I recently dsicovered Melissa Nathan. The first book I read by her was Persuading Annie, a Persuasion retelling (if you don't know by now that PersuasiI recently dsicovered Melissa Nathan. The first book I read by her was Persuading Annie, a Persuasion retelling (if you don't know by now that Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel, you really should subscribe to this blog. jk) and I instantly fell in love with her humor, her wit and her swoooooooony scenes.
And then, I grabbed the nanny. Here is the synopsis:
Twenty-three-year-old Jo Green knows that if she has to spend one more night in ultra-provincial Niblet-Upon-Avon she'll go completely bonkers! So she answers an ad in the paper, bids her devoted boyfriend Shaun adieu, and heads off to the big city. With a new job that offers excitement; a cool car; and her own suite with a TV, DVD player, and a cell phone, how can she go wrong?
Then she meets . . . the Fitzgeralds -- Dick and Vanessa and their unruly brood of rugrats who have suddenly been entrusted into Jo's care. There's eight-year-old "psycho-babe" Cassandra; bloodthirsty Zak, the six-year-old Terminator; and timid little Tallulah.
So what else could go wrong? How about the arrival of Dick's children from his first marriage: teenage Toby and (gulp!) all-grown-up-and-very-nicely-at-that Josh the accountant? And now that she has to temporarily share her room with Josh, Jo's head is really in a spin -- because with her hometown beau still in the picture and a sexy possibility sleeping just a foot away, life has suddenly gotten very complicated indeed!
Man, this book ruined my life in the best way possible. I just couldn't stop laughing. Then I had to stop laughing in order to read more, because I just couldn't. Put. It. Down. On one hand I needed to know what was going to happen with Jo and Cassie and Vanessa and Josh and every other character in the book -seriously, can't this author write one unlikeable character? I was in love with the bad guys and the good guys and the kids and the adults... I even miss the stupid house they lived in now that I'm done with the novel. And, to be honest, it's not that they were all lovable per se. It's that they were alive. They leapt out of the page at me, with their little mannerisms, their weird comments, the little details of their clothes. I was there. I did not read this book. I did not watch it unfold like a movie in my head as I read, like you generally do with a good, engaging book. I lived in it. I know these people intimately, I was there when they were behaving like idiots, when their worlds came crashing down, when they fell in love. I miss them right now so much that I can see the hugest reading slump heading my way, and I don't even care.
Which brings us to Josh (the not even caring does). I mean I've never read of a more gorgeous, irritating, vulnerable and totally mouthwatering hero since mr Darcy. And of course The Nanny has a million Pride and Prejudice points, where the main characters swap opinions about each other maddeningly (and hilariously), and where romance surprises you in the most swoonworthy and unexpected of ways.
To be honest, I've read about three of Melissa Nathan's novels, and I can say that no one does social commedy, family life or intense romance as well as she. She is, to me (early death, and glorious carreer left in the middle aside) the modern Jane Austen, no doubt about it. Her novels aren't chick-lit, they're not romances, they're not comedies. They are literature. I particularly enjoyed how she uses themes and tropes from Jane Austen's books, but twists them around to fit completely original plots and characters. The Nanny, for instance, is not a retelling, but it has SO many beloved aspects of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility and even Mansfield Park a little bit. It's the best thing that's happened to me since I discovered Austen in my early teens, and now that I'm slowly making my way around her books (much like I did with Jane's back then) I know that they'll be all read soon, and I won't know what to do with myself.
Reread them, I guess.
If you're sad or tired or just in need of a good book, just grab yourself a copy of The Nanny. As soon as you can breathe again (from laughing, or from swooning, one of the two will be happening every other page) you'll thank me. ...more
What AMAZING-ness is this book?! It totally blew my ming! I was glued to the pages for two days, couldn't stop reading... The most excellent fairytaleWhat AMAZING-ness is this book?! It totally blew my ming! I was glued to the pages for two days, couldn't stop reading... The most excellent fairytale-gone-dark, turn-the-tables, hate-to-love story I've read in a long time! Oficially in LOVE with Agatha and Sophie's fairytale! swooooooooon...more
These Broken Stars begins as a sci-fi space novel, and ends up being a survival adventure between two star-crossed lovers. Needless to say, I absoluteThese Broken Stars begins as a sci-fi space novel, and ends up being a survival adventure between two star-crossed lovers. Needless to say, I absolutely adored every single word of it.
