Thursday, 31 July 2014

Book of the Month: July

 
 
No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday
 
by
 
Tracy Bloom
 
 


Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other again following a school reunion.

So all is forgotten ... until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy's baby.

Love and life are messy, but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot.

Never has a one-night-stand led to such chaos!
 
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I'd been looking forward to reading No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday for a while as I'd heard some really great things about it. I was expecting to enjoy it, but I LOVED it. It's such a fun read and I loved Tracy Bloom's easy, flowing voice. The characters are fantastic, especially Ben who I thought was hilarious, and the whole book was fun and laugh-out-loud from start to finish.
 
I'll be posting my full review here on the blog soon.
 
 
Click here to see all Books of the Month
 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Blog Tour: You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson

Today I'm pleased to be taking part in the blog tour of Lisa Dickinson's You Had Me At Merlot, with a review of the book.
 
 
 
Elle has been single forever - but she likes it that way. She likes having her own space and never having to compromise. So when her best friend suggests they go on a singles holiday, Elle is more than a little reluctant. But while Elle is content with her single status, Laurie is unhappy and is eager to find the love of her life. For Laurie's sake, Elle agrees to go on the holiday. She'll laze in the sun and drink wine while Laurie finds the man of her dreams.
 
I'd been looking forward to reading You Had Me At Merlot as I had heard such great things about the book on Twitter - and now I can see why. You Had Me At Merlot is the perfect summer read; gorgeous Italian setting, hunky men and a fantastic set of characters. I thought Elle was a brilliant character and warmed to her straight away. She's a fun, confident woman who loves her independence and although she isn't interested in a relationship, she isn't a man-hater, which could have been a little clichéd. Elle is happy with the way her life is, but her trip to the Italian vineyard soon shakes that up!
 
There are loads of great characters in the book, from Elle and Laurie to the new people they meet while on holiday. It isn't a typical 18-30s holiday, so there is a broad spectrum of characters to get to know, as well as the gorgeous hero no romantic comedy would be complete without.
 
I loved Lisa Dickinson's style of writing. It was light and chatty with lots of humour. Although the book is split into four parts, I decided against reading it in small bite-sized pieces and devoured the whole lot in just a couple of days as it was just too tempting to read on. Each part ends on a bit of a cliff hanger, so I was eager (and greedy) and kept going until the end.
 
If you're looking for a fun read full of laugh-out-loud moments, then You Had Me At Merlot could be the perfect book for you.
 
 
You Had Me At Merlot is available in four parts. Parts 1-3 are out now, with the final instalment available on 4th August.
 

 
 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Blog Tour: Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon

 Today I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Paige Toon's Thirteen Weddings.

 
Songs that inspired Thirteen Weddings

I listened to these songs a lot during the writing of Thirteen Weddings and many inspired scenes in the book. Hope you enjoy the playlist I’ve put together for you…

Love by Daughter

Because Thirteen Weddings is so bittersweet, with Bronte – a wedding photographer – falling in love with a groom, I found myself listening to a lot of slow songs while writing it. This one gets a mention in the book. It’s the song Bridget snaps at Bronte to turn off because she thinks it’s depressing. I think it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s about a woman who can’t forget the man she can’t have. He regrets something that happened between them, but she’s in love with him and believes he’s hers. It’s Thirteen Weddings down to a tee.

Love Is Blindness by Jack White

This song is on the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby, which I listened to a lot while writing. Baz Luhrmann is one of my favourite directors and always manages to pull together amazing, quirky soundtracks for his films. I imagined Lachie singing this dark and moody version on the evening of Russ and Maria’s wedding when he was really pissed off at Bronte.

Sex (The 1975 cover) by Luke Friend

Luke Friend was my favourite singer on The X Factor last year, and when I went to download one of his songs from the show, I saw that he had an EP out. I really like ‘Commitments’ and ‘Basically Older’, and I think this cover of The 1975’s ‘Sex’ is great. I also love the original, but it was this acoustic version that inspired the scene where Lachie is singing it and a drunken Bronte decides enough is enough: she fancies the pants off him.

Team by Lorde

This whole album inspired my writing – I would often listen to it while taking a walking break to help unlock the characters inside my head and get them talking to me. I remember traipsing through a field one day beside a hedge and imagined Lachie peeking through the hedge and scaring the hell out of Bronte. I often think of him when I’m walking beside that hedge now!

