Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Romance

A Surprise Christmas Wedding Phillipa Ashley 5* #Review @PhillipaAshley @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsAudioUK #festive #Christmas #Cumbria #Events #Weddings #Winter #BookReview #Audiobook Narrator Laura Kirman @laurakirman #Review #ASupriseChristmasWedding

It’s been a year since Lottie’s fiancé walked out, leaving her heartbroken. But things start to look up when she lands her dream job at a beautiful Lake District estate, with a handsome groundskeeper for a neighbour.
 
So when Lottie is asked to organise a last minute Christmas wedding at Firholme, she can’t wait to get started. Until she meets the couple, and discovers that Connor, the man who broke her heart, is the groom-to-be.
 

As snow falls on the hills, can Lottie put aside her past to organise the perfect winter wedding? And will there be any festive magic left to bring Lottie the perfect Christmas she deserves?

Curl up with this gorgeous story about love and second chances.

Amazon UK Audiobook

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

My Thoughts…

I’ve read lots of this author’s books, but this is the first I’ve listened to as an audiobook. Rather than Cornwall, the setting for this story is Cumbria one of my favourite places, so I couldn’t wait to start listening. This is a story of betrayal, forgiveness and second chances with a surprising festive wedding. Not wanting to give away the plot suffice it to say not all surprises are welcome.

Lottie is working as an event planner at a Cumbrian country house. Planning her first wedding causes conflict in her personal and professional lives, ultimately it makes her realise, some truths about herself and her previous relationship. Jay appears unsocial, but he has trust issues when it comes to relationships, something that stands between his and Lottie’s happiness.

The story has some lovely festive touches, and the romance is conflicted, but rewarding. There is also a poignantly relevant sub-plot about Lottie’s sister, which shows the importance of their sisterly bond and is a particularly heartwarming part of the story.

The characters are vibrant and wonderfully flawed, and they are brought to life, convincingly, by the excellent narrator. Not all the characters are easy to like, particularly Connor and his fiancee Keegan. The story has a good plot for an audiobook with lots of characters and dialects. The narrator is professional and copes well with the different accents and characters.

If you are looking for a festive read with family and forgiveness at its heart with ripples of romance, and humour this is a perfect read.

Posted in Book Review, Festive Read, Romance

Snowbound At The Manor Ellie Darkins 4*#Review @MillsandBoon @EllieDarkins #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #SnowboundAtTheManor #instagram #MillsandBoonTrueLove #Festive Read

The words merry and Christmas don’t go together for Jess. So her trip to a luxury stately home is for business, not pleasure. Only Jess hadn’t counted on spending Christmas snowbound with enigmatic Rufus, elusive owner of the manor. To top it off, it’s more difficult to ignore the sparks between them with each passing day!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

It took me a little while to warm to the characters and events in this story, although I enjoyed the setting and the unexpected encounter element from the start. Rufus and Jess meet dramatically with him collapsing on her holiday home doorstep, and the chemistry begins to sizzle as she helps him thaw out. Neither is keen on involvement, so there is plenty of conflict in this story as they fight the attraction between them. The Instagram promotion angle is the least appealing element of the story for me, but I appreciate others may love this.

This is a lovely festive read with a great setting, romance and snow.

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

Sinfully Yours Margot Radcliffe 4*#Review @MargotRadcliffe @MillsandBoon #Christmas #Festive #family #Friends #NewYork #Romance #BookReview #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonDare #SinfullyYours

Dark and brooding hotel magnate Will Walker is exactly what Laura Edwards wants for Christmas. Too bad he can’t forgive her for disappearing from their unhappy existence in foster care without a word.

But when a snowstorm leaves her sharing Will’s penthouse over Christmas, the passion between them burns brighter than Times Square. This time, can Will trust Laura to stay?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

There’s a Christmas feel from the first pages of this romance. Laura is a festive event planner and especially loves Christmas. The meeting with Will her client is unexpected, especially when she recognises him. Will has never forgotten Laura, and how she left him without a word. Trust is a conflict in their passionate romance, as is Laura’s lifelong guilt. Both characters have damaged childhoods but have achieved material success in life, emotionally, they are bereft.

Their festive romance is idyllic, with snow, confectionery and passion, but when the snow melts and the real world intrudes their conflicted past and trust issues make Will withdraw from the happy-ever-after Laura wants.

