sparks fly. Will Jason cling to his logic at the expense of a future, or will he let himself fall under Emma’s spell?


It's publication day for Lisa Joy, and her new book novel Yes, Chef!, which follows Becca; a London foodie who is given the once in a lifetime opportunity to work for a celebrity chef. We were intrigued by this debut novel and couldn't wait to put our weekly questions to Lisa!

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Deliciously funny and romantic, Yes, Chef! reveals a tantalising glimpse of the trendy restaurant scene.

What inspired you to write Yes, Chef?
I attended a commercial fiction masterclass in April 2013 with the inspiring author Fiona McIntosh. When I arrived on day one I was a wannabe fantasy writer. The final night of the masterclass I was telling stories around the dinner table of my days in the restaurant business and I realised my new writer friends were fascinated. I discovered that what seemed ordinary for me was interesting to others. I had a lightbulb moment, as they say, and Fiona encouraged it. I went back to my hotel room and began writing Yes, Chef! that very night. One year later I had shelved my fantasy novel, changed genres, finished Yes, Chef! and was offered a contract with Destiny Romance an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Where do you do most of your writing?
My fiance and I have recently moved from a one bedroom flat in the city to a nine acre property about an hour outside Melbourne in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. It’s so beautiful and quiet here and the sky is so expansive. I do all my writing from a desk overlooking our vegetable patch and citrus orchard.

What is your favourite book?
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read it. A writer friend of mine told me she thought Yes, Chef! was for the next generation of Bridget Jones fans. It was probably the highest compliment anyone could have paid me - ever.

Which part of Yes, Chef! did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed developing the friendships most. I feel like Yes, Chef! has a great cast of warm, sparkly characters (if I do say so myself). As I wrote this story the relationships between Becca and her work mates often made me laugh out loud at my computer screen.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
I’m not sure if this counts as she was the heroine of her own memoir, but I very much admire Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun. The first time I visited Italy I promised myself I would live there some day. Restoring a house full of history in a beautiful region like Tuscany and cooking from produce grown in my own garden is a dream of mine. I’m fortunate that part of that dream has already come true. I live on an organic vegetable farm, but even though I travel to Italy as often as I can, I do wonder if I will ever live there.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Don’t write because you want to get published or because you think it will make you a lot of money so you can quit your day job. Write because you love it, because it makes you happy and keeps you sane. I used to put so much pressure on myself to become a published author that the fear held me back from even finishing a novel. When I stopped the angst my writing freed up. I had so much fun writing Yes, Chef! that I believe it came across in the voice and story and that was enough to catch the attention of a major global publisher.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Absolutely I can tell you! I’m working on a new novel, although I won’t tell you the title as I’m a little superstitious in the same way people don’t like to tell others the name they have chosen for their unborn child. I can say it will be a lush foodie adventure-romance set in the UK and Italy about realising what you truly want from life and then doing everything you can to achieve it.

Thanks, Lisa!

You can find out more about Lisa Joy and Yes, Chef! by visiting her website or Facebook (and the Facebook page for Yes, Chef!) You can also follow Lisa on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Yes, Chef! by Lisa Joy
Sassy foodie Becca Stone is over her job taking reservations in one of London's most successful restaurant empires. So when she is unexpectedly catapulted into working as PA to celebrity chef, Damien Malone, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime.

Becca is quickly caught up in an exciting whirlwind of travel, reality TV and opening nights, and even her usually abysmal love life takes a turn for the better. But as Becca is slowly consumed by the chaos of life in the spotlight, she begins to lose touch with her friends, her heart and even with reality. Working with Damien has its challenges and she is soon struggling with his increasingly outrageous demands and sleazy advances, all while managing the ridiculous requests of his self-centered wife. It takes a disastrous trip to Italy for Becca to realize that she may have thrown away exactly what she's been looking for all along.

Inspired by real-life adventures, this deliciously funny and romantic story reveals a tantalizing glimpse of the trendy restaurant scene: a world where chefs are treated like rock stars, and cooking isn't all that goes on in the kitchen.

