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

Mine to Five Tara September 5*#Review @TaraSeptember #Narrator @verla_bond #Romance #Workplace #ContemporaryRomance #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour #Festive #FridayReads #MinetoFive

Working beyond nine to five and barely getting by, Melanie Thomas is eager to celebrate the impending holiday season and to toast the start of her dream marketing job over drinks with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, he has different planslike seeing other women. 

Indulging in a pity party with tequila, Melanie confides in a sexy stranger at the bar. It’s almost Christmas. One night of letting go won’t hurt anything, right? Turns out it just might—when the stranger is her new boss. Determined to succeed at her job, Melanie won’t be scared away. This is her chance, even if her hot boss has her feeling all merry and bright and wishing for a less-than-professional relationship.

Matthew Ryans is burned out and on thin ice at the company he helped build unless he gets his head back in the game. Yet his head, both upper and lower, are quickly becoming obsessed with his new assistant. Still, he can’t seem to fully begrudge Melanie’s distracting presence and the Christmas joy she brings with it. Especially considering that her enthusiasm has him reenergized. For once, he is longing for Mondays, but with his heart and job on the line, he can’t risk blurring the lines no matter how strong the lure of holiday mistletoe is.  

Will their holiday passion be able to fuel mutual career success, or will it only get in their way in the New Year?

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

My Thoughts…

A well-paced sexy romance set in the workplace. With believable and relatable characters and a storyline perfect for an audiobook listen. This is the second of this author’s books I’ve listened to by this narrator, who makes it easy to engage with the characters and the story.

Melanie and Mathew’s meeting at a bar leads to complications in their work lives, even though neither can remember the details of the encounter. This is a sensual romance with passion and forbidden love which explores the dangers of workplace romance and the unfair consequences for women.

The story has a festive setting, which adds to the romance and whilst there are no real surprises, the ending is passionate and so romantic.

Tara September

Tara September is a multi-award-winning contemporary romance author living in Southwest Florida. Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. For over a decade, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

An avid romance reader though, she has been daydreaming about being an author since she was a kid. Dozens of bad dates and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a NYC subway. They now have identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and an outrageous stock of champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

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If readers sign-up to Tara September’s newsletter they can automatically get her short story It Might Be You for free at Newsletter Sign Up 

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

A Mistletoe Vow to Lord Lovell 4*#Review Joanna Johnson @JoannaJoJohnson @MillsandBoon #Festive #MillsandBoonInsiders #RegencyRomance #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview

Will their vows last a lifetime…

Not just for Christmas?

Abandoned by her husband, and society because her father was a slave, Honora Blake will never rely on anyone again. Until dashing Lord Lovell breaks the news that she is a widow – and penniless – and insists she spend Christmas with him and his pregnant ward. Beneath the mistletoe, passion flares between Honora and Isaac. Then childbirth places his ward’s life in jeopardy, and these strangers suddenly face marriage to protect the baby!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A romance set in Regency times focused on women’s lack of rights in society. Honora naively marries a rake and travels to England only to be abandoned and left in a crumbling house. Issac Lord Lovell brings her news of her estranged husband’s demise. She wonders if she can begin again, but her husband fails her even in death, and she forced to accept Issac’s offer of a place to stay.

This is an enemy to lover trope, but it has more depth than this. Honora faces prejudice both because of her parentage and her gender. The attraction between her and Issac is unwelcome to both. Her past mistakes make trusting Issac difficult. Issac has a secret that may destroy any future they may have. Nevertheless, passion breaks through, but conflicts, both internal and external, make a festive happy-ending hard-won.

This gently paced story is about a romance, which succeeds despite the failings of Regency society. The festive setting gives the story a sense of time and place and provides lighter moments in a story that explores social history inequality and prejudice.

Posted in Book Review, Medical Romance, Romance

Christmas With Her Lost-And-Found Lover Ann McIntosh 5*#Review @AuthorAnnMc @MillsandBoon #Romance #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonMedical #Festive #BookReview #weekendreads #Vet #ChristmasWithHerLostAndFoundLover

He’s walked back into her life –
After half a lifetime…

It’s years since Rohan Khan promised Dr. Elise van Hagen that he would be back for Christmas. He never returned and Elise raised their son alone. So, when the veterinarian reappears during a rescue in snowy Banff, Elise can’t believe her eyes! But Rohan has no memory of their past. Can these long-ago lovers make up for all the Christmases they have missed?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a poignant but positive story that focuses on family, forgiveness and the future. Despite losing nearly three decades, the connection between Elise and Rohan is still passionate. Elise is a likeable character, a dedicated doctor and selfless mother. Meeting Rohan again is unexpected.

There’s a mystery surrounding their break-up which is devastating but gives hope for a future together. Neither are the same people who fell in love in their twenties, but this later life love story has more than memories to bind it.

