Brilliant Book Titles #131

cake
You can reserve a copy on South Dublin Libraries’ website here.

Blurb:
From getting locked out of her flat twice on the same day and being fired for baking a giant cookie in the shape of her boss’ head, to playing bridesmaid for a friend she’d long forgotten, Sloane Crosley can do no right, despite the best of intentions. With sharp, original and irresistible storytelling that confounds expectations at every turn, Crosley recounts her victories and catastrophes, finding uproarious comedy and genuine insights in the most unpredictable places.

Brilliant Book Titles #130

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Blurb:
On a global tour that takes him from India to Greece to Africa, David tries in vain to keep out of trouble; poaching in the Lake District, heli-skiing in Canada, taking on the pirates of Nigeria and disguising himself as a nurse in Durban.

Gritty and raucous, these true confessions of adventures on board a merchant ship – in the bad old days before regulations made everything ship-shape and orderly – are a riot from start to finish. A must-read for anyone who’s ever dreamt of running away to sea, Baboulene’s stories will make you weep with laughter.

Vigilante by Jessica Gadziala

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Since day one of hearing about Luce I’ve wanted his story. I’ve wanted to know what was behind the dark, sexy vigilante. This story was fantastic, I couldn’t put it down. I just love when Jessica goes Dark, and dark she went with Vigilante!

This is a standalone story, but like most of Jessica’s books we get glimpses of Navesink Bank. Which is always enjoyable. The storyline blew my mind and it was all go from the first one word of this book. Ev’s is a kick ass character. She is fearless and one thing I love out of my leading ladies is a strong fearless woman!

Yes, pick this book up you won’t regret it!

5 Summer Romances to Watch Out For

beard
Beard in Mind
(Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

Release Date: 01/08/17

Keep it simple.
Easy.
Fun.
That’s Beau Winston’s motto.

Another favorite, There’s plenty of fish in the sea, because Beau loves everything about fishing. Keeping it simple has worked well for him. He is everyone’s favorite Winston Brother, and that’s a fact.
Well… it used to be a fact.

Before her.

Before his brother hired this human-porcupine hybrid to work at their auto shop. Shelly Sullivan would rather converse with her foul-mouthed parrot and cuddle dogs than interact with an actual human being. It doesn’t take long before Beau wants her antagonistic bird and her prickly personality gone, simple as that.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers keeping it simple might mean missing out on what matters most.

kiss my boots
Kiss My Boots (Coming Home #2) by Harper Sloan

Release Date: 18/07/17

In this second of the sultry, Western-set Coming Home series from New York Times bestselling author Harper Sloan, Quinn Davis might finally have a shot at her own happily-ever-after—but will she let love in, or will she tell it to go ahead and kiss her boots?

Quinn Davis prefers to live her life quietly. She’s the stereotypical tomboy with two overprotective big brothers who have always been there to protect her, especially from devilishly handsome cowboys with silver tongues. That is, until Tate Montgomery comes riding into town. Their first meeting, however, is far from something out of a fairy tale and only further convinces Quinn that men aren’t worth her time.

The only place Tate Montgomery ever truly felt at home growing up was during the long, sweltering summer months he spent at his Gram and Paw’s farm in Pine Oak, Texas. Now, Tate has returned to his childhood sanctuary seeking a fresh start—but if he’s being entirely honest, he’s not just back for the wranglers and Stetsons. During those summers, Quinn was a friend-turned-young-love who Tate lost when life threw him a curveball and he cut all ties to his past; but all it takes is one glance at the raven-haired beauty he did his best to forget for him to realize just how much he’s been missing….

suddenly
Suddenly Engaged (Lake Haven #3) by Julia London

Release Date: 25/07/17

Single mother Kyra Kokinos spends her days waiting tables, her nights working on her real estate license, and every spare moment with her precocious six-year-old daughter, Ruby—especially when Ruby won’t stop pestering their grumpy next-door neighbor. At first glance, Dax Bishop seems like the kind of gruff, solitary guy who’d be unlikely to offer a cup of sugar, let alone Single mother Kyra Kokinos spends her days waiting tables, her nights working on her real estate license, and every spare moment with her precocious six-year-old daughter, Ruby—especially when Ruby won’t stop pestering their grumpy next-door neighbor. At first glance, Dax Bishop seems like the kind of gruff, solitary guy who’d be unlikely to offer a cup of sugar, let alone a marriage proposal. But that’s exactly what happens when Ruby needs life-saving surgery.