BOOK NEWS: Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani is due for release on August 5th. Radhika's debut novel focuses on 21-year-old Ellie who is determined to lose her virginity before graduation...

Okay, I admit it…I didn’t do it.


This is normal, right? I mean, just because everyone I know has talked like they’ve already done it doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth…right?

It’s not like I’m asking for that much. I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed.

The guys I know complain that girls are always looking for Mr. Right—do I have to wear a sign that says I’m only looking for Mr. Right Now?

Sooooo…anyone out there want sex? Anyone? Hello? Just for fun?

I am not going to die a virgin. One way or another I am going to make this happen.

Hey, what have I got to lose? Besides the obvious. 


CeCe Osgood's novel, The Divorced Not Dead Workshop, has recently been released (and we love the cover!). Divorcee Dorsey decides to set up a workshop for the divorced, only to find herself with plenty of problems in the form of ex-husband Theo and a group of rebellious attendees. We put our weekly questions to CeCe in order to find out more about the novel, and what inspired her to write it.

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
It’s about the self-discovery you need to get back into the dating world after divorce. .

What inspired you to write The Divorced Not Dead Workshop?
I had a chat with a newly divorced friend, and I remember the terror I’d felt about dating again. Divorce is so scary, and you really do have to discover a lot about yourself during that time and later on, when you begin to even think about finding love again. Then one morning I woke up with the title, the main character, the setting (a cruise ship for the most part) and a smidgen of the plot. So….I just had to write it.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I used to work on a desktop (seems like century ago now, oops it was…in the ‘90s!) but with my laptop I can go where ever there’s wifi, like my hometown’s lovely library. But really my favorite place is in bed. I take a lot of breaks though, for circulation, since I’ve heard sitting for long periods can be hard on the old bod. Plus, I have two bossy little cats who demand things, like food and attention, so…again, more breaks.

What is your favourite book?
Oh, so many!  That’s impossible to answer. For romantic comedy/chick-lit, I’m a big fan of Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep A Secret. It really inspired me to write in that genre. I like most of her standalones, especially Wedding Night and I’ve Got Your Number.

Other favorites are The Help, Nora Roberts’ The Witness, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, The Thorn Birds...The list goes on and on.

Which part of  The Divorced Not  Dead Workshop did you enjoy writing the most? 
I loved the interaction of Dorsey with her BFFs, Pilar and Mimi, and their antics during the dating workshop on the cruise ship.  And I love the ending too. It made me sigh with happiness for that wonderful moment of realizing you’re opening your life to “whole new world.”  

Who is your favourite literary heroine? 
I guess it would be Jo March of Little Women. She was the first female character I remember as child who seemed like me, or the  me I wished to be. She’s a tomboy. She’s outspoken and independent. She loves reading and writing, and she’s more than willing to break the stereotype of the taciturn, reserved, frilly female who was the norm then and, I’d venture to say, in some places still today.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
First, is to remember that the first draft is only one of many. Next, is to search for unnecessary repetition in dialogue, plot and action. Read as much as you can, of course, and also remember, as Nora Roberts said, “You can fix anything but a blank page.” (I have to remind myself of this all the time.)

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us? 
I’m on a first draft of a mystery. At the moment, it seems to be a “chick-lit mystery” which I hope will become the first in a series.  I also have another wee idea but I’m not at all certain what it will be. A novel? A short story? It’s too soon to tell.

Thanks, CeCe!

You can find out more about CeCe Osgood and her books by visiting her website, Facebook, or by following her on Twitter.

The Divorced Not Dead Workshop by CeCe Osgood
Divorced five years and recently dumped by Theo, Dorsey Bing brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced people. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through. That changes when her pal, Pilar, sets up the workshop, puts herself in charge and gets Dorsey to be her “gofer.” Dorsey’s widowed stepfather Ralph, and his bride-to-be, Audrey, ask Dorsey to join their wedding cruise to Cabo, which will be held on the same weekend. Dorsey and Pilar nip that problem by holding the workshop during the cruise. But do things ever work out as planned? No. No, they don’t. 

