She shifted in her seat, and her lower back rewarded her with a jolt of pain so violent and personal it brought tears to her eyes. The back pain had begun two weeks ago, on the day she finally accepted that Paul Drabble had disappeared. It was strange to look in the mirror each night and see the reflection of her lower back looking as soft, white and gently plump as it always had.
She expected to see something dreadful, like a gnarled mass of tree roots. She checked the time on the dashboard: 2. The turn-off should be coming up any minute.
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Her friend Ellen had suggested it. Also, she lost three kilos! It was about wellness, but, you know, what woman complains about losing three kilos? Not Frances either. Frances had gone home and looked up the website. She always wanted more. Yet the photos of Tranquillum House had filled her with a strange, unexpected yearning. They were golden-hued, all taken at sunset or sunrise, or else filtered to make it look that way.
Pleasantly middle-aged people did warrior poses in a garden of white roses next to a beautiful country house. Their eyes were closed, heads tipped back, and they were smiling ecstatically as water bubbled around them. Frances had imagined those hot stones placed with delightful symmetry down her own spine, their magical heat melting away her pain. As she dreamed of hot springs and gentle yoga, a message flashed urgently on her screen: Only one place remaining for the exclusive Ten-Day Mind and Body Total Transformation Retreat!
Still, she keyed in her credit card details pretty damned fast, just in case. She cheerfully lied her way through it. It was really none of their business. She even had to upload a photo taken in the last two weeks. She sent one of herself from her lunch with Ellen at the Four Seasons, holding up a Bellini. Something flickered in her peripheral vision and she flinched, ready for the massive thud of a kangaroo smashing her windscreen. It was nothing. These imaginary wildlife collisions were all in her head.
If it happened, it happened. She remembered a long-ago road trip with a boyfriend. Frances had stayed in the passenger seat, a passive princess, while her boyfriend got out and killed the poor emu with a rock. One sharp blow to the head. Frances never quite forgave him for the sweaty exhilaration. Wait, was he? Yes, definitely dead. Complications from pneumonia, supposedly. Gary always did suffer terribly from colds. Frances had never been especially sympathetic.
At that very moment her nose dripped like a tap. Perfect timing. She held the steering wheel with one hand and wiped her nose with the back of her other hand. It was probably Gary vindictively making her nose drip from the afterlife. Fair enough too. Not all the time. Just sometimes. She sniffed again. Three weeks ago. Her nineteenth novel. She was still waiting to hear what her publisher thought.
Another masterpiece! She understood she was no longer in her heyday, but she was still a solid, mid-level performer. An effusive email would be nice. That would have been polite. A fear she refused to acknowledge tried to worm its way up from her subconscious. Absolutely not. She clutched the steering wheel and tried to calm her breathing. It reminded her of the feeling of walking down the aisle on both her wedding days. She was probably addicted to the cold and flu tablets.
She was easily addicted.
In fact, she felt like a glass of wine right now and the sun was still high in the sky. She was on that slippery slope, hurtling towards drug and alcohol addiction!
Exciting to know she could still change in significant ways. Back home there was a half-empty bottle of pinot noir sitting brazenly on her writing desk for anyone only the cleaning lady to see. She was Ernest frigging Hemingway. They had so much in common. Except that Frances had a weakness for adjectives and adverbs. Apparently she scattered them about her novels like throw cushions. What was that Mark Twain quote Sol used to murmur to himself, just loud enough for her to hear, while reading her manuscripts? When you catch an adjective, kill it. She had an image of Sol, in bed, on top of her, swearing comically as he pulled out yet another cushion from behind her head, chucking it across the room while she giggled.
She shook her head as if to shake off the memory. Fond sexual memories felt like a point for her first husband. Right now, she wished plagues of locusts to rain down upon their silvery heads. She sucked on the tiny, vicious paper cut on the tip of her right thumb. Every now and then it throbbed to remind her that it might be the smallest of her ailments but it could still ruin her day.
Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne by Cody Young
Her car veered to the bumpy side of the road and she removed her thumb from her mouth and clung to the steering wheel. Henry used to say she looked like she was driving a dodgem car. He said it was cute. But after five years or so he stopped finding it cute and swore every time he got in the car and had to slide the seat back. The countryside flew by. At last a sign: Welcome to the town of Jarribong. Her head swivelled from side to side as she studied the town.
A Chinese restaurant with a faded red and gold dragon on the door. A service station that looked closed. A red-brick post office. A drive through bottle shop that looked open. A police station that seemed entirely unnecessary. Not a person in sight. This was an enchanting, suspenseful, romantic tale that had me turning the pages to race to its conclusion. I liked the combination of historical information and fiction. I became completely immersed in the time period. Madison is traveling with her senior class to London. She meets Johnny DeVere at the Heathrow airport.
Johnny calls her Madeline and appears to know her. She finds a torn note that falls from his pocket. This encounter will test all that Madison knows and prove her braver then even she imagined. The story centers on the Tower of London, past tragedies and the keepers of the River of Time.
Madison and Johnny travel back in time, to right wrongs and protect the river of time. The romance between Johnny and Madison is sweet, romantic and youthful. Madison is independent and takes charge, sometimes at her own peril. Johnny is dark, world-wise and obviously taken with Madison. I have to mention the cover. I would have liked to have seen Madison running from the Tower in the lovely period dress she wore or the image of Johnny as seen on author's website in black and white.
The old adage "never judge a book by its cover" applies here. I would have walked right by this novel. I am so guilty of being drawn to a book by its cover and then reading the synopsis. Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne was a charming novel. The plot was captivating and an effortless read. Young skillfully took us from past to present, while slowly giving us clues to the past relationship between Madison and Johnny. Some of the characters were humorous, especially the school chaperone. I recommend this to fans of historical fiction and YA paranormal romance.
Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne is available in eBook and paperback forms. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Oct 28, Mlpmom Book Reviewer rated it really liked it Shelves: arc-book-read , kindle-books. This is the first book by Cody Young that I have ever read and I can say for a fact, it won't be the last.
I was completely caught up in this story from the very first chapter. Two of my most favorite loves for those of you that don't know is historical fiction and paranormal So this book was right up my alley and I was pretty sure I would like it. I didn't anticipate how much I would enjoy it however. It was very well wr This is the first book by Cody Young that I have ever read and I can say for a fact, it won't be the last.
It was very well written and had enough romance and action to keep me reading, in fact, I think I finished this book in about a day or so. This really isn't your typical vampire romance, in fact I don't think for the most part, there is even any real drinking of blood involved or biting of necks okay, maybe a little bit, but surprisingly, not on the heroine. There is the instant attraction thing going on but it isn't cheesy and it isn't over played, in fact Madison stays very independent throughout this story and I love that about her.
She doesn't let her feelings for Johnny get in the way of what she needs to do to set history right. To right some very bad wrongs. I love that while she wasn't always the smartest, she was brave and did do what was right while still being true to her heart. I mean, if you could change history for the better, would you? Would you risk your life for another?
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Would you right the wrongs of the past if you could? What if it was at the risk of losing someone that you love? Not such easy questions to answer are they? Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone that just wants a good paranormal read that is different from some of the others out there right now. I would rate this book a solid 4 Stars out of 5. Aug 03, Avry15 rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed , supernatural , historical , paranormal-romance , romance , young-adult , vampires.
And the book really lived up to that expectation. So you get the picture, the heroine time-traveled back to medieval London and see the mysteries uncovered. The book was well-researched with historical details of the princes, the tower, beheadings, and the early London.
The writing style is easy to follow and really sounds like Maddie the year-old heroine. It seems she was there to faint and complain… anyway, I really loved all of the characters in the time-travel part medieval time , both primary, antagonists, and even those ordinary people they met seemed to be unique and real to me. The ending meanwhile really left me hanging.. I would love to know what would happen to Maddie and Johnny.
Romance, medieval London, mystery, vampires complete Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne into another YA book females and males alike would read. Highly Recommended!!! Jan 18, Siew Ee rated it really liked it. As my daughter had been asking me to recommend her good YA books, I decided to purchase this book from Smashwords because of the unusual and interesting title.
