Book Feature: Trouble Next Door by Stefanie London

Note: I am featuring some of the review books I’ve had for a while, but run out of time to do a review for. That’s not to say I’m not going to read them; it’s just that I’ve fallen behind, and think the authors deserve an appearance here!

Trouble Next Door by Stefanie London

Trouble Next Door by Stefanie London

McKenna Prescott is the queen of picking the wrong men. When her latest boyfriend dumps her, she decides to devote her time to “exploring herself” (read: drinking wine and ordering sex toys online) and starting her freelance makeup business. That is, until an embarrassing delivery mix-up puts her sexy, gruff neighbor in her path…

Beckett Walsh is married to his job…which is a deal-breaker for the woman he’s supposed to be marrying. Even worse, his would-be father-in-law has pulled support from Beckett’s startup and now Beckett stands to lose everything. But the gorgeous, crazy makeup artist from down the hall has an equally crazy but mutually beneficial idea: if he convinces his sister to hire McKenna for her high-society wedding, McKenna will teach him about what women want so he can get his fiancée back.

All he has to do is make sure he doesn’t fall for the wrong girl.

The Week: 26th January – 1st February

Canberra Sunset Tuggeranong Australia 30th January 2015 Sonya Heaney 1

Canberra’s incredible sunset on Friday night.

A whole month gone! Definitely should have achieved more.

Our week started with Australia Day on the 26th of January. It’s my father’s birthday the day before, so we have stuff then and don’t really bother with Australia Day celebrations. Plus, I was sick, so I did nothing much!

Dorky Ernie Ragdoll Cat 3rd January 2015

Someone stole our poor Ernie the cat (he’s not actually our cat, but he spends a lot of time here!). He turned up on Saturday night, very distressed, after not making an appearance for three days. He was starving and his fur was all standing on end. Two of our other neighbours have had expensive cats stolen in the past couple of years (and he’s a ragdoll, so worth quite a bit)…

Ukraine Ethno Bangle,Ukrainian ethnic style bracelets set , wooden Jewellery Bracelets,Natural tones,tribal,red, white, black.

On Wednesday I received an order of traditional Ukrainian bangles from Mariupol in Ukraine. I’d only ordered them very recently, and considering that is the city the Russians are shelling and killing people by the dozens in, I can’t believe how fast they got here. (They’re selling Ukrainian things because it’s Ukraine, not Russia you stupid terrorists!)

I’m still waiting for nine postcards sent from Spain in September to arrive. There’s no war in Spain…

I had a whole cart full of things to buy from CafePress a week and a half ago, but I will never shop there again. They have no problems selling merchandise supporting terrorist organisations, and no matter how many complaints they receive, they still keep on selling it.

Please consider shopping elsewhere when you need to.

RIP Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough, author of The Thorn Birds, dies.

The “Mean Girls” Thing…

That Rogue Jack by Maya Rodale

My review of Oddfellows by Nicholas Shakespeare

Oddfellows by Nicholas Shakespeare

My review of Private Affair by Rebecca York

Private Affair (Rockfort Security #3) by Rebecca York

My review of The Rules According to Gracie by Stefanie London

The Rules According to Gracie by Stefanie London

My review of Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly

Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly

My review of Viscount of Vice by Shana Galen

Viscount of Vice (Covent Garden Cubs #0.5) by Shana Galen

The Rules According to Gracie by Stefanie London

The Rules According to Gracie by Stefanie London

Rule number one: don’t fall for the wrong guy. 

Gracie Green has a shopping list for men. Career, financials, family…and a long list of rules to determine a guy’s suitability. She’s already disappointed her socialite mother once—now Gracie needs to find Mr. Perfect. Too bad she keeps getting distracted by her super-sexy, six-feet-of-tattooed-hotness friend, Des, who is so many shades of Mr. Wrong… 

Bar owner Des Chapman has vowed never again to get involved with society girls. Yet he’s irresistibly drawn to Gracie—those lush curves, those lips, and her ridiculous ability to date the wrong guys. As Gracie’s discouragement grows, Des realizes it’s time to show her what she really needs in a man—and it has nothing to do with a briefcase and generous bank account. He’ll teach Gracie the Rules According To Des…even if it means breaking his rule in the process.

The Rules According to Gracie by Stefanie London

Stefanie London is such a great author. Her Australia-set contemporary romances are very current and lively and involve believable characters.

The Rules According to Gracie is a fast read, but I thought a lot was packed into the story. I not only liked the two leads, but appreciated the secondary characters. Some authors forget to give their heroes and heroines rounded lives – or complain it isn’t possible without ruining the romance (what nonsense!) – but London isn’t one of those authors.

