Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel, Travel Blogging

The Little Swiss Ski Chalet Julie Caplin 5*#Review @JulieCaplin @0neMoreChapter_ #RomanticEscapes @rararesources #Switzerland #Cake #Chocolate #Cheese #Romance #Travel #HolidayRomance #BlogTour #BookReview @Juleswake #MondayBlogs

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…

Food technician Minna has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral!

So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…

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

My Thoughts…

I’ve read all of the romantic escape series and apart from travelling to lovely places you meet engaging characters and experience their emotional journeys. Mina goes to Switzerland, to stay with her godmother at her Swiss ski chalet. Mina is recovering from a messy breakup and social media notoriety. She’s not looking for love, but fate intervenes, and the results are romantic and unexpected.

The reader is given a flavour of Switzerland from the vivid descriptions of the chocolate, cake and cheese. The ski chalet setting is picture-postcard, and the characters are varied and larger than life. The romance has a touch of magic about it and is gentle but passionate.

This is a perfect escape read and full of romance, but it’s also a story of self-knowledge and following your dreams.

Julie Caplin

Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. 

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have been translated into fifteen different languages.

The first book in the seven strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Travel, Young Adult

The Island C.L.Taylor 4* #Review @callytaylor @HQStories Narrators Olivia Dowd, Sam Newton, Sarah Ovens, HQ Young Adult #YA #Romance #Teen #Mystery #Psychological #Suspense # audiobook #Relationships #Phobias #BlogTour #FridayMorning #Thailand #TheIsland #HarperCollinsAudioUK

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a suspenseful story about six teenagers marooned on an island. Their darkest fears materialise as someone is turning paradise into hell. The characters are authentic and behave relatably. After witnessing an adult tragedy, the team dynamics start to crumble. Vulnerabilities and weaknesses rule each of the teenagers’ motivations. A vividly portrayed island setting is integral to the suspense. The dual point of views are both unreliable protagonists can their accounts be trusted?

The story has psychological suspense and insights into team dynamics and how stress affects individuals and the group. There are poignant moments and twists with a satisfying ending. It’s a fast-paced read which keeps you turning the pages.

The audiobook’s narrators bring the characters to life the different people and their changing emotions and reactions to each other are easy to discern. The narration is professional and builds the suspense and tension in the story well. It’s an easy book to listen to, and you soon become involved in the action and emotions

This audiobook is an addictive medley of naivety and noir that will appeal to its intended audience and adults who like psychological suspense and atmospheric settings.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Travel, Young Adult

The Island C.L.Taylor 4* #Review @callytaylor @HQStories #YA #Romance #Teen #Mystery #Psychological #Suspense #BookReview #BlogTour #FridayReads #Thailand #TheIsland

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a suspenseful story about six teenagers marooned on an island. Their darkest fears materialise as someone is turning paradise into hell. The characters are authentic and behave relatably. After witnessing an adult tragedy, the team dynamics start to crumble. Vulnerabilities and weaknesses rule each of the teenagers’ motivations. A vividly portrayed island setting is integral to the suspense. The dual point of views are both unreliable protagonists can their accounts be trusted?

The story has psychological suspense and insights into team dynamics and how stress affects individuals and the group. There are poignant moments and twists with a satisfying ending. It’s a fast-paced read which keeps you turning the pages.

It’s an addictive medley of naivety and noir that will appeal to its intended audience and adults who like psychological suspense and atmospheric settings.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Romance, Travel

The Silver Rose Dating Agency Angelena Boden 4* #Review @rararesources #Cozymystery #PeakDistrict #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

When lonely widow Kitty Merriweather moves to Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, she joins the Silver Rose online dating site because it offers a safe place for the over sixties to find romance.

There, she meets the enigmatic Harvey, a scientist working on a conservation project in Bali who promises her “hot days and stormy nights.”

Love blooms quickly but Kitty breaks all the rules laid down by the agency, putting herself at risk. When little things don’t add up she dismisses them as being unimportant. Nothing matters more than her plans for them to live happily ever after.

When she confides in her new friend, Edna Reid, octogenarian and former café owner, Kitty gets angry at Edna’s implication she is likely the victim of a scam. The more Edna hears about Harvey, the more she is convinced he’s only interested in Kitty for her money.

Using her knowledge of computers Edna finally uncovers the truth, but where does black magic and murder fit into this intriguing cosy mystery?

Amazon UK  Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is an engaging multi-generational cosy mystery with topical messages in the plot. It’s the second book in the series but reads well as a standalone. Edna is a lady with a talent for mystery solving, a kind, recently bereaved woman.