This is story has emotional angst, likeable characters and passionate romance, the perfect recipe for a festive romance read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Mystery, Victorian Romance

A Princess By Christmas Julia London 5*#Review @JuliaFLondon @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #ARoyalWedding #MillsandBoonInsiders #APrincessByChristmas #MillsandBoonHistorical #Festive

A Secret. A Lie. A Revolution.

Hollis Honeycutt has written her London gazette since the death of her husband – featuring fashion plates, marriage advice, and the latest gossip in and around Mayfair. But now she feels her gazette should have more meaning, cover topics of more consequence than the latest curl cream.

The opportunity presents itself when Hollis overhears rumours of a potential coup in the Kingdom of Wesloria, a coup linked to the highest level of government in London. During her investigation Hollis spies a man with no business lurking around peace talks, and determines to expose him for the traitor he most certainly must be.

When Weslorian Marek Brendan was fifteen he was shocked to discover his heritage was not what he believed – he was whisked away from the Weslorian palace when he was born because there was fear that corrupt forces would try and kidnap him. Now he is determined to stop these corrupt forces staging a coup in his home country. Except for the beautiful woman whose questions are putting his own investigation at risk. Yet soon Marek realises that pretty Hollis can help him. But when he confides his suspicions, Hollis’s loyalties are tested and she must choose between her loyalties to her family, or her heart…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the ‘A Royal Wedding’ series features Hollis, a widow who is feeling left behind in the romance stakes when her sister Eliza,(The Princess Plan) and her best friend Caroline (Royal Kiss and Tell) find true love.

Hollis is an engaging character conflicted with moving on and keeping her husband’s memory alive. She’s independent, opinionated and a little outrageous for the staid Victorian society and a fabulous character because of these things. Marek’s secret will rock the foundations of Wesloria. He fights his attraction to Hollis fearing she will betray him. Their slow-burn romance is conflicted from the start.

This story is complete and reads like a standalone. However, if you want to know more about Eliza and Caroline and understand the royal world of Alucia and Wesloria read the other books in the series too.

This story has political intrigue at its heart, and its the investigation of a suspected coup in Wesloria that divides and then unites the unlikely couple. The dialogue between Hollis and Marek is witty and informative. Hollis’ introspective thoughts are well written and give important insights into her motivations and personality. The romance is gentle but insistent. There’s a festive twist to this story which gives a perfect picture of Victorian Christmas.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Festive Read, Friendship, Romantic Comedy

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency Daisy James 5* #Review @daisyjamesbooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom #Cornwall #Weddings #Christmas #Festive #WeddingPlanner #CozyMystery #UpLit #TheCornishConfettiAgency

It’s Christmas at The Cornish Confetti Agency!

When Lexie Harrington is asked to choreograph Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas-themed wedding, she can’t wait to create the perfect winter wonderland – elegantly dressed fir trees, glossy garlands of holly and mistletoe, baskets of yule logs and pine cones, and the mouth-watering fragrance of gingerbread, cinnamon sticks and warm mulled wine floating through the air.

With handsome wedding columnist-cum-fledgling scriptwriter Theo Barker at her side, she’s confident that she can create the perfect festive ambience the bride and groom have been dreaming of since their engagement in the Swiss Alps; no rampant hosepipes, no mechanical mice, no confetti-filled hairdryers.

But this is The Cornish Confetti Agency, and the words ‘plain-sailing’ and ‘hassle-free’ do not feature in the promotional brochure. So, when a much-loved portrait of the groom’s father is adorned with pirate eye-patches and black plastic moustaches, and his expensive cologne is switched for toilet cleaner, Lexie and Theo must once again don their metaphorical deerstalkers and unravel the mystery before the wedding dissolves into Christmas-themed chaos and calamity.

A perfect Christmas wedding?
Is there such a thing for The Cornish Confetti Agency?

A glittery, feel-good story perfect for the festive season, and the third book in The Cornish Confetti Agency series.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in The Cornish Confetti Agency series is pure festive magic with an intriguing cosy mystery, romance and laughter. It’s readable as a festive standalone, but if you enjoy heartwarming romance, humourous moments and cosy mystery read the first two books too.

