All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Series Review: Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

on April 24, 2018

The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #1)
Annie Darling
Harper Collins
2016, 400p
Purchased personal copy via iBooks

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

A delightful new series set in a quaint old bookshop, for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan. Where happy ever after is only a page away…

Once upon a time in a crumbling bookshop, Posy Morland hid in the pages of romantic novels.

So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.

Posy has six months to transform Bookends into the shop of her dreams but as Posy and her friends fight to save the bookshop, she’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies…

So one day last week I woke up to a twitter message from Diem suggesting I might like to read this book as I continued to search for what I call my next ‘feels’ book. We have pretty similar tastes as far as we have discovered so I immediately snapped it up on iBooks (instant gratification for the win) and got into it.

Posy’s whole life has revolved around Bookends, a family owned bookstore in London. She grew up living in the flat above it as her father managed the shop and her mother the attached tearoom. Now Posy herself lives in the flat upstairs with her younger brother Sam and works in the shop. When the owner Lavinia dies and leaves it to her, Posy goes from worker to owner and she also has to make the bookstore turn a profit in two years or ownership reverts to Lavinia’s heir, her grandson Sebastian.

This book is charming – I adore the bookstore in its original form and Posy’s idea to transform it into a bookshop specialising in romance only, with different rooms dedicated to different forms of romance (historical, classic, YA, paranormal etc) is my dream. Everyone who works there is a bit nuts (in a good way) and I loved the rejuvenation of the bookshop and the lengths Posy goes to in order to kind of fool Sebastian, who has very different ideas about it! Sebastian is an interesting character, the first few scenes he’s in do not paint him in a good light at all but anyone who has ever read a romance novel will be able to pick through for some of the reasoning he’s so difficult! I thought the cheesy romance Posy started writing was hilarious and the ending was amazing.

A definite new favourite series….and of course I had to rush and buy the rest straight after.

8/10

Book #74 of 2017

True Love At The Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #2)
Annie Darling
Harper Collins
2017, 416p
Purchased personal copy via iBooks

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl, manager of London’s first romance-only bookshop Happy Ever After, and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and quite happy hiding in the office and lying to her friends about her fictional boyfriend Peter, whose presence is very useful for getting her out of social events.

But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Because ‘Peter’ is actually Johnny, and he too could use a fictional girlfriend. So against her better judgement and because she can’t stand sitting on the sad singles table, Verity and Johnny decide to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, culminating in her sister’s Big Fat Wedding.

And by the end of the summer, there’s a bad case of heartache that even Verity’s beloved Pride And Prejudice might not be able to cure…

Book #2 focuses on the manager of Happy Ever After, as Bookends is now known as. Verity is a true introvert, often needing time alone to decompress after time spent dealing with people. Growing up in a very busy, loud house was hard for Verity and even now, time spent with her family can take its toll on her. In order to stop her friends harassing her and trying to set her up with men, Verity invented a boyfriend who is often conveniently away, which is why no one else has ever met him. When Verity is caught out one night she sits down at a table with another man and her friends assume he is her new boyfriend and to her surprise, Johnny thinks it’s not a bad idea. For the summer they’ll accompany each other to events, staving off matchmaking attempts. And Johnny is quick to stress that Verity not read anything more into it – he’s in love with someone else.

Oh Johnny. I spent a large portion of this book wanting to smack him upside the head and I don’t know how Verity didn’t take it upon herself to do so. Many times. Johnny is delusional, wallowing in his torrid love life and the torture of it all, utterly unable to see that the object of his affections is no where near as beleaguered as him. Johnny does have his reasons for this lingering obsession and you can sort of understand them but – there comes a time when enough is enough, man. Thankfully Verity provides the sort of distraction that Johnny didn’t even realise he needed.

Verity is awesome. Love her. I’m a bit of an introvert myself (not to Verity’s degree) but socialising can often exhaust me and some time alone is definitely required after busy, people filled days. It was really interesting to read a book with an introvert main character and the steps that Verity has to take in order to decompress and clear her mind after interacting with people. I found her family amusing but also irritating and bossy and I can fully understand her need for space. Verity loves Pride & Prejudice and often lives her life according to the mantra WWED (what would Elizabeth do?). I really enjoy how instalments of this tie into literature, romantic literature, cementing the very thing that their worlds revolve around.

Highly enjoyable again!

8/10

Book #75 of 2018

Crazy In Love At The Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #3)
Annie Darling
Harper Collins
2018, 400p
Purchased personal copy via iBooks

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

You can go crazy searching for the one…

Tattooed, pink-haired, Bettie Page lookalike Nina is addicted to bad boys. Like Heathcliff and Cathy, Nina firmly believes that true love only takes one form: wild, mad love, full of passion and fire and tempestuous arguments, and she won’t settle for anything less.

But years of swiping right has uncovered nothing but losers and flings, and Nina is no closer to finding her One True Love than she ever was. And when a man from her past walks into the shop Nina knows she has nothing to fear. The geekiest boy in her school has become a boring business analyst who’s welded to his iPad and with his navy blue suits and ginger hair, Noah has no chance of making her heart go pitter patter.

Which just shows how little Nina knows about bad boys, business analysts and her heart…

Yes!

When I read the blurbs of all these, this was the one I think I was most excited for because it involves one of my favourite types of pairings. Nina is sassy and confident, with tattoos and pink hair and she’s convinced that her path lies with a bad boy. Years of bad choices haven’t daunted her intention to find her Heathcliff because what is life worth if you’re not living it passionately to the full? And so Nina keeps swiping on musicians and artists and the like, without ever getting anywhere.

I don’t like Wuthering Heights. I make no apologies for it, I don’t care how much of a classic it is. I hated it the first time I read it and I reread it years later and disliked it just as much. Full of egotistical assholes screwing each other over in the worst ways possible to inflict misery and wallowing in their own. Yawn. And even those who lust after the literary Heathcliff must even realise that to end up with one in real life…..would be awful. Not Nina though, who even though she can see his flaws on the page, still thinks that someone like him is the only way to experience real love. Fighting, heartwrenching, passionate, unequivocal love.

Nina and Noah have a past, sort of. Both of them have hang ups they need to move on from – Nina from wanting her Heathcliff, which isn’t at all realistic or conducive to any sort of Happily Ever After and Noah from the torment of his school days. Nina judges Noah a little, both on prior knowledge of him and also because of his appearance. She’s surprised to learn that Noah has some hidden depths and isn’t quite the buttoned up suit he appears. Likewise Nina has her own hidden depths too and the two of them just complement each other so well. I loved them together, I couldn’t wait for Nina to realise that you could still have passion and fun but also love and respect and fidelity at the same time. Love evolves and having the passion doesn’t have to come with a side of being treated like shit.

My fave of this series so far and the next one is about the mysterious Tom but it’s not out until November and that is very far away! Ugh.

9/10

Book #76 of 2018


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