Explosive Eighteen, by Janet Evanovich

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich. Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

Only one other person has seen the missing photo—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back. Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment….

Ruby Blues, by Jessica Rudd

In Campaign Ruby, Ruby managed to get: 1. drunk, 2. the leader of the Opposition elected; 3. Luke.

Now that the balloons from the election night party have sagged, as well as the electorate’s enthusiasm for the new PM, Ruby is battling political and personal spot fires. She has a whole new To Do list scrunched up at the bottom of her Prada handbag.
1. Screw things up with Luke, 2. Turn 30, 3. Deal with hormonal pregnant lesbian aunt, 4. And an imploding goverment, 5. Avoid killing peppy intern, 6. Attend party after waxing accident, 7. Cosy up to Pretty Boy, 7a. Complicate things with Luke, 8. Save the government from itself, 9. Figure out who the hell she is,

10. And who she wants.

The Dove Keepers, by Alice Hoffman
The lives of four sensuous, bold and remarkable women intersect in the year 70AD, in the desperate days of the siege of Masada, when supplies are dwindling and the Romans are drawing near. All are dovekeepers, and all are keepers of secrets – about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.

There is Yael, the assassin’s daughter whose heartbreak leads to her true path in the ruins of the desert; Revka, the baker’s wife who loses her dearest treasure on earth and yet finds the strength to protect her family; Aziza, the warrior’s beloved who leads a secret life not even those closest to her could imagine; and Marit, beautiful witch of Moab, a woman as loyal as she is dangerous.

The Opal Desert, by Di Morrissey
Kerrie, in her 40s, has just lost her famous sculptor husband who had been the centre of her existence and for whom she made many sacrifices and she now finds her life has lost direction. Shirley, approaching 80, was betrayed by her lover many years before and has retreated from the world, becoming a recluse living in an underground dugout. Anna, 19, has a promising athletic career but is torn between the commitment to her sport which could carry her to the Olympics, or enjoying life like other young people.
The friendship that develops between these three women, who meet in the strangely beautiful but desolate landscape of the opal fields, helps them resolve and come to terms with the next stage of their lives.

Hotel Vendome, by Danielle Steel

Swiss-born Hugues Martin has worked for the world’s most prestigious hotels, so when he purchases a small, run-down place in New York, everyone thinks he must be crazy! He alone sees it for the rough diamond it is, transforming it into a beautiful boutique hotel of impeccable elegance, run with the precision and attention to detail he learnt through his hotelier training in Europe. The Hotel Vendome soon becomes renowned for its unparalleled service, and is the ideal New York refuge for the rich and famous, as well as a perfect home for Hugues’ beautiful wife and their young daughter. But when his wife tires of his obsession for the hotel, she walks out on him for a notorious rock star, leaving Hugues a single parent to four-year-old Heloise. And so the kind hotel staff quickly embrace the little girl, becoming Heloise’s family and she has a happy upbringing, adored by the fascinating milieu of high-profile guests.

Hugues’ commitment to his work has heavily influenced his daughter, so he is delighted when she decides she wants to follow in his footsteps – hotelier training in Switzerland. But for a father and daughter who have always relied solely on each other, how is Hugues going to cope with his daughter so far away? Will Heloise ever be able to accept another woman in her father’s life? And will Hugues have to choose between them? As life marches quickly on, the close-knit unit at Hotel Vendome are forced to form new bonds, face the often bitter sweetness of life, and work out the true meaning of love and family against the backdrop of a glamorous hotel.

Read anything good lately? We are always keen for a good book recommendation!