Billionaires for sale?

Billionaire Investor Book Cover Billionaire Investor
Small Town Billionaire Romance #1-5
Alexa Davis
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Kindle

Justin is a self-made man, with millions to his name. But he also has a needy brother tagging along, spending his money almost as fast as he can make it, without any desire to pull his own weight. This leaves Justin with two choices: cut his brother loose or find a new investment.

In truth, he knows the right choice is to make his brother stand on his own, but the guilt is too much. So he starts seeking out new investments, which leads him to Annie and her combination café and bookstore.

Unfortunately, her store isn’t the right investment for him, but Annie herself is irresistible. And her daughter is just too lovely, making him start to see a new future for himself. But between his business and his brother, can he really find room in his life for Annie and her daughter?

A series of 5 books of which I only read the first as too bored to read further.

I kept saying ‘you can’t franchise the idea of a bookshop that sells coffee and cakes, and behaves as a community centre’ – and finally the heroine agreed. I really can’t even consider why anyone, even the author thought this was a good idea for an investor – so as the characters are clearly very far from business minded I decided, as they say on the Apprentice ‘You’re fired’ to the books.

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The Unwelcome Gift

Marriage Pact Book Cover Marriage Pact
Michelle Richmond
psychological, mystery, suspense, contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 27, 2017
432

Alice and Jake are the perfect couple - sort of. On the day of their wedding, a stranger offers them the chance to join a mysterious group, known as The Pact. With its promise of a lifelong marriage of happiness, Jake and Alice are persuaded to accept. The goals of the society seem sound - and the couple are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, sense of community and like-minded couples. But then one of them breaks the rules. Alice and Jake are about to discover that, like marriage, The Pact is for life. The members will go to any lengths to ensure nobody leaves - until the marriage of their dreams becomes their worst nightmare. Under The Pact, 'Til death do us part' has a whole new meaning. . .

A story that gets darker as it develops.

So here is the fairly typical West Coast USA couple. Well educated, good careers with some previous experimentation, living together in a bijou house in a nice neighbourhood. Marriage seems the next and logical step.

And a friend introduces them to this ‘organisation’ that started in Ireland, which aims to help people have better marriages and fewer divorces.

Strangely, to join the organisation you have sign a contract, and then are given a very large book of rules of behaviour. The rules are very precise and specify minutiae – as an example, if your spouse rings you, you must answer within 2 rings. Now you may ask, what happens if you answer in 3 rings? And how would the organisation know? Which is where the story starts getting creepy. Apparently they do know. And you will be ‘reported’ and ‘dealt’ with.

The story is told by Jake, who is a counsellor and therapist, and it is his marriage to Alice that is examined in the book.

If you are married, or about to be married, there are definitely some elements of this story that you might want to think about. How often do you talk to your partner properly? Not just about day to day chores and work. How often do you surprise them with a gift? For no reason other than that you want to?

The statistics about divorce are horrendous and also those about how often marriage counselling fails. So the idea of (self) help and how to make a successful marriage appeals. But, I suspect, that what works for some couples, works for them alone, just because they are who they are, and not someone else. So don’t copy their behaviour!

Which is why I don’t think that the concept of the Pact was useful as an idea from the cult leaders. Who clearly had the wrong sort of psychological training…..

I really like the story and got more and more horrified as the story went on. And the final chapter was completely unexpected.

 

 

 

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Which are you?

The Night Brother Book Cover The Night Brother
Rosie Garland
gender studies, literature, LGBT+
Borough Press
June 15, 2017

From the author of The Palace of Curiosities and Vixen comes a bold new novel exploring questions of identity, sexual equality and how well we really know ourselves. Perfect for fans of Angela Carter, Sarah Waters and Erin Morgenstern.

Rich are the delights of late nineteenth-century Manchester for young siblings Edie and Gnome. They bicker, banter, shout and scream their way through the city’s streets, embracing its charms and dangers. But as the pair grow up, it is Gnome who revels in the night-time, while Edie wakes exhausted each morning, unable to quell a sickening sense of unease, with only a dim memory of the dark hours.

Confused and frustrated at living a half-life, she decides to take control, distancing herself from Gnome once and for all. But can she ever be free from someone who knows her better than she knows herself?

A dazzling and provocative novel of adventure and belonging, The Night Brother lures us to the furthermost boundaries of sexual and gender identity. With echoes of Orlando and Jekyll & Hyde, this is a story about the vital importance of being honest with yourself. Every part of yourself. After all, no-one likes to be kept in the dark.

An easy to read and vividly descriptive writing style that impacts from the book’s start .

There are insightful perceptions about confidence in the context of an exciting childhood of an imaginary brother and sister. With early hints of  the supernatural in the storyline.

But is the story of the pub interesting? There are some good period-piece scene setting and narration that hold your interest, and keep you wondering where the story is going. but where the story is going is a good question.  The colourful & vivid writing has little plot at times as an example see the scene about the kid in the Punch & Judy show.

There are some interesting reflections of the very different views of similar situations; but here the writing is coarsely graphic rather than brightly / imaginatively descriptive.

And with the Edie chapter the story seems to drift into an argumentative soap opera; and it was hard to see where it was going,  if anywhere.

I lost interest at that point.

 

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I’m a Jewish Mama, I believe food is love

Hungry for Love Book Cover Hungry for Love
Lucy Beresford
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Quartet Books; UK ed. edition
(26 May 2016)

Jax is about to cancel her wedding to Jonty. On the day. By text. A scrumptious celebration of survival for anyone who's longed for love or felt unworthy of it, Hungry for Love will show you the importance of self-respect and that love can be found where you least expect it. Jax is the daughter of Majella, famous British television chef and author of Food of Love, a best-selling cookery book due for re-issue. But if there s one thing Jax loathes more than her ex-fiancé, it's cooking. So when her boss orders her to use the week she'd booked off for her honeymoon to attend a cookery course in Majorca, Jax fears her life cannot get any worse. When tragedy strikes closer to home, Jax is forced to re-assess her relationship with food. As learning to cook inflames her desires, she must decide whether her plan post-Jonty to starve herself of men is such a great idea. Maybe there is a recipe for love out there, after all?

This is a foodie’s dream novel. It is full of descriptions of the tastes of food, the sight of food, and even the philosophy of food. That food is love and cooking is giving love to the recipients.  A philosophy that Jewish and Italian mothers amongst others will surely agree with.

You drool over the cakes described – and if you eat meat (which I don’t) then you would drool over the dishes, all this from an author who clearly in love with food herself.

Well written and very well described. Fun to read and dream.

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When writing is difficult

The Fifth Letter Book Cover The Fifth Letter
Nicola Moriarty
contemporary, women's fiction, suspense, humour
Penguin
February 23, 2017
368

Four friends. Five Letters. One Secret. The scandalous breakthrough novel from Nicola Moriarty that will leave you asking, how well do I really know my friends? Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden. Best friends since the first day of school. Best friends, they liked to say, forever. But now they are in their thirties and real life - husbands, children, work - has got in the way. So, resurrecting their annual trip away, Joni has an idea, something to help them reconnect. Each woman will write an anonymous letter, sharing with their friends the things that are really going on in their lives. But as the confessions come tumbling out, Joni starts to feel the certainty of their decades-long friendships slip from her fingers. Anger. Accusations. Desires. Deceit. And then she finds another letter. One that was never supposed to be read. A fifth letter. Containing a secret so big that its writer had tried to destroy it. And now Joni is starting to wonder, did she ever really know her friends at all? 'With secrets and intrigue, this is a compulsive read' Sun on Sunday 'Intrigue, hatred and accusations - phew, it kept me guessing to the end' The Sun 'Entertaining and easy to read' Sunday Mirror 'A darkly humorous story about friendship' Best

What starts as a girl’s weekend away ends up as being a very cathartic experience for them all.

After playing a game of ‘Truth or Dare’, these 30 years old plus women , who are very drunk at this point, decide to each write a letter telling a secret that none of the others know about. This despite their being friend since the beginning of secondary education.

What follows is that many truths come out, and they learn that what they thought they knew about each other was not always correct.

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