Archives for category: Genre: Romance

Published by Chicken House

A light-hearted romp through a week-long school ski trip – with everyone going with different ideas about what such a trip should mean or what results should have been achieved by the end of it.

There are characters a-plenty, apart from the usual teachers, there is Mouse who seems to have parted from her friends, Jack and his, who seem to have very few things on their minds, apart from one (and music), a pop star and his entourage and lastly Mr Jambon  a very cool hamster…

A lovely one to take on a skiing trip this winter….or to have for Christmas…

Published by Electric Monkey / Egmont

Not yet published at time of going to post: January 2016

I couldn’t put this down – I read it in 48 hours – with interruptions for work and sleep.

A human story. Samantha Reed lives with her mother and elder sister next door to ‘the Garretts‘. A large rambunctious family. Their lawn is covered with plastic toys. The plants are bought as a splash of colour and then die later as they never seem to get around to water them.  They are noisy, full of life and Samantha’s mother has declared them unsuitable from the moment she returned after delivering the traditional welcome dish.

Samantha though is fascinated by this loud, relaxed family and wishes she was one of them. She Spends many hours lying on the roof of her house watching the family. She doesn’t realise that someone though has noticed her and is startled when Jase Garrett climbs the trellis and sits beside her…

I loved this – it was one of those books that I worried about, and didn’t want to end. It even had the ‘right’ ending – I thought that it might just go wrong, but didn’t – a marvellous book. Funny (I think George is one of the best fictional four year olds ever), touching and moving.

“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged.

“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”

Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”

George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”

Teenagers are often under pressure to conform, to ‘do the right thing‘, and ‘to smile’; to behave as society, often their parents‘ society demand… This story is when all of that goes wrong and  how sometimes something more can come out of something wrong…if the people make the right decisions…

It is brilliant.

Published by Chicken House / Not yet published at time of going to post: September 2015

I have read 295 pages of the 368 that make up this proof and I can’t remember when I have enjoyed a book as much. Which is why I am reviewing it before I have finished it. There are books like that, that you want to read, but also that you don’t want to end, and this is one of them.

It is the tale of two stories plaited together, switching back and forth between the present day and 1867. Tales of Montana, and four characters bound together. Two love stories entwined. There is history, drama, horses, adventure and everything to hope for. I trust the last 70 odd pages are as good as the first 300 – we will see. A book to look out for and to savour.

I finished this on the train to work this morning.

I cried.

The ending is as it should be – a brilliant bitter-sweet tale of adventure and romance.


Published by Walker Books / ISBN 9781406353013

Not yet Published – May 2015

A story of illicit love. Cage fighting. Families, trust and tradition. Sammy-Jo is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter in a large gypsy family with all the allegiances and difficulties a large peripatetic family can have. The family is a maelstrom of characters from her grandmother through to the youngsters in the family. One of her sisters is due to get married and the organisation is down to Sammy-Jo who uses her extraordinary ability in cage fighting to subsidise the cost. Though that becomes the least of her worries as the story unfurls. A love story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliette, but modern and with startling results.

Colourful and intricately told with detail that makes the gypsy way of life very vivid – superbly done. Brilliant.

Published by Penguin / ISBN 978 0141354439

Not yet published – 16th July 2015

I wasn’t going to review a book today. I had a dental appointment in London, and thought I’d take the opportunity to do some shopping and purchase things I had forgotten to buy for my trip to Madagascar.

I started Stone Rider a week or so ago, along with at least two other volumes – Circus Mirandus / Cassie Beasley was finished first, so I reviewed that and have just spent the last 48 hours with Adam Stone.

This book reminds me of my youth. For a while I was a biker’s moll, (if I may claim such a status), travelling on the back of a Harley Davidson though never in quite the way Adam Stone rides – and I have never forgotten how glorious that was. I never did learn to ride a bike, but I am very aware of the special relationship bikers have with their bikes – and this is used to perfection in Stone Rider.

It made me want to find someone with a bike again, to ride behind him, with my arms wrapped around his waist and my legs around his – it was a superb time.

The plot and story line does have some semblance to the Hunger Games Trilogy (Suzanne Collins), but it still has its own colour and there are some very important differences. The race is fundamentally a race, it is true many riders die, (actually, most of them)…including two important characters near the beginning of the competition, but there isn’t the darkness that I found in the Hunger Games. Not all the characters were necessarily out to kill each other, some were just trying to survive, (the organisers had made the race particularly treacherous), which gave this book hope and removed some of the violence. Though there is plenty of it…

It has two twists, that I didn’t see coming. One of which resulted in a lady in the train catching my eye to ask if it was a good book. I explained that something had just happened in the story I hadn’t expected, and she said she guessed as much from my face…

The English too was a pleasure to read, ‘A flash of coruscating light. A booming clap of thunder.’ really pleased me and it was good to read a book for teenagers/young adults that was well written and included small pieces of detail (mice and owls, in particular), that made the plot more believable…

The film rights have already been ‘optioned’ – so it seems a film will be on the way. Try and read it before you go and see it – as always the book will be so much more than the film, however, well produced it will be.

There is a question and answer section in the back of the book, and I am so pleased I read it, (as I have to admit I usually don’t), because I wasn’t sure if this was to be a stand-alone title, but it seems there may well be a second book about the characters to be published. I hope they send me a copy of that too…

It is due out on the 16th of July – you will want to read it – so get your orders in now.

Should someone called Paul Tilley who used to ride a Harley Davidson read this post, then I hope he reads it, if only for old times sake…