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The Queen of New Beginnings

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3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,538 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
What happens when your best hope for the future is through the past?
ebook, 512 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Barbara Elsborg
Mar 23, 2012 Barbara Elsborg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession. I bought 5 of Ms James' books in a pack because they were cheap. I knew she was popular, I hadn't read her and thought I'd give her a try. I've read 4 out of the 5. Three I didn't like, one of them I couldn't finish. I can see she's a very good writer but they're not my kind of books so this is a very personal review. I'm sure she deserves her success!! But this book - the Queen of New Beginnings, I liked! I think the difference between this book and the others I read was th ...more
Melinda Elizabeth
It was a bit long in the tooth and was a little dull on occasion, you want to keep your chick lit punchy and fast paced for the most part, and because of the lags in the story, only three stars.
Jessica
Apr 29, 2013 Jessica rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
One word: boring. This book was extremely well written, had a good plot line, characters were well developed - it was just boring. There was no real excitement or drama that pulled me into the story. It was mainly just a recitation of a woman named Alice's life (past and present), and how it intersected with a down-on-his-luck writer named Clayton. Throw in the almost obligatory romance theme, and there you go. There were a few "twists" along the way, but I use that word lightly. None of them ad ...more
Suzanne
Sep 15, 2010 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, i don't care.. i liked this book! It's not deep and thought provoking, there are no thrills or horrors or anything to make your mind work a little harder than usual, it was just enjoyable, simple and fun.. what's wrong with that? :)
The main characters 'Alice' and 'Clayton' were likable and interesting, the story itself was quite fascinating once it got going a little, I don't like reading about shopaholics or other superficial stuff like that, i like these kind of reads to have at least a li
...more
Marie
Jun 03, 2012 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*NOTE - I am not giving this book a low rating because it sucks - as I would not know, I did not get past chapter 5.

I rated this book low for MY taste. I tried the keep reading but it sparked me in so many ways as your typical, predictable, angry-lady-sad-guy who will prob like each other in the end.

I started reading the book because I thought it might be a good 'chick' read for me to wiz through until I chose my next book. It ended up not being the case.

I am sure the author is a great writer an
...more
Helena
Feb 21, 2013 Helena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book by Ms James I have ever read. I enjoyed it enough to try more.

Both Alice and Clayton are plausible characters and are well developed. The dialogue is extremely funny at times and I really laughed out loud! Storyline predictable though.

I loved George!

Nicola Clough
Jun 02, 2016 Nicola Clough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story from start to end and has you wanting to know what happens next. There are many twists and turns to the characters lives and can they find true love it not. Alice was brought up in cuckoo house but her past she has never got over and when she has grown up and moved back to the area she goes to clean at cuckoo house as a favour to a friend and there she meet Clayton who is hiding as he's been accused of things so has decided to run away. Alice ends up telling Clayton her life s ...more
Fyreball Reed
I've been on an alpha male kick lately (all Kristen Ashley, all the time) but decided to read some of my backlog before picking up another one (err, OK, I actually finished all of KA's books and felt guilty about the books I'd been buying from Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals...). First up, was Queen of New Beginnings by Erica James.

At first, I was off to a slow start because it wasn't clear to me how the book was laid out. We meet Clayton (H) and then Alice (h) but then we dive deep into Alice's fa
...more
Jennifer Brown
I gave up on this book. It might be just because I'm having trouble finding a big chunk of time to read and keep losing interest. I started reading another book while getting a foot massage and will stick to it. I might come back to this one, but for now I'm putting it on my gave up on bookshelf. I need something that grabs and keeps my attention right now.

