Review: Lily Does L.A by Nicola Doherty (Girls On Tour Series)

Imagine this: You have always wanted to be an actress. The joy of being in a theatre, cinema performing behind a camera or in front of an audience gives you a rush you can’t explain. Except the only camera you have ever been behind is that of an ad for a low-quality product on the market which wouldn’t by nay chance emerge the biggest thing close to women’s perfume.

So your cousin invites you up for a wedding in L.A. EL-ay! The Mecca of all the world’s finest people. And some way, just somehow you think you might get your break and become the next biggest thing in women’s perfumes ads close to Scarlett Johansen when you stumble upon a talent scout. Then you find out your cousin’s groom is a film agent.

Really, the universe must be speaking to you.

But then there’s your dad and your cousin speaking to you; warning you, you are not allowed to bring up anything about movies so as not to put the groom in an awkward position than he already is selecting napkin colours for guests.

Do you perhaps need to sit back and help your cousin with all her hectic wedding preparations hoping your dreams would come to life? Or perhaps, take matters into your own hands (discarding the bridal bouquet) to make your own dreams come true?

Lily’s life summed up for your utmost delight.

Pack up your bags, quit your job and go to Hollywood hoping you would land a role in a major picture.  Loved the storyline of this book. Girl gets fired for practicing an accent on a job in a call center, Girl jets to L.A for her cousin’s wedding, Girl goes through all the wedding preparations lining herself up for auditioning for major TV roles. Superb!──

If you love books for their heroines, Lily is your one stop. Funny, brutally honest except for the occasional lies needed in order to succeed, secretly pissed at her dad for ditching her mother for the F-Bomb and secretly covets Emma Stone for getting her break younger than her. You would be cheering Lily on all the way considering she’s an ordinary, relatable girl who just wants to make her dreams come true and would stop at nothing just so she could become that famous actress (we all secretly want to be too).── ★★

Some other characters made reading this book fun. Think Alice the cousin who encourages Lily never to give up yet expects her to keep her acting on the down-low all through her days in Hollywood. Fiona, Lily’s soon-to-be step-mum who tries way too hard to win her over. Cynthia, Alice’s Future Mother-In-Law who’s bent on giving the couple a wedding as traditional as possible no matter what it takes. Jesse, the groom’s cousin who’s so law-abiding about everything enough to make you cringe.── ★★★

The ending to this novella was amazing, heart-warming and unexpected. I love that though it was a short-story it wasn’t predictable like a lot of others I have read. A star to the ending.── ★★★★

My rating: Four/five stars.

Lily does L.A as part of Nicola Doherty’s Girls on Tour series is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants something short, humorous and unpredictable. Anyone who’s wanted to follow their dreams should get this book. And if in doubt of something quick and sunny to pack for any holiday you should get this book too.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.


Book Review: The Secret Paris Cinema Club by Nicolas Barreau

                                                       My SYNOPSIS

Imagine this: You are the owner of a cinema that has managed to lose its charm with the public, except for a few regular patronisers who still believe in the charm of old movies. But you are not bothered despite the fact that you can count the attendees on your fingers every night. You believe in old cinematic principles where people should lose themselves in a movie without munching, eating, slurping something to knock off their attention. Except you really do not care if your cinema is filled to the brim when there’s one particular regular you are happy to see every Wednesday night. The Lady In The Red Coat.

You’ve been psyching yourself to ask her out after one movie. Or perhaps just speak to her when she casts a shy smile your way upon exiting the cinema. Amidst, incoherent speech and sweaty foreheads, you manage to achieve this somewhat unachievable feat. Your date is magical. Things are now looking up with the Lady In The Red Coat to look up to Next Wednesday.

But you can’t really have twice a lucky strike …  or can you?

Upon the meeting of a famous director, your life goes viral. You are meeting with Hollywood’s finest, walking popular actresses down old cobblestone roads, talking about the enigma and charm of Paris with famous people at the Ritz, making your very realistic serialist friend envy  your life, signing deals to make your cinema popular, pooling in a huge crowd in your cinema, getting your pictures taken by paparazzi, getting on the headlines of every major newspaper and the shitty tabloids, being clocked in the eye by a jealous boyfriend, re-reading letters from the lady-in-the-red-coat. Your life is perfect.

Until the Lady In The Red Coat doesn’t show up for your second date.

