Thursday, 25 November 2010

Must Be Love by Cathy Woodman

It must be love. What other reason could there be for city vet Maz's contentment with her new country life? The vet's practice where she's partner with her best friend Emma is thriving, and so is her relationship with the gorgeous Alex Fox-Gifford.

But then circumstances force Emma to take a break from the practice, and Maz's life suddenly spirals out of control. What with working all hours trying to keep things going, fending off insults from Alex's parents, keeping one eye on the lusty locum - who's causing havoc amongst the village girls - and dealing with Emma's precarious mental state, it won't take much to upset the apple cart. So when she gets some unwelcome news, only time will tell whether Maz and Alex's love can withstand the fallout.

I picked this up since I enjoyed the first book, Trust me, I'm a Vet, which surprised me 'cos (as I said in the review) it's not the type of book I normally enjoy. I like strong heroines which you don't normally find in chick lit books. I think my main reason for enjoying these books is the setting, it reminds me of my time at work.

Maz's relationship with Alex is continuing and, much to his parents annoyance, seems to be getting stronger. Maz is fully immersed in her partnership with Emma until Emma seems to lose interest. Then the faecal matter really hit the fan!

I really didn't like Emma in this book, she comes across as a bit of a bitch. I know she has bad news in this book but she's still bitchy. I like how Alex and Emma's relationship is coming on and, since the author used to be a vet, the hassles of being a vet on call and trying to be keep a relationship going are a big story point.

A very light hearted, quick read with some ups and downs and the normal sads and happies. Worth a quick perusal, especially if (like me) you can appreciate the setting of it.


Book Depository: Must Be Love
Amazon UK: Must Be Love

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Trust me, I'm a Vet by Cathy Woodman

City vet Maz Harwood has learned the hard way that love and work don't mix. So when an old friend asks her to look after her Devonshire practice for six months, Maz decided running away is her only option.

But country life is tricker than she feared. It's bad enough she has to deal with comatose hamsters, bowel-troubled dogs and precious prize-winning cats, without having to contend with disgruntled competition and a stubborn neighbour who's threatening to sue over an overzealous fur cut!

Worse still, she discovers Otter House Veterinary Clinic needs mending as much as her broken heart. Thank goodness there's an unsuitable distraction, even if he is the competition's deliciously dashing son ...

Not normally the type of books I would read but the word vet made me pick it up. As a qualified Veterinary Nurse, I'm normally a bit wary of books featuring animals but I discovered that the author is a fully qualified small animals Vet so it eased me.

Maz is a likeable character and you feel for her and understand her need to move. I like the sound of Talyton, the town the book is set in. It's quiet and small but has the typical small town feel that books and films like to give them. Everyone knows everyone and what's going on everywhere.

A nice change of pace for me and nice little return to the world of Vet practice, even if it's fake! Typical little chick lit book with romance and such, an easy read.


Book depository: Trust Me, I'm A Vet
Amazon UK: Trust Me, I'm a Vet

The Bad Dog's Diary by Martin Howard

This extraordinary diary lifts the dustbin lid on a year in the life of Blake - a very bad boy indeed - and spreads its contents all over the kitchen floor. A maverick hound with an eye for the bitches and a flair for strategy, Blake is on a mission to become the Top Dog of his neighbourhood while avoiding any hint of obedience to the owner. Day by day he gives us insight into the canine world from a self-professed "dog's dog", including what it means to be pack leader, living with the threat of castration, what dogs really think about tinned food, the joys of leg humping, and, of course, the political and social injustices of the traditional human-dog relationship. Backed up by a host of friends, including Scottie, a geriatric, sex-mad Westie and Constable, a dim-witted, best-of-breed TV personality, Blake's plans take unexpected turns as the year progresses.

A dog who will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever found a favourite shoe in slobbery tatters or fended off complaints from their neighbours, Blake is hilarious, wise and often touching. He delves deeply into questions of loyalty, love, war and scooting and along the way shows us exactly why there will always be a place in the human world for dogs.

This is a hilarious outlook on the world from a dog's point of view. The author has done a great job at getting into a dog's mind and there's some hilarious insights into what dogs must think of our everyday activites.

Blake makes some interesting observations about his owner, like "he started some playful wrestling with Samantha, during which their clothes fell off. Me, Ella and Coleridge joined in the fight, but they seemed to lose all their enthusiasm when we did." which had me giggling for quite some time.

