Sadie doesn’t have time for finding love. She’s too busy as PA for famous artist Damian Banks. When she’s not arranging exhibitions, she’s organising his dry cleaning or dumping his never ending stream of girlfriends.
But when she strikes up an unusual friendship with her desk share buddy, she finds a confidante and a new potential love interest. Problem is, they’ve never actually met…
With Christmas just around the corner, can Sadie put herself first for a change and find what she’s been looking for all along?
The brand new romantic comedy from top 10 bestseller Portia MacIntosh.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is a lovely romantic comedy with lots of originality and contemporary polish. Sadie is a long-suffering PA to a celebrity portrait photographer who has many issues. Damien depends on her for everything. The only highlight for Sadie is her Post-It conversation with Adam, a man she never met but grows to like. There is a not unexpected twist to this relationship which sends the story off in another romantic, and heartwarming direction.
There is a festive theme woven into the plot. There are some lovely family moments, which are both humorous and poignant. The romance is lovely, and the contemporary themes make it relatable.
Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and Honeymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.
The sequel novel to the best-selling UK series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL brings new surprises, romance, humor, and wedding bells, to readers who fell in love with the first stories.
Busy mother of two Julianne Rose has extended her talents beyond the manor house, opening her own event planning agency with the help of no-nonsense best friend Kitty. Balancing the chaos of daily life with their respective careers in their beloved Cornish village means Julianne can rarely snatch a romantic moment with handsome husband Matt. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any more chaotic, a sudden arrival at Cliffs House lands Julianne in the most unusual event of her career.
The reappearance of Percy or ‘the old earl’ after years of adventures abroad has temporarily shocked Lord William and Lady Amanda and set the entire village abuzz with gossip. Grizzled, spry, and delightfully eccentric, he’s returned with a most unusual set of traveling companions: an archaeological team digging in a spot whispered to have ties with the legendary Camelot. But it’s Percy’s ties with a certain charming woman among its team that has everyone taken by surprise, along with the news of their soon-to-be nuptials.
Tasked with planning the big day, Julianne and Kitty spring at this opportunity despite its rushed timeline and their own woes regarding the renovation of their future event space. But as the big day rolls closer for the earl and his bride-to-be – with cakes and wedding flowers competing with pottery shards and an ancient warrior chieftain’s grave for attention — are there still surprising revelations to come?
Adding to the excitement is the return of former Cliffs House maid Gemma, whose posh new life as a novelist may not be all it seems … and Dinah visits in a flurry of festive baking for a holiday competition on everyone’s favorite baking show. Kitty’s life is in a tizz regarding both family and secrets … and Julianne’s happy marriage is challenged by an unwelcome sexy-and-persistent suitor among the summer visitors.
Filled with old friends, new adventures, and heartwarming Cornish charm, RETURN TO CORNWALL is an all-new, full-length novel—the first one ever to feature the characters from the original series!
Thank you to Jane for letting me to tell her readers about my newest romance read, Return to Cornwall. It features the same characters and setting from my long-running series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL, with the same sense of humor, romance, and adventure at its heart. There are exciting new changes too, though, and I hope that fans and new readers alike will find themselves caught up in a fun, feel-good escape when they join event planner Julianne and her friends at Cliffs House for a summer in beautiful Cornwall. I thought it might be lovely to share a few fun facts behind the story’s inspiration, so let’s dive in!
Although a little cliché perhaps, the idea of an Arthurian archaeology site was inspired by Cornwall’s ties to the legendary king and his Camelot. With multiple sites in the county already linked to the beloved lore it only seemed fitting to create a fictional dig with the same special connection. My own personal favorite from the historic Arthurian locations in Cornwall is that of his supposed birth site at Tintagel Castle, with its amazing and atmospheric medieval ruins and rugged shoreline—it’s definitely on my travel wish list!
Julianne and Matt’s decision to name their son Heath is fitting for two reasons, first being that it’s a plant native to Cornwall. The second reason is that Matt and Julianne’s first meeting—and subsequent fiery exchange—took place when her spiky heels trod a patch of heath that was freshly planted by the rugged gardener on the grounds of the estate she was strolling through.
