Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

The Meeting Point Olivia Lara 4*#Review @olilara_writes @HoZ_Books @Aria_Fiction #Romance #Serendipity #soulmates #Love #BookReview #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTour #TheMeetingPoint

What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?

‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’

‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday. So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…

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

My Thoughts…

This is a heartwarming romantic comedy with an element of mystery set in California. Maya’s life is not turning out how she planned. When a career-making assignment implodes, Maya decides to surprise her boyfriend in California. Maya’s text to her boyfriend is answered by a stranger who has unwelcome news but offers a chance for fun that she decides to accept., Vividly created characters immerse the reader in their story. The romance is gentle, and there’s a mystery to solve. With lots of heartache and humour, this is a lovely escapist read for those who believe in love, serendipity and soulmates.

Olivia Lara

OLIVIA LARA‘s love for words started as a child when she spent her summer vacations watching her grandfather, who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania, edit hundreds of books. She is a former journalist for a newspaper and a television network in Bucharest, now a Marketing VP in San Francisco – in between she lived in France where her love for Paris and the Alsace region was born. Her first book, Someday in Paris, became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards. She lives in the Bay Area, California.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

The Dating Game Sandy Barker 5*#Review @sandybarker @0neMoreChapter_ #Friendship #Dating #Romance #RealityTV @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #TheDatingGame

‘Hilarious and highly original’

Julie Houston, bestselling author of A Village Affair

Once upon a time, twelve women joined the hottest reality TV show looking for love. Except one had a secret identity . . .

Abby Jones is a serious writer. Or at least she will be, one day. Right now, she spends her time writing recaps of reality television under a secret identity.

When a recap for The Stag – the must-watch dating show – goes viral, her editor thinks she should be on set, writing the drama as it happens. The good news: the next season will be filmed in Sydney. Sun, sea and a glamorous trip abroad, this could be Abby’s big break.

The bad news: the producers don’t just want Abby to write the recaps, they want her to be on the show. Abby can’t think of anything worse than being undercover and followed around by cameras. But her career depends on it, and when she meets gorgeous producer Jack, Abby begins to wonder if this job might not be so bad after all . . .

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

My Thoughts…

Whilst I can’t see the appeal of reality TV, the characterisation, humour and romance in this book kept me turning the pages. Abby is an easy to like character with a good heart and witty sense of humour. This book is a good balance of romance and comedy and is the perfect escape from real life, maybe just like the fictional show it features?

The romantic element has a realistic blend of conflict and emotion. The reader is invested in its outcome. The friendship dynamic is believably written. The show’s details are well-researched, immersing the reader in the world of reality TV. Enhanced with angst, believable characters and well-timed comic dialogue, this is an addictive original story.

Sandy Barker

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. She lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Travel

Falling For a French Dream Jennifer Bohnet 5*#Review @jenniewriter @BoldwoodBooks #Secrets #Friendship #Life #Family #FrenchRivera #OliveFarm #BookReview #BlogTour #Secrets @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #mystery #Relationships #FallingForAFrenchDream

Escape to hills high above the French Riviera with international bestseller Jennifer Bohnet.

After tragically losing her husband, Nicola Jacques and her teenage son Oliver relocate to his father’s family’s Olive Farm in the hills above the French Riviera.

Due a family feud, Oliver has never known his fathers’ side of the family and Grandpapa Henri is intent that Oliver will take over the reins of the ancestral farm and his rightful inheritance.

Determined to keep her independence from a rather controlling Grandpapa, Nicola buys a run-down cottage on the edge of the family’s Olive Farm and sets to work renovating their new home and providing an income by cultivating the small holding that came with the Cottage.

As the summer months roll by, Nicola and Oliver begin to settle happily into their new way of life with the help of Aunts Josephine and Odette, Henri’s twin sisters and local property developer Gilles Bongars.

But the arrival of some unexpected news and guests at the farm, force Nicole and Aunt Josephine to assess what and where their futures lie.

This book was previously published as The French Legacy.

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

My Thoughts…

A poignant story of family, grief and second chances in the South of France. The characterisation and setting of this story immerse the reader into Nicola and Oliver’s lives. This is a multi-generational story with Henri, Oliver’s grandfather, as the strict, unbending Patriarch. Josephine and Odette Oliver’s great aunts welcome Nicola and her son unreservedly and are instrumental in working towards the compromise essential for the family to heal.