This was one of these books I absolutely couldn't put down, and at the same time I tried to read it as slowly as I could, dreading the moment when it would be over. I loved the slow-burn of the romance, which was tantalizingly building between the two main characters, keeping me guessing until the very end. I loved the character developement, and I was fascinated by the slow reveal of the backstory, which was being revealed part by part and not given in an overload of info at the beginning. The book at first had that lush, Fitzerald feel of a Great Gatsby party and that sort of thing. It was also reminiscent of the stable-boy falling for the princess from afar romance plot.
But as soon as the pace took off, the novel took on an entirely different direction -and that's what made me fall in love with it, after all.
First of all, I couldn't wait to read the next in-between chapter. The in-bewteen chapters are like one or two pages of an interview, in which we're not told who is speaking. We don't know who is asking the questions and who is answering, but pretty soon we can guess. It was written with so few words and that was part of its charm. The word I'm looking for here is intelligent. It was ingenious. I'm right on the verge of spoiling everything here, so I won't say anything else, just that it was the smartest way of keeping the reader informed and helping them understand the past of the characters, as well as their private thoughts without boring them to death with an info dump that seems so popular with ya books these days.
Then the survival struggle started. I love these types of stories, where the stakes are life and death, but also from the adventure of surviving comes character developement and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around surrounding the characters. They also have to rely upon each other for most of it, and that's the start of their relationship.
Then start the swoony scenes...
I just loved this book and I can't wait for the next one to arrive (I've prerdered it). It was one of the most fun, exciting reads with a swoonworthy hero and a tough heroine, complete with adventure and breathtaking romance....more
I stumbled upon a book with a fun, original cover, which screamed 'Regency' and had a fascinating descriptThe best thing happened to me the other day!
I stumbled upon a book with a fun, original cover, which screamed 'Regency' and had a fascinating description. In addition to this, the book was in a clearance pile in a second-hand bookstore, so I grabbed it without a second thought, knowing nothing about the author and never having heard of it before. When I got home I opened to read a page, just to see if I liked the writing style. And, that's it. I'm in love.
This particular book is a standalone, but part of 'The Poor Relation' Series. Here is the description:
The Poor Relation hotel is the toast of London and its owners are preparing to sell up and retire - but one last romantic adventure awaits them! Driven into hiding at the hotel by a tyrannous father and a rich but wizened suitor, Lady Jane Fremney attempts to end her life. The poor relations save the young lady and determine to improve her lot in life by bringing her out for the Season. All the young bucks call on Jane, among them the handsome but racy Comte de Mornay, an exile from Napoleon's France who has broken many a heart and so far eluded matrimony. Jane is quite adamant he is unsuitable for her - but when his life is threatened by an assassin's pistol, it is up to her to help him escape from danger... and into l'amour!
So, right off the bat, I was hooked. A wealthy lady, running away, almost committed suicide, plus a hotel founded by a bunch of ex-poor relations... Sounds yummy, right?
Well, it wasn't all fun and laughs. There was an unexpected depth to the story, dealing with issues of depression, loneliness and despair. It was about family, not necessarily one's birth family, but the one that is formed from ties with people who care and help one another. It just warmed my heart.
There is of course the scoundel who ends up reformed -or does he? I'm telling you one thing, and those who follow my blog and reviews know that I NEVER say this lightly, but the wit and humour of this book (particularly of one character) can only be compared to Georgette Heyer's style! I didn't think it would be possible to find another hero with the dashing style and cutting lines of a Mr. Beaummaris (from Arabella), or Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon (from These Old Shades). But I'm telling you, I DID!
The gentle, sad heroine has some transforming to do from an ugly duckling to a swan, and it takes a lot of bravery on her side and a lot of love on the part of the hotel owners -who, by the way, are the most endearing and colorful bunch of characters you've ever met in a book- but she does it by the end, and gets her own happily ever after without any need of rescue from anyone else. I was cheering her on like crazy. There are a few side stories taking place, a hilarious deception from a girl who is in love with a gent who in turn is in love with a married woman. Also there's middle-aged Miss Tonks, who is looking for a man of her own, in love with a dashing actor who is sending her mixed signals. But most of all, there is an overall feeling of goodness and kindness and good humor. And hope.
This book was a delight from start to end. It made me laugh, cry, almost have a panick attack. The FEELS. It's short, too, if that's something you're interested in, no unnecessary ramblings or descriptions, which makes it even more of a masterpiece, in my opinion. Of course I sort of hoped it would go on forever, but after finishing it, I went online and found that M.C. Beaton has written, like, a billion Regencies.
