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Romance

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Published July 14, 2019

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

If I’m honest, I never had any intention of reading this. It’s not so much that I was judgemental about the whole thing but I vividly remember when this trilogy first came out and people were excited about them but when pressed had to admit that they weren’t written very well and that the story wasn’t the best. So I could never understand what all the fuss is about. I decided to bite the bullet, you know, eight years later, after watching Book Club which revolved quite a lot around this first book. In the end, I’m missing out on some culture so I need to get on board.

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

Published July 11, 2019

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

This is one of those deliciously short but beautiful works, translated from French to English and losing nothing in the process. It tells the story of a simple guy who goes to work, looks after his friends, feeds his fish, and dreams of books. He also salvages single pages from the pulping machine he works with, and reads them aloud on the train to work.

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

Published January 8, 2019

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

I don’t remember why I bought this because I haven’t yet seen the TV show and was only vaguely aware of the phenomenon. But I’m glad I did buy it because it was actually a really good read. I wouldn’t have said that historical Cornish fiction would be my cup of tea, but I liked it. There’s a detached way of telling the story that I really like, whilst we sometimes get a glimpse inside the character’s head, for the most part we have to infer what their motivation is.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

Published December 24, 2018

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

Aww, a nice Christmas story to read over the festive build-up, only actually there’s quite a lot of darkness in this one. A war reporter is travelling long distance by train across America, and finds himself not only finding interesting characters that he can make a story out of but becoming part of the story himself. Long-lost faces, surprise visits, a thief, and some severe weather all play a part in the narrative.

Speed Dating by Nancy Warren

Published September 1, 2010

Speed Dating by Nancy Warren

So, when you pick up a romance novel, you know exactly what you’re getting and they are not my kind of book. It being set in the beautiful motorsport paddocks made no difference to this whatsoever. Romance novels are silly, this we know. They are nothing like real life, people don’t ever talk to each other like that, and things like this don’t happen to regular people. Even so, to bring motorsport into the mix is interesting to me, so I read it. Oh dear.

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Published November 4, 2004

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Julie’s good, Mike’s too good to be true and Richard’s a regular psycho. They’re good characters but exactly as you would expect them to be, no surprises. It bugs me how simple the writing is. Sparks would rather tell you exactly how Julie is feeling about a situation instead of maybe writing about what is happening and letting you feel what she’s feeling instead.

One for My Baby by Tony Parsons

Published November 3, 2004

One for My Baby by Tony Parsons

The book is about grief, so it’s hard to really judge it for being a wallowing look at life, but that is just what it is. Alfie comes across as completely self-involved, which grief will only excuse so far. He won’t listen to his friends or anyone who tries to help him, and I lost patience with him several times.

The Catch by Mark Mason

Published November 2, 2004

The Catch by Mark Mason

Sam has to reach 1,000 points in twelve weeks or his long term girlfriend won’t marry him. Trouble is, he doesn’t know how he wins or loses the points and gets only a running total each Sunday. Needless to say, he has troubles trying to reach his target.

Uptown Girl by Olivia Goldsmith

Published November 1, 2004

Uptown Girl by Olivia Goldsmith

The plot of this one is your traditional rom com - a guy earns a reputation as every girl that he dumps gets married a few months later. Kate’s friend wants to get married so they set her up, but as always, the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly and Kate ends up falling for him herself.