Rather a sombre Titanic weekend hence my silly Ramblings yesterday which I thought might lighten things up a bit. I am getting behind in my reviews, so am doing one of my Round Ups in order get as many done as possible and not muck those publishers about who send me books to read. I love getting review copies but they do come with a hefty helping of guilt, mine nor theirs, I hasten to add when I realise I have yet to write about them. So here goes:
The Village Vet - Cathy Woodman. I gather there is a series of books set in the village of Talyton St George with a cast of characters who I have yet to meet. After reading this simply delightful book, I see I am going to have to suck up to Random House big time and see if they will send me some more. I was lucky enough to meet Cathy at a Mother's Day evening in London last month,but it was only a brief meeting and I would be surprised if she remembered me at all. Probably just as well we did not have a long chat as my ignorance re her books would have soon been picked up...
OK - Tessa is engaged to Nathan who, though she does not yet know it, is a cad and a bounder and not to be trusted. Swept off her feet by a swift romance Tessa is on the way to church on her wedding day and half way through the ceremony the entire thing comes grinding to a halt when one of her oldest friends, Jack, interrupts just as they get to the I Do bit. Chaos ensues but Tessa then realises that she doesn't want to marry Nathan after all and flees the church.
"Not stopping to pick up the shoe that I let fall, I speed up, tearing along the street, past the terraced houses, past the police station and the pub, towards the river....I continue to follow the road, passing cars and caravans....a couple of children wave from a motor home "Mummy, look at the lady in the princess dress"
She finds out later that she is saddled with debt and has bills run up on her credit cards by the ghastly ex and, with no job and no home, she is offered a position managing Talyton Animal Rescue Sanctuary (Tessa is a vet nurse). Turns out, naturally, that Jack is in the offing as he is also involved with the Sanctuary and no guessing what happens.
Read this tucked up in bed one night, lovely and warm and relaxed and simply loved it.
The Runaway Actress - Victoria Connelly. I took to Victoria's writing big time when I read The Perfect Hero, reviewed here, so was delighted when this one arrived. Connie Gordon is a beautiful, rich and famous actress who, on the surface, has everything going for her. Living in LA, wonderful house, five cars, designer dresses, jewellery blah blah but something is missing from her life.
"I'd like to thank my agents past and present. The ones who have ripped me off thinking I'm too busy and thick to notice and those who have put me forward for inferior jobs because they'll bring in the big bucks. I'd also like to thank the men in my life - all the slime balls and the cheats I've had the misfortune of dating. I can safely say that they have behaved even worse than some of my stalkers....and finally I'd like to thank my fans. Some of the letters I receive are truly mind blowing and I'd just like to settle some matters here and now if that's all right. No I won't drop everything and marry you Mr Complete Stranger, nor will I sent you photographs of myself naked. So will you please stop asking me and leave me alone"
Fed up with ghastly ex-boyfriends, double crossing agents and the glitz and fakery, she flies to Lochnabrae in Scotland where her mother was born and where Maggie, who runs the village shop, also runs the Connie Gordon Fan Club. She had written to Connie several times inviting her to come and stay and is totally shocked when she actually turns up and stays in the bed and breakfast down the road.
Mistrusting everyone and wary of friendly overtures, Connie gradually relaxes and begins to realise that the villagers, whilst loving the fact they have this famous beauty in their midst, also like her for herself. She agrees to take part in the local amateur dramatic society performance of Twelfth Night which scares her out of her wits as she has never done 'real' acting before. The director of the play is Alastair McInnes, a playwright who has fled London for reasons of his own, and who has vowed never to become involved with an actress again.
Another witty and delightful book from this author. Alongside the romance between Connie and Alastair, there runs the story of the shy but sweet Maggie and her long unrequited love for her brother's friend, Mike. With no idea of how to dress and totally unaware of her attractiveness, Connie takes her in hand and transforms the slightly ugly duckling into a swan.
And does Connie find happiness? Well, what do you think?
"Don't go ever" Alastair said. There was a silence as Alastair and the others stared at the beautiful woman before them who suddenly didn't look like a movie star at all but very much like a friend who they didn't want to lose....Alastair swallowed and took a deep breath "We all love you" he said.
Warm, witty and delightful. A gread read.