Dax showed up in East Beach a year ago, fresh from a painful divorce and looking for a place where he could make furniture and avoid people. Suddenly his life is invaded by an inquisitive munchkin in sparkly cowboy boots—and her frazzled, too-tempting mother. So he presents a practical plan: his insurance will help Ruby, and then they can divorce—zero strings attached.

But soon Kyra and Dax find their engagement of convenience is simple in name only. As their attraction deepens, a figure from the past reappears, offering a way out. Can Kyra and Dax let go so easily—or has love become a preexisting condition?
the beauty of us
The Beauty of Us (Fusion #4) by Kristen Proby

Release Date: 22/08/17

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

any
Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

Release Date: 08/08/17

 

Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.

Pastor Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.

Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.

The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.

But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.

 

 

All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher

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Ann Gallagher is the pseudonym of L. A. Witt (who also writes under lots of different names!) that focuses on the less-steamy side of romance. I’d previously loved her first book under this name, Lead Me Not, (reviewed on the blog here) and was signed up and ready when I read that she was doing a Bluewater Bay book.

Both Bluewater Bay and L A Witt in particular are not afraid to try new things, and this is certainly a very different romance. It’s an asexual romance, where neither character has sexual feelings towards the other but do have romantic feelings. The book casually gives the reader a lot of information about asexuality, while not feeling like its dumped on you. The main reason for this is that Brennan is just figuring out that he’s asexual, after a string of failed relationships, and Zafir is helping dip his toe into this new world.

Both characters are very well written and loved their budding romance, although while I cheered for them throughout, given the lack of physical attraction, it felt very ‘quiet’ as a book. Subdued even. Still, I liked the characters and their relationship, I just missed the heart-thumping romance that goes with physical attraction. Still, a solid book from Gallagher, and a great addition to the Bluewater Bay series.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Brilliant Book Titles #129

dont tell mum i work
You can reserve a copy at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
A take-no-prisoners approach to life has seen Paul Carter heading to some of the world’s most remote, wild and dangerous places as a contractor in the oil business. Amazingly, he’s survived (so far) to tell these stories from the edge of civilization. He has been shot at, hijacked and held hostage; almost died of dysentery in Asia and toothache in Russia; watched a Texan lose his mind in the jungles of Asia; lost a lot of money backing a scorpion against a mouse in a fight to the death, and been served cocktails by an orangutan on an ocean freighter. And that’s just his day job.

Taking postings in some of the world’s wildest and most remote regions, not to mention some of the roughest rigs on the planet, Paul has worked, got into trouble, and been given serious talkings to, in locations as far-flung as the North Sea, Middle East, Borneo and Tunisia, as exotic as Sumatra, Vietnam and Thailand, and as flat-out dangerous as Columbia, Nigeria and Russia, with some of the maddest, baddest and strangest people you could ever hope not to meet.

 

Brilliant Book Titles #128

distraction pieces
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
Join Scroobius Pip as he gets to the bottom of what matters most in life: whether getting Russell Brand to expound on capitalism, Jon Ronson on the perils of social media, Simon Pegg on the power of satire, Killer Mike on race relations in the United States or Howard Marks on drugs and cancer, Pip elicits thought-provoking material by rummaging through the minds of some of the most interesting creatives of our time.

Distraction Pieces features both curated highlights from the iTunes-chart-topping podcast – from Akala to Howard Marks via the likes of Adam Buxton, Romesh Ranganathan and Amanda Palmer – and exclusive new content, with chapters on politics, social media, music, comedy and more. Featuring illustrations by tattoo artist mr heggie, this is a must-have for fans of the Distraction Pieces podcast, and a must-read for anyone interested in the creative mind.

Pickup Men by L. C. Chase

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First LC Chase book for me, and I really liked it.

Martin Fairgrave is a rodeo pickup man and in a relationship, and in love with, World Champion bull rider, the closeted Tripp Colby. What follows is a relatively straightforward but detailed and likeable romance.

Marty is fed-up of being Tripp’s little secret and after Marty is in an accident in the Rodeo, and Tripp doesn’t even check on him, Marty’s had enough, and dumps him. This sets the pair of them on a voyage of discovery about themselves and each other.

