September saw 14 new review requests added to my TBR pile but happily I have completed 95% of my reading goal. These new arrivals look really good...which one should I tackle first?
Description: A beautiful story about the magic of childhood Christmas memories, the strength of family and falling in love when you least expect it.
Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they?
Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life.
As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing , the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!
The only problem could be her boss… single-dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter?
As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!
Description: Sometimes, to come clean, you've got to get your hands dirty ...
Celeste Pretty, a self-confessed neat freak, has found the job she was born to do: a professional organiser, de-cluttering people's homes and workplaces. Her new business gets off to a cracking start when she lands her first client, health and fitness guru Natalia Samphire, in the well-heeled suburb of Astonvale. But things get messy at Natalia's mansion when Celeste finds a blackmail note and other mysterious items. And then there's Lenny Muscat, the sexy builder renovating the place, whose constant presence is muddling Celeste's usually organised brain.
When things get decidedly suspicious at the mansion, she and Lenny have to team up to investigate. But will Celeste emerge with her heart and professional reputation unscathed?
This is the first in the Astonvale series.
Description: What do you do if you come face to face with a ghost?
Put it down to a bump on the head and work stress if you’re a respected academic like Cleo Carpenter. With Christmas approaching, professional rivalry afoot and a best friend determined to interfere in her love life the strain is clearly starting to get to her.
Guilt-stricken and deceased, Alex Thorne is desperate to make amends with his brother, Rafe, a tortured musician trapped in a spiral of destruction. When an encounter with Cleo forges a link between them she becomes his only hope. So what if the only person who can see him is a sceptic?
As Cleo starts to doubt her sanity, the safe world she takes for granted crumbles around her. Setting out to regain control and prove once and for all ghosts don’t exist, she embarks on a journey of self discovery and surprise, learning that love really does defy science, logic and maybe even death itself…
Description: Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
Description: Meet Zoe and Greg Milton, a married couple who have let themselves go a bit.
Zoe was a stunner in her college days, but the intervening decades have added five stone, and removed most of her self-esteem. Greg's rugby-playing days are well and truly behind him, thanks to countless pints of beer and chicken curry.
When Elise, a radio DJ and Zoe's best friend, tells them about a new competition, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn their lives around. Fat Chance will pit six hefty couples against one another to see who can collectively lose the most weight and walk away with a $50,000 prize.
So begins six months of abject misery, tears, and frustration that just might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them in another laugh-out-loud look at the way we live now from bestselling author Nick Spalding.
Description: "There's always a hostile side to beauty." - Jan Moran
Verena Valent is at the helm of her family's legendary Swiss skincare company, which caters to a glamorous clientele in the heart of Beverly Hills. After her parents are killed in an automobile accident, she becomes the sole provider for her younger twin sisters and her grandmother. Instead of attending college with her friends as planned, she rises to the challenge to guide and expand her family's business. She is in the midst of a critical international expansion into Asia when her carefully organized life begins to unravel.
Verena is shaken to discover that her fiance, Derrick, who is a venture capitalist, might be behind a scheme to take over her growing company. While she struggles to save the business that means everything to her, she meets Lance, an executive chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She encounters this intriguing man again while on a business trip to Paris, and soon gains a new perspective on relationships.
When the unthinkable occurs and Verena's world collapses, her friends rally around her, among them Scarlett Sandoval, a top intellectual property attorney; Dahlia DuBois, a perfumer from an esteemed line of French perfumers; and Fianna Fitzgerald, a fashion designer with her own trendy boutique.
Ultimately, Verena learns that truth, family, friendship, and love are the unshakable pillars of life. But will she get a second chance in business, or in love?
Flawless is the first book in the Hostile Beauty Series. Follow a group of smart, stylish, entrepreneurial friends as they navigate the turbulences of modern life in the business of beauty. Set in Beverly Hills with action flung across the globe, the Hostile Beauty Series is an engaging series that features gutsy, determined best friends, and how they manage to live the lives of their dreams.
Description: For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....
The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.
Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when a bump on the head leaves Angela with temporary amnesia, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways....
Description: Meet Ruby’s fiancé, Finn. He’s gorgeous, thoughtful, successful and adoring – pretty much everything anyone could ever want in a man. In fact, he’s perfect. The catch? He’s just not perfect for her. But when Ruby finally plucks up the courage to come clean, Finn’s so furious that he misses his footing as he runs down the stairs – and suddenly, it’s not just his heart that’s broken!
