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

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe Jessica Redland 5* #Review @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #ChristmasonCastleStreet @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Festive #Romance #Family #Love

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café Cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate for some festive sparkle from bestseller Jessica Redland.


Everyone is getting into the festive spirit on Castle Street – snow is falling, fairy lights are glistening and Christmas shopping is underway.

But for Tara Porter, owner of thriving cafe, The Chocolate Pot, this is the most difficult time of the year. From the outside, Tara is a successful businesswoman and pillar of the community. Behind closed doors, she is lonely.

With a lifetime of secrets weighing on her shoulders, she has retreated from all friends, family and romance, and shut her real self away from the world. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. She’s learnt that the hard way.

But as the weight of her past becomes heavier and an unexpected new neighbour moves onto the street – threatening the future of her cafe – Tara begins to realise that maybe it’s time to finally let people back in and confront her history. It could just change her life forever…

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was originally released as Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

Amazon UK



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

My Thoughts…

Christmas and New Year are festive holiday times that elicit strong feelings in many people. Tara has disturbing memories of this time of year, but she still goes through the motions making it a lovely time for her customers at the cafe.

Tara’s past defines her. Her childhood is difficult and, as a foster child, her life full of goodbyes until she meets her final foster family. They love her but as she grew up her foster sister reveals her true nature, with devastating results for naive Tara.

Tara carries this legacy of abuse and betrayal, self-contained she keeps acquaintances at arm’s length and her past hidden. Carly, a character from a previous story, is a friend who gradually encourages Tara, to share her secrets.

This is a poignant story, but the issues raised are written with sensitively, and Tara learns that she is not her past and shouldn’t let others define her. This story ends positively with festive cheer, but its thought-provoking messages resonate.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Twitter Website Instagram Facebook Blog Bookbub

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes Jessica Redland 5* #Review @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks #ChristmasonCastleStreet @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Festive #Romance #Family #Love

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.

For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?

Amazon UK

A heartwarming, short festive story of friendship and family from bestseller Jessica Redland. You can find out what happens to Carly next through exploring her best friend Tara’s story in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café.

This is a new and updated version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes which has been previously published.

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

My Thoughts…

Every bit as comforting, delicious and festive as a Christmas cupcake this story leaves you with a lovely heartwarming hug. Carly has a successful cake shop in Whitsborough Bay on the North Yorkshire coast. Her love life is less successful than her career, and even that is in jeopardy. Bethany her younger sister is responsible for her business woes cake decorating doesn’t appear to be her thing.

The two sisters are opposites, and Bethany still retains the over-indulged air of a younger sibling. By the end, both have changed for the better, with Bethany maturing and Carly learning to fight for what she wants.

Aside from the family drama and the workplace humour, there is also a gentle friend to lover to romance which is perfectly festive. Carly’s is easy to empathise, and she engenders support from the local community because of her helpful nature.

This is an engaging story with relatable characters and charming festive sentiments.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Twitter Website Instagram Facebook Blog Bookbub

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #Festive #ChristmasatLockKeepersCottage #extract #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BookTour

Imogen Tolliman never knew her mother. And when an accident robs Immi of her father too, she goes to live with her grandfather, Tollie, in his picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage by the Aysbury marina. 

Tollie is the star of the Santa Ahoy Special each Christmas – a festive boat ride along the canal that enthralls both children and adults alike. And as Immi grows up, she starts to appreciate the magical community she is lucky enough to live in. 

When Immi meets Gray Adams, she instantly realises he’s someone special. And as their relationship gets serious, they start to plan for the Christmas to beat all Christmases.  

But as the day approaches, and the romantic snow showers turn into blizzards, their dream of a Christmas to remember, looks set to be one they’ll never forget – for all the wrong reasons. Can they salvage the festivities, or will old secrets that are finally uncovered turn Immi’s life upside down forever?

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to a dreamy Cotswolds Christmas full of snowflakes and secrets, log fires, mistletoe, friends and much-loved traditions.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

This is a lovely festive slice of community spirit, friendship and love. Immi has faced a lot of grief in her young life, but she’s showered with love by her grandfather and the community where they live, she feels blessed. Her love life is peachy with Gray except they don’t see each other as much as they like, so she writes a letter to Santa.

The two protagonists are quirky characters, but they are good people and as the story progresses you like them more. This story emphasises the meaning of Christmas, family and coping with what life throws your way, and the result is a heartwarming and ultimately satisfying festive read.