I read this book in public which could have given me a name for being insane, since it constantly had me smiling and laughing out loud. A nice quick read that was a great pick me up and a nice filler while waiting for my wishlist books to arrive. And it has a sequel which I'm looking forward to reading.


Book Depository: The Bad Dog's Diary
Amazon UK: The Bad Dog's Diary

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Can happiness cure migraines?

I don't mean tra-la-la happiness but that feeling of sheer contentment.

I used to get a lot of migraines, not as many as to say it was a major problem in my life but I probably got about 2-3 a week. I used to refill my prescription fairly regularly and I recently realised I've probably only filled it a couple of times in as many years. The only thing that's changed in that 2 year period is; I met Gary.

This is not meant to sound like a "my life is excellent and I'm so happy" piece of crap because my life is far from it. I don't enjoy my job, constantly wish I hadn't made the decision that screwed up my life a few years back and, like everyone else in the world, am constantly struggling with money. But I am lucky enough to have met a man that I have loads in common with and instantly clicked with.

The best decision of my life so far was joining the website that I met Gary through and then following through from that and meeting in real life.

So yeah, does happiness cure migraines?

I think it does. Even if it's just all in my head!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey is sure of three things:
winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favoutire season;
she's a sorry excuse for a Southern Belle;
and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet.

For a while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night . . .

Until she finds her closet harbouring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tender-hearted woman who is one part nemesis - and two parts fairy godmother . . .

This book has been on my shelf for ages. I originally picked it up because of the cover, it's sparkly and I'm a bit like a magpie that way. An author I follow on Twitter mentioned it last week and I remembered it was there so decided to read it.

I couldn't get into it at the beginning and by the time I realised I was getting really into it, I noticed it was nearly finished.

Josey still lives with her mother and feels guilty about her childhood so feels she must stay with her mother to make up for it. She takes her mother out and about and runs all her errands for her. Then Della Lee Baker shows up in her closet and things begin to change. She makes new friends and slowly begins to enjoy her life.

I loved Josey from the beginning. In fact, I loved all the characters I was meant to. Sarah Addison Allen does a very good job at writing people and the storyline was fun too. It's written from different character's POV, not just Josey's, which gives it a nice change of pace.

Well worth a read and I'm keeping an eye out for her other book.


Book Depository: The Sugar Queen
Amazon UK: The Sugar Queen

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Whip It by Shauna Cross

Meet Bliss Cavendar, an indie-rock-loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas. Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Bluebonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.
Bliss's escape? Roller Derby.
When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most hard-core derby chick has to learn.

My friend recommended this book because she knows I loved the movie. I normally like to hold off on watching a book-to-film adaptation until after I've read the book but, in this case, I didn't know there was a book until my friend told me about it.

What's not to love about this book? Roller derby. Cool chicks in funky outfits. And awesome writing.

Bliss finds out about Roller Derby by chance and drags her friend, Pash, along. She instantly falls in love with the sport and decides to try out. What follows is a coming of age story about first loves, first kisses and contact sport.

I love Bliss. She's spunky and smart. Pash is a great friend but can be a tad annoying at times. The reader instantly has the same feelings as Bliss towards her mother, she's annoying and trying to relive her youth through her kids.

The movie is actually fairly true to the book. Any changes are small and kind of inconsequential. My main problem was how short this book was, it took me no time at all to finish it. I'd actually love to read more about Bliss and the Roller Derby league.


Book Depository: Whip It
Amazon UK: Whip It

Friday, 12 November 2010

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. She was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn's been a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule.

But the pack's been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum's orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, it's Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

This is the first book I've read by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and the first I've actually heard of her. I picked it up on a whim because it was on a deal with another book I wanted to read, and I wasn't disappointed.

This was a different take on werewolf packs and with the added difference of a human in the mix. I instantly liked Bryn 'cos she can kick ass and stands up for herself against the pack alpha, who I also liked straight away.

The attraction between Chase and Bryn is instantaneous and inexplicable. Bryn's friendships are believable as are her relationships with her 'family'. The pacing is very good and keeps you in the story.

A must read and the sequel is on my wishlist already.


Book Depository: Raised By Wolves
Amazon UK: Raised by Wolves

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Meeting

So I wrote this wee story years ago, and I do mean years ago! I think I wrote it when I was in secondary school so definitely over 10 years. Since I'm sort of considering trying to pick up one of my old story ideas, I thought I'd post this one here first.

Feel free to rip it apart!

