Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Lake House Christie Barlow 5* #Review @ChristieJBarlow @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #TheLakeHouse #BlogTour #BookReview #LoveHeartLane #Humour #Romance #romcom #MondayBlogs

There’s a newcomer to the village of Heartcross and she’s never been more in need of a friend.  

Ella is ready to start afresh ––and that could mean there’s love on the horizon in the form of the gorgeous Roman, the local water taxi driver. Every day Roman is there to ferry Ella to the restaurant on the other side of the lake and every night he makes sure she gets home safe. But Roman has secrets of his own…

Can the Love Heart Lane community offer Ella a chance of a new life? Or will the ghosts of her past catch up with her?

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I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter and the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This author’s ability, to create a fictional world with believable characters and events, guarantees a lovely escapist read. The Lake House is the fifth story in the Love Heart Lane series, but the story is complete and readable as a standalone.

Ella is looking for a new start and finds a caring community in Heartcross. The Lake House restaurant is a vivid setting. The friendship and romance are realistic, as Ella and Roman learn to trust and fall in love. Dolores is a pivotal and vibrant character in this book, which immerses the reader, in a world of hope, but with relatable conflict, and a recognisable antagonist.

If you are looking for an uplifting story, this book is worth a read.

Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess Catherine Tinley 4* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #DollarDuchesses @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #AWaltzwiththeOutspokenGoverness #HistoricalRomance #MondayBlogs

A quiet governess…

An unruly heart

Sir Nicholas Denny is desperate to find a governess to care for his boisterous nieces and nephews. Demure vicar’s daughter Mary Smith seems ideal—at first. All too soon Nicholas discovers a different side to her… She’s a beautiful, vivacious woman, even if she infuriates him with her strong opinions! When he waltzes with Mary at a party he knows he’s in trouble—the spark between them is so tempting, but she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a wife!

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My Thoughts…

This book gives a different view of early nineteenth-century society which explores the divide between the rich and their servants. Mary is an independent young woman, unfashionably educated, intelligent and outspoken. Receiving some disturbing news of her father, a Norfolk vicar she ingeniously finds a way to be close to him to help. Sir Nicholas Kenney is dreading the annual visit from his sister, and family hiring additional staff essential, especially a governess.

Mary and Nicholas’ romance is gentle with the attraction building insidiously. Mary’s outspoken intelligent nature appeals to Nicholas despite the forbidden nature of their circumstances. This story explores the vulnerability of servants to those who pay their wages.

There’s both mystery and romance in this story with relatable characters, witty dialogue and a happy ending.

#CatherineTinley

Catherine Tinley is an award-winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

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Posted in Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Murder Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Romance, Suspense

The Wife Who Knew Too Much Michele Campbell 5* #Review @MCampbellBooks @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #TheWifeWhoKnewTooMuch #CrimeFiction #PsychologicalThriller #DomesticSuspense #Detective

A decadent summer thriller about marriages tainted by ambition, wealth, and desire.

He said it was forever. HE LIED.

She’s in too deep….

Meet the first Mrs Ford. Beautiful. Accomplished. Wealthy beyond imagination. Married to a much younger man. And now… dead.

Meet the second Mrs Ford. Waitress. Small-town girl. Married to a man she never forgot, from an affair ten years before. And now, she’s wealthy beyond imagination.

But who is Connor Ford? Two wives loved him, and knew him as only wives can…

Who is the victim? Who is the villain? And who will be next to die?

Set amongst the glittering mansions of the Hamptons, The Wife Who Knew Too Much is a decadent thriller about the lives of those who will do anything for love and money

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This domestic suspense story explores the human consequences of love, money and power. It embroils the reader in an intricately built world of abuse, deceit and lust with believable characters and insidious suspense.

Told from two perspectives; journal entries from Nina, the first Mrs Ford and Tabitha, the second Mrs Ford’s past and present points of view. The story draws the reader into two parallel worlds of the rich and poor and explores what someone will do for power and wealth. Tabitha and Nina are both unreliable protagonists, but they both engender the reader’s empathy. Connor is weak and driven by the need for money and not as easy to like. The cast of secondary characters all add to the story and provide its plot twists.

