Jenny Kane - Midsummer dreams at Mill Grange
Archaeological expert Thea has taken a new job, in charge of the restoration of a Victorian Manor house on the edge of Exmoor. A team of volunteers is working to have Mill Grange ready to open to the public in a few months' time. An additional bonus is that Thea will be working with her best friend, Tina, who works for the Trust in charge of the project. But her main motivation is to escape the attentions of former boyfriend John, who has become a pest. He's refusing to believe that their short-lived relationship is over. Thea has to cope with all the personalities among the volunteers, including the enigmatic Sam who won't step inside the building. Then charismatic television archaeologist Sean arrives to offer his services to the restoration of the old house. Thea believes him to be a love rat, but there's something about him that draws her to him. Romance, mystery, and a house full of history - a winning combination. The only slight downside to the book was that the two main female characters' names begin with 'T' and there are also two prominent male characters beginning with 'S', which was a little confusing at times.
George R. R. Martin - A Game of Thrones
Having never watched the television series and hearing how many people raved about it, I was feeling that I had missed out and it was time to read the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire. I had read an excerpt years ago and hadn't been tempted to go further then. But this time I persevered and was rewarded with a MASSIVE read. It totally enveloped me, and took me three weeks to finish. The scale is huge, with several extended families and their retainers all fighting for supremacy in this mock-Medieval world. Loyalty, betrayal, sibling rivalry, war, sorcery: it's the stuff of myths and legends brought to life. Written in the raw with no holding back, blood and gore as well as riches and jewels. The drama is all-encompassing, the reader left on the edge of their seat at many times. The pervading quote is all too true: "When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground." I will probably go on to read the next in the series at some point, but in the meantime I think I need a rest!