Another quick catch-up

By | February 24, 2013

And bringing things up to date…

We’re not that far into the New Year yet, but before I was able to launch the blog I’ve already read some wonderful books that I’d hate everyone to miss. So here’s a quick canter through some of the books I’ve already loved this year (links are to Goodreads reviews).

There can’t be many people who enjoy really well-written chick lit who haven’t read You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane by now, but just in case! This one is on the shortlist in the Contemporary Romantic Novel category in the RNA awards, and thoroughly deserves its place. For anyone who hasn’t read it yet, I see it’s still available today for Kindle through Amazon at £1.99 (check price before purchase) – what a bargain!

Theresa Weir was a new author to me, but there was something that attracted me to The Girl With The Cat Tattoo when I saw it advertised as free for Kindle via Amazon (sadly no longer free). This was a wonderfully quirky story told by Max the matchmaking cat (stay with me…), a glorious mix of romance and thriller, with some of the best voicing of a cat’s thoughts I’ve come across in some time.  All compressed into 103 pages, which was just long enough and left me with a smile on my face.  (And far from being a new author, I discovered that Theresa Weir is the alter ego of Anne Frasier, an award-winning author of twenty-three books and numerous short stories, spanning the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal, and memoir. Who knew?!)

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh pressed every button for me, a wonderful story on a cinematic scale, moving from Victorian England to the inhospitable diamond fields of South Africa, full of drama, with images that will stay with me for a very long time. Bring on the big screen blockbuster!

I also loved The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, a real rollercoaster of a story, with Lavinia, a young Irish orphan, taken in by a plantation owning family and growing up with the family of black slaves who work in the house, kitchen and plantation. Never an easy read, I found it totally compelling.

And now for something completely different. “Divorced mother involved in TV reality show” really didn’t look particularly promising at first sight, but Prime Time by Jane Wenham-Jones is another shortlister in the RNA awards, in the Romantic Comedy category, so I thought I’d give it a try. Well written and wonderfully funny, I also found myself with a tear in my eye as the story unfolded, as there’s a lot more depth to this book than initially meets the eye.

Choc Lit is producing some amazing reads at the moment – thanks to their early releases to Kindle and excellent pricing, I think I have them all! – and The Road Back by Liz Harris was up there with the very best.  Rich and romantic, this was an escapist read of the first order, with Patricia travelling to Ladakh in the Himalayas with her authoritarian father, and finding love with Kalden, their guide. There’s so much more to the story than that, it’s exciting and tremendously moving, and this was a book that left me thoroughly satisfied by the story and with a tear in my eye.

And finally, something well outside my usual comfort zone – The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland, which I found absolutely mesmerising.  Written by an author whose alter ego is Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen, I was totally engrossed by Josiah Arroner’s Palace of Curiosities with Abel, the Flayed Man and Eve, the Lion Faced Girl. This isn’t one that will appeal to everyone – there are some pretty horrifying, repulsive and explicit scenes – but I loved the familiar Victorian setting shown through seen through such a magnificently distorted lens.
Right, that’s brought things up to date – latest reviews to follow soon!

3 thoughts on “Another quick catch-up

  1. janewj

    Thank you so much, Anne. Thrilled you enjoyed Prime Time. Thanks for lovely comments jxx

  2. Liz Harris

    Thank you so much for the lovely comments about 'The Road Back', Anne. I was thrilled when I read them. What a lovely start to the week this has been.

    Liz X

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