Dear Darling – A Valentine Special

CHAPTER TWO

I chew on my nail as I browse through houses to rent online, hoping that ‘the one’ will jump out at me soon. Tensions are running pretty high right now and there’s nothing we can do about it. I’m actually glad to get Adam away for a few days, maybe he’ll be able to relax a bit. I feel him tossing and turning in bed every night, our deadline to get out of this house is 25 February. That’s approximately 2 weeks to find somewhere we’re happy to rent for at least 6 months because the conveyancing department at work have told us we’d have to be bloody lucky or buying a repossession to be in a new house within that timescale.

I put my head on my desk and groan. Being a grown up can kiss my arse.

“Ellie, that Lease, is it ready?” Adam bursts into my room in a whirlwind. A delicious smelling whirlwind but a whirlwind nonetheless.

“Yeah, here.” I hand him the draft Lease and smile back at his bemused face. “What?” I feel at my face and something drops from my forehead. Pringle crumbs. Nice.

“I need you to book me some accommodation for a meeting next week in Manchester. Our new branch has fucked up with a major client so all the Partners are heading up to try and sort something out.”

“Sure, when for?” I mentally plan a night with Hannah now Gina has to be a proper grown up to a little person.

“Just Thursday overnight. I’ll be back Friday in time for dinner with my parents.” He’s scanning through the Lease as he talks, glancing up at me occasionally.

“A free meal always sounds good to me. I really need to get the recipe from your mum for her carrot cake, too. That counts as one of your five a day, right?” I flash him my newly whitened teeth and he laughs.

“Yes, of course it does.” He gives me a wry smile. “Right, I’m off. I’ll probably be late home tonight so grab something without me. I can’t come home to a hangry Ellie, it’s terrifying.” Kissing the top of my head, he rushes out of my office as quickly as he came.

Work was manic before Christmas. I’m talking 12 hour days, ratty clients, staff shortages, but somehow, January and February have seemed worse! It’s like those that didn’t complete their transactions before Christmas are hell bent on making my life miserable by insisting it happens right now. Not next week, not next month, now. And it doesn’t matter that their tenants can’t move in until spring, they want shizz sorted right this second. Feckers.

Ripping open the lid on my carrot and hummus snack pot, I pull up Google and look at images of New York. Because when you have work coming out of every orifice what else is there to do other than kick back and toss it off?

I hope it snows when we’re there. Not enough to affect our flights but wouldn’t that be the ultimate? New York on Valentines Day wandering around hand in hand while the snow falls.

“Ellie?” I jump as Hannah appears at my door.

“Jesus Hannah, at least give a girl some warning before making her jump like that.” I put my heart to my chest and feel my heart thudding against it.

“Guilty conscience much.” She arches an eyebrow so I give her my middle finger in return. “What’s up?” I close down the New York tab on my computer and give her my full attention because let’s face it, I’m so easily distracted that she could be telling me she was about to give birth to a sea lion and I’d simply smile and nod.

“Have you told Adam about your interview yet?”

Good mood – splat.

“No,” I shift in my seat, not meeting her gaze.

“Ellie! The interview tomorrow, how have you not told him? How have you got out of working in the morning?”

I bite my lip and smile as I remember Adam’s face. “I told him I was going for a smear.”

“ELLIE!!” Despite her anger, Hannah laughs. “You can’t lie to him, you know that don’t you?”

“I know, I know. But it’s just so hard, you know. I’m breaking up our work relationship. I just thought maybe I could go for the interview-“

“In secret?” Hannah gave me her judgey face. She gets so judgey these days when she thinks I’ve had a foolish idea or I’ve ordered 3 starters, 2 mains, a side and 2 naans from the Indian down the road then go back for a dunk of her curry sauce.

“I’ll tell him tonight.” I roll my eyes and pull up an image of New York, wondering how I’ll tell him that I don’t want to be his PA anymore without hurting his feelings. Maybe I’ll cushion the blow with new underwear.

“Good. Now let’s start planning how to take Tiffany’s by storm!” Giggling, Hannah comes around my desk and perches on the window ledge. “Oh I hope it snows. Christen has been to New York before but I want to make this special for us, you know? He took such a massive leap of faith moving to London to be with me, this will be our first proper break together.”

