Pour a cup of tea, grab one (okay two) Tim Tams and spend a few minutes under the doona with one of these blissfully indulgent page-turners.
What my best friend did
By Lucy Dawson
The plot: When Alice meets Gretchen for the first time, it feels a bit like falling in love. Life’s got a bit boringly grown-up of late: weekends at weddings and baby-showers, celebrating friends’ transitions to a life she isn’t quite up for yet, and, at home, a sweet-and-stable boyfriend she suspects she’s outgrown.
Gretchen Bartholomew, with her air of impulsiveness and intuitive style, is that rarest of things: a proper, new friend who knows how to have fun. Even the added complication of Gretchen’s gorgeous brother, Bailey, might actually be just what Alice needs. Before she knows what’s hit her, Alice’s brilliant new best friend is turning her world upside down.
But Gretchen has a dark secret, which – like a time bomb ticking in her hand – won’t stay hidden forever. The explosion may teach them both more than they ever wanted to know about how female friendships can go wrong.
SheSaid says: This novel is surprisingly easy to read and keeps you intrigued right to the end. It’s not your typical chick-lit. Although you could still quite happily read it on the beach or in the bath, and it doesn’t take an awful lot of concentration, but it does a good job of making you examine the human psyche and the way we behave towards one another. A fun book which is perfect for winter days by the fire.
The Women in the Lobby
By Lee Tulloch
The plot: Violet Armengard never thinks of her extraordinary beauty as anything other than a nuisance. That is until she ends up broke and alone in Paris, discarded by both her husband and the tennis star she sleeps with in an attempt to ease the hurt of her disastrous marriage.
Through a series of chance encounters in hotel lobbies, Violet finds herself an object of interest to men rich enough to know the price of everything, including the privilege of bedding supremely beautiful women. As her addiction to grand hotels and haute couture takes hold, she convinces herself that she is only doing what women have done for millennia – trading sex for life’s little luxuries. But then she meets Florin, a man with an unknowable past who leads her further into a world where human feeling is a negotiable commodity and sex is as much about power as it is pleasure.
Brilliantly observed and darkly erotic, The Woman in the Lobby is a provocative and compulsively readable novel about the intriguing possibilities of separating sex and love.
Lee Tulloch was born in Melbourne. She has had a long career as a journalist, writing on fashion and culture for numerous publications including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, the New York Times and New York Magazine. She has travelled extensively and lived in New York and Paris. She now lives by the sea in Sydney. She has written a number of books including the hit fashion novel Fabulous Nobodies and, most recently, Perfect Pink Polish – a collection of fashion articles.
SheSaid says: Perfect escape for a dreary life in Australia, this novel takes you on a tour of the best hotels in the world from the Hotel Lord Melbourne, to the Grand Hotel Riviera in Cannes France and beyond. Violet is a modern woman with very strong character which makes a very interesting read, with some thought provoking discussion around men, sex and love. Well worth picking up this winter to spice up your reading choices.
Secrets to Happiness
By Sarah Dunn
The plot: Holly Frick has just endured the worst kind of breakup: the kind where you’re still in love with the person leaving you. While her wounds are still dangerously close to the surface, her happily married best friend confesses over a bottle of wine that she is ‘this close’ to having an affair. And another woman comes to Holly for advice about her love life – with Holly’s ex!
Holly decides that if everyone around her can take pleasure wherever they find it, so will she. As any self-respecting 30ish New York woman would do, she brings two males into her life: a flawed but endearing dog, and a good natured, much younger lover. She’s soon entangled in a web of emails, chance meetings, and misguided good intentions and must forge an entirely new path to Nirvana.
SheSaid says: From the author of “The Big Love, Secrets to Happiness” is a big-hearted, knife-sharp and hilariously entertaining story about the perils of love and friendship, sex and betrayal and a thoroughly modern take on our struggle to be happy. You may want to read this book just from the picture on the cover! You will laugh out loud at Holly and her friends, in fact you may even wish they were friends of yours by the end of this heart warming novel.