When Finn wakes up, he can’t remember a thing. Not that Ruby dumped him – not even that they were ever engaged! It’s on the tip of Ruby’s tongue to come clean, but somehow, it never seems to be the right time... And as the weeks pass, she sees a new side to Finn. Arrogant and a shameless flirt, he’s irresistibly bad, and the chemistry between them is explosive!
It’s not that Ruby’s lying… she’s just withholding the truth. And seeing as things are going so well, perhaps there’s no need for Finn to have his memory jogged… The trouble is, there’s every chance that Finn might remember for himself!
Description: Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all.
Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the "W" in banker.
How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?
With humor and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man's world.
Description: The nineteenth novel in Sue Grafton's ever popular 'alphabet' series featuring PI Kinsey Millhone.
Just after Independence Day in July 1953 Violet Sullivan, a local good time girl living in Serena Station Southern California, drives off in her brand new Chevy and is never seen again. Left behind is her young daughter, Daisy, and Violet's impetuous husband, Foley, who had been persuaded to buy his errant wife the car only days before . . .
Now, thirty-five years later, Daisy wants closure.
Reluctant to open such an old cold case Kinsey Millhone agrees to spend five days investigating, believing at first that Violet simply moved on to pastures new. But very soon it becomes clear that a lot of people shared a past with Violet, a past that some are still desperate to keep hidden. And in a town as close-knit as Serena there aren't many places to hide when things turn vicious . . .
Description: A man out of time. A woman out of options. Natchez detective Mike Faricy will do anything to undo his brother-in-law's murder. A man named Slick offers him a deal he can't refuse-go back to June 19th, the day before the killing. Mike strikes the Bargain and wakes up on June 19th gazing down the barrel of an antique gun held by Abigail Kingsley, who confirms it is June 19th, but the year is 1865. Now Mike must prevent the murder from over a century in the past, while being taunted by a shape-shifting Slick. The devil may own his soul, but it's Abigail who stakes a powerful claim on his aching heart. Will her darkest secrets be his ultimate undoing...? "Dirty Harry" meets "Scarlett O'Hara" and there's Hell to pay....
Description: Falling in love is just not on Nora King’s To Do List…
Neither is accidentally super-gluing her shoe to her hand right before the biggest presentation of her life!
With all the hard work she’d put into securing the family business after her father’s death, Nora has no choice but to accept help from a knight in shining armour.
Disaster relief worker Ethan Love is still haunted by his last deployment, and desperate for distraction. He’s in town to ask Nora for a major favour, and swooping in to save her presentation is a sure way to get her on side.
As Ethan sticks around and helps Nora through her grief, her barriers tumble down…but will she dare to swap her To Do lists for a How to Fall in Love list?
Description: Meet America’s Tweet-Heart.
She’s network reporter Cassidy Shea, better known as @TwitterGirl, with more than a million followers thanks to her sarcastic tweets. One hundred forty characters that can take anyone down a notch.
But while brevity may be the soul of wit, it can also get you fired.
When a controversial tweet goes viral the snarky redhead finds herself locked out of the career she loves… and watches her boyfriend take a hike.
Alas, no industry values sarcasm more than politics, and Cassidy becomes a marketable commodity for Presidential candidate Will Becker, a squeaky-clean, stone cold lock to be the next occupant of the White House. This candidate is unlike any other; he’s the country’s most eligible bachelor. He’s also looking for a running mate, and we’re not talking about a Vice President.
Twitter Girl has caught his eye.
Cassidy finds herself swept up in a whirlwind romance that turns her into the next Jackie Kennedy and becomes the favorite to be the next First Lady. The country can’t get enough of America’s First Couple… will Cassidy and Will Becker bring back Camelot?
But an anonymous tip triggers her journalistic curiosity. Is Will Becker all that he seems? The search for the answer teaches Cassidy the meaning of love.
Description: Readers of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries will love Ashlyn Macnamara’s novel about a smoldering new love that is threatened by past betrayals.
Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his impossible standards—until Cecelia Sanford becomes the first woman to interrupt the widower’s brooding in years. Lind had returned home from the Napoleonic wars, broken in body and soul and longing for his wife’s embrace, only to find her changed. Before they could reconcile, an accident struck their son and claimed her life. Now enter Cecelia, with her soft curves and sharp tongue—a tempting distraction, it is true, but not a welcome one.
Past the usual marrying age and haunted by a scandal of her own, Cecelia soon finds herself caring for both the child and the man. The viscount is brittle and even abrupt at times, yet she cannot deny the attraction that stirs her body in his presence. Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber—if she can just keep their pasts from destroying a second chance at love.
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