Running from a wedding… … to a whole new future! Bree Allenby’s first stop on her road trip across Australia is to attend the society wedding of her brother’s best friend. When Noah Fitzgerald is dramatically jilted, he needs a quick getaway—so Bree suggests he come with her! Spending her days with a billionaire is not what she was expecting… Not only is their spark of attraction completely new, but it has them both rethinking where they’re going in life!
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A well-written friend to lover romance where Bree and newly jilted Noah go on a life-changing road trip. Bree’s original reason for the road trip leads to some poignant, thought-provoking moments. The road trip setting is a bonus with great descriptions.
Bree and Noah are likeable characters with emotional baggage, which they open and discard as the journey progresses. A sweet romance about friendship, parenting, and taking a chance on love.
Grace, Meg and Daphne, all in their seventies, are minding their own business while enjoying a cup of tea in a café, when seventeen-year-old Nina stumbles in. She’s clearly distraught and running from someone, so the three women think nothing of hiding her when a suspicious-looking man starts asking if they’ve seen her.
Once alone, Nina tells the women a little of what she’s running from. The need to protect her is immediate, and Grace, Meg and Daphne vow to do just this. But how? They soon realise there really is only one answer: murder.
And so begins the tale of the three most unlikely murderers-in-the-making, and may hell protect anyone who underestimates them.
I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This story contains a powerful commentary on society’s view of older women and young women who are let down by those who should care for them. The issues are disturbing, but whilst the reader is provoked to think about them, it’s delivered in an engaging way that resonates.
The story follows the lives of three women in their seventies and a young woman of seventeen. They are virtually strangers, but a fatalistic meeting draws them together into a world of darkness and depravity. The women have secrets that are revealed to each other and the reader as the story progresses. They are not what they outwardly seem, an important point this story explores for all the women. All have courage and hidden strengths that help secure safety for the vulnerable young woman who asks for their help.
The thriller is well-written with twists and is full of satirical noir humour, but it’s the believable characters, their brave actions and poignant stories that make this such a good read.
‘Delightful and witty with a heroine you’ll be rooting for . . . joyful escapism’ Milly Johnson ‘Spirited, adventurous and full of heart!’ Heidi Swain
Although thirty-three-year-old Kara Moon loves her hometown of Hartmouth in Cornwall, she has always wondered if she should have followed her dream of going off to study floristry. But she couldn’t bring herself to abandon her emotionally delicate single father, and has worked on Ferry Lane Market’s flower stall ever since leaving school.
When her good-for-nothing boyfriend cheats on her and steals her life savings, she finally dumps him and rents out her spare room as an Airbnb. Gossip flies around the town as Kara welcomes a series of foreign guests to her flat overlooking the estuary.
Then an anonymous postcard arrives, along with a plane ticket to New York. And there begins the first of three trips of a lifetime, during which she will learn important lessons about herself, her life and what she wants from it – and perhaps find love along the way.
I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This story has emotion, drama, humour and romance in a cleverly crafted world that brings the believably flawed characters and settings to vibrant life. It’s set in a Cornish village with a ferry and a delightful market. This story concentrates on the Moon family and Kara in particular. This is an engaging story with surprising twists. Kara’s character development and the family and friendship dynamics are well written. The simple plot lets the characters shine, and the reader is quickly invested in their futures. This story is comfortingly relatable yet full of originality, making it addictive reading. The ending is romantic and realistic, and I can’t wait, for the next book, in the series.
More praise for Nicola May!
‘This book will twang your funny bone & your heartstrings’ – Milly Johnson ‘A fun and flighty read’ – Sun ‘A funny and fast-paced romp – thoroughly enjoyable!’ WOMAN Magazine ‘One of those books that I can’t stop thinking about way after I’ve read it! – Kim The Bookworm ‘This book is so addictive that you will literally lose 3 hours of your life, and you won’t care!’ – Cara’s Book Boudoir
Readers love Nicola May, too!
