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

A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #AChristmasWeddingintheCotswolds #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship # #uplit #wedding #festive

What could be more festive than a winter wedding in the picturesque English countryside? Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds with the bestselling Lucy Coleman

Imogen Tolliman and Gray Adams can’t wait to get married after getting engaged the previous year, when they were stranded by snow in a blizzard. Now they are busy planning their wedding, but when the date slips six months because Gray is working on a huge film project, it seems like fate that after their snowy start, they will end up getting married at Christmas.

The couple are living in Immi’s grandfather’s picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage at the Aysbury
marina in the Cotswolds, which they are renovating to become their forever family home. As well as building work, full-time jobs and wedding planning, Immi is in charge of raising money to build a children’s playground, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Santa Ahoy Cruises – her grandfather Tollie’s life work
.

When Gray is suddenly forced to travel abroad, Immi is left to cope with everything alone, and
before long, even the best-laid plans start to wobble. When a terrible betrayal is uncovered, the whole community of Aysbury is left reeling, and Immi is left wondering if there will be a wedding after all…

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to an unforgettable Cotswolds Christmas full of romance and laughter, friendship and family and much-loved festive traditions.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

With characters we first met in Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this is a lovely heartwarming story of community, friendship, love and secrets. Planning her wedding keeps getting further down Immi’s to-do list. She needs help but doesn’t like to ask. Events conspire until compromises and accepting she can’t do everything alone is inevitable. This story reads well as a standalone as salient details of their lives so far are integrated into this story.

The characters are believably flawed, and the sense of community is uplifting. The conflicts Immi faces are relatable, and this is a journey of self-belief and self-discovery for her. The sense of place and season is vividly described.

A lovely rural story with engaging characters and a picture postcard setting.

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.

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Read my review of Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage

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

Christmas Wishes Sue Moorcroft 5* #Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #festive #ChristmasWishes #BookReview

Hannah and Nico are meant to be together.

But fate is keeping them apart…

When Hannah bumps into her brother Rob’s best friend Nico in Stockholm, the two rekindle a fast friendship. But Hannah has a boyfriend – and Nico has two children to look after. When Hannah loses her beloved shop in Stockholm, though, she is forced to move back to the little village of Middledip – only to find Nico has just moved in too. Under the same snowy sky, can the childhood friends make a romance work – or are there too many obstacles standing in their way?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely festive book, but it’s more than that. It can be read at any time if you are looking for family drama, heartwarming stories and romance. Set in Sweden and Middledip a familiar setting to regular readers. The characters are believable and easy to empathise. You are quickly immersed in their stories and want them to find happiness. Hannah is a quirky but entirely lovable character. Nico is focused entirely on his family, and the vulnerable, which makes him so appealing.

Hannah and Nico’s reunion is realistic, and the gentle pacing believably reflects their deepening relationship. A vivid cast of characters, adds to the story’s authenticity. They provide a believable balance of humour, poignancy, and romance.

Relatable characters and realistic stories filled with heart make this an enjoyable read.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Christmas Read, Excerpt, Extract, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

Christmas at the Marshmallow Cafe C.P Ward #Extract #CPWard #BookBlitz #Festive #Christmas #Excerpt #Romance #Friendship #ChristmasattheMarshmallowCafe #LakeDistrict

When downtrodden checkout assistant Bonnie Green receives a letter from a mysterious uncle, she can hardly believe her eyes.

Gifted a hundred-year lease on a famous cafe situated in the middle of a mythical theme park, Bonnie sets off with her best friend Debbie on an adventure to a hidden valley in the Lake District where they will find new friendship, love, and happiness, all set against the magic of Christmas … and more marshmallows than they can possibly eat….

Amazon UK

Only 99p/c until 20th December!

A Christmas Land WelcomeExcerpt from Christmas at the Marshmallow Cafe C.P Ward

After a harrowing journey north, Bonnie and Debbie finally arrive at Christmas Land. Will it live up to their expectations?

Bonnie and Debbie climbed off as the train’s doors opened. They found themselves standing on a platform lacking even a ticket office. As the train pulled away, chugging across the marsh and then vanishing back into the forest, they looked at each other, both shrugging.

‘Well, we’re here,’ Bonnie said.

‘What an awesome place. Like, how long do we have to wait for the next train back?’

‘There’s a road over there, through the trees. And a sign. Look.’

