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The Arrangement By Sonya Lalli

The Arrangement‘The Arrangement’ is the latest book by Sonya Lalli.

When you’re approaching thirty it’s normal (if not incredibly annoying) for your family to ask when you’ll tie the knot and settle down. But for Raina there’s a whole community waiting for someone to make her a wife – and a loving grandmother, Nani, ready to play matchmaker with a comprehensive list of potential husbands.Eager not to disappoint her family, Raina goes along with the plan but when the love of her life returns – ex-boyfriend Dev – she’s forced to confront her true feelings. Now her ‘clock is ticking’, it’s time for Raina to decide what she actually wants.

In this book, even though it is set in the 21st century, this modern tale featuring a strong, independent woman focuses on the pressure of a young Indian woman bordering on her 30th birthday and the immense pressure to find the perfect man and become a married woman to be fully accepted in society.

Raina is a fun and outspoken woman, brought up by her grandmother Nani, her upbringing was far from conservative with a wild and underage mother, who was rarely around. Raina’s grandmother brought her up, even she was never short of love and attention, Raina always felt stifled.

As she nears closer to her 30th birthday and her best friend prepares to get married, Raina is constantly reminded about getting married and finds herself beginning to buckle under the immense pressure from her grandmother. Even though, Nani only has her best interests at heart, her pressure for Raina to settle down is stifling, with lists of potential suitors and registering her on dating websites is making Raina go insane but with the reappearance of her ex Dev, Raina is finding it even harder to concentrate on her new potential partners.

With its bright and vibrant cover, ‘The Arrangement’ is a fun and insightful story from the very start. Highlighting the pressures of society that are inflicted on women from an early age to get married and have children, Sonya also writes frankly and with humour about the stress of being a young Indian woman, trying to be happy as well as be traditional in the 21st century.

You can buy The Arrangement from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Best Day Ever By Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever‘Best Day Ever’ is the latest book by Kaira Rouda.

Paul Strom has spent years building his perfect life: glittering career, beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in the suburbs. But he also has his secrets. That’s why Paul has promised his wife a romantic weekend getaway. He proclaims this day, a warm Friday in May, will be the best day ever. Paul loves his wife, really, he does. But he also wants to get rid of her. And with every hour that passes, Paul ticks off another stage in his elaborately laid plan.

If you have a spare couple of hours in your day, then I urge you to read this book.

I curled up with it one day and became an anti-social recluse, talking to no-one and only putting it down when I needed fed and watered.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Paul Strom, a successful business man with the perfect family and wife and a good reputation. To celebrate his success, Paul decides to take his wife, Mia away for romantic getaway claiming it to be the best day ever but it seems that Paul has a lot more in store for their best day ever, more than Mia could have ever expected.

This book is so gripping, because it’s written solely through one narrative, it gives an great insight into Paul’s. To the outside world, Paul is the perfect, man, husband and father but in reality, he’s sexist, egotistical and consumed by money and power and will not anything stand in his way particularly his wife.

But as their day progresses, we see super cool and confident’s mask regularly slip, letting the world see Paul’s true personality. Throughout the story, we see flashbacks into Paul’s past, from his childhood, career and to how he became the person that the reader will rapidly dislike.

The story flows at a fast pace, really engaging the readers attention with many plot twists that leave both Paul and the reader shocked.

A suspenseful story with a charismatic lead that I detested and sympathised in equal measures, ‘Best Day Ever’ is a thrilling story. Cleverly written with wit and honesty, this book gives an insight into what goes on behind and not everyone is as perfect as they look!

You can buy Best Day Ever from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

I Heart Forever By Lindsey Kelk

I Heart Forever‘I Heart Forever’ is the seventh book in Lindsey Kelk’s ‘I Heart’ series.

The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground. So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely? And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and winking at your new boss in the lift isn’t that bad, is it? Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, and Manhattan switches on its Christmas lights, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.

Our favourite New York editor is back with a bang in the latest instalment of Lindsey Kelk’s fun series, ‘I Heart Forever’.

As per usual our outspoken and sassy lady is involved in much chaos and drama, some that was her own doing and others that are completely out of her control.

Angela is left to mind the fort whilst Alex goes off travelling for two months, whilst he’s enjoying life in a backpack, Angela has to deal with the impending changes at Spencer Media, now that the reigns have been handed over and Joe Herman steps in, a handsome, money driven man that wants to make huge changes to the magazines, much to Angela’s dismay. As Angela battles with life alone and defending the security of her employees jobs as well as her own. Her attention is occasionally distracted by her friend, Jenny’s upcoming wedding which has to big and better than anyone else’s.

There’s rarely a quiet moment in Angela’s life and it seems that it’s all changing rapidly and out of her control without Alex around to support her.

I loved this book, I thoroughly guffawed my way from start to finish, from Angela’s thoughts to outbursts, she was her usual entertaining self. I’ve recently come to the conclusion, that Angela Clarke is my favourite heroine in a book series. She genuinely makes me laugh and wish that she was my best friend.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the story as I could I easily reveal one significant storyline, but there is plenty of drama and humour to keep her fans and new readers engaged.

There were certain aspects of the story, that I found particularly interesting such as the interactions with Joe and Eva, a successful YouTube star. As the world of digital and social media is currently changing, I found their scenes useful and informative.