The characters are vibrant, and there’s a catalogue of wedding-themed incidents full of humour, and mystery. Lexie and Theo, are worthy amateur sleuths, and there’s plenty of romantic interludes for characters old and new.

If you are a fan of Christmas, like to laugh, sigh at romance and solve a mystery, it’s all here in a veritable Christmas cracker of a story.

Daisy James

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines.

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 pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

Christmas At Aunt Elsie’s Emily Harvale 5*#Review #BlogBlitz @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Christmas #Uplit #heartwarming #ChristmasatAuntElsies #secrets #BookReview #SeahorseHarbour

A distant relative. A blizzard. A Christmas of surprises.

Lottie Short isn’t looking forward to Christmas. Her boyfriend has dumped her and she’s also lost her job. Lottie and her beloved spaniel, Merry, are facing the festive season – and a bleak future, alone.

But a Christmas card and round-robin letter give Lottie hope. And as the first snowflakes fall, she’s on her way to the tiny seaside village of Seahorse Harbour to visit her distant aunt. She’ll stay in a cosy B&B and get some bracing, sea air. That might lift her spirits.

What she doesn’t plan for is a blizzard, her aunt taking a fall, or the dramas unfolding all around her. But at least there’s a warm welcome at Aunt Elsie’s cottage … and a roaring log fire in the village pub.

That’s not all that might bring a rosy glow to Lottie’s cheeks. Asher Bryant, the local vet is pretty hot, and Lottie also hits it off with another visitor to Seahorse Harbour. This festive season might be better than she hoped.

And when Lottie gets more than one surprise this Christmas, perhaps she and Merry won’t be spending the New Year on their own.

This is book 2 in Emily Harvale’s new series of standalone novels set in the tiny, seaside village of Seahorse Harbour.

Amazon UK

Read Book 1 Summer At My Sister’s Amazon UK

Read My Review of Summer At My Sister’s

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

My Thoughts…

There’s a Winter setting for the second book in the Seahorse Harbour series. At a low point in her life, Lottie finds connecting with a distant relative is the lifeline she needs, especially at Christmastime. There’s a mix of old friends and new characters in this festive themed story. The series has engaging characters and a lovely blend of humour, poignancy and romance, but this reads as a standalone.

A family accident and inclement weather provide the drama. Lottie has the possibility of second chance romance. The story flows at a good pace immersing the reader in relatable characters’lives. There’s a heartwarming uplifting sense of friendship and community in keeping with the season.

Emily Harvale

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

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Posted in Book Review, Festive Read, Medical Romance

Falling For The Secret Prince Alison Roberts 3*#Review @MillsandBoon #AlisonRoberts #MillsandBoonMedical #MillsandBoonInsiders #Secrets #Royalty #ER #Romance #MedicalRomance #Festive #RoyalChristmasatSeattleGeneral #FallingForTheSecretPrince

Dr. Dom Di Rossi’s world literally crashes through the ER doors when his father, the King of Isola Verde, is involved in a car crash. Until now, Dom’s royal connection has been carefully guarded. But when Dr. Emilia Featherstone, his old medical school rival, recognizes a previously unseen vulnerability behind his delicious eyes, she unintentionally becomes the keeper of his secret – and his heart!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts...

This story will appeal to those who like lots of medical detail in their medical romance. A standalone book in the Royal Christmas at Seattle General series, Dr Dom Di Rossi is the chief ER consultant at Seattle General with a secret which allows him to pursue his medical vocation. An unexpected patient in his ER threatens his secret life. Dr Emilia Featherstone is a long time rival of the ER chief they have mutual respect, but nothing more until she senses he is hiding something.

The romance between Dom and Emilia is slow, built out of mutual respect which accepts the secrets they both have. The medical ethos is well written, but at times the medical moments obscure the romantic ones.

This is Grey’s Anatomy style romance with likeable characters and a positive ending. There are three other books in this series written by different authors.

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

One More For Christmas Sarah Morgan 5*#Review @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #FestiveRead #Christmas #Family #Love #MothersandDaughters #Sisters #RomCom #HolidayFiction #OneMoreForChristmas

Gayle is a highly successful and motivated business woman, but her success has come at a price – she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. But when Gayle has an accident at work, she realises she needs to make amends with her family.