Those who have read the synopsis would have known what to expect in this story. To some extent, it is, but making time travel the central theme of the story adds something new to this overused-but-still-popular subgenre. The slow buildup in the beginning of the book is something that adds to the whole story, where readers see the attraction between Madison and Johnny fed by chance meetings at first, then arranged rendevous.
Once Madison slips through the doorway into the past, the story picks up pace and gets more exciting. My only beef with this book is the ending, which to me, was a bit of an anticlimax. That said, I still enjoyed it very much. Exact rating : 3. Feb 04, Lindsay rated it really liked it Shelves: indie-love , giveaways. So I slam my ereader shut, and rush over to the computer, only to discover that there is no sequel. I am desperate to learn more! I NEED there to be more! I enjoyed this so much more than I had anticipated.
It was fun, sexy, exciting, and I may have actually teared up a little at the end. Now, I know that vampire books are a little cliche at this point, but I swear that the plot doesn't rely heavily on that. I was actually quite impressed with the fact that the vampires remained more as a si So I slam my ereader shut, and rush over to the computer, only to discover that there is no sequel. I was actually quite impressed with the fact that the vampires remained more as a side plot. I was drawn more towards the characters, the romance, and, of course, the time travel.
It made for a great mash of genres! I had two little irks. First, it bothered me that Madison made the world's largest leap to the conclusion that Johnny was a vampire. He barely mentions that he's inhuman, and the very next page, she's like, "oh, he's a vampire" and she's A-OK with it. No shock. No wondering what he eats, and the moral dilemma it creates.
Second, Madison's very best friend, who she described as being like a sister, seemed distant, and not very observant of her friend's moods or behaviour. It fell a little short of believable. Can I go back to raving about the story now? Jan 06, Kell rated it liked it Recommends it for: fans of historical and paranormal romance. Shelves: read-in Kindle e-book This has the singular distinction of being the only cross-genre novel I've come across which features vampires and time travel.
Under normal circumstances, a vampire novel wouldn't warrant a time travel element because vampires live, like, forever, but in this instance having that time slip makes it that little bit different and it really works. Once again, we have Cody Young's light touch and expert story telling, this time weaving the threads of historical and modern romance togeth Kindle e-book This has the singular distinction of being the only cross-genre novel I've come across which features vampires and time travel.
Once again, we have Cody Young's light touch and expert story telling, this time weaving the threads of historical and modern romance together, whilst tackling a year old mystery that still confounds historians to this day, giving a plausible answer to one of the questions left unanswered since the War of the Roses. This has a universal appeal - really, anyone who likes anything to do with vampires, historical fiction and a little romance would do well to try this.
I wanna find him, his dreamy dark eyes. There's no time for another goodbye. Johnny doesn't drink champagne. Maddie arrived on a plane. And baby, he loves you. I don't want Johnny to be alone. There is much, so much to atone. And he's waited a very long time. This way everything will be fine.
And baby, she loves you. View all 3 comments. Nov 11, Pyxipyro rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads. Really interesting story. I love how Maddie's character is as well as how she reacts to Johnny. The detail of everything from past to present are very interesting. You can't help but feel for the journey they take as well as the ending. I never like to give parts of the story away, but this is one I will read again soon to make sure I didn't miss anything. Really loved it!
Feb 26, Terry marked it as to-read Shelves: free-on-kindle. Apr 08, Judy rated it it was amazing. That's okay She forgets her jacket on the plane and ends up losing her group. While waiting for her luggage she meets a handsome young man who mistakes her for someone else named Madeline. After Mrs. Bertorelli finds her and they get her luggage An old note written in her own handwriting. As her class tours London, Maddie is caught into a deeper mystery.
He takes her different places and seems to think she should feel as if she had been there before. She starts finding Johnny a bit scary, although still hunky. Suddenly Maddie finds herself time traveling to London. A time where two young boys are going to be murdered because they are a threat to the new king. She also learns that vampires do exist and she seems to be falling for one. This is a hard-to-put-down type book. Full of adventure, romance and rich history.