Red Red Wine by UB40

This is the song Alex and Bronte danced to in the 80s club when everything kicked off between them. I listened to a few 80s songs to get me in the mood for writing the hen night ‘prologue’. Cyndi Lauper, Kylie Minogue, Madonna – they all got a mention, as did Yazz’s The Only Way Is Up, but I’ve never been keen on that song!



Thirteen Weddings playlist – a few more to add to the collection…


Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness (both the Cedric Gervais Remix and the slower version from the ‘Born To Die album)

John Newman’s Love Me Again

Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive

Chvches’ The Mother We Share

Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child

The 1975’s Chocolate

OneRepublic’s Counting Stars

Icona Pop’s I Love It

Daft Punk’s Get Lucky

Arctic Monkeys’ Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High

Gotye’s Heart’s A Mess (Also from The Great Gatsby soundtrack)

Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball

Ed Sheeren & Taylor Swift’s Everything Has Changed



A note from the author:
 
Sign up to my book club, ‘The Hidden Paige’, at www.paigetoon.com for free short stories, competitions and the chance to find out more about me and my characters and what we’re all up to.

Follow me on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor or visit me at www.Facebook.com/PaigeToonAuthor


Monday, 28 July 2014

#Sunathon

 
 
Just over a week, ago, I blogged about taking part in #sunathon, which took place last week. My plan was to finish reading Landline by Rainbow Rowell before moving onto The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland and No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom. My three books look tiny in comparison to some of the other reading piles in the #sunathon challenge but that was the fantastic part of #sunathon - there wasn't a set number of books that should be read. It was a very relaxed readathon, with each person reading as much or as little as they wanted. It was all about the joy of reading, which made it great to take part in.
 
 
I managed to read all three of my books by Saturday evening and enjoyed them all, especially No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday, which I've no doubt will be in my top ten reads of 2014 by the end of the year. I'll be reviewing the books here on the blog soon and I'll be discussing Landline as part of the #NoveliciousBookClub on Twitter.
 
I'd like to thank Emma Louise for organising #sunathon. It was a lot of fun taking part and sharing the joy of reading with the other participants.


Friday, 25 July 2014

My Summer Reads: Suz Korb

 
Today I'm pleased to welcome Suz Korb onto the blog to take part in My Summer Reads. Suz is sharing an interview from a reviewer for her novel, Sun, Sea & Sabotage.
 
 


Where did you get the idea for Sun, Sea & Sabotage?

Well, I’m from Hawaii originally, but feel like a Brit as I’ve lived in the UK since 2001. I wanted to write a book from the perspective of a British lady who was looking to escape the cloudy English weather, because that’s what I’ve come to expect from the sky in this country! So I thought I’d stick a character into a book setting under the hot Hawaiian sun. The actual opening poem from this novel comes from my upbringing in Utah and being forced to attend church. It’s a primary class song that’s originally about popcorn and spring time. Mormons will know the tune.

What about the tone of the book? Where did you get the idea to make it like an adventure caper?

I pretty much do that with all my books. I like fast paced action packed comedy with an element of hot body romance. You know? Quick smooches, but not mushy gushy cry your eyes out power love! Although, if mega love feelings are what you get from my books, then that was my intention in the first place. Obviously.

So the characters Dax and Spence. How did you create their personalities? I love gap-toothed Spence and I want to punch Dax in his traitorous face!

Haha. Thanks? Yeah, I wanted to punch the inspiration for Dax too. Instead, I created Dax based on all of the horrible traits in every guy I’ve dated over the years. Spence’s character stems from the good things that men are capable of. At least while they’re in the initial stages of wooing a woman. Then they change, don’t they? Sheesh.

Chloe really takes a beating in your book. What made you want to send her on such a raucous journey through the wilds of Hawaii?

When I was a teenager I used to read adventurous lovey dovey Harlequin romance novels. I also watched a movie called Romancing the Stone. I always loved that film and I wanted to tell a grown up adventure tale of my own. Hence Sun, Sea & Sabotage! The sabotage bit being all the chaos that gets thrown at poor Chloe, when all she wants to do is find happiness in paradise.

Will you write a sequel to Sun, Sea & Sabotage?

If readers demand it, yes! I’d love to see what Chloe would be capable of if I sent her back to Hawaii to hang out with the local homeless crew again. I loved writing in the pidgin English accent. When I was adjusting to life on the mainland as a kid, after moving from Hawaii, I couldn’t understand why no one in Utah couldn’t understand the way I talked, brah! I’ll forever refer to my inny as a peko, not a belly-button.



