I have read a lot of books recently. Maybe it’s the fact that spring is a long time coming and going outside isn’t an attractive proposition, or maybe I’ve just got into the reading groove. Whatever it is, I’m not complaining. There are so many good books to devour, and here are some of my favourite recent reads.
The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake
Cosy, funny and romantic, this delicious story had me racing through the pages as Clara makes her mark on the quaint village of Yulethorpe. I defy you to read it and not want to surround yourself with beautifully-scented candles. Here is the blurb:
It’s autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.
Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother’s shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?
Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?
The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley
Cathy is a master of women’s fiction, and while I haven’t read her whole back catalogue, what I have read I’ve loved. The Lemon Tree Café is funny, uplifting and inspiring. It’s full of brilliant characters, and Cathy’s easy, warm writing puts you right in the action. It’s a story you can get completely lost in, and feel all the better for it. Here is the blurb:
When Rosie Featherstone finds herself unexpectedly jobless, the offer to help her beloved Italian grandmother out at the Lemon Tree Cafe – a little slice of Italy nestled in the rolling hills of Derbyshire – feels like the perfect way to keep busy.
Surrounded by the rich scent of espresso, delicious biscotti and juicy village gossip, Rosie soon finds herself falling for her new way of life. But she is haunted by a terrible secret, one that even the appearance of a handsome new face can’t quite help her move on from.
Then disaster looms and the cafe’s fortunes are threatened . . . and Rosie discovers that her nonna has been hiding a dark past of her own. With surprises, betrayal and more than one secret brewing, can she find a way to save the Lemon Tree Cafe and help both herself and Nonna achieve the happy endings they deserve?
Crazy in Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling
If you follow me on social media you will know I’m a HUGE fan of Annie Darling’s books, and the third instalment is utterly brilliant. I can’t express how much I love these stories, the pitch perfect humour and loveable, flawed characters, the way Annie draws on classics – this one is all about Wuthering Heights – and the gorgeous romances, as satisfying as a hot chocolate with a kick of Baileys. I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice to say, I loved this book. Here is the blurb:
You can go crazy searching for the one…
Nina is addicted to bad boys, the wilder, the better. Despite her friends’ misgivings, she firmly believes that true love only takes one form: wild, full of passion and fire and punctuated by tempestuous arguments. She won’t settle for anything less.
But years of swiping right has uncovered nothing but losers and flings, and Nina is no closer to finding her One True Love than she ever was. And when a man from her past walks into the shop Nina knows she has nothing to fear: the geekiest boy in her school has become a boring suit with no chance of making her heart go pitter patter.
Which just shows how little Nina knows about her heart…
And now for something a little bit less romantic . . .
Girl on Fire by Tony Parsons
I read a lot of crime fiction, and there are a few series that I have to keep up with. Tony Parsons’ DC Max Wolfe series is one of them. I love his writing style, and Max Wolfe is one of my favourite fictional characters. They’re always fast-paced and action packed, but this one is heart-rending too. It tackles terrorism in the UK, and looks at it in a balanced way, stripping it back to the people involved. Unputdownable, tense and very emotional, I think it’s his best one yet. Here’s the blurb:
When terrorists use a drone to bring down a plane on one of London’s busiest shopping centres, it ignites a chain of events that will draw in the innocent and guilty alike.
DC Max Wolfe finds himself caught in the crossfire in a city that seems increasingly dangerous and hostile.
But does the danger come from the murderous criminals that Max is tracking down? Or the people he’s trying to protect?
Or does the real threat to Max lie closer to home?
I also finally got round to reading Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris, which was a rollercoaster of a ride. It was difficult to read in places, and I had my heart in my mouth most of the time. Not a relaxing read, but a brilliant one. And yesterday I finished The Santiago Sisters by Victoria Fox, which is an epic, sweeping, (and sizzling) story about twin sisters from Argentina who are separated as teenagers. Full of glitzy locations and tempestuous relationships, I was completely sucked in. A fun, escapist read!
What have you been reading recently? Do you like to mix up genres or do you stick firmly to one? Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you think.