Extract from the book…

I read an article the other day, giving tips on how to manifest the life you want. You begin by writing a letter and… burning it. Whether you want to free yourself of worry, realise a dream, or simply declutter your mind, a well-respected life coach believes that the universe is listening. I’m not sure how I feel about that statement, but I can see how it might be cathartic for some people – assuming they have the guts to do it properly.

What I’m discovering, though, is that being honest with oneself isn’t easy. After almost an hour, most of it spent with a pen in my hand hovering over the piece of paper in front of me, it remains blank. Even though I love the idea of releasing negative energy into the ether, or drawing positive energy towards me, I can’t do it. I’m not ready to bare my soul to anyone. Least of all, myself.

Maybe I’ll write a letter to Santa, instead, and burn that. Start small and work your way up, Immi, I tell myself. As one of my three jobs involves wearing an elf costume every weekend in December, I figure that if I’m not ready to reach out to the universe, Santa is the next best option.

This year I’m hoping Christmas is going to be a truly joyful occasion to make up for the disappointments of last year. When the man you love – your soul mate – is supporting a parent through the big C, life can feel as if it’s on hold. I won’t lie, it’s been tough. My mind and my body ache when he isn’t here with me because I’m simply going through the motions rather than living my life.

Anyway, what harm can it do to honour an age-old tradition? After all, I’m one of Santa’s biggest fans. They say the act of believing makes things happen and I’ve seen that with my own eyes. So here goes:

Dear Santa

When I was six years old, I wrote you a very special letter. I handed Dad the sealed envelope and we stood together, hand in hand, as he threw it onto the fire. I watched in fervent anticipation as the wisps of pale grey smoke, tinged with little curls of white, disappeared up the chimney.

Everyone thought I was asking you for a doll’s house, but actually, I asked you to bring my mum back home to us. Dad didn’t understand why I burst into tears on Christmas morning, after I’d unwrapped the wonderful presents beneath the glittering tree. And, at the time, I didn’t understand that I had asked for the impossible.

Every year until I was twelve, when I wrote my last letter, I just asked for toys, books and clothes, as the other kids did. But in my heart there was only one thing I longed to have, because I honestly believed that it would make my life complete.

But I appreciate now how lucky I was, and that the true magic of Christmas was there all along. I was surrounded by love. The love of my dad, my grandparents and our friends. No child could ask for more than that.

This year there is only one thing on my list and it’s to be able to celebrate Christmas with the man I love, Gray, by my side. I need it to reassure me there really can be an us and that life isn’t going to cheat me, yet again.

Just keep everything crossed for me, will you? That’s all I ask. And keep up the good work. A lot of people believe in you, regardless of their age. In today’s world that’s both magical and inspiring, because what is life without hope?

With much love, Immi

Lucy Coleman

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

Twitter Facebook Instagram Website Bookbub Newsletter Sign Up

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

A Perfect Paris Christmas Mandy Baggot 5*#Review @mandybaggot @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #Festive #Romance #Friendship #Christmas #Paris #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #SecondChances #Serendipity

United in grief. Pushed apart by tragedy.

 Keeley Andrews knows more than anyone that you only live once. So when she receives an invitation to spend two weeks in Paris, all expenses paid, she jumps at the chance.

Ethan Bouchard has had the worst eighteen months of his life. He’s ready to give up on everything, including his hotel chain. So when he meets Keeley, it simply isn’t the right time.

As Keeley and Ethan continue to bump into each other on the romantic Parisian streets, they can’t help but wonder whether this is fate telling them to let go of the past and leap into the future…

Head to Paris this Christmas and fall in love under the lights of the Eiffel Tower with best-selling author, Mandy Baggot.

Amazon UK Kobo Google Play iBooks

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

My Thoughts

This is no ordinary festive romance, but it fills you with emotion and goodwill. I love serendipitous romance, and this is what we have here, but it’s only a fraction of the story which explores, loss, living life to the full, and friendship against a festive Paris setting.

Sensitively told and well-researched this story takes Keely to Paris for a life-changing meeting. It’s an emotional read with many characters whose stories are intricately woven together into a lovely festive story.

This is a must-read for the festive season.

Mandy Baggot

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.

