Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Chick Lit Uncovered Book Awards 2014!

As 2014 is coming to an end in a matter of hours, we decided to look back on some of the many great chick-lit novels of the year and show appreciation to some great authors.

There were so many much-loved books to choose from throughout the past twelve months; books from well-established authors and first-time novelists alike, with some wonderfully funny, addictive, inspiring and heartwarming books. As you can probably imagine, selecting just eight winners was a hugely difficult task.

Here are the Chick Lit Uncovered Book Award winners of 2014. And here's to a brand new year full of brand new reads! Congratulations to not just the below winners, but to all those who released books this year. It's been wonderful to get the chance to read so many great titles.

Happy New Year!

Book Cover of the Year
The New Mrs D by Heather Hill


There were many beautiful book covers in the running this year, but we fell in love with the colourful and wonderfully-designed cover image from Heather Hill's debut novel The New Mrs D, in which forty-something Bernice decides to leave her relationship and heads off on the trip of a lifetime alone, four days into her honeymoon.



Festive Novel of the Year
The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews


There were plenty of festive novels to choose from this year, but we particularly loved The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews. The Christmas Party is Carole's second novel of 2014, following A Place to Call Home in January. This year's Christmassy tale focused on various characters, centred around a large oil company and its employee - mainly three women whose lives and secrets are at risk of colliding at the annual office Christmas party. The book had a great premise, very fun characters (and plenty of scandal!)



Series of the Year 
A Proper Family Holiday and A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby


Chrissie Manby's funny, loveable Bensons appeared in June in A Proper Family Holiday, as the family set off for a package holiday in Lanzarote, much to the dismay of daughter (and Society magazine writer) Chelsea. The end of the book implied an exciting sequel, and in November, A Proper Family Christmas arrived, introducing a few new (and rather unexpected!) new Bensons. The novels were a lot of fun and a treat to read.



Comedy of the Year
Mother of the Year by Karen Ross


Karen Ross's novel Mother of The Year was hilarious as well as heartwarming. Released in February, Karen's tale of Juliet, and  relationship with her overbearing celebrity mother who has a penchant for revealing all of life's details to her adoring public, was one of the best reads of 2014. Karen has a great, witty writing style that made this novel very hard to put down, along with the laugh-out-loud moments and great characters.



Most Inspiring Novel of the Year
Good Sam by Dete Meserve


Dete Meserve's Good Sam was published in June and every chapter was intriguing. What's more, it was Dete's debut, and it is now being developed into a film and TV series. A gripping, fast-paced romance, Good Sam is about Kate, an ambitious reporter for a TV news station who, though generally covering crime and tragedy in the area, is tasked with a story about random people who have each found $100,000 on their doorstep. Kate is determined to find out the identity of the mysterious 'Good Sam', even when the story is starting to interfere with her personal life. Dete Meserve's first book is an inspiring read and full of mystery.



Debut of the Year
The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards by Fiona Jane Collins


The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards was released in November, by new novelist Fiona Jane Collins, and after reading just a chapter it became clear that this book was going to be a great! The novel is about 40-something Harmony who, along with her dismay at her ageing face, discovers that her husband has a secret - in the form of a young, stunning former fiance who's back in town to reclaim him. Fiona has a brilliantly witty writing style similar to authors such as Fiona Gibson and Chrissie Manby, and her talent as a chick-lit writer is very clear in her debut.



Author of the Year
Sue Watson (Love, Lies and Lemon Cake and Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake)


Sue Watson is the author of Younger Thinner Blonder and Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes, and in 2014 released two more novels, both of which were fantastic reads. Love, Lies and Lemon Cake was published in June, and festive book Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake was released in October. Sue is highly talented, bringing us some wonderful stories that you can easily spend hours curled up reading, and her two new latest novels were both highly entertaining and rather hard to put down!