Everything goes topsy-turvy with a startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of Audrey’s good-looking but wily nephew Finn. More trouble comes with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey and Theo revive their relationship? Will she discover Finn just might be a back-stabbing rat bastard? Facing failure and heartbreak, Dorsey must tackle her biggest challenge if she’s to win the love, and life, she’s always desired.

BOOK NEWS: New short story collections by Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly, author of The Perfect Hero, Molly's Millions and A Weekend With Mr Darcy, has released some lovely new short story collections. If you're looking for short holiday reads, or even something for the commute to work, then these collections are perfect! E-books The Retreat, Postcard From Venice and One Perfect Week contain various short stories and are available on Amazon for £1.99.

COVER NEWS: A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby

Having loved Chrissie Manby's latest book, hilarious and heartwarming summer read A Proper Family Holiday, we were thrilled to discover that the Benson family will return in November for A Proper Family Christmas. (And the cover is just perfect!) Read on for the synopsis...

Annabel Buchanan has it all. A privileged life. Pots of cash. Looks and manners born of generations of fabulous breeding. At least, that's what she likes people to think. But Annabel's carefully created image is about to come crashing down. 

With her beloved daughter Izzy in need of a kidney transplant, Annabel is desperate to find a suitable donor. That's how she comes to admit that before Annabel Buchanan there was Daisy Benson, given up for adoption by her teenage mum and dad. 

Hoping her biological family will be able to help, Annabel traces the Bensons and is horrified by the embarrassing, chavvy bunch she discovers. They're definitely not her kind of people. And she is equally baffling to them. 

But as Christmas approaches and Izzy's situation brings the Benson and the Buchanan families closer, will Annabel discover at last that blood is thicker than water?

NEW RELEASE: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins-Reid

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins-Reid was released last week, and is about Lauren and Ryan, a couple whose failing marriage prompts them to make a plan to save it. And the plan? One contact-free year, in which anything can happen...

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

BOOK NEWS: Dear Lizzie by Annie Lyons

Dear Lizzie by Annie Lyons, which will be published by Carina on July 3rd, and is said to be a perfect read for fans of Jojo Moyes, Cecelia Ahern and Polly Williams. Read on for the synopsis...
Lizzie and Bea Harris were always very close. They were sisters and nothing could tear them apart. Until Bea dies from cancer at the age of thirty-five, leaving her sister twelve letters and a mission that will change Lizzie’s life forever.
Alone for the first time in her life Lizzie is left trying to pull together the pieces of a life she has for so long ignored. With Bea’s list of last requests, Lizzie has a chance to finally find a place for herself in the world out from under the shadow of her sister.

BOOK NEWS: The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Greene

The Seafront Tea Rooms is the upcoming novel by Vanessa Greene, author of The Vintage Teacup Club. Published in September, The Seafront Tea Rooms focuses on a group of women who travel the country to seek out the best tea rooms - along with making life discoveries.

The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they've been searching for.

Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain's best tea rooms. She knows she's found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the 'Seafront', convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind...

NEW RELEASES: Choices by Lenny Smith

If by Lenny Smith, the first novel in the If Choices Unravel series, was published earlier this year - and the next book in the series is now available. Choices sees Karla Berkeley return and head to New York in order to improve her life...

In life there will always be choices and the right choice is often the hardest one to make; you've got to ask yourself, can you live with the consequences? 

When everything falls apart, you can either give up or learn to pick up the pieces and start again and that is exactly what Karla Berkeley does. 

Heading to New York, Karla is ready to embark on her happy ever after, only things are not quite as she hoped they would be, or should be! 

Karla finds herself facing new challenges but when faced with the toughest one of all, will she find the strength to keep going or will she fall back into the clutches of her addiction? 