“Ah Han, it’ll be amazing. Oh, before I forget, Adam’s away in Manchester next Thursday, do you fancy a night at mine? We could grab food, a few cocktails, stick a girly film on? Like old times, what do you say?”

“Oh yeah, just like old times,” Hannah laughs. “What time will Arianna’s clients be knocking on the door? Thank God you’re out of that place.”

Groaning I close my eyes. The image of a stumpy, sweaty older man propositioning me in my doorway will be forever etched on my brain.

“Right, it’s a date. Better get on with some work, haven’t you heard my boss is an absolute dick?” I laughed as Hannah rolled her eyes and left me to catch up on a dozen emails, as well as downloading the holiday countdown app on my phone. Obviously.

*

Interview day rolls around all too quickly.

I’d broken the news to Adam over a bottle of champagne and a box of his favourite truffles. He’s such a woman.

To be fair, he didn’t take the news badly at all. He was however slightly pissed off that I had lied about the whole smear test thing.

“You really felt that you had to lie to me?” He asked, muting the television so that I had nowhere to look other than at his beautiful face. I squirmed under his scrutiny with nowhere to run or hide.

“No, it’s not that, I just didn’t know how to tell you and thought that after the interview, it might be easier to somehow tell you. Because after the interview I’d know whether I was good enough to work anywhere else. I’m still not sure I got the job with you because I was good enough for it.”

“Ellie.”

“No, Adam. I love you but there’s not a week goes by that I don’t wonder whether I got the job because you thought I had a nice arse.”

“Well, you do have a nice arse, that is true,” a slow smile spread across his face. “But listen to me, Ellie Darling, you are bloody good at your job. You do the job of about 4 people, all while keeping me in line and you have never once complained.  You are kind, generous, and far too helpful for your own good and even when the shit hits the fan you front it out. If you feel like you want to spread your wings and see other employers,” he smiled as he took my hand, “then so be it.”

“You old romantic, you.” Leaning in for a kiss, I was once again floored by Adam Donley. As our lips touched, I pulled at his shirt collar and climbed onto his lap. “You never cease to amaze me. From surprise weekends away to coming home on a Friday night with my favourite ice cream when you know I’ve had an awful day.” I peppered kisses across his face as I undid his shirt and slipped it down his tanned arms.

“Ellie, not here.”

“Oh yes Adam, right here. If we’re going to lose the house anyway I want to rechristen every single room, starting right here, right now. I want you Adam, in every single way, and I can feel that you’re in agreement.” I laughed, wiggling my bum as he groaned and pulled me into a long deep kiss, sitting up and pinning me underneath him.

“God I love this dress,” he whispered as he slowly unzipped the front of my dress, his fingers delicately following the trail until it fell apart. “And I love you.”

My memories are quickly poofed through like a cloud of smoke as a 6ft glamazon smiles at me from above, legs to rival Taylor Swift as I stumble to my feet, my own Bambi like legs shaking with nerves.

“Ellie Darling? Hi my name’s Lydia, it’s so lovely to meet you. Won’t you follow me?”

Elite Event Management in the world according to Gina, is the dog’s bollocks at what they do. They have organised some of the most high profile celebrity events that London has ever seen and are about to branch out to New York. I only know this because the marketing firm Gina works for swear by Elite and if Gina gives a place the thumbs up you know it’s good. One of her contacts had recently told her that a vacancy had become available and wondered whether she would be interested. She told them she’d rather eat her own liver than work those kinds of hours anymore but she knew I’d thrive on this kind of challenge so here I am. About to go for an interview for a company that, according to the rumour mill, have arranged parties for Kim Kardashian and Kanye. I figure if they’re good enough for Kimye then why the hell not go for it.

Lydia’s office was the complete opposite of what I expected. Whenever I think of someone with a reputation as good as Lydia’s, I imagine them to have an office to rival Miranda’s from The Devil Wears Prada. The office I’m faced with is muted greys and nudes, an elegant suede sofa in the corner with cream scatter cushions, a sleek Macbook sat atop a dark oak table and the most intimidating view I have ever seen. I’m talking Trump Towers view. Even Adam’s view couldn’t rival this.

“Please, take a seat. Would you like a drink?” Lydia sits opposite me, her back to the magnificent view.

“Oh no, I’m fine, thank you.” I try to swallow the nerves and pull back my shoulders. I can do this. I totally have this. All I have to do is be myself.

