White – Rosie Thomas

White RosieAt 464 pages White seemed like a good choice for my 24 hour journey home after my travels in Asia. And with the promise of Mount Everest as a backdrop, I thought it would hold my attention.

However White was not the nail-biting adventure that I had been hoping for. It is first and foremost a romance novel with a rather dull and predictable plot. The most thrilling chapters were rushed and overshadowed by a tedious love triangle.

Rosie Thomas is  a climber herself and clearly understands the hardships and dangers an Everest expedition would entail. She also writes about the ego-driven climbers, with their obsessions of finally scaling the mountain. Continue reading

Upside Down Inside Out – Monica McInerney

I have said before that I don’t particularly like romance novels, but my friend gave me this one as a present, and I thought the summary on the back sounded quite intriguing. Set between Ireland, England and Australia, this book is about an unsatisfied shop assistant in Dublin and an unhappy, but successful business man in London, who meet while on holiday in Melbourne, and surprise, surprise, fall in love.

I am not really giving anything away, as the book does not pretend to be anything other than a romantic story about two strangers. The ‘twist’ is that both characters have secrets. Eva, the shop assistant, spends the whole holiday pretending to be a famous singer and sculpture called Niamh, while Joseph, who runs his own business, has her believing that he is a backpacker with no money. But will they accept each other for who they really are when the truth is finally revealed? Continue reading

Gardens of Delight – Erica James

 I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to read a romance novel, but when I heard that Erica James had won the Romantic Novel of the Year award in 2006, I decided it might be worth a try. It was also the only affordable book I could find set in Lake Como, which is where I went on holiday straight after reading it. I was hoping that reading a book about a group of people visiting Lake Como would be a nice way to get in a holiday mood.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I had hoped. For starters, the characters didn’t actually spend all that much time at the Lake. Most of the book was set in a small, English village full of nosey neighbours and where the social highlight of the week is the local Gardening Club meeting. As you can imagine, the book doesn’t get much more exciting. Continue reading