Andrea sat in the café sipping her coffee waiting for her friend to show up, Sharon was always late. Andrea had chosen Inverness as their weekend break this time; she loved it in the Highlands. She spent all year working in an office in Glasgow and loved her weekends away with her old friend from secondary school, it was the only time they got to spend together since Sharon moved down to England with her husband. Every year in September they went away for a long weekend, alternating each year as to who got to choose the destination. Sharon normally chose somewhere in England and Andrea normally chose Scotland.
Andrea looked at her watch, half an hour had passed. She caught the waitress’s eye and waved her over.
“Can I have another coffee please? White, no sugar.”
“Sure, can I get you anything else while you’re waiting?”
“I suppose I could have a slice of that Carrot cake since you asked.”
The waitress laughed, “I’ll bring it right over.”
Andrea sighed and stretched over the table to look out at the road again, checking for Sharon’s car. Just as she was about to lean back, she spotted her white Ford Fiesta pull in to the car park. She shook her head laughing as Sharon got out the car looking harassed.
Sharon came through the door and paused, looking for Andrea. Andrea waved to catch her attention and Sharon headed in her direction.
“I’m so sorry I’m late. There were roadworks.."She waved her arm about in the air “I don’t know…somewhere. Then I took a wrong turning and it took me ages to get back on the right road again. Anyway, I made it finally.” Sharon said as she hugged Andrea, “So how are you?”
Just then the waitress came back with Andrea’s coffee and carrot cake, she looked at Sharon, “Can I get you anything?”
“That looks good; I’ll have the same, only I’ll have 2 sugars in my coffee, thanks”
The waitress nodded and went to get Sharon’s order.
“So,” Sharon said “How are things? How’s Paul?”
Andrea sighed, “Paul and I have broken up.”
“When? Last time I spoke to you, you were doing great.”
“That was over a month ago. I found out he’s been seeing a woman from his work.”
“Oh hon, I’m sorry” Sharon took Andrea’s hand.
Andrea shook her head, “Don’t be, I’d known for ages there was something going on with him but I just couldn’t figure out what. I saw him three weeks ago out at dinner with her when he was supposed to be working.”
“Well, I never liked him anyway.” Sharon replied with a small smile on her face.
“Yes you did. You loved him.”
“No, I only put up with him for you. I despised the man” She said jokingly.
The waitress set Sharon’s order on the table.
Sharon looked up and smiled, “Thanks.” The waitress smiled and left.
“So, what are we up to this weekend?”
“Well,” Andrea started “we’re going to this gorgeous B&B first to drop off our stuff. Then I have a weekend of sweaty, hard work planned.”
Sharon groaned “Why do we have to go on activity weekends with you? My weekends are nice and relaxing.”
“That’s ‘cos you’re nice and boring. You know this is how I relax.”
“Funny way to relax if you ask me.”
“Stop whining, it’ll be fun. Besides, it’s probably the only exercise you get since we left school.”
Sharon looked at her out the side of her eyes and drank her coffee.
They both sat in silence while they ate their cakes. It may seem strange to people that two old friends who only see one another once a year wouldn’t be talking non stop, but that was why Andrea and Sharon were such good friends. They didn’t have to talk to one another all the time; they just enjoyed each others company.
Sharon stood up, “I have to go to the bathroom, and I’ve been in that car for hours.”
Andrea watched as she walked to the bathroom, noticing the stares she was getting from the few men in the café. It didn’t matter what age they were, Sharon had always been noticed wherever they went. That’s why she’d gotten married so young, she and Alex had started going out in secondary school. She hadn’t noticed him of course, but he’d been trying to ask her out for months, he finally plucked up the courage to ask Andrea if she would ask her. They’d been together ever since.
Andrea turned back to her coffee and took a drink. Just then the door opened and a man came in. He sat at the table next to Andrea and ordered a drink. Andrea couldn’t help but stare at him; he had jet black hair and gorgeous dark green eyes. He was athletically built but not too muscular. He must have felt her eyes on him and turned to look at her. Andrea turned away quickly, embarrassed that she’d been caught staring.
“I’m Derek.”
Andrea turned; the man was looking at her. “I’m Andrea. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare.”
“It’s okay, I’m used to it.” He flicked his eyes up in a pointing gesture.
Andrea followed his gaze and realised that every other person in the café was staring at him in an odd confusion. The ones that noticed Andrea staring looked away but the others just kept on staring.
“Why are they all staring at you like that?” Andrea asked
“Most people do, it’s as if they all get this feeling they know me and they’re all trying to place me in their heads. So you don’t sound like you come from around here.”
“I live in Glasgow. I’m here for the weekend with my friend. How about you? You don’t seem to belong here either.”
“I’m just passing through on my way between jobs. I’m heading to Inverness.”
“That’s where we’re going. I love it there.”
“I’ve been a few times, it’s nice.” He drank his coffee in one quick gulp. “Well, I’d better be going, no rest for the wicked.”
“Tell me about it.”
“It was nice meeting you Andrea; maybe I’ll see you in Inverness.”
“Yeah, ‘bye.”
He put money on the table and left.
Sharon came back to the table, “Who was the hunk?”
“I don’t know. Derek something.” Andrea said, distracted. She had a feeling she’d met him before, and would probably be seeing him again.