She soon realises that the only way to keep herself from slipping is to shut down, but at what cost? 


It's publication day for Heather Hill, who has stopped by today for a question and answer session about her novel The New Mrs D. In the book, by popular blogger Heather, Bernice is about to take the trip of a lifetime alone, after discovering her husband's addiction to porn. The New Mrs D is available now, and we couldn't wait to put our weekly questions to Heather!

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
An empowering tale of one woman's midlife awakening on a honeymoon... alone.

What inspired you to write The New Mrs D?
This is a kind of sad tale to begin with. I made a friend on Twitter, Hywel Jones, who I later learned had terminal cancer. Even though he lived in Wales and I am in Scotland, we formed a unique friendship in 140 characters on Twitter, the full story of which features on my blog. But to cut a very long story short, he loved my comedy and always found time to encourage my writing despite everything he was going through. He was a man who loved life and used humour to get him through - one of the most remarkable people I've ever met.

Two years ago, I was submitting scripts to TV companies and getting close to 'something', but nothing was materialising in terms of work or commissions. I felt I wanted to keep my love of writing going, but wasn't really sure where it was all going to lead.  I was emailing Hywel back and forth with our various life updates and we spoke about my attempting a novel. Then, my husband and I took a trip to Greece and whilst there, I learned that Hywel had died.

It wasn't unexpected, but I was devastated nonetheless. I remember going to a quiet little cove, dipping my toes into the Aegean and thinking, 'Hywel can never experience this again.' An odd thought in the circumstance, I know, but that's exactly what went through my mind.

Two days later, we were in the airport waiting to travel home and the whole outline for the novel just popped into my head. I bought a note book there in the airport because I had to get it all down. I then spent the entire flight scribbling notes; I think I ended up with an overview for about fourteen chapters. I still have the notebook.

The last time I saw Hywel, I promised to name a character in my first book after him. Hywel was adopted, but his name at birth was David Dando. My novel is released on 4th July, which is the second anniversary of his death. I hoped it would be a fitting tribute - although I should stress the character is NOT at all based on him!

Where do you do most of your writing?
Would you believe, in my lounge on a tiny notebook on the arm of the sofa! I do have a room, a desk and a chair where it's all supposed to happen, but I keep ending up back on the sofa - I'm there now! Not at all good for the posture! Don't do this at home!

What is your favourite book?
Oh my goodness, I am the ultimate book sniffer, so choosing one is sooo hard. I have recently discovered and fallen in love with some wonderful, women authors I hadn't read before, like Amanda Prowse, Kate Atkinson and Kerry Hudson. But, if I had to chose one then I'd make it the very first book I ever loved, which was The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I clearly remember my big sister giving me a beautiful hardback copy for Christmas when I was about nine or ten and absolutely loving it more than any of my other presents. She bought me Watership Down at the same time, but that terrified me!

Which part of The New Mrs D did you enjoy writing the most?
Absolutely hands down favourite was the scene that you see on the cover. I don't want to give too much away by telling you about it, but this part I had sweated over, revised and rewrote again and again because it was both pivotal and poignant for my character and, I hoped, women in general. I wanted to get it just right. It is Chapter Nineteen and I hope readers will love it as much as I do.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Every woman who sits down to write a novel and finishes it. Seriously, it is so hard to put your heart out there in the public domain, it takes a lot of courage. I know I should name a character here but really, all power to the hard work and bravery of women and writers in general who get out there and do what their heart tells them to do. It's not easy.

PS I rather love Mrs Pepperpot too. Maybe because she is one of the few people who are shorter than me.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Don't let them tell you you can't do it. Ever. If you want it, stop dreaming of it and go get it. Don't edit until you have finished your first draft - which will be awful and a shadow of the completed novel you end up with, trust me. But don't be put off!  This did happen to me so I know what I'm talking about here. Think of your first draft as the first, wood and steel shell of a new house. You still have to build the walls, put in the plumbing, ventilate it and turn on the heat. There is so much more magic to come yet. Write it, let it breathe then rewrite it.

