Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

Put It Out There – 4 * Review – D.R. Graham – (Britannia Beach #1)

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Blurb - Coastal

‘Did you miss me?’

Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.

Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for— bolder, more experienced – but is that who she wants to be?

With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

Buy Links - Coastal

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My Review - Coastal

Put It Out There (Britannia Beach, #1)

 

Derian returns home a year after her father’ death, to find some things always stay the same, whilst others are subtly different. Derian has a gift, which confuses her. She matures emotionally in this story, as she accepts past tragedy, copes with change and discovers her inner strengths.
Romance or the lack of it dominates Deri’s life. Finding it where she least expects, leads to mixed emotions and false starts. When she accepts who she wants, they are annoyingly reticent.
Deri’s friends and family are interesting, realistic characters, who bring Britannia Beach to life. The language and heat level are appropriate for the intended readers. The ending completes this chapter of Deri’s young life but leaves un- answered questions for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Put It Out There by D.R. Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Put It Out There (Britannia Beach, #1) by D.R. Graham

D.R. Graham

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay – Zoe Cook – 4* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Lucy, hi. It’s Tom. How are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to get in touch but it’s hard to know how to after so much time. I hear you’re doing really well up there. I knew you would be.

You should come here, you know, back to Hideaway bay. Come and see everyone, see how little it’s all changed. Feel the sand between your toes, the Cornish sea breeze on your face. When the sun hits the surf in that way it does, it’s as magical as ever.

That’s why I’m writing to you, actually. I want to get the gang back together again, one last time before…well…just one last time. You should come too. The four of us, a summer on the beach, like old times. We all want you here for it. I want you here for it. It’s been so long since I saw you.

I still think about you.

Tom.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember

This story gets better with every page you read. The first few chapters, authentically set in London’s celebrity and media culture, highlight Lucy’s superficial character. Lucy‘s self destruction imminent, as she seeks the ultimate career high.
There are references to drug taking, which I disliked but this are important indicators of Lucy’s deterioration and the culture she is part of. Similarly, smoking is a legacy of her teenage.
Flashback chapters in Hideaway Bay feature teenage Lucy and introduce the other three friends, who are linchpins of this story. Lucy wants to escape the seaside town, even though most people would love to live there. The phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone’, comes to mind.
This story has plenty of surprises that inform Lucy’s current emotional state. The cast of characters both in Hideaway Bay and London are vivid and believable. For me, it is the last quarter of the story that tugs at the heartstrings. The twist is unexpected and poignant. You really care because the characters are like old friends by this time.
Well written women’s fiction, a lovely balance of humour, romance, sadness and secrets in a charming seaside setting.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

ne Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

3* Review: Found: One Secret Baby – Nancy Holland

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Winter Blurb

LA lawyer Rosalie Walker will do whatever it takes to protect her adopted son. She promised his mother before she died that she’d look after him and keep him safe from his paternal family. So when delectable Morgan Danby walks into her office in search of his nephew, she must keep the baby in her care a secret—even if one look from Morgan makes her want to share everything with him…

As a favour to his step-mother— the woman who actually raised him, unlike his real mother who abandoned him as a child—successful businessman, Morgan is searching for the son of his incarcerated step-brother. He can tell Rosalie is hiding something and the temptation to seduce her for her secret is strong, but will he be able to handle the consequences once all is revealed…?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

Found: One Secret Baby

 

If you enjoy the secret baby trope, with a liberal sprinkling of passionate romance, this story will appeal. Rosalie is an independent, strong character, who has always put her life on hold for people she loves; first her chronically ill mother and then to bring up the young son of a friend who tragically died. She is genuine and selfless and an easy character to root for.
Morgan is from old money and used to getting what he wants. Ruled by duty, he is determined to locate his step brother’s child. He keeps his heart hidden and pushes the emotional and physical abuse of his childhood, to the back of his mind. This makes him appear brusque and unfeeling but when you see things from his point of view, it’s clear he is an emotional man.
The simple plot has elements of menace, which make you shudder, balanced by lots of light-hearted moments with the charming Joey and Rosalie. The romance between Rosalie and Morgan is stormy and full of misunderstanding but the ending is romantic and satisfying.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

Found: One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Found One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland

Nancy Holland

 

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

5* Review: Jules Wake – Escape to the Riviera

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Blurb - Flower

Carrie Hayes is ready for the summer of a lifetime . .

Quiet and unassuming Carrie Hayes has a nice, steady life with long-term boyfriend Alan. But she’s been keeping a secret hidden for years. A whirlwind marriage to Hollywood superstar Richard Maddox when they were young and foolish and life was full of endless possibilities. Although no longer together when Richard went to fulfil his acting ambitions in America, they’ve never quite got a divorce.

And now a chance meeting in the paradise of the glamorous French Riviera is about to change Carrie’s summer, and entire life, for ever . . .

