Must Love Mistletoe
A freebie from iBooks, this is a competent if formulaic contemporary Christmas romance.
High powered attorney Bailey comes home to bail out the family Christmas store at the busiest time of the year.
Who does she find next door? Her high school sweetheart of course. Former bad boy Finn is home looking after his terminally ill Grandmother while recovering from injuries acquired in the line of duty as a Secret Service agent.
Will sparks fly? What do you think?
Worth reading if you like a serviceable contemporary romance and like the price of free!
This book from the Witches sequence is a parody of The Phantom of the Opera - both the original novel and Lloyd Webber's blockbuster musical. As you may know the original West End Phantom was played by Michael Crawford. His big breakthrough in the UK was playing the hapless boy-man Frank Spencer. One of the characters in this book is basically Frank Spencer but from Ankh-Morpork.
This is middling Discworld. It's still very entertaining but doesn't hit the astonishing heights of the best of the series.
Obviously I'd still highly recommend that - if you haven't already - get started reading the complete Discworld as soon as you can. As I've said before on this blog and elsewhere - no writer has informed my thinking in the same way as Pratchett has and I laughed my head off at the same time.
Good Night and Good Riddance
Cavanagh is a music writer famed for his extensive research (and how much of it ends up on the page).
I read his authoritative book on Creation records a few years back. That book went into so much depth that it basically covers the entirety of the UK indie music business in the UK from the 70s to the turn of the millenium.
This book is a look at the career of the much missed BBC DJ John Peel. Rather than write a traditional biography Cavanagh has listened to hundreds of Peel shows from across his thirty-odd year UK broadcasting career.
He uses the context of a few shows each year to draw a picture of what was happening in the news, what music Peel was playing and goes into certain aspects of the DJ's behind the scenes life - both personally and professionally.
It's a startling piece of work revealing not only Peel's impact on UK cultural life but also how much has changed (and indeed not changed) in Britain since the late 1960s.
If you're at all interested in Peel, pop history, pop radio or UK society in general during the time period covered then this is a must-read.
Very highly recommended.
Evie Tanaka is the sidekick of San Francisco's beloved superhero Aveda Jupiter (formerly Annie Chang and Evie's best friend from school).
When Aveda is injured and has to rest up for a couple of weeks Evie is persuaded to take Aveda Jupiter place in public.
Of course Evid has superpowers of her own that she's supressed for years and when danger strikes during at an event she's forced to use them to save lives.
A very enjoyable story of self-discovery, healing sibling and friend bonds featuring several very kick-ass Asian-American ladies.
What's not to like?
I'm definitely looking forward to whatever Kuhn releases next.
One Con Glory
Geek culture journalist Julie attends a comic-con with two purposes in mind.
The first to interview one of the stars of comicbook based TV show without insulting him...
The second is to win at auction the rare action figure of her all-time favourite superhero Glory Gilmore.
Needless to say this plan doesn't run as smoothly as she'd like.
This is a thoroughly entertaining novella even if everything that happens is entirely predictable.
The Boss's Fake Fiancee
Another bad fake married book.
Our heroine has started a new life at a very successful tech firm after being dumped by her older boyfriend for her best friend.
Coming across her ex at an event she implies that she's with her boss.
When this is leaked to the press his deathly ill Gran believes that they're really engaged.
So our heroine agrees to pretend to be engaged until his Gran is recovered from illness.
Of course things don't quite run smoothly.
Wife By Wednesday
Utterly forgettable fake married novel.
Our heroine runs an ultra discreet matchmaking service for the super wealthy.
Titled and super rich the lead male needs a wife to collect his full inheritance.
Turning down the offered matches he instead asks our heroine to be his fake wife for a year.
Of course things don't quite run smoothly.
The Puffin Island Trilogy
This trilogy of romance novels are mainly set on the idyllic holiday spot of Puffin Island located on the North East coast of the US.
Book 1 is First Time in Forever which follows Emily as she takes custody of her recently deceased movie star half-sister's child. They move to Puffin Island to hide the kid from the paparazzi. It's a perfectly competent romance novel even if the lead character is a bit of a wet blanket. This one I read as an ebook. Rated C+
Book 2 is Some Kind of Wonderful. This one follows Brittany as she returns to her native Puffin Island afer breaking her arm while working at an archaeological dig in Crete. On the journey back she discovers that her ex-husband from a ten day teenage marriage is back in town.
This one has much better leads than the first book. Rated C+
Book 3 is Christmas Ever After and it is the best of this series. It tells the story of Skylar and what happens to her after rejecting a public marriage offer from her distant politician boyfriend and is left alone in London at Christmas time. I really like the couple in this book. Rated B-
This is not only easily the most enjoyable Fantasy novel I've read in years but also one of the best written.
Agnieszka is a wood cutter's daughter and one of the unfortunate girls to come of in age in the year when the local Lord, the wizard "Dragon", takes one girl away from her family to live in his tower for ten years.
I don't want to spoil any of it but suffice it to say that this not a book that always goes where you expect it to or at least not when you think it will.
Heavily influenced by Eastern European folk myth there's something that just feels right about this tale.
I highly recommend checking this one out if you're a fan of Fantasy novels.
Country Of The Blind
This re-read of the second Parlabane book reveals that it is as funny, twisty and enjoyable as any book in the series. Of course being written before the coronation of New Labour and a devolved Scottish Parliament a lot of the political humour and commentary is rather dated but it's still utterly on target with regards to the machinations of media moguls and the power crazed.
I started with this one as an audiobook (and a fine listen it is too) but I switched to the physical book when I got too hooked on the story and the pace of reading felt too slow.
Given it's age maybe not the best place to start with Brookmyre or Parlabane but still highly recommended.