‘A FABULOUS must-read’ – 5 STARS ‘An excellent book of friendship – with a little wickedness!’ – 5 STARS ‘Good for the soul‘ – 5 STARS ‘I loved it and devoured it in a matter of days’ – 5 STARS ‘A wonderful, feel-good novel with some grit thrown in’ – 5 STARS ‘Marvellous, beautiful and heart-warming‘ – 5 STARS ‘Sea, sand and sex – a soppy delight’ – 5 STARS ‘A truly lovely book’ – 5 STARS ‘Fun and whimsy, plus a dog!’ – 5 STARS ‘Nicola May is a brilliant, relevant writer for today, exposing today’s issues with tenderness, and always demonstrating a warm, human, heartfelt response‘ – 5 STARS
Nicola May writes ‘chick lit with a kick’ and is the internationally bestselling author of eleven romantic comedies. All have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK across all genres in January 2019 and March 2020 respectively. It was also the second best-selling eBook of 2019 in the UK. Nicola’s books have also been sold in many languages.
After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?
When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down. As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is alovely Summer book full of humour, mystery and romance. Ruby works at a friendly florist shop and is friends with Kim, the owner. She travels to London for an important appointment and meets two men on the train who influence her future life.
Trying to return the ring draws Curtis and Ruby together with amusing results he is a mysterious man but appears kind. The original plot is peppered with witty humour, gentle romance and mysteries to solve. It keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next to Ruby and Kim.
There are plenty of conflicts to happy endings, for the women in this book with past loves and disgruntled relatives causing problems. The animal characters are worth a mention, as they add humour and poignancy to the story. Boomer and Seymour are wonderfully portrayed.
The relationship dynamics are so well written. They draw the reader into the characters’ lives, making what happens to Kim and Ruby count. The plot has unexpected twists and not all the characters are what they first appear to be. The ending is romantic and satisfying, leaving the reader with a heartwarming hug.
Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.
Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Elle, the focus of this story, has always longed to leave her childhood home to achieve her dreams. However, life intervenes at the most inopportune moments, and she starts to believe she’ll never leave or find her true self.
This is an emotional story as the reader follows Elle’s life in the village. The story has a strong thread of realism with many conflicts and mistakes. Elle is a lovely character, easy to empathise with but frustrating too. The relationships are written believably.
This story reflects its title. Elle experiences the whole spectrum of love as she finally finds herself and where she’s meant to be in this lovely, entertaining and emotional story.
Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children. Her debut, Art and Soul, a heart-warming contemporary romance, was published in 2020. Elle’s A to Z of Love is her second novel.
A keen amateur baker, she enjoys making cakes, biscuits and brownies almost as much as eating them. You can find recipes for over a hundred sweet treats at clairehuston.co.uk. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.
Published by Head of Zeus 8th July 2021 | Paperback Currently £7.19
Ambition can be deadly…
Ruthless Women takes readers on a wild ride behind the scenes of beloved TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But even in this beautiful coastal spot, tensions swirl. Once one of the world’s most popular soap operas, but now with ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American business woman, beautiful and malevolent Madeline Kane, the new network owner who arrives on the tiny island just off Jersey, determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one.
Writer Farrah, star Catherine and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network’s lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her and Amanda’s evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show.
As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive.
In a true battle of the sexes, these women will do anything to stay on top. But can they team up to bring down their male rivals? Or will jealousy, betrayal and revenge tear their long held friendships apart?
As the story reaches a climax so shocking readers will be talking about it for decades, one thing is certain: only the most ruthless woman will survive…
Over 25 million people in the UK watch soaps a week and now they’ll get a true glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes of TV’s most popular shows, and examples of the desperate trade off’s their beloved leading ladies go through to survive the very game they are in. Ruthless Women shows that what takes place behind the cameras is way more juicy than on….
Even the actresses, who Melanie was worried would be angry about what she’s written, are raving about Ruthless Women too. Well, some of them are….
I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via Midas PR in return for an honest review.