Readers of my Cornish wedding series have always known that it owed some of its inspiration to the BBC drama Poldark. And with subtle nods to the series having popped up in previous novellas, I couldn’t resist sneaking yet another parallel into this reunion story. Fans of the television series will likely guess which one if I say it involves a handsome admirer’s attempts to woo our married heroine through poetry—only with very different results than what happens in the television series, I might add!
In the past, I’ve often watched episodes of reality wedding shows for inspiration on designs, trends, and décor that characters like Julianne would be familiar with in their work. But for this book I needed to get a feel for a very different field of work: namely, the world of archaeology and history exploration. So instead of Rich Bride, Poor Bride, I found myself binge watching episodes of Time Team and Expedition Unknown to help create the atmosphere and excitement of a dig site where ancient ruins are being discovered.
If you’re a fan of feel-good romance with a bit of drama and a lot of heart, I hope you’ll be sure to check out my latest read. And if you haven’t read Julianne’s previous adventures, now is the perfect time to start. You can find all twelve of the original novellas from A WEDDING IN CORNWALL available in individual format as well as two convenient book bundles—they go perfect with a cuppa and a sunny day in the garden!
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the giveaway link above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Jane thinks he sees her as shallow and ill-educated. Theo thinks she sees him as a snob, stuffy and out of touch.
Within the ancient precincts of the university, the first encounter between the conference planner and the academic is accidental and unpromising. Just as well there’s no reason for them ever to meet again.
But behind the armour they’ve each constructed from old scars, they’ve more in common than divides them. Both have an archaeological puzzle they are driven to solve. As their stories intertwine, their quest to uncover the past unearths more than expected.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review
I love to read something a little different this story is a mix of genre. There is a gentle slow-burning romance ridden with internal obstacles to its success. There is a historically rooted mystery that draws the couple together, when it seems, in the beginning, they have nothing in common, except that they irritate each other. There is also a strong emotional thread in this story, as the first part of the book reveals, why Theo and Jane are unwilling to trust again, this poignancy makes the characters easier to empathise.
This story has a believable contemporary setting that is well researched and has intrinsic interest. Character-driven Jane and Theo’s flaws and emotional baggage make them authentic. The subsidiary characters are also realistic.
This is an engaging, intriguing romantic mystery set against a politicised contemporary background.
Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real-life supplanted the imaginary kind.
After a few false starts, she worked longest and most happily as an illustrator in advertising and only began writing again when she became a mother.
Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.
All of her recent books TORN, LIFE CLASS, FLY or FALL and BURIED TREASURE have gained ‘Chill with a Book’ awards.
Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is now also a writer.
Struggling to come to terms with the loss of her mother, Sophie needs to get away from it all. On a much-needed break to Tenerife, she stumbles across a Help Wanted sign for local pensioner, Hugo, and on a leap of faith she accepts the job.
But life on the island isn’t all sun, sea and siestas…
Hugo’s beautiful villa is under threat and, to complicate matters, his brooding (but handsome) nephew, Alex, has shown up full of suspicion towards Sophie.
Her hands full dealing with difficult men and a clearly unreciprocated attraction towards Alex, Sophie needs to decide if her future lies in Tenerife or if her holiday is officially over.Escape to a Spanish island with this gorgeously uplifting romance,
I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Exploring the non-touristy side of Tenerife this is an emotional and enjoyable uplit story. The setting, seen through the eyes of main character Sophie, makes an impact. The story of rebuilding a life after caring for a loved one is poignant and realistic and makes Sophie easy to empathise.
This is an escapist read, so fate takes a hand in the proceedings. Sophie’s multigenerational relationship with Hugo is humorous and rewarding. The chance for romance surprises Sophie but makes her braver as she tries to map out her future. Enigmatic Alex or friendly Dominic, who will she choose?
Gentle romance humour and poignancy fuse together to provide a lovely way to escape for a couple of hours.
Giacomo is stuck in a funk he can’t shake – and a translation he can’t finish. When he’s summoned home to Sardinia, to say a final goodbye to his dying grandmother, he’s offered the perfect opportunity to escape.
On the noisy, sun-drenched island, Giacomo reconnects with long-lost friends and overbearing relatives, relives the childhood he once couldn’t wait to leave behind, and rediscovers new joie-de-vivre within him. Never mind that he’s making no progress on his translation. . .
