Book Review: I Heart London

Published June 7th 2012 by Harper

Book Number 5 brings Angela back in full circle. She is summoned home for her mom’s 60th birthday party to a weed-rolling dad, and an ex-fiance who still wishes to stick his tongue down her throat. Plus her mom convinced the family and friends to hold the Angela-Alex wedding in 6 days’ time – right in her own London backyard!

Jenny, her best-friend-since-running-from-a-ruined-wedding-to-New-York, heads the wedding convention like a fashion tyrant, taking charge of decorations, makeup, stag/hen night, music, wedding vows…
but when New York clique meets London pals, things start falling apart.

Louisa, Angela’s best-friend-since-childhood, is now a mom and she definitely has different wedding plans for Angela. Adding to the mix is Angela’s brass-band-trumpet-playing dad who insists on trumpeting horny love songs alongside the wedding march and a cake-maker who bakes one giant car-sized cupcake instead of dozens of small bite-sized ones…

Is every consummation of love destined to be a disaster for Angela?

Alex as usual, is the perfect sweetheart in this one. Occasionally there are mentions of his slutbag days in Brooklyn, which adds to the wedding tension, but never once did he fail to make Angela the most blessed girl in London.

Aside from the big wedding, Angela, Jenny and Cici Spencer’s twin Delia are about to launch a transatlantic fashion magazine. Angela is scheduled to make a powerpoint presentation to the UK Management of Spencer Media while Delia does the French version in Paris.

With Cici Spencer back for revenge, this could possibly spell disaster!

I promise, no more spoilers. I really loved the ending, and like many readers I hope this is the end of it! It’s too perfect, a London wedding or not. I can’t imagine reading another Angela Clark in possibly a I Heart Singapore with her arms full of babies…
Although if there were any followups to the I Heart series…I know I would read it anyway.

If I HEART was ever to be made a movie, (as seen in I Heart New York)I would cast:
ANGELA CLARK: Alicia Silverstone

ALEX REID (the rockstar): Nicholas Hoult

JENNY LOPEZ (the best friend!): Cheryl Cole

GRAHAM (gay drummer of The Stills – Alex’s band): Dan Stevens

Craig (bassist, ladies’ man, playboy): Chace Crawford

JAMES JACOB: Cam Gigandet

LOUISA: Diane Kruger
diane kruger

SADIE: Shannan Click

Because I loved the series too much…

Home is where the heart is. Right? Angela Clark has fallen in love with America — and it’s starting to love her back. Throw one expired visa into the mix, and things quickly take a turn for the worse. She might love her life as a Brit in New York, but now she has no choice but to return to London. Not only does she leave behind her gorgeous boyfriend Alex — she must also face unfinished business back on home turf. There’s the ex-boyfriend — who she moved to New York to get away from. Then there’s her best friend, with her perfect new baby. And there’s her mum. Now, there’s another wedding in the offing — and everyone remembers how well the last one went …

Book Review: I Heart Vegas

Published by Harper, 2011

Unemployed: check.
Deportation notice: check.
Next stop: Las Vegas!

Best friend Jenny treats Angela to a weekend at Vegas with her new room-mate, supermodel Sadie. Concurrently, Jenny’s ex-boyfriend Jeff, currently engaged, takes his posse on a stag night slash strip-club weekend to Vegas. Something smells fishy…or does it?

The chapel of love, Vegas, is where you take the quick leap of marriage, with le super hot rockstar boyfriend, in a bid to keep your American Visa. He doesn’t even need to know you’re about to be deported. What your boyfriend doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right?

Enter James Jacobs of I Heart Hollywood, fresh from a breakup and ready to rock Vegas with Angela. With her devil-may-care attitude, her wild adventures in Vegas is as funny as it gets.

The Strip proves to be unable to handle Angela-Sadie-Jenny trio and superstar James. Where then, does Alex come in? Her relationship enters a rocky stage after an argument. It appears Alex does not want to marry Angela. The idea of having kids and starting a family invokes too much of his ex-fiancé. Or rather, both their exes.

Is Angela about to leave New York and her new life for good?

There’s trouble in paradise. Does it get resolved?

Since I’m already on I Heart London, all I can say is…Viva Las Vegas!


Fancy kicking off your heels and sinking into a couch with a light, fun read? I Heart Vegas, as does the rest of I Heart series, keeps me giggling in my seat and takes the edge a rough day. I’m drawn into Angela’s world, and more than anything, I’m extremely sad over my impending completion of the series. More sequels, please!

If I HEART was ever to be made a movie, (as seen in I Heart New York)I would cast:
ANGELA CLARK: Alicia Silverstone

ALEX REID (the rockstar): Nicholas Hoult

JENNY LOPEZ (the best friend!): Cheryl Cole

GRAHAM (gay drummer of The Stills – Alex’s band): Dan Stevens

Craig (bassist, ladies’ man, playboy): Chace Crawford

JAMES JACOB: Cam Gigandet

SADIE: Shannan Click

Angela Clark loves her life in New York. She loves her job, her friends and her gorgeous musician boyfriend, Alex, who is finally ready to move in with her and start planning their future together. Everything is perfect.

