Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, International Thriller, New Books, Political Thriller, Thriller, Travel

From a Position of Strength Sean Heary 4*#Review @Sean_Heary @lovebookstours @KellyALacey @igbooktours @seanhearyauthor #lovebookstours #Thriller #Political #Spy #ConspiracyTheory #International #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

Lying by the pool under a clear Tuscan sky, Lorenzo Rossi, the former head of the Vatican police, receives a surprise visit from his ex-fiancée, CIA Agent Cathy Doherty. Cathy is concerned about Rossi’s safety. 

Three nights ago, a Russian GRU intelligence officer Elena Trusova was critically injured in a vehicle rollover on a remote road leading to Rossi’s olive farm in Siena, Italy.

Rossi assures Cathy the proximity of the accident is pure coincidence, but agrees to investigate after Cathy reveals the Russian was a double agent working for the CIA and probability on her way to see him.

Together they uncover a heinous right-wing plot that, if successful, would lead to nuclear Armageddon.

Can Rossi and Cathy stop a president gone mad or is this the end of the world as we know it?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This third novel featuring Rossi and Cathy is an entertaining read. The story is complete and is readable as a standalone. This fast-paced and conspiracy theory orientated spy thriller is pacy. The characters are relatable and draw the reader into their world of danger, deceit and desire.

An easy to follow plot has surprising twists and an impactful ending. Vivid, sensual imagery captures the characters and locations’ vibrancy. The dynamic between Rossi and Cathy is engaging, and their humour and romantic banter make this story resonate.

This is a great series if you enjoy conspiracy thrillers with a good balance of action and humour.

Sean Henry

Sean travelled the world for thirty years as a mining company executive, living for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he likes to write political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he picked up a taste for Central Asian cuisine and met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Travel

The Arctic Curry Club Dani Redd 4* #Review @dani_redd @AvonBooksUK #TheArcticCurryClub #BookReview #HappyNewYear

Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.

In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.

But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is heartwarming, but it’s also poignant and realistic. It’s and a journey of self-realisation. Ultimately uplifting, but it took me a while to get into it. Maya is a complex character who endears empathy and frustration in equal measures. Peppered with deceit, humour and sadness, it engages the reader.

The research and personal experience resonate. Coupled with the original locations, and plot it’s worth reading.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel

Tempted by the Runes Christina Courtenay 5*#Review @PiaCCourtenay @headlinepg @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Vikings #timeslip #ContemporaryRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #Runes #Dublin #Iceland #Giveaway #TemptedbytheRunes

Born centuries apart. Bound by a love that defied time.

She couldn’t believe her eyes. The runes were normally so reliable and she had never doubted them before.

Madison Berger is visiting Dublin with her family for a Viking re-enactment festival when she chances upon a small knife embedded in the banks of the Liffey. Maddie recognises what the runes on the knife’s handle signify: the chance to have her own adventures in the past.

Maddie only intends to travel back in time briefly, but a skirmish in 9th century Dublin results in her waking up on a ship bound for Iceland, with the man who saved her from attack.

Geir Eskilsson has left his family in Sweden to boldly carve out a life of his own. He is immediately drawn to Maddie, but when he learns of her connection to his sisters-in-law, he begins to believe that Fate has played a part in bringing them together. Amidst the perils that await on their journey to a new land, the truest battle will be to win Maddie’s heart and convince her that the runes never lie…

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Maddie, and Gier, are relatable vibrant characters who set out on an adventurous, romantic journey. The author creates a believably vivid Viking world using historical detail and sensory imagery.

Maddie is a likeable, impulsive character whose character develops with her timeslip adventure. The reality of 9th century Viking life jars with her theoretical knowledge, and she has to accept this and learn to achieve her true potential in the Viking world. Gier has knowledge of time travel, and he sees the runes as a sign, Maddie and he will be together. The chemistry between them builds with emotional commitment and proximity. Maddie remains the biggest challenge to their happiness. Can a twenty-first-century woman be fulfilled in a 9th Century Viking world?

This is an engaging tale of danger and desire with characters who resonate.