Romance flourishes from loss, and Nicola has to decide where her heart lies. Vivid descriptions evoke the reader’s imagination to visualise the location and the events that unfold. This is a character-led story, and each one is lovingly crafted into a believable individual who the reader can like or dislike.

Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 14 women’s fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Travel

Starlight Cottage K.T.Dady 4*#Review #PepperBay @kt_dady @rararesources #IsleofWight #Friendship #family #Romance #secondchances #community #BlogTour #BookReview #StarlightCottage #mentalhealth

Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, drama, friendship, and love.

Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight.

The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories that intertwine with recurring characters.

Starlight Cottage – Anna Cooper and Jake Reynolds both live at the luxury London building, River Heights. The only difference is that Jake lives in the penthouse, and Anna lives in a tent on the roof.

When Jake finds out, he offers Anna a chance of a new life in his grandmother’s childhood home in Pepper Bay, and she decides to take the opportunity to see if she really can make a fresh start somewhere else.

The beauty of Pepper Bay, with its quaint shops, chocolate box cottages, and all of Jake’s closest friends, immediately fills Anna’s heart with nothing but love, and it isn’t just Starlight Cottage that she finds herself falling in love with.

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

My Thoughts…

The first meeting between Anna and Jake isn’t promising, but it introduces the characters succinctly and adds some lovely touches of humour and poignancy. Max the dog is a lovely character, the perfect friend, and matchmaker. Pepper Bay proves to be their salvation, with its caring, kindly intrusive community and coastal beauty. Both characters have emotional journeys to travel to reach their happy place, and the reader is immersed in their story and wants them to get there.

This is a gentle romance with believable characters that is an engaging read.

Author, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Travel

Love on Location Lynne Shelby 5*#Review @LynneB1 @AccentPress #Romance #Movies #Greece #Kyros#SummerRead #Scriptwriter #LoveonLocation #Relationships #Friendships @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Can movie magic lead to a real-life romance?

When Laurel Martin is hired to rewrite the script for a new timeslip blockbuster, she expects the historical advisor hired by the studio to be an elderly academic who won’t interfere too much with her writing. But when she meets Professor Jason Harding, a young and unexpectedly handsome archaeologist who has some ideas of his own about the script, she realises the job isn’t going to be as simple as she first thought.

As their work takes them from arguing over historical details in a cramped London office to discovering the hidden beauties of a Greek island, Laurel and Jason’s relationship starts to echo the romance of their script.

But with Laurel’s actor ex-boyfriend making trouble at home, and constant issues with the volatile director, will Laurel and Jason ever be able to write the happy ending for their own story?

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

My Thoughts…

Set against the background of the filmmaking industry, this story immerses the reader in the world of scriptwriting, glamorous locations and exacting directors.

Laurel is asked to revise a script with the help of Jason, a historical advisor. She hopes this is her chance to write movie scripts full-time. Life is more complex than the script she writes in her mind. Jason is an academic and an archaeologist. The couple clash over the script but gradually realise together they are a talented team.

Vivid descriptions of the locations, and the glamour and unpredictability of the film industry, make this an informative read. The perfect Summer escape is completed with believably flawed vibrant characters and realistically crafted romance.

Lynne Shelby

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition. She has done a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Travel

A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #AChristmasWeddingintheCotswolds #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship # #uplit #wedding #festive

What could be more festive than a winter wedding in the picturesque English countryside? Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds with the bestselling Lucy Coleman

Imogen Tolliman and Gray Adams can’t wait to get married after getting engaged the previous year, when they were stranded by snow in a blizzard. Now they are busy planning their wedding, but when the date slips six months because Gray is working on a huge film project, it seems like fate that after their snowy start, they will end up getting married at Christmas.

The couple are living in Immi’s grandfather’s picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage at the Aysbury
marina in the Cotswolds, which they are renovating to become their forever family home. As well as building work, full-time jobs and wedding planning, Immi is in charge of raising money to build a children’s playground, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Santa Ahoy Cruises – her grandfather Tollie’s life work
.

