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The Queen of New Beginnings

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,739 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
Alice Shoemaker habitually goes to great lengths to avoid telling the truth about herself and her past. After agreeing to help out a friend by shopping and cleaning for the unknown man staying at Cuckoo House, she soon becomes suspicious that her strange and obnoxiously rude client has something to hide. Clayton Miller's life is a mess. His career as one of the country's b ...more
Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 2010)
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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
Aug 16, 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
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.
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
Apr 25, 2013 Jenna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 28, 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
Feb 19, 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!

Lorna Gilder
Jan 28, 2017 Lorna Gilder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting easy read about the life of Alice who grew up with dysfunctional parents. As an adult she meets a writer who she shares her story with and it leads to more than she expects. An enjoyable read with good characters.
Jennifer Brown
Jan 02, 2012 Jennifer Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
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
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
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),
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
Nicola Clough
May 29, 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
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.
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.
Dec 18, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Karen Hubbard
This was a quick read too. It was a nice story, and I liked all of the characters. The very end was pretty predictable (about what George did at the end for Alice) I was interested enough in the story to keep reading-kept turning pages. Nice and light with a happy ending.
Louise Witts
Really enjoyed the first half but the second half was a bit waffly & overlong.
Liz Craig
May 22, 2017 Liz Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Cleverly written, a joy to read. Multiple charming, endearing characters. Loved this one!
May 05, 2017 Din rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very slow read. I thought it would get more exciting but the story never seemed to take off. The characters were difficult to connect with. Disappointed with the story.
Hannah Polley
Mar 04, 2017 Hannah Polley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, erica-james
I felt like this book was slow to start but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. It was impossible not to like Alice once you heard her background story. A difficult childhood but still idolised her father only to be taken advantage of and cruelly tossed aside by her stepbrother and for her father to then abandon her. I didn't blame her for hiding herself from her father but felt incredibly sad that they didn't get to make it up. I also wished that Rufus had expressed some remorse for his beh ...more
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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
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
Lara Taghlian
Mar 25, 2012 Lara Taghlian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 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.
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'
Jan 03, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it
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
Feb 19, 2016 Catsalive rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
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
Jan 11, 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
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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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