But, after Angela loses her job, her world starts to crumble around her – her visa is revoked and she’s given the disastrous news that she must leave New York and her life behind and go back to London.

Confused, heartbroken and desperate to stay, the last thing Angela needs is a girls’ trip to Vegas just before Christmas – especially when Manhattan at Christmas is so perfect that she never wants to go home…

Book Review: I Heart Paris

12980295Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date Published: January 1st 2010
My Ratings: 7 / 10

Yes I truly heart Paris!

With all due bias, this is my favorite in the series. Set in my dream city to live in someday, the third installation captures the mystery and allure of Paris.

The Alex/Angela relationship takes a nosedive into an all-time low as the duo make their way to the city of love. Here, not one but three jealous women attempt to backstab Angela via an array of unscrupulous means. With her blog and career in jeopardy, she’s got everything to lose, including her work visa at New York. Alex’s relationship commitment also apparently slackens as he comes face-to-face with his French ex, Solène.

Honestly I’m not entirely taken by Paris, because the Angela/Alex/Solène/Virginie/Cici drama took all the attention away. There were no loving afternoon coffees by the sidewalks whilst gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. The people she thought she could trust (aka her lovely assistant Virginie) are not who they seem to be.

In terms of perusing Paris’s hot destinations, Angela was zipping through downtown hipster crowds where Alex’s band was doing gigs rather than big names like the Pont Neuf, taking away the allure of a textbook Parisian retreat.

Lindsey Kelk wrote as if she were a true Parisian, taking us on a tour of trendy local spots and chill-out spaces. I found myself enjoying the lesser-known parts of Paris which one would not be able to find out about from popular guidebooks. The spirit and joie de vivre of Paris comes alive in bits and pieces gleamed from Angela’s (mis)adventures.

Eventually Angela straightens things out with her backstabbers. Her evil boss Mary seems to soften a whole lot more and claims she doesn’t want to lose a ‘good writer’ – a huge compliment in The Look’s history of employee flattery. Taking the leap, Angela moves in with Alex in the New York apartment. That said, I’m already moving on to I Heart Vegas, next in the series of Angela’s quests and explorations.

If I HEART was ever to be made a movie, (as seen in I Heart New York)I would cast:
ANGELA CLARK: Alicia Silverstone

ALEX REID (the rockstar): Nicholas Hoult

JENNY LOPEZ (the best friend!): Cheryl Cole

GRAHAM (gay bassist of The Stills – Alex’s band): Dan Stevens

Craig (drummer, ladies’ man, playboy): Chace Crawford

Angela is in the city of love — but romance is taking a nose-dive! When Angela Clark’s boyfriend Alex suggests a trip to Paris at the same time as hip fashion mag Belle asks her to write a piece, she jumps at the chance. But even as she’s falling for the joie de vivre of Paris, someone’s conspiring to sabotage her big break. And when she spots Alex having a tete-a-tete with his ex in a local bar, Angela’s dreams of Parisian passion all start crashing down around her. With London and her old life only a train journey away, Angela can’t decide if should stay and face the music or run away home!

One more for the road 🙂 (taken in Dubai’s Movenpick Hotel Deira)

The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time (Crime Writers’ Association)

