Under the Reader’s Radar – Celebrating the quiet novel

There are thousands upon thousands of books published each year. Only a small percentage of those make it to the best-seller list. That doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t worthy of reading. It may be that they are written by self-published authors who don’t have the marketing knowledge or a small independent publisher who doesn’t have the marketing budget to spread the word. Even the larger publishing houses have a limited marketing and publicity budget so can’t promote all the novels they publish to an equal degree.

I’m part of a wonderful online community called Book Connectors where bloggers, reviewers and authors can discuss all things book related. During one of the threads there was mention of ‘quiet’ books, the ones that miss out on the big publicity push. It was agreed that it was such a shame that certain books weren’t as widely read, as the reading public were missing out on hidden gems. So that sparked a germ of an idea and I decided to do a series of posts to highlight titles that myself and other bloggers and authors feel may have gone under the reader’s radar. (That’s was the working title for this series of posts and as inspiration hasn’t struck me with anything better, its the one I’m going with for now).

So in each post I’ll aim to highlight a couple of titles that may have been missed from your reading awareness. Hopefully you’ll discover a treat or two. And please do let me know if you have any books you’d like to suggest.

Today’s two novels are suggestions from fellow bloggers.

The first book to be championed is Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien which is self-published.


‘Set in Dublin an Irish romance to pull at your heart strings’

Advanced praise for Ideal Girl
A nice modern romance which does not rely on the ‘sexfactor’.
Writing that’s fresh and sparkling

Ideal Girl
A recent poll by dating APP Lovoo has revealed The Ideal Girlfriend – She’s a 5ft 5″ dark haired Irish nurse!’ Daily Mail, February 2014.

Irish Nurse Liddy Murphy is meant to be this Ideal Girl, but up until now all the men she’s met have been frog types. Will Doctor Mitch Merrien change her view or turn into another damp amphibian? It takes two countries and two men for her to find true love and heal her broken heart.
Ideal girl is the first in a series of romantic novels, which find old fashioned girls thrown into modern day settings. The sequel ‘Girl Descending’ is also available.

All set in the fictitious Dublin hospital of St Justin’s staff not only have to cope with their stressful jobs, they also have to cope with the mire that is ‘pre- relationship hell!’” (image and synopsis from Amazon)

Ideal Girl was suggested by Adele at KraftiReader. Here’s what she had to say:

“I absolutely adored this story.  It was fun, flirty, romantic, tragic, emotionally heartbreaking at times but also very heartwarming….A brilliant book I would thoroughly recommend 5/5*.”

You can read Adele’s full review here.

If that isn’t enough to sway you, Ideal Girl has only 5 star reviews on Amazon. It is published in ebook format and is currently 99p.


The next book to be suggested is A Model Partner by Daniel Seery, published by Liberties Press.


“Tom Stacey has moved into his neighbour’s bedsit. He wasn’t asked. It was just that the door was open and his neighbours have gone on holiday. And it is so much bigger than his own bedsit. Plus, he has a lot to think about these days. The bees for one. He hasn’t seen any but he keeps hearing them, buzzing in the fridge at work, in the overhead lights, in the test equipment in the factory where he has spent the last fifteen years of his working life. They seem to be getting louder and more insistent, and they are beginning to affect the way he goes about his business. 

Then there is his search for Sarah McCarthy to worry about. Sarah was his first love when, as a teenager, he travelled around the country in the back of a horsebox with his grieving grandfather. But perhaps it is not the bees or the past which is the problem. Perhaps it is his ongoing loneliness. Twenty-two dates with Happy Couples dating agency and nothing to show – bar a dent in his bank balance and several complaints about ‘eccentric behavior’. Relationships are all about the details and there are just not enough boxes to tick in the Agency’s personal profile form.

Armed with a wax model and a list of criteria, Tom sets out on a quest to create a personal profile to find his ideal match. On his journey, he meets people just like him, warm but unable to show it, lonely and unable to remedy it, the lost, the misplaced and the damaged.”

A Model Partner was picked by Margaret Madden who blogs at Bleach House Library. Here’s what she had to say.

“Tom is a wonderful protagonist.  The reader can see how he operates from the get-go and the instinct to cheer him on is overpowering…I thought the book contained some of the best characters written in modern fiction, for a long time.”

You can read Margaret’s full review here. A Model Partner also has 8 5 star reviews out of 9 total reviews.


So there we have it, two more treats that had gone under my reader’s radar. I hope you liked the choices for today. Do let me know if you have read either of them. And don’t forget to let me know if you have a book you’d like to champion.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. kraftireader says:

    Thanks for including Jenny’s book and my review 😀


    1. janetemson says:

      Very welcome, thanks for the great suggestion 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m loving this series. I haven’t heard of either of these books and both sound like books that I would enjoy. Off to buy… thanks. X


    1. janetemson says:

      I’m so glad you are enjoying it, I am too 🙂 Let me know how you get on with the books!


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