Book of the Year
Don't Tell the Boss by Anna Bell



There were so many fantastic releases throughout 2014 that it was hard to choose an overall winner. However, one read that specifically stood out this year was Anna Bell's latest book, Don't Tell The Boss. Following on from her 2013 novel Don't Tell The Groom, Don't Tell the Boss once again focuses on Penny; a former gambler who, after successfully planning her own low-cost wedding and writing a popular blog for brides on a budget, accidentally finds herself moonlighting as a wedding planner alongside her full-time job. Anna's first novel was brilliant, but Don't Tell The Boss even more so. It's such a well-written book, with relatable characters and a great story that I became lost in until I had finished it. Penny will be returning next year in the third book of the series, Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be.



Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas from Chick Lit Uncovered!

Merry Christmas, readers! It's Christmas Eve, so time to prepare for tomorrow (mulled wine at the ready!). Uncovered will be returning after the festive celebrations with more news and books galore - so do stop by. Hope you all have a wonderful time!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

EXTRACT: The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards by Fiona Jane Collins

Uncovered absolutely loved The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards, the debut novel from Fiona Jane Collins. Today, we have an excerpt of the novel to share with you!

The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards
What would you do if you discovered the real reason for your husband’s proposal…and she was younger than you, prettier than you and out to get him back? 

Harmony Richards is forty-five, swallowed whole by a marriage she’s insecure in and a chore-ridden motherhood she can’t escape from, and dismayed that her looks are beginning to fade. If all that isn’t bad enough, she finds out her husband of twelve years has a Lost Love. A one that got away. Except she’s not away; she’s back. And her arrival makes Harmony feel her life is in faster free-fall than her face. 

Surely stalking the lost love, flirting with a man young enough to know better and taking on an unexpected new challenge can’t possibly make things worse?


Excerpt

At last, Melissa put some bloody clothes on: skinny jeans that hugged that perfect bottom, a black polo neck (a complete no-no for Harmony; they accentuated jowls) and some gorgeous black, suede ankle boots with a chunky heel. She then shrugged on a lovely tan leather jacket that was far too flimsy for the time of year — although Harmony didn’t suppose Melissa cared about things like that — slung a foxy tan bag over her shoulder and flounced out.
     In Melissa’s fragrant wake, Harmony was left reeling. Melissa was back, from Singapore, if she’d been there that long, or wherever else, and was in Camford. At the gym.
     At Harmony’s gym. Harmony had that horrible floating feeling again. Melissa was here. She showered and dressed in a daze. Glancing in the mirror on her way out she noted that her hair looked awful and her face was tomato red with all its make-up worn off. Hardly up to Melissa’s post-workout standard. Still, perhaps Melissa was off somewhere glamorous. She was sure to have a glamorous life, looking like that. Harmony was getting straight in her car and going home to clean the windows.
     She walked out of the changing room and immediately bumped into Legs. He was holding a blue clipboard, which clonked her on the nose.
     ‘Ah, so sorry. Are you okay?’ said a deep, rumbling voice with an Australian accent.
     Harmony glanced up from rubbing her nose and found herself confronted with an outstandingly beautiful man. Close-up, he looked amazing. He had very dark brown eyes with ridiculously long eyelashes and looked Mediterranean, with that glorious, thick hair pushed back. She knew without question that if she was his age, and single, and had met him in a club she’d have snogged him within twenty minutes. The thought made her redden a deeper shade of ketchup.
     ‘Yes. I’m fine,’ she said. ‘Probably my fault. I never look where I’m going. Sorry.’
     ‘No, hey, it’s definitely my fault,’ said Legs. ‘It’s me who’s got the clipboard. Is your nose okay?’
     ‘Yes,’ she said, giving it a bit of a prod. ‘I think it’ll live.’
     ‘I’m just toting this around.’ He gestured to the clipboard that had an official looking form clamped to it. ‘We’ve got a new initiative. A well-being package?’ His sentence went up at the end, like a question. She usually found it irritating. Lily sometimes did it: it was obviously some new ‘yoof’ thing. On him it was cute. ‘For an extra ten pounds a month you can have two sessions with a personal trainer and a health MOT,’ he continued. ‘Would you like to sign up?’
     ‘Er... Okay,’ said Harmony. She’d been gazing at his mouth as he talked. She probably would have agreed to anything he’d said. Like, ‘Get your knickers off,’ or ‘Drive to the airport —  we’re flying to Barbados.’
     He walked towards the reception desk and she trotted behind him, stunned by his legs in motion. Before she knew it, she had signed up for two personal training sessions with him on consecutive Tuesdays, starting next week, and a health MOT with him on Monday.
     ‘My name’s Blake by the way,’ said Blake. He locked his eyes onto hers and she wanted to climb up a ladder and dive right in. They were like chocolate swimming pools. The eyes as pools thing was a cliché, she knew, but what wasn’t already totally clichéd? He was a hot, young Australian personal trainer. She was an embarrassing middle-aged woman. It was about as clichéd as it could get.
     ‘As in Carrington?’ she said. And there it was. Her flirting reflex had instantly kicked in. It seemed it was innate.
     ‘Hey?’
     ‘Blake Carrington. From Dynasty. Blue Rinse Blake?’ Oh dear. Show your age, dear, why don’t you? thought Harmony.
     ‘Nah, doesn’t ring any bells,’ said Blake. He looked amused. He pushed back his thick luscious hair with one hand. Bloody hell, he was sublime.
     ‘Oh never mind,’ said Harmony, trying to resist the urge to shake her own hair out of its sweaty pony tail. ‘Okay, well, I’ll see on Monday at ten, then, for the MOT thing.’
     ‘See you then,’ said Blake. ‘I’ll look forward to it.’ And he winked.
     She could feel his eyes on her as she walked towards the revolving door at the exit of the lobby. Don’t look back. Don’t look back, she told herself.
     She looked back. He was leaning against a pillar with his arms folded, amusement dancing in those heart-stopping eyes as he blatantly appraised her from top to bottom. Cheeky so-and-so, she thought. But she was grinning as she walked to her car.
     As she did up her seatbelt, Harmony made the terrible mistake of looking at herself in the mirror. Silly cow! she thought. How deluded! Did she actually think he was flirting with her? That he might fancy her? She was hideous: he was clearly taking the piss. She really must make a point of remembering how old she was, especially when talking to ridiculously handsome young men who were young enough to be her offspring. Harmony pulled a face at the thought and drove out of the car park.
     The only good thing, thought Harmony, was that Blake had provided her with a fifteen minute distraction from Melissa. It was Melissa who occupied her brain for the drive home, via the Tesco Metro to pick up some dishwasher tablets, and made her turn the radio down so she could think. Two big, clunking questions whirled round her head like satellites: why was Melissa back in town? And now she was, would she want anything from Tom?

