Authors - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Very Picture of You (2011)

At 35 Gabriella "Ella" Graham is somewhat content with her life and she loves her job as a portrait painter. She gets to hear all the life stories of the people she paints. Ella has kept her past a secret for a long time but then an article is written about her, revealing that she has a father she has not seen or spoken to since she was five. Her mother, a retired ballerina, had told her that her father abandoned them for another woman and she was instead adopted by her stepfather. One day she gets an email from her real father who wants to tell his side of the story. Meanwhile her sister Chloe is getting married to Nate, an American who Ella loathes. She has been commissioned to paint a portrait of the groom, and along the way finds out that maybe the life she knew wasn't actually the truth at all. A great read about finding out new things about yourself and accepting the fact that maybe it is OK to forgive and forget. (CG)

A Vintage Affair (2009)

After the death of her best friend, Emma, Phoebe Swift has been living life with guilt which in turn results in her breaking off her engagement with Guy and leaving her job of 12 years. Now opening a vintage dress shop, she buries herself in the world of vintage clothing, restoring them to their former glory, as she attempts to start afresh despite her own struggle with her own emotions and past. Along the way, she meets many interesting characters like Dan and Therese, each playing a role in helping her find closure. It's a wonderful book about embracing new beginnings and love, predictable at times but an overall easy read. (XT)

Forget Me Not (2007)

Life never really ends up going the way you plan... When Anna's mum dies, Anna decides to re-evaluate her life. She has always wanted to be a garden designer so gives up her life in the fast lane to pursue her dream. What she doesn't count on is meeting Xan, a gorgeous man, who suddenly changes her plan for life. Soon Anna is a struggling single mother trying to look after her daughter Milly which is made harder by discoveries about her family and new man that throw her future into jeopardy. Isabel Wolff is a fantastic author who keeps you glued to her writing until the very last page. Her characters are so real and stay with you even after you have closed the book. This is a great read with touches of humour and plenty of gardening tips! (LL)

Behaving Badly (2003)

A vet turned animal behaviorist, Miranda Sweet has always found animals to be more truthful and loyal than any human, especially men. She opens a new practice in Notting Hill, hosting puppy parties and diagnosing behavioural problems in her winged and four legged friends. After a devastating break-up with her fiance, Miranda tries to leave the past behind her. But it's not that easy. Miranda has kept a dark secret for years, a secret that haunts and wracks her with guilt. When her past eventually catches up with her, her best friend Daisy urges Miranda to make things right. Enter David White, a handsome photographer who Miranda is instantly attracted to. Things quickly become complicated as the story behind Miranda's secret unravels. True to form, novels written by Isabel Wolff are a delightful mix of humour and drama. Layers of intrigue and romance quickly drew me into this fantastic story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves animals, and enjoys edgy chick lit. (CK)

The Making of Minty Malone (1999)

Minty Malone, a "terribly nice" radio reporter, is engaged to domineering Dominic. She's been quite happily drifting in her life and being a proverbial doormat; both in her love life and her career. However, when Dominic jilts her at the altar, this sets off a chain of events which cause Minty to reassess her life and outlook. Reluctantly she goes on her husbandless honeymoon with her friend and takes stock of her life situation. But it is when she enrols on a "Not Nice course" with her fiery cousin Amber, that Minty is finally forced to confront her issues. The book follows a year of Minty's life as she embarks on her quest to discover her true self and learn assertiveness. The writing was fresh and witty and had some real laugh-out-loud moments. Minty is a character that you immediately warm to. Many women often get caught up in life and we all sometimes follow the easy option; being a people pleaser and putting the needs of others before ourselves. Dominic's rejection of Minty acts as an epiphany and instigates a journey of self-discovery for her. On her pursuit to find herself, Minty is accompanied by colourful characters who in turn also learn things about themselves. What I liked about this book is that it shows how sometimes you need to challenge life and seize opportunities; how when at first all seems lost, there is always a second chance but not necessarily the one we want. And how being nice is not always the best way to be. Beautifully written, the plot was well executed and the story is both humorous and insightful. Mindy is such an empathetic character and I found myself really rooting for her whilst she was "in her making". (LP)

The Trials of Tiffany Trott (1998)

The irrepressible Tiffany Trott is a 37-year-old spinster who is a self-confessed romantic hankering for her Mr Right. After being dumped by her latest squeeze Alex on her birthday, Tiffany examines her questionable love life and emboldened by friend Lizzie's assessment of her as a failure with men, she embarks upon her quest to find her perfect partner rather than have fate deliver him to her. In her pursuit, Tiffany employs all manner of modern methods to land the man of her dreams; from disastrous blind dates to taking out small ads and holidaying in exotic locations. Tiffany has an established group of friends, some of which have her ultimate prize: the ring and the children and through their dramas, she vicariously gets an insight into coupledom and motherhood. Yet is the grass always greener? As Tiffany journeys through the pitfalls of contemporary dating and the life of the modern woman, she begins to question whether being part of a couple and a mother are the be-all-and-end-all. This was an engaging and delightful story, with Tiffany's trials like a modern guide to dating. Gone are the days when girl met boy, got engaged and then married. Tiffany is an endearing character you really warm to; she is bubbly, quirky and her exploits make for laugh-out-loud moments. You genuinely feel her frustration and the agonies of being a singleton. As she navigates through the seas of personal dating, with questionable men and her ever-present optimism, she strives to keep herself afloat to eventually gain her prize. (LP)

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