Fiona Harper knows it’s What Are You Reading Thursday, but…ssshh…she can’t tell you what she’s reading at the moment, because she’s judging a competition, and she’s got to keep it secret. So…she’s going to tell you about her top three reads so far this year!
Girl From Mars by Julie Cohen
“I Philomena Desdemona Brown, do solemnly swear to forsake all romantic relationships. There. Do I really have to repeat it in Klingon?”
It’s not like the vow, made by Fil and her two nerdy best male friends so they’d always stick together, was a big deal at the time. Frankly, Fil wouldn’t know romance if it hit her in the face anyway. Her one true love is her job as the artist for the famous comic Girl from Mars. Just like the comic’s alien heroine, Fil’s never had or needed a love interest—just her best friends.
Until one of her friends breaks the vow and falls in love, bringing her smack back down to earth. Could it be that romance is in the stars for Fil after all?
Although this is a fun read that you won’t be able to put down, it’s expertly crafted, full of multiple layers, subtext and emotion. I loved the way Fil’s comic book character—Girl From Mars—reflected her own emotional journey. I totally and utterly felt Fil’s geekiness and I loved watching her learn to embrace her femininity and sexuality.
Oh-So-Sensible Secretary by Jessica Hart
You know when you meet the most gorgeous guy and get butterflies in your stomach? Well, that's what it felt like the first time I, Summer Curtis, laid eyes on my movie-star-gorgeous boss Phin Gibson. I was starstruck! I've got to get a grip!
Phin might be delicious, but he's always late, totally disorganized—my complete opposite! But somehow he's making me, the oh-so-sensible Summer, want to let down my perfectly pinned-up hair!
Jessica is another one who makes me lime green with writers’’ envy. I loved, loved loved, this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me sigh as I finished the last page and closed the book. Summer was deliciously starchy and Phin was an utterly gorgeous hero. Although there were some tried-and-trusted plot elements in this story—a fake engagement and a hero who has fantasies about librarian-like Summer letting down her hair and turning into a sex kitten—they seemed totally fresh, probably because these characters were utterly real to me. (And I promise I'm not just saying this because Oh-So-Sensible Secretary is paired with my latest release in the UK! It really is that good.)
Easy On The Eyes by Jane Porter
At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tiana desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tiana is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn’t help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary—the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael O'Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.
I could hardly put this compelling story down. I think I even cooked with it in my hand. As a…cough…woman who is reaching her prime, this story really resonated with me. I hate feeling as if I’m invisible because I’m not the right size/too wrinkled/teeth aren’t white enough etc. I cheered Tiana on as she broke out of her cocoon and began to work out what really mattered in her life, putting those who were ready to drop her because she was ‘over-the-hill’ to shame.
Fiona's next book, Housekeeper's Happily-Ever-After is an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for April! It's out now in the North America and Australia/New Zealand (and available as a 2-in-1 with Jessica Hart's new release, Oh-So-Sensible Secretary from Mills&Boon in the UK)
Ellie Bond tries to escape her past by taking a job as jet-setting Mark Wilder's housekeeper. But the accident that killed her husband and daughter have left scars, both inside and out, and she worries she'll never be able to leave the past behind and find true happiness.