Relatable characters reflect the setting and a well-paced mystery keeps you guessing. There’s a good mix of humour and poignancy. The quirkiness of this story will appeal to many.

 Angelena Boden has spent thirty- five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District but has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Great Malvern, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes every afternoon and fits family and reading in between.

She is the author of two novels published by Urbane Publications (rights reverted) and two self-published cosy mysteries and a number of business books (Management Pocketbooks). Angelena is a regular blogger for a mental health publisher (Trigger) and Autumn Voices website which promotes authors over 60.

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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, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Travel

Together by Christmas Karen Swan 5*#Review @KarenSwan1 @panmacmillan #Festive #secrets #mystery #Friendship #Family #Romance #TogetherbyChristmas

When Lee first came to Amsterdam, it was with a newborn baby and a secret.

Five years later, her life is approaching normal: her career as a celebrity photographer is flourishing, her son Jasper is growing up, and they are enjoying the run-up to Christmas with their tight circle of close friends.

But all this changes one morning when Lee finds a book in the basket of her bicycle – and scrawled inside it, a desperate message. Who left it for her, and why?

Lee feels compelled to help and tracks down the book’s author, Sam. With an instant, undeniable connection it seems they might have a shot at a real future together.

Until her past comes calling.

As the snow falls and ice thickens on the city’s canals, the secret Lee has never told resurfaces. Suddenly everything she holds dear hangs in the balance.

Christmas is a time for being together – but what if the truth means she ends up alone?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is an engaging mix of family, friends, romance, and secrets, with topical themes, and a festive twist. The first chapters highlight an important relationship and hint at dramatic events revealed as the story unfolds. The relationships are complex, and Lee, the main protagonist, conflicted about many things. Damaged by the past, she focuses on her son and the good in her life, but as her past surfaces, she needs to confront it to heal.

Believable characters, a vibrant setting and festive events keep the reader entertained. This is an immersive and at times claustrophobic story but the festive customs and strong friendships counteract the angst, and the ending is a satisfying conclusion.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Travel

Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal Rachael Stewart 5*#Review @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonTrueLove #BookBlitz #BookReview #Romance #TemptedbytheTycoonsProposal #ThursdayThoughts #giveaway #ebook

A second chance…
With the single dad?

When hotelier Sophia Lambert finds billionaire Jack McGregor’s runaway daughter, a thank you dinner sounds harmless. Until Sophia finds herself tantalizingly attracted to Jack… The deeply desirable single dad re-awakens long-buried emotions in Sophia, but his jet-set life is beckoning. Unless Sophia can tempt him with her own proposal: to keep his feet on the ground…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a gentle, sweet romance with a delightful matchmaker who is the star of the show and beautifully described romantic settings. Jack lives for his daughter and his work, which has left him materially rich but emotionally poor. Sophia doesn’t believe she deserves a full life after a tragic incident in her past, so work is everything for her. She’s competent and successful in business but naive and unfulfilled in her emotional life. Lily is the reason for their paths to cross and she keeps them connected, then its a battle of chemistry versus their past issues but thankfully romance wins out in the end.

The characters are believably flawed and easy to like. Lily sees a chance of real family life and is the catalyst for the romance that follows between her dad and Sophia. The romance is lovely, and there are lots of romantic settings that add to the story’s ambience. The pacing is perfect, and although the conclusion is a true romance, there are conflicts both internal and external along the bumpy emotional road.

Sometimes less is more and this true with this romantic tale.

Rachael Stewart

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

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Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal (Open INT)

Click on this giveaway link to enter

*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 despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Extract, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance, Travel

The Villa of Dreams Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheVillaofDreams #extract #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BookTour #Romance #Friendship #Lisbon #uplit

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page. 

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true?

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of. Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

A little sunshine and warmth on a cold winter’s day are always welcome. This romantic tale of compromise, dreams and love, takes you on an emotional angst-ridden journey full of heartwarming romance that leaves you uplifted.

Seren decides that striving for her father’s approval is a fool’s errand and finally leaves England to follow her dreams in Lisbon, Portugal. She wants to develop her art and works towards the dream by organising and event that incorporates many aspects of the creative world. Love is not on her agenda, but fate has other ideas when she meets Reid, a recent divorcee and artist. Both are emotionally damaged and driven by their career project, yet the chemistry is undeniable, but is a Summer love strong enough to withstand the Winter of reality?

This is a story about dreams and how they can change and having the courage and insight to chase what makes you happy whatever the consequences.

