Friday, 4 December 2015

Masquerade by Hannah Fielding

Paperback, 442 pages
Published August 6th 2015 by London Wall (first published August 1st 2015)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


"A young writer becomes entangled in an illicit gypsy love affair, pulling her into a world of secrets, deception and dark desire.

Summer, 1976. Luz de Rueda returns to her beloved Spain and takes a job as the biographer of a famous artist. On her first day back in Cádiz, she encounters a bewitching, passionate young gypsy, Leandro, who immediately captures her heart, even though relationships with his kind are taboo. Haunted by this forbidden love, she meets her new employer, the sophisticated Andrés de Calderón. Reserved yet darkly compelling, he is totally different to Leandro but almost the gypsy's double. Both men stir unfamiliar and exciting feelings in Luz, although mystery and danger surround them in ways she has still to discover.

Luz must decide what she truly desires as glistening Cádiz, with its enigmatic moon and whispering turquoise shores, seeps back into her blood. Why is she so drawn to the wild and magical sea gypsies? What is behind the old fortune-teller’s sinister warnings about ‘Gemini’? Through this maze of secrets and lies, will Luz finally find her happiness… or her ruin?

Masquerade is a story of forbidden love, truth and trust. Are appearances always deceptive?"

My Review:

This is a romance set in 1970's Spain. It is the follow up to 'Indiscretion', the story of which has a significant impact on the Luz's life. I hadn't read the first book which was quite good as it meant I had to find out what happened with Luz.

I enjoyed the beautiful imagery of the Spanish countryside but this book was a bit over-descriptive for my tastes and some of the descriptions get repetitive. Am I the only person who gets annoyed when a main character is soooo beautiful and rich and happens to be very intelligent too? That's just far too annoying! If I had to read one more time about her beautiful long black hair and her sapphire eyes and all the men swooning over her I was going to throw the book out the window.

I did finish this book but by the time I was 250 pages through I was so bored I decided to skim read the rest (which I never do). There's quite a good twist in this book if you can be bothered to battle through the descriptions of how moody and virile Andrés is and how wild and sexy Leandro is.

I would give this book 2 out of 5.

About the Author:

Hannah Fielding was born and grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. Her family home was a large rambling house overlooking the Mediterranean where she lived with her parents and her grandmother, Esther Fanous, who had been a revolutionary feminist and writer in Egypt during the early 1900s.

Fluent in French, English and Arabic, Hannah’s left school at 18 and travelled extensively all over the world. Hannah met her husband in England and they lived in Cairo for 10 years before returning to England in 1989. They settled in Kent, bringing up two children in a Georgian rectory, surrounded by dogs, horses and the English countryside. During this time, Hannah established a very successful business as an interior designer renovating rundown cottages.

With her children now grown up, Hannah now has the time to indulge in her one true passion, which is writing. Hannah has so far published three novels: Burning Embers set in 1970s Africa, The Echoes of Love set in 1980s Venice, and Indiscretion set in 1950s Spain. Her romance novels are adored by readers all over the world.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Not That Easy by Radhika Sanghani

Published by Mills & Boon in paperback and e-book
19th November 2015 - £7.99
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


"If the women on Sex and the City got dates on a daily basis, and even the more normal-looking girls on Girls, then why wasn’t I? If I wanted to live the fun, twentysomething life I was destined to live, I was going to have to up my game.

Ellie used to be a virgin, but now she’s a woman with sexual experience. Well, some sexual experience. She also has debt, an unpaid magazine internship, and three flatmates who left her with the single room to match her single status.

That’s okay. She doesn’t want a boyfriend anyway—she wants several. And if the sex is exciting enough, her ruthless magazine-editor boss can exploit her dating life for a column.

But after countless hookups and forced attempts at seeming sexy backfire, Ellie starts to witness the emotional wreckage she’s leaving in her wake. Turns out that sex can be hard—and there’s a downside to giving it up too easy…"

My Review:

This was an entertaining read that made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. This is the second book in a series following the main character, Ellie, who was on a mission to lose her virginity in the first book. I didn't realise that this was a follow-up when I first started reading it, so it can definitely work as a stand-alone book too.

Ellie is a funny character, clueless and haphazard in her attempts to expand her sexual horizons. However, she is a bit annoying as she whines a lot and gets obsessed with silly things, and is a bit too determined to play the field. She becomes more selfish and blinded as the novel progresses. While I was reading it I felt like she was playing at being someone else which made me a bit uncomfortable.

This is a good read if you want to laugh at someone having awkward sexual experiences.

I would give this book 3 out of 5.

About the Author:

Radhika Sanghani is a 23-year-old full-time journalist for The Daily Telegraph where she specialises in writing about women and women’s issues. She has an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London, a BA in English Literature from University College London, and recently came second in GQ’s Norman Mailer writing competition. Her debut novel V!RG!N was published in 2014.