From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die. But she’s never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was sixteen.
Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years, she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t… or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?
Spellbinding, magical and utterly original, With This Kiss is one love story you will never forget.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Lorelai is a theatrical character. Despite her ordinary job, she is creative and quirky, but her ability to see someone’s death when she kisses them dominates her life and makes her shy away from love. A new adult romance with a supernatural twist best describes this story. It’s an emotional journey of self-realisation for Lorelai as she comes to terms with her unusual ability. Told in the present day and from Lorelai’s past experiences, the reader gains an insight into the character and her motivations. I like the use of sensory imagery and the distinctive characterisation.
Emotional and original, this story is engaging and evocative to read.
For years Yvonne has tried to keep her demons buried and focus on moving forward. But her guilt is always with her and weighs heavily on her heart.
Kiama has had to grow up without a mother, and while there is so much he remembers about her, there is still plenty he doesn’t know. And there’s only one person who can fill in the gaps.
Lewis wants nothing more than to keep Kiama, his son, safe, but the thought of Kiama dredging up the past worries Lewis deeply. And Lewis doesn’t know if he’s ready to let the only woman he’s ever loved back into his life.
When Kiama seeks Yvonne out and asks her to come with him to Kenya, the place that holds the answers to his questions, she knows she can’t refuse. And this one act sets in motion an unravelling of the past that no one is ready for.
Moving between London and Kenya, and spanning almost two decades, Homecoming is a profound story of love, family and friendship. It’s about coming to terms with your past, and about what happens when we finally share our truths.
I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is a poignant story about culture, family, friendships and love. Yvonne and Emma became friends at university, their cultures and family lives differed, but their friendship was strong until Lewis. There is a love triangle at the centre of this story, but only two people are aware they are in it. Yvonne’s life, marred by her guilt over Emma and her loss of the two people she loved most in life, agrees to a journey to Kenya with Kiama Emma’s son.
The story moves between the early days of their friendship to the present day. A tragic event alters everyone’s lives. Believable characters, relatable relationships and well-described setting make this an absorbing read. Parenting, culture, race and social class underpin the narrative in a way that resonates. There are many poignant moments in this story, but ultimately it is positive and uplifting.
Brooke Anderson never pictured herself as a divorcee at twenty-eight. But when she mentions getting a post-nup to her husband Garrett after one deliciously sex-filled year, he promptly serves her with divorce papers. Admittedly, she could’ve told him about how her father left her and her mother homeless when she was young, and how she’s never been wired to trust anyone. Especially those closest to her. Now, all she wants to do is avoid anywhere he might be so she won’t have to face him again.
But she’s not the only one who can’t seem to trust.
Garrett Call grew up with parents who married for money and wants no part of a life that puts material possessions above love. He reinvented himself in college, complete with a new last name so he couldn’t be tied to his family’s lucrative business. He never even told Brooke the truth. Admittedly, he could’ve handled the issue of a post-nup better with his ex-wife. Maybe he didn’t count on how much he was going to miss having her in his life.
When their best friends’ wedding forces the exes to see each other again, a dangerous man from Garrett’s world threatens Brooke’s life. And they realize the only way to save themselves is to finally learn to trust each other.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This story will appeal to readers who enjoy sensual new adult romance with elements of romantic suspense. The main theme is trust and how important it is to relationships. As the series title suggests, it is set in Manhattan and is a distinctly North-American romance. I enjoyed the characters and the pacing. The suspenseful element builds as the story progresses, but it’s the sensual romance that defines it.
This is a quick read with relatable characters, romance and a hint of danger.
Candace Hutton was born and raised on books. She spent a great deal of her teenage years in libraries and bookstores and still tries to sneak off to them as often as possible. Some of her other favorite things are coffee, puppies, and the smell of rain. You can connect with her on Twitter @authorcandace
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Jilted by the only woman he’s ever loved, Jeremy Lewis is a man on a mission to be a renowned player – both on and off the ice. Who needs monogamy anyway? But when he falls during a game, Jeremy finds himself laid-up with a potentially career-ending injury and his support network, suddenly gone. His best friend, AJ, is busy in a new relationship, his teammates are pursuing their own dreams of hockey stardom, and Jeremy is left frustrated, broken and alone. Will their friendship survive AJ’s new relationship? Are Jeremy’s feelings for Chelsea truly a thing of the past? And can he persevere through his recovery to get back on the ice?