Sun, Sea & Sabotage is available now as an ebook from Amazon UK here or globally as a paperback or ebook here

You can find out more about Suz and her books at her blog here


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If you'd like to take part in the My Summer Reads feauture, please give me a shout! You can email me at jenniferjoycewrites@gmail.com or click here for more details

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Short Story: The Beach House

 

Lara appeared on the sand like a goddess, her white-blonde hair flowing behind her in the gentle early morning breeze. Her long, golden limbs moved towards the shore, her feet leaving dainty footprints in her wake. Reaching up, she scooped her hair into a high ponytail, securing it with a band and creating the kind of messy but chic hairstyles you see in the magazines but can never quite replicate yourself. After a few elegant last-minute stretches, she was off, jogging along the shore, those golden limbs gazelle-like as they leapt across the sand. She made it look so easy and graceful.
It really wasn’t fair.
Emily stepped away from the window as her best friend disappeared from view and grabbed her wash bag from her not-yet-unpacked suitcase. She had to admire Lara’s dedication. As though it wasn’t enough that she went for a daily run back home, she kept up the regime even when they were on holiday. It was no wonder Lara had a smoking body and hoards of men queuing for the chance of a date. It was almost enough to have Emily reaching for her iPod and a pair of trainers and taking a jog herself.
Almost, but not quite.
It wasn’t that Emily was adverse to exercise. Okay, it totally was. Emily would exercise if she looked like Lara while doing it, but whereas Lara took on the appearance of a gazelle skipping along the beach with her easy in-through-the-nose-out-through-the-mouth breathing, it was a very different matter when it came to Emily. Emily was transformed into a sweaty, puce-faced spluttering mess by her third stride, which wasn’t a good look at all. No, she would stick to her trusty one-piece and sarong combo for the beach and pray there would be at least one flawless-blonde-aphobe in Mallorca that would turn his nose up at Lara’s perfection and latch onto Emily instead.
Hey, it could happen.
Wash bag in hand, Emily toed the not-yet-unpacked suitcase under her bed. They’d only arrived in Mallorca the day before and the girls had had much more fun and important things to do than unpack, like checking out their new abode – a three-bedroom house right on Alcudia beach that belonged to a friend of Lara’s cousin – and sinking cocktails at a nearby bar. They’d stumbled home during the small hours so, rather rudely, hadn’t even said hello to Lara’s cousin yet. Still, there was plenty of time for that. Lara had promised Emily two weeks of fun at the beach house, which was more than welcome after her breakup with Liam. She’d spent the past four months mourning the loss of their relationship – which seemed indulgent now considering how much of a pig Liam had been – but she was over that now and was ready to inject a bit of life back into her existence. Jessie, apparently, was exactly what Emily needed. According to Lara, her cousin was the life and soul and would soon make Emily forget all about Liam and his piggish ways, which was a little strange as Jessie had been pretty timid the one time they’d met. But that had been six years ago at Lara’s twenty-first birthday party and people changed, didn’t they?
Emily made sure she had everything she needed before she made her way across the hall to the bathroom. In hindsight, she probably should have knocked first before she turned the handle and stepped inside. But Emily did not knock first.
‘Oh!’
There was a flurry of movement as Emily squeaked and covered her face with her wash bag and the very wet and very naked male threw a towel around his waist. But it was too late. Everything had been a bit of a blur due to the rapid movement, but Emily had clocked a rather large blur before it had been covered.
‘I am so sorry. I didn’t know anyone was in here.’ It transpired it wasn’t only exercise that transformed Emily into a sweaty, puce-faced and spluttering mess.
‘Hey, don’t worry about it. I’m sorry I gave you a fright.’
Emily was about to point out that he shouldn’t be the one apologising when it occurred to her that she didn’t have the foggiest who he was. He could be an overly hygienic burglar. Or something worse than that. Something much, much worse.
Emily took a step back. ‘Who are you?’ She attempted to sound brave but failed miserably.
‘I’m Jesse.’ His smile was disarming. Any scrap of courage Emily possessed evaporated, along with her anti-drooling capabilities. ‘You must be Emily.’
Emily stared at him. He was who? ‘You’re Jessie?’ Wow, people really did change. The last time Emily had seen Jessica she had been petit with a curtain of brown hair used to hide her face. Now she was tall and broad with beautiful blue eyes and a stomach rippling with muscles.
‘Jesse Hawthorn.’ Ensuring one hand held his towel firm, he held out the other, taking Emily’s limp hand and giving it a steady shake.
‘You’re not Jessica.’
Jesse’s eyebrows were so bleached from the sun they were barely visible, but Emily still managed to see them knit together. ‘You mean Aunty Tracey’s daughter? No.’ He laughed, his sudden bark filling the small bathroom and making Emily jump. ‘Did you think that was who you were staying with?’
Emily gave a wave of her hand, forcing a laugh of her own. ‘No, don’t be daft.’
‘You did, didn’t you?’ Jesse was chuckling now, the movement inching down his towel. Emily should have warned him. But she didn’t.
‘I did not.’