Get social media savvy and buy your name as a web domain! Unless you are called Heather Hill because it's £2,000 at the moment and although I've searched the entire inside of my sofa, I'm just not going to make that purchase at the moment.

I also highly recommend reading Stephen King's 'On Writing'. It is by far the greatest thing I have read on the subject of novel writing. A friend recommended it to me when I was halfway through my first draft and letting all that lovely doubt seep in.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
After a series of publisher rejections for The New Mrs D, I pondered on whether to write a sequel or not. I already had a outline in my head but what if the first book didn't sell? Then my agent, Hannah Ferguson and I got our heads together and decided the book was too important and had to get out in the world, so I have ended up being lucky enough to publish with agency assistance.

The upshot is that whilst my novel was in submissions, I began work on something entirely different which I got almost halfway through a first draft and now have filed away. Because now I'm publishing The New Mrs D, I think it's time to spill that sequel out of its hiding place in my head.

Thanks, Heather!

You can find out more about Heather Hill and The New Mrs D by visiting her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

The New Mrs D by Heather Hill
Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason… he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, ‘every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’. If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?

When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, contributing to a Greek fish explosion, naked karaoke and misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

BOOK REVIEW: Prime Deception by Carys Jones

I was intrigued when I received a review copy of Prime Deception, the recently-released novel by Carys Jones. Published by Carina in the crime/thriller genre, Prime Deception focuses on Deputy Prime Minister Charles Lloyd, whose affair with an intern is about to be made headline news...

Investigative journalist John Quinn has spent years waiting and working to get a story that will shock the nation. Working for a notorious British tabloid, he finds himself extremely close to the story of his dreams - a kiss-and-tell with the young intern mistress of the Deputy Prime Minister. However, just before the story is printed, John receives a call that quickly puts an end to his dream. The intern, Lorna Thomas, is dead.

Charles Lloyd is devastated when he hears of Lorna's death. However, with his job as the Deputy PM, his feelings have to be kept strictly under wraps. Charles is regretful about the affair with Lorna - mainly because he was never able to admit his true feelings for her. And now it's too late. Having to put on a brave face for his wife, for his colleagues, and for the nation, is a difficult feat, because Lorna won't ever be coming back.

Meanwhile, convinced that her twin's death was uncharacteristic, Laurie Thomas leaves her quiet life behind for a while and heads to London with a mission in mind: to finally find out the truth about her sister.

Successfully getting into the Downing Street internship programme, Laurie puts herself in her sister's shoes in a bid to find out what truly happened. Ambitious, confident and lively Lorna would never have killed herself - so why did it happen?

Knowing about the affair, Laurie gets close to Charles to try and work out her twin sister's motives. Yet it becomes difficult for Charles when, after the initial shock of realising his lover had a twin, he begins to fall for Laurie.

Just what - or who - made Lorna Thomas drive to her death?

When I first started reading Prime Deception, I couldn't put it down. The book begins with reporter John, finding out that the story he's worked so hard on has fallen through. Lorna has been killed, and Charles has no idea why - and no way to find out without being caught out about the affair - a secret that'd make news across the nation if it was ever to be found out...

However, I couldn't help but find that a lot of the book focused more on the feelings of the characters, and less on the mystery of Lorna's disappearance. Throughout the book, the reader is given an insight into the feelings of Charles - his guilt, his love for Lorna, the thoughts that do not seem to go away. And there's Laurie, now an outsider in her family home now that her perfect sister has gone, and unable to let Lorna go until she unearths the truth. Even though I enjoyed reading about these characters and their obvious struggles at the start, I felt that it continued for too many chapters, and that information that could have made Prime Deception an even more addictive read, was left out. I wanted to read even more about John, for example, and more into the life of Faye, secretary to Charles.

