Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Historical Romance, New Books, Victorian Romance

Snow-Kissed Proposals Jenni Fletcher, Elisabeth Hobbes 5*#Review @JenniAuthor @ElisabethHobbes @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #VictorianRomance #Novella #Festive #Scotland #Derbyshire #PublicationDay @rararesources #BookReview #SnowKissedProposals

A snowy Victorian ChristmasTwo festive short stories!

In The Christmas Runaway by Jenni Fletcher: wilful, independent heiress, Fiona MacKay, impulsively runs away to a remote Scottish tower where she’s trapped in the snow with equally headstrong, deliciously dishevelled Angus Drummond.

In Their Snowbound Reunion by Elisabeth Hobbes: fifteen years ago, Amy Munroe and Anthony Matthews were cruelly parted, and each blames the other. When Amy becomes Anthony’s new housekeeper, their passion is reawakened!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

‘Snow-Kissed Proposals’ is set in Scotland and Derbyshire, two festive novellas with independent heroines and wintry settings.

The Christmas Runaway’ is set in northeast Scotland, where Fiona’s ill-considered winter trip leads to conflict, friendship and romance. The bleak and forbidding setting is the perfect place for Fiona and Angus to meet. Their relationship develops from enemies to friends and is full of witty banter and conflict right to the end.

Their Snowbound Reunion’ is set in Derbyshire and is a story of second chances and forgiveness. Amy and Anthony enjoyed a brief but ill-fated romance. When they meet again, there is still something between them. This is a lovely second chance romance with characters that are easy to empathise with and a happy ending.

Both these Victorian romances are engaging and the perfect book to read in front of a cosy fire.

Jenni Fletcher is the award-winning author of 15 historical romances. She has been nominated for 4 RoNA Awards and won the Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award in 2020. She lives in Yorkshire with her family and can be contacted via Twitter @JenniAuthor. Facebook

Elisabeth Hobbeswriting career began when she finished in third place in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013.  She was offered a two-book contract and consequently had to admit secret writing was why the house was such a tip.  She is the author of numerous historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon covering the Medieval period to Victorian England, and a Second World War romantic historical with One More Chapter. She lives in Cheshire because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left. Twitter Facebook

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Love Square Laura Jane Williams 4*#Review @laurajaneauthor @AvonBooksUK #Dating #Romance #Humour #RomCom #TheLoveSquare #BookReview

She’s single. But that doesn’t mean it’s not complicated…

Penny Bridge has, historically, been very unlucky in love. She’s pledged to focus on other things – her friends, her career – making the most of what busy London life has to offer.

But when difficult circumstances mean that Penny’s uncle must hand over the kitchen of his beloved restaurant in Derbyshire, she finds herself stepping into a new life in a new town.

And as luck would have it, she’s suddenly confronted with one remarkable man who wants to date her, followed by another. And then another…

So begins a hilarious love-square with Penny firmly in the middle…

From the #1 ebook bestseller of Our Stop comes another funny and feel-good exploration of hope, romance and the trust it takes to finally fall in love.

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 lighthearted romantic comedy where the female lead makes all the choices. It’s contemporary and diverse embracing love wherever it falls, which is refreshing. Penny is likeable, and the love square she finds herself in is amusing, frustrating and a little sad. I don’t necessarily understand what motivates some of her actions and choices, but they do make this a good read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Suspense

Magpie Sophie Draper 4*#Review @sophiedraper9 @AvonBooksUK #FamilyDrama #Suspense #Folklore #Derbyshire #Secrets #Guilt #Loss #Domestic #Psychological #BlogTour #BookReview #PublicationDay

#Magpie

Claire lives with her family in a beautiful house overlooking the water. But she feels as if she’s married to a stranger – one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she’s determined to leave Duncan.

But finding out the truth about Duncan’s secret life leads to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she’s struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart.

Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they’ve told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family … But can she face the truth?

A dark mystery with a twist

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

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

My Thoughts…

I finished reading this story feeling incredibly sad, the ending is haunting, full of loss and wasted opportunity, and what if…

This story begins like the domestic thriller, I thought it would be, but it is essentially a suspenseful family drama. Claire’s home life is materially perfect, but under the surface, it is a maelstrom of claustrophobia, discontent and simmering hatred. She wants to escape, from her house’s emotionless perfection, and her empty marriage.

The story is told from Claire’s point of view, before and after Joe’s disappearance; her story is full of resentment, and as it is in the first person, intensely personal. Duncan’s point of view is after Joe’s disappearance, except for one later chapter. This is told in the third person, so his point of view is more objectively portrayed.

This is a family drama, interwoven with strange occurrences that echo what Claire is experiencing. She is an unreliable protagonist, tortured by a past secret, which has dominated her future life. Duncan is essentially an unlikeable character, abusive, and a serial philanderer. It is only when the reasons for this emerge that his behaviour becomes easier to understand. Joe their son is autistic, and he finds the coldness of his parent’s marriage hard to cope with, choosing solitude and the company of his dog in preference to theirs.

