The One That I Want by Lynne Shelby

The One That I WantThe One That I Want tells the story of Lucy Ashford who lands a dream job with a London theatrical agency after an unexpected reunion with her childhood friend. Cassie is now the star of a children’s television programme and introduces Lucy to the world of celebrity. Lucy is looking for a fresh start, having just emerged from a toxic relationship, and this is just what she needs.

Through her work at the agency she gets involved with two very different men, but seems to enjoy the contrasting lifestyles of both – the glamourous life of a movie star with Daniel, and the ups and downs of a struggling young actor with Owen. Daniel is her boyfriend; Owen her first client who also becomes a friend. Lucy seems equally at home in the worlds of both of these men but which one does she really want?

This is a believable insight into the world of movies and the theatre, with a cast of well-written characters and a likeable heroine. I particularly liked Lucy’s unconventional family, and the extreme behaviour of Cassie’s personal assistant, Nadia. With an eye-catching cover and a plot that would make a great movie, I would definitely recommend that you give this a try; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It is the first book by Lynne Shelby that I have read but it won’t be the last.

Thanks to the author for a free copy in exchange for an independent review. #RBRT 

The Trial by John Mayer

The Trial by John MayerI started reading The Trial partly because it was set in my home country of Scotland but it was not what I was expecting. I found it quite hard to get into as there were so many members of the legal profession introduced at the beginning it was difficult to distinguish them from each other.

Brogan McLane has been singled out because he’s not one of the Edinburgh elite; his working-class Glasgow background means he is looked down upon in these hallowed circles. I felt a visceral dislike of these judges and advocates whose sense of privilege and entitlement made them think they could get away with anything, even sending an innocent man to jail for a murder he did not commit – which is surely what the author intended!

But Brogan McLane has what they don’t – the staunch support of his friends and their belief in his innocence. While his enemies are stabbing each other in the back to protect their privileged positions, Commander Imrie and Brogan’s Glasgow friends are working away behind the scenes to find the real culprit and prove Brogan’s innocence. Once it gets going, this is a fast-paced thriller that whets your appetite for the further adventures of Brogan McLane.

Thanks to the author for a free copy of his book that I review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

There She Goes by Lynne Shelby

There She GoesThere She Goes is the second in Lynne Shelby’s series of novels set in the world of the theatre, but it is not a sequel, and you can easily read them independently of each other. Told mainly from Julie’s point of view, with occasional glimpses of Zac’s thoughts, we learn what everyday life is like for struggling actors trying to break into musical theatre, with the holy grail being a part in a show directed by Joe Garcia. I’m not a fan of any kind of theatre, but I was drawn into the world Lynne has created here as it seems thoroughly convincing.

The story is well written and the characters are likeable and believable with brief appearances of some from the previous book – The One That I Want; my particular favourite is Nadia – no spoilers here, so I’m not going to tell you why! I enjoyed reading There She Goes but felt it would have benefited from slightly more dramatic tension; none of the obstacles in the way of Julie and Zac’s relationship seemed that serious, and they were easily overcome. In some ways, this story is more about friendship than romance, as the young actors all support each other in their quest for recognition.

I review this book as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT

The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews

The Work of ArtSet in the Regency period, The Work of Art is the first book I have read by Mimi Matthews, but it certainly won’t be the last! I love finding a new writer and knowing there are lots of books to catch up on.

The Work of Art was such a delight to read. The main characters, Philly and Arthur, jump off the page fully formed; they are not the usual stereotypes, but slightly unconventional and therefore much more interesting to read about. All alone since the death of her grandfather, Philly is in London to find a husband (or so she thinks). What she doesn’t know is that her Uncle has promised her to the Duke of Moreland, a despicable character, who only wants to add her to his collection of unique objects, due to the unusual colour of her eyes.

What starts out as a marriage of convenience, to save Philly from the clutches of the Duke of Moreland, works out so well because of the foundation of friendship, trust and mutual support between her and Arthur. Their romance blossoms but the author manages to avoid the kind of explicit descriptions that would have made Georgette Heyer blush!  In London, both Philly and Arthur are not in their natural environment – they are both much more at ease in the countryside, horse riding, walking the dogs, away from the superficial restrictions imposed by society.

The ending is a real surprise; I won’t say any more but I don’t think you’ll see it coming.  I am looking forward to reading many more books by Mimi Matthews.

Thanks to the author for a copy that I have reviewed as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT #TheWorkofArt #MimiMatthews

Under the Cherry Tree by Lilac Mills

Under the Cherry TreeJenni owns a dog grooming parlour – Telling Tails – and would dearly love to expand her business to include dog behaviour and agility classes, but for this she would need larger premises. She can afford it but would have to spend her share of the compensation money she received following her dad’s fatal accident, something she is reluctant to do. Until one day her mum brings her a brochure for the perfect property – Cherry Tree Farm – and she just has to take a look…

The main character in this story is really Jenni’s dog, a Westie called Millie; she is a great judge of character, spotting the true nature of the men Jenni gets involved with long before she does.   

This light-hearted romantic comedy is well written with a believable range of supporting characters and would be a very enjoyable way to pass the time, especially if you love dogs.

Thanks to the author for a free copy that I review as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

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