Lasairiona McMaster writes sassy, classy and badassy women and strong, yet vulnerable men. She challenges reader’s expectations by openly dealing with mental health issues, often exploring tough-to-handle topics and ‘taboos’ and books with a whole lotta heart. She can either be found enjoying a gin and lemonade by the Irish sea, or baking sweet treats in her kitchen while singing at the top of her lungs. When she’s ‘home’ in Texas, and isn’t eating fresh-popped popcorn while buying things she has absolutely no need for in Target, she can be found at Chuys eating her body weight in chips and queso and washing it down with a margarita swirl.She loves to make friends out of strangers.
Adam’s deepest wounds are abandonment and betrayal. He’s spent years searching for that special someone who can fill his desolate world with love and trust. He thought he’d found her once, but instead got dragged into a dangerous criminal underworld that tore his wounds wide open and left him broken.
But as he falls in love, Adam fights back hard and fast against the darkness that surrounds him. Fidelity, bravery, and integrity become his values, and he’s sticking to them. That is until he meets Ella, the tender-hearted soul mate he’s yearned for. Now suddenly there’s more at risk than just himself.
Adam’s an all or nothing kind of guy. How far will he go to keep Ella safe? And will Ella have enough faith in him to love him anyway?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the second book in the Falling for You romantic suspense series, and this features Adam’s point of view. After an adrenaline-pumping beginning, you soon realise that Adam is not what he seems. The story moves between the present day and Adam’s recent past. His past shows why he is emotionally guarded and illudes to the secrets he hides.
Adam’s past threatens his future and any chance of romance with Ella. Seeing things from his point of view gives the story an immediate, intense quality which ramps up the air of menace and suspense. I enjoyed seeing the story from his viewpoint. His streetwise maturity is an interesting contrast to Ella’s naivety and vulnerability. He is a strongly protective character, and this conflicts with his attraction to Ella and causes problems between them.
The intrigue and suspense are well written. The slow-burn romance makes you empathise and want them to find the happiness they deserve with each other.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Julia Firlotte loves writing gripping stories about strong alphas with big hearts and the heroines who fall for them. Angst and passion, trust and intrigue are fundamental to all of the love stories Julia writes, so regardless of how her characters misbehave, you’ll definitely want to keep reading about them.
Julia has been reading romance novels since she was a teenager and started writing her own in 2018. She has lots of stories in her head, but never enough time to write them all. Julia believes strongly in making her character’s worlds as real as possible and there are many character insights on her website if you’d like to learn more about them.
Julia lives in Southern England with her husband, son and daughter and their five cats and would love to meet you on social media.
Jeremy Lewis has just returned from a year in Europe, ready to start college in Alabama and pursue his dream career in the National Hockey League. Other than boring school work, he’s eager to play hockey, hang out with his new teammates and maybe even rekindle an old flame when Chelsea unexpectedly reappears in his life. Life is looking pretty darn peachy. But when his parents are brutally murdered in a mass shooting, merely surviving each day feels like an achievement. How can he get through college and keep his budding career on track when all he wants to do is drink and squander his parent’s fortune? Can he convince Chelsea he’s a changed man when he seems so intent on his own destruction?
Lasairiona McMaster writes sassy, classy and badassy women and strong, yet vulnerable men. She challenges reader’s expectations by openly dealing with mental health issues, often exploring tough-to-handle topics and ‘taboos’ and books with a whole lotta heart. She can either be found enjoying a gin and lemonade by the Irish sea, or baking sweet treats in her kitchen while singing at the top of her lungs. When she’s ‘home’ in Texas, and isn’t eating fresh-popped popcorn while buying things she has absolutely no need for in Target, she can be found at Chuys eating her body weight in chips and queso and washing it down with a margarita swirl.
Some loves last for just a short time, but ours lasted a lifetime.
From the moment that Emma met Ryan, she knew he was the one for her, but he leaves her heartbroken when he betrays her and disappears from her life, only to return and shatter her heart for a second time.
We were never meant to be, we just happened against the odds.
It feels like fate when life throws them back together as adults, but Emma has moved on now and she can’t throw everything away for the man who left her heartbroken twice.
Emma is living a charmed life with a beautiful family and her art career beginning to take off, but she can’t help feeling like her heart is pulling her back to her first love.