This is an unhappy, but believable story. The pace, for the most part, is slow, and the events ordinary and repetitive, because it portrays their life. The twists when revealed have more impact because of this.

The setting is atmospheric and described in detail. The folklore surrounding Claire and Duncan’s home provides an interesting strand of the story, and Claire is haunted by it, in her precarious emotional state.

Guilt and secrets underpin this drama, which is suspenseful, but not in the way you may expect. The ending is well-written and devastating. It draws all the plot threads, and the main characters together in a heartbreakingly tragic way, that resonates.

Poignant family drama, with a suspenseful thread, that explodes into an unexpectedly powerful conclusion.

Posted in Author Blog Challenge

Author Blog Challenge: A day in my life… #LifeBooksWriting

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 So a typical day in my life starts early… I’m usually  awake about 5 am, earlier at the moment because it’s so light. I love Springtime and Summer and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

 5 am

 DSCN0389Read emails on phone, let the dogs out, make a coffee or a smoothie  but to be honest it’s usually coffee with cream of course. The plan then is to write; book reviews, blogs or my latest work in progress. For my regular blog followers you will know that I’m a sporadic writer, when it comes to my books but once I’m hooked, writing is all  I want to do.

8 am 

Vince and I usually take Jazz and Oby out for a walk on the trail or in Pleasley country Park. If possible, I like to go earlier than this because its at its best when there is no one else there.

9 am

IMG_0035Breakfast with my daughter and grandson, definitely one of my favourite parts of the day. Though the clearing up is taking longer now he can have his own piece of toast.

 

10 am

Then its work time, this is usually writing of some description.  I don’t normally stop for lunch, so I work through until 5 pm when its time to feed the dogs, prepare the dinner and catch up on domestic chores.  Some days, I do house work or cooking during my work time, especially if I’ve managed to write earlier in the day. The best thing about working from home as  a writer is the flexibility.

7pm

 Another walk for the dogs and then I  eat,  watch TV, usually soaps, house programmes or US drama. 

10.30 pm

 

Read and or write in bed. until I fall asleep…

Not a very dynamic life but I love it. 

 

 

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: The Vintage Cinema Club – Jane Linfoot

image001BLURBMeet The Vintage Cinema Club….
Izzy is a wow at making unwanted things pretty, but with three brothers and her shabby chic furniture business to run she doesn’t have time to date. Could a fabulous French proposal change her mind?
Single mum Luce’s vintage bridal dresses are exquisite, but there’s no way she’s ever going to wear one or walk down the aisle for that matter. She’s a strictly no romance, one night kind of woman – or so she thinks…
Dida seems to have it all – a chocolate and banana cake recipe to die for, lovely kids (most of the time!) and a great lifestyle. But what good is a fabulous home, when your marriage has more cracks than a pavlova and your husband is having it off with half of Lithuania?
Three retro fabulous friends, in love with all things vintage, run their dream business from the faded grandeur of a rescued cinema. When that dream comes under threat, they’ll do whatever it takes to save it.Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Nook

iTunes

Sainsburys

Google Play

Read Jane Linfoot’s Author Interview Here

My Review -1

The Vintage Cinema Club‘The Vintage Cinema Club’ is quintessential women’s fiction. 

Set in the Derbyshire Dales with a lovely interlude in France, the story follows Izzy, Luce and Dida in their quest to save their vintage emporium, housed in an old cinema in Matlock. The setting is intrinsic to this story and speaks of local knowledge. As I know the area well it gives the book an additional enjoyable dimension for me.

There are plenty of interesting snippets about all things vintage and a strong bond between the three friends, as they fight to save the place that has focused and enriched their lives. There is gentle humour and dreamy, passionate romance but everyday life and secrets leave you wondering if it will survive. The story’s pacing is good and the short chapters, like scenes of a play give you insider knowledge of what is happening and how it affects The Vintage Cinema Club members.

I read this story in a day and it is a page turning, feel good read I recommend.

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

The Vintage Cinema Club by Jane Linfoot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Vintage Cinema Club by Jane  Linfoot

Jane Linfoot

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Posted in Inspiration

The Last Flowers of Summer? – Hardwick Hall

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Hardwick Hall and Gardens

 Earlier in the week I blogged about my visit to Hardwick Hall and Gardens. If you read my Tuesday post you’ll appreciate I got more than expected when I visited the house. 🙂

 My earlier visit to the beautiful gardens was I’m happy to say uneventful but enjoyable. In late August the flowers were not at their peak but there were still lots of beautiful flowers to be admired.

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There was also an exhibition of modern sculpture in the gardens depicting ‘The Men who Built Hardwick’.

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What I loved about the gardens was how family friendly they were. Children were encouraged to play on the vast grassy areas with hula hoops. ball games and skittles. A far cry from visiting stately houses when I was a child when ‘Keep Off The Grass’ was the most common sign. 😉

Continuing the activities for the young at heart there was some very cute trees with their own small doors for any Fae or small creatures that lived in the gardens.

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 If you prefer something more classical, these ladies should appeal?

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Definitely plenty of inspiration for a historical romance here?

Thanks to my lovely husband for taking the flower, house and statue photos for this post x