You are geared on by your obsession for her. You want to understand why she’s just disappeared all of a sudden. Tracking her down leads to no results. But really, isn’t it a no-no in the P.I business to track with just a first name?

Alain Bonnard’s story summed up for your delight.

                                                      MY REVIEW
I would never, ever read this book again! Here are my reasons:

First of all, I loved, loved the storyline. Small-business Cinema owner finds the love of his life, small-Business Cinema Owner is so close to becoming a household name, Small Cinema owner loses his girl, Small-cinema owner vows he’d find this mysterious girl if it’s the last thing he does! Quite basic really, the storyline. But perfectly executed like none I have ever read before. A star to the storyline..──

Don’t you just love commercial fiction based in Paris?.── ★★

Thirdly, oh, you would adore Alain Bonnard, the main character. His optimism is very inspiring really, though I must admit, sometimes he just needed to be realistic like best friend Rob yells at him. I have never connected with a chap-lit main character like I did with Alain since… (when was the last time I read Harlan Coben?). His voice is nothing I have ever indulged in before. Simple, relatable and very mature. Readers would be cheering him on to go get his girl. And perhaps, wondering where he gets his determination from searching for the love of his life all over Paris on a first-name basis..── ★★★

Next, the other characters made this book spot-on fabulous. Every single character delivered in their quest to help, or drive our lead off track from reaching his dream girl. From Orphée the female cat who lended an ear to our lead’s problems and gave indignant meows when he was fed up of listening to same ol’ lady in the red coat, same ol’. Madame Clement the inquisitive box office manager who was always around to lend her unwarranted advice. Soléne Avril, the star actress whose flirtatious attempts on our lead were not-so-disturbing to him more than it was to readers. Allan Wood, the old famous director who brought our lead all the luck he needed to make his cinema go big-time and lose his girl in the process. Robert, the realist serialist whose advice to our main character to get on with another chick would be both refreshing and annoying to the readers.  Carl, the cameraman who wouldn’t get off Soléne’s phone to avoid sending fuck-off messages to her Texas fiancée. And all the Melanies who just weren’t the Melanie our main was in search off. A star to the main characters!.── ★★★★

Now to why I would never, ever read this book again!

I loved Nicolas Barreau’s writing. It had some sort of vintage-y effect thanks to the storyline that makes it so timeless. Ridden with flashbacks and lots of foreshadowing, the suspense in this book was just too much. Trust me, I hated reading this book with a perspiring forehead and every time wondering where exactly my hankie is (because I never carry one! Shame)! I mean, I just picked this book to be entertained, not to be entertained on the edge of my seat!! Tell me, how comfortable could that be? It’s amazing how Nicolas Barreau uses a lot of flashbacks and foreshadowing from start-to-finish to keep the reader at a constant unease throughout the story! A great literary piece, that’s what this book is! And you can hardly say this to most published chap-lits!.── ★★★★★

My rating is a massive five out of five stars!

Cheers to The Secret Paris Cinema Club published by Quercus available here.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a piece that has been so much acclaimed by reviewers and adopted by lots of publishing houses in print because of its sheer greatness! Anyone who wants to read something so suspenseful they would never, ever want to open it again should pick this. Anyone who loves their Audrey Hepburns and so many other old stars in old monochrome movies should get this title. And anyone who’s bent on looking for the one lady or gentleman in a tutu or whatever who managed to capture their heart should pick this title!

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.



Book Review: One Night On Italy by Lucy Diamond

Blurb: If journalist Anna had to write up the story of her own life, it wouldn’t make for a great headline: Dull Journo Has Dull Boyfriend! The only mystery in Anna’s life is that she’s never known who her dad is but with her mum refusing to tell her more she’s at a dead end. When she accidentally comes across a clue that her father is Italian, it opens up a burning curiosity in Anna. Soon she’s cooking Italian food, signing up for an Italian class and even considering dusting off her passport to go and find her dad in person… Sophie is serving gelato to tourists in Italy when she gets the call that her father has had a serious heart attack. In a rush, she grabs her well-worn backpack and heads back to the one place she’s been avoiding for so long – home. Living with her mum again while her dad recuperates, and taking a job teaching Italian to make ends meet, Sophie has to face up to the secrets she’s kept buried in the past. Catherine has no idea what the future holds. Her children have left for university, her husband has left her for another woman and her bank account is left empty after dedicating her life to raising her family. She needs a job and an identity all of a sudden. At an Italian evening class she makes a start in finding new friends Anna and Sophie. And she’s going to need good friends when she discovers her husband’s lies run even deeper than his infidelity… As Anna embarks on the trip to Italy that could answer all of her questions, will the truth live up to her dreams?