Filled with warmth and fabulous characters from the amazingly direct Angela, her reluctant assistant Cici as well as best friend Jenny, there is a rarely a dull or quiet moment in this fast paced tale. Although, I do wonder, occasionally from the tone of the story, if this is the last that we will hear from Angela, I sincerely hope not!

Fun from the very beginning, ‘I Heart Forever’ is another delicious rollercoaster of a book from Lindsey, riddled with drama, innuendos and handsome musicians, Angela is most definitely back with a bang!

You can pre-order I Heart Forever from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th September 2017.

The Break By Marian Keyes

The Break‘The Break’ is the delicious new book by Marian Keyes.

Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet. However, for Amy it’s enough to send her – along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers – teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?

Marian Keyes is back with another fabulous book, a book that made me lose track of time as well as let numerous cups of go to waste and go cold.

In her latest book, we meet Amy, a deliciously kind and outspoken woman who works in PR, mother to three daughters, her life is rarely a routine and when her husband Hugh announces that he wants to take a six month break to travel the world to help him through his grieving process after losing his father. Amy’s reaction and mine was WTF?

As Hugh travels the world, Amy is left with the worry that he’ll cheat on her, leave her for a younger model, never return and this will be the end of their marriage.

But whilst Hugh is discovering himself, Amy is also finding a new appetite for life. She’s refusing to accept pity from her neighbours and give up on her marriage, even though her heart is breaking.

Amy is also on her own path of self discovery, embarking on new affairs, tackling with being a single parent and being the mother of a successful video blogger with an attitude.

I absolutely adored this book. The book is filled with Marian’s charm and wit as well her warmth. The characters are similar to the Walsh family, their dysfunctional, outspoken and there is never a dull moment, with their larger than life mother and a father who battles Alzheimers. In her light hearted tale, Marian delivers a story that has serious issues, Alzheimer’s and the effect it can have on a family, the pressure and stress. Teenage pregnancy and the legality of abortion in Ireland plus the surge of video blogging and how anyone can do it, no matter the age.

Amy is a fabulous character and one that I could never tire of reading. As the story progresses, Amy becomes a stronger and more confident woman and this is a joy to witness. Hugh was a different story altogether, I wholeheartedly hated him and the rage he invoked in me was astounding. His selfishness to find himself whilst Amy was left to look after the family and deal with the sympathy and the gossip that he left behind, it enraged me!

The characters are engaging and all have their own quirks that made for such enjoyable reading plus all the chapters are short, so one chapter can rapidly become seven or ten.

Deliciously fun and warmhearted, this book is an enchanting story that was impossible to put down, filled with charm, drama and plenty of Irish wit, ‘The Break’ is most certainly Marian Keyes at her very best. I dare you not to enjoy it!

You can pre-order The Break from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th September.

Annie Darling

True Love at the Lonely Hearts BookshopAnnie Darling lives in London in a tiny flat, which is bursting at the seams with teetering piles of books. Her two greatest passions in life are romance novels and Mr Mackenzie, her British Shorthair cat. ‘True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop’ is the second book in her ‘Lonely Hearts Bookshop’ series.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    Hello! I’m Annie. Long time reader, fairly new writer of lighthearted romantic comedy. I live in London and I like bookshops, cats, long walks… (This is starting to sound like a dating profile!)

    I’ve always loved love stories, always wanted to write one, had so many false starts but then I ended up writing first draft of ‘The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts’ in a frenzied six weeks and everything fell into place.

  2. Can you tell us about your new book ‘True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop’.
    It can be read as a standalone but it’s the second book in my ‘Lonely Hearts Bookshop’ series, set in a Bloomsbury bookshop, Happy Ever After, “a one stop shop for all your romantic fiction needs.” It’s the story of Verity Love, Happy Ever After’s manager, vicar’s daughter, middle one of five sisters, Pride & Prejudice obsessive and introvert. She absolutely does not want a relationship and neither does posh architect, Johnny. But to get their meddling, matchmaking friends to leave them alone, they join forces to do the summer season of weddings, birthdays and barbecues. But things don’t go quite according to plan.
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Jane Austen (of course,) Jackie Collins, Jilly Cooper and JK Rowling. All the J’s and some very lively discussion!
  4. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    At the very beginning, when I have my idea and outline and I’m raring to go and anything seems possible and I’m going to write the best book ever. Alas, disillusionment soon sets in.
  5. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    Nick and Nora Charles from Dashiell Hamnett’s ‘Thin Man’ series. #relationshipgoals
  6. From books to films, what’s been your favourite adaptation?
    The BBC production of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I will accept no substitutes.
  7. If you were starting your writing journey again, would you do anything differently?
    I wish I’d had the courage and the self-belief to take the plunge and start writing much earlier.
  8. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Oh gosh! Difficult one. Maybe ‘The Collected Mapp’ & Lucia novels by EF Benson – I’m sure you can get them in one volume so it’s not cheating. ‘Lace’ by Shirley Conran and ‘The Mitford Letters’.
  9. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Read! Read! Read! You can’t be a writer without being a reader first.
  10. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A great big pot of tea.
  11. And finally Annie do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    I’m hard at work on the third book in the series, Nina’s story, ‘On The Shelf At The Lonely Hearts Bookshop’, out next spring.

    Thank you for having me your blog. xxx

Follow on Twitter Annie Darling for updates.

You can buy True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.