The Last Romeo by Justin Myers book review

the last romeo

The Last Romeo written by Justin Myers, publisher Piatkus (Little Brown Group UK), is available NOW in ebook and audiobook format and from Thursday 31st May 2018 the book will be released in paperback format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2segeKY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

James is 34 and fed up. His six-year relationship with Adam has imploded, he hates his job making up celebrity gossip, and his best friend Bella has just announced she’s moving to Russia.
Adrift and single in loved-up London, James needs to break out of his lonely, drunken comfort zone. Encouraged by Bella, he throws himself headlong into online dating, blogging each encounter anonymously as the mysterious Romeo.
After meeting a succession of hot/weird/gross men, James has fans and the validation he’s always craved. But when his wild night with a closeted Olympian goes viral and sends his Twitter-fame through the roof, James realises maybe, in the search for happy-ever-after, some things are better left un-shared. Seriously, wherefore art thou Romeo . . .

gin and tonic clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Wow! What a fantastic debut novel from Justin Myers and I’m so chuffed to read that Justin has a two book deal with Little, Brown so we all have another book from Justin to look forward to.

Justin Myers has written a very raw, honest story.  His writing comes from the heart, it’s fresh, candid, full of wit and humour, flirty and naughty but altogether quite fabulous.

Following the break-up of James Brodie’s long-standing relationship with Adam, a relationship that sounded pretty much one-sided he’s now single and feeling more adrift since his best friend Bella is moving overseas to work in Russia.  With his despondency spreading to his job as a journalist for a gossip mag James decides he needs to get out of this gloom.  He joins an online dating site and anonymously blogs about his journey to find the one.

James has ultimately become obsessed with his alter ego Romeo and has lost his aim in finding the one, the Last Romeo.  After so many scary, hilarious, unbelievable, gross no, no’s and a few yes’ his heart has taken a bettering and a complete detox from this ‘persona’ is needed to clear his mind.  James needed to step back and appreciate and learn from his journey.

I loved James journey, even the no, no’s.  With a whole host of great sub-characters, I especially loved Richie, the author Justin Myers has created a great romcom that would ultimately appeal to many.

I look forward to more from Justin Myers.

About the Author

Justin Myers is a writer and editor from Shipley, Yorkshire, who now lives in London. After years working in journalism, he began his popular, anonymous dating blog The Guyliner in 2010, spent five years as dating and advice columnist in Gay Times and is now a weekly columnist at British GQ. His work has appeared in a number of publications including the Guardian, BuzzFeed and the Irish Times, and his first novel The Last Romeo was published in 2018.

Follow Justin online:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/theguyliner

Website:  http://www.theguyliner.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/theguyliner

 

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Absent in the Spring by Carrie Elks book review

absent in the spring

Absent in the Spring written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://amzn.to/2JYHnHZ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Losing control never felt so good . . .
A successful lawyer, and the eldest of four sisters, Lucy Shakespeare is used to being in control of everything and everyone around her, most particularly herself – until she meets the gorgeous Lachlan MacLeish.
Lachlan’s hired Lucy because he needs the best. His inheritance is suddenly in doubt, thanks to his devious half-brother and there’s no way he’s going down without a fight. The very last thing he wants is a distraction, but as soon as he sees Lucy, he knows he’s in trouble.
Despite their efforts to resist, it isn’t long before Lachlan has Lucy longing to break all her careful rules. As they travel from Scotland, to Paris and on to New York, Lucy can’t help but wonder: is it sometimes worth risking it all?

stag scottish countryside

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Absent in the Spring is book 3 in the Shakespeare Sisters series, the books can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading all the books in the series in order as they are gorgeously addictive.  The books in the series are:

  • Summer’s Lease
  • A Winter’s Tale
  • Absent in the Spring
  • By Virtue Fall (due to be released in September 2018)

When millionaire businessman Lachlan MacLeish is bequeathed a Scottish Castle and Laird from his deceased father he finds himself in need of a top class lawyer as his step-brother has put in a counter claim against the requests of the will.  Across the seas from Lachlan’s NYC office Lucy Shakespeare is handed a crucial new case for the firm she works for.  She’s been hired to fight with Lachlan for his right to acknowledge his father’s wishes in his will.