I keep on coming back to you.
One chance encounter with Ryan, so unexpected that it feels like it was written in the stars, throws them back together and she can’t deny the connection between them is stronger than ever. Emma learns that Ryan has been keeping a secret from her, and she has to decide whether to turn away from him forever or keep fighting for their love against all odds.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
First love and second chances told in a believable, engaging way. Emma meets Ryan when she is young and impressionable. A jealous friend and a family drama split the couple apart. Ryan is always there, in her peripheral memory, her soulmate but is he?
The story is full of ordinary life events with a cast of memorable characters. Strong friendships and serendipity characterise this heartwarming story. The final twists are heartbreaking and a surprise. The ending is realistic and makes the best of cruel circumstances.
Lily Hayden writes chick lit with a kick.
Modern day women want modern day heroines and Lily’s characters want sizzling romance, rewarding careers and equal partnerships, but like all of us, they face many challenges and it isn’t always easy.
A mother to four children, Lily graduated with a degree in Business in her hometown in South Wales and enjoyed a successful career in Financial Services before fulfilling a lifelong ambition to write books.
Her debut novel Butterflies, a heartwarming alternative to the traditional boy-meets-girl story, was released in 2018, reaching readers all over the world and she is the author of five books, including a Young Adult Dystopian novel Project Terra under the alias SJ Woods (because who doesn’t love a bit of action and defeating bad guys every now and again).
Follow Lily on social media for the latest releases, promotions and occasional photos of her dogs.
Aberystwyth University, 1986 – and another year of torrential rain. Bad hair days and a rugby-fanatic fiancé are part of her drab existence so who can blame Karen for falling into the arms of a handsome Parisian?
Hastening across The Channel with stars in her eyes, she speeds to the city of light only to discover that her lover is nowhere to be found. Nor what he seemed.
Life takes a turn for the better when her old school-friend Jessica makes a dramatic entrance, encouraging Karen on a downward spiral of adventure – including a brush with the Parisian underworld which places both girls in peril.
Karen’s childhood is a constant anguish reminding her that when things go wrong, not everyone has a home to return to, as the dark shadows of the past merge with her troubled French life.
Where to go, when there’s no going home?
Based on a true story, A Stranger in Paris is the first of a three-part series. This honest memoir recounts with humour and poignancy the search for love and family.
Karen graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Degree in English Literature. She then moved to Paris, where she worked for 16 years as an English language teacher for business professionals before settling in rural South West France. With few employment opportunities other than stuffing geese or picking melons, she qualified as a licensed real estate agent.
Karen then attended Lancaster University where she graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing in 2015, after which she set up a series of Creative Writing retreats, “A Chapter Away”, inviting world famous authors, literary agents and publishers to teach aspiring novelists. Inspired by the comments of tutors on the memoir writing course, she began “A Stranger in Paris.”
Passionate about theatre, and script-writing, Karen has also written plays, several short stories and a novel – all of which are lurking in the bottom drawer. “A Stranger in Paris” is her first published work, and is the first novel of the trilogy La Vie Française.
Karen now lives in Gascony with her husband and son, and has a grown-up daughter who works in London. Much of her writing is inspired by the North West of England where she grew up, and France which became her country of adoption.
Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.
This is the story of her… and the story of Jake.
When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.
So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…
I received a copy of this audiobook from Harper Collins Audio via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This story is a slow burn, to begin with, I wasn’t sure it would hold my interest, It’s a new adult romance, and that was many years ago for me. The characters are engaging, and they soon draw you into their world. You care what happens to them, and then you’re hooked and have to keep listening.
From the beginning, you have a feeling that this story will break your heart, and it does. There’s also laughter, love and so much growing up for Leila and Jake in this story. You want them to get the happy ending they deserve.
I enjoyed listening to this love story. The narrator is professional and brings the characters to life. You forget she’s there and it’s just you and the characters telling their story.
This is a beautiful story, believable, emotional and raw, something that leaves echoes in your mind.
A self-confessed reading addict, Ella Allbright writes commercial women’s fiction set in her beautiful home county of Dorset. Her first novel in this genre – The Last Charm – will publish in August 2020 (ebook) and November 2020 (paperback) with One More Chapter, a division of HarperCollins. She’s currently hard at work on her next book, and is represented by agent Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership.
