The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan
Set in the 1930’s The Girl in the Photograph follows the story of a young woman named Alice Eveleigh, an intelligent girl who seems to have it all but when she falls in love with a married man and falls pregnant to him, her disgraced parents send her away to a place named Fiercombe Manor.
She is to hide her shame in the beautiful manor under the watchful eye of the housekeeper Mrs Jelphs. But Alice slowly begins to realise that all is not right with manor and it’s isolated valley, the place is shrouded in secrets and tragedy. Alice finds herself drawn to the stories and silence surrounding the previous occupant Elizabeth Stanton. Someone who Alice feels something of affinity towards, but each time she mentions her to Mrs Jelphs the subject is changed and she is dismissed.
Alice begins to wander and try and uncover what she can about Fiercombe Manor, it’s history and elusive Mrs Stanton. The novel switches between Alice and Elizabeth as the mystery deepens, which helps increase the building tension and the desire for answers. I tore through the latter chapters and imagine you will too.
Kate has a brilliant style of writing, which helps you get lost in the past along with Alice. There is a Gothic air to the novel and will intrigue lovers of Emily Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier alike. A thrilling page turner from a very gifted writer and a very promising novel.
The Girl in the Photograph is published by the Penguin Group and is available for the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £6.99) The Print Edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £7.99)
Cover Him With Darkness by Janine Ashbless.
If you’re looking for a little bit of kink Post-Valentines Day then why not curl up Cover Him With Darkness.
Milja is the daughter of a priest in a small village in Montenegro. Her family and her father hide a secret, one that is so strange that it would make people question their sanity. Beneath the church altar, underground in a rocky prison lays an archangel who has been banished from Heaven. Imprisoned for thousands of years, it is down to Milja and her father to keep him locked up.
But when Milja gives into desire one day her father sends her to America, to protect her from the temptation of the fallen angel. But when tragedy strikes, she must return to her hometown and take charge. Temptation is a dangerous thing and the beautiful prisoner has been the object of many of her fantasies and sexual desires. When Azazel is freed at Milja’s hand, she begins to realise how she has exposed herself, and seemingly, the world, to danger.
With mysterious men following her, Priests asking questions and the Archangel Uriel asking questions, it seems Milja is in over her head. It was hard to read this book as an erotica novel as Janine did a great job of developing the characters and putting the story first, which made the moments of sexual intimacy more of an addition to Milja’s fight against temptation and made her dilemma much more easier to empathise with. A great little book if you like your kink to have a bit of a fantasy vibe.
To Cover Him with Darkness is by Tempted Romance and is available for the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £9.87) The Print Edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £9.87)
Age, Sex, Location by Melissa Pimentel
This book has been likened to the Bridget Jones for HBO’s Girls generation, which I thought was a bold statement to make, but actually it isn’t!
The book is based on the True Story of how the author found the man she is now marrying. Changing names to protect those involved, Age, Sex, Location follows Lauren, an American who has moved to London for her career and to have a little fun. Lauren is warm, loveable and intelligent, and is a woman who wants to enjoy her singledom, with no strings attached. However it seems that most men seem to think that she is after something more serious.
For the sake of fellow women and in the quest for happiness (and hopefully some amazing sex) Lauren decides to use ‘science’ and puts herself at the mercy of some of the many dating guides out there. She starts each month with a different guide and keeps track of the highs and lows of the process. One month she has to refuse to pay for anything and the next she has to be extremely flirty and chat up as many men as she can.
With her roommate Lucy acting as moral support, the novel follows the Lauren’s quest to find the perfect balance between sex and remaining independent and single. There are moments that are funny, some that are awkward and times where you will wonder how she kept her cool and drive to stick at it. This is a great debut novel, from a talented author whose voice is filled with genuine warmth and humour. Definitely one to try out if you are a lover of Helen Fielding or Lena Dunham.
Age, Sex, Location is published by the Penguin Group and is available for the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £7.99) The Print Edition is available in all good bookstores (RRP £7.99)
Three great novels, three different genres by three equally talented women.