The fast-paced plot builds a world of betrayal and division. It blends introspection and criminal investigation to deliver an absorbing story. I guessed part of the outcome, but that adds to the enjoyment, and the poignant conclusion is both realistic and satisfying.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction

Last Flight to Stalingrad Graham Hurley 5* #Review @Seasidepicture @HoZ_Books #Thriller #Spy #BlogTour #BookReview #WW2 #LastFlightToStalingrad

Berlin, 1942: for four years, the men in field grey have helped themselves to country after country across Western Europe. For Werner Nehmann, a journalist at the Promi—the Ministry of Propaganda—this dizzying series of victories has felt like a party without end. But now the Reich’s attention has turned towards the East, and as winter sets in, the mood is turning. Werner’s boss, Joseph Goebbels, can sense it. A small man with a powerful voice and coal-black eyes, Goebbels has a deep understanding the dark arts of manipulation. His words, his newsreels, have shaken Germany awake, propelling it towards its greater destiny and he won’t let—he can’t let—morale falter now. But the Minister of Propaganda is uneasy and in his discomfort has pulled Werner into his close confidence. And here, amid the power struggle between the Nazi Chieftains, Werner will make his mistake and begin his descent into the hell of Stalingrad.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Stories like this stand or fall on the quality of the author’s research, understanding of the historical events and the ability to weave fact into fiction believably. This story has authenticity, adrenaline-pumping pace, intricate and vivid historical detail, and creates a believable world of atrocity and war that is both addictive and shocking for the reader.

This story explores the power of propaganda from two protagonist perspectives. One a pilot, the other a journalist both with powerful masters. The story that unfolds is an intriguing balance of action and introspection immersing the reader in the story before delivering the horrors of war and the twists of evil minds.

It’s a pacy read, harrowingly graphic in parts but it’s addictive and stays with you after the last word.

Graham Hurley

Graham Hurley is the author of the acclaimed Faraday and Winter crime novels and an award-winning TV documentary maker. Two of the critically lauded series have been shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Best Crime Novel.

The first Wars Within novel, Finisterre, was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Medical Romance, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Staying Out For The Summer Mandy Baggot #CoverReveal @mandybaggot @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #Corfu #Greece #Summer #StayingOutForTheSummer

After a summer of staying in, it’s time to let your hair down and escape to Greece!

For Lucie Burrows, it’s time to embrace Greek life and put the past behind her! Having spent the summer of 2020 battling a global health crisis, Lucie Burrows is looking forward to a summer out of lockdown.

When best friend, Gavin, finds them the perfect Greek escape Lucie finally starts to think this summer might just go without a hitch.But after a landslide puts the village into a local lockdown, Lucie is thrown together with Michalis Andino, the super sexy village doctor. It’s not quite the holiday she had planned, but things could certainly be worse.

As Lucie relaxes into the Greek way of life, she begins to wonder whether this lockdown might just end in a new life, a new love...

Publication date: 01/04/2021

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Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

Christmas Wishes Sue Moorcroft 5* #Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #festive #ChristmasWishes #BookReview

Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.

But fate is keeping them apart…

When Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after. When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely festive book, but it’s more than that. It can be read at any time if you are looking for family drama, heartwarming stories and romance. Set in Sweden and Middledip a familiar setting to regular readers. The characters are believable and easy to empathise. You are quickly immersed in their stories and want them to find happiness. Hannah is a quirky but entirely lovable character. Nico is focused entirely on his family, and the vulnerable, which makes him so appealing.

Hannah and Nico’s reunion is realistic, and the gentle pacing believably reflects their deepening relationship. A vivid cast of characters, adds to the story’s authenticity. They provide a believable balance of humour, poignancy, and romance.

Relatable characters and realistic stories filled with heart make this an enjoyable read.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Medical Romance, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Mills and Boon Holiday Reads #Reviews #MillsandBoonInsiders @MillsandBoon #HistoricalRomance #Romance #Medical #Military #BookReviews @Bronwynscott @scarlet_wilson @JossWoodbooks @CaraLockwood

I received copies of these books from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

The Earl’s heir

And the rebel artist

Artist Artemisia Stansfield has four months to prove herself to the Royal Academy of Arts. When she finds out that aristocratic art critic, Darius Rutherford, has been snooping in her studio, she’s furious! Sparks of anger turn into flames of desire, but one lapse in judgement could give Darius all the fuel he needs to ruin her, as a lady and as an artist! Unless she trusts him enough to take the risk…?

My Thoughts… 5*#Review

This story has a fascinating theme. It’s full of pertinent historical detail that illustrates the struggle of female artists at this time. The chemistry between Artemisia and Darius in this slow-burn, but ultimately passionate romance is memorable. The emotional connection deepens as the couple get to know each other, and support the other through the conflicts they face.

The character and story development are notable, and it’s an enjoyable reading experience.

A missed blind date…

…leads to a chance at forever!

After exchanging messages for months via a dating app, Surgeon Ivy Ross is finally ready to meet up with ‘Mr. Right’. But when work calls her away the chance is lost…until fate intervenes and Ivy’s blind date – Travis King – arrives as her new Senior Medical Officer…aka her boss! Travis and Ivy know mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas feel so good…

My Thoughts… 4*#Review

An interesting setting focusing on medics in the Navy is the background for Ivy and Travis’ romance. Meeting on a dating app, chemistry sparks and they decide to meet, but duty calls and Ivy doesn’t show. Their first meeting is unexpected and difficult as the logistics of a workplace romance on a ship are difficult and forbidden.

