‘The Unpredictable Consequences of Love’ by Jill Mansell

18240500I love Jill Mansell, she is definitely my favourite easy-read author. I’ve never been disappointed by any of her books and I’ve actually read them all, yes I know I’m keen. ‘The Unpredictable consequences of Love’ followed suit and did not disappoint. Mansell does have some what of a standard pattern, male and female lead characters, small village, a number of secondary characters at least one of whom is from and elder generation. But it works so why not? She is fantastic at really creating a sense of community, weaving everyone’s story in and building an incredibly vivid little village. It’s heart warming and funny as well as covering some more difficult issue such as depression and terminal illness. Although this doesn’t dampen the book in the slightest.

Josh, lead male, has been leaving in the states managing a successful band. But now he’s back in St Cary’s to help his Grandmother run her hotel. He meets Sophie, lead female, when she’s working as a photographer in the hotel. Josh wants Sophie to go for dinner with him but she flatly refuses, disappointed and unused to rejection Josh vows to find out whats the matter with Sophie. She has her reasons for not wanting to date Josh, or anyone else for that matter, but they deep in her past and she’d quite like them to stay there. Sophie’s best friend Tula is down for the weekend, she’s great fun and full of life and definitely keen to meet some men. Riley, Josh’s friend, quite likes the look of her but his beach bum life make her a no go for Tula. In fact she’s got her eye keenly on Josh.

Josh’s Grandmother, the very swish Dot, and Grandfather Laurence have split up. A blast from their past comes into town and sweeps Dot of her feet making Laurence realise more than ever how much he still loves her. Laurence is slightly distracted by Riley’s Grandmother Marguerite an author with a secret of her own.

Read time : 5 hours (374 pages)

Cost: £7.99

Recommend: Definitely a girly book, but apart from that any age range at all. That’s one of Mansell’s greatest talents. It’s a great holiday read for this summer.

Favourite character: Riley, I find him very endearing and then when you discover his secret I find him to be kind, caring and determined as well, it helps that he also sounds very dishy . 

Favourite scene: Sophie’s naked photo shoot on the beach

Favourite thing about the book: The contrast between Sophie and Tula’s character is great, they are both strong independent women but in totally different ways. Their friendship is also totally believable and realistic

Least favourite thing: The end was just a little too ‘fairy tale’ for me with everyone being perfectly paired of. I also haven’t been left wondering what the characters are doing now, maybe just a little too well finished.

Have you read either of Jill Mansell’s novels? What do you think?

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‘The Silkworm’ by Robert Galbraith

The-Silkworm1

The second in a series by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling). When the Cuckoo’s Calling was published in April 2013 no one  knew that the creative master mind Rowling was behind the dark whodunnit. However the gossip soon got out, and sales rocketed, Rowling said how “wonderful to publish without the hype or expectation”. There was no such mystery around The Silkworm and therefore there has been a whole lot of hype and expectation. 

I throughly enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling where we first meet Cormoran Strike a large, damaged, lonely and  broke detective. Sounds familiar? I wonder is there a happily married, wealthy and healthy english detective out there?? Certainly in the fictional world it would seem not. I was not impressed by Strike’s character in either book, its just standard english detective, nothing new. His assistant Robin though, Rowling impressed me there, she’s young and pretty (nothing new) but she is also keen to learn, doesn’t try to mother strike and has some impressive skills up her sleeves. The relationships with her fiancé are well done and add a depth to her character rather than just leaving her at the office door.

The Silk Worm follows Strike investigating first the disappearance and then the gruesome murder of an unpopular author, shortly after he released a novel revealing the dark habits of those surrounding him the literary world. The negative sides of fame and publishing are all the more interesting when you think of who it was written by. Is this just Rowling writing about what she knows or are these some of her views disguised in fiction?

Read time : 2 weeks (455 pages)

Cost: £13.99

Recommend: A mature reader, someone that enjoys an easy read rather than a great one. 

Favourite character: Robin Ellicott, a prime example of the fact you should never judge a book by its cover. 

Favourite quote: ‘he did not look as though life had pummelled him into a quiescent stupor’/’content is king’ 

Favourite thing about the book: I really feel like I’ve grown with J.K. Rowling, I was 5 years old when the first Harry Potter was published which my parents read to me by the 3rd in 1999 I was reading them myself. I grew up with Rowling on my bedside table its nice that she has found her way there again now I’m in my 20s.

Least favourite thing: I have two, its just a little too long, not in page numbers I just feel the questioning of suspects was dragged out a little too much, I got a little bored in the middle but then the end was fantastic again. Secondly there are just too many characters for me, being a bird of very little brains I just found it a little confusing, but that could just be me. 

Have you read either of the ‘Robert Galbraith’ novels? What do you think?

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It’s graphic, it’s grizzly, it’s Revenge by Martina Cole

Front Cover of Revenge

I’ve never read any of Martina Cole before, this happened to be on ‘buy one get one half price’ in Water Stones so I figured I’d give it a whirl.

Martina is 55 and lives in Essex, she has two children, a son and daughter. Both her parents are from Ireland. She is a best-selling crime/gang writer and many of her books are based on the Irish gang scene in England. Revenge is her 12th novel, four of which have been made into TV shows for Sky One, Revenge was first released in October 2013.

Revenge is based on Irish gang culture in London it follows the story of Michael Flynn as he rises from a nobody to the biggest criminal face in Europe. Then a mistake he made when he was first starting out comes back to haunt him and brings everything Michael holds close crashing down around him.

I don’t often read reviews of books before I buy them, however, I’ve just read some of the them for Revenge and I don’t think they do it justice as a standalone book. I find with many authors that if you read too many of their books they come become a little repetitive and that may well be the case with Martina Cole but Revenge as the only one of her books is damn good I think. Gritty? Yes. Colourful langue? Shed loads, Definitely not for the faint hearted or squeamish. But a gripping storyline with well thought out characters ( although some could have done with a touch more fleshing out) and a swig of dysfunctional families thrown in for good measure, to me that’s always a good read.

Read time : 5 days (612 pages)

Cost: £7.99

Recommend: Someone who enjoys crime, probably more suited to women. To me more of a winter readnot totally sure why but hey. 

Favourite character: Declan Costello, he brings a sense of humour to the story as well as a constantly positive attitude. 

Have you read anything by Martina Cole? Or any summer reads for my upcoming holiday that you’d recommend?

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