Lucy Shakespeare is the eldest of the four sisters.  Since the untimely death of their mother when Lucy was 15 she has taken the reigns of responsibility of maintaining the family unit caring for her grieving sisters and father.  However, since the death of their mother Lucy has held a secret from the rest of the family and it’s been eating away at her.  Lucy is highly respected in the legal world and loves living in Edinburgh.  She lives and breathes her work.  This new case looks very interesting and her first task is to meet with Lachlan at one of his many international bases.

Both Lachlan and Lucy are highly professional in their work but this initial meeting of client and lawyer sparks unnerving emotions with the pair, emotions that they both have not felt in such a long time.

As the case progresses and the pair are flying from Edinburgh to the States and to Paris a playful banter emerges and soon develops into a highly unprofessional sexual desire.  Can the pair keep their professional lives away from the ever increasing beats of their hearts?

Lachlan and Lucy have both experienced heartache in their childhood which has given them the strength to follow their dreams and succeed in their professions but this has left no time to let anyone in their hearts.

I loved Lucy’s story.  The different localities sent you to a wide range of landscapes and Lachlan and Lucy’s personalities changed according to the locations, a softening of character was felt when they were away from their office environments and the beauty of nature reminded them of what was important in life.  This was another gorgeously, sexy, addictive read from Carrie Elks.  I’ve really enjoyed sharing the journey the Shakespeare Sisters have been taking and we have the pleasure of the final instalment in September 2018.

I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the book:

“He had the kind of body that could shelter you from a storm, if only you would let him in.”

To learn more about the author Carrie Elks please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://carrieelks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CarrieElks

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CarrieElksAuthor/

 

A Winter’s Tale by Carrie Elks book review

a winters tale carrie elks

A Winter’s Tale (The Shakespeare Sisters) written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available from 30th November 2017 in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:  http://amzn.to/2jqYmHB

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Struggling film student Kitty Shakespeare is as bad at interviews as she is talented at making films. She’s given herself until the end of the year to score an internship in LA, otherwise it’ll be back to London with her tail between her legs. Unfortunately the only job offer on the table is as nanny to major producer Everett Klein’s son, Jonas. It’s not exactly the career she’d hoped for, but if she can get this right, then surely he’ll take a moment to look at her work. However, what Kitty hasn’t allowed for is Everett’s sexy-as-hell brother, Adam – and love at first sight this is not.

Adam Klein may be sexy, but he’s also gruff, rude and completely impossible. All he wants to do hole up in his cabin and hide from the brother who destroyed his life. If only he could find it easier to ignore the way Kitty makes his heart race . . .

As Christmas approaches, Kitty and Adam realise that although the course of true love never does run smooth, just maybe, it’s more interesting that way…

log cabin in snow

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I adored this tale of finding love at a time when you least expect it.  A Winter’s Tale is the second book in the Shakespeare Sisters Romance stories.  This is the story of Kitty Shakespeare, the youngest of four sisters.  Each story can be read as a standalone but you are truly missing out on a treat if you don’t catch up with each of the Shakespeare Sisters in their own unique story.

Carrie Elks is a relatively new author to me,  I was first introduced to her work back in August when I read Summer’s Lease.  You can find my review for Summer’s Lease here.  Carrie Elks writes contemporary women’s fiction, her stories sweep you away into the lives of the characters she has created with warmth and humour and you instantly fall in love with them.  There is a sexual chemistry that’s beautifully woven within the storyline that is quite addictive to read about.

Kitty’s story is gorgeous, charming, sexy and much, much more.  I really didn’t want this story to end.

Kitty is 24 and a mature Film Studies student at UCLA.  Kitty always dreamed of moving home from London to LA and wanted to work in the film industry as an Editor.  As part of her studies she needed to complete an internship but was struggling finding one and her lack of confidence during interviews wasn’t helping.  However, her resume which included work as a nanny, proved useful during one of her interviews when she was offered a temporary position of a nanny working over the festive period for a top producer.  This new assignment took her from the sunny coast of LA to the wintry climate of West Virginia to a grand house surrounded by snowy woodland.  Working for the top producer was to prove challenging in more ways than one.  The young boy Jonas was delightful and Kitty soon built up a good relationship with him.  However, Kitty didn’t have on the agenda getting in the middle of a sibling conflict.  This conflict between the two Klein brothers had been going on since the summer and has caused a big rift in the family.