The conversations and interactions between the characters were smart and funny, and I felt like these could be people I knew, who’d really exist. I didn’t think anybody was too clichéd, even though the theme of the book had a lot to do with stereotypes and snobbery.

Now, if only the characters said arse instead of ass!

A fun read from an upcoming author you should be looking out for.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week 14th – 20th July

Australian Capital Territory flag at half-mast for Malaysia Airlines plane shot down by Russia. Canberra 19th July 2014 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney.

Canberra flag at half-mast on Saturday.

Russia. Stop it. Get out of Ukraine and stop this war. For any normal country, shooting down a plane of international civilians would have been the final straw. Instead, after bragging about how many Ukrainians they slaughtered (I happened to be online and watching it evolve), they realised they were in the wrong and have been coming up with some shocking, horrific lies to try and cover their tracks. Accusing Malaysia Airlines of flying a plane of corpses was about the lowest they could go. Never has it been clearer what a fool Vladimir Adolf Putin is.

Russia has a long history of shooting down civilian planes and claiming they shot down enemies (Korean Air flight 007, for example). That they’re still doing it in 2014 is almost unbelievable.

A little note: it was not YOUR airspace when you shot the plane down. It was UKRAINIAN airspace.

Canberra flew all the flags at half-mast over the weekend, and we took flowers to the Dutch and Malaysian embassies, as well as leaving a sign at the Russian embassy. No doubt it’s already gone, but with no apology forthcoming, the Russians need to at least stop listening to the propaganda. A Canberra woman was amongst those killed.

I’ve read some interesting books this week, but I had to put the military suspense story I was reading aside for a bit – I was reading about planes being shot down at the time I found out about the actual plane that was shot down. I picked up a good late-Georgian era story instead, which I’ll review soon. I have to review it soon, because the silly publisher didn’t distribute review copies until four days before they wanted a review!

My review of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet A Novel by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

My review of Only the Brave Try Ballet by Stefanie London

Only the Brave Try Ballet by Stefanie London

My review of Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal

Lost in Temptation (Sweet Temptations #1) by Lauren Royal

My review of Cop by Her Side by Janice Kay Johnson

Cop by Her Side by Janice Kay Johnson

My review of Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

My review of Knight of Love by Catherine LaRoche

Knight of Love by Catherine LaRoche

My review of Desire & Deception by Sahara Roberts

Desire & Deception by Sahara Roberts

Only the Brave Try Ballet by Stefanie London

Only the Brave Try Ballet by Stefanie London

Step up, Grant Farley…not your typical ballet student!

Football pro Grant Farley is nursing an injury and needs to get back into shape—fast. Ballet wouldn’t be his first or even his last choice, but he’s desperate. Enter tantalisingly prim teacher Jasmine Bell—one disapproving arch of her eyebrow and Grant knows he’ll enjoy getting her tutu in a flutter!

But it’s not only Grant’s flexibility that Jasmine’s pushing to the limit! He knows she feels the heat between them, so why won’t she give in to it? Time to convince Jasmine that if she’s brave enough to dance en pointe she can certainly handle a fling with him!

Only the Brave Try Ballet by Stefanie London

I’m really happy how many great Australian authors are emerging. If you’re a Sarah Mayberry fan, then you should look into this book. Both authors use Melbourne as a setting, both write contemporary-feeling characters who are actually recognisable as 20-30ish people from the 21st century (not a common thing in contemporary romance!), and both just genuinely write good books.

Only the Brave Try Ballet was very close to home for me, as it’s about an Australian Ballet soloist who becomes involved with an Australian Rules football player. Having worked in various capacities for The Australian Ballet, and having known AB soloists who actually did marry AFL players, I knew this book would go one of two ways for me. Either I’d love it, or I’d find so many faults with it I would go insane.

I’m happy that it turned out to feel very right to me, and that I really enjoyed it.

These are two great characters who get together, and I liked how the author seemed to know both her subjects (ballet and football) inside out. I liked pretty much everything, and would recommend the book to any romance fan.

There were two tiny things I want to mention. Firstly, I always hate it when non-American characters say ass instead of arse – we don’t do that!

Secondly, I don’t know how it is possible the heroine would be almost as tall as the hero. AFL players are giants. Ballet dancers are not – how in the world could she be a giant and then stand en pointe? She’d be twice the height of her partners!

However, that’s about it. If that’s as much as I can find to criticise in a book, then obviously it was a really good book. I’m looking forward to more from this author.