She did. And why wouldn’t she? Lara hadn’t specified that they were staying with her male cousin Jesse and not her female cousin Jessie. She’d been rather scant on the details, actually, but then Emily hadn’t been interested in anything other than the fact that she only needed to pay for her flights and spending money. She was in desperate need of a holiday after Liam, and a super cheap holiday had been more than welcome.
‘Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be making fun of you. It isn’t very gentlemanly of me, is it?’ Emily noted that Jesse, despite his words, still couldn’t wipe the grin from his chops. ‘Why don’t I make it up to you? I’ll make us some breakfast while you jump in the shower? Is Lara up?’
Jesse was already stepping past Emily and into the hallway. The man smelled good. ‘She’s gone for a run.’
Jesse paused in the hallway, turning back to Emily with his pale eyebrows knotted again. ‘But she’s on holiday. Is she crazy?’
After that comment, Emily decided to forgive Jesse for mocking her. She climbed into the shower and changed into her prettiest maxi dress (which was not for Jesse’s benefit. Not at all) and joined him in the kitchen. Jesse had made scrambled eggs and toast, along with coffee and juice. Emily tried not to pout about the fact that he’d covered his body in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. She’d quite enjoyed the tiny towel look.
Jesse slid onto a stool at the breakfast bar and poured himself a cup of coffee. ‘We didn’t get off to a very good start, did we?’
Emily thought it was quite a nice start, actually, now that she was over the shock of finding a stranger in the bathroom. She’d had worse introductions.
‘Shall we forget we met in the bathroom?’ Like Emily could forget about that towel and all that was underneath! ‘Let’s start again. I’m Emily Barlow.’
She held out a hand and, with the corners of his lips twitching, Jesse took it and gave it a firm shake. ‘Jesse Hawthorn. Pleased to meet you, Emily.’
‘You too. Thanks for letting me stay here.’
Jesse gave a one-shouldered shrug. ‘I’m always happy to play host to beautiful girls.’
‘Smooth-talker.’
‘Guilty.’ Jesse grinned at her. ‘But it’s my mate Harvey you have to thank. It’s his place. I’m just borrowing it for the summer.’
‘The whole summer?’
Jesse gave the one-shouldered shrug again. ‘I can work remotely, so why not work from here?’
Why not indeed. It was a beautiful house, set right on the beach, with the gate at the back opening straight onto the white sand. Emily could hear the lapping of waves beyond the kitchen and the sun was already filling the room with light and warmth.
‘But don’t worry, I’m not going to be a boring git, shut inside working all the time. In fact, I’ve got a few people coming over tonight for a barbecue and a few drinks. I hope you don’t mind. You’re welcome to join us if you and Lara don’t have plans.’
‘Plans for what?’ Lara strode into the kitchen, helping herself to a glass of juice and draining it in one go. Emily couldn’t help feeling a stab of irritation that Lara would arrive now, just as she was starting to feel slightly comfortable in Jesse’s presence. She’d been enjoying being the centre of his attention, but Lara’s arrival was bound to put a stop to that. It always did. But then Lara raised an arm and gave her armpit a sniff, pulling a face, and Emily was reminded that the pair were related. Lara would never have done something so uncouth in front of a possible suitor.
‘As ladylike as ever, I see.’ Jesse caught Emily’s eye and raised an eyebrow. ‘And I was just telling Emily about the party I have planned for tonight.’
‘A party?’ Lara’s eyes lit up and Emily could tell she was already planning her ensemble. ‘What kind of party? Beach? House?’
‘A bit of both, I suppose.’
Lara pursed her lips. This posed quite a quandary, but she was sure she’d be able to find suitable attire in her suitcase – she’d packed for pretty much every eventuality. In the end she opted for a pair of tiny white denim shorts and a cropped white netted top over a turquoise and hot pink bikini, which, even she admitted herself, displayed her bronzed body off to perfection.
‘I hope Jesse has some hot friends.’ Lara pouted at her reflection in the mirror before swiping at her lips with a tube of lip gloss. ‘I love a holiday fling, don’t you?’
Emily made a non-committal sound. She’d never had one. ‘If Jesse has friends here on holiday too, why are we staying here and not them?’
Lara gave her hair a scrunch. It had that just-got-out-of-the-sea look that she’d spent the last hour in the bathroom achieving. ‘Because I bagged it first.’ She perched a pair of designer sunglasses on top of her head, twisting this way and that to check the effect in the mirror before taking them off again. ‘Besides, Harvey and I go way back.’
Which translated as ‘we once had a torrid fling’.
‘I don’t remember you telling me about a Harvey.’
‘Sure you do.’ Lara gave the perched-sunglasses look another go, leaving them put this time. ‘He took me out on his yacht that time. I recreated the Titanic “I’m flying!” scene and then he –’
‘Yes, yes, I remember now.’ Emily was blushing. Lara never spared her any details of her escapades, unfortunately. ‘Do you think he’ll be here tonight?’
‘I hope not.’ Lara finally removed herself from the mirror and slipped her feet into a pair of wedged sandals. ‘He’s married now. Ugh. What a waste.’
Emily hopped off Lara’s bed and followed her downstairs, where Jesse was preparing the barbecue in the garden. She watched from the doorway as Jesse wiped his brow before peeling off his t-shirt, revealing the glorious body she’d spotted in the bathroom that morning. It was like witnessing a Diet Coke advert without the pesky television screen getting in the way.
‘Hey.’
Emily jumped back and averted her gaze when Jesse caught her ogling. ‘Hi. Do you need a hand with anything?’
‘Do you mind chopping up a bit of salad?’ Emily shook her head. She didn’t mind at all. She’d do anything Jesse asked her to. Anything. ‘Cheers. You’ll find everything in the fridge. Get Lara to help if you can drag her away from the mirror.’