I loved, loved this book! So you know in my review I’d be screaming at you to go get it.

To start of this review, yes, I love chick-lit about taking vacations. Yes, I love chick-lit set in exotic places. Yes, I love chick-lit about Rome, Florence, Tuscany. So you could tell how elated I was to pick this book. Very el—ong—ated.

I adored the storyline. Three different women with dissimilar lives, sharing one passion for Rome. One cheated on by her husband on her matrimonial sheets. One on a quest to look for her long-lost Italian father.  One jetting back home from her wanderlust bliss to look after an ailing father. It’s all magnificent. I liked how Lucy Diamond choreographed all these women to coincide, stemming away from the best-friend characters from start-to-finish norm. ──

Secondly, the three main characters were brilliant. It’s hard to pull off the multiple-main-character thing and still have all the voices of the leads standout. You would simply adore Catherine for being the somewhat shy, damaged self-esteem wife stemmed from constantly being emotionally abused by a jerk of a husband, the mum who would want a little acknowledgement from her family so she wouldn’t haul the cooked turkey at the wall during Thanksgiving, the woman with the tendency to blush like a schoolgirl when put on any spot. Anna would also be the journalist you love, for her enthusiasm to experiment, for being the girlfriend who snoops into her boyfriend’s computer to view his accounts of their every lovemaking and his closing remarks (‘gained too much weight over Christmas’) in spreadsheet(!), the colleague who brings to work loads of treats from her cooking exploits. Sophie must be remembered for being the wanderlust travel blogger who is constantly in time to update a Facebook status, put on her Good Teacher outfit to offer lessons in Italian, and constantly contemplate if she should chase after a long-lost dream and a long-lost man.

You would be cheering these characters on, on their journey to self-discovery, reconnecting with their newly-found heritage and wondering where on earth to jet next! A star to these main characters.── ★★

Also, the supporting cast were as fabulous. Marla, the office bitch who wouldn’t lay off Anna’s weight. Joe, the charming office colleague rumoured to slip his hands under skirts during Christmas parties. Imogen, Anna’s Editor who bestows on her the most ridiculous columns which are far out of reach of her skills. Pete, Anna’s boyfriend who constantly keeps record of every sex encounter (with any woman) on spreadsheet. Tracey, Anna’s mum dreading her daughter’s ‘impending’ pregnancy and lacking warmth as a result of being a successful struggling single-mum. Emily and Matthew, Catherine’s children who are eager to get rid of her and move on with their college lives. Rebecca, Cath’s rival who incurs the wrath of hairdressers by being demanding and leaving no tip. Jim, Sophie’s dad whose humour poured in radiance into her dull Sheffield life. The students’ of Sophie’s Italian class were spot-on well-developed and hilarious too. A characterization party in this book. ── ★★★

It’s amazing when a chick-lit title has all the elements to keep you glued. Humor, check. Suspense, check. Lucy Diamond is so witty her writing keeps a smile glued to your lips impending the moment when she’d drop in a line that makes you laugh-out-loud. I loved that this book was so unpredictable, you never once could I guess the outcome of this book.── ★★★★★

My rating: Five out of Five Stars (obviously).

Lucy Diamond’s amazing latest can be got on Amazon.

I recommend this book to any fan of chick-lit. I recommend this book anyone who loves summer-tastic chick-lit based in far-flung exotic places. Anyone who loves chick-lit with leads they would be cheering on. And anyone who loves Lucy Diamond as she doesn’t disappoint in this title.

My only question to Lucy  Diamond is, Why didn’t Mike ever notice Cath’s (hair)do-over.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.


Book Review: Three's A Crowd by Edwina Darke


My Synopsis
Imagine this: You are the junior of a pain-in-the-ass editor of a publishing firm who secretly covets your hot boyfriend. Your life is perfect with Girl’s Nights Outs with your network of friends, even though occasionally you get stood up on dinner nights by your perfect boyfriend who’s slaving hours at work. Your relationship with your family is hardly ever-noticeable in the life of a thirty-year old New Yorker, except if you consider your mum, but wait, which chick-lit character doesn’t hate their mum (when the feeling is also mutual with her too?). Luke your old time best pal, who you are unsure if you love him more than you do your boyfriend, has moved in. Crisis.

