Shakespeare’s sonnets are among the great achievements in world literature. Alas, the immortal Bard never used his command of iambic pentameter to explore such themes as porn, Snapchat and Austin Powers.
#Sonnets is a collection of hilarious and inappropriate poems complete with illustrations of Elizabethan RoboCop and Snoop Dogg in tights. Musing on everything from Donald Trump to Tinder, comedy writer Lucien Young offers a Shakespearean take on the absurdity of modern life.
Sadly, I didn’t have time to read and review this, so instead,I have an extract from this book of verses to share.
Extracts from #Sonnets- Lucien Young
Lucien Young is a comedy writer who has worked on various TV programmes, including BBC Three’s Siblings and Murder in Successville. He was born in Newcastle in 1988 and read English at the University of Cambridge, where he was a member of the world-famous Footlights Club.
“I need your support. There is no one else I can trust. Please help her. Please help our daughter.” When ex-Marine Jack Ford receives a letter containing news of a daughter he never knew he had, he feels compelled to return to China, a country he hasn’t visited since 1989 when, as a young American spy, he fell in love with a beautiful student activist and found himself caught up in the horrors of the Tiananmen Square massacre. But why has Xia got in touch now, after a thirty-year silence? On arrival in Beijing, Jack finds himself accidentally in possession of an explosive piece of information both the Chinese and American governments are desperate to get their hands on. Alone in a strange city, suspected of being a traitor by his own side, not knowing whom to trust, Jack is faced with an impossible dilemma: should he save his new-found daughter or prevent a new world war from breaking out?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review
A perfect balance of adrenaline-led action and careful suspense building makes this political thriller, exploring the 21st-century cold war between China and the US, a gripping read. The contemporary placing of the action and the undoubted knowledge of the current political climate makes this a believable story. Reinforced with a complex, troubled protagonist, and a cast of realistically flawed antagonists and allies. The line between friend and foe is hard to draw in this novel, adding to the stories authenticity.
Jack Ford’s life changed in 1989 with the Tiananmen Square massacre, his subsequent military service has left him with PTSD, and a life that is an emotional wasteland. An unexpected plea for help from someone he once loved, has him travelling back to Asia, where he is embroiled in a battle between China and the US, with him as the fall guy.
This is a story of factions, misinformation, conspiracy, espionage and political wrangling. Jack is the lynchpin, to maintaining the status quo, and avoiding world war, but is the greater good worth the personal cost, for Jack?
There are some thinly veiled characters in this story, which add to its realism, the problems exposed are realistic, disturbing, and as you read on, you are invested in the outcome, because it feels so close to the world’s present-day crisis.
An easy to read, and fast-paced international thriller, with a strong espionage theme and astute political commentary.
Shamini Flint lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at an international law firm in Singapore. She travelled extensively around Asia for her work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist, all in an effort to make up for her ‘evil’ past as a corporate lawyer!
Shamini writes children’s books with cultural and environmental themes including Jungle Blues and Turtle takes a Trip as well as the ‘Sasha’ series of children’s books. She also writes crime fiction featuring the rotund Singaporean policeman, Inspector Singh. Singh travels around Asia stumbling over corpses and sampling the food …
The world is on the brink of crisis. The Cold War is playing out once more on the global stage. And governments will do whatever it takes to stay at the top . . .
To those who don’t really know her, Kate Henderson’s life must seem perfectly ordinary. But she is, in fact, a senior MI6 officer, who right now is nursing the political equivalent of a nuclear bomb.
Kate’s most recent mission has yielded the startling intelligence that the British Prime Minister has cancer – and that one of the leading candidates to replace him may be a Russian agent of influence.
Up against the clock to uncover the Russian mole, Kate risks everything to get to the truth. But with her reputation to uphold, her family hanging by a thread and a leadership election looming, she is quickly running out of options, and out of time.
I received a copy of this book from Random House UK – Transworld Publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review,
They say if you live long enough, everything returns, or at least reinvents itself in a contemporary format. The ‘Cold War’ returns in ‘Secret Service’, set in the present day. This is less about checkpoints and walls, and more about social media exploitation, and global corporations influencing domestic economies and the political agenda and players.
Kate is a senior MI6 officer, part of the Russian desk, but also a mother, wife and daughter, she is the new breed of secret service personnel and faces the 21st-century battle familiar to every professional woman of balancing their work and home life.The inherent danger in Kate’s profession is something she tries to minimise, but when she discovers a political time bomb, the danger to her family seems inevitable.
Believable and complex characters, particularly Kate, her partner and her immediate team, spearhead this action-packed, suspenseful story, which visits the political hot spots, as Kate tries to discover which politician is the probable Russian asset, and who in her own organisation is the double agent…
The suspects are few, but the propensity for misinformation is vast, and as the conspiracy deepens, Kate realises she is vulnerable and may lose everything she holds dear.
Authentically detailed with a contemporary political agenda and background, you can see this being a realistic scenario. The ending is menacing and will be unexpected for most.