When Gray is suddenly forced to travel abroad, Immi is left to cope with everything alone, and
before long, even the best-laid plans start to wobble. When a terrible betrayal is uncovered, the whole community of Aysbury is left reeling, and Immi is left wondering if there will be a wedding after all…

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to an unforgettable Cotswolds Christmas full of romance and laughter, friendship and family and much-loved festive traditions.

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I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts

With characters we first met in Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this is a lovely heartwarming story of community, friendship, love and secrets. Planning her wedding keeps getting further down Immi’s to-do list. She needs help but doesn’t like to ask. Events conspire until compromises and accepting she can’t do everything alone is inevitable. This story reads well as a standalone as salient details of their lives so far are integrated into this story.

The characters are believably flawed, and the sense of community is uplifting. The conflicts Immi faces are relatable, and this is a journey of self-belief and self-discovery for her. The sense of place and season is vividly described.

A lovely rural story with engaging characters and a picture postcard setting.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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Read my review of Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Meet Me in Tahiti Georgia Toffolo 4*#Review @ToffTalks @MillsandBoon #Romance #SecondChances #memories #Tahiti #BookReview #MeetMeinTahiti #MeetMe #MillsandBoonInsiders @AvrilTremayne

Where there’s always a second chance at first love…

Zoe has spent her life facing battles: fighting her parents for independence, struggling with her feelings for local bad boy Finn and, after a car accident at eighteen, adjusting to the fact she would not walk again. She remained strong until the day Finn, the person she thought she could trust, broke her heart… Now a successful travel writer, Zoe is excited to review a new luxury hotel in the beautiful South Pacific – until she meets its owner…

Finn was never good enough for Zoe. He knew it. Zoe’s family knew it. The village of Hawkes Cove made sure he knew it. Proven when he let her down in the worst way possible. Now a successful businessman, he thought his past was behind him, until a journalist turns up to review his new resort…

As Finn shows Zoe the exotic wonders of the islands both face the fact their shared past might just be the beginning of a future. But only if Zoe can win the biggest battle of her life…facing up to her heart’s desire.

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

My Thoughts…

Set in romantic Tahiti, Zoe and Finn meet again after twelve years and find that the attraction still burns brightly between them but are they brave enough to overcome past differences? Zoe is a travel writer who explores holiday resorts to discover their accessibility. Zoe’s story is a journey of self-discovery, coming to terms with her past and taking a second chance at love with Finn. The story features Victoria, Lily and Malie and is told from Zoe and Finn’s viewpoints.

The setting is well described, and the friendship dynamic between the women is pivotal to the story and well written. This is an enjoyable chapter in the Meet Me series, humorous, poignant and romantic.

Read my review of Meet Me in London

Read my review of Meet Me in Hawaii

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

The Little Blue Door Francesca Catlow 4*#Review @FrancescaCatlow @SilverWoodBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #TheLittleBlueDoor #CorfuwithCatlow #SelfDiscovery #Loss #Love #Romance #Friendship #Family #Travel

In the post-pandemic world Melodie feels lost and alone, desperate to find something to remind her of her previous life. She sets out on a trip to Corfu to reconnect with happier times, only to be haunted by memories and events from the past. While travelling Melodie meets an intriguing and handsome man who has the potential to change her future. However, will the young girl from the plane with piercing green eyes be the one to open the door to Melodie’s fate?

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

My Thoughts…

This is a story of contrasts. It is emotional, filled with knowledgeable descriptions and immerses the reader in life on Corfu. I’ve read many stories about this island, but the contemporary edge and originality make this a little different. It’s Melodie’s story of returning to Corfu in the aftermath of the global pandemic we are currently living through.

The warmth of her Greek friends, their way of life, and her memories allow her to heal and look to the future as she experiences a heartfelt journey of self-discovery. There is a slow-burn romance with themes of friendship and family drama.

It’s an exploration of modern life with a vivid setting and well-crafted characters and relationships.

Francesca Catlow

Francesca Catlow loves to travel. Born and raised in the heart of Suffolk, Catlow has travelled extensively in Europe with her French husband and, more recently, their two young children. Of all the places she’s been it is the Greek islands that have captured her heart. She visits as often as family commitments allow.

