Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe – Debbie Johnson- 5* Review

 

30187837

Blurb 2016- 2

Becca Fletcher hates Christmas so much, she’s considering getting ‘Bah Humbug!’ tattooed on her forehead. She has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch; Reasons that make this the very worst time of year for her.

Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura, and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.

But little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill on a windswept bay, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon UK
Amazon

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe

I really enjoyed ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Café’ and as I’m a fan of festive books, I couldn’t wait to revisit the café at Christmas time. ‘Christmas at the Comfort Food Café’ is every bit as charming as the Summer but with snow. It is told in three parts: ‘Christmas Past, Present and Future’. It reads well as a standalone Christmas tale but if you haven’t read ’Summer at the Comfort Food Café’, don’t miss out.
This story reintroduces the reader to the delightful characters from the first book but concentrates on Laura’s sister Becca, who reluctantly visits Dorset for a month. Becca feels she is the antithesis of Laura. She is a loner, drawn to life’s vices, drink, drugs and one night stands. As Becca relives two life changing family Christmas days, we realise this is never going to be her favourite season.
Becca is soon charmed by Dorset and the regulars of the Comfort Food Café. The characters in this story are realistic and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the forthcoming festive wedding. Becca has left her teenage vices behind but we don’t know why. Even when her sister tries to fix her up with Surfer Sam she resists. Men are off the menu but he is drop dead gorgeous and she’s only human. Becca’s choice of confidant is not who you’d expect but when she reveals her secrets, her teenage bad behaviour reflects more as a cry for help than anything else. Becca’s emotional baggage threatens what she has with Sam but despite this, she leaves Dorset a changed woman.
Christmas Future offer hope and the chance of a happy ever after, the perfect start to any new year.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson

Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Posted in Book Review, Festive Read, New Books

The Holiday Swap – Zara Stoneley – 5* Review

The Hoiliday Swap

Blurb - Coastal

Two women, two very different lives – one perfect solution to a Christmas holiday fraught with potential pitfalls.

The Holiday Swap.

Florence Cortes has the perfect life – an apartment in the trendiest district of Barcelona, a job she loves and a boyfriend who’s whisking her away on a romantic break to Paris to no doubt propose.
Only, he’s planning something far different, and Flo soon realises her life isn’t so perfect after all.

Home loving Daisy Fischer is perfectly happy in her idyllic home in the Cheshire countryside, with an on-off boyfriend who might be slightly dull but is totally dependable. Until he issues an ultimatum, and Daisy suddenly realises that there might be a whole different world out there that she’s missing out on.

Have Flo and Daisy come up with the perfect solution to escape festive heartbreak?
Can a snowbound Christmas in Cheshire – with aristocratic, handsome Hugo as her neighbour, a house full of animals and a leaking roof – help Flo mend her broken heart, and remind her of what she really wants in life?

Can a sunny break in beautiful Barcelona – with the dishy but brooding Javier, a never ending supply of cava, and a sea view to die for – prove to Daisy that playing safe isn’t always the answer?

Love actually does seem to be all around this Christmas – and in the places Flo and Daisy least expect to find it, but where will they be for New Year?

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

The Holiday Swap

The classic romantic comedy ‘The Holiday’ springs to mind reading the blurb for this story. As it’s a firm favourite of mine and I enjoy Zara’s Tippermere stories, I couldn’t wait to read this. I loved it.
For fans of Tippermere there’s a tantalising glimpse of village life in snowy Cheshire, as Flo returns to her childhood home and meets sexy Hugo. A lovely collection of animal personalities guaranteed to make you smile complete this part of the story perfectly.
However, it’s the Barcelona setting that draws you in. The passion and glamour of the city echoes Daisy’s new found passion for life and new love.
There is a definite festive theme to this story but it’s more about, friendship, realising your true potential and living your own life. Something both Daisy and Flo find out as they explore their new environments with new friends and experiences.
The characters are authentic and vivid. The plot comprises plenty of humour and lots of romance. Written in scenes, it’s easy to visualise the girl’s adventures as if you’re experiencing them first hand.
The perfect holiday read.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

The Holiday Swap by Zara Stoneley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Holiday Swap by Zara Stoneley

Zara Stoneley

Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviewsw

Posted in Book Review, Guest post, Summer Impulse

What Inspired ‘The Honey Trap’? -Mary Jayne Baker

cover85199-medium

Guest Post

What Inspired ‘The Honey Trap’? Mary Jayne Baker

Although I only started writing my debut novel The Honey Trap last October, I suppose the embryo of the story goes right back to the early noughties when I was studying English Literature at Durham University. I’d always been attracted to writing contemporary romance in the Mills & Book vein, and one day I decided what the hell: I was just going to do it. So I came up with a heroine, Angel, a feisty red-haired journalist who knew her own mind, and a hero, Sebastian, a dark and mysterious aristocrat with a troubled past. I drafted a plot, wrote about 4000 words worth of scenes – and then I decided the whole thing was dreadful and gave up.

Ten years later, I revisited the characters and plot – and gave up again. It was only last year, when someone gave me the sterling piece of advice that I should stop worrying about the quality of my writing and get on with it, then worry about editing afterwards, that I finally sat down to write what became The Honey Trap.