Monday, 22 December 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards by Fiona Jane Collins

What happens when your husband's ex-fiancee is back in town, and all set to reclaim her lost love? In The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards, the debut novel by Fiona Jane Collins, Harmony is about to find out.

Housewife Harmony Richards, forty-five and insecure about her fading looks and how quickly time has flown by. Married to successful Tom and mother to three children, Harmony appears to have it all in life - however, despite trying to count her blessings, there's still the issue of her apparently ageing face to contend with, having recently realised she's now one of 'those women' in the nightclub, the kind of women Harmony and best friend Julia would look upon with disdain (and amusement) during their student years in Bath.

There's also the fact that Tom never tells her that he loves her. Oh, and the newly-announced Melissa - the one that got away.

When Harmony's bitchy sister-in-law casually announces Melissa, Harmony's in shock. Having never known about Tom's first love, the revelation begins to constantly occupy Harmony's mind. And when Harmony realises that Melissa is back in town (and that she's young and beautiful) she decides there's only one thing to do - stalk her, and make sure she doesn't get her hands on Tom again...

With her plan wielding some hilarious results, Harmony's determined to keep the ex-fiancee away. Although difficulty arises when she meets the handsome Australian personal trainer, Blake, who begins to make her feel just that little bit younger.

But Harmony's out to do whatever it takes. Even terrible fake tanning...

When I was first sent the news of The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards, I checked it out immediately and instantly fell in love with Fiona's writing style. She is witty, clever, and each character is equally funny, such as the determined Harmony, best friend and partner in clubbing, Julia, and loving 'earth mother' Dee. Even though I'm not yet in my forties, I found that it was easy to relate to Harmony and her feelings, and the way that she sees herself and life - sometimes with a slightly cynical approach! There are some great moments in the novel, especially when it came to Melissa. I became hooked as soon as I began reading, and rooted for the lovable Harmony from the start.

