Castles by Julie Garwood
Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were kindled.

Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone...yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel...


Princess Alesandra has been living in a convent when she becomes the target of an evil general, hell bent on marrying her so he can become king. In order to protect her, Alesandra is shipped off to England where she finds herself living with confirmed bachelor Colin.

Colin has no desire to wed. Alesandra wants to marry for love. But with the two in such close quarters, sparks are soon to fly and their best laid plans might be far behind them. But that doesn't mean it will be easy with so many obstacles to keep them from finding happiness together.

This is the fourth book in a series by Julie Garwood, after The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel and The Gift. However, reading it without having read the others doesn't detract from the story or the enjoyment gained from the book.

The characters of both Alesandra and Colin were spectacularly depicted and you couldn't help but fall in love with them both and really root for them to get together. They both had flaws but the way they interacted together and how chemistry flared between made it truly magical when they finally got together.

Couple the amazing romance with some laugh out loud moments and a murder mystery sub plot and you get a fantastic book that won't leave you disappointed.


384 pages

She Went All the Way by Meggin Cabot
There are a few places screenwriter Lou Calabrese would rather be than crammed into a helicopter with Jack Townsend, star of her claim to fame, Copkiller, and whose ex just ran off with Lou's ex. Talk about uncomfortable. But when, halfway out to the isolated arctic location where Copkiller IV is currently shooting, their pilot turns murderous and their helicopter crashes, Lou realizes her day has just gotten a lot worse.

Now, while family and friends back home fret over her disappearance, Lou is on the run in the arctic wilderness with America's sweetheart Jack Townsend and only the contents of her purse, his pockets, and their mutual knowledge of survival movie trivia to keep them alive. Can these two children of Hollywood put aside their differences and make it back home without killing each other? Or much, much worse, actually start to like one another?


This was the first of Megin Cabot's (aka Meg Cabot, Patricia Cabot etc.) books that I have read and I found that I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more from her.

The story centres around Lou and Jack, who have both just been dumped and now find themselves stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after a fateful helicopter ride.

Lou is a self-sufficient girl who you can't help but like and relate to and Jack is the gorgeous actor you can't help but want for yourself. The chemistry between the two characters was evident throughout and their interactions at times poignant, sexy, funny but always enjoyable.

The way the pair are forced together and have to survive together in the wilderness makes this more than your usual romantic story. There's a nice mix of adventure and mystery on top of the romance to make this a really fantastic book and one which I found that I couldn't put down.

I would recommend this book to all those who enjoy a fun, romantic read but with a little added extra - I'm sure you won't be disappointed.



384 pages

Scottish Brides by Various Authors land of legend and wild beauty - of clans, lairds, honour, and passion - Scotland forever stirs the soul of romance. Now, in one incomparable volume, four of Avon Romance′s bestselling authors present stirring tales of hearts won and weddings to be, featuring a quartet of unforgettable heroines about to discover the rapture of love in a world as untamed as the men they will one day marry.


The problem I often find with Scottish stories is that the writers often have no knowledge of Scotland except the belief that everyone wears kilts and screams "och aye the noo" at every opportunity. Granted the mythical idea of Scotland is probably more appealing than the reality so I can understand why both authors and the readers prefer it this way. However, it shouldn't be assumed that a Scottish story is good just because of the inclusion of a kilt and the surname prefix 'mac'.

Personally I can live with a few inaccuracies for the sake of a good story however I found in this collection that there were no particularly good stories let alone great ones.

Karen Ranney came out on top with the sweet story 'Bride of Glenlyon' but Christina Dodd's 'Under the Kilt' and Stephanie Laurens' 'Rose in Bloom' were stereotypical stories that provided nothing new or exciting. Lastly, Julia Quinn's story 'Gretna Greene' was by far the worst of the lot. It was contrived, unrealistic and the characters exceedingly annoying. Luckily Julia Quinn has gone on to be a fabulous author despite this dreadful beginning!

Overall, this book wasn't completely terrible but I do feel that it didn't do justice to the authors or show off their writing talents to any great length. My recommendation would be to give this book a miss and buy one of the full-length stories by any of these authors, as they're more likely to be a satisfying read.


384 pages

Highland Fling by Katie Fforde
When 'Virtual Assistant' Jenny Porter's boyfriend accuses her of being impulsive, soft-hearted and unbusinesslike, dashing off to Scotland to sort out a failing mill for one of her clients may not be the best way of proving him wrong. And promising to help run a mobile burger bar before she's even found her feet doesn't help matters. When she finds herself determined to save the mill - whatever her client's wishes - it seems that Henry's accusations may have contained more than a grain of truth.