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Johnny and the other Patrons may be vampires but it is not focused on that alone. I recently did see it and read the history of some of the be-headings. I personally enjoyed this book and look forward to the next books in this series. View 2 comments. Jul 05, Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing. I've got to say that I started reading this just for a bit of a break from studying, thinking that it would be a bit of a Twilight rip off really but that it would do for a bit of light relief.
I'm so glad I read it, I really am. Yes, there's a bit of Twilight in there - it's a paranormal romance featuring vampires, so what else can you expect but the inevitable comparison? But, in my view, this book does really well in the comparison stakes. Whereas Twilight is all angsty teenage moaning, this I've got to say that I started reading this just for a bit of a break from studying, thinking that it would be a bit of a Twilight rip off really but that it would do for a bit of light relief.
Whereas Twilight is all angsty teenage moaning, this book has a lot of humour in it, with the author even giving a bit of a nod to the Twilight Saga when the feisty heroine asks herself if Johnny sits in his immaculate flat watching "melancholy paranormal romances". I thought the heroine was brilliant; strong and determined, with just enough teenage silliness to be credible.
I loved the character of Johnny and thought that the author was so clever in illustrating the two Johnnies so clearly - the cold vampiric killer who has evolved over centuries and his earlier, innocent, counterpart. I always worry about time-travel romances as it's so easy to get confused with them and them become incredibly confusing in turn for the reader , but this one had a pleasing circularity which made it really enjoyable to read.
Unlike other reviewers, I'm not bothered about the tampering with history element of this - in fact it quite cheered me up to think of a happy ending for those little princes in the tower even if it is only fiction. There's some nice romance in the book and I felt the tension built well - I'm looking forward to reading the second part of this and can't recommend this enough. May 19, Chrissy rated it liked it. I'll start with the positives: I quite like the concept of this. I guess I'm a fan of all things time travel, and it was a really interesting twist on the high school vampire romance.
I also found Johnny a much more likeable character than most vampire heroes: he actually seems like a nice guy, and it's refreshing having a supernatural hero who isn't perfect and actually makes mistakes. Having said this, most of the other characters just annoyed me. I don't think I would put up with Lydia as a bes I'll start with the positives: I quite like the concept of this. I don't think I would put up with Lydia as a best friend since all she seems to do is complain, and Mrs Bertorelli should NOT be allowed to teach.
On the whole I found most of the characters unrealistic caricatured stereotypes. While the storyline was exciting and had a good pace, it was far too predictable. I think I had most of the plot twists figured out by the time I was half way in, if not before. Yes, it makes sense to be written as a seventeen year old girl would write, but personally I would have preferred it to be written in the past tense, in a more mature style, and without all the sudden interjections of things that just pop into Maddie's head.
The ending was good, but I did find it too abrupt, and seemed to leave us still in the middle of the action. It might have been nice just to have one final short chapter or an epilogue to restore order. In all, while there were several things I didn't like about this book, probably more than those I did like, I enjoyed it as a quick, trashy read.
Apr 26, Freya rated it it was ok Shelves: own , vampires , first-reads. First-reads - Giveaway Well, first off I never know how to rate these books. In the post-Twilight world where the shelves are groaning with young adult soppy vampire pap I was admittedly cynical that this was going to be another poorly-written story. My problem is that although they are terrible, I tend to secretly quite like reading them as a quick-read.
Starting off with this book, yes, I cringed somewhat at the modern-day high-school girl character I tend to read sci-fi and fantasy which sta First-reads - Giveaway Well, first off I never know how to rate these books. Starting off with this book, yes, I cringed somewhat at the modern-day high-school girl character I tend to read sci-fi and fantasy which stays firmly away from the modern day , the necessity for every vampire book to have a snazzy car Lamborghini , and being English myself, the rather 'quaint' portrayal of some of England's inhabitants from an American's point of view, hmm.
But having said that, it is a romance, and there was that. But what made me enjoy this book more was a presence of time-travel, and the adventure that happens regarding it, and for me that made it more exciting than the run-of-the-mill vampire tale. The ending I found a little abrupt, however with reflection it was good, better even than what might be expected from a book of this genre. Nov 06, Sharon Martin rated it it was amazing.