Ella also writes as Nikki Moore, the author of the popular #LoveLondon romance series. A number of the novellas featured in the Top 100 short story charts on Kobo and the Top 20 in the Amazon UK bestsellers Holiday chart, and in 2018 the collection was released in Italy. Her first published work was the short story A Night to Remember in the best selling Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply. Her debut romance Crazy, Undercover, Love was shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award 2015.
When not writing or reading, she can usually be found working in her HR day job, walking the family’s cute beagle puppy or watching a Netflix series!
Before Roxy found herself “Single in Buenos Aires,” she was a single girl in London in search of true love. The third instalment of The Polo Diaries series takes us back to that time, and we follow Roxy as she hires a love coach to help her navigate the dating scene. But the love coach comes up with an unexpected assignment: reconnect to a long-forgotten passion. For Roxy this means horses. Within weeks, she finds herself playing polo, thanks to a series of unforeseen events.
Torn between her desire to become the best polo player she can be and the dream of falling in love, Roxy steps fully into the exciting and demanding world of polo, where injury and recovery mix with hard training, and where celebrating the victory of a tournament comes at a high price. Will Roxy eventually become the polo player she dreams to be? And with polo being such a demanding sport, can there be any space left for love?
Roxana Valea -Find your passions or they’ll find you!
When I was ten, I had a dream. I wanted to ride horses. I didn’t own a horse and didn’t know anyone who did. I had no idea where this wish came from but it was there, coming to visit my dreams at night. I dreamed of riding horses.
My parents were not very open to the idea and it took a couple of years of convincing before they eventually took me to a club where I could learn how to ride. I met Samurai there, the first horse I ever rode. He was a black gelding, old and slow. Perfect for children, my trainer told my parents.
Samurai and I spend that summer together. I came to ride three times a week and felt my heart bubbling with excitement every time I met him. I saved apples and carrots for him but he couldn’t care less. For him, I was just another twelve-year-old learning to ride. I took a fall or two and made sure I concealed all evidence from my parents. I didn’t want to endanger my newly found passion and I was afraid if my parents found out about my falls, they would put a stop to all this.
But, in the end, it was I who put a stop. Winter came and we didn’t ride in the winter and by the following spring I had to focus on my exams and I somehow forgot about Samurai andthe riding club. He came into my mind a few times but every time I was pushing the thought further and further away and other things became more important. A new school, dresses, music. Friends. Going to university. More friends. More dresses. Holidays. And later, work. Career. Money. No time. Very little time, actually. No time for this type of things, anyway.
How often do we treat our passions that way? They come to us in childhood and draw us in with inexplicable force. They make us feel alive, whole, excited. We try them on and love every minute of the experience. But then, other things get in the way and we learn to live life as defined by others. We go on following a path that has been prescribed for us, leaving behind the passion we had found and sometimes a piece of our own soul with it.
But passions discovered in childhood don’t go away. They wait patiently in the dark corners of our mind, the places we have pushed them into. They wait and germinate and every now and then send a signal from down there. “Are you ready?” they ask. “Are you ready to come back to me?”
If we’re not, they don’t get angry. They keep on waiting. They’re patient, these passions. They know something we haven’t learned yet: they know they are part of our soul and there’s no way we can cut them out for good.
And year after year we keep them locked down there. Until one day. Because there’s always one day when things change. One day when we come face to face with this long-forgotten passion.
For me it happened in an office, in my mid-thirties, while I was working for a large multinational company. I had a meeting with a colleague to discuss the upcoming launch of a new technology. She worked in the legal department. I was a project manager. I headed over to that meeting carrying my laptop in one hand and the printed launch schedule in the other. My mind was busy recapping all the points we needed to cover during the meeting. The launch was near and I wasn’t going to let anything get in its way.
But something did. As I entered the meeting room she wasn’t there. I waited for a few minutes, feeling irritation bubbling up. I didn’t have any time to waste. And then, just as I wanted to leave, she came in walking slowly.
“Sorry for being late.” she said. “I can’t walk properly. I’ve got muscle pain. I had a riding lesson yesterday.”
And so, with no notice, no time to prepare and no possibility of denial, my old passion walked slowly back into my life. And the following week I went riding with my colleague.
And if you want to know more about what happens when you reconnect to an old childhood passion, read The Polo Diaries Series!
Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner. As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–travelling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.