Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Festive Read, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Romance

A Cornish Christmas Murder Fiona Leitch 4*#Review @fkleitch @0neMoreChapter_ #Cosymystery #murdermystery #Cornwall #humour #crimefiction #festive #ACornishChristmasMurder #ANoseyParkerCosyMystery #BookReview

It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.

Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…

Secrets mull like wine on the stove in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?

A Cornish Christmas Murder is a must-read mystery full of heart and humour.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a festive, cosy mystery set in Cornwall. There are familiar characters and a classical locked room murder mystery. Jodie Parker is an ex-detective, who always finds, herself faced with solving murders. Ably assisted by her friend Debbie, young daughter Daisy, she tries to solve the gory murder that takes place, in a country house, just before Christmas.

This is a slow build mystery with intricate character building. It didn’t draw me in as quickly as the previous books. The murder mystery is well-plotted, and the characters are relatable, and there are pertinent touches of humour and poignancy.

This story is just the book to curl up with on a cosy winter’s afternoon.

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Read my review of A Brush with Death (Book2)

Read my review of A Sprinkle of Sabotage (Book3)

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at The North Literary Agency.

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

Christmas Surprises at Mermaids Point Sarah Bennett 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @Sarahlou_writes @rararesources #friendship #romance #family #coastal #community @bookandtonic #festive #novella #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #ChristmasSurprisesatMermaidsPoint

Christmas is a time for love, laughter, families and friends, and in Mermaids Point, everyone is getting ready for the festive season.

For Nerissa and Tom, this will be their first Christmas as a couple, but making sure they have time for each other, whilst blending their families, will take some careful planning. What festive traditions will they make their own?

Laurie and Jake are flat out running Laurie’s seafront café, packaging up orders of mince pies, sausage rolls and other delectable Christmas goodies, as well as finding time for Jake’s journalism.  But when Jake’s mum offers them an unexpected gift, their plans are turned upside down.

Alex can’t help but be charmed by beautiful and talented Ivy, but he’s still recovering from his ex-wife’s betrayal and has a secret life he’s not ready to share with anyone yet. But as the Christmas spirit starts weaving its magic, Alex may find himself ready for love sooner than he imagines.

For Andrew, nothing is more important than family. As friends and family gather beneath his roof it’s a time for reflection about what the future might hold.

As far as Nick is concerned, pop sensation Aurora Storm is the one that got away. After they shared a brief holiday fling, he has been thinking about her ever since. Is Christmas the perfect time to finally reach out to her, or is love at first sight just in fairy tales?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

As well as Christmas surprises, this story connects the two excellent stories that I’ve already read. Whilst giving the reader a taste of the angst and romance to come in this series. There are updates on the two couples featured in the two previous novels and the introduction of new but connected characters. The community spirit and uplifting ethos that define this series are evident, with a lovely festive twist.

Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas.

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Read my review of Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point

Read my review of Autumn Dreams at Mermaid’s Point

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

Strictly Christmas Spirit Helen Buckley 4*#Review @HelenCBuckley @ChocLituk #spotlight #Festive @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #StrictlyChristmasSpirit


From disco balls to Christmas baubles …
Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.
She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.
But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?
Book 3 in Helen’s Spotlight series but they can all be read as standalone stories.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

If you enjoy your festive reading with gentle romance and examples of the true meaning of this time of year, this heartwarming story is for you. The reader meets Emily in the spotlight, where things are not going to plan. Then Blake is introduced as he hits a low point in his life. The setting for the story isn’t glamorous, but it’s a place of hope.

The story has seasonal predictability but does explore contemporary issues in a meaningful way. The romance between Emily and Blake is inevitable, but there are many conflicts and misunderstandings.

The cast of characters add authenticity and the romance grows believably. It’s an easy and uplifting read that makes you think.

Helen Buckley

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I’m fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Friday Read, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

Christmas Island Natalie Normann 5*#Review @NatalieNormann1 @0neMoreChapter_ @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours  #ChristmasIsland #Norway #Festive #Christmas #Romance #Friendship #BookTour #BookReview #FridayReads

Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!

In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable

After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Christmas Island captures Norwegian festive traditions with vibrant descriptions and vivid sensory imagery. Inclement weather and seemingly unending darkness show why a bright Christmas celebration is necessary for the islanders. The atmospheric opening chapters introduce Holly, a doctor running from her life and hoping to find solace on the island. Instead, she gets lost, wet and is frightened in her first few hours on the island.

Tor is living a reclusive life on the island and is a mystery to the friendly islanders. His cat Troy is the reason he meets Holly, and the two have an interesting dynamic. The friendship and eventual romance is gentle and reflects their past hurts. The sense of community and customs makes this a heartwarming and uplifting read.

Natalie Normann grew up in a shipping town on the west coast of Norway and always wanted to be a writer. Actually, she wanted to smoke cigars and drink whiskey like Hemingway but settled for chocolate and the occasional glass of Baileys.

Her writing journey started with short stories in women’s magazines until her first book was published in 1995.

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

Under the Mistletoe Sue Moorcroft 5*#Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #festive #UndertheMistletoe #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive read.

Amazon UK Bookshop.org WH Smith Kobo Apple Audible

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

My Thoughts…

Laurel returns to Middledip, hoping for a less hectic lifestyle. She left the village years before, after a traumatic incident, and hopes she can put this behind her. Her sister needs her help, and then there’s meeting her first love again. Life is busy but will it be happier?

A festive-themed story that insightfully explores relevant contemporary issues. There is a conflicted second chance romance and a cast of relatable characters immersing the reader in festive village life. The balance of lighthearted elements and poignancy add to the story’s authenticity.

This is an engaging, festive story with contemporary themes and a heartwarming community spirit.

Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the #1 spot on Kindle UK. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Published by HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by other publishers around the world. She’s also well known for short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses.


Born in Germany into an army family, Sue spent much of her childhood in Cyprus and Malta but settled in Northamptonshire, England aged ten. She loves reading, Formula 1, travel, time spent with friends, dance exercise and yoga.

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Travel

The Single Dad’s Christmas Proposal Ella Hayes 5* Review @EllaHayesAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #festive #parenting #relationships #Chamonix #Paris #Christmas #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #TheSingleDadsChristmasProposal

A life-changing winter escape!

Extreme snowboarder Dax is no stranger to a challenge. Still, nothing could have prepared him for his greatest challenge yet: fatherhood! Six-year-old Yann was kept a secret by his late mother. Now Dax is determined to make up for lost time. But with a work commitment in Chamonix, he needs a step-in nanny…Will Simone say yes to Dax—and a Christmas to remember?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Dax is an extreme snowboarder with a tragic past and a six-year-old son he has just met. Single mother Simone has an understanding of what Dax is experiencing. Their children are friends. Dax needs someone to take care of his son at Christmas in Chamonix. Is Simone willing to be that person?

The Parisian setting for the couple’s first meeting is atmospheric and magical, drawing the reader into the story’s festive ambience. Their first meeting sparks an attraction even though they don’t initially realise the significance of it. Simone and Dax are lovely characters who have to overcome their emotional barriers to find happiness. The romance is gentle, and the conflicts, to their being together, authentic.

This story has everything you want in a festive romance, characters you believe in, heartwarming emotion and a happy conclusion.

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

The Christmas Escape Sarah Morgan 5*#Review @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #FestiveRead #Christmas #Family #Love Friendship #Relationships #RomCom #secrets #HolidayFiction #TheChristmasEscape

The new Christmas book from the Sunday Times bestselling author of One More for Christmas and A Wedding in December!

It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.

As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

It’s always a festive treat to read a Christmas story by this author. She captures the ethos of the season and spices it up with festive romance and the sweetness of a child experiencing the perfect snowy Christmas. Not everything is about hot chocolate and sleigh rides in the snow, though. There are strained friendships, aroused passions, and secrets that unfold against a wintry background. Angst and arguments prevail, but there is also a chance to talk and find out family secrets.

Wintry and wonderful festive activities and natural events capture the essence of an idyllic Christmas holiday. The characters draw the reader’s empathy and frustrate in equal measure. This story is emotional and heartwarming and the perfect book to read in front of a log fire this Christmas.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, New Books, Romance

Under the Mistletoe Sue Moorcroft 5*#Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #festive #UndertheMistletoe #PublicationDay #BookReview

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive read.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Laurel returns to Middledip, hoping for a less hectic lifestyle. She left the village years before, after a traumatic incident, and hopes she can put this behind her. Her sister needs her help, and then there’s meeting her first love again. Life is busy but will it be happier?

A festive-themed story that insightfully explores relevant contemporary issues. There is a conflicted second chance romance and a cast of relatable characters immersing the reader in festive village life. The balance of lighthearted elements and poignancy add to the story’s authenticity.

This is an engaging, festive story with contemporary themes and a heartwarming community spirit.

btrmdn
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Perfect Christmas Gift Katie Ginger 5*#Review @KatieGAuthor @HQStories #festive #Christmas #ChristmasGift #BlogTour #BookReview #PublicationDay #ThePerfectChristmasGift

Can neighbours become more than just good friends this Christmas?

Bella Moore is excitedly counting down the days to Christmas. That is until she arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend leaving her for another woman. Completely heartbroken, Bella is left wondering if Christmas can still be the same this year.

Next door, Bella’s neighbour Nick is facing his first Christmas as a single dad and doubting whether he can make it the magical time his son Freddie deserves.

Determined to fix both Christmas and their broken hearts, Bella comes up with an idea: a Christmas giving tree for the whole village, where the community can unite and secretly give each other the Christmas presents they truly need.

As Bella becomes chief elf, taking donations and delivering gifts with much-needed help from Nick and Freddie, the two neighbours grow closer and start seeing each other in a whole new light.

But when Nick’s estranged wife returns just before Christmas, is their budding romance over before it’s begun? Or will love be Nick and Bella’s perfect gift this Christmas?

A heart-warming hug in a novel.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A lovely festive story with a theme of giving, Neighbours Bella, Nick and his son Freddie work through their heartbreak and loss to make Christmas memorable for everyone in the village. This is an emotional and uplifting story with relatable characters who draw the reader into their world. The village ethos is well-described, and there’s an element of second chance romance for Bella and Nick.

The story isn’t without conflicts, but friendship and trust overcome these. This is heartwarming and uplifting, the perfect festive read.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Festive Read, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Travel

Unwrapped by Her Italian Boss Michelle Smart 5*#Review @chellebellwrite @MillsandBoon @HarelquinBooks #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #festive #romance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #UnwrappedbyHerItalianBoss

Can she resist his snowbound seduction?

After a rocky first impression, innocent Meredith’s got a lot to prove to her new billionaire boss Giovanni! He’s trusting her to make his opulent train’s maiden voyage a success. Trusting herself around him? That’s another challenge entirely…

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is a festive story set in Switzerland, Paris and across the Alps. Part of the story takes place on a luxury train, and this well-described setting makes this a vivid read. Merry is innocent and career-driven, running away from her dysfunctional family. Giovanni is a self-made billionaire, Merry’s temporary boss who hates Christmas because of a personal tragedy. There are elements of humour and poignant moments which draw the reader’s empathy.

The chemistry between the two is well-written with sparkly romance. Giovanni has old fashioned manners and speech that fit perfectly with the festive old-world setting. There is angst, reconciliation, self-realisation and a lovely romantic conclusion.