The characters and plot changed a lot from the original story idea I’d come up with back in my early 20s. From being a well-respected journalist, Angel became someone rather more junior, a newspaper intern just starting out in her career. Sebastian, now more usually known as Seb, changed from being an aristocrat to an acclaimed British film director, and from being dark and tortured to someone rather more fun and sweet. I populated Seb and Angel’s world with a cast of secondary characters – Angel’s love-to-hate boss Steve, Seb’s glamorous actress wife Carole and Angel’s fun, witty and supportive friends Leo and Emily.

Another thing that changed as I wrote was the genre. Although I initially intended the book to be contemporary romance, a lot of humour crept in, with cheeky banter between the characters abounding, and about a third of the way through I could see what I was really writing was romantic comedy, so I went with it.

Although I’m neither a journalist nor a film director, I mined my own interests and experiences pretty shamefully to provide material for the book. In the wake of the recent phone-hacking scandal, which I followed closely, I wanted to focus on Angel’s choices in the morally ambiguous world of the redtop paper she works for and this is one theme of the book. I also loved the idea of the main couple bonding over a shared love of vintage film, which is a passion of mine – the scenes where they watch old films such as The Apartment in Seb’s 1920s cinema, The Hippodrome, were some of my favourites to write. And finally, because he wouldn’t get off my keyboard and I thought it might appease him, I wrote my cat in! Harpo the cat becomes Groucho in The Honey Trap. He’s very proud…

Writing my first novel was an interesting experience. I tried to write 2000 words every day, which is no small commitment while also working full-time as I can only really write in the evenings, and I don’t think I was quite prepared for how much the plot and characters would take over my life and dreams. I found the experience addictive though – having once started writing, I’m now finding I can’t stop! I have another two completed manuscripts that I’m currently editing, and another first draft almost complete, plus I have recently signed with a literary agent.

Butterfly Heaven

The trap is set – but which one of them is the bait?

Journalist Angel Blackthorne is looking for her next big scoop. When her sleazy editor asks her to use her charms on super successful – and married – film director Sebastian Wilchester for a juicy exposé, Angel thinks what the hell? There’s a staff job on the horizon, and, let’s be honest, no one can make a cheater cheat if they don’t want to, right?

After the scandal breaks, Angel tries to put the story – and Seb – behind her, but fate seems to have other ideas. A near miss at a premiere after-party and a shared love of vintage film brings the honey closer to the trap.

But what happens when pretence leads to passion, and a ‘kiss and tell’ becomes something real?

CfrVnIcWIAAMLty

Amazon UK

Amazon 

Flowers - My Review

The Honey Trap

‘The Honey Trap’ is an interesting, insightful expose of the gutter press and the fallout of their actions. Not your usual romantic comedy material but it works. The story explores the current obsession with celebrity status in a humorous way and the well thought out plot holds your interest.
Angel, a journalist intern finds out that ‘making it’ in her chosen career means compromising her moral integrity and possibly losing self respect in the process. Seb, the reclusive anti hero is instantly attractive to Angel and the heat between them is undeniable and often explosive. The sex is more explicit than usual in romantic comedy but as this forms the basis for the story that is a given. There is a good balance of romance and passion between our unlikely couple but the chance for a happy ever after for Angel and Seb is in doubt right to the end.
Angel’s objectionable boss, stereotypical, ‘old school’ editor, Steve easily manipulates her into making questionable choices. His sexist and homophobic behaviour doesn’t make pleasant reading but is essential for the plot’s authenticity and Angel’s out of character behaviour, in agreeing to be the bait in the honey trap.
A different interpretation of a popular theme, making an overall enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio

 

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature in 2003, she dallied with living in cities including London, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales.

She lives with him in a little house with four little cats and a little rabbit, writing stories about girls with flaws and the men who love them. You can usually find her there with either a pen, some knitting needles or a glass of wine in hand. She goes to work every day as a graphic designer for a magazine publisher, but secretly dreams of being a lighthouse keeper.

More information can be found about MJ on her website at http://www.maryjaynebaker.co..uk You can also follow her on Twitter, @MaryJayneBaker, or like her Facebook page by going to Facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

The Honey Trap – Mary Jayne Baker -4* Review #SummerImpulse

cover85199-medium

Poppy - Blurb

The trap is set – but which one of them is the bait?

Journalist Angel Blackthorne is looking for her next big scoop. When her sleazy editor asks her to use her charms on super successful – and married – film director Sebastian Wilchester for a juicy exposé, Angel thinks what the hell? There’s a staff job on the horizon, and, let’s be honest, no one can make a cheater cheat if they don’t want to, right?

After the scandal breaks, Angel tries to put the story – and Seb – behind her, but fate seems to have other ideas. A near miss at a premiere after-party and a shared love of vintage film brings the honey closer to the trap.

But what happens when pretence leads to passion, and a ‘kiss and tell’ becomes something real?

Available  to Pre- Order

Flowers - Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon 

Winter My Review

The Honey Trap

‘The Honey Trap’ is an interesting, insightful expose of the gutter press and the fallout of their actions. Not your usual romantic comedy material but it works. The story explores the current obsession with celebrity status in a humorous way and the well thought out plot holds your interest.
Angel, a journalist intern finds out that ‘making it’ in her chosen career means compromising her moral integrity and possibly losing self respect in the process. Seb, the reclusive anti hero is instantly attractive to Angel and the heat between them is undