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Glamour and ….

American Royals Book Cover American Royals
Katharine McGee
Teens & YA , Women's Fiction
Puffin, Penguin Random House UK
September 3, 2019
368

Romance, glamour, ambition and power . . . meet the Washingtons - the most scandalous royal family ever! HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She's the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties. It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She's demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first - no matter what her heart might really want. But they're not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be 'newly noble' but she won Prince Jefferson's heart once, and she'll do anything to get back into the court's favour - and his bed. If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody - plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king's secretary. Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. They'll either be crowned in glory - or end up as shockingly royal disasters.

Overall I liked this alternate history of America and thus the world. 
My one issue was with Daphne's age. She was still 17 at the time of writing. 
Her scheming was that of a teenager true, but the concept of marriage at such a young age- well. My guess is that the ages of the main characters were to appeal to an YA audience.
It would have been nice to have had more history of America in the storyline. What had happened after the war with the British? 
There were odd sentences here and there-eg about slavery & Native Americans, but they only left me wanting more detail.
I'm sure a YA audience will love this new series, after all, so many girls dream about being a: 
a. a princess and 
b. To be in charge- to rule.

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Who lives next door?

The Neighbours Book Cover The Neighbours
by Nicola Gill
General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction
Avon Books
Pub Date 6 Feb 2020

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends. Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour… Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards? Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that bad neighbours could become good friends… A funny, honest and moving exploration of life, love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties… and beyond. Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Ruth Jones’s Never Greener.

This is an interesting book as it defies the commonly promulgated idea that we don't know, or care about, or neighbors in London. My personal experience is that this is not true. 
In London, we live in small communities, towns if you will, where, when you walk out the shop owners know you, the station staff recognise you, and you always bump into, and talk with, a neighbor. True, you need to smile and say 'Hello' first and maybe join in a community activity, of which there will be lots to choose from. 
Not so in  Commuter Land. 
I lived there for 19 years and barely knew nextdoor. 
Here in London I know lots of people & even have had drinks with
the people upstairs.
That said, this is a warm story, almost sentimental, with a young person befriending the grouchy neighbor below stairs, and as such helping her turn
her life around

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Wandering Cupid Cats

The Break Up Book Cover The Break Up
Tilly Tennant
Fiction, Romance , Women's Fiction
Bookouture
March 26, 2020

Lara and Theo are meant to be. They just don’t know it yet… Lara loves her job as a wedding planner. She gets to organise other people’s perfect days and make sure nothing ever goes wrong. Theo loves his job as a jazz musician, working unpredictable hours and giving other people great nights out. Lara knows she’s got high standards. But there’s nothing wrong with getting things right… so why has it stopped her finding Mr Right? Theo knows people think he’s a bit scruffy, a bit too laid back. But there’s nothing wrong with setting your own pace… if only he could find someone who wanted to live life at his speed. It’s okay, though. Lara gets to come home in the evening and have heart-to-hearts with her greedy grey cat Fluffy. And Theo can come home in the early hours and unwind with his loyal cat Satchmo. What they don’t know is that it’s the same cat. And when they find out – standing in the street in their pyjamas, both on the hunt for their lost pet – sparks of the wrong sort will fly… A wonderfully warm will-they-won’t-they romantic read that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. If you’re a fan of Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews, A Cat Called Cupid is the love story you’ve been waiting for. What readers are saying about Tilly Tennant: ‘I loved every minute of it… I was glued to my Kindle for a few days that's for sure!… A really brilliant read that will leave you hooked even after a few pages.’ The Cosiest Corner, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Bloody brilliant… I loved being back with the characters… Oh I just enjoyed everything about it!’ I Love Reading, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Put a smile on my face!… I've LOVED it!… the most heart-warming of stories… loving every single page… drawing you in and not letting you go until the end of the very last page… totally captivated!’ Chat About Books, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I was hooked! Every chapter left me wanting to carry on reading. My housework and family have pretty much been neglected whilst I have read this!… This is the perfect holiday read, or lazy Sunday afternoon read or that perfect distraction to a dreary weekday commute.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I absolutely loved it. The story weaves together a tale of love, friendship, trust, desire and so much more. I will be reading more by this talented author.’ Haven’t Got a Clue, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I just want to say how fantastic this book is… If you’ve not read any books by this author, why the heck not?! Do it now… you won’t regret it! I just love love loved it.’ StefLoz Book Reviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sweet cat story with human servants.
As cat owners know, many cats will tour neighbours and wander quite long distances. If, by any chance, someone starts to feed them, then they will visit regularly.
Cupid aka Fluffy (aka who knows how many names) is such a cat. Starting life as a stray means wandering was already in his behaviour patterns.
Fighting over who owns such a Wanderer is also common. The simple answer is don't feed cats that are in good condition.

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Who lives downstairs?

The Neighbours Book Cover The Neighbours
Nicola Gill
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
February 6, 2020
400

To get up from rock bottom, you’ve got to take the stairs...

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends.

Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour…

Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards?

Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that bad neighbours could become good friends…

This is an interesting book as it defies the commonly promulgated idea that we don't know, or care about, or neighbors in London. My personal experience is that this is not true. 
In hondon, we live in small communities, towns if you will, where, when you walk out the shop owners know you, the station staff recognise you, and you always bump into, and talk with, a neighbor. True, you need to smile and say 'Hello' first and maybe join in a community activity, of which there will be lots to choose from. 
Not so in  Commuter Land. 
I lived there for 19 years and barely knew nextdoor. 
Here in London I know lots of people & even have had drinks with
the people upstairs.
That said, this is a warm story, almost sentimental, with a young person befriending the grouchy neighbor below stairs, and as such helping her turn
her life around.

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When is a River a Virgin? Answer when it is …

Virgin River Book Cover Virgin River
Virgin river #1
Robyn Carr
Fiction, romance, military romance
Mira Books, Mills and Boon
October 22, 2019
384

Welcome back to Virgin River with the book that started it all... Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included. When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving--the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning. But a tiny baby abandoned on a front porch changes her plans...and former marine Jack Sheridan cements them into place.

The Virgin River is a tributary of the Colorado River in the U.S. states of Utah, Nevada, and … The river is named for Thomas Virgin, a member of the first American party to see it, led by Jedediah Smith in 1826. Smith named it.

I liked this book and thought it a interesting storyline, although a woman moving to a small town after heartbreak is a common theme amongst romance novels.

Especially if the town is very isolated as this gives more opportunity for excitement and crises.  And here we are in the wilds of California with drug growing and lots of woods, wild animals, hunting, shooting and fishing and all the opportunities for stories they bring.

The one thing I would mention is that this series – of which this is the first book in a series of 18(!!) is now also on TV and the TV version is nothing like the book – after episode one.  You can see the novel’s events in the TV version, but tey are much magnified or changed, and no doubt some are in follow on books. So don’t watch TV first!

I thought that the story had some interesting sub-plots and was well written within its genre.

As an English person I would like to point out that some Americans have no idea of the concept of a normal sized house when they think that 1200 square foot is cosy and  cocoon like. This is the size of an average UK 3 bedroomed house…

@MillsandBoon on Twitter,

Mills and Boon on Facebook,

@millsandboonuk on Instagram

Robyn Carr @RCarrWriter.

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