Facebook Twitter

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

I’ll Be Home For Christmas Abbey Clancy 4*#Review #BlogTour @MillsandBoon @OfficialClancy #BookReview #TickledPink #BreastCancerAwareness #FestiveRead #RomCom #Celebrity

#HomeForChristmas

Even stars have Christmas dreams…

Popstar Jessika Malone can’t believe her luck! Not only has she signed a major record deal and is topping the charts with her latest single, she’s just been offered the chance of a lifetime: a tour with gorgeous megastar Cooper Black…

It’s everything she’s ever dreamed of – except that it means travelling thousands of miles from her boyfriend, Daniel, just when he’s finally got down on one knee and popped the question!

Far from home and followed by the paparazzi, her relationship is tested more than Jessika ever imagined – will she make it home for Christmas before it’s too late?

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

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

My Thoughts…

A lighthearted romantic comedy with a festive twist.

Jess is going on tour with pop royalty and leaving her soulmate behind for a month, The story follows her journey and the problems and temptation she faces. There is the expected realistic ethos to this story, and that makes it enjoyable,

The plot is simple but the characters are likeable, and the challenges they face a good mix of celebrity, glamour and romantic conflict. The settings are well described and make the story more interesting.

Something for lovers of celebrity-themed romantic comedy, with a festive twist.

#TickledPink
#HomeforChristmas
Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read

Christmas Read: Millie Vanilla’s CupCake Cafe – Christmas Weddings – Georgia Hill 4* Review

34454682

Winter wedding bells are ringing at the Cupcake Café!

It’s winter in Berecombe and Millie’s café is up for sale. Her final task as its owner is to host her friends’ Christmas wedding on the beach, only she’s feeling anything but festive! Putting her ex, Jed, firmly out of her mind is proving impossible now he’s back working for her biggest rival.

What on earth is Jed up to? Telling her he still loves her is all very well, but if her café goes out of business, no-one will buy it. Christmas might be the season of goodwill towards men – but can Millie trust this particular man with her heart again?

Amazon UK

Amazon

 

My Thoughts…

I ‘ve enjoyed reading the first two books in this series, so I’m pleased the final book has a festive flavour. Like all of these Cupcake Cafe books, they can be read as standalone but I recommend reading the whole series, which is a lovely quick read, to appreciate the character development and the overall plot.

Millie returns from her travels abroad, hoping to complete the sale of her cafe.  part of her wants to see Jed but she sent him away so there is no chance of that?

Another romance dominates this story apart from the loved-up couple who Millie is arranging the wedding for at the cafe. Ri and Alex are an unlikely couple but their’s proves to be an engaging story, with a mystical slant that I always enjoy.

This is a  gentle, romantic story, which incorporates the festive element beautifully. The ending is charming and full of vivid imagery, which makes it easy to imagine being one of the wedding guests. Thankfully everyone has a happy ending. What more could you ask for in a festive read?

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

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Read my reviews of the first two books in the series

Spring Beginnings

Summer Loves

 

 

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read

Christmas Read: Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green- Whispers Wood#2 – Eve Devon 5* Review

cover110880-medium

Welcome back to the village of Whispers Wood where Christmas magic is in the air…

After giving his heart last year only to have it given away the very next day, Jake Knightley is opting out of Christmas—permanently! But then a beautiful new village arrival sets mayhem in motion, upsetting all his carefully laid plans.

Emma Danes has said goodbye to Hollywood and will do anything to help make the clock house a success, even working closely with the tempting Mr. Knightley.

Now, as snow starts to fall and romance starts to bloom, Emma and Jake may just find themselves repeating Whispers Wood history beneath the mistletoe…

Amazon UK

Amazon

 

My Thoughts…

Having just read The Little Clock House on the Green I was excited to find out what Christmas was going to be like in Whispers Wood and I wasn’t disappointed. 

Emma is an actress waiting for her big break and it’s almost within her reach. Jake is not a fan of Christmas after last year turned out disastrously.   So neither expected to be involved in the Clock House nor Whispers Wood’s festive activities but fate has other ideas.

Whispers Wood’s village spirit deepens as the festive season approaches and there is a particularly charming scene when Gertrude who we met in the first book of the series, brings  Emma and Jake together.  Laughter and tears are evident in this lovely story from the beginning and it is a great read for those of us who love Christmas and village life.