Derek pulled two watches from his pocket and looked at the faces. He didn’t get this new technology thing; still the watches were more reliable that the old egg timers. He’d never get used to all the changes in the world; he still refused to give up his horse. He put the watches with Andrea and Sharon’s name on them back in his pocket and mounted his horse. Andrea was going to regret booking an activity holiday this year. He tapped his horse on her side, she walked forward before they both disappeared into the mist.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Falling for the fallen . . .

For Nora Grey, romance was never part of the plan. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgement.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora isn't sure if she can trust him. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and to know more about her than her closest friends. And when she tries to seek answers, she discovers she is right in the middle of a centuries-old battle between the immortal and the fallen ... and it's time to take sides.

What a debut from Becca Fitzpatrick! This book was fantastic.

Nora and Vee are best friends with a connection going back to childhood and when Nora has to pair up with Patch in Biology she finds herself attracted to him but doesn't know why.

I liked Nora straight away but I don't know exactly why, she has a bad history and a mother that works away a lot. I think I like her because she's quite mature for her age (especially when you compare her to her best friend, Vee) and I always like YA books that have characters that aren't whingy, immature kids. Yes, this has one particular character that's like that but she's not a main character so I'm fine with that.
Patch is great, the typical bad boy with a history no-one knows about, along with where he comes from or where he lives etc. I had no idea what to expect from Patch, he constantly goes from the hero to the bad guy to the hero to the bad guy etc etc.

The pacing is great and makes this a very quick read. I read it while I was working and (as always happens with great books) I resented customers for making me put my book down!
I cannot wait to read the sequel, Crescendo. Which is out now by the way.


Book Depository: Hush Hush
Amazon UK: Hush, Hush

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Books vs films/TV

Since I read Alpha and it gave me a huge lump in my throat, I realised I can cry over books a lot easier than films or TV.

I mean, films and TV programmes can sometimes give me a lump in my throat but I've never watched any that actually caused me to cry. But I have actually shed tears over books and the only reason I didn't cry over Alpha was because I had to put it down after reading a particular scene. I think because it was a scene that I can't even comprehend having to cope with myself.

I used to think I was weird when people said they cried over certain films or programmes but I hadn't. Even though films can give me a lump in my throat, it's generally only films about animals. For example, Marley and Me. But I think it's because I can use my own imagination with a book and that makes it worse.

What about you? Does anyone else cry more over books than films or is it vice versa?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Alpha by Rachel Vincent


Everything is about to change for werecat Faythe when her father is ousted from the council that controls their secret world. And a shocking tragedy jeopardises her future as Alpha of her pride.

Now a rebel on the run, Faythe's biggest fight lies ahead. Old allies from the supernatural world are ready to stnad by her side. And weretoms Marc and Jace would give their very souls in the duel for Faythe's heart ...

Yet as their enemies draw near Faythe knows that she - and she alone - can lead the pride into what may be their final battle.

I can say one word to sum up this fantastic finale to the Shifters series and that word is ..... WOW!!!!
I'm so sad to see the series ending but what an ending!!
Faythe has had a lot to deal with and she and her pridemates have still not really avenged Ethan's death so they're still looking for payback for that. As well as all the other crap that's happened to Faythe and her pride throughout the series.

One thing I love about Faythe is she can kick ass with the best of them but Rachel doesn't write her as "my heroine is the best and always comes out on top". She doesn't always come out on top, she does lose on occasion and she can screw up, which I love.

There's not a lot I can say about Alpha without giving too much away and I hate reading spoilers. I read one about Alpha that made me sad but luckily it didn't ruin the book for me, and the particular scene that got spoiled for me was just as heartfelt and meaningful for me evern though I knew it was coming.

All in all, Shifters is a great series by a great author and Alpha is an awesome ending to that series. A must read.


Book Depository: Alpha
Amazon UK: Alpha