Listed in order of readability

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

If I could give this book 100/10 I would.
The Far Pavilions is the story of a little orphan boy in India at the time of the Raj. Ashok, who actually turns out to be the son of British diplomat and whose Indian wetnurse passes off as her own son to save him from the uprising of the sepoys.
While with Gita they lived as servants in a palace where the eldest daughter, Anjuli-Bai is out of favour since her mother died and her father remarried, and the only friend she has in the world is Ashok, but when Ashok saves the crown prince from an assassin he too falls out of favour and the palace guard plot to kill him so with the aid of the mater of horse, Kodad, Ashok and Gita escape.
When his adoptive mother Gita dies, he goes to the British base and is immediately sent to Britain to learn how to be a proper boy!
When he returns to India it is as a Sahib. Due to his reckless behaviour he is sent on a mission to escort two princesses across India to marry an old prince. The senior bride, Shushila is also the younger of the two sisters who has refused to marry the old man unless her half-sister does too and she is not alone. But, the elder sister is a half-breed. A Russian/Indian who fell out of favour as a child in the house of her father.
Ashok and Anjuli are reunited once again and fall in love, but she is destined to become suti when her husband dies.
Can Ashok save Anjuli?

A Wedding at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson


I read the first installment of The Comfort Food Cafe series many moons ago and as I had a copy of Laura’s wedding fall in my lap then I felt it only right that I read the last one.

Auburn has a hot man! Finn sounds like a Norse sex god. But then her husband arrives to put a spanner in her works. Seb is a Spanish sex god, as so declared by the whole of Budbury. But will they rekindle their lost love or will she continue with her divorce proceedings and marry Finn?
Well, you need to read to find out and Debbie will keep you guessing until the end and no cheating!

Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas


It has to be said I love a clean romance and Wildflower Bay is definitely a chaste offering.
The setting is amazing, one of the beautiful Scottish Isles, and the author describes it like it is second nature.
I have to say, at first I did not empathise with Isla at all. She came across as stuck up and arrogant and I found her hard to relate to and wholly unlikable. When she lost her job in Edinburgh, I nearly cheered for Kat. It was like watching the school bully get their comeuppance.
It took me a while to warm to her when she arrived on the island and seemed to become a totally different person.
The story: Isla is a head stylist at a top Edinburgh salon. A mistake gets her sacked. Conveniently, her aunt has a salon on a small Scottish Isle and needs Isla to take over while she tends to her family.
Cue Finn. A thirty-five year old islander who needs a reality check.
If you like a clean romance in a beautiful setting this is definitely the book for you. 

Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

The story is about a doctor (Zhivago) who is a liar and a cheat. A womanising no good who loves them, knocks them up, and then leaves them. Even the so-called love of his life Lara, who I might add was not his wife.
During the course of the book, Zhivago does this to three women: Tonya (his wife), Lara, a nurse he worked with and Marina, the live-in lover who he also ditched to go and live a single life. So, no, Dr Zhivago is not the greatest love story of all time as it is billed.
The next irritating thing is the characters have several names each. For instance Lara is also Larissa Fyodorovna, Lurochka, and Antipova. Her husband is Pasha Antipov AKA Strelnikov and yes, I understand why he had to change his name, but the author keeps flitting between the three. Pasha, Antipov and Strelnikov. The English translation did not take into account that in English-speaking countries women's surnames do not differ from the male so Lara Antipova is Mrs Antipov. The author refers to her several times as simply 'Antipova' and so, as a non-Russian speaker, you have to figure out who he is on about. 

On a positive note, the book gives a comprehensive insight into Russia through several of the history changing eras. The Russo-Japan war, The Russian Revolution and WWI. It's worth a read for an insider insight into Russian history from the viewpoint of someone who lived it.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert


This book is awful. It's also badly written and as it's supposed to be a classic, someone needs to do something about that. Flaubert head-hops mid-sentence in many places and makes the reader dizzy.

Madame Bovary is a harlot. Her long-suffering, loving husband deserves better than this as a wife. He treats her like she is a princess and in return, she shags any male that shows her the slightest attention. She is vain. She is selfish. The reader should feel empathy or connection with a character, but I simply can't with Emma Bovary. It has taken me more than five months to complete this book because on many nights I could not stand to read more than a page or two because she irritated me so much.