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014), and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the RunesTempted by the Runes (time travel published by Headline 9th December 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win a signed paperback copy of Tempted by the Runes , a pair of silver Thor’s hammer earrings and a Thor’s hammer Christmas tree bauble (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes

Read my review of The Runes of Destiny

Read my review of Whispers of the Runes

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Giveaway, Romance, Travel

Beauty And The Reclusive Millionaire Rachael Stewart 5*#Review @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonTrueLove #BookBlitz #BookReview #Romance #BeautyAndTheReclusiveMillionaire #giveaway

An unforgettable Greek escape…

with the man she never forgot! 

A-list actress Catherine Wilde has it all, but behind closed doors, she is fighting personal battles. So the chance to escape to the private Greek island of her best friend’s brother, Alaric, offers the tranquillity she craves. Except seeing Alaric again sets her heart rate soaring. Life might have changed him, but he can still make her feel alive—and when the torch she once held for him reignites, it’s impossible to ignore!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairytales, and this author gives the reader a contemporary slant on the original, brimming with drama, emotion and romance. Catherine and Alaric are both likeable protagonists who are lacking in self-worth. They need each other to realise they seek a love that completes them.

Their emotional connection is strong from the beginning, rooted in childhoods spent together. Both have suffered losses that have left them emotionally bereft. The conflicts between them are numerous, but their chemistry and history make romance inevitable. The passion reflects their emotional commitment, and the ending is romantic.

Rachael Stewart

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories, from heartwarmingly romantic to wildly erotic. She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled-on pages in her loft will attest to. A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her very own hero and three awesome kids, and if she’s not tapping out a story, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors.

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Prize

Giveaway to Win a prize including 3 Rachael Stewart Paperbacks,

Heart Post Its and more (Open INT)

Prize Contains –

3 x paperbacks:

  • Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal
  • Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella
  • Beauty And The Reclusive Millionaire

And:

  • Cute Sloth Coffee Cup Place Mat
  • Novelty Pen
  • Heart Post-Its

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

The Lost Girl in Paris Jina Bacarr 5*#Review @JinaBacarr @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #HistFic #WW2 #BookReview #Romance #Drama #secrets #perfume #France #Paris #TheLostGirlinParis

Brand new from the bestselling author of The Resistance Girl.

1940, Nazi-occupied Paris. A powerful story of love, tragedy and incredible courage, about one woman whose life is ripped apart by war and who risks everything to seek justice.

As Nazis patrol the streets of the French capital, Tiena is alone, desperate and on the run. After defending herself against the force of an officer, she must find a new identity in order to survive.

An accidental meeting with members of the Resistance gives her a lifeline, as she is offered the chance to reinvent herself as perfumer Angéline de Cadieux.

However, Angéline will never forget what happened to her and will do everything she can to seek revenge. But vengeance can be a dangerous game, and Angeline can only hide her true identity for so long before her past catches up with her, with some devastating consequences…

Paris, 2003. When the opportunity arises for aspiring journalist Emma Keane to interview world-renowned perfumer Madame De Cadieux about her life during World War Two, she is determined to take it. There are secrets from her own family history that she hopes Angéline may be able to help unlock.

But nothing can prepare Emma for Angéline’s story, and one thing is for certain – it will change her own life forever…

An absolutely heartbreaking, unforgettable historical novel of war, sacrifice and survival.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Believably crafted characters and vivid historical details bring this story to life for the reader. This story explores occupied France from the viewpoint of a young girl. The author captures the sense of danger and menacing ethos brilliantly. The vibrant descriptions and violent emotions are immersive.

The woman she becomes is a famous perfumer, and again the details give the character authenticity and depth. Her story is retold years later to a young journalist seeking answers about her ancestry. The secrets are devastating, the tragedy of war, and the evil of the occupying regime resonates.

This story balances action and introspection in an addictive way making this an absorbing and heartbreaking read but so worth the angst.