Flowers - Buy Links

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Flowers - My Review

Escape to the Riviera

Is it realistic for a couple to stay married, even though they never see each other? I didn’t think so, but once you get to know Carrie and Richard, the reasons why, are definitely believable. Carrie is hardworking and loyal to her family, living an unremarkable life. The chance of an ultra glamorous holiday and an unexpected offer, force her to confront painful secrets, with life changing results.
The vivid setting is authentic and beautiful. The insight into the world of film stars and the theatre, interesting. Reliable but less than exciting, Alan is well portrayed as the other man. Angie and Jade are insightful characters and support the story’s two main players Carrie and Richard admirably.
Peppered with angst, hope and humour; Carrie’s emotional journey exhibits her flawed reasoning. This makes her real and easy to empathise with. You want her to get her happy ending. Romance is implicit in every scene and the ending is a romantic masterpiece, so easy to visualise.
The lovely holiday setting reveals a story of self-discovery and the resilience and strength of true love. The perfect summer book, definitely worth reading.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Avon UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Escape to the Riviera by Jules Wake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Escape to the Riviera by Jules Wake

Jules Wake

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

5* Review The Girl Who Lied – Sue Fortin

 

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Winter Blurb

The truth hurts…

Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.

Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.

When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

 Amazon

Winter My Review

The Girl Who Lied

It’s the realistic ordinariness of this story that makes it so suspenseful.
Erin has secrets, she is not anxious to confront, until an email and a phone call make running no longer an option. Told from multi point of views, Erin’s and third person for the other players in the story, you find out some of their secrets but not all. Like a perfect murder mystery everyone looks guilty and has a motive but there still a few pieces of the puzzle annoyingly elusive.
A strong romantic thread runs through this story in Erin’s past and present. She travels a complex emotional journey when she returns home and realises that life is all about shade and light rather than being clear cut and defined. Erin emotional growth is a feature of this story and makes her a character worth rooting for.
This is a poignant tale outlining the power of family ties and the frailty of humans, when faced with life changing events. The female family bond is well written and integral to the story, which ties all the ends up nicely with a realistic and hopeful outcome.
I received a copy of this story from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin
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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

4*Review: A Family Holiday – Bella Osborne

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Blurb - Coastal

 

She’ll do whatever it takes to keep this family together…

As the nanny to four quirky but loveable children, Charlie French has learnt that if there was ever a cement shortage Weetabix would be a viable substitute and that YouTube videos can go viral in seconds, much to her horror. But, most importantly, she’s learnt that whatever happens you stick together as a family.

When tragedy strikes, Charlie is forced to decide whether it’s time to move on or fight to keep the children she loves. With the distraction of the children’s gorgeous Uncle Felix and the chance of a holiday in stunning Antigua, she’s left wondering if turquoise seas can wash away their present troubles. Is the pull of white sand beaches too tempting to resist or will paradise fail to keep them all together?

Buy Links - Coastal

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My Review - Coastal

A Family Holiday: A heartwarming summer romance for fans of Katie Fforde

This story has all the right ingredients for a great summer read; effortless dialogue, a great setting, an interesting plot and vivid characters. It is a very enjoyable book.
Charlie is like a modern day ‘Mary Poppins’, totally child orientated and with more than her fair share of magic up her sleeve. The children are the most vibrant of the characters; they really steal the show and make this more of a family, than a romantic comedy read.
Fleur, Charlie’s best friend is an important character in the story but she is too weak and self centred to make a favourable impression. She does however serve to make Charlie look selfless in this story, despite the obstacles she faces.
Would be guardians, Ruth and Felix are well written characters. Ruth is the archetypical villain of the story. Whilst Felix lacks conviction as the story’s romantic hero I much preferred Jonathan. Felix’s motives driven by his passion for Charlie rather than genuine feelings for his nieces and nephews make him appear rather shallow and superficial.
Clearly the characters made an impression on me and there is a lovely balance of humour and poignancy. Definitely worth reading on the beach.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

A Family Holiday: A heartwarming summer romance  by Bella Osborne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A Family Holiday A heartwarming summer romance for fans of Katie Fforde by Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne

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Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Release Day Spotlight, Summer Impulse

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe – Debbie Johnson – 5* Review

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Summer at the Comfort Food Café
By Debbie Johnson

eBook: 29th April 2016 | PB: 16th June 2016

BLURB

The Comfort Food Café is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.

But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.

Her new job at the café, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.

For her, the Comfort Food Café doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

SATCFC-Out-Now-1

Buy Links

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My Review - Coastal

Even at the story’s poignant beginning, the humour shines through, in the words of the enigmatic Laura, the heroine of this unusual story. I loved that we gathered all the necessary back story information, in letter form, as she answered a unique advertisement for a strange but intriguing, lifestyle job.
Laura is honest, loyal and has a lovely self -depreciating humour that is recognisable to most women, who have families, where they are the unappreciated lynchpin. The journey to their new adventure shares similarities, with most people’s long car journeys, with children and animals. The realistic dialogue and bordering on chaos scenarios made me giggle and reminiscence.
Despite Laura’s fragile emotional state, a delightful sense of humour runs through this story. From the first meeting with the ‘Tall bloke.’ the visuals are great, so easy to imagine, especially ‘the flying undies as the top box is unpacked’.
The VIPS that make up the cafe regulars, all have a story to share as they reveal idiosyncrasies and secrets. Laura starts to heal as she listens to the cafe’s regulars stories and Matt (the tall bloke), help’s her discover the side of herself she never really knew existed.
This is a story of healing, family and being brave enough to dip your toe back in the pond again, after life’s unpredictable knocks. I would love to find this Cafe that restores your faith in human nature.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins in return for an honest review.