‘I heard that.’ Lara appeared in the doorway, a hastily created cocktail in hand. She stepped into the garden and plonked herself on a sun lounger.
Jesse stared down at her. ‘So you’re not going to give us a hand then?’
‘Do I look like the hired help?’ Lara nudged her sunglasses so they slipped from her hair and down to her nose expertly, conversation over. Jesse looked at Emily, but she simply shrugged her shoulders and retreated into the kitchen. Lara was her best friend but Emily knew she could be a lazy cow at times. It was the pitfall of being incredibly beautiful; Lara was used to people falling over themselves to help her and she was never expected to reciprocate.
‘You look gorgeous, by the way.’
Emily jumped yet again at the sound of Jesse’s voice, but luckily the fridge door hid her shock. Jesse seemed to startle her at every turn, but then she was jumpy anyway, intimidated by his looks. She’d been in a sort of bubble-like world while with Liam, so it had been a long, long time since she’d fancied anyone. And boy did she fancy Jesse.
‘Oh?’ Emily dumped the tomatoes on the counter and looked down at her floral sundress with its busy print that distracted onlookers from any misdemeanours beneath. She wanted to tell Jesse that he was being ridiculous. Emily knew she was no ogre, but she also knew she was far from gorgeous. But she kept her gob shut. If Jesse wanted to live under the notion that she was gorgeous, who was she to stop him? Instead, she channelled her inner flirt, putting into practice everything she’d learned from Lara over the years.
‘Thank you. You don’t look so bad yourself.’ Understatement alert! Emily had never seen anyone rock a pair of shorts quite so well in her life.
‘Yeah?’ Emily felt a swoon coming on as Jesse raised his pale eyebrows and she felt the need to crawl into the fridge to cool down.
Okay, Lara wouldn’t have done that.
‘Yes.’ Emily’s voice wavered, far from the confident minx she was attempting to emulate. ‘You look pretty hot.’
There. She’d said it. If only she could get her cheeks to calm down and stop battling with the sun for brightness.
But Emily didn’t have to worry about her cheeks as the kitchen suddenly erupted with a chorus of voices before it filled with bodies, all vying for Jesse’s attention. He was swept back out into the garden, but not before he’d glanced back to grin at Emily before he disappeared from view.
So, had Emily successfully flirted with an extremely good-looking bloke who was way out of her league? Or had she just made a complete fool of herself? The answer to that question would take a while as the party began in earnest. Meat was thrown on the barbecue, music was chosen and a game of volleyball was set up on the beach. A mishmash of chairs, sun loungers and beach towels were set up along the sand and the beer and cocktails were flowing. Lara lapped up the attention bestowed upon her by the fellow partygoers while Emily did her best to keep a low profile, either holed up in the kitchen or hidden behind a book on the outskirts of the group, afraid to face Jesse and the verdict of her clumsy flirtation attempt. Jesse was in the thick of it, playing the perfect host as he hopped from group to group. Emily tried not to feel too gutted as the girls flocked to him, their bodies barely concealed in their bikinis and tiny dresses. How could she compete? That’s if she was even in the running in the first place.
‘Hey, you. Didn’t anybody tell you there are no books allowed?’
Emily peered over the top of her paperback. One of Jesse’s friends loomed over her, grinning down at her with uneven teeth before snatching the book and tossing it down on the ground.
‘Do you know what the punishment is for being a book nerd?’ Emily didn’t have time to answer – or to tell him where to go – before he’d scooped her up from her seat and flung her over his broad shoulder. Her ribs rattled as he took off, sprinting over the sand and – oh no – towards the sea.
Emily gasped as she was flung, fully dressed, into the water. She squealed as she hit the cold water and felt it seep through her dress. She was going to kill him, slowly and oh so painfully. She was already unsteady on her feet as she rose, making an immediate lunge for the grinning buffoon, when a wave knocked her face first into the water. Her nosedive caused great hilarity for the beach full of holidaymakers but Emily was not amused. Rising from the water once more, coughing and spluttering and squinting through stinging eyes, Emily felt a pair of arms around her. She was about to kick out – swiftly and aiming for the nuts – when she heard a voice that did not belong to Jesse’s friend.
‘Here.’ It was Jesse himself and he was wrapping a towel around her shoulders. ‘Let me warm you up. Apparently, I’m pretty hot.’
Emily cringed and hid her face in the towel under the pretence of drying her eyes. ‘Is that so? What fool told you that?’
‘A very cold and wet but still incredibly beautiful fool.’
Emily forced herself to peep out of the towel and found Jesse grinning at her. Her legs started to wobble and it wasn’t entirely because she was thigh-deep in the sea. His grin dropped as he reached out to tuck a string of hair behind her ear.
‘Are you okay?’
‘No, I don’t think I am.’ She pressed her lips together to stop herself from giggling as Jesse’s eyes filled with concern. ‘I swallowed an awful lot of water. I could have drowned. I think I might need the kiss of life.’
‘Did you know that I’m a trained life guard?’
Emily was impressed. She bet Jesse would look great in a pair of tiny red shorts. ‘Are you?’
‘No, but let’s give it a go anyway.’
Jesse grasped the edges of the towel, tugging Emily towards him. She ignored the jeers and wolf whistles piercing the air from the beach as she tilted her head and closed her eyes against the still-bright sun. As Jesse’s lips met hers, Emily knew her stay at the beach house was going to be the best holiday ever.
 
