Authors I love, Book of the Week, romance

Book of the Week: Suddenly Last Summer

Yes.  I know. This is late.  And short.  But Christmas preps + work + Noirville = stressed and behind Verity.  Sorry.  Normal service will be resumed soon.  I hope.  Or at least if it doesn’t I’m going to cry.  Any how.  It was also a hard choice this week – I loved the new Gail Carriger novella, Romancing the Werewolf, but it’s only been a few weeks since Imprudence was my BotW.  I also read a lot of Christmassy books – some of which you’ll be hearing about soon so I couldn’t use them either.  So this week’s BotW is the very unseasonal Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan, because I read two of the three Snow Crystal books last week, back to back, because they were so much fun.

Cover of Suddenly Last Summer

Suddenly Last Summer is the middle book of the three – the other two are Christmas-themed – and I read the first one in December last year and then the third one last week when it was on offer for this Christmas and I discovered I already had this on my kindle waiting for me. Yes.  I have so many books on my Kindle that I don’t know what’s on there.  I don’t know why that surprises you given everything you know about my to-read pile.  Moving on, so this is the story of Sean-the-surgeon and Elise-the-French-chef.  Sean is too busy for a relationship – not that that stops women from trying – and Elise has sworn off relationships for good.  They had a fling the previous year – and spark is still there.  Will they be able to work things out to get a happy ending?

Well they do of course, because this is Romancelandia, but the fun is watching them get there. The chemistry between Sean and Elise is great – they have a firey passionate relationship that starts out as just a physical thing (or at least they tell themselves that) but develops into something more than they were expecting or can handle.  This also has a really strong sense of place and family ties.  It’s set in and around the Snow Crystal resort that Sean’s family owns and he has a very conflicted relationship with the resort and it affects how he gets on with his family.  Sean loves the place – or at least he does when he spends enough time there to remember how much he likes the outdoor life and the things that come with it, but he hates the responsibility that comes the family’s ownership of the resort and how it affected his father and stopped him from being able to do what he wanted.  Elise is French and is struggling with events that happened in Paris in her past and that is colouring how she makes all of her relationsjips.  Watching the two of them work through their issues – because as always with Sarah Morgan, love doesn’t solve the problem – is really rewarding.

I read this at totally the wrong time of year, but I still really enjoyed it.  In fact it made a nice break from Christmas stories and Noir.  As I’ve said before, Sarah Morgan writes great romances where characters have real problems to solve and where finding love isn’t the protagonist’s main goal – they’re trying to sort their lives out in some way and finding love is a delightful side effect of that.  Morgan is a prolific writer and there always seems to be one of her books on offer for 99p on Kindle – as I write this it’s former BotW Moonlight over Manhattan, which I highly recommend.

Suddenly Last Summer is available on Kindle, Kobo and in paperback if you can find it – Amazon have it, but I suspect you’ll have to order it in to your local bookshop rather than find it on the shelves.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: December 4 – December 10

Still reading #Noirville entries this week and less of everything else.  Still a nice week of reading though, even if I do have way too many books on the go at once as I try and finish off my #ReadHarder challenge.  I suspect this week won’t be much better – because it’s Christmas party week.

Read:

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan

Christmas in New York by Holly Greene

Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Started:

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookshop by Robin Sloan

Meridian by Alice Walker

Still reading:

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson

Runout Groove by Andrew Cartmel

French Poems of the Great War translated by Ian Higgins

A couple of Christmas ebooks bought or preordered, but really quite restrained.

Book of the Week

Book of the Week: China Court

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, it’s getting harder and harder for me to pick BotW’s that don’t infringe on my Christmas reading suggestion posts.  Hence why this week’s choice is Rumer Godden’s China Court – a book which I still can’t make up my mind what I think about it, several days after I finished reading it.

Copy of China Court by Rumer Godden
Another train based photo…

China Court is the story of the homecoming of Tracy, who arrives back at her grandmother’s house the day after her grandma has died.  Brought up in America, Tracy spent the favourite part of her childhood living at China Court and is worried about what her grandmother’s death may mean for the old house.  But as well as being about Tracy’s return, the book is also the story of family who have lived in the house over the years and their trials and tribulations.

Regular readers will know that I love a good family saga, and that I love time slip novels, and this is a bit of both – a huge cast of characters and two timelines, one present, one past – although the past one moves through time rather than being the story of just one person in the past.  And although it took me a while to get into it (as evidenced by the length of time it spent in the Week in Books posts), once I had got into it, I didn’t want to put it down* because I wanted to know what happened.

At the start, there is a family tree, but also a note from the author asking you to only look at it if you really have to because her aim is for the family and their relationships to unroll in their own time and for you to work it out for yourself.  I mostly managed that, but I did have to have a few looks at the family tree when I was picking the book back up again after a few days break.

I haven’t read a lot of Rumer Godden’s books – and most of what I have read have been her children’s books.  And as I said at the start, I still can’t work out what I thought.  The ending isn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be – even though all the ingredients seem to be there for it to work.  I didn’t like a lot of the characters – or what they were doing – but I really liked Tracy and her story line.  Even writing this hasn’t really helped me work out what I though of this and whether I liked it or not.  I still don’t know if it’s going to go on to the bookshelf, or get lent to mum or sent straight to the charity shop.  Puzzling.

Coming soon: Christmas reading recommendations.  While you’re waiting, don’t forget the Christmas gift guides – Him, Her and Me are still here.

Happy Reading!

*but I did, because I had to go to work.  And I didn’t like it *quite* enough to break my rules about not taking books that I have less than 100 pages left to read to work with me.**

** Because it’s a waste of bag space if it’s not going to last me all the way down and most of the way back.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: November 27 – December 3

So I may have slipped up a bit in the book buying stakes this week – but it’s nearly Christmas and there are offers.  My main task in the next few weeks has got to be finishing off #ReadHarder2017 – I’ve really got to pull my finger out now…

Read:

The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Need You Now by Emma Douglas

China Court by Rumer Godden

The Finch that Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews

The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan

Marling Hall by Angela Thirkell

Started:

Runout Groove by Andrew Cartmel

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

French Poems of the Great War translated by Ian Higgins

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Still reading:

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson

1 book and 3 ebooks bought – and 4 collectable Girl’s Own books, which count but sort of don’t!

 

books, stats

November Stats

New books read this month: 28*

Books from the to-read pile: 8

Ebooks read: 14

Books from the Library book pile: 2**

Non-fiction books: 0 – but I have one on the go

#ReadHarder categories completed: 0

Most read author: Jill Shalvis

Books read this year: 317

Books bought: 4 (!!!!) 2 actual books and 2 ebooks, one of which is a preorder. Miracles will never cease.

Books on the Goodreads to-read shelf:  (I don’t have copies of all of these!)

*Includes some short stories/novellas/comics (7 this month)

** Some of the figures appear not to add up this month for complicated reasons relating to the Chronicles of St Mary’s collected short stories which I borrowed from the library and had already read some of. Basically it counts for 1 in the library book pile (for the actual physical copy of book), but 4 in the books read count (because that’s how many of the short stories I hadn’t already read) to make it reconcile.

Uh oh. Am I going to do this? Fingers crossed…