Suddenly your perfect life doesn’t seem so perfect anymore when a reputable Hollywood Bad Boy is introduced into your life. You are to help him write his memoir which could be the making of your career, but only if he ever submits any pages. While you are fighting tooth to nail with him, putting your career on the line, your relationship with your boyfriend on the line, your relationship with your boyfriend’s mother on the line (if ever there was one), your clean slate with New York paparazzi on the line, there’s got to be a way to handle your problems and come out with your relationships unscathed and successful but Luke your flatmate isn’t helping when he’s being such a darling (as well as a serialist letting girls sleepover—this you don’t mind because you have a boyfriend).

Well, in all, you’ve got your friends. Until they’ve also got problems of their own.

Enjoy Elan’s life as she navigates the rough waters of her career, friendship, love, and being attracted to a lot more than two men in this sizzling and delightful tale set in the racy, fabulous, sleep-depriving New York City.

I loved, loved this book. So you know in my review I’d be yelling at you to get it.

Beautiful storyline. It’s fun reading about girls with jobs-to-die-for. Kind of reminds you of The Devil Wears Prada age where chick-lit was about girls with dream-careers that excited its audience, and the challenges these careers held that only made them seem more crave-worthy. So Girl has a boyfriend who hardly spends time with her but is generous with the gifts and the occasional dinners at exotic restaurants, Girl is undergoing days in Hell with her boss and a client who just won’t cooperate, Girl goes home to find her childhood best friend and crush bedding other women in her apartment, Girl has friends who have problems of their own which she must see to despite the handful of problems she has with her chaotic life and the press. Amazing storyline. The fact that it was set in New York City, revealing all the hotspots, made the whole reading experience surreal and entertaining..──

A star to the main character Elan. You’d love this Aussie taking a bite of the Big Apple. Witty with wisecracks that get you chuckling, a beautiful voice that makes reading this novel a breeze. You’d relate to her a lot when she channels your inner girly Carrie Bradshaw with enough spunk and attitude strutting the streets of New York meeting friends, going on dinner dates with Mr. Big and indulging in a love triangle with a flatmate (if Carrie Bradshaw ever had one). Cosmopolitans, kitten heels, eye-dropping outfits tackling work dilemmas, relationship dilemmas, as well as dealing with paparazzi who want to get her on front pages of tabloids instead of the side of a bus—Elan is lovable that way!.── ★★

The other characters were also as fantastic. From Lily, the best friend having relationship issues with her boyfriend Marcus who doesn’t really understand why she’s  keeping him away from her family. To Vassilissa, another hot super-model friend who’s got lots of ears to lend and lots of Vodka to knock your sorrow down with. Rox Wriothesley the Hollywood Bad Boy always in time to show up in fashion’s most disastrous creations enough to make our lead recoil in repugnance. Luke the super-charming flatmate who values Elan more than the numerous girls he shares his bed with. Polly, the office bitch from hell who reminded me a lot like Bitchy Barbara from Carrie Diaries. You would also adore and hate GeGe, our lead’s mother always in time to engage in a dissing battle with her daughter. I loved all the characters in this book. They made this book crowded, and exciting just like New York is with friends and the random people you love..── ★★★

I loved that this book was deep, and emotional. This side to the story was very unexpected. And I loved how Edwina Darke portrayed it even though this dark side wasn’t really our lead’s predicament..── ★★★★

The humor, was on point. The suspense was on point. Predictable at a time, but just when you think you’ve figured the whole story out, the carpet is yanked from beneath your feet..── ★★★★★

In all, it was a fantastic debut. I was going through the low-kindle tolerance phase till I decided to give this book a try. And I was very disappointed… because it surpassed all my expectations.

And my rating is definitely: Five out of five stars (and it’s always hard to find debut authors that get such high-ratings from me).

Three's A Crowd is available on Amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their chick-lit set in the fab New York City. Anyone who loves chick-lit which gives them a reminiscence of the amazing The Devil Wears Prada/Sex And The City age. Anyone who just wants to Keep Calm and Read Chick-lit That Entertains (them), should definitely get this title.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.