Adam Klein, the younger of the brothers and acclaimed Documentarian is still reeling from this conflict, the emotions that his brother’s action brought out in him were still quite raw.  Since the summer Adam has been living the life of a recluse in the wooden cabin in the grounds of the family home.  He’d taken himself ‘off the grid’ and was seeking guidance for his anger and emotion issues.  Adam wasn’t looking forward to the big family Christmas and coming into contact with his brother again.  But a new visitor to the family property was causing him a new distraction and making him question his emotions.  An instant attraction was felt when he first met his nephew’s new nanny Kitty but his current mood didn’t always show his true feelings.

Two young people feeling lost and at odds with the world find a common ground in family values.  With growing sexual attraction can Kitty and Adam find a way of bringing their lost souls home?

Another screen-worthy performance from Carrie Elks.

To learn more about Carrie Elks and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://carrieelks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CarrieElks

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/CarrieElksAuthor/

 

Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks book review

summers lease

Summer’s Lease written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A free summer holiday in a beautiful villa in Lake Como. The catch? Sharing a house with her worst enemy . . .

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. After one prize-winning play that ended in disaster, writer’s block turned up, moved in and got a Netflix subscription. Six years later, she’s just lost her crappy job and is about to lose her flat. Worse still, her sisters have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her a free summer holiday in a beautiful Italian villa, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

Having just hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons – again – Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton needs a place to hide out. Where better than his family’s gorgeous empty villa on Lake Como? Except when he arrives, it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

One thing’s for sure – this is going to be a red-hot, scorching summer . . .

theatre curtains

Summer’s Lease is book one in a new series titled The Shakespeare Sisters by Carrie Elks.  This is my first introduction to the work of Carrie Elks and I was in for a treat!

Cesca Shakespeare had spent six years in despair getting over the unexpected end of her play which was due to be played in the West End.  A flop before the curtains were even drawn all because the leading man, Sam Carlton, upped and left without another word.  Cesca had been unable to write another word without it making sense so she hopped from one dead end job to another to try and make ends meet.  When  the opportunity of a summer job arose house sitting in Italy she felt like it was her saviour.

The villa in Italy was beautiful beyond words and Cesca was soon feeling relaxed and was allowing her mind to refresh.  However, her stress levels were soon to rise when an unexpected visitor turned up at the villa.  The visitor was none other than the son of the owners of the villa, Sam Carlton.  The same Sam Carlton that vanished from her play.  The same Sam Carlton that was now a Hollywood heartthrob with millions of adoring fans following his success in the hottest chick flick trilogy to hit the screens.

As you can imagine Cesca was none too pleased to see Sam.  Tempers flared and after much warring of words Cesca and Sam agreed on a temporary truce.

Staying at the villa had re-invigorated Cesca’s will to write and she soon got started on drafting a new screenplay.

Sam Carlton had fled to his family’s Italian villa escaping a storm in the media that had just brewed inciting much gossip about the actor’s personal life.  When Sam arrived at the villa he couldn’t remember this young woman that was now shooting so much verbal towards him.  When he eventually remembered the time six years ago when he fled from London he recalls the hurt he felt so deeply which he received from someone he thought loved and cared for him.  Sam has spent the last six years avoiding as much as possible this time in his life where everything he knew and thought about himself changed.

However, Sam sees something in Cesca; he sees the love that she had back then in the play that she wrote.  He sees how proud she was and as an eighteen year old girl it had mean’t the world to her and his unfortunate actions destroyed it.

Can the pair learn to live in harmony in the same villa whilst Cesca continues with her new job and Sam avoids any media intrusion?  Can Cesca have the courage and determination to write again?  Can Sam stop the demons from his past troubling his future?

This was such a beautiful story set amongst a stunning Italian lakeside villa.  It’s difficult to remain mad or upset with anyone when you wake up everyday surrounded by a dazzling landscape.  The ending was picture perfect, I felt like I’d just sat through the most sublime chick flick movie.  A sexy, addictive romance worthy of big screen triumphs.  I can’t wait to read more from Carrie Elks and The Shakespeare Sisters.