Fiona Collins is certainly a talented writer - it's very clear from this novel, which is her first. I'll definitely be reading her future books, and am already looking forward to them!

Rating: 5/5

Stop by tomorrow to read an extract of The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

NEW RELEASES: Maggie Does Meribel by Nicola Doherty

Maggie Does Meribel is the latest novel in the five-part Girls on Tour series by Nicola Doherty (author of The Out of Office Girl and If I Could Turn Back Time). In the latest installment, Maggie is off to the French Alps for a couples' skiing holiday...

Maggie can't wait for her first ever skiing holiday. New Year's Eve in the French Alps with her boyfriend Leo and two other couples: what could be more romantic? She's picturing hot chocolate, romantic snowball fights and evenings snuggled together in front of the log fire. What she didn't picture is near-death experiences on the mountains, falling out with Leo and sharing a chalet with the unbearable Jenny. When she meets Sylvain, a gorgeous ski instructor, the line between harmless flirting and full-on misbehaviour becomes ... well, blurry. Will Maggie stay on the nursery slopes, or go seriously off-piste? Girls on Tour is an irresistible series of interlinked stories about five friends, ordinary girls who have extraordinary fun in faraway places. Expect the unexpected, the utterly hilarious and unforgettable, on this rollercoaster ride of love, laughs, surprises and sparks. You have a VIP pass to join each girl's adventure, so pack your bags and buckle your seatbelts, because just about anything is possible...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

HOLIDAY READS: Robyn Neeley shares an excerpt from Holiday Wedding

This weekend, Batter Up author Robyn Neeley stops by to share an excerpt from her new festive romance, Holiday Wedding.

Happy Holidays Romance Readers!

I’m so excited to stop by and share an excerpt from my Christmas romance, Holiday Wedding. This is the sequel to Destination Wedding and reunites all the characters from the first book including my handsome twins, my feisty and fun heroines and the best wedding planning friend on the planet!

This time it’s Drew’s story to tell, and he’s been waiting over a year for it! Check out the character interview I did last year on Drew’s take on his twin brother’s Happily Ever After. Then read an excerpt below from Holiday Wedding.

Holiday Wedding
Going home for Christmas this winter just might turn Drew Cannon into a real Grinch. When his college sweetheart, Lauren Kincaid, broke off their engagement a year ago, Drew retreated to Tokyo to run the Asia-Pacific division of the family’s toy company and lick his wounds. If that weren’t enough, his attempt at a high-profile holiday doll for the company was a bust. Now he’s headed back to New York City to spend the holidays with his lovestruck dad, his pissed-off twin brother, and an ex who broke his heart.

Lauren isn’t exactly keen to spend Christmas with her former flame, either. But as JDL Toys’ marketing director, she’s forced to deal with their doll problem, holiday or not. Things take a turn when she and Drew are tasked with planning surprise nuptials for his brother.

With all their focus on happily ever after, Lauren and Drew soon discover things might not be so settled between them after all. Can a holiday wedding offer them a second chance at forever? 

