Monday, 28 July 2014

Do you remember how I loved the Pippa Croft books The First Time We Met and The Second Time I Saw You ? Well, I have news!

The First Time We Met is for one week only (28th July – 3rd August) will be 99p

Also The Second Time I Saw You will be £1.99 for one week only (28th July – 3rd August)!

You must, must, must read these books (although I apologise that you will be left eagerly anticipating the final instalment which is out later this year).  The perfect summer bargain!

Pippa has also very kindly written a guest post about her favourite fictional couples as she knows that I am rather in love with her own love story.  Over to the very lovely Pippa....


Kate sent me a lovely email saying she was touched by the love story in the Oxford Blue series and asked me to blog about my favourite fictional characters, I rubbed my hands together in glee at such a fascinating question (not really, but you know what I mean...)

And how hard can it be to pick one – or two – or three? In the end, I went by my emotional reaction to the novel. Did I laugh? Did I cry? Have I never forgotten how I felt when I read the book?

Liza & ????

Mixed Doubles by Jill Mansell

It’s hard for me to say why I loved this book so much, without giving massive spoilers. I read this one on a special wedding anniversary on holiday in St Lucia so I was probably in a gooey state anyway. All I can say is that parts of this book made me blub uncontrollably, in public, while lying on a sunlounger. Very embarrassing. The ending is a huge surprise. I met Jill Mansell afterwards and fangirled over the story and she told me something about the writing of it that will stay a secret. All you need to know is that the story follows the relationships of three women – all great fun but it was Liza’s story that had me in bits.

Octavia and Gareth

Octavia by Jilly Cooper

I realise that Octavia and Gareth may be a slightly controversial choice, judging by some Goodreads reviews and I’m not surprised. This short romance is definitely a book of its time, written in the 70s when attitudes towards women were very different – thank goodness. At first I loathed the selfish socialite, Octavia, and the blunt self-made man, Gareth. I remember thinking; do I really want this couple to have an HEA? But in this brief novel, Jilly Cooper achieves the impossible and made me long for Gareth and Octavia to have their happy ending more than any other romance. Both the hero and heroine do some outrageous things, and it all takes place in a time warp but Jilly pulls it off, with the chutzpah that only Jilly can. Reader, I cried when they got together. In a good way.

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr Darcy

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

OK. So I wanted to put them first but was worried that people would see those names pop up – again - roll their eyes and assume I couldn’t think of anything else. But bear with me here. That’s just the thing. I can’t think of many readers who *don’t* love Lizzy & Darcy. I know their love story is now over 200 years old but it still captivates us in our millions.

We’re still trying to capture what’s so magnetic about the chemistry between the rich, repressed, aloof Darcy and the bright, incisive woman who - while not exactly ‘poor’ –takes an enormous risk in turning down the chance of lifelong security for herself and her family. All because, in a most contemporary way, she isn’t sure that he’ll make her happy.

We’re still wondering and analysing the masterfully written build-up and the journey from that black moment of refusal to the sparkling, life affirming joyous and oh-so-right ending. Many movies have been made, many novels written, many PhD theses submitted on that very topic so I’ll just say. Lizzy and Darcy are still my favourites.

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