Extract from the book…

Prologue

October

How many people are lucky – some might say foolhardy – enough to grab the chance of a fresh start? Well, I’ve been offered a job opportunity which is going to turn my whole life upside down. Three weeks today, I will be saying goodbye to the UK and jumping on a plane to Lisbon.

After working for my father for six years, the day that I finally decided I’d had enough and I handed him my letter of resignation, his reaction was one of disbelief.

‘You’re making a big mistake, Seren,’ he warned me. ‘Don’t expect me to bail you out if things go wrong. It’s a tough world out there and you’ve led a privileged life – you just don’t appreciate that fact.’

With his words ringing in my ears, I walked out of the office feeling… free. You can’t live life trying to please a man who uses a balance sheet as a measuring stick.

My father takes pride in the fact that he worked hard to build up his business, which allowed him to provide a good standard of living for his family. That makes him sound like a loving man, doesn’t it? But somewhere along the way it changed him, and not for the better. In a sad twist of irony, the father I remember from my childhood was different – as a family man he was kinder, more forgiving and less driven. I can’t remember when exactly he stopped appreciating the small things in life, but it’s a loss I mourn.

Working for my father for the last six years has destroyed not only the relationship I have with him but has also meant stifling my own ambitions. And my poor mother is caught in the middle, her heart torn as the chasm grows between us all. My father longed for a son and instead he got a daughter. One who wanted to please him, until he side-lined me for a total stranger. Three months after Stuart Lang arrived, I resigned. He saw me as a threat and wasted a ridiculous amount of time and effort in systematically undermining every decision I made. Obviously, he wasn’t quite as astute, or confident about his own abilities as my father perceived him to be. Mind you, my plans to leave were well in hand, even before his first day on the job.

It’s time to pack up my things and put them in storage.

There is no looking back, only forwards from now on. It’s up to me to manifest the sort of life I want to live and, yes, I’m a little scared, but it’s also empowering.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and 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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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Travel

The Chalet Catherine Cooper 4*#Review @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #TheChalet #FrenchAlps #CrimeFiction #Revenge #Secrets #BlogTour #BookReview

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later…

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.And somebody will pay

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in La Madiere France, this story evokes the ski resort ethos to create a believable setting with the author using sensory imagery well to create a claustrophobic atmosphere with a hint of menace. Multi-points of view highlight significant events and character motivations in this dual timeline story.

Set in 1998 and 2020 the story focuses on two groups of skiers’ stay in La Madiere. They have little in common in terms of age and financial status, but something sinister connects them. In 1998, a skiing trip ended tragedically for four young people. In 2020, The Chalet’s occupants lives unravel with the discovery of a body.

As dangerous secrets emerge, someone is seeking revenge creating a menacing ethos amongst the group of self-serving individuals in the Chalet. This an atmospheric story which makes a simple plot effective. The characters are hard to empathise, and whilst the outcome is guessable, it is relatable and resonates.

Catherine Cooper

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels, and skiing who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian among others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier. The Chalet is her debut novel. www.catherinecooperauthor.com

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Folk Tales, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Travel

The Coral Bride Roxanne Bouchard 4*#Review @RBouchard72 Translator David Warriner @givemeawave @OrendaBooks #Detective #Quebec #TheCoralBride #DSMorales @RandomTTours

In this beautiful, lyrical sequel to the critically acclaimed We Were the Salt of the Sea, Detective Moralès finds that a seemingly straightforward search for a missing fisherwoman off Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula is anything but.

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat ’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a woman in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it ’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep…

An exquisitely written, evocative and poetic thriller, The Coral Bride powerfully conjures the might of the sea and the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is the sort of book you can get lost in. It’s claustrophobic, immersive and lyrical. Focused on a fishing community in Quebec, Canada, it has a similar quality to Icelandic and Nordic noir. The opening chapter is both beautiful and horrifying at the same time. It raises as many questions as answers.

DS Morales is an unusual man, a loner, a stranger whose motives are not immediately obvious to the community around him. He has a complex family life. This story brings the father and son dynamic into focus and serves as a contrast to the familial relationships exposed in the fishing community.

The plot keeps its secrets well, whilst providing numerous motivations for murder among Angel’s colleagues, family and friends. The insular nature of the community is well described and the importance of nature and folklore interwoven into the investigation giving it depth and originality.

This is a standalone read, but DS Morales is a complex and interesting man. Reading the first book where he features would make this even more enjoyable.

Roxanne Bouchard

Over ten years ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies.

Her fifth novel (first translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018 to resounding critical acclaim, sure to be followed by its sequel, The Coral
Bride. She lives in Quebec
.