Liked Marty and Tripp’s story, and the very plausible romance between a main and a secondary character – it even had me wondering if perhaps, they’d go off together instead of the main characters. The secondary characters are well drawn and the book well-written, giving a real flavour of Rodeo life. Looking forward to reading the next two books in the series (Let it Ride and Pulling Leather) which look very intriguing from their synopses!

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You can reserve a copy online from South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Playscripts to Watch Out For

Ink by James Graham (19 Jun 2017)
ink
I want to tell you a story. And it’s true. That’s what makes it a good fucking story, right, `cause all the best stories are true. Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises. James Graham’s ruthless, red-topped play leads with the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper – when a young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asked the impossible and launched its first editor’s quest, against all odds, to give the people what they want. Ink was first published to coincide with the world premiere of the play at the Almeida Theatre, London, on 17 June 2017, in a production directed by Rupert Goold.

Twilight Song by Kevin Elyot (13 Jul 2017)
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A new play from the writer of the classic comedy My Night with Reg. In their sitting room in leafy north London, Isabella and Basil are getting ready to take Uncle Charles out to dinner. It’s summer 1967 and their secrets are starting to crack as the world around them undergoes a revolution.

Tracing one family’s hidden liaisons over half a century to the present day, Kevin Elyot’s evocative final play conjures a heartbreakingly funny tale of fathers and sons, desire and regret, and lives half lived.

Twilight Song received its world premiere at London’s Park Theatre in 2017.

Plays: One by Alexi Kaye Campbell (27 Jul 2017)
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The premiere of The Pride at the Royal Court Theatre in 2008 marked the emergence of Alexi Kaye Campbell as a distinctive new talent. With its bold and ingenious structure and its daring take on sexual politics in the 1950s and today, the play combined thrilling dramaturgy with profound insight into the affairs of the human heart. It went on to win an Olivier Award, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, and the John Whiting Award for Best New Play, and was revived in the West End in 2013.

Published here alongside that remarkable debut are Alexi’s four subsequent plays, which together demonstrate his rare ability to harness theatricality in pursuit of emotional truth.

Apologia (Bush Theatre, London, 2009; revived in the West End in 2017), a perceptive look at what has happened to 1960s idealists and their children. ‘Sharp, funny, wise and humane, Alexi Kaye Campbell is a writer to cherish’ Telegraph

The Faith Machine (Royal Court, 2011), an exploration of the relationship between faith and capitalism that asks fundamental questions about the true meaning of love. ‘An urgent play of expansive ambition and largeness of spirit’ Guardian

Bracken Moor (Tricycle Theatre and Shared Experience, 2013), a haunting tale of grief and denial, set against the economic crisis of the 1930s. ‘A superior kind of ghost story… intellectually as well as emotionally haunting’ The Stage

Sunset at the Villa Thalia (National Theatre, 2016), a passionate and deeply personal play about the impact of foreign influence, planned and unintentional, on a nation and its people. ‘This play is a winner, a thought-provoking slow-burn story that works on many levels’ The Times

Follies by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman (24 Aug 2017)
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New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Including such classic songs as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind, Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre.

Jitney by August Wilson (24 Aug 2017)
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Set in the 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs (‘jitneys’). When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss s son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone.

Jitney is currently on Broadway; it was first produced in New York in the spring of 2000, with a London run following in 2001, winning rave reviews and the accolade of the as the best play of the year. Jitney is the seventh in Wilson s American Century cycle of plays on the black experience in twentieth-century America. He writes not about historical events or the pathologies of the black community, but the unique particulars of black culture. In addition to the essential and insightful preface by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, this edition includes production stills from the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway production, directed by Santiago-Hudson and featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden, André Holland (Moonlight), Carra Patterson(Straight Outta Compton), Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon), Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson.

What Was Promised by Tobias Hill

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A remarkable story set in a very bleak post war London. Unlike most books which romanticise this  period in British History, this book takes a different approach.  People were still practically starving and the capitol was in ruins – there’s nothing remotely glamorous about children playing in dangerous bomb sites orphans living rough.

Hill tells the story of native Londoners , Jewish immigrants,  immigrants from former British colonies, against a background of the London Markets.  colourful Petticoat lane and the bleak existence of the costermongers.  Very poignant with a strange not-altogether satisfying ending.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries catalogue here.