So glad I went back to this one to finish! I would give it 4 stars if it didn't take me awhile to get into the book. When I picked it up agai
...more
Lindsay IL
Apr 18, 2013 Lindsay IL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
2.5 stars that I will round up to 3. I wanted to like this book BUT it seemed to drag on and on for me. In the first half, I hated that we were in present tense in Alice's POV, then present Clayton POV, then Alice telling about her past for several chapters, then present Alice, then past Alice, then present Clayton, past Clayton, present Alice....are you dizzy yet? There was so much jumping and it was not clearly established which POV and which time period we were in, I just got bored. I liked t ...more
Hannah
Aug 14, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the blurb on the back, I rolled my eyes thinking how familiar this sounded for a Chick Lit book. I rarely read Chick Lit, but I had two options I could open it up and start reading, or I could give it back to the friend who lent it to me, smiling faintly about not having time.

I took my friend's recommendation and opened the book. Hours later the book is still open and I am avidly reading. The book is full of suspense and surprises. It is impossible to put down once started. Very well wr
...more
Sarah
Sep 01, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read. A little contrived. Some great one-liners, and comedic writing. The characters were easy enough to understand, like or dislike. I find the whole 'beautiful but doesn't know it' theme rather tiresome on books nowadays.

I swear E.L. James has read this book and based some of her character Anna on the main character of Alice in QONB. The fact that she had a habit of putting her finger to her lip, that causes stirrings in the older male character (who is naturally flawed in some way),
...more
Catsalive
Feb 19, 2016 Catsalive rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this & read it all in almost one sitting - had to stop for meals, etc. Alice & Clayton are likeable characters. I nearly stopped reading at Katya - really! - & Alice's overreaction to Clay's new story is an overused device, but otherwise it was a nice, amusing read.

Alice Shoemaker goes to great lengths to avoid telling the truth about herself and her past. But this proves difficult when she agrees to help out the strange and obnoxiously rude man who is staying at Cucko
...more
Best Crime Books & More
Clayton Miller has lost everything. He was one of the country's best selling comedy script writers. His writing partner and best friend Bazza drops a bombshell and leaves not only the partnership but takes Claytons long term girlfriend Stacey with him. Clayton is on the edge and when the press start hounding him, his agent decides that a break out in the sticks where nobody knows him will do him good until the media hype dies down. Clayton moves into a house through rented by one of his agents f ...more
Neenee
Another nice chick-lit for a slow paced weekend.

Enough plot twists to keep my attention. Could relate with all the characters - my favourite was their old quirky neighbour. I like everywhere she's in.

Major flaw for me is the inconsistent tone in the book. The book opens with something light and funny, becomes quite bleak in the middle, then back to sunny and happy in the end. Too much contrasts that sometimes it felt like it was written by two different people.
Ellie
Feb 24, 2014 Ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela Oliver
Fun, with engaging characters and an entertaining plot. Nothing remarkable or earth-shattering, just a tasty little feel-good novel. No real surprises, but an enjoyable enough "chocolate" book. James has a nice writing style, up there with Marian Keyes and Jane Green, although she lacks the greater depth of Keyes.
Andrea
Jan 02, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I really really loved this book, couldn't put it down once I was a few chapters in. Loved all of the characters. My first read of an Erica James novel but I will definitely be taking a look at her other stuff now. A lot to live up to.
Chrissi
I thought this was a good book, great story line and characters you actually feel something for, whether it be hatred or wishing them well. I love Erica James' writing and will be reading more of her work.
Angela
Nov 10, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This is very much a boy (Clayton Miller, early forties, comedy scriptwriter with writers block) meets girl (Alice Shoemaker, early thirties, voice-over artist, single) story with all the trials and tribulations of winning and losing each other along the way. They both meet for the first time when Clayton rents Cuckoo House to hide from the very public spats he has been having with his ex-writing partner and his ex-wife. Alice is there as the hired staff between voice-over jobs.

This romantic stor
...more
Terri
Mar 18, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on my Kindle at a low price and thought it would be a fun, light beach read. It turns out that I really liked it a lot. It wasn't what I was expecting at all, but I still really enjoyed it. It was difficult to put down and kept me coming back for more. Erica James' writing is good, and her story telling is excellent.