I noticed quite early in this book that Prime Deception seemed to be a mix of the crime and romance genres, which I thought would work very well, though about halfway through I found that it was more confusing; there was no real romance besides that of Charles and Lorna. The ending of Prime Deception was surprising and great, although I felt cheated in some way by one of the minor characters turning up right at the end, and having not known that much about him, I was unsure about his motives. (I don't want to say too much as I do not want to spoil this book!) The book ended well, though a lot of the suspense happened mainly towards the end.

I enjoyed reading Prime Deception, and I will definitely read any future novels by this author as I feel that she is a very good writer with a great writing style. As someone who enjoys both the crime genre and romance, this was an interesting read. However, I did get the feeling that it might disappoint those who are looking for a fast-paced crime novel.

Rating: 4/5

BOOK NEWS: Courting Trouble by Kathy Lette

Courting Trouble by Kathy Lette (author of Mad Cows and Foetal Attraction) is released on July 31st, and is about solicitor Tilly who, after being cheated on, sets up a law firm for females.

Tilly has the day from hell when she's sacked from her barristers' chambers in the morning, then finds her husband in bed with her former best friend in the afternoon. She escapes to her mother, Roxy - a sassy solicitor whose outrageous take on men, work and family life is the despair of her more conventional daughter. Roxy comes up with a radical plan for their future - they'll set up an all-female law firm which will only champion women who have been cheated, put upon, attacked, ripped off or ruined by the men in their lives.

In court, Tilly finds herself up against Jack Cassidy, the smooth-talking, politically incorrect, legal love god who broke her heart at law school. Jack is fluent in three languages - English, sarcasm and flirtation. but if he's so loathsome, then why is she committing Acute Lust in the 3rd degree?

When a case lands on the doorstep that threatens to change all their lives, Tilly finds herself dangerously close to taking the law into her own hands. Will Jack's cunning ways and expertise in emotional break and enter derail her quest for justice? Or will the women take on the boys. and win?

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five July Releases

July is an exciting month for chick-lit releases, bringing us a fun new title from Lindsey Kelk, a perfect summer read from Victoria Fox, and many more! Here are five titles on the reading list this month!

Power Games by Victoria Fox

Play if you dare…

The most exclusive invitation of the year has been issued; the supermodel, the thief, the senator, the heiress, the paparazzo, the pop prince and the playboy board a private jet. Destination: paradise.

Someone is watching. Someone who knows the dark secrets and the wicked reputations lurking beneath their glamorous facades. When it comes to revenge, knowledge is power. Vanity, pride, lust, greed - whatever their crime…

No one saw the plane go down, but everyone knew who was on board. Seven notorious passengers, on an island that does not welcome visitors. The challenge is to survive. Let the power games begin.

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

From Paris With Love by Samantha Tonge

Every girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!

But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade - there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…

What a Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk

Being arrested in your own bedroom is never a good start to the day. Tess Brookes really needs to sort out her back-stabbing flatmate – and her life.

Should she gamble all on the new photography job she’s landed, or snap up the offer from long-time crush and best friend Charlie to start up on their own – in more ways than one? There’s just one small thing she hasn’t mentioned. Or rather, one tall thing. He’s handsome, infuriating and called Nick…

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. From London to Milan, with high fashion and low behaviour thrown in, she’s going to have to make up her mind what a girl really wants…

Low Expectations by Elizabeth Aaron

Georgie has a glamorous career in fashion.
Her boss doesn't know her name, but working for a genius will pay off one day. She hopes.

She also has great friends.
Granted, they're sometimes a bit superficial, but who wants to discuss a global crisis on a Friday night?

And she's enjoying her single life.
Eighteen months of celibacy, and not a hot prospect in sight.

Perhaps life's not quite what she was hoping for...
But how can she change it, and what does she really want? Stuck somewhere between a quarter-life crisis and self-fulfillment, Georgie is determined that this year, everything will be different. Armed only with her sense of humour, some black eyeliner and her best attempt at 'charming', she's on the way. But just how long will the new improved Georgie last?