Excerpt

Drew leaned back in the steamy Jacuzzi, letting the hot water jets do their magic. There was something to be said about relaxing in a hot tub in the brisk outdoors.
     He breathed in the fresh mountain air. Today had started out a little weird, but touching Lauren’s sugary lips, even if it was only with one finger, had been a highlight. If the bakeshop owner hadn’t appeared, would they have kissed? He was all but sure of it.
     If only the whole day had been about flirting with Lauren. But no, his brother had turned them into elves. Why had Luke sent them to Santa’s Workshop to make toys?
     Didn’t he want them to plan his wedding? Losing three hours this morning to paint train sets didn’t seem like the best way to hit the ground running.
     Today should have been devoted to the task at hand as they would spend the weekend pushing the Happily Ever After dolls at the festival.
     The dolls. Drew had beelined it to his laptop when they got back to the cabin. Only two more boy dolls were registered for the site to meet their matches. Two. Freakin’. Dolls.
     His head dropped to the left in frustration and his gaze lifted up to Lauren’s bedroom window. She had disappeared when they returned, saying she needed to get the rest of the frosting out of her hair. That was a couple of hours ago.
     Selecting the cakes—and then wearing them—had been the best part of this day. She had been absolutely right about their not choosing their own wedding cake. He let out a heavy sigh. Maybe if they had been more involved in all the different pieces of planning their wedding, things would be different.
     He should have given into his feelings and pressed his mouth to her frosted lips. But what if she’d pushed him away? Would he then have his answer to the question he didn’t have the balls to ask? Did she no longer love him?
     He sank down into the tub, letting the hot water massage his shoulders. Then there was Olivia. She’d sent three text messages earlier saying how much she missed him before going radio silent this evening. He wasn’t quite sure when he’d do it, but they wouldn’t be a couple for much longer. It was not only the right thing to do; it was the honest thing to do.
     “Hey, is there room in there for another?”
     His head flew up and his heart raced as he watched Lauren glide over in a white cotton bathrobe. She held her iPad in one hand and large ruby red towel in the other. “Depends.”
     “Oh, really.” She lifted an eyebrow. “On what?”
     He pointed to the iPad. “As long as you promise we’re not Skyping with Miles.” He drew an imaginary circle around the hot tub. “This is an annoying wedding-planner-free zone.”
     She giggled. “I can’t make any promises, but I’m pretty sure he has no desire to see us exposing so much skin.”
     His groin tightened as he waited for her robe to hit the ground. Was Lauren wearing his favorite lavender bikini? Three seconds later he had his answer as she removed her robe and slid into the Jacuzzi. Hello, string bikini. I’ve missed you.

Holiday Wedding is available on Amazon and other e-retailers.

About Robyn
Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places, watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit, can’t live without Recess Peanut Butter Cups and has never met a Christmas cookie she didn’t like. (Her favorite cookie made it into Holiday Wedding!) She writes romantic comedy, sometimes with a hint of magic, but always with a happy ending.

You can find out more about Robyn Neeley by visiting her website, Facebook page, or by following her on Twitter.

Friday, 19 December 2014

UNCOVERED INTERVIEWS: Emily Benet

Emily Benet's new novel The Temp was released in paperback yesterday. Emily, who gained a book deal with HarperCollins after The Temp became highly successful on Wattpad with over a million hits. Emily is also the author of Shop Girl Diaries and Short Stories for Busy Adults, and after hearing about The Temp being published, we couldn't wait to find out more!

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
A broke temp finds a sack of bananas and decides to become a conceptual artist.

What inspired you to write The Temp?
Like my main character, Amber, I've visited art shows where I've been baffled by how seriously some of the pieces have been taken. Some artists just to need to hang a dirty sock from the ceiling to attract a crowd. I think we live in a society where you can be famous for just about anything if you make enough noise about it. I thought, why can't a bored, broke temp take the world by storm with a sack of bananas, some spray paint and some friends to egg her on?

Where do you do most of your writing?
I write in my bedroom. I've had the same £19 Ikea desk for about 10 years and it's the perfect shape, round-edged and wide! I don't know how people afford to write in coffee shops in London!

What is your favourite book?
That's an impossible question! It depends on my mood. I am very fond of Starter for Ten, as it really made me laugh.

Which part of The Temp did you enjoy writing the most?
I had a giggle most of the way through. I did get a little stuck in the middle, but then I had an idea involving body paint... I won't say anymore.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
It has to be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. 

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Get your work out there. Start a blog. Test your work out on Wattpad. Don't be precious. Don't get stuck on one thing either. I've written full drafts of three books that I had to accept weren't going to work. Nothing is wasted. The more you write, the better you get!

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I'm working on a new novel called #PleaseRetweet. It's about a young woman who runs the Twitter accounts belonging to celebrities who can't control themselves online. She tweets as if she were them. It gets messy as real life and virtual reality clash!

Thanks, Emily!

You can find out more about Emily Benet by visiting her website, Facebook page, or by following her on Twitter.

The Temp by Emily Benet
Twenty-something Amber is fresh out of university with a degree she has no clue what to do with… so she temps in order to earn enough money to cover the cost of living the good life in London.