“Wonderful. I’ll just bring my assistant in, you’ll be working side by side so I’d like to have her around. She’s been with me almost a year and I don’t know how I managed without her now.” Lydia laughs as I smile, prepared to meet the woman who, by the sounds of it, will get the final say on whether she thinks I’m up to the task.

A secluded door opens to the left of Lydia and my face freezes on what can only be described as a manic smile.

Sophie.

Of all the mother fudging people to walk through the door it had to be her. Still blonde. Still a size 6. Undoubtedly, still a bitch.

“Ellie! Oh when I saw your name appear in my diary I hoped it would be you. How are you these days?”

I gulp, my whole body numb. Sod it, I may as well relax, it’s not like I’m going to get the job now.

“Fine, thank you. You?” I want to vomit.

“Oh I am wonderful.” A sinister smile cross her face and my defences are officially on red alert.

“You two know each other?” Lydia looks confused which makes me wonder how creative Sophie has been with her CV.

“We do indeed. I worked with Ellie briefly at a law firm some time ago. She’s remarkable at her job Lydia, slept her way to the top like a true professional.” Sophie sits back in her chair and crosses her tiny ankles that are swallowed by the chunky black boots she has on. Her fashion sense always did leave a lot to be desired.

“Oh….” Lydia turns her nose up at me. “Is this why you’re wanting to leave? Has it gone a bit sour?” I can tell she’s trying for sympathetic but her tone is enough to curdle milk.

“Not at all, and that’s not really what happened. Sophie stalked my former fiancé via Twitter, took him for herself for a slice of fame pie, tried to get me sacked which resulted in my promotion and then blamed me for her relationship turning sour. Roman is gay now, you see.” I pick up my handbag, not in the mood for a bun fight. “I’m truly sorry for wasting your time, Lydia. If I had known Sophie worked here I would never have applied for the job. Thank you for taking the time to see me. I’ll see myself out.”

I hear Sophie whispering something as I leave the room, my face burning. I want to burst into tears. I had such high hopes for this job, to spread my wings and try something a little different. I’ve worked in law for 13 years and I’m ready for a change.

As the cool February air hits me, I take a deep breath and call Adam.

“Hey gorgeous, how was it? I wasn’t expecting to hear from you so soon.” I want to burst into tears down the line, to slide down the wall of the building and sit on the cold pavement crying that Sophie has once again managed to stick the knife in unexpectedly. But I don’t.

“You free for lunch?” My voice is timid. I’m tired, hungry and just want to see the face of my best friend. Gina aside, obviously.

“Yeah, of course. Are you okay?” I smile to myself picturing exactly how he’ll look right about now. He will have sat forward in his chair, frowning, biting his lips as he tries to work out what’s happened and how he can fix it. He is always so good at fixing things.

I sigh, staring up at the clouds as the move lazily across the powder blue sky. “Gingers in half an hour?”

“Oh Ellie. I’ll see you soon. I’m clearing my diary for the day as we speak, don’t worry about whatever has happened. We’ll fix it.”

Adam Donley. My very own Superman.

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Dear Darling – A Valentine Special

Gooood evening everyone! There was a slight fudge up with posting so I’m so sorry that you’ve been without for the last 2 days. I guess this means you’ll be treat to a double whammy soon 😉

Enjoy xx

CHAPTER ONE

Christmas is well and truly over, the ‘January blues’ are still hanging around, and I have about a stones worth of salted caramel profiteroles sticking to my arse courtesy of Marks and Spencer.

Running my hand down the list of chart DVDs at the supermarket, I wonder which new miracle workout DVD to buy, if any. Will it be the reality tv star who sacrificed her weekly kebabs and pints of beer for the tiny bikini body she’s now sporting, the presenter who I just can’t seem to trust because she smiles too much for someone who isn’t high, or a bootcamp master that could potentially kill me off with the warmup alone. Decisions, decisions.

“You could try the old fashioned route. You know, join a gym?” Gina raises a perfectly groomed eyebrow at me as she bounces Mathilda on her hip, wiping the drool from her chin.

“You know what I’m like, I’d pay the joining fee, turn up to my first session with the personal trainer, see the other women barely out of their teens bouncing about on the treadmill with their boobs still where they belong and flee like the coward I am. No, I think at home sessions are the best way forward.”

