What I’m Reading: Hester Browne

As any voracious reader knows, there are so many books out there, it can be hard to choose just what to read next. So what could be better than a hand-picked recommendation from someone in the know? Every Wednesday the XOXOAD team likes to find out what some of its favorite authors are reading; today we’re thrilled to welcome author Hester Browne, whose new book, Honeymoon Hotel, is on sale September 16! 

I spend a lot of time on trains, going back and forth from Herefordshire, where I live, and London. Although it’s a three-hour journey I always look forward to it, partly because the route actually goes past the house featured in Agatha Christie’s 4.50 from Paddington (haven’t spotted any dead bodies or elderly detective ladies though I always look), and partly because train journeys are my reading time – it’s my non-negotiable treat.

If you’ve been on an English train, you’ll know we have a Quiet Carriage for people who need to work, and the ultimate sin is to make any noise at all in it. I got some truly dirty looks for laughing aloud at Sophie Kinsella’s latest Shopaholic to the Stars: it’s very, very funny. Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood, and who needs her shopping skills more than time-pressed celebrities? Plus, Suze is back. What more do you need to know? Utterly hilarious.

A very different novel that had me spellbound between Worcester and Paddington was The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters, a beautifully observed romantic-historical-thriller-drama set in the unsettled new world of 1922’s London: when genteel-but-poor Frances Wray takes in a brash young couple of lodgers in her South London villa, life changes in unthinkable ways for everyone. Sarah Waters has the ability to channel effortlessly the period she’s writing about, from the tiny details in the clothes and habits of the characters to the way they speak – she immerses you in her research so that you breathe in history, without ever feeling aware of it until you turn the final page and realize you want to stay in the book. Ideal for losing yourself on a long journey.

Being a romantic, I’m still secretly hoping to have my own Brief Encounter style meeting with the love of my life on the 10.22 from Hereford. That hasn’t, as yet, happened (although the route does go through Oxford, so you know, fingers crossed) but I probably wouldn’t have noticed him anyway when I was deep in The Country Escape by Fiona Walker, a witty, sexy, countryside romp featuring the sort of strong-thighed, flashing-eyed modern Mr. Darcys I wish I bumped into while walking the dogs. Horses, playboys, jodphurs, flings, true love. Luckily you can’t get frowned at for blushing in the Quiet Carriage. Yet. I also loved One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – more QC disturbance but this time tears streaming down my face.

 

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Honeymoon Hotel

Honeymoon Hotel

Hester Browne

From the author whose books are described as “deliciously addictive” (Cosmopolitan), Honeymoon Hotel will reaffirm your belief in happily ever after.

HEAT METER
Little Lady, Big Apple

Little Lady, Big Apple

Hester Browne

Irresistibly funny and full of the magic of New York!

HEAT METER
4:50 from Paddington

4:50 from Paddington

Agatha Christie

Nobody does it better than ol' Aggie!

HEAT METER
Shopaholic to the Stars

Shopaholic to the Stars

Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella returns to her beloved Shopaholic series with Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) newly arrived in Hollywood and starry-eyed.

HEAT METER
The Paying Guests

The Paying Guests

Sarah Waters

From the bestselling author of The Little Stranger and Fingersmith.

HEAT METER
The Country Escape

The Country Escape

Fiona Walker

Eardisford is the ultimate English country retreat and romantic daredevil Kat Mason has been bequeathed the estate's lakeside sanctuary. In rides charming playboy Dougie Everett, the man hired to sweep Kat off her feet and off the property. Dougie loves nothing more than the thrill of the chase, but does he risk losing his heart along the way?

HEAT METER
One Plus One

One Plus One

Jojo Moyes

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.

HEAT METER

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