To find out more about Carrie Elks and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://carrieelks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CarrieElks

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/CarrieElksAuthor/

 

Guest Post: Hole in the Middle Author Kendra Fortmeyer

Hole in the Middle

Hole in the Middle written by Kendra Fortmeyer, publisher Atom (an imprint of Little, Brown) is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Morgan Stone was born with a hole in her middle. A perfectly smooth patch of nothing where a something should be.

After seventeen years of fear and shame, doctors and nurses, ‘peculiar’ not ‘perfect’, she has had enough of hiding.

One night, among a sea of bodies and lost in a moment of blissful abandon, she finally bares all.

A few photos uploaded to social media is all it takes to create a media frenzy. Overnight, Morgan becomes #holegirl.

And then she meets a boy who is literally her perfect match. They could be each other’s cure. But can he truly make her ‘whole’?

Feisty, feminist and downright different, Hole in the Middle is the story of what happens when a girl who is anything but ‘normal’ confronts a world obsessed with body image and celebrity.

yellow squiggle lineI’m so pleased to welcome author Kendra Fortmeyer to my blog today:

The Holes Inside Us (Form Constellations We Feel, Not See)

My first novel, Hole in the Middle, began as a short story for a class. The week before I was to turn it in, I met with the instructor and blurted, “I’m working on a story about a girl who has a hole through her torso.” He raised his eyebrows and, optimistically reading his skepticism as encouragement, I blurted, “A hole that – it goes straight through. Like, if she were standing in front of a book case, you could read the titles on the shelf behind her.”

The teacher in this tale is an established American fabulist, a weaver himself of strange tales and fictions. He assigned us readings in Barthelme and Cortazar and Michaux and frequently exhorted us to read Philip Roth’s “The Breast” (in which a man spontaneously transforms into a human breast); if anybody understood what I was about, I thought, he’d be the one.

My teacher, who’d been hunched forward in his chair with the seriousness and demeanor of a praying mantis, leaned slowly back, running a hand through his shock of white hair.

“I cannot imagine,” he said, “How in the world you’re going to pull that one off.”

It’s a response I haven’t stopped hearing in the five years since I took Pete’s class, even after I signed with a firecracker agent – even after selling the book to a fantastic editor with Little Brown’s YA imprint Atom Books. The core concept of the book – the girl with a hole in her middle –strikes people as anywhere from interesting to odd. It’s not quite fantasy (the world of the book is quite ordinary; the hero does homework and wastes time on Facebook and falls in and out of love on gum-stained sidewalks), but unless there are hordes of toroid people secretly roaming the streets, realism, it’s not quite realism, either.

It’s a bit uncomfortable, this uncategorizability. We’re not sure what to do with what we can’t understand.

This is a problem the novel’s protagonist, a girl named Morgan, grapples with regularly: when a piece of you is missing, where do you fit? Throughout the course of the book, she both resists and embraces the idea that the hole in her middle is a metaphor for something: she believes both that she is undefined by her body and that she is limited by it; that she is simultaneously a whole person, and also that she is strange, is unlovable, that some key part of her is lacking.

In many ways, the novel is a portrait of myself in my teens and twenties, and my friends and classmates. We were, all of us, shaped by yearning: an obsession with what we were and weren’t yet. Experimenting, laughing, raging, playing, trying desperately to figure out how to become the selves we didn’t yet know we needed to be.

 It’s a portrait of myself even now.

In the novel, the hole and the sense of lack is tied closely to the body, as it often is in Western culture. We’re told since we’re young that there is a physical ideal, and all of the ways in which we fall short of it are personal failures. The novel – and before that, the story – is a rallying cry against all that, for young women especially, but also for people of any age, anywhere. It’s the story of a girl looking at her body and saying, Stop defining me and Enough is enough and This hole is not a flaw; it’s merely space to grow.

Writing it has made me feel whole.

A week after meeting with my instructor, I handed my story into the class. He met with me later, shaking his head.

“I didn’t have any clue how you were going to pull that off,” he said, and laughed his wonderful old Christopher Walken laugh. “This wasn’t quite what I expected. But it works, you know. It works.”

The flaws in us – and that which we are told are flaws, are wanting, are anything-other-than-perfect – are far from it: the gaps in the cardboard cutouts between ourselves and “ordinary” are the spaces that make us who we are. Embrace them, own them, grow into them. Your whole self will thank you.

Wow, this book sounds fascinating and very topical.  Thank you so much to Kendra for revealing more about the insight behind the story.