“But half of these DVDs are made by celebrities that purposely gained the weight just so they could lose it for a profit. Surely Adam would help you work it off?” She winks as I shake my head and cover Mathilda’s tiny ears.

“Firstly, Adam refuses to condone any extreme measures where my weight is concerned because he thinks I look perfect and likes the extra boobage. Secondly, 3 times a day 7 days a week wouldn’t help with the amount I’ve eaten over Christmas. I also blame you and your cravings. And Dale. Why is it that I was the one who always had to go on the cream cake shop for you, not to be crude but it wasn’t me that fertilised you and turned you into a walking garbage disposal.”

“Dale got the 2am trips for salad cream and red onion for my sandwiches. Anyway fat arse, don’t blame me for your lack of self-control. I gave birth well before Christmas and your festive cream cake obsession kicked in. You do realise that just because something is a limited edition it doesn’t mean you’ve got to eat enough of it to make up for the 11 months it’s not on sale, don’t you?” Kissing Mathilda’s head, Gina nudges me away from the DVDs and guides me towards the salad aisle. “Just stock up on salad and green tea so if all else fails, you’ll pee your weight off.”

“Nice. Thanks.” Adjusting my bra that’s steadily impaling me, I load my basket up with salad and tea bags and head to the checkout. Hannah insists that my new waistline is contentment and that I could just not buy the treats in the weekly shop. We’re no longer friends.

I joke, of course, but I mean there’s really no need to take such extreme measures is there? She may as well have sworn at me.

What I didn’t admit was that she was probably right. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time now that I’m with Adam. We cook together too every weekend which means that the days of a bottle of wine and Pot Noodle for my Saturday evening meal are long gone. My parents are thrilled with my new ‘healthier’ physique but I need exercise and until I start to tone up my jiggly bits, I refuse to shop for anything new. Apart from bras. This one really is digging in.

“How is Adam anyway? You guys found a house yet?” Mathilda gurgles and chews on her chubby little hand as Gina straps her into her baby seat and fights with the pram.

“He’s fine, stressing about finding somewhere as nice as where we are now.” The day the owner of his rented house decided he didn’t want to sell to us was a dark day indeed. I clung onto the bathtub like a child with their favourite blanket as he argued it out with the grumpy old git of a landlord. My apartment was long gone since Arianna moved back to the UK and decided that London was where her soul felt most at ease. I called bullshit on that and my guess is she ran out of money and wanted to get back some of her old clients from her call girl days, so all in all we haven’t had the best of luck where property is concerned.

“Well, you know my old apartment is empty at the moment, you can always stay there if you get stuck.”

“Thanks, G. Right, I’d better get back to work, sleeping with the boss won’t save me from the dead eye from the others if I’m late back.”

“Okay, give Hannah my love. And on a serious note babe, you look gorgeous, you don’t need to lose any weight.”

“Yeah, yeah.” I bat her away and blow kisses at Mathilda. “You just don’t want me raiding your wardrobe since the whole coffee down the cashmere incident.”

Glaring at me, Gina gets into the car and gives me the finger. Such a smashing role model.

 

*

 

“So I’ve been thinking,” Adam starts as he spoons out the salad onto my plate. We move in perfect synchronicity as I grab the steak from the griddle pan, doing my best to avoid the hiss and spits as I plate up.

“Go on,” I pour the wine and wait.

“These last couple of months have been incredibly stressful for us both, between work and having to move out of this place, and I think we deserve a break. We didn’t even celebrate our anniversary properly in November it was so hectic.”

My mind flashes back to our anniversary night and I feel myself blush. We may not have made it out but we certainly celebrated most of the night.

“Sure,” I cough. “Where were you thinking?” I silently pray it’s not somewhere that I’d need to get bikini ready for in a matter of weeks.

“How about a long weekend in New York? How would you feel about that?” He sits back in his chair and watches me as my fork hovers in limbo.

“Seriously?! That would be amazing! New York is right at the top of my bucket list! When?”

I watch relief flood his face, his dark eyes dancing as he bites his lip and takes my hand. I swallow hard and try to smile. I might be having a bad day because my work trousers are so tight that the top button has been undone all day, but nobody has ever made me feel as special and sexy and important as Adam does every single day.