When the time comes to leave once more, Giacomo wonders: has he fallen back in love with his home-island? Or has he been hiding from something which he needs the courage to return and confront?
But most importantly – is his grandma really as ill as she’s claiming to be?
I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This story has an autobiographical quality about it. Giacomo is a translator returning to his home village in Sardinia when his grandmother falls ill. The remote village setting and the quirky characters that live there, give this story its humour, intrinsic interest and poignancy.
Giacomo is at a crossroads in his life. He uses his time in the village, to come to terms with this and make sense of his existence. There are memories revisited and acquaintances renewed, which create a web of anecdotes and experiences rather than a linear plotted story.
There are literary references and insight into the life of translator which Giacomo equates with his status, the ‘nearly’ man. It’s not a commercial book. It is an insight into an ordinary man’s life in a unique place, fascinating but not always relatable.
Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man. She was the first of his victims but not the last. Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the killer once and for all. The whole world is watching her every move. And so is the Magpie Man.
I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK Books in return for an honest review.
‘Are You Watching?’ has universal appeal for those drawn to page-turning reads. The social media and YouTube concept is aimed at young adults.
Jess hopes her story will attract a viral audience and draw out her mother’s killer. Told from her point of view, the reader has immediate and uncensored responses from the main protagonist. It also maintains the mystery, as we only know what she does. Relatable and realistic, Jess is a likeable character, with authentic teenage emotions and motivations.
This is an emotional story. Jess feels her mother’s loss but also griefs her family’s demise. Her father is an understandable emotional wreck and she is doing this for him as much as for herself. Parents may question, whether they would have allowed their teenager to do this. Jess’s father feels guilty about his daughter’s damaged life, and will make amends anyway he can.
The book’s structure of short chapters aids the pacing and suspense, which builds as the story progresses. The plot has twists and an unexpected ending.
This story has dark themes, but it is written to engage its target audience. Contemporary fiction focused on crime, relationships, suspense and technology, which will appeal to an older adult audience too.
Vincent Ralph has been writing in one form or another since his teens and always dreamed of being a novelist. He owes his love of books to his mother, who encouraged his imagination from an early age and made sure there were new stories to read. Vincent has lived in London, Cornwall and Chester but he now lives in his home county of Kent with his wife, son and two cats.
There’s only one way out from rock bottom and
that’s up, and Teri Meyer is finally crawling out from the worst time of her
life – no thanks to her best friend Lee. But no matter, she’s finally found
love – real love with a real man, a successful man, a man who accepts all her
flaws. Teri’s never felt like this before, and yet it’s changing her in ways
she doesn’t understand.
And there’s only one person who can help, one
person who truly understands Teri.
It seems that no matter how hard Lee Harper
tries, there’s a battle awaiting her at every turn these days, and she’s tired.
And as if she needs the extra stress, Teri continues to create constant and unnecessary
drama. But Lee’s the only one who really knows what’s going on under Teri’s
hard, convoluted exterior, and that’s why she’s always been there for her.
But the question is: will Teri be there when Lee
needs her most?
The brilliant and entertaining final book in the
unique FRIENDS trilogy dishes out another dose of rib-tickling mayhem for our
favourite thirty-something professional women.
A Forsaken Friend (book 2): 99c/p from November 18 – 25 (UK and US)Amazon UK Amazon
I received a copy of this book from the authors in return for an honest review.
It’s not always easy reading a book that is the last in a trilogy, but the inclusive writing style drew me in, from the first page, even though I didn’t know the characters and ethos of the series.
I didn’t instantly empathise with the characters, they seemed constantly at odds from the start of the book, behaving more like teenagers than adult women, but as I read on, more of their background emerged and the up and down nature of their relationship became clearer.
The story is told in the first person from both women’s points of view. Teri is forthright and appears to run from one crisis to the next. She often speaks before she knows the implications of what she is saying, and this trait is the crux of her current falling out with Lee.
Lee is gentler, a reflective thinker, and more aware of others, and how her behaviour affects them. She is the perfect sounding board for Teri, but understandably this becomes draining and tiresome occasionally. Lee’s current emotional turmoil makes her less sympathetic and the women’s friendship reaches a new low. Is it strong enough to continue? You’ll have to read this humorous, poignant story to find out.
