Friday, May 30, 2014

Louisiana Logshot - Jana Deleon

This is the first in a series of "Miss Fortune Mysteries" about CIA agent, Fortune Redding, who is in hiding in the sleepy backwater of Sinful, Louisiana after one of the worlds largest arms dealers placed a price on her head.

Having been ordered by her Director to lie low until they can deal with the threat, within minutes of her arrival at Sinful she is drawn into a murder investigation and finds herself embroiled in all sorts of shenanigans with the leaders of local Woman's Association, who seem to run the place. What ensues is a great romp in the bayou with likable characters and an unsolved mystery.

This is only the second book of Jana Deleon's I have read and I really enjoyed it. Even though the story is set in the Bayou, as is the other book I read, the stories were entirely different. Fortune Redding reminded me of Sandra Bullock's character in Miss Congeniality and this story was even more entertaining than that film!

I am so glad I have found Jana Deleon, I really love her books which are part humorous, part mystery, part spoof. I am definitely going to get the rest of the books in this series.

If you like to be entertained with interesting characters, mystery and humorous dialogue, then this is one for you.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Me and Mr Jones - Lucy Diamond

This is the story of three brothers and their respective partners. The boys couldn't be more different, Hugh the dependable, David the serious and Charlie the flighty.
Their parents turned the family home into a B&B after the boys left and over the years it has become very busy, especially with regulars who like to visit for their holiday each year. Now, though, Mr and Mrs Jones have come to a point where they feel the business might all be too much for them but they don't want to give up the place that has so many memories for the family.
A family meeting is called to decide what should be done but with each of the boys are at a different point in their lives, the decision of what to do with the business and the family home becomes increasingly difficult. Hugh and Alicia have been married for years but Alicia is beginning to feel restless and yearns for some time to herself or an adventure away from Hugh and the children, just to recharge her batteries and relax.
David and Emma used to be inseparable but having tried so long for a family, they are feeling the strain of that pressure on their relationship.
Charlie meets Izzy who is fairly new in town and their attraction is instant and strong. When he decides to bring her and her daughters to meet his family, it doesn't quite turn out the way he would have liked.
This is a story of family dynamics and the ties that bind, ties between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and wives and girlfriends. The characters are likeable and their situations, plausible. It is an easy and enjoyable read. I do like reading Lucy Diamond books and this one did not let me down


Friday, May 23, 2014

A Winter's Tale - Trisha Ashley

This is the first book in a collection of stories revolving around characters living in the fictitious Lancashire village of Sticklepond. It is a warm-hearted tale of Sophy Winter who unexpectedly inherits her grandfather's rather stately home, Winter's End. There are a couple of love interest's for Sophy, a jealous distant cousin who feels aggrieved at not getting his hands on the estate, a surly, brooding gardener, as well as a hint or two of magic which is a theme throughout all three stories. Of course, with a title like A Winter's Tale there are many references to Shakespeare too.

Trisha Ashley has written three books based in Sticklepond and a couple of others based in neighbouring villages. Even though each story stands alone, I originally read the books out of sequence as I hadn't found any reference to these books belonging to a series. I do wish I had realised the chronology of the backlist before setting out to read them as there are many cross references to characters and events that appear in the earlier books. I did go back after reading this book and re-read the others. I found that reading them in sequence definitely added to the experience of getting to know the characters and enjoying the story. As a result, although I read this book last, it will appear first in review and the other books will be reviewed in chronological order within the next few weeks.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of Trisha Ashley's books and am hoping she continues with the series beyond the three she has written so far.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

White Wedding - Milly Johnson

Bel, Violet and Max meet by chance at a bridal shop called White Wedding, each in search of the perfect wedding dress for their upcoming big day. Freya, the shop owner, guarantees that her gowns will bring them happiness and they do but not quite in the way they had been expecting. As the story unfolds the girls become good friends and a source of support for each other in the often stressful run up to their respective weddings.

The thing I love most about Milly Johnson's books is that they always contain an element of something a little magical within the story. Nothing too far fetched to make them unbelievable though, just a little sprinkle of the unusual.

This is the second Milly Johnson book I have read so far and I have the rest of her back catalogue on my wish-list. Her stories are humorous, her characters are likeable and well drawn and the pace at which events unfold is ideal to keep those pages turning.