I can honestly say that discovering this book, and this author, was the best kind of gift. If you are like me, and need some more Regency in your life (of the best sort), go grab as many of these as you can. I know I will. ;) ...more
I am rapidly becoming addicted to Sarra Manning's books. How did this happen to me, I thought I was being so careful...? Anyway, I adore this book. FinI am rapidly becoming addicted to Sarra Manning's books. How did this happen to me, I thought I was being so careful...? Anyway, I adore this book. Finished it yesterday and can't stop thinking about it. Is it too soon for a reread?
This might just be my new favourite book in the ya contemporary genre. It is not so superficially written as the synopsis above would have you believe.This might just be my new favourite book in the ya contemporary genre. It is not so superficially written as the synopsis above would have you believe. It is a sweet, fluffy love story about a girl who falls in love with a modern prince. It has the best from the clean romance section and the best of contemporary fiction.
Bothe Reece and Dante are characters that grow on the reader. They are perfectly likeable, realistic teens to begin with, but they also change a lot during the course of the story. They mature, they become stronger, they grow up. They take control of their lives, each in a different way, and they make their choices, through sometimes painful and dangerous circumstances. I liked them both as characters immensely, they are both strong-willed people, but not in an irritating way. They just know their own mind, but let me tell you, that makes for a very interesting relationship.
Sometimes, these contemporary romance ya books suffer from an almost complete lack of plot (i.e. the ridiculously famous Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door). That is not the case with this book. There is a plot and a mystery, of sorts, and although it is nothing heart-stopping, it does wonders for moving the story along and making this book, on top of everything else, a page-turner also.
I adored this book. It has summer, it has travel, it has adventure. And, of course, growing up. Even if you are done growing up, if you are like me, you will love reading about these two people coming of age in style.
I hope you are one of these persons who judges a book by its cover -only actual books of course and not people- then let me tell you something about VI hope you are one of these persons who judges a book by its cover -only actual books of course and not people- then let me tell you something about Vaclav and Lena. If at first sight you thought this is a light-hearted, one-layered children's book -or book about children-, then you are wrong. If, on the other hand, you thought this looks like a tender, sweet, vintage read with tendencies to suck you in a story so warm and emotional that you won't be satisfied with another book for sometime after finishing, then you are completely right.
That's what this book was for me, anyway.
The characters were very well fleshed-out, even though the writing style is this type of poetic, sparce use of words that so few books manage to get right these days. You know, the kind of book that is written as though every single word has been chosen personally for the task of conveying a particual message in the story. The kind of book that is full of word-painted pictures. Anyway, the characters as I was saying are extremely realistic, from the fragile Lena to sweet, growing-up Vaclav, to the host of surrounding characters.
Their love story begins as a childhood friendship and then it becomes the medium via which we are diven the painful realiry of the cold war. Now, don't mistake me this book deals with some very tough issues, regardless of the historical frame they are placed in, so sometimes, although the writing is elegant, the story becomes sad, even painful. Also, there is a very tactful dealing with a very mature issue.
I loved everything about this book. I loved how it made me almost cry and then surprised me with the warmest feeling. I loved the humanity of the characters and the realistic quality of the situations they found themselves in. I loved the literary and refined writing. ...more
In this new spin on the Robin Hood legend, Scarlet is the protagonist and the one through whom we 'see' everything. She is also a girl, contrary to evIn this new spin on the Robin Hood legend, Scarlet is the protagonist and the one through whom we 'see' everything. She is also a girl, contrary to every other story you have probably read about Robin Hood and his band of marry men. I simply adored this book.
It is packed with action, adventure and success. Justice-serving missiongs, saving people from burning houses and from tightly watched prisons, running through the forest and providing the poor with gold for taxes and meat. Everything one loves about the Robin Hood legend is here. Plus romance. A lot of romance, clean and sweet and sometimes heart-wrenching.
Robin Hood and his small band of other three people are very young in this story, younger than most legends portray them, but for some reason they sound more real and realistic than any other version of them. The historical setting also is detailed and gives a good feel of the time and place. I have no idea if it is completely accurate, but truth be told, I don't much care. It sounds realistic, and that is the hardest part of any story.
There is no drawback for me in this book. It went instatly to my top favourites self. The cover is very precise of Scarlet, and I found myself looking at it while I was reading, trying to picture her and Robin and John and Much hanging from the branches of the Sherwood trees.
It ended in a somewhat cruel cliffhanger and I beyond hope that there is a sequel. It is not often that a book can wow me, especially if that book has to do with my favourite historical and literary hero of all time. I am not easy to please, as you can see from my reviews. And yet, wow.