Book Review: Spandex And The City.

spandexAnd now for something completely different – well, not completely, exactly, but there’s certainly some extraordinary qualities to Spandex And The City.

When I opened the email asking if I’d like to read this book I was hesitant because it’s not totally my sort of thing. I then saw it was written by Jenny Colgan, under the pen name Jenny T Colgan – an author I have enjoyed on more than one occasion – so I thought “why not?”.

I’m so pleased I did (and also thinking I should break out of my comfort zone more often).

Have a read of the blurb and you’ll see what I mean:

Mild-mannered publicist Holly Phillips is unlucky in love. She’s embarrassed beyond belief when the handsome stranger she meets in a bar turns out to be ‘Ultimate Man’ – a superpowered hero whose rescue attempt finds her hoisted over his shoulder and flashing her knickers in the newspaper the next day.

But when Holly’s fifteen minutes of fame make her a target for something villainous, she only has one place to turn – and finds the man behind the mask holds a lot more charm than his crime-fighting alter-ego.

Can Holly find love, or is super dating just as complicated as the regular kind?

So, it turns out that a relationship with a superhero – especially one dressed in purple and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t have the greatest “good guy” name, is actually even more complicated than the “regular kind” – who knew?

Not that Ultimate Man is really into dating, despite (or perhaps because of) the truly explosive chemistry between him and Holly. It seems the life of a superhero is a lonely one, something else he has in common with Holly, on occasions, even in a city crammed full of people.

But these two can’t seem to keep apart, especially when Holly catches the attention of the “bad guy” (if you thought Ultimate Man was an unlikely name, wait until you meet him).

It certainly makes for an entertaining, funny and, at times, emotional read. It is also rather thought provoking but in a gentle way (no lectures here).

Jenny, who under her pen name has written the Doctor Who tie-in novel Dark Horizons and several Doctor Who short stories, takes us on a crazy ride where the lines between good and bad, fact and fiction, are certainly blurred.

It has all the elements I love in the books I generally read – romance, comedy, drama and a happy ending – but it turns out adding a touch of science fiction is a turn-on not a turn-off.

I’m definitely going to add her first book with this added extra, Resistance Is Futile, to my TBR pile.

Format: Kindle (out on May 18th).

Price: £4.99.

My rating: Five stars.

With thanks to the Little, Brown Book Group (via Netgalley) for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Then. Now. Always.

thennowalwaysI couldn’t wait to get my hands on Isabelle Broom’s latest book but, at the same time, I was nervous.

It wasn’t that I didn’t think Then. Now. Always. would be good, I knew it would be, but I loved her last book so, SO much and I knew it would obviously be different.

Thankfully it’s a good different. A brilliant different, even. With just enough of the things I loved about A Year And A Day – things that now seem to be inherent to the way she writes – repeated that my nerves soon settled and enjoyment took over.

Here’s the blurb:

I hope you’re ready for an adventure. Twenty-eight year old Hannah certainly is.

She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and crush).

If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way… Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What is she doing here? For once in her life, can’t Hannah just have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

Reading one of Isabelle’s books is like opening the door to some new friends. Her characters are so well developed that they seem like real people rather than ones she has conjured from her imagination. She seems to understand the complexities of human emotion and be able to transfer that so eloquently to the page.

One of the things I really enjoyed about her last book was the way the setting, the historic and beautiful city of Prague, almost became another character. This time, Isabelle gives the same treatment to the mountain village of Mojacar, in southern Spain, making it come to life so that I immediately wanted to book a holiday there and maybe get a tattoo too (read the book and you’ll see why).

There is a happy ending but it’s not the perfect, all ends neatly tied one you so often find – and it’s all the better for it.

 Format: Kindle.

 Price: £4.99.

 My rating: Five stars.

Thank you to Penguin (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Book Review: Spring At Blueberry Bay.

blueberryWhen one of my favourite authors starts a new series I always do a little happy dance – and some shapes were definitely being thrown (people still do that, right?) when Holly Martin announced her latest book.

Spring At Blueberry Bay wastes no time in getting into the story. Within the first few pages we are introduced to the main characters, Bella and Isaac, and I really loved the unique way they met.

With her usual skill, Holly creates believable, likeable characters and a plot that is gripping from the beginning – I couldn’t wait to see how this heartwarming tale panned out.

Here’s the blurb:

Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman.

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?

While Bella seems like an open book at first, it becomes clear that there is much more to her than meets the eye and discovering what makes her tick creates some really emotional scenes (tissues at the ready).

Isaac is a perfect hero; handsome, sexy, generous and romantic but with his own flaws, meaning you can still relate to him (and I really related to him).

As always there is an excellent supporting cast, including Bella’s cousins, Eden and Rome, although they are more like her brother and sister, who I really hope are the subjects of future books.

Spring At Blueberry Bay has got the series off to a fabulous start – roll on the next one.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Four and a half stars.

With many thanks to Bookouture (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.