First of all, I love a good Gothic novel, and this book had all the elements of a Gothic romance including the mysterious old mansion, characters on the edge of craz
...more
Lara Taghlian
May 01, 2012 Lara Taghlian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
The Queen of new Beginnings.

This book definitely taught me to be careful to whom I tell my secrets to. Alice Shoemaker is the main character and we don’t know much about her when the story starts out except that she works as a voiceover for books on tape and cartoons doesn't open up or talk to anyone about her feelings. Clayton Miller is the other main character and he is the scriptwriter for the famous show JOKING ASIDE. However his girlfriend sleeps with his best friend Barry and Clayton does
...more
Goddess Of Blah
Sep 01, 2010 Goddess Of Blah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first half of the book is funny, emotional, brilliant and captivating. Unlike some of Erica James' other books, you don't have to read 3 chapters before you're totally engrossed. The characters are cute, eccentric, funny and distinguishable from the usual cast of characters that authors seem to draw from their cupboard of tricks. And you feel quite attached to them. For example, we're introduced to Clayton Miller (the principal male protagonist) as a lonely man who spends his time typing out ...more
Joy
3.5 stars.

I picked up this book on recommendation from a friend. I wasn't too sure what it was about, and I couldn't find it at all online, so when one day I was at the library and chanced upon this very book, I snatched it up and instantly bundled it up over my shoulder and carried it out the library (well okay so I put it into my backpack).

Anyway, this proved to be a remarkably different book from what I'd been reading the past few months. It's a very realistic portrayal of life. Although I'
...more
Sashi
I think the book has strong narration and good story however I felt it was slight draggy. Clayton is not my type of hero due to his indecisiveness. On the other hand I like Alice because personally I felt she is stronger than Clayton and she face life head on. This story is nice but it does not have the drama to make it better. I seriously feel Alice could do better then it is mentioned in the book. In a summary I felt the overall story is moderate for me.
Ruth
Mar 08, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book that I have read by Erica James although I believe it said in the back of the book that she has written something like 15 books.

In this story we meet Alice who works doing voice overs and providing voices for recording children's books. Her neighbor runs a cleaning business and when she gets strapped for help she comes to Alice to ask her to fill in. She asks Alice to clean at Cuckoo House where a rude man named Ralph is living temporarily. Working at Cuckoo House provide
...more
Rheetha Lawlor
I would take this book with me to the beach. It is entertaining, not too intense that you can't leave it, but you won't forget too much what is happening.
A girl has a crazy past at a house she is cleaning, and she tells the man who is staying there, trying to clear himself of some bad publicity and writer's block. The story of her time at the house is a great story in itself, and then the drama truly happens after the story is told. But to be honest, I liked the drama in her story more than the
...more
Sue
Mar 16, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2011
Alice doesn't like to think too much about her past, but something has drawn her back to her childhood village, and, temporarily out of work, she agrees to a cleaning job despite some serious reservations...

Clayton used to be part of an excellent script-writing duo, but things fell apart when his girlfriend and his writing partner decided to get together. Right now he's in hiding - on his agent's advice - because of something terrible he did recently, for which the media is hounding him...

In so
...more
Cheryl
Nov 06, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: womens-fiction
I really, really liked this book. The hero, a successful sit-com writer, is hiding from the press after an embarrassing public display to do with his old writing partner and his old girlfriend now with his partner.

His cleaning lady turns out to be the heroine who immediately, annoyed by his rudeness, pretends to be a Latvian maid. In reality she does voiceovers.

As the gentle romance unfolds, Alice tells her tale and Clayton tells his and they grow close. Then Clayton does a terrible thing.

When a
...more
Judy Adams
Jul 18, 2016 Judy Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read, filled with laughter, tear jerker at times. Alice had a somewhat crazy childhood, that she never told anyone about until she met Clayton who also had stories to tell. And then there is George a strong stubborn old lady who believes these two should be together. Lots of surprising turns. Worth reading!
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With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

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