Both of the characters are relatable with conflicted and believably written romance. Ivy’s dedication to her career, and Travis’ struggle with his mental health, add additional conflict and give this story authenticity.

This is an original medical/military romance.

If I kiss you,
there’s no going back…’

Hosting South Africa’s wedding of the year at his exclusive safari lodge is Radd Tempest-Vane’s ticket to restoring his family’s empire. As long as he finds a new florist, fast! Brinley Riddell is the perfect candidate. She’s also an immediate distraction.

For Brin, this lucrative job is her chance to be free of the family who never thought her good enough. Radd may be proud, and strictly off-limits, but he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met! Surely one impossibly steamy encounter won’t upend their simple business deal…?

My Thoughts… 4*#Review

This is an atmospheric story, full of vibrant sensory imagery that immerses the reader in the setting. The story follows one man’s quest to rebuild his family’s legacy and a woman’s need to distance herself from her grasping family.

Both characters, are strong and have trust issues, which mean love and romance are not on their life list. A powerful and instantaneous attraction upsets their carefully laid plans and makes for a heated and passionate love affair. Brin has a secret which threatens their new understanding and is the major conflict in this story.

A love that is as decadent, deadly and desirable as the story’ setting is the perfect escapist read.

She’s definitely not invited…
But that won’t stop her

Heiress Asha Patel just crashed a party without knowing that the decadent masquerade ball is for exclusive members. The moment she sees gorgeous, delectably sexy French host Mathis Durand, Asha knows she wants membership more than anything. But Durand has something else in mind for the desi bombshell… Is Asha willing to pay the dangerously high price?

My Thoughts… 3*#Review

This story has potential, but the characters are not as relatable as they could be and the mystique and sensuality of the secret club and masquerade ball is not fulfilled. The love scenes are well-written but the emotional connection is lacking for me.

Posted in Book Review, Festive Read, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Mills and Boon Holiday Reading #Reviews @MillsandBoon #MollyCoopersDreamDate #TheChristmasExchange #Film @BarbaraHannay #StacyConnelly #AnneOliver #OneWinterWedding #BookReviews #TheChristmasWeddingPlanner

I received a copy of these book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

Molly’s Diary April 10th

So, I’ve finally done it. I’ve house-swapped my little cottage in Australia for a snazzy bachelor pad in Chelsea. I can’t wait to explore London. Most of all I’m hoping to meet my dream man, my secret fantasy: a perfect English gentleman. Though I’m starting to wonder whether Patrick, my house-swapper, might actually be HIM! Is that ridiculous?

We’ve been e-mailing – and he sounds HOT! Oh, hang on, there’s another e-mail now – can’t wait to find out what Patrick’s been up to… What do you do when you realise the one you want is half a world away – living in your home, sleeping in your bed…?

My Thoughts… 4* #Review

This is a book in, ‘The Holiday’ house swap theme, but with some original differences that make this an engaging read. The couple, swop their homes, correspond by email, and gradually a relationship develops.

The reader gains important insight into both characters, from the emails, and diary entries. This adds to the story’s enjoyment. There’s a twist, which threatens the fledgeling relationship magnified because Molly is looking for an ideal man and has trust issues, but eventually love prevails and there’s a happy ever after.

The romance is gentle and sweet, making this easy to escape with and a heartwarming read.

One Winter Wedding

The perfect place to meet your groom

Once Upon a Wedding – Stacy Connelly
Wedding planner Kelsey Wilson’s business depends on her cousin’s wedding going off without a hitch. So when private investigator, Connor McClane shows up to stop the wedding Kelsey must stop him. But as sparks fly between the two might there be a wedding after all…

Bridesmaid Says ‘I do!’ – Barbara Hannay
Thrilled to be Bella’s bridesmaid, Zoe throws herself into her duties. But meeting the groom himself, sexy Kent Rigby, ruins everything…
What happens when you find the man of your dreams and he belongs to someone else?

The Morning After The Wedding Before – Anne Oliver
Emma Byrne takes her role as her sister’s Maid of Honour seriously. But drop dead sexy best man Jake Carmody is determined to loosen her up with a wedding night fling! Yet after the wedding, Jake must deal with the distinctly unfamiliar sensation he might want more…

My Thoughts… 3* #Review

This is a book of three stories, with a Winter wedding theme.