Scandalous, sexy thrillers based on real experiences and personalities are always addictive. Ruthless Women’s vibrant characters and vivid scenarios make guessing the inspiration behind them a must. The abuse of authority and prejudice are relatable, and the intelligent way the women fight against them believable. The female characters are flawed but easy to empathise. Hidden agendas and twists make this an intriguing read.
Scandal, secrets and sex underpin the story of a ruthless boss determined to make a once top-rated show great again. The dynamic between Farrah, Catherine, Amanda and Sheena is insightful and the force behind the story. It is both their strength and weakness, which Madeline exploits to her advantage.
This story has a poignant side which gives it depth and immerses the reader into the characters lives. The noir world simmering below the surface of television’s glamorous facade is the perfect setting for this story of ambition, friendship, revenge and scandal.
The suspense builds coupled with striking sensory imagery, as the story develops and the final chapters are full of twists, with a climactic ending.
I can’t wait for the next book.
At 15 Melanie Blake dreamed of being a writer, but was told by her English teacher that the only thing she’d ever write were labels for factory boxes. Severely dyslexic, and desperate to escape a childhood of poverty and religious extremism in Stockport, she left school with no qualifications and ran away from home.
Against all odds, Melanie managed to blag her way onto the lowest rung of the showbiz ladders, working as an extra on Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Eastenders and a camera assistant on Top Of The Pops. It was during this time that she got her first big break aged 21, when soap icon Claire King chose Melanie to be her agent. Her agency was an immediate success, and she would go on to represent the likes of Patsy Kensit, Michelle Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Emily Lloyd, Denise Welch, Jennie McAlpine, Laila Morse, Daniella Westbrook, Amanda Barrie, Gillian Taylforth and Nadia Sawalha; earning herself the tag ‘Queen of Soaps’.
Melanie wrote her first book The Thunder Girls when she was working in the music industry as a young woman. She was told no one wanted to read a book about middle aged female singers on a comeback tour and so it wasn’t until 2019, twenty years after she first put pen to paper, that The Thunder Girls was finally published by Pan Macmillan, becoming an Amazon number one bestseller. She adapted it for the stage herself and it went on to break box office records for a new work at the prestigious Lowry Theatre.
Her second novel, Ruthless Women has been an even bigger success, going straight into the Sunday Times hardback fiction chart at number four, staying in the top ten for a month, and also charting in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as foreign language translation rights being picked up by Russia, Romania and Hungary; meaning Melanie Blake is going global. Ruthless Women is inspired by Melanie’s behind-the-scenes knowledge of British soap operas. In the UK alone, over 25 million people a week currently tune in to watch the very stars Melanie represents in their globally syndicated shows. They say write about what you know, and in Ruthless Women, Melanie certainly has.
Melanie still represents some of the best-known faces on British television but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a columnist, producer, author and playwright. She lives in London and is available for interview and to write features, and this woman has got a lot of stories!
Her work has got in the way of relationships before – but never like this…
Anna’s job as a geologist takes her all over the world, including to the beautiful island of Elba, where she’s sent to look for precious metals. And the island isn’t the only thing that’s gorgeous – she can’t believe her luck when she meets windsurfer Marco and sparks fly.
But Anna must keep her role on Elba a secret to avoid upsetting the locals, which means lying to Marco even as they grow closer. When her old friend Toby visits, Anna suddenly finds herself torn between the attentions of the two men. However, Anna’s not the only one keeping secrets.
Is Marco being entirely honest with her? And why did Toby really come to visit?
I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The perfect book to escape a rainy day. This story follows Anna, a geologist on the Island of Elba seeking rare geological treasures. There is a good mix of humour, mystery and romance in this story. Complex characters with secrets, not immediately obvious, to Anna add to the story’s conflicts. Anna’s life has lacked romance, but Elba is rich in men as well as minerals. Her encounters with Jack and Labrador George are insightful and poignant, adding emotional depth to this romantic comedy.
This is a heartwarming travel romance with vibrant characters, vivid settings and gentle romance.
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.