Carrying their suitcases, they climbed down a set of steps and made their way across the clearing to where a forest trail led into the trees. A faded wooden sign with an arrow said CHRISTMAS LAND THIS WAY.

They headed down the trail, the trees closing in to block out the sky overhead. Debbie clutched Bonnie’s arm, squeezing so tightly that Bonnie had to repeatedly prise her fingers free in order to allow the blood to resume flowing.

The trail kept up a winding meander which didn’t allow them to see too far ahead, as though holding back its secrets until the last moment. Bonnie was fully expecting to turn a corner and find a sign telling them they’d been duped, when Debbie jerked to a stop, pulling Bonnie with her.

‘What happened?’

‘Can’t you hear it?’

‘What?’

‘Music.’

Bonnie listened. Debbie was right. A faint tinkle of music came through the trees. It was too indistinct to make out any kind of a tune, but she felt sure it was familiar.

‘I don’t believe it,’ Debbie said. ‘Jingle Bells. Don’t they know it’s November?’

They started walking again. As they closed on the source of the music, Bonnie was able to pick up the tune. Jingle Bells, played on a loop.

‘It’s so weird,’ Bonnie said. ‘Standing in a pine forest in November, hearing the most famous Christmas Song of all played over a speaker.’

‘Look,’ Debbie said. ‘Here it is.’

They stepped out from behind a large pine leaning across the path and found Christmas Land standing in front of them.

Huge ornate gates held a sign.

WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS LAND

WHERE THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS NEVER ENDS

On either side, gatehouse towers rose, all fake stonework and plastic snow. Electric candles flickered in windows, illuminating the silhouettes of reindeer and elves.

One gate stood open. As they approached, Bonnie saw how it was now open forever, the upper hinge broken off, leaving the front corner buried in the ground. Bushes had grown up to claim it, the roots of saplings rooting it into the earth.

Inside the gates were lines of pretty chalets and a visitor centre. The roofs were loaded with pine needles and she could see even from this distance that several windows had plywood boards where glass should have been. A Ferris wheel standing in the centre of a main square had a sycamore growing eight feet high through the window of the closest car to the ground, clearly indicating that it hadn’t turned in some years.

‘It’s derelict,’ Debbie said. ‘Abandoned. Wow, this is way more awesome than I was expecting. Man, if only I had a metal band, this would be amazing for some press photos. An abandoned Christmas theme park in the middle of the forest—’

‘We prefer to simply say neglected,’ came a voice from inside one of the gatehouse towers, and a lower window opened to reveal a ruddy-cheeked man wearing a top hat and a green suit. Large sideburns made Bonnie immediately think of the bankers in Mary Poppins.

‘While it might look in a little disrepair, I can assure you that there is still plenty of fun to be had in Christmas Land, three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. Do you have a reservation? If not, don’t worry. We have plenty of chalets available.’ Then, breaking kayfabe for the first time, he looked down at the red gloves covering his hands and grimaced. ‘Most of them, actually.’

C.P Ward

CP Ward is an author from Cornwall in the UK.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Spotlight, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Just for Christmas Emily Harvale #BlogBlitz @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Christmas #Uplit #heartwarming #JustForChristmas

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

Finding an abandoned dog beside the road isn’t the Christmas surprise interior designer, Molly Ford is hoping for. But when the local vet can’t find a space for the bedraggled dog, Molly makes a rash decision.

The problem is, she’s spending Christmas with her brother, Terence, and his girlfriend is allergic to dogs, so the bundle of wet fur, which Molly has named Miracle, might not be the only one needing a home this Christmas.

And Miracle causes chaos wherever he puts his paws. He pees on the Christmas tree, shreds the Christmas presents and eats the honeyed ham. That’s just the first night.

When Terence’s best friend, Chance offers Molly and Miracle a place to stay for Christmas, Molly is ecstatic. She doesn’t mind at all when he informs her there are strings attached. She’d rather like a festive fling with gorgeous Chance.

Now Molly’s in for another surprise. Chance is about to pop the question. Except it’s not to Molly. In fact, he needs her help to get the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, all clean and sparkly in time for his girlfriend’s impending arrival on New Year’s Eve.

But as Molly and Chance grow closer, spending time together beneath the stars in a winter wonderland and enjoying the Christmas festivities, they realise they have feelings for each other.

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

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 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, 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 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.