So when Jenny's awkward encounters with the abrasive but disconcertingly attractive Ross Grant develop into something more complicated - just as Henry arrives in Scotland to reclaim her - it's time for Jenny to make some decisions. Should she do the sensible thing and follow Henry back to London? Or is her Highland adventure more than just a fling...?


Highland Fling was the first of Katie Fforde's stories that I have read and so I have no comparison to make against her previous novels. However, I found this book to be well written and a fun read.

I thought the characters to be both likeable and realistic and felt that the interacted well with each other throughout the story. The hero was someone any girl would love to fall in love with - a mixture of both dedicated businessman and rugged, handsome mountainman. The heroine was feisty yet kind - a nice normal girl. The plot of saving the mill was also interesting and new, and luckily the author didn't weigh the book down with over-the-top detail about mills in general!

I did however have a few problems with the book. Firstly I did find that the 2 main characters didn't have enough interaction for me to truly believe that they had fallen in love with each other. Secondly, I was very disappointed that the story was wrapped up so quickly. It was as if the author had decided on a page limit and as it was fast approaching decided to conclude everything in one fell swoop. Everything was finished off so conveniently that it did feel that the characters became contrived in order to get to the end of the book.

Despite these points I did find the book a fun and light read which I would recommend it for reading on a holiday or just to pass a few hours. 3 stars.


384 pages

The Invitation by Jude Deveraux
In 1934, Jackie O'Neill returns to her hometown of Chandler, Colo., an accomplished pilot and a lonely widow. Developing her air transport business can keep her happy as a pilot, and her new partner, William Montgomery, promises to make very cozy company--until Jackie realizes he is the same little Billy she babysat for many years ago. 

In the second story, Kane Taggert, who reluctantly agrees to guide four New York City women on a Colorado trail ride, may be enchanted by Ruth Edwards, a calculatingly charming widow, if only he can make it through the two-week trip without throttling Ruth's friend, bestselling author Cale Anderson. Experiments in shifting perspective and an outrageous soliloquy by Cale give the traditional plot some pizzazz. 

The last story, a historical piece, finds Dorie Latham enlisting Cole Hunter, "an aging gunslinger with no visible means of support and the beginnings of a paunch," to play husband and help her elude her sister's matchmaking scheme.


I couldn't decide whether to give this book three stars or four. The reason for my hesitation was that of the three stories I found two to be very good but the third was just awful.

The story of Cale was indeed fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it and wished that it could have been longer. The characters were wonderfully depicted, especially Cale, as she was a down to earth, normal girl. A true heroine.

The story of the aging gunslinger was also very good and it was nice to see another heroine who wasn't perfect but still endearing and courageous. It was a good story to pass away a wet afternoon.

The problem I found with this book was the story of Jackie and William. I'm not a fan of 'older woman - younger man' at the best of times but I usually get over it as I'm drawn into the story. With this story I couldn't get past it as it seemed to me that the story focused more on the age difference than the actual love story. Even then, I found the story to be flimsy and disappointing.

However, I still gave this book 4 stars as it is redeemed by Cale's story which is truly a great read. I would also still recommend this book if you are a fan of Jude's work as it can be witnessed from other reviews that many liked Jackie's story so it may just be me who did not!!


384 pages

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
When Lady Johanna learned that she was a widow, she vowed she would never marry again. Only sixteen, she possessed a strength of will that impressed all who looked past her golden-haired beauty. Yet when King John demanded that she remarry, and selected a bridegroom for her, it seemed she must give in, until her beloved foster brother suggested she wed his friend, the handsome Scottish warrior Gabriel MacBain. 

At first Johanna was shy, but as Gabriel tenderly revealed the splendid pleasure they would share, she came to suspect that she was falling in love with her gruff new husband. And it was soon apparent to the entire Highlands clan that their brusque, gallant laird had surrendered his heart completely. But now a desperate royal intrigue threatened to tear her from his side, and to destroy the man whose love meant more to her than she had ever dreamed!


This book is definitely one of Julie Garwood's best. Set in Medieval England and Scotland this book tells the story of Johanna and Gabriel and the problems that they overcome on the path to living happily ever after. As well as the love story there are also enough sub-plots and twists to make this a really enjoyable and enthralling book.