 
 
I hope you enjoyed reading The Beach House! Click here for more short stories.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Jersey Affair by Georgina Troy

 
 
Shoe designer Paige Bingham is devastated when she is jilted by fiancĂ© Jeremy, so she decides to take some time away from everything and go on their honeymoon to Italy alone. While there, she meets handsome businessman Sebastian Fielding. She spends the rest of her holiday sightseeing and getting to know Sebastian and they agree to meet up once the holiday is over.
 
But upon her return to Jersey, Paige discovers that Sebastian is taking over the store where her shoe concession is based and that some of the concessions are going to be closing. Paige fears her business will go under and doesn't think she will be able to forgive Sebastian if it does.
 
I enjoyed Georgina Troy's previous novel, A Jersey Kiss, last year so I was looking forward to reading A Jersey Affair. I thought the book really brought to life both Jersey and Italy with its vivid descriptions, so much so that I was ready to hop on a plane as soon as I'd finished reading it! I loved the story of Paige and Sebastian who meet and start to fall in love before they realise how their businesses are connected, and it reminded me very much of Kathleen and Joe's relationship in You've Got Mail (which is my favourite film) as they struggle with their feelings. Paige is attracted to Sebastian and has already started to develop real feelings for him, but she holds back because Sebastian's business is threatening her own so it's a real battle for her whether she can be with Sebastian or not.
 
One of my favourite parts of the book was Paige's friendship with her neighbour and work colleague, Olly. They're so close and really care about each other, but their friendship is a lot of fun too. I thought Olly was a fantastic supporting character and I thought his love of a good gossip was brilliant. I also liked the fact that we got an insight into Sebastian's thoughts too, so we could see his full character, even if Paige couldn't see it at times.
 
For me, A Jersey Affair is the perfect book to read in the sun and imagine you are in the beautiful settings within the book.