psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
March 23, 2017
"For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight's retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it's turned into a nightmare. Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they've been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island that Jemma can trust? And above all - where has her husband gone?"
This starts as an almost traditional and well-worn story of a honeymoon couple on an exotic island where one goes missing.
So we think we know where the story is going. There are 2 scenarios: 1. He has deliberately left in the ‘missing drowned’ and walked away staged death; or 2. She has killed him and his body has got washed away and may never be found – shark eaten etc etc.
Except. That as the story develops it seems that what we thought we first knew, was not correct at all. The various characters tell lies – sometimes of omission and sometimes deliberately.
And whilst I’m definitely not going give you a spoiler, I am going to say this, you will never, ever, guess what really happened!
Jonquils for Jax
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Spencer Hill Contemporary
August 19, 2016
Jacqueline Jax Rousseau is vivacious, rich, smart and beautiful but that doesn't mean she s lucky in love: she s dated doctors, lawyers, actors and politicians who've all managed to end up disappointing her. In fact, she s on a self-imposed hiatus from love when she has an unpleasant run-in with her neighbor's gorgeous new landscaper, Gardener Lenox. Jax is not accustomed to gruff, ill-mannered men that can't be charmed, but something about Gard intrigues her, and if she can find her way through the armor that surrounds his heart, she also might find a love that won t let her down. "
Don’t fall for the Help!
Lots of botanical accuracy in this light romance with frothy fun as the nouveau riche from N’awlins meets the old money from Philly.
Rich people’s problems
May 23, 2017
Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia's greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance. When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife--a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan's gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia's most privileged families.
The main problem that most rich people see to have, especially the nouveau riche, (less than 4 generations of wealth in my definition), is that they are rich. And for them, they tend to believe that they are the centre of everyone’s universe, and are very demanding, intolerant, inveterate gossips, and basically as selfish as they come. And they don’t what more they can spend their money on to demonstrate their wealth and that they are richer than their ‘friends’. They travel in private jets of course, with full spa pools, masseuses, hair-dressers, maids, make-up artists, body guards and anyone else they think they might need.. and no I am not jealous – except maybe a little bit of the masseuses – that would be nice to have a daily massage.
This book centres on the Singaporean and Chinese newly rich – and those that made their wealth in the days of the British government. The sub-title ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ certainly sums up the story well.
The book follows the lives of a small number of very rich families as the matriarch falls ill and may die and the family vultures that gather around and start manoeuvring.
The matriarch is the heir to the biggest single estate in Singapore and her own heir is uncertain as she fell out with her grandson when she disapproved of his marriage.
I liked the mention of Charlie Siem playing the violin at the wedding as he is one my favourite artists – I have heard him play in London and he was wonderful.
For me one big bugbear of this book is that the author uses a lot of Singaporean words and then adds notes to the end of each chapter like a textbook. Either provide a full glossary at the book end or beginning or assume that us readers will muddle through – most of us don’t care about the exact translation anyway.
Corrupted Hearts #2
suspense, romance, contemporary, military
14 March 2017
Just a few weeks ago, computer prodigy China Mack’s typical night in involved Endor Star Wars pajamas and a sensible bedtime. Now she’s dating gorgeous tech guru Jackson Cooper—one of Forbes’s Top Ten Eligible Billionaires—much to the Twitterverse’s delight.
Turns out, going from socially inept hermit to poster girl for geek chic has its challenges. China’s relationship gets even more complicated because her role heading the top-secret Vigilance program—where she’s partnered with Superman clone Clark Slattery—makes her a target. And when ruthless businessman Simon Lu plans to co-opt Vigilance software to blackmail government and military employees, he’ll need China’s cooperation—willing or otherwise.
But not every enemy is so easily identified. Some hide in plain sight, in very high places, and mistaking foe for friend could be the last mistake China ever makes…
China Mack re-appears in this next book in the series as the manager and leader of a group, rather than a follower and finds it trickier. Especially, as her habits interfere with her work and she is often forced to forego her precious rituals. For someone with OCD this is very upsetting…
She is involved with 2 men and finds herself meeting the President of the United States in a somewhat unusual situation. Spies, treachery and conspiracies are essential in this story but it is told with a deft touch of humour and we really bond with China as she struggles to make sense of her new situation.
I live Geeky girls and China is no exception. Can’t wait for the next inst
Wrong Turn, Right Direction
#4 Bourbon Street Boys
Fiction, military, romance, mystery
May 9, 2017
Tamika Cleary takes a wrong turn up a one-way street—and straight into Thibault Delacroix’s leg as he steps into the road. But Mika’s in a hurry, and she certainly doesn’t have time for a guy who can’t even look both ways before crossing, even if he does have a cute face, a body to die for, and the darkest, thickest eyelashes she’s ever seen. Unfortunately for Mika, fate has other ideas. When she’s threatened by her employer, a Russian mafia boss known as “The Thief”, she’s forced to accept Thibault’s help. As the co-owner of the Bourbon Street Boys security firm, he believes he can keep her safe. But Mika has a whole load of trust issues—and the pushier Thibault is about helping, the more stubbornly she tries to resist. Mika may have taken a wrong turn the day they met, but will she finally let someone steer her in the right direction?
Here Elle Casey tackles an even darker storyline with a heroine having a really distressing back story which she gradually relates to Thibault.
The story is told in the 1st person but as it is happening, so we can’t know the resolution of the story until Tamika knows herself.
Tamika starts the story off with a road accident and giving birth – somewhat unexpectedly, as she hadn’t realised she was pregnant – in a nail salon. Not knowing she was pregnant was really a form of self- denial as we realise as the story progresses.
How she became pregnant was something she does not want to share, even though it is clear that Pavel was the father so the reader can only assume rape. Which would totally fit with her relationship with Pavel, the crime lord.
A story that makes you think and glad you didn’t live Tamika’s life in the ghetto.