Emma and Jake are interesting characters and their strong personalities and fear of being hurt have you on the edge of your chair yelling at them to be brave and honest about their feelings.  Are they? Or is Christmas at the Clock House on the Green just a festive romance? I’m not going to spoil it, you’ll just have to buy the book.

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

33022112

Check out my review of Book 1 in the series Little Clock House on the Green

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read

Christmas Read: Aimee Duffy – The Office Christmas Party 4* Review

cover86469-medium

Natalie Taylor and Dean Fletcher are serial Christmas party crashers. But when they start crashing the same parties, the mittens are off!

As much as she loves Christmas, after her mother’s death, events planner Nat can’t face the jolly season anymore. So to get her festive hit she crashes everyone else’s party. It’s a sweet gig until she meets her competition, tech empire millionaire, Dean, under the mistletoe…!

When it comes to relationships, Dean doesn’t do serious—being left at the altar will do that to a guy. So when he meets feisty Nat, the first woman in ten years to pique his interest, he’s tempted to break his one-night rule…just for the holidays!

Nat and Dean might get more than they bargained for in their stockings this Christmas!

Amazon UK

Amazon 

My Thoughts…

If you like your Christmas romance to be sensual and spicy then you will definitely enjoy this festive offering. The office Christmas party gets a 21st-century makeover. Both Natalie and Dean crash other people’s office parties as someone else. It’s a way of escaping the problems in their past that seem so much worse at Christmas.

The storyline is simple and the characters are glamorous but there are poignant sentiments under all the glitz and beautifully written cameo characters, the horrible Mick a is a particularly nasty boss and Dean’s mum is certainly lacking in maternal instinct.

The festive season polarises happiness and sadness more so than any other time of the year and this story explores why this is for Natalie. The dialogue is natural and contemporary and the romance sizzlingly. Definitely, something for the Christmas stocking to warm you up.

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

It’s unclear when this book is due for release especially in digital format but hopefully, it will be soon.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read

Christmas Reads: Phillipa Ashley – Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles – The Driftwood Inn. 5* Review

35963061

For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise, Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Amazon UK

Amazon

 My Thoughts…

There is something inherently captivating about island life, so for me, this story is a must-read. The Cornish Isles inaccessibility and the reliance on those you live so closely with makes for some fantastic characters and relationships, which the author captures beautifully in this simple tale.

Maisie’s fierce determination to rebuild her life among the people she grew up with, is the story’s focus. She is a strong woman, but Patrick’s unexpected arrival reveals her vulnerability and adds plenty of Christmas romance to this story.

 Written chronologically, in a style that reinforces the story’s credibility. The vibrant coastal setting and vividly described, cast of supporting characters leave an impression on the reader

I can’t wait to see what happens in Spring on the ‘Little Cornish Isles’.

A charming story with a twist of Christmas perfect for reading any time of the year.

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

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper – Debbie Johnson

Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper
Winter Blurb
For single mum Maggie, Christmas has always been a family occasion – her daughter Ellen filling the house with her bubbly warmth and mistletoe, her dad Paddy having one too many festive tipples, and the traditional family Christmas tree looking like a drunken elf vomited a rainbow all over it. But this year, with both Ellen and Paddy away for the holidays, Maggie’s facing a truly blue Christmas – alone with nothing but a bottle of Baileys and an M&S turkey dinner. Until walking the snowy streets of Oxford, Marco Cavelli quite literally crashes into her life – and, complete with broken leg, becomes her unexpected houseguest. All dreamy brown eyes and 6’5” of gorgeousness, the man is hotter and more delicious than a freshly baked mince pie.

Though Maggie always thought it’s a truth universally acknowledged that you never kiss a man in a Christmas jumper…?

Winter Buy Links
Amazon UK
Amazon
Winter My Review

Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper‘Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper’ is delightful romantic comedy, tinged with sadness. Oxford at Christmas is an atmospheric setting but it is the characters’ realistic dialogue and interactions that make laughter and tears inevitable, when reading this book.
Maggie is a brave woman, who puts the needs of her daughter before her own. In her mid thirties she thinks of herself as middle aged. Sexy Marco is determined to uncover all Maggie’s secrets, which makes for a page turning read.
Maggie and Ellen’s, mother-daughter dynamic is realistic and amusing. Maggie first encounter with the man in a Christmas Jumper in the park captures this perfectly.
If you are looking for a fun, poignant, romantic Christmas story, this is perfect.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper by Debbie Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper by Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+

View all my reviews