Review: A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry

meganmulryroyalpainHeroine: Bronte Talbott unashamedly follows the tabloids chronicling the lives of British royals. Just because Prince Charming would be nice, doesn’t mean Bronte shuts the door on other hopefuls. Unfortunately for her, she gets burned when her Texan sweetie dumps her flat after she moves from NYC to Chicago. Ouch. Pride keeps her from returning to NYC, which just may be a good thing because Bronte trips over a royal in disguise at a local bookstore.

Hero: Max Heyworth is a Duke, but he’s come to America to get away from that and also to study for his Masters. Max takes Bronte up on her scintillating offer of sex without strings. Of course, what Bronte doesn’t know is that Max isn’t looking for just sex… though the sex is steamy! Can he woo her well enough to convince her marrying royalty is worth the pain?

Review: You have it all – the near miss meetings, the fated romance, British royalty, a sexy smart Duke, a career-forward heroine, family illness, sex without strings, secrets, the mutual friends, and a dash of realism. Bronte is a bit too potty mouth for me, but overall the language is used for humor. I love how free Bronte is with Max for the most part considering her recent slump with the Texan. Part of it is because she thinks Max is a rebound guy and only there for a short period. She opens up and talks more and shares her true self instead of her dating-resume-self. What’s fun is that she is going by the motto “brutal honesty” while the hero hides a large secret about his lifestyle. Can we say trouble? One of my favorite books this year!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: A Royal Pain

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Top Ten Chick-Lit Titles

Welcome to TemptationGuest blog by Sandra Scholes

Ever since Bridget Jones’s Diary was published and on the shelves for all to buy, chick-lit has been the staple of many a teen and adult woman who wants to know all about the world around her and more importantly what to expect in work or romance.

Like in The Devil Wears Prada, the novel shows the pitfalls that may happen to the new girl who has to start at the very bottom in her job, with the hope she can work her way up the ladder of success. Readers know there’s a fifty-fifty chance they can make it, but its fun to find out what will happen in the novel.

  1. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
  2. Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson
  3. Revenge by Sharon Osbourne
  4. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  5. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  6. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  7. Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor
  8. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  9. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes
  10. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise

What are your favourite chick-lit titles – I would love to read yours?

Top Ten Chick-Lit Titles

Guest Post by Sandra Scholes

Do you love to read chick-lit novels? I do. They are the ones where anything can happen and can be as cheesy as possible, yet they do have an endearing quality many warm to.

Bridget Jones’s Diary is one to mention as it is one of the most popular chick-lit titles of all time along with The Devil Wears Prada. There are reasons as to why these kind of books are popular, and enough to have successful movies made out of them too.

Chick-lit novels can be about anything really, any genre can be mixed into the modern world, just like in Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel. It will be funny; cliché or camp; and gripping enough for those who love to soak it up.

There are many novels like this, but these are what I would consider my top ten of them all:

  1. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (movie)
  2. Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson
  3. Revenge by Sharon Osbourne
  4. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (movie)
  5. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  6. The Devil Wears Prada Prada by Lauren Weisberger (movie)
  7. Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor
  8. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  9. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes
  10. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise

If there are any titles you would like to add to this list, please feel free to leave a comment – it would be interesting to hear from like-minded readers.

Photo Credits: Pink Poppy Photography

Why I Chose to Self-Publish

Guest post by Michele Gorman, author of Single in the City

You shouldn’t run with scissors. You should say please and thank you. Sometimes it makes sense to do what you’re told, so I rarely run with any sharp instrument and always mind my manners.

Sometimes, though, what you’re told just doesn’t make sense. I’ve been told that American chick lit fans won’t get the humour in a book set outside the US. And I’ve been told that the whole population wretches at the sight of a cupcake on a pastel cover.

I reject these claims, and that’s why I’m self-publishing by novel in the US as an eBook for Kindles, Nooks and iPads, with exactly the kind of cover that has chick lit detractors seeing pink.

When my agent sold Single in the City’s publication rights to Penguin (UK) last year, we held back the US rights. I wanted a US-based publisher for the book’s American launch. After all the main character, Hannah, is American. There’s a strong theme about seeing London through rather baffled American eyes. We thought that surely it would be a great fit for the US market. But sometimes publishers have less faith in the books, and the readers, than we, the writers, do. The US publishers we approached said that the book isn’t right for the American chick lit market. Readers won’t understand the humour of a book set in London, they concluded.

If those publishers are right then Single in the City should only have sold to American women living in London. Yet the book was a best-seller, bought by many nationalities in the UK and thousands of readers abroad. That’s because Hannah’s story is universal. It’s a fish-out-of-water tale. It’s about finding your feet in life and love. And everyone identifies with the cringeworthy humour of making a fool of yourself. I think some US publishers are selling chick lit fans short by claiming they won’t understand the book.

Having decided to self-publish, an even bigger decision loomed: Of the million and one options, I had to design the best cover for the book.  The answer seemed obvious. Steer clear of pastel, illustrated covers.

After all, the press has been abuzz lately with articles denouncing girly pastel covers. Newspaper articles predict the demise of the genre and the term chick lit is used as an insult. Plus, I was launching into the US. American chick lit usually has photographic covers. So clearly American women prefer them over the illustrated covers we tend to have on our British books.

And yet. I’m proud to write chick lit. More than that, I’m proud to write chick lit that stays true to the genre’s light-hearted, humorous roots. I want my cover to reflect the book’s contents. And I don’t care what the critics say. They don’t speak for the readers of the genre, and I don’t write for those critics. I’d much rather have a woman sneer at my cover and pass it by than see her buy it because she doesn’t think it’s chick lit. A wise reader once pointed out that if you market cheese as chocolate, all you do is miss the cheese-lovers and disappoint the chocoholics. I want the cover to proudly declare that this is fun, funny chick lit. I’m happy to forgo some sales to ensure that I reach the women I’m writing for.

And that’s why I’m self-publishing. Like Hannah, I’m taking a leap of faith.

Buy: Single in the City

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twitter: @expatdiaries
website: www.michelegorman.co.uk

Review: Bad Heir Day by Wendy Holden


I wanted to like Bad Heir Day, the plot sounded cute, but I wasn’t able to delve deep into the story and immerse myself for a couple of reasons. Mostly, I just couldn’t drum up enough empathy for any of the characters. I didn’t really like any of them. This includes the heroine, Anna. She was a door mat who could have left the bad situation at any time and the fact that she didn’t was a serious strike against her. She’s supposed to be a writer but was afraid she lacked any true talent. She follows the advice of a complete stranger and winds up becoming a nanny, cook, maid, and personal assistant all rolled into one job for a pittance in pay and crap living arrangements.

Cassandra, the other half and side of the novel, is the writer’s blocked, evil employer of doom. She is not only a raging drunk and a terribly indulgent mother, but she’s also egocentric. She bitterly complains at the end of the novel about having to share half of the profits of her books with a ghostwriter (not Anna) all because her name is on the covers. She’s so willfully clueless that your teeth start grinding just thinking about it.

The whole professional nannies side of the story was a little much for me too. I did not like how the nannies deliberately went after the husbands in some cases or use the husband’s interest to further line their pockets. The whole culture of it came across very degrading and mercenary.

Rating: 1 Star

Buy: Bad Heir Day: A Comedy of High Class and Dire Straits

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