Johanna is a wonderful leading lady and despite starting off timid she blossoms into a feisty and passionate heroine that you can't help but admire. The hero of Gabriel is also a fabulous character - strong, handsome, and a man every woman would want to fall in love with. The secondary characters in this book were believable, realistic and played a genuine part in the story rather than just being there to make the main characters look good as can be found in so many other novels.

The interaction all the characters shared made the book very enjoyable and a truly interesting and touching story.

If you haven't read Julie Garwood before I would recommend this book to you. Yes it is a historical romance but it has depth and a great plot to go along with the romance and I am sure that you won't be disappointed by this book or any others by Ms Garwood.


432 pages

Looking for Andrew McCarthy by Jenny Colgan
'I'm wearing a beautiful pink dress, and I'm in a big pink room with billowing curtains…and I'm dancing to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark…and my handsome partner leans over and whispers…'

Yes, 80s child Ellie really thought life was going to be like Pretty in Pink, St Elmo's Fire and all those other movies – where everyone was astoundingly glamorous, popular, successful, had huge apartments and lived happily ever after. But now that she and her gang are thirty, she has to admit that things haven't quite turned out that way. When did horrible flats, difficult relationships and menaningless jobs take over?And, more importantly, what happened to the coolest, wisest, most inspirational Brat Packer of them all? Where is Andrew McCarthy now? Did life fulfil its promise for him? Is he happy on Channel 5? Surely he, of all people, can tell Ellie what to do about her thirty-angst?

Determined to get her idol to unravel some of life's great mysteries, Ellie sets out, unwillingly accompanied by her best friend Julia, on a quest across the USA, from LA to New York to find him. It's an unlikely epic, by turns hilarious, romantic and downright uncomfortable – but, helped by a cast of thousands, of whom Frosty the Giant Pig is probably the least improbable, they do find some answers, although not the ones they expected.


I, like many others, was eagerly anticipating this book after reading the brilliant Amanda's Wedding. Seriously, if you haven't already checked it out then I would definitely recommend you do so! Regardless of that excellent book, I couldn't help but be sorely disappointed in this attempt and now wish that I hadn't wasted my time or money on this abysmal book.

The characters were unbelievable, contrived, not to mention annoying. There were several times where I could have cheerfully slapped the 'heroine' and the situations in which she found herself. I found her childish, whiney and from near the beginning I found myself wishing for an unhappy ending so that no-one would be lumbered with her. She really was that bad. There were one or two moments which tempted a smile but in general it was the kind of book you finish and feel like you have just wasted a lot of time and haven't got anything to show for it.

What else is there to say? I won't give up on Jenny Colgan just yet but I would advise others not to buy this particular book. Read it from the library if you must or better yet, stick to Amanda's Wedding. 1 star and that's being ridiculously generous.


403 pages

To Sir Philip, with Love by Julia Quinn
My dear Miss Bridgerton. We have been corresponding now for quite some time, and although we have never formally met, I feel as if I know you. Forgive me if I am too bold, but I am writing to invite you to visit me here at Romney Hall. It is my hope that after a suitable period of time, we might decide that we will suit, and you will consent to be my wife'. 

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he'd proposed, figuring that she'd be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except . . . she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her . . . and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking . . . and wondering . . . and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except . . . he wasn't. Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled . . . and when he kissed her . . . the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn't help but wonder . . . could this imperfect man be perfect for her?


This is the 5th book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series following on from Romancing Mr Bridgerton.
This book deals with the story of Eloise, who runs away in answer to an invitation from a man she has been corresponding with for over a year but has never met.

I did enjoy this book and I found the characters to be believable and likeable although I did find there were instances where some of the things they thought and did seemed out of character based on what we had been told and learned of them. For example, although she had run away from home I found it hard to believe that Eloise would not give a thought to her mother or how she would be suffering not knowing where Eloise was. I was also on occasion annoyed by how dense Philip was being but I suppose that's about par for the course with men in general!!

The sub plot of Eloise dealing with the children also seemed to fade out and become less important as the book went on and I was disappointed that more couldn't have been done to wrap things up together nicely at the end.

Despite all the faults, I genuinely did like this book and I think those who are familiar with the Bridgertons will enjoy it as much as I did.

P.S. Homely means something different in the UK and the US! Completely the opposite in fact!


383 pages

The Bridgerton Series in order:

Powered by Blogger.