The venue is booked, the dress is picked, and Senior Midwife Anna Jones only has to say ‘I Do!’ to the man she loves! Theirs might have been a whirlwind romance, but Brae Penrose is everything Anna dreamed her husband would be and she can’t wait to start a family with him.
But as the big day approaches, Anna still isn’t pregnant and when disaster strikes, their perfect day looks destined not to happen at all! Is it a sign to slow things down?
The other midwives won’t hear of Anna and Brae postponing their big day, and soon the whole community of Port Agnes comes together to make sure the Penrose wedding goes off without a hitch!
And Anna realises, baby or not, she already has her dream family with Brae and her friends by her side.
Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.
This book was previously published as Christmas with the Cornish Midwives.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
It is lovely to revisit Port Agnes in the second of the Cornish Midwife series. This one focuses on Anna, a senior midwife. Anna is about to get married and hopes to become a mum too. This story explores fertility, fostering and other topical socio-medical issues in an insightful way.
Anna is plagued with worries about conceiving, her need for a child an integral part of her grief at losing her parents. As an only child, I understand the relationship with her parents and her feelings of loss when they died. Brae is a supportive and understanding man, and you want them to achieve their dreams.
The story is full of life and medical dramas. The friendship and wider community spirit are believably written. It makes this a heartwarming read.
I was born a stone’s throw from the English Channel and I still live near the sea in Kent, with my own family – so close to the South Eastern edge of England that we’re very nearly French – and it’s probably why so many of my books are set near the sea too. I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember, but never really took it any further. Concentrating on my career and family, writing went on the back burner until a catalyst called cancer gave me a major kick up the proverbial. I decided I was going to write that novel after all.
I received a copy of this book from the author and Nick Hern Books via MidasPR in return for an honest review.
Based on Giles Terera’s journal entries, this book gives the reader insight into the actor’s process as he auditions, prepares, rehearses and performs the character of Aaron Burr in the London production of the musical Hamilton.
Whilst I’ve heard about this musical I have never seen it, but I quickly became absorbed in this actor’s view of the production. It’s easy to read and hard to put down. Honest, insightful and reflective, the book takes the reader to the heart of this iconic piece of musical theatre, its motivations and outcomes and what it meant to play such a pivotal role in it.
Interspersed with images from the show, at its various stages, and the author’s thoughts about the casting and the company, it gives the reader a unique perspective on what is involved in bringing a musical theatre production to life.
The relationship between actor and character is particularly fascinating.
A book that will have wide audience appeal whether you are a Hamilton fan, a student of acting or someone seeking an informed, intense and intriguing read.
Giles Terera MBE is an award-winning actor, musician and writer. He trained at Mountview Theatre School and has worked consistently at venues such as the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe. He is best known for originating the role of Aaron Burr in the London production of the award-winning musical Hamilton, for which he won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
From the big city to a little yellow mobile library on the Isle of Skye …
When Jenna Palmer agrees to the new position of mobile librarian on the tiny Arrandale peninsular of the Isle of Skye, she knows she’s signing up for difficult working conditions and mediocre wages. But Jenna needs to get away, and a little yellow mobile library called Buttercup could be her escape to happier dreams …
However, whilst Jenna can get to grips with foggy island roads, local mermaid legends and even big purple monsters, she never expected to have to contend with a boss as grumpy as Daniel McGregor, or a young book lover as enthusiastic as his niece, Katrina.
Arrandale might represent Jenna’s safe port in a storm, but could she and Buttercup also become a beacon of hope to Daniel, Katrina and the entire island community?
A lovely story of starting over and taking a chance on life. Jenna is reeling from an abusive relationship. Running a mobile library on a remote Scottish island seems to be the perfect escape for her. After a dramatic start, she warms to the community that welcomes her. There are plenty of conflicts too, which give her closure and help her realise how her present circumstances are helping her heal.
Her relationships with Daniel the Laird is full of ups and downs. He hides a kind heart and pain behind his gruff manner, but gradually they both learn to trust and share their secrets. The island is wrapped in folklore and mystery, and this adds to the novel’s interest.
Second chances, community and a little healing magic.
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, was released in February 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.
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