JinaBacarr

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

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Posted in Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, New Books, Travel

Grace on the Horizon Emma Lombard @LombardEmma #Graceonthehorizon @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours #TheWhiteSailsSeries #BookTour #Mystery #Romance #Adventure #BookReview #MondayBlogs

GRACE ON THE HORIZON is the second full-length novel in The White Sails Series. Grace and Seamus, united by their past experiences, are adrift on a raft of shame in the sea of 1830s London society. After a personal tragedy, Grace’s desperation to leave London forces Seamus to accept a dubious commission on the private explorer, Clover.

With the expedition financed by Colonel Hamilton and his private backers, Seamus is tasked with mapping a round-the-world voyage. But Colonel Hamilton has an additional package that requires delivery—Father Babcock—a priest wanted for murder. The church wants Babcock transported far from England to set up a new mission in South America.

Battling his overprotectiveness, Seamus breaks his oath to always tell Grace the truth and hides Babcock’s identity from her. But the journey aboard the Clover is far from smooth sailing, and Grace suspects a saboteur. Trapped within the ship’s confines, she must learn to forgive her husband’s well-intentioned duplicity and determine who wishes them harm—because now she also has her unborn child to protect.

Is it an aggrieved member of the Admiralty who believes Seamus disgraced the service by resigning his command to chase after Grace? Perhaps Grace’s father, Lord Flint, seeking revenge against her for ruining the family name? Or a jealous suitor determined to ruin the life Grace is trying to build with Seamus?

From the damp cobbled streets of London, around the freezing stormy tip of Cape Horn, and into the scorching dusty bush of New Holland, GRACE ON THE HORIZON promises another adventure on the high seas, bursting with action and suspense. It is historical women’s fiction that will appeal to fans of the strong female protagonist in Outlander and  Poldark.

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

My Thoughts…

The second in the White Sails series sees Grace on a dangerous adventure where she has more to protect than herself. The story is full of richly described historical details that make excellent use of sensory imagery. The time and place are brought to vibrant life, making this an exciting read.

I haven’t read the first book in the series, and I feel it would have been even more enjoyable if I had. This is a romantic story full of menace and mystery with cleverly crafted characters and settings.


Emma Lombard was born in Pontefract in the UK. She grew up in Africa—calling Zimbabwe and South Africa home for a few years—before finally settling in Brisbane Australia, and raising four boys. Before she started writing historical fiction, she was a freelance editor in the corporate world, which was definitely not half as exciting as writing rollicking romantic adventures. Her characters are fearless seafarers, even though in real life Emma gets disastrously seasick.

DISCERNING GRACE, is the first book in The White Sails Series.

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Giveaway, New Books, Romance, Travel

The Amsterdam Affair Kate Frost 5* #Review @katefrostauthor @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Amsterdam #Travel #Friendship #Romance #TheAmsterdamAffair #MondayBlogs

A new start, a chance encounter, a Christmas to remember. Will Iris’s new year be happy ever after? 

When Iris Greene’s boyfriend surprises her with a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant, she’s expecting a proposal, not a move to another country. 

But Amsterdam proves to be the change she never knew she needed, and a surprise encounter with a local actor leads Iris to new friends and the rediscovery of a long lost passion. While Iris thrives in a city filled with festivity, her boyfriend struggles, and her heart is torn in two. 

As snow falls and secrets are revealed, Iris must decide her future. Will she be brave enough to start over and take a chance on love? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Iris finds her life upturned when her partner of several years accepts his dream job in Amsterdam. The lack of discussion before he accepts this role makes him seem selfish, unlike Iris, who wants to make him happy, even though she has doubts.

Amsterdam proves to be a journey of self-discovery for Iris, as she rediscovers her creativity and finds friends who appreciate her. The story is full of vivid descriptions from Iris’perspective that makes the story entertaining and informative for the reader.

Iris has to choose whether to follow her dreams. Invested in her happiness, you want her to decide wisely. The characters are believably flawed and relatable, the setting immerses you in Iris’ adventure, and the story is heartwarming and uplifting to read.

Kate Frost

Kate Frost is the author of best-selling romantic escape novels (The Baobab Beach Retreat, A Starlit Summer, The Greek Heart, The Love Island Bookshop and The Amsterdam Affair), character-driven women’s fiction (The Butterfly Storm series and Beneath the Apple Blossom), and Time Shifters, a time travel adventure trilogy for children. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates.

Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, young son, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Frodo. As well as writing novels, she’s also the Director of Storytale Festival, a new city-wide children’s book festival that she co-founded in Bristol in 2019 with the ethos of making books accessible to all and encouraging children and teens to read, write and be creative. Kate feels incredibly lucky to spend her days writing and being immersed in books. Her first book with Boldwood will be published in March 2022.

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Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Amsterdam Affair along with a bag of mini Stroopwafels (Open to UK Only)

Click to enter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway lilnk above.The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Friday Read, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

Christmas Island Natalie Normann 5*#Review @NatalieNormann1 @0neMoreChapter_ @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours  #ChristmasIsland #Norway #Festive #Christmas #Romance #Friendship #BookTour #BookReview #FridayReads

Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!

In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable

After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Christmas Island captures Norwegian festive traditions with vibrant descriptions and vivid sensory imagery. Inclement weather and seemingly unending darkness show why a bright Christmas celebration is necessary for the islanders. The atmospheric opening chapters introduce Holly, a doctor running from her life and hoping to find solace on the island. Instead, she gets lost, wet and is frightened in her first few hours on the island.

Tor is living a reclusive life on the island and is a mystery to the friendly islanders. His cat Troy is the reason he meets Holly, and the two have an interesting dynamic. The friendship and eventual romance is gentle and reflects their past hurts. The sense of community and customs makes this a heartwarming and uplifting read.

Natalie Normann grew up in a shipping town on the west coast of Norway and always wanted to be a writer. Actually, she wanted to smoke cigars and drink whiskey like Hemingway but settled for chocolate and the occasional glass of Baileys.

Her writing journey started with short stories in women’s magazines until her first book was published in 1995.

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Travel

The Single Dad’s Christmas Proposal Ella Hayes 5* Review @EllaHayesAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #festive #parenting #relationships #Chamonix #Paris #Christmas #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #TheSingleDadsChristmasProposal

A life-changing winter escape!

Extreme snowboarder Dax is no stranger to a challenge. Still, nothing could have prepared him for his greatest challenge yet: fatherhood! Six-year-old Yann was kept a secret by his late mother. Now Dax is determined to make up for lost time. But with a work commitment in Chamonix, he needs a step-in nanny…Will Simone say yes to Dax—and a Christmas to remember?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Dax is an extreme snowboarder with a tragic past and a six-year-old son he has just met. Single mother Simone has an understanding of what Dax is experiencing. Their children are friends. Dax needs someone to take care of his son at Christmas in Chamonix. Is Simone willing to be that person?

The Parisian setting for the couple’s first meeting is atmospheric and magical, drawing the reader into the story’s festive ambience. Their first meeting sparks an attraction even though they don’t initially realise the significance of it. Simone and Dax are lovely characters who have to overcome their emotional barriers to find happiness. The romance is gentle, and the conflicts, to their being together, authentic.

This story has everything you want in a festive romance, characters you believe in, heartwarming emotion and a happy conclusion.

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

The Christmas Escape Sarah Morgan 5*#Review @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #FestiveRead #Christmas #Family #Love Friendship #Relationships #RomCom #secrets #HolidayFiction #TheChristmasEscape

The new Christmas book from the Sunday Times bestselling author of One More for Christmas and A Wedding in December!

It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.

As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

It’s always a festive treat to read a Christmas story by this author. She captures the ethos of the season and spices it up with festive romance and the sweetness of a child experiencing the perfect snowy Christmas. Not everything is about hot chocolate and sleigh rides in the snow, though. There are strained friendships, aroused passions, and secrets that unfold against a wintry background. Angst and arguments prevail, but there is also a chance to talk and find out family secrets.

Wintry and wonderful festive activities and natural events capture the essence of an idyllic Christmas holiday. The characters draw the reader’s empathy and frustrate in equal measure. This story is emotional and heartwarming and the perfect book to read in front of a log fire this Christmas.