My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: I’m Vanessa Powell. People think they know me because I’m famous. They think I’ve got the world at my feet and the husband every woman wants to marry. But fame can be a lonely place and the perfect marriage can be even lonelier. Now someone’s come into my life who makes me feel alive. For the first time ever, I’m thinking about what I really want; no matter what the consequences.
My Review: As usual Jo Carnegie has delivered a book that brings to life the characters from yet another quirky village. The town of Beeversham is a small place but also lays claim to being home to some of the rich and famous. Vanessa Powell and her husband Conrad are one such couple. There are also additional characters such as Beau Rainford the local playboy, Beau’s brother Felix and his wife Ginny, Fleur and her Dad who live on a local farm, and Catherine, the once Editor of Soiree magazine and her husband and John. Now that may sound like a lot of characters (and that’s not all of them) but they all play a part in this story.
It was easy enough to get to know them all and what exactly went on behind closed doors. As the story gets past the initial ‘introduction’ stage Jo Carnegie starts launching all sorts of trouble onto the characters living in Beeversham. I really liked all the characters and found myself willing each of them to sort their lives out! There are plenty of threads to the story providing just enough drama, and plenty of moments that will have you laughing. Although the synopsis leads you to think that Vanessa Powell is the main character, each storyline and villager draws you in. Catherine’s story and character were actually my favourite although Vanessa drew a close second.
Jo has also introduced two men in the book, both whom I love! You have the naughty Beau who is adorable (even though he is a naughty Playboy), and then we have Dylan who is the Conrad’s gardener. Although these two played a big part in the story, I couldn’t help loving John who is Catherine’s husband. As always in a Carnegie book, the men play just as big a part as the women of the village; and frankly a wonderful distraction from all the drama in Beeversham!
This latest release of Jo Carnegie’s was a brilliant read, but if I’m being totally honest the Churchminster series is still my favourite! I would love to see whether she will continue this village with a new series as some of the characters were brilliant, but you maybe didn’t see enough of them! Although the Churchminster series pips this book to the post, if this were to continue I could see a brilliant series coming out of it. Although this isn’t maybe my favourite JC book so far, it was certainly a brilliant and entertaining read as usual. This will keep you entertained from start to finish!
My Rating: 5/5
Well, well, well…it seems Jo Carnegie is the new Jackie Collins. Wow, talk about a `bonk-buster’ of a book. I have read all of Jo’s books and enjoyed them all. This latest one was the best yet in my opinion. Her previous books introduce us to all different people living in the village and I must say that each book gives you another look into the lives of the villagers.
Although the books are set in and around the people that live or have lived in Churchminster you could read each one on their own and it wouldn’t make any difference. I like having a bit of background on all the various people we have seen in previous books especially when they pop up again in the current one.
This latest release takes us into the lives of Harriet and Saffy. Harriett is quite happy living in London, but with her mother having disappeared off to do charity work on the other side of the world, she realises she is missing something. Her mad idea of volunteering for a charity becomes a reality and before long she is signed up to help out at the Gatsby Community Centre.
The Community Centre introduces us to Zack the very sexy but mysterious man who runs the place, and Win the loud and lovable lady that everybody seems to go to for help. Win is a fabulous character and I could almost picture her in my head chatting to Harriet. Zack was also interesting although it took me longer to work out why he didn’t come across as well, however by the end of the book it all made sense.
Saffy meanwhile is set up in the country in her Mum’s house and is writing her first book. She is determined to make a go of it, but didn’t bank on Tom’s supermodel twin brother Rex popping up and becoming a temporary resident in the village. Zack and Tom may be twins and be identical in looks but as men they are polar opposites. Saffy finds herself drawn in to Rex and his world and before long her relationship with Tom is on rocky ground.
As ever the other village characters pop up and one on my absolute favourites is Harriet’s Dad Sir Ambrose. He made me laugh at his antics while Harriet’s mother was out of the country. We also see fleeting glimpses of Jed, Benedict and Caro as well as Clementine.
As usual Jo Carnegie has done a cracking job of bringing to life these weird and wonderful people of Churchminster. The book was so easy to read and had a brilliant ending that wrapped up things nicely. Don’t get me wrong this is not a book that is challenging, but myself personally, I don’t read `chick lit’ books for the challenge. In particular the one thing that stood out a mile for me with this book is the amount of sex in it! Now I love a good bonk buster with Jackie Collins being a favourite, but was shocked to see the change in JC’s books. I don’t recall Jo Carnegie writing like that before, although she certainly pulled the hat out of the bag with this book. In my eyes the perfect beach read, forget reality and get your teeth stuck into this glamorous, funny and trashy novel. Perfect!!!
My Rating: 4/5
My Review– In this follow up to `Country Pursuits’ I was expecting another 5 star read. Although I enjoyed this book it wasn’t as good as the first one.
Once again we meet Caro and her new husband Benedict who move away from Churchminster back to London to be closer to Benedict’s work. They move to Montague Mews where they meet their new neighbours. Saffron is a young, hip and trendy socialite who lives with her Aunt Velda along with Stephen and Klaus who have a holiday home in Churchminster and the reclusive Rowena. We are also reintroduced to Harriett who also lived in Churchminster and is working at Soiree, a popular women’s magazine as a PA to Catherine Connor. Add into the mix Benedict’s sister Amelia who appears on their doorstep looking to stay for a while following her stint of living abroad. Both Catherine and Amelia are both hiding dark secrets which turn Montague Mews into a very interesting place to live. Caro finds it hard to adjust to living in London and spends most of her time ferrying her son Milo to and from Nursery and wondering just what is going on with their reclusive neighbour Rowena. Saffron is busy trying to carve out her career whilst fighting with her awful boss Annabel who is incredibly lazy. Harriet is thriving in her new job and is determined to find love in London. Catherine meanwhile is fighting to save the magazine from closure. With the pressures of deadlines from her Company Board she is thrown into turmoil when an old friend from her past turns up.
All in all the book was enjoyable but I couldn’t help feeling there was something missing. The characters were fantastic (as they were in the last book), and the storytelling good but I couldn’t help feeling there was maybe a bit too much going on to focus on any one particular character.
In Jo Carnegies last book we really got to know the characters involved an you could clearly follow each plot as they developed. This book can be read as a stand alone book but is a bit better when you have already read the first. I will definitely read and look forward to her next book and hope that maybe we get to find out a bit more about some of the individual characters