The characters are believable and easy to like. The external conflicts are predominately historic. The internal conflicts are harder to overcome when they meet for a second time, but the chance of happiness and family life is a worthy goal.

There are some delightful animal characters in this festive story and a well-deserved happy ending.

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

The Christmas Swap Sandy Barker 5*#Review @sandybarker @0neMoreChapter_ #Festive #Christmas #Holiday #Friendship #Women #Romance #Family @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads

Christmas is coming and best friends Chloe, Jules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!

Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.

The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three.

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

My Thoughts…

Three women, friends since they met on holiday as young girls are all living good lives, but when it comes to Christmas they all feel it’s time to shake things up a little. Chole, Jules and Lucy agree that a house swap at Christmas will meet their needs and what follows is festive, fun and full of romance.

The characters are relatable and the plot peppered with Christmas activities and memories,
vivid locations and love. There are three romances, all different, but equally believable and heartwarming.

If I had to pick a favourite it would be Lucy and Will, she’s introverted and doesn’t realise how lovely she is, and Will does. The glamour of Archer and Chloe’s romance is good to read. Jules and Matt’s relationship is less romantic than the other two, but it’s realistic and has its moments. The three stories bound together by the three women and Christmas make this an engaging festive read.

Sandy Barker

Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Festive Read, Romance, Travel

All About Us Tom Ellen 4*#Review @TomEllen7 @HQStories #TimeTravel #Romance #December #Winter #Festive #SecondChances #BlogTour #BookReview #AllAboutUs #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #Paperback

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Two loves. Two lives. One destiny…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The festive season crystallises memories good and bad for most people and Christmas 2020 proves to be a memorable one for Ben. At a low point in his life, he has a serendipitous meeting with a man who gives him a watch and food for thought. What follows, defies belief but at such a magical time of year, anything is possible, right?

Ben, his wife Daff, best friend Harv and Alice the what-if lover are all well-described, relatable characters in this engaging story. The festive twist comes from the December time frame and the contemporary interpretation of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.

This story focuses on the turning points of Ben’s life when he makes life-changing decisions. Given the opportunity, should he change them? Revisiting the past forces Ben to see things differently, not everything is as he remembers it, and this is important for his future actions.

There’s a new adult romance, coming of age, loss, love and magical time travel in this reflective story.

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

The Winter We Met Samantha Tonge #GuestPost @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #festive #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas #CareHomes #Party #Toys #BlogTour #publicationday #TheWinterWeMet

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

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Guest Post – Samantha Tonge – The Randomness of Life

Have you ever thought about the randomness of life? Sometimes, the way things happen by chance, scares me a little! It’s strange to think that if I’d got my first choice of university (bad interview – long story!) I’d never have met my husband, never have had my children. And when my two started their degrees I thought how strange it was that probably the closest group of friends they would develop for life was going to be determined by an administrator allotting them to a particular room in  a particular halls of residence.

Life is random and that’s why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if things don’t always go to plan. In fact, the unexpected nature of our existence is, in my opinion, what makes it so exciting. I think back to my student days… I was never going to get married nor have kids, and I was focused on learning languages, translating, nothing to do with being an author. However for many different reasons, my life went down a different path – and who knows where I will be a decade or two from now.

That randomness is what I wanted to capture in The Winter We Met, by  lead character Jess sitting in the wrong seat on an aeroplane and by doing so meeting Nik,  a man who was going to change her life in ways she could never have expected.

Travelling is a great opportunity for chance encounters. I remember aupairing in the south of France when I was nineteen. One day I travelled on a bus to meet a friend. I sat next to a young Frenchman, an artist, and we chatted and laughed all the way. As we parted, both of us knowing we would never meet again, he reached into his bag and gave me a silver pocket watch to remember him by. I still have it today. And for several months afterwards he would send me a postcard with a watercolour he’d paint onto the front.

Then a couple of years later, I had a job in London and commuted every morning. I’d sit on the train reading a French magazine to improve my language skills. Often I’d catch the eye of a particular guy with lovely freckles and a great smile. Eventually we got talking – he’d assumed I was French. And that gave rising to another friendship forming and, under different circumstances, could have easily led to a romance.

Several of my books have been inspired by chance encounters. One Summer In Rome has a blind main character and he was inspired by an incredible woman I met and chatted to on a train, who couldn’t see – she travelled the country alone, with her job, training visually impaired people to use special technology.