To find out more about Kendra Fortmeyer please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://kendrafortmeyer.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/kendraffe

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts book review

come sundown

Come Sundown written by Nora Roberts, publisher Piatkus, is available in ebook, hardcover, audio download and audio cd format from 30th May 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen… COME SUNDOWN

Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family’s resort in Western Montana, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn’t have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time…

But when a young woman’s body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine’s family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine’s Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice’s mysterious disappearance?

As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth – before the sun sets on their future together.

horse sunset montana

This was such a gripping story set in two different time frames in Western Montana; in 1991 when a young woman was to experience the darkest night of her life and to the present day to a family holiday resort that is run by generations of the Longbow family.  However, this family are still grieving the loss of one of their own.

The story doesn’t hold back and we are hit straight away with a darkness that everyone fears.  A young woman who had left home to make a new life was on her way back home when she was abducted.  Alice was only miles away from home but her life is now in terrible danger.  Alice has to gain strength from deep insider her to keep her alive.  My heart was in my mouth reading these scenes of gut wrenching evil.

Back in the present day we meet Bodine Longbow, great granddaughter and now manager to the popular family holiday resort.  The resort specialises in all that nature provides in Western Montana, the company embraces the life with horseback trails, authentic food and western music.  It’s a place to relax and embrace nature at it’s best.  The business is proud of supporting the local community and many of their employees are locals and from all generations of the family.  Bodine is very career orientated and has a methodical mind working at the helm of the business.  When a familiar face from the past returns looking for work at the ranch Bodine tries to keep things on a professional level but as Callen Skinner was her childhood crush she is finding it hard to keep her emotions in check.

The resort is rocked by news of the death of one of their workers bringing fear all around and opening up old wounds as it’s been 25 years since the disappearance of Bodine’s Aunt Alice.  Is there a connection between the two cases?  The calm and tranquillity of this idyllic resort is no more …

I loved how the author, Nora Roberts, cleverly told a dark story full of horror and unimaginable events and interspersed it with a family going about their usual routines running a holiday resort.  When love strikes between numerous characters it created a wonderful distraction; a sort of lightness to the horrors hidden around them.

A dramatic family saga that will captivate you with it’s shocking twists and turns and will leave you emotionally wrought.  The international bestseller Nora Roberts has done it again!

To find out more about Nora Roberts and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.noraroberts.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/noraroberts

 

Spandex and the City by Jenny T. Colgan book review

spandex and the city

Spandex and the City written by Jenny T. Colgan, publisher Orbit (Little Brown UK) is available in ebook, paperback and audio download format from 18th May 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

LOCAL GIRL SWEPT OFF HER FEET
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 superdating just as complicated as the regular kind?

purple motorbike

I was first drawn to this novel by the author, I love all Jenny Colgan’s stories but I haven’t read any of her sci-fi romances however, the cover it’s purple so that’s a bonus in my eyes and the synopsis drew me in further.

During a night out with her friend Holly get’s caught up in a traumatic event but is rescued in a rather unladylike way by Ultimate Man.  Holly works at the Mayor’s Office in the city in the publicity department and her night out is soon all over the media in full technicolour.  Holly starts to build up a rapport with the masked man and her feelings become very confused.  Holly inadvertently becomes a target and her life becomes in peril again, the only person who can help is Ultimate Man.  Can Ultimate Man reach her in time?

This is unlike any other story I’ve read but I was drawn in by the outstanding wit and humour and the warmth from the characters that Jenny T. Colgan had radiated across the pages.  Also, I was starting to have a crush on a certain man in purple!  The story was like an updated version of Superman and you get to see all sides of the characters; the damsel in distress (aka Holly), the villain (aka Frederick Cecil) and the hero (aka Ultimate Man).  There’s a side to the story that is quite thought-provoking and I could appreciate why certain actions were taken.  My heart at one point was very much divided between good and evil in this story’s sense and I wanted to bang both their heads together to knock some sense into both our leading men.  I loved the action and the crazy, cool gadgets but amongst all this the author had cleverly interspersed these times with some very tender poignant moments leaving me quite emotional.

A fabulous story that was cool, geeky, fun and a little bit sexy.  5/5*

To find out more about Jenny T. Colgan please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.jennycolgan.com/books/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/jennycolgan