And so she invites herself to join Ella and Samantha for their Christmas in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The sisters are none too pleased that their mother has inserted herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other – and don’t need their mother back in their lives. Or so they think…

As they embark on their first family Christmas together in years, will the three women learn that sometimes facing up to a few home truths is all you need to heal your heart?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Snow and the Scottish Highlands at Christmas seems idyllic, and that’s what Sam’s hoping for as she and her sister try out a highland lodge for her bespoke festive holidays’ company. They always spend the festive season together, but this time their estranged mother is coming too. Gayle has a successful company, but her family life is non-existent. This is not something she worries about until she has an accident and realises how alone she is.

The story told mainly from the three women’s point of view is engaging, poignant and realistic. The setting may be like a fairytale, but the angst is real and threatens the magic of the season. There are humour and romance are interwoven into the emotional minefield of past loss and secrets. The flawed characters are appealing, and you want them to find familial happiness.

The romance is magical and passionate. The childlike perspective from Tabitha, light relief in this emotional tale and the end of this story is positive and uplifting.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Historical Fiction

Christmas at the Farmhouse Rebecca Boxall 5*#Review @rararesources #Festive #Christmas #FamilyDrama #histfic #Contemporary #Secrets #RebeccaBoxall

As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives over Christmas is the most life-changing of all.

Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan Jones finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?

The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.

Rebecca Boxall is the award-nominated author of five bestselling novels – Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse.

Amazon UK  Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Jo’s ideal Christmas is at her lovely farmhouse, full of the people she loves. Christmas 2019 is full of secrets and surprises. A festive insight into family, in all its diversity and true Christmas spirit. Another historical tale plays out in 1969, one of naivety, narcissism and terrible betrayal and loss. The contrast is evident, but what is the connection?

This is a poignant relatable story which takes you on an emotional journey with all its highs and lows. The characters are believably flawed, and you care what happens to them. The festive customs add authenticity and the final revelations are heartwarming and uplifting.

Rebecca Boxall

Rebecca Boxall was born in 1977 in East Sussex, where she grew up in a vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband, three children and Rodney the cat. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. She is the bestselling author of Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse and was nominated for the Romantic Novelist Association Awards in 2020.

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

Mine to Five Tara September 5*#Review @TaraSeptember #Narrator @verla_bond #Romance #Workplace #ContemporaryRomance #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour #Festive #FridayReads #MinetoFive

Working beyond nine to five and barely getting by, Melanie Thomas is eager to celebrate the impending holiday season and to toast the start of her dream marketing job over drinks with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, he has different planslike seeing other women. 

Indulging in a pity party with tequila, Melanie confides in a sexy stranger at the bar. It’s almost Christmas. One night of letting go won’t hurt anything, right? Turns out it just might—when the stranger is her new boss. Determined to succeed at her job, Melanie won’t be scared away. This is her chance, even if her hot boss has her feeling all merry and bright and wishing for a less-than-professional relationship.

Matthew Ryans is burned out and on thin ice at the company he helped build unless he gets his head back in the game. Yet his head, both upper and lower, are quickly becoming obsessed with his new assistant. Still, he can’t seem to fully begrudge Melanie’s distracting presence and the Christmas joy she brings with it. Especially considering that her enthusiasm has him reenergized. For once, he is longing for Mondays, but with his heart and job on the line, he can’t risk blurring the lines no matter how strong the lure of holiday mistletoe is.  

Will their holiday passion be able to fuel mutual career success, or will it only get in their way in the New Year?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

A well-paced sexy romance set in the workplace. With believable and relatable characters and a storyline perfect for an audiobook listen. This is the second of this author’s books I’ve listened to by this narrator, who makes it easy to engage with the characters and the story.

Melanie and Mathew’s meeting at a bar leads to complications in their work lives, even though neither can remember the details of the encounter. This is a sensual romance with passion and forbidden love which explores the dangers of workplace romance and the unfair consequences for women.

The story has a festive setting, which adds to the romance and whilst there are no real surprises, the ending is passionate and so romantic.

Tara September

Tara September is a multi-award-winning contemporary romance author living in Southwest Florida. Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. For over a decade, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

An avid romance reader though, she has been daydreaming about being an author since she was a kid. Dozens of bad dates and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a NYC subway. They now have identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and an outrageous stock of champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

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