Chance encounters, life’s randomness, it’s a wonderful thing because when things are going really badly, when you’re in one of life’s ruts, don’t ever forget that there is always the possibility that something totally unexpected will pull you out of it – and that could be just around the corner.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

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Read my review of The Winter We Met here

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

The Winter We Met Samantha Tonge 5*#Review @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #festive #multigenerational #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas #CareHome #Party #Toys #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday #TheWinterWeMet

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

Amazon UK iBooks Kobo Google Play

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

My Thoughts…

This author always manages to capture the spirit of Christmas in her festive stories. They are fun and often romantic, but they have a deeper, more serious message too.

This story focuses on toy shops and care homes and their residents. It’s about family, friends, having fun and gets across the message that you don’t stop dreaming, feeling and hoping just because you’re getting older and your body and mind are diminishing.

Jess meets Nik on a flight back from a toy fair, they get along and when they land he visits the toy shop where she works. Nik appears to be a kind man, willing to help others, and Jess starts to fall in love with him. Is everything as it appears or is she missing something important?

The characters all bring something to this story. Trying to help them as they lose their security brings Jess and her friends closer to the residents and workers and all have interesting stories to tell. The dynamics of the relationship between friends and family are believable.

The romance is gentle, and a little mysterious for Jess but the ending is realistic and satisfying.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

Website Twitter Facebook Instagram

If you want to read Samantha Tonge’s Guest Post on The Randomness of Life. Click here

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

Meet Me in London Georgia Toffolo 4*#Review @ToffTalks @MillsandBoon #Romance #Festive #London #Audiobook #Review #BookReview #HarperCollinsAudioUK #MondayBlogs #MeetMeinLondon #MillsandBoonInsider

What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real…

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea, and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her. A girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion. Something to keep his mother from interfering while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting, as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…

#Preorder Audiobook Kindle out 15 October

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

My Thoughts…

An audiobook read by the author is always good for the reader because the author’s interpretation of the characters has inherent authenticity. This engaging narration brings the characters to life, especially Victoria and immerses the reader in her life and romance.

This is a love story set in Chelsea, London. The book’s setting and characters are realistic and give the story a unique sense of place.

Victoria is recovering, from a relationship break up that damaged both career aspirations and her heart. Oliver is troubleshooting the opening of a flagship department store, for his family’s business but he’s doing it more out of loyalty than a vocation. Victoria is likeable and relatable. Oliver, although emotionally remote, has a kind heart. When they meet, in the bar the chemistry is quick to ignite although they keep their feelings hidden until fate brings them, together again.

This is a gentle romance catalysed by a fake engagement. It is passionate but conflicted as the couple keep secrets that threaten their future. The realisation that a fake engagement is not what the couple want, leads to internal conflict and sadness, but thankfully all the angst is rewarded with a happy ending.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Christmas in the King’s Bed Caitlin Crews 4* #Review @megancrane @MillsandBoon #Romance #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonModern #BookReview #Festive #MondayBlogs

His royal bride of convenience:
Unwrapped and undone!

Orion is determined to rule his once-dissolute kingdom with integrity and respect. That means honouring his betrothal to Lady Calista Skyros. A woman whose father deals in scandal – and who threatens his unwavering self-control…

Calista knows her royal marriage was brokered by blackmail, but she has her own reasons for accepting Orion’s hand. Yet her husband shocks her with his demand for complete honesty. And as her first Christmas as queen approaches, her unstoppable desire for the king becomes her most dangerous truth of all!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a fairytale romance full of passion, villains and happy ever afters. King Orion forced to marry an adversary’s daughter to protect the monarchy from further scandal. Calista agrees to marry Orion to save her sibling from her father’s wrath. Their intense connection is something neither expected but is a blessing or a curse?

This is a story of betrayal scandal and trust. The connection between Calista and Orion is passionate but conflicted. Both need to trust the other with their secrets to move forward. Despite the legacy of despicable parents the two, principled lovers manage to rise above the scandal, to find their fairytale ending but only after, some sensual encounters and personal soul searching.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay Nicola May #CoverReveal @NicolaMay1 @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #festive

 

Meet old and new characters in the Bay for Christmas fun and frolics.

With both the Corner Shop and Cockleberry Café in safe hands, Rosa turns her attention to Ned’s Gift, the charity set up in memory of the great-grandfather whose legacy turned her life around.

Over at the Ship Hotel, Lucas has his work cut out with his devious new girlfriend and the mystery poisoning of an anonymous hotel inspector. Will the hotel still get its 3-star Seaside Rosette?

Will Mary find true love at last? Can Titch cope with the demands of the shop and being heavily pregnant. And can Rosa, with a baby of her own, pull off the Cockleberry Bay Charity Christmas Concert in time?

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay is a festive delight for fans of Rosa and her cheeky mini dachshund Hot, delivering a feast of unpredictable events and surprises.

#Preorder Out 4th December

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NIcola May

Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of eleven romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named ebook of the week in The SunThe Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year.

She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.

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