Once Upon a Wedding’ features wedding planner Kelsey and Connor, a private investigator. Kelsey has always felt second-best in her aunt’s family. Planning her cousin Emily’s wedding will prove her success to them and herself, but nothing is straightforward. Connor nearly took Emily from the family once before, and now he’s back. Can Kelsey save the wedding? There is a gentle slow-building romance between Kelsey and Connor fraught with conflicts. Family secrets, misunderstandings and trust issues are all explored in this classical romance.

‘Bridesmaid Says “I Do”‘ is a case of the bridesmaid falling for the wrong man, the groom. This book has an interesting setting and a sexy hero even though the romance is sweet. This has a rom-com plot, with the bridesmaid and groom falling in love. A recipe for disaster? Well, not if the bride’s affections are engaged elsewhere. Good characters, a nice romantic plot and a happy ending.

The Morning After the Wedding Before’ is a sexy romance about letting go of your inhibitions and responsibilities, and living for the day. Emma and Jake are a likeable couple. Even though Jake seems in control, he soon finds that he’s out of his depth.

This is a mix of romantic genres which will appeal to a wide audience of wedding romance lovers.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Virgin River Series Robyn Carr #Reviews @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #holidayreads #AVirginRiverChristmas #ShelterMountain #MillsandBoonInsiders

I received a copy of these books from Mills and Boon in return for honest reviews.

Shelter Mountian

Discover Paige and Preacher’s Story…

In love, some people are worth fighting for…

For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of the wet October night. An ex-marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one and this woman is certainly frightened and in need of help. But Preacher’s instinct to protect is more than an engrained sense of duty, for Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in him — emotions that he has never before allowed himself to feel.

When Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River and secrets are revealed, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. But if there’s one thing the marines has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for…

My Thoughts… 5* #Review

The second book in the Virgin River series is Preacher and Paige’s story. It’s an emotional and heartfelt tale of domestic abuse, courage, and love. The book’s focus is Preacher and Paige, but there are other storylines and familiar characters integrated with the main story bringing the characters and setting to vibrant life.

This story tackles contemporary issues with sensitivity and immerses the reader in the story. If you are a fan of the TV series, get to know the characters and their lives in depth by reading the books. I enjoyed the TV series more, after reading some of the books.

A Virgin River Christmas – Book 4

A Christmas Miracle in Virgin River

Last Christmas Marcie Sullivan said a final goodbye to her husband, Bobby. This Christmas she’s come to Virgin River to find the man who saved his life, and gave her three more years with him. Fellow marine Ian Buchanan dragged Bobby to safety in Fallujah four years ago then disappeared. Since then, Marcie’s letters to Ian have gone unanswered.

When Marcie tracks Ian to the tiny mountain town of Virgin River she finds a man haunted by his past and afraid to look to his future. Not easily scared off Marcie pushes her way into Ian’s reclusive life to see beyond his pain to the man he once was. The man he can be again.

Ian doesn’t know what to make of the determined young woman who forces him to look into the painful past and, what’s worse, the uncertain future. But it is, after all, a season of miracles and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to banish the ghosts and open his heart.

My Thoughts… 4* #Review

This story focuses on Marcie a recent widow and Ian, a marine who despite his bravery gives up on his career and life to become a recluse in the mountains near Virgin River.

There are appearances from Virgin River regulars, but this is a story of healing and love between the two newcomers.

This is a gently paced, emotional and festive story. Marcie and Ian build a relationship that moves from animosity to understanding in a remote mountain setting.

It highlights the effect of war on veterans, a recurrent series theme, and also shows how a caring community helps everyone within it,

This is a heartwarming, romantic story which resonates.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Crime, Festive Read, Murder Mystery

#TheChristmasKiller Alex Pine 4*#Review @JPCarterAuthor @AvonBooksUK #ChristmasRead #Festive #CrimeFiction #DIJamesWalker

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half-frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts

I initially read a sampler of this book in the Summer and only read the full version this month.

This is a police procedural with a festive setting. James, a detective inspector in the Met moves to Cumbria when the threat of vengeance from a gangland boss looms. The village in Cumbria, the childhood home of his wife Annie has its share of deceit, hate and secrets but is someone willing to kill?

James is a likeable protagonist, straightforward and dedicated. Annie’s past in the village is chequered. Has her moving back started something dreadful?

There are no murders, only menace and threats in the early part of the book. Suspense builds and the reader realises that this is going to be a Christmas the villagers’ don’t forget.

The murders are suspenseful but not overly graphic. The police investigation is realistic and the conflict and crossover of personal and professional for Detective, James relatable.

Whilst I worked out the murderer, this added to the reading experience making the story authentic and immersive. There is little character development for the investigation team, but hopefully more will be revealed as th series progresses?

This is a good holiday read for crime fiction readers.