This story will appeal to older women. Lee and Teri appear older than they apparently are. Family drama and dynamics are familiar and often funny. The vacillating friendship is well-written covering all the emotional nuances.
An enjoyable, unexpectedly good read.
Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists with extensive experience of working for national and regional papers and magazines and in public relations.
More recently they have worked in
higher education, teaching journalism – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at
Leeds Trinity University.
The pair, who have been friends for almost 30 years, wrote two successful journalism text books together – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction (both published by Sage), before deciding to turn their hands to fiction.
The first novel in their Friends
series, A Falling Friend, was released in 2016. A Forsaken Friend followed
two years later, and the final book in the trilogy, A Forgiven Friend,
published on November 19.
Sue, who is married with two grown-up
daughters, and the most ‘gorgeous granddaughter in the whole world’, loves
reading, writing and Nordic walking in the beautiful countryside near her
Susan is married and lives in a
village near Leeds, and, when not writing, loves walking and cycling in the
Yorkshire Dales. She is also a member of a local ukulele orchestra.
Cosy up with the new novel in the Pudding Pantry series, full of love, laughter, kisses under the mistletoe, and plenty of delicious pudding!
The first snow is falling over Primrose Farm, the mince pies are warming, and Rachel can’t wait to share a kiss under the mistletoe with her gorgeous new flame, Tom.
If only it was all comfort and joy . . . The arrival of Tom’s ex brings an unwelcome chill to the farm. And despite Master Baker Mum Jill’s valiant efforts, the new pudding pantry business is feeling the pinch.
With a spoonful of festive spirit, a cupful of goodwill with friends, and her messy, wonderful family by her side, can Rachel make this a Christmas to remember?
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – One More Chapter in return for an honest review.
The Northumberland setting is perfect for a festive edition of the pudding pantry. It is idyllic in many ways, but this story serves up a healthy portion of real life, with its picture-postcard Christmassy setting, and lovely comforting puddings.
After finding friendship can turn to romance Rachel and Tom are hoping for some festive romance, but farming is hard particularly in the winter months, and the pudding pantry is not making enough money now the tourists have gone home. Long hours and financial worries, mean romance is low down on the list, and even time together is hard to find.
The reappearance of ex-partners ramps up the tension, and make a happy ever after for Rachel and Tom further away than ever. The strong relationship between Rachel and her mother, grandmother and young daughter is the foundation of this story and makes it such a pleasure to read.
The festive touches are lovely and coupled with the twelve, simple but delicious-sounding recipes, you can visualise Christmastime at Primose Farm.so well.
Resourcefulness and romance triumph in the perfect ending.
The Fourth Bake of Christmas
Blackberry and Apple Jam Sponge Pudding – Grandma Isabel’s Recipe, circa 1946 This handwritten poem had always been tucked into the Baking Bible as a loose-leaf next to a recipe of Rachel’s grandmother’s:
Autumn days, the sky a blue haze. Blackberry picking, Hedgerows thick with brambles, Watch out for the prickles. Purple-stained fingers and mouths, Ripe dark berries sweet with juice, Baskets laden. Ready for home, pass on to Mum, With crumbles, jams and puddings to come!
100g/4oz self-raising flour
Pinch of salt 100g/4oz caster sugar
100g/4oz butter 2 eggs, beaten
2tbsp whole milk
45ml/3tbsp homemade or good quality Blackberry and Apple Jam
(or another flavour if you prefer)
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs a little at a time with a spoonful of flour, beating well until eggs are mixed in. Fold in remaining flour alternately with the milk. Grease and base-line a pudding basin, add the jam to the bottom. Spoon over the pudding mix up to ¾ full. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper, and secure with string. Using extra string to make a handle for ease of removal. Steam for 1 ½ to 2 hours in a covered pan of boiling water, keeping water topped up to halfway up the pudding bowl sides, until a wooden skewer comes out clean at centre. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before turning out.
Delicious with custard or cream.
