Surgeon in a Wedding Dress
by Sue Mackay
Published by Mills & Boon
Always a surgeon, never a bride!Work has always been a refuge for Dr Sarah Livingstone – no more so than now! As a bride on the run from her hastily cancelled wedding, a new challenge as temporary surgeon in the coastal town of Port Weston should be the perfect cure for heartache… Except the hunky town doctor, brooding Daniel Riley, wants to get up close and personal! But living with Dan and his adorable four-year-old daughter has workaholic Sarah dreaming dreams that, for her, are impossible fantasies…
I enjoyed the theme of adapting to a new work enviroment in this one, but didn't find it especially memorable. Better medical detail than some, though too, so I won't completely discount the author in future.
My Best Friend
by Laura Wilson
Published by Orion
A quiet Suffolk village, 1944. Fourteen-year-old Gerald Haxton is a lonely boy who regards his still-born twin brother Jack as his only real friend. His mother, a famous children's writer, guards Jack's memory jealously, claiming him as the model for the boy detective in her series of adventure stories, and Gerald, disturbed and unpopular, has no hope of ever measuring up to him. Playing in the woods near his home, Gerald discovers the body of his elder sister buried in a shallow grave. She has been beaten to death with a wooden stake and her boyfriend, a young GI, is hanged for the crime. London, 1995. As the country prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of VE Day, Gerald, who remains a loner, is nearing retirement. Obsessed by routine, he still talks to his dead brother, Jack. Surrounded by nostalgic artefacts at the TV prop-hire company where he works, he is constantly reminded of the past, and with it, his sister Vera's death. Hoping to escape his lonely existence, he takes to following Mel, the twelve-year-old daughter of a colleague. A few days later Mel, who bears a striking resemblance to Vera, disappears ...
Told in three first person points of view: Gerald's, his Aunt Tilly's and that of Mel's mother Jo, interspersed with extracts from Gerald's boyhood journal and his mother's books, this took a little getting used to. I never completely warmed to the style or any of the viewpoint characters and suspected what the twist was going to be based on the points of view we didn't see. It did however keep me reading to the end, and encourage me to look into more by the same author.
Once and Again
by Lauren Dane
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Seven years ago, Lily Travis was only too glad to see her hometown of Petal, Georgia, in her rearview mirror. Thanks to her father running off with a twenty-year-old, though, here she is, trying to pick up the pieces. First order of business: meet with her brother’s teacher in a quest to pull his grades out of a downward spiral.
Nathan Murphy is pretty much resigned to his bachelor status—until he looks up from his desk to see an all-grown-up Lily walking into his classroom. Of all the women who turned out to be totally wrong for him, she’s the only one who felt right. At least until his foolish, immature mistake drove her away.
Lily has to admit that time has been more than kind to gorgeous, sexy Nathan. Except there’s no room on her full plate for another complication. Especially with a man who broke her heart once before.
With a little help from his friends, Nathan has a plan to rekindle the flame. It isn’t long before they’re burning up the sheets. Winning her heart? That’s another matter.
I set this one aside unfinished, because I just wasn't in the right place to warm to the characters. Although it's the first of a series, it's linked to an earlier series by the author, and I felt that I met too many characters as a new reader to properly figure out who was related to whom. Also I found it hard to understand the protagonist's antipathy towards her sister, possibly again from lack of history. The dialogue felt a little stilted too, possibly again because of the need to introduce so many characters and relationships quickly.
Ten Little Herrings
by L. C. Tyler
Published by Pan Books
When obscure crime writer Ethelred Tressider vanishes, his dogged literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, is soon on his trail. Finding him (in a ramshackle hotel in the French Loire) proves surprisingly easy. Bringing him home proves more difficult than expected but (as Elsie observes) who would have predicted that, in a hotel full of stamp collectors, the guests would suddenly start murdering each other? One guest is found fatally stabbed, apparently the victim of an intruder. But when a rich Russian oligarch also dies, in a hotel now swarming with policemen, suspicion falls on the remaining guests. Elsie is torn between her natural desire to interfere in the police investigation and her urgent need to escape to the town's chocolaterie. Ethelred, meanwhile, seems to know more about the killings than he is letting on. Finally the time comes when Elsie must assemble the various suspects in the Dining Room, and reveal the truth ...Ten Little Herrings is a brilliantly anarchic take on the classic Country House Mystery, and an uproarious sequel to the first Elsie and Ethelred mystery, The Herring Seller's Apprentice.
I picked this one up on a librarian's recommendation. While it didn't suffer too badly for being the second in a series I hadn't previously read, it felt a as if it was trying to be a little too clever for my liking. Another in the genre of 'bad things happen to despicable people', which I sometimes thoroughly enjoy, but other times find a little tedious. Not quite my cup of tea.
Three Weddings and a Baby
by Fiona Harper
Published by Mills & Boon
When three is most definitely a crowd… Do you believe in love at first sight? Jennie Hunter and Alex Dangerfield did, and they married just a few weeks after they met! But when Alex disappeared on their wedding night Jennie was left alone – and angry – in her honeymoon suite. A month later, and Jennie has given up hope of ever seeing her runaway husband again. Then Alex returns – with his toddler in tow! Shocked to learn Alex has been married before, her first instinct is to run. Her second instinct – well, even a hard-headed businesswoman can’t turn away a tiny girl who needs a nappy-change and a husband with sheer panic in his eyes… Compared to umpteen clients, one small kid will be a doddle…right?
The blurb really doesn't convey what a lot of fun this one is, and is also slightly misleading on where the big misunderstanding came from. Take one impulsive heroine with an abandonment phobia and one rather mistrustful hero who is determined to do the right thing and the problems start to mount up. Especially when the hero's past (which he had been honest about to the best of his knowledge) catches up with him. I was slightly confused by the timeline of the backstory, because they'd managed to pack a lot into about four months, but once things settled down and the main storyline took the forefront everything made a lot more sense. I really liked the way the main characters struggled to deal with a child who didn't behave anything like the parenting books told them she should, and I loved the fact that both characters drew on their own childhood experiences to figure stuff out. Definitely an author I need to follow.
Can we draw conclusions from these reviews? I'm not sure...