Adrenaline-fueled, atmospheric and authentic, this is a riveting read, for anyone who enjoys political thrillers and the secret world of spies.
Anissa Lang was going for gold when an accident ended her skiing dream. Now she’s cleaning chalets. Until brooding millionaire, Leo Baxter whisks her away to New York. But they must confront their pasts before their Christmas wishes can come true!
A 21st-century fairytale romance, with a festive twist.
Anissa is recovering from a devastating sports injury that threatens to end a gold medal career; she is training hard, teaching skiing and working as a part-time chalet maid when she meets billionaire Leo, who is struggling with unexpected family problems. Their passionate encounter affects them both emotionally, and Leo asks Anissa to go to New York with him.
Providing you accept that the storyline is pure fairytale this is enjoyable; there are lovely descriptions of New York sites and events and many tender moments between the couple. There are plenty of ‘Cinderella similarities, but this isn’t the deep, emotional read you expect from this series. However, it is festive, romantic and easy to read and the ending is heartwarming.
I received a copy of this book from Mills& Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A hilarious contemporary retelling of the classic society novel, VANITY FAIR, featuring the irrepressible Becky Sharp
Beautiful, brilliant, ruthless – nothing can stop Becky Sharp.
Determined to leave her poverty-stricken roots behind her, Becky Sharp is going to take every opportunity offered to her to climb to the top. Whether it’s using her new BFF Amelia Sedley to step up into the rarified world of London’s upper classes, or seducing society’s most eligible bachelors, Becky Sharp is destined for great things – at any cost…
From London to Paris and beyond, the world is there for Becky’s taking – even though some people are determined to stop her along the way…
The old saying ‘history repeats itself’ is aptly portrayed in this witty, satirical look at contemporary society. Becky is every bit as irrepressible as the original 19th-century character and her single-minded determination to get the best out of her life has to be admired even if her methods of achieving this are often reprehensible.
This contemporary story retains the satirical sharpness of the original and demonstrates cleverly that 21-century society is surprisingly similar to Regency society. The characters are vivid and resonate, its hard to empathise with any of them but they are entertaining, and the story is easy reading.
I would love to see this made into a television series too.
If you enjoy an irreverent look on society, full of humour, a little romance, with glamour and squalor vying for attention take a chance on this, you won’t be disappointed.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction – Harper Collins via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Romantic royal weddings are on trend at the moment, and these three romances capture the essences of the 21st-century royal romance. With a nod to Cinderella, the heroines aren’t princesses but, independent, professional, successful women, who seek passion rather than love because they don’t want to risk their hearts. The three princes are duty bound to marry well, all have well-publicised love lives but meeting their unlikely Cinderella’ makes them want to marry for love rather than obligation. The fast-paced stories have passion with humour and poignancy. Each story highlights, the drawbacks and commitment of royal life with strong conflict both external and internal but they all have fairytale endings.
Crowned for the Prince’s Heir –
This is fashion designer Lisa and Prince Luciano’s story. Before honouring an arranged betrothal, Luciano seeks out the only woman to reject him after a brief affair. Lisa’s emotional scars make her protect her heart at all costs. The second time around doesn’t end well for the couple, but it does leave a legacy that has consequences and leads to conflict and confusion before any chance of a happy ending.
The Ice Prince –
A wrangle over land and a case of mistaken identity throw lawyer Anna and Prince Draco together. The heat created is undeniable but family loyalty is at stake, and there is little trust between the two. I like this story least of the three, but it is full of passion and has a satisfactory ending.
At His Majesty’s Request –
A 21st-century matchmaker and a prince seem an unlikely combination but neither is conventional, and both hide their true feelings from the world. Jessica and Stavros’passion sizzle before they acknowledge it. Stavros has put his country before his well-being, and Jessica’s disastrous first marriage has left her scarred. This is the most romantic of the stories, and Stavros is my favourite prince. If you like passionate romance with a distinctly royal flavour, this trio of royal romances will be a worthwhile read.
I received a copy of this book from Mills & Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humour, Dolly Alderton’s powerful début weave together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – while making you laugh until you fall over. Everything I Know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.
‘Everything I Know About Love’, is a memoir written by a woman in her late twenties, while the writing quality is excellent, am I showing my age? (definitely a 20th-century woman). Aren’t memoirs usually written by people in the autumn of their years?
This book encompasses the central themes of the 21st-century: a fascination with all things celebrity and reality. Parties, drugs, sex, friendship are its mainstays, retold in a charmingly entertaining way. What I didn’t like is the casual reference to ‘Class A’ drugs as if they are nothing out of the ordinary, something everyone does. Drugs were a feature of life when I was in my teens and twenties, but they weren’t socially acceptable as they are now.
The fast pacing holds the reader’s interest, and the life events recounted, read like a novel. If you are looking for a snapshot of life for young women of a particular social class in the 21st-century, this is a great example.
I received a copy of this book from Fig Tree Penguin Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.