Caroline Roberts lives in the wonderful Northumberland countryside with her husband and credits the sandy beaches, castles and rolling hills around her as inspiration for her writing. She enjoys writing about relationships; stories of love, loss and family, which explore how beautiful and sometimes complex love can be. A slice of cake, glass of bubbly and a cup of tea would make her day – preferably served with friends! She believes in striving for your dreams, which led her to a publishing deal after many years of writing.
Return to Porthmellow Harbour in this gorgeous festive romance.
Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…
But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.
So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.
Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?
Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK in return for an honest review.
Christmas the time for family, friends, and memorable presents. Scarlett’s Christmas present last year resonates, but not in a good way. It revealed a family secret, and her family is still reeling from its impact.
She comes to Porthmellow Harbour to stay with her sister Ellie, and find some answers. Full of angst and family drama, this story follows Ellie and Scarlett as they both seek the happiness they deserve. The plot is full of clues, but like all good mysteries, most of these lead to nothing. It is poignant and sometimes humorous and full of romantic moments, It keeps you turning the pages, in anticipation right to the end, which is uplifting, whilst remaining believable.
The characters are full of flaws and so human, most of them are likeable, with one notable exception. This is a story of family, forgiveness and the importance of honesty.
The romance is gentle and full of conflicts, but both sisters have to learn to trust and accept, even the men of their dreams have flaws.
All the family drama plays out, in a lovely Cornish coastal setting, and the excitement and uniqueness of a pagan style festival.
A lovely, Cornish Christmas tale that leaves you feeling festive.
Phillipa Ashley is the author of a string of Amazon Top 10 and Bookseller Heatseekers N best-selling Cornish novels. Before she became a full-time writer, she studied English at Oxford and worked as a copywriter and journalist.
She also writes rom coms as Ashley Croft and steamy romance as Pippa Croft.
She lives in a Staffordshire village with her husband and has a grown-up daughter. When she’s not writing, she loves falling off surfboards and following Poldark around in a camper van.
Her latest release is A Perfect Cornish Summer is out now and is an Amazon Top 15 and Heatseekers number 1 best seller.
Leah Jensen, Yorkshire lass born and bred, needs money and she’ll do anything – yes, anything – to get it. Her Grandad Thomas is in pain and the cost of an operation on his bad knee is way beyond the family’s means. Leah tries everything to earn the fee – but in the end, and like so many before her, she turns to the world’s oldest profession. Madam Butterfly’s exclusive escort agency in London is a different world to where Leah comes from. In Whitby, the sea air is sweet, and legends of Dracula jostle with jet-mining and whaling history; it’s a place where dog lovers meet and tourists come to marvel at the views. Leah may be out of her comfort zone, but one daring, brief encounter will bring many surprises in this memorable romantic comedy full of pithy Yorkshire humour.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a humorous, romantic story, with complex characters, and a lovely northern ethos. Whilst there are aspects of this story that I love, there are a few I don’t. Some of the attitudes jar with twenty-first-century thinking. The length of the story is longer than it needs to be. It is written with maximum visual imagery, so the pace carries it along, despite the length, but a shorter story would work better. Most of the characters work well, but a few stereotypical traits are in evidence.
On the positive side, this is a heartwarming, humorous and hectic story, with a lovely main protagonist, Leah, and a cast of varied and interesting characters to compliment her. This is pure escapist reading, providing you accept this, it will be an enjoyable experience. There are many mentions of James Bond, and there are aspects of the story that mirror these stories, the intrepid heroine, the quirky sidekicks, and over the top villains, for example.
If you’re expecting to spend your time in Whitby, you may be disappointed, the historic seaside town does feature, but there is more action elsewhere. I would love to spend more time in the dog-friendly cafe.
An ideal read if you’re looking for something different in the romantic comedy genre.
Gracie Bond loves a good romantic comedy, either to read or to watch on Netflix. Her favourite go-to novel is (Pride and Prejudice)- and she’s always happy to watch (Bridgett Jones) any time of the day.
Among Gracie’s interests are Newfoundland dogs, horses, and handsome Yorkshire men. Her idea of fun would be to ride a spirited horse along a Northumberland beach, followed by a pack of her favourite dogs.
Gracie lives in Yorkshire with her partner John and she has close connections with Whitby, the setting for this novel.