  1. Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time (1951)
  2. Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939)
  3. John le Carré: The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1963)
  4. Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night (1935)
  5. Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  6. Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca (1938)
  7. Raymond Chandler: Farewell My Lovely (1940)
  8. Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone (1868)
  9. Len Deighton: The IPCRESS File (1962)
  10. Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon (1930)
  11. Josephine Tey: The Franchise Affair (1948)
  12. Hillary Waugh: Last Seen Wearing … (1952)
  13. Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose (1980)
  14. Geoffrey Household: Rogue Male (1939)
  15. Raymond Chandler: The Long Goodbye (1953)
  16. Francis Iles: Malice Aforethought (1931)
  17. Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal (1971)
  18. Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (1934)
  19. Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None (1939)
  20. John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
  21. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Collected Sherlock Holmes Short Stories (1892-1927)
  22. Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise (1933)
  23. Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Mystery & Imagination (1852)
  24. Eric Ambler: The Mask of Dimitrios (1939)
  25. Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (1946)
  26. Margery Allingham: The Tiger in the Smoke (1952)
  27. Peter Lovesey: The False Inspector Dew (1982)
  28. Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White (1860)
  29. Barbara Vine: A Dark-Adapted Eye (1986)
  30. James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
  31. Dashiell Hammett: The Glass Key (1931)
  32. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
  33. John le Carré: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)
  34. E. C. Bentley: Trent’s Last Case (1913)
  35. Ian Fleming: From Russia, with Love (1957)
  36. Ed McBain: Cop Hater (1956)
  37. Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho (1981) (tie)
  38. Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train (1950)
  39. Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone (1977)
  40. John Dickson Carr: The Hollow Man (1935)
  41. Anthony Berkeley: The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929)
  42. Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977)
  43. Ellis Peters: The Leper of Saint Giles (1981) (tie)
  44. Ira Levin: A Kiss Before Dying (1953)
  45. Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
  46. Graham Greene: Brighton Rock (1938)
  47. Raymond Chandler: The Lady in the Lake (1943)
  48. Scott Turow: Presumed Innocent (1987)
  49. Ruth Rendell: A Demon in My View (1976)
  50. John Dickson Carr: The Devil in Velvet (1951)
  51. Barbara Vine: A Fatal Inversion (1987)
  52. Michael Innes: The Journeying Boy (1949)
  53. P. D. James: A Taste for Death (1986)
  54. Jack Higgins: The Eagle Has Landed (1975)
  55. Mary Stewart: My Brother Michael (1960)
  56. Peter Lovesey: Bertie and the Tin Man (1987)
  57. Susan Moody: Penny Black (1984) (tie)
  58. Len Deighton: Game, Set & Match (1984-1986)
  59. Dick Francis: The Danger (1983)
  60. P. D. James: Devices and Desires (1989)
  61. Reginald Hill: Underworld (1988)
  62. Mary Stewart: Nine Coaches Waiting (1958)
  63. Paula Gosling: A Running Duck (1978)
  64. Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased (1950)
  65. Lionel Davidson: The Rose of Tibet (1962)
  66. P. D. James: Innocent Blood (1980)
  67. Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison (1930)
  68. Michael Innes: Hamlet, Revenge! (1937)
  69. Tony Hillerman: A Thief of Time (1989)
  70. Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simon: A Bullet in the Ballet (1937)
  71. Reginald Hill: Dead Heads (1983)
  72. Graham Greene: The Third Man (1950)
  73. Anthony Price: The Labyrinth Makers (1974)
  74. Adam Hall: The Quiller Memorandum (1965)
  75. Margaret Millar: Beast in View (1955)
  76. Sarah Caudwell: The Shortest Way to Hades (1984)
  77. Desmond Bagley: Running Blind (1970)
  78. Dick Francis: Twice Shy (1981)
  79. Richard Condon: The Manchurian Candidate (1959)
  80. Caroline Graham: The Killings at Badger’s Drift (1987)
  81. Nicholas Blake: The Beast Must Die (1938)
  82. Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park (1981) (tie)
  83. Agatha Christie: Death Comes as the End (1945)
  84. Christianna Brand: Green for Danger (1945)
  85. Cyril Hare: Tragedy at Law (1942)
  86. John Fowles: The Collector (1963)
  87. J. J. Marric: Gideon’s Day (1955)
  88. Lionel Davidson: The Sun Chemist (1976)
  89. Alistair MacLean: The Guns of Navarone (1957)
  90. Julian Symons: The Colour of Murder (1957)
  91. John Buchan: Greenmantle (1916)
  92. Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands (1903)
  93. Peter Lovesey: Wobble to Death (1970)
  94. Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest (1929)
  95. Ken Follett: The Key to Rebecca (1980)
  96. Ed McBain: Sadie When She Died (1972)
  97. H. R. F. Keating: The Murder of the Maharajah (1980)
  98. Simon Brett: What Bloody Man Is That? (1987)
  99. Gavin Lyall: Shooting Script (1966)
  100. Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men (1906)

New bucket list: read everything on CWA’s top 100.
Have been on a Mystery/Crime Novel rampage of late,
& it might be near impossible to get my hands on some of these listed but I’m gonna try!
Here we goooo~


we lived through a lifetime and the aftermath

For someone who’s a firm believer in New Year Resolutions,
I’m not entirely convinced of its life-changing capabilities.
Once in a while I look back upon my annual mandate,
written with fervent excitement over the promise of a brand new year…

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“2011….I will make more friends, smile too often, take too many bad polaroids, go selfishly individualistic and yet be open-minded and positive. I want to be able to wear ripped jeans, lace and leather, and printed leggings with calve-length boots, strutting down the streets with my fellow girlfriends, and be optimistic even when that’s not possible. Because what you think will affect who you are and the people around you.

And who cares about what insults others might throw at me. This year, I’ve had many. After the initial anger, hurt, and mulling over the words that were chanted, it doesn’t matter anymore. Who are you to make me care about your opinions? Won’t think of trading myself to avoid that split second of hurt or anger. So here goes. I DON’T CARE. If they have so much time to gossip about me, your life must suck balls. I have no time to process your silly gossips and it doesn’t interest me.

True friends will tell me when I suck, or that I have horrible hair, my shirt stinks etc, but I’ll listen and love them anyway.

Am also staying away from some people.The movie I watched today, Tron, is something about blind idealism when an isolated colony is led to think and behave in a certain, irrational way, by their leader, whether as enforced rules, simply an established social construct, or the people are slowly brainwashed to think alike. Oh well, no point. People in the Grid can’t see beyond their Grid World. Wanting to go over to earth is just a wishful thinking on their leader’s part. Quite a thought. Thus they should be left alone to manifest.

Well 2012 might spell the end (omg just saw this book in Times today about the apocalypse. very intriguing but also SCARY) of all of us. So quick do what we can! Live the moment and don’t die with regrets. We’re young and very much alive.”

A younger version of me (2011)