“I’m so glad you said that because it’s already booked.” He laughs and his eyes crinkle in that way I love. “We fly out on Friday. Happy Valentines!”

Leaping from my seat, I throw myself into his lap and kiss his face like a dog who hasn’t seen his owner all day – which is pretty much how I feel at work anyway not being able to kiss him as and when I want.

“Have I told you lately how much I love you?” I ask.

“Hmmm, now that you mention it, not for a while. You can always show me tonight though.” His hand travels up my back and under my silk shirt and I smile against his mouth.

“Deal, Mr Donley. When did all this happen?!”

“Well Gina and Hannah have both said that they’re worried about you and so am I. We thought a break would do you the world of good and I know how much you love America. The only thing is….” He trails off and sucks air through his teeth, “they’re coming with us. Well, Gina and Dale, Hannah and Christen. We don’t have to see them but we all thought that a night out together letting our hair down might be nice. No work worries, no stresses at home.”

“It sounds perfect. I’m a very lucky lady to have so many people in my life that love me,” I laugh. “Although I’m not sure why you’re worried?” I spear a potato and chew slowly.

“Ellie, Gina rang me today to tell me about the exercise DVDs. You’re a beautiful, sexy, vivacious woman that lights up whatever room she walks into. You do not need to lose weight, okay?” His voice is firm, commanding, and I may have just peed my pants a little. “You want to get fit, fine. But you need to get the losing weight mission out of your head because you’re perfect, just the way you are. Also, you’re a bloody nightmare when you’re hangry.”

“You’re an idiot,” I laugh. “But I love you.”

Catch up on Chapter two soon………

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Lila’s Choice by Laura Brown

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Here’s the books official description:

Never let your friends get involved in your personal life.

Lila and Nate learn this the hard way. They are the star-crossed lovers of Glendale High. For three years the students have waited for the two to get together. They begged Nate to put his past relationship behind him, and cringed when Lila started dating Bryce. Just your typical teenage romance, except they’re the teachers.

Lila, a guidance counselor with a sweet demeanor, has an answer for every problem, every problem but her own. A visit from childhood friend Bryce thrusts her calm world into turmoil, as emotions buried deep inside are dragged to the surface. He soon realizes what only a friend can notice and a lover regret, that Lila, unbeknownst to herself, is in love with Nate. 

Nate has seen better days. He is a history teacher stuck living in the past. Depression has kept his love for Lila unspoken, his ego frail after being cheated on.

Now Lila and Nate’s coworkers must unleash a scheme and uncover Lila’s true feelings. In a school this nosey what better way to get fast results than to involve the student population? The students are all too eager to get involved. 

If everything goes as planned Lila will have to choose between two men. If her friends fail they might destroy these three and ruin their friendship. No wonder the scheme is called Project Torture.

Review

I’m currently part of an amazing group of women on Facebook who write chicklit and the lovely Laura is one of these women.

Her novel, Lila’s Choice, is her debut novel and I enjoyed every second of it. There are some great characters in it, all of them down to earth and completely relatable.

The book really centres around Lila, a school guidance counsellor who lives with her colleague and friend Ette.

Early on in the book we learn that Lila has one of her oldest friends, Bryce, coming to town for a spell and that she has suddenly realised she has feelings for him. Feelings that are more than the ‘just friends’ feelings that she thinks she should be having. She’s certain that these feelings are wrong and that she shouldn’t act on them. Ette however, disagrees completely.

We soon learn that the pair are a group of four friends who all work together at Glendale High. Nate and Kent complete the group and I have to say, I loved the friendships they all have. Kent and Ette are brilliant at lightening the moods of Lila and Nate, who incidentally has a huge crush on Lila.

Poor Nate is currently going though a divorce after being separated for 3 years but can’t seem to take that final step, and when he learns of Lila’s new relationship with Bryce, he all but gives up on the idea of anything more than friendship with her – especially when Bryce pops the question in front of the group and Lila says yes, and then drops the bomb that she’ll be leaving with Bryce to move to Florida at the end of the school year.

About halfway through the book, Ette learns of Nate’s affections for Lila from Kent and after watching her carefully, she realises that Lila is not only having doubts about the move to Florida, but she’s having doubts about Bryce. So Kent and Ette decide team up with some of their students – who are also abundantly aware of the feelings Nate has for Lila – to try and get Lila to see what everyone else can, that they are both very much in love with each other.