She has previously written plays alongside being a lyricist and performer. This book is the first in a series.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Political Thriller, Romance, Saga, Travel

Soul Sisters Lesley Lokko 4* #Review @panmacmillan #LesleyLokko @RandomTTours #SoulSisters #HistoricalFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Sisters #Politics #SouthAfrica #Family #Friendship #Secrets #BlogTour #BookReview

Two women raised as sisters. Bound by a secret that could tear them apart . . .

Since childhood, Jen and South African-born Kemi have lived like sisters in the McFadden family home in Edinburgh, brought together by a shared family history which stretches back generations. The ties that bind them are strong and complicated.

Solam Rhoyi is from South Africa’s black political elite. Handsome and charismatic, he meets both Kemi and Jen on a trip to London and sweeps them off their feet. Kemi, captivated by Solam and wanting to discover more about her past, travels to South Africa for the first time. Jen, seeking an escape from her father’s overbearing presence, decides to go with her.

In Johannesburg, it becomes clear that Solam is looking for the perfect wife to facilitate his soaring political ambitions. And as the real story behind Jen and Kemi’s connection threatens to emerge, Solam’s choice will have devastating consequences for them both…

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling and complex, mainly historical saga that spans continents and cultures. At its core is the sisterly bond between two women who grew up together despite having different birthplaces, cultural identities and families. The story begins in Southern Rhodesia in 1921 and concludes in 2010 in Cape Town. Short chapters and parts propel the reader through family history and political change until we reach the time when the sisterly bond is tested and family secrets revealed.

Well researched historical details and realistically crafted characters make this an absorbing read. It does move through time quickly, but the story’s focus is on the sisters and how their bond is tested. Solam is a pivotal character who represents South Africa’s changing political climate. His political ambition makes him manipulative and ruthless, especially in his interactions with the soul sisters.

This book takes the reader on an emotional journey filled with betrayal, love and secrets. It explores culture, family, identity and political change with rich sensory imagery and believable characters that bring the story to vibrant life.

Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic and novelist, formerly Dean of Architecture at City College of New York, who has lived and worked on four continents. Lesley’s bestselling novels include Soul Sisters, Sundowners, Rich Girl, Poor Girl and A Private Affair. Her novels have been translated into sixteen languages and are captivating stories about powerful people, exploring themes of racial and cultural identity.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Escape to the Hummingbird Hotel Daisy James 5* #Review @daisyjamesbooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom Corfu #GreekIslands #UpLit #EscapetotheHummingbirdHotel

Welcome to the Hummingbird Hotel!

When florist-to-the-stars Abbie Coleman catches a glimpse of her boyfriend through the window of Tiffany’s, she couldn’t be more excited. Keen to share her happiness, she organises a huge surprise party for all their family and friends… except things don’t quite work out as she expected, and instead of planning a flower-filled wedding, she finds herself single, and fired from a job she loves.

Desperate to escape her heartbreak, she jets off to her aunt’s quirky Hummingbird Hotel on the gorgeous island of Corfu. Little did she know that instead of spending her time lounging by the pool, drinking cocktails, and soaking up the sun, she’d be stepping into the role of the island’s newest hotelier.

The arrival of unexpected guests sends Abbie into a tailspin of panic, and she’s forced to turn to snippy, but charismatic, vineyard owner-turned-chef, Nikos Angelopoulos, for help. Why does the kitchen fill with smoke whenever she makes coffee? Why is there a naked man swimming in the pool? And why do the hotel’s toiletries turn their guests’ hair pink?

Despite all the chaos, the Hummingbird Hotel works its magic on Abbie, and she finds herself with a decision to make. Will she return home to the drizzly grey skies of London? Or will she take a leap of faith and embrace the new opportunities that little corner of paradise has to offer, and maybe, just maybe, discover a sprinkle of romance along the way?

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review

My Thoughts…

Abbie is a character who draws the reader into her world within minutes of meeting her. She’s creative, compassionate and hopeless at picking the right man. Discovering her estranged aunt’s legacy in Corfu is the perfect solution.

The chemistry between Abbie and the gorgeous but grumpy Nikos provides the humour, poignancy and romance in this story. The Hummingbird Hotel is not what she expects, and she is gifted with a mystery to solve, new opportunities and an unforgettable journey of self-realisation.

I love the relatable and vibrant characters. The vividly described setting allows the reader escapist virtual travel, and a lovely ending paves the way for the next book in the series, which I can’t wait to read.

Daisy James

Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.

When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

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