While scrounging free wine from a wacky modern art gallery (her favourite life-hack) she looks at the ‘art’ and thinks ‘if they can do it, why not me?’. Enter a drop-dead gorgeous gallery promoter and a bunch of unlikely friends, including her housemate Egg (short for Egbert), to help – and hinder – her crazy idea to unleash spray painted bananas across the capital.

Laugh out loud with this fun romantic comedy and follow Amber as she literally spray paints the town red – and blue – and yellow – and pink… 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

NEW RELEASES: The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards by Fiona Jane Collins

The Anti-Ageing of Harmony Richards is the fabulously funny debut novel from Fiona Jane Collins, in which forty-something Harmony, insecure about her looks and her marriage, finds herself with an unexpected love rival...

What would you do if you discovered the real reason for your husband’s proposal…and she was younger than you, prettier than you and out to get him back?

Harmony Richards is forty-five, swallowed whole by a marriage she’s insecure in and a chore-ridden motherhood she can’t escape from, and dismayed that her looks are beginning to fade. If all that isn’t bad enough, she finds out her husband of twelve years has a Lost Love. A one that got away. Except she’s not away; she’s back. And her arrival makes Harmony feel her life is in faster free-fall than her face.

Surely stalking the lost love, flirting with a man young enough to know better and taking on an unexpected new challenge can’t possibly make things worse?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

NEW RELEASES: New Shopaholic short story from Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic on Honeymoon, a short story by bestselling Shopaholic author Sophie Kinsella, is available to download now. Sophie's last novel, Shopaholic to the Stars, was released in September, and now Becky Brandon (formerly Bloomwood!) is back in this short tale, which takes places shortly after Shopaholic Ties the Knot.

The new Mr and Mrs Brandon are on honeymoon, and Becky has big plans! They’ve got a whole year to explore Venice, learn yoga in India, sleep in little wooden huts in South America… maybe even see penguins in the Antarctic. And of course they’ll need to buy just a few essential souvenirs along the way (everyone needs a set of Murano glass goblets, after all).

They’re not just tourists, they’re travellers. Becky is sure it is just the thing that Luke needs – time to unwind. He’ll come back a changed man… with all the good bits still intact of course.

But it soon becomes clear that Luke has different plans entirely. Can Becky help him let go, or will this little disagreement threaten their whole honeymoon?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

NEW RELEASES: Marriage to Measure by Talli Roland

Talli Roland's latest novel is now available from Amazon! After Build a Man and Construct a Couple, heroine Serenity Holland is back in Marriage to Measure, and things aren't exactly going to plan...

When Serenity Holland proposes to her long-time boyfriend Jeremy, she’s certain ‘forever’ is a perfect fit. As the wedding train steams forward, though, Serenity starts to wonder if they really are an ideal match. From a crusty old ring to a dilapidated house she’s left to renovate on her own – not to mention the appearance of Jeremy’s clingy ex-fiancée – engagement feels more like disengagement. 

Even worse, wedding planning’s like a bad hangover as Serenity juggles the wishes of family and friends with her bossy mother-in-law-to-be, resulting in a Frankenwedding nothing like the simple ceremony she envisioned. 

Can Serenity knit her relationship back together and fashion a celebration that suits, or will ‘I do’ become ‘I don’t’? 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

BOOK NEWS: The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

The Awakening of Miss Prim is a new novel heading our way in January, in which an academic young woman decides to work away in a small village. But there are some challenges ahead...

Prudencia Prim is a young woman of intelligence and achievement, with a deep knowledge of literature and several letters after her name. But when she accepts the post of private librarian in the village of San Ireneo de Arnois, she is unprepared for what she encounters there. Her employer, a book-loving intellectual, is dashing yet contrarian, always ready with a critique of her cherished Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. The neighbours, too, are capable of charm and eccentricity in equal measure, determined as they are to preserve their singular little community from the modern world outside. Prudencia hoped for friendship in San Ireneo but she didn't suspect that she might find love - nor that the course of her new life would run quite so rocky, would offer challenge and heartache as well as joy, discovery and fireside debate. The Awakening of Miss Prim is a distinctive and delightfully entertaining tale of literature, philosophy and the search for happiness.

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