There are some very comical moments in this book, but most of all I found it a sweet and genuinely heartwarming read about friendships and going after your true love. There are many twists and turns, and in parts I felt really sorry for both Lila and Nate, but as with any love story, the path to true love doesn’t always run smoothly.

I also have to say that Glendale High has a Deaf Program in the book and reading about it really made me want to learn sign language! This really made the book stand out from anything else I’ve read and I look forward to reading more.

4 STARS

Get the book here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake

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Here’s the official description:

Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown. Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.

Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola’s reluctance to lose control means she’s living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine’s Day.

The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it’s an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn’t quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it’s rather a lot of fun…

 Review

After seeing all of the rave reviews and people saying how funny it was on Twitter, I couldn’t NOT one click this beauty!

Nicola Brown is a single 29 year old creature of habit, and that’s putting it mildly. She has serious OCD, from the strict times she has her food on a specific day of the week to her super organised office space. Nothing she does is ever spontaneous and her life is meticulously planned – but she likes it that way….doesn’t she?

It’s Nicola’s colleague, Caroline, that finally get’s Nicola to relax little by little by setting her a challenge: find true love by Valentines Day.

Caroline is hilarious. I loved her care free attitude and free spirit, if it wasn’t for her I don’t think Nicola would have ever taken the plunge and realised how little of her life she was actually living.

Poor Nicola has to suffer her fair share of disastrous dates though and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments. My ultimate favourite was the kayaking date. I. LOVED. It.

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Between Caroline and her brother Mark, Nicola finally let’s her hair down and becomes the happy person that she deserves to be which results in her potentially finding love in the most unexpected of places 😉

Once Nicola finally begins to relax, the book skips along nicely and I for one really fell for all of the characters at that point.

4 STARS

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Saturdays At The Viper Rooms by Kirsty-Anne Still

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Saturdays at The Viper Rooms is Book One in the Viper Series.

Here’s the official description:

“You and I know I can’t say no.” I swallow my fear and allow my eyes to fall down to his chest, I can’t look at him. “And I can’t lose you.”

Joely Gilbert, one of two head Viper Girls for the club, strives to maintain a double life both full of deceit, betrayal, sex, lust, and fear. She knows the rules of the club and the way the boss works like no other, but she is the one breaking everything she knows in order to keep the new life she has. After running from her past, she’ll do anything to stay away from it. It’s what makes her perfect for the job. It’s what makes her normal.

Everyone has a story when they arrive at the doors of The Viper Rooms. 

It’s this that binds clients and Viper Girls together. Each want to forget, each want something to remember, to feel, to lust over. The Viper Rooms gives the exclusive a time in their life to get the things they need from a club devoted solely to them. No strings attached, no questions asked. But what lies beneath the surface can’t always be stopped. It can’t be silenced forever.

And Joely’s one of the girls who knows that more than anyone else.

What happens when her facade starts to break? What would Joely rather give up; the man who wants to save her, but could die trying, or the life that could ultimately kill her?

Review

Before I start my review, I have to mention the cover! I absolutely adore the SATVR cover, it’s mysterious, sexy and sums up the book perfectly.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first to read this book by Kirsty and loved every second of it! Kirsty has the knack for being able to keep you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath and thinking, do I want to turn this page, will it break my heart or have me sagging in relief – and there are a lot of these moments.

Saturdays at The Viper Rooms is primarily about Joely Gilbert. She is one of two Head Viper Girls at The Viper Rooms where you have one job and one job only – please the boss and your clients. Mess up and pay the price. And mess up Joely does because she falls in love with a client, one of the six rules she has to live by until her contract with her boss expires. The consequences of breaking such a rule are deadly.

The relationship between Joely and Jace, her client turned boyfriend, had me swooning and gasping in equal measures. There are some twists and turns in this book that will seriously throw you for a loop and the ending….yeah, you’ll be speechless. I’m not going to go into much detail because I don’t want to give out any spoilers but when their secret does come out, the cost of their deception is deadly.

Also the boss, Clara Delvine, she’s the ultimate villain, a grown up version of Cruella DeVille and if she doesn’t have you wanting to snarl at your Kindle then I don’t know what will.

5 STARS

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A Seaside Affair by Fern Britton

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The bit on the back:

When the residents of the Cornish seaside town of Trevay discover that their ramshackle but much-loved theatre is about to be taken over by a global coffee chain, Cafe au Lait, they are up in arms. It is up to Penny Leighton to come up with a plan to save it. Trevay soon finds itself at the centre of the universe when A-listers arrive to take part in a charity season at the theatre. The play throws out a chance to Jess Tate, girlfriend to TV heartthrob Ryan Roberts. His career is on the rise while hers remains resolutely in the doldrums. But when opportunity comes calling, it isn’t just her career prospects that are about to change…

 

Review

 

I received this book as a gift from one of my closest friends and what an amazing gift it was. This is the first time I’ve read anything by Fern Britton but it definitely won’t be the last!

A Seaside Affair is set in a small town on the coast of Cornwall and centres around the Pavillion being taken over by a large coffee company chain, Cafe au Lait. From the word go, you really want this town to succeed in saving such a wonderful sounding theatre, somewhere that is a piece of their history. They pull out all the stops, call in a lot of favours and even put on a brilliant show to help save their beloved theatre. And who doesn’t love a story about people going up against a huge concern and giving them a run for their money?!

There are several characters in the book, which did take some getting my head around to remember who was who. Each character comes to life beautifully though and all manage to hold their own. I was gripped as soon as I met Brooke, one of the leading ladies, and together with Jess and Ollie, they were my favourite characters; each going through their own problems personally and professionally, but when they come together to help save The Pavillion, they make the book what it is. And of course, you can’t have the goody guys without having some juicy bad guys too, and surprisingly, some of these turn out to be the people closest to some of our lead characters.

The only negative I have about the book, and it shouldn’t really put you off, just something I found, was that some parts felt like they could have been cut when the characters were preparing for the show that they hoped would save the theatre. The drama surrounding their lives was brilliant, but the parts that had them preparing for the show could probably have been shorter for me.

A Seaside Affair is the perfect summer read, especially if you’re wanting to get lost somewhere on a rainy day. Trevay was somewhere that I could imagine visiting myself and when reading whilst looking out of my office window to a cold and miserable town, it became the ultimate escape!

4 STARS

Fern is now firmly on my radar and I can’t wait to read more.

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Wedding Hells

So, as some of you may know, I’m getting married next year! I am all kinds of excited about this, my dress is due to arrive in the next couple of months, I’m going to buy my Choos this week and I’ve found a super funny reading for the ceremony – so ya know, all the important stuff is sorted 😉

But the closer it’s getting the more I’m finding myself stressing over the small things, and not in a bridezilla way, more an ‘I can’t breathe and think I’m having a heart attack’ kind of way. Stress is a mother fudger, that’s all I’ll say on that matter. It’s even been taking me away from writing and reading, two things that I absolutely love! I’m determined not to let it beat me though, I am woman hear me roar and all that jazz ha.

The thing I have noticed over the recent months though (okay 12 months lol) is that a lot of women do get VERY intense with their planning. I’m now in a circle of friends that are engaged to my other halves friends (you get that, I’ll give you a second to process what I just said……..okay? I shall continue)  and their fiancées are hardcore! I’m talking 24/7 wedding talk, from the ribbon that’s going around their cake to the first dance song. Of course the first dance conversation was all very cryptic from this bride to be in particular – ‘it’s available on iTunes, has a version with a male and female artist as well as one with just female, the female version is the main version, it is quite well known but not to everybody and is nearly 6 minutes long.’  My head hurts from it all.

The added bonus of my current state is that it is brilliant inspiration for a new book, providing my friends never find out that they’re the inspiration or that might make for a very tense conversation! I’ll keep you posted on that one.

So, if you wondered where I’d been or why I’ve been so quiet, that’s your answer. I’ve been in wedding hell. We have three weddings this year and the first one was last week, it was perfect and heart warming, I shed a tear when she walked down the aisle and it was all very magical….until I partied a little too hard and hobbled away from the dancefloor with a blood blister on my toe and was greeted by dirty bedding at the hotel that we had to replace at 1am. Grrrrr.

For now though, I have a small break from weddings and am going to catch up on all the reviews for books I’ve read. I’ve also got a guest post tomorrow on This Chick Reads but I’ll pop on over and share the link tomorrow.

Sweet dreams my lovelies

Ellen

XOXO