Friday, December 26, 2014

Post-Christmas Book Recommendations

It's Boxing Day and in the post-present rush, so many of us have been given book and e-book vouchers.  Therefore, the Pink Heart Society gang are offering you their recs for the post-Christmas period...

Nicole Harrison is planning the proposal of the century. Too bad its not her own… 

Nicole, a born organiser and true romantic, has created her dream job when she sets up the Hopes & Dreams proposal agency – staging YouTube worthy proposals…until she’s hired to plan a proposal by gorgeous photographer Alex Black’s girlfriend. 

Alex is the New Year’s kiss that Nicole hasn’t been able to forget – and now she’s planning his wedding to someone else! But if she lets herself fall for Alex’s charms, her reputation and business will be ruined before it’s even got off the ground! 

Suddenly the girl whose always prepared is at a loss…and falling head over heels.

"I recommend Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams by Fiona Harper as it is an excellent escapist read. It was one of my best reads for 2014." - Michelle Styles 

Gideon calls me his angel, but he’s the miracle in my life. My gorgeous, wounded warrior, so determined to slay my demons while refusing to face his own.

The vows we’d exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to bear.

At the brightest time in our lives, the darkness of his past encroached and threatened everything we’d worked so hard for. We faced a terrible choice: the familiar safety of the lives we’d had before each other or the fight for a future that suddenly seemed an impossible and hopeless dream...

"I am obsessed with this series and can't wait to curl up with Book 4 this holiday season!" - Jen Hayward

Cela knows how to be good. She's had a lifetime of practice. But on the night of her college graduation, she decides she's earned one wild night before she has to move back home to her overprotective family. So when the hot neighbor she's been quietly fantasizing about for a year suggests a game of Never Have I Ever, she's ready. But what starts out as a simple game takes an unexpected turn. Because Ian Foster doesn't play games he can't win.

Foster knows his desires aren't for the faint of heart, especially not for someone as sweet and innocent as his pretty neighbor. But when Cela shows up at his door with an invitation that surprises him, he can't resist indulging. Cela has no idea what she's in for. The secret dark side of this man's need will both intrigue and terrify her. But Cela has a secret of her own...

"My book recommendation is Not Until You which I have just finished reading and absolutely adored! Easily in my top five for the year, and I can't wait to get stuck into the rest of the Loving On The Edge series." - Stefanie London

This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O’Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he’s simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he’s never ruined, and he’s not about to start now.

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she’s been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture…how can she concentrate on being his friend when he’s sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she’s always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

"A perfect Christmas read set in a glorious winter wonderland. I loved the warmth, the sense of community, the setting (!!) and above all the characters who find true love after working so hard to avoid it." - Annie West 

When a child’s bones are found on a desolate Norfolk beach, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls in forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway.  Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to witchcraft, ritual and sacrifice.

The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory – and in serious danger.

"Heroine is a forensic archaeologist, it's the first of a series, and it's set in the North Norfolk coast (i.e. my real life favourite place in the world, about a 40-minute drive from my front door). It was recommended to me by Anna Campbell and I liked it so much that I bought the other five books in the series - officially it's crime but there's romance in there (and I can't wait for the next one!)." - Kate Hardy

The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years — except Biff, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story.

Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Saviour's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more — except maybe “Maggie,” Mary of Magdala — and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

"My Christmas recommendation isn't a romance novel. It's Lamb by Christopher Moore. Probably my favorite book of all time, it fills in the gaps of Jesus' life story. It's funny and only slightly sacrilegious." - Amber Page

No good deed goes unpunished…
To save her hen-witted sister from scandal, Philippa Sanders ventures into a rake's bedroom - and into his power. Now her reputation hangs by a thread and only a hurried marriage can rescue her. Is the Earl of Erskine the heartless libertine the world believes? Or will Philippa discover unexpected honor in a man notorious for his wild ways?

Blair Hume, the dissolute Earl of Erskine, has had his eye on the intriguing Miss Sanders since he arrived at this deadly dull house party. Now a reckless act delivers this beguiling woman into his hands as a delightful Christmas gift. Does fate offer him a fleeting Yuletide diversion? Or will this Christmas Eve encounter spark a passion to last a lifetime? 

"It’s a novella, so a short, enjoyable read about a regency rake who gets into trouble for doing the right thing. Lots of fun!" - Annie West

Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt...

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…

"A brilliant rewriting and interweaving of myths, with the figure of the Woodcutter at its centre.  Fairytale and fae, as opposite as can be..." - Ali Williams 

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove's confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.  Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be...anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week to:
• fake an elopement 
• convince family and friends they're in "love" 
• outrun armed robbers 
• survive their worst nightmares 
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other. 

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night. 

What they don't have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls...

"What a wonderful adventure this is, in all it's heart-warming and gloriously sexy complexity. Read it and weep... and smile and laugh and chuckle and... Well, you get the picture. Enjoy!" - Heidi Rice

The perfect Christmas swap?

All Juliet, frazzled single mum and domestic goddess, wants for her winter holidays is a joyful family celebration. All her single sister Gemma, an assistant director, wants is a getaway to the sizzling Caribbean sun, far from diva actors and Hollywood tantrums. Until a sisterly squabble prompts new plans: a holiday swap. Gemma will spend a cosy, snowy week with her nieces and nephews - not to mention Juliet's gorgeous neighbour Will - whilst Juliet takes Gemma's tropical holiday and unplanned adventures.

Juliet and Gemma may not get the holiday they expected, but it could be about to make all their wishes come true...

"I loved this book – it made me laugh and it also made me sniffle, and it reminds me a little bit of The Holiday (the movie with Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black). I adore The Holiday so that whole “swap situations at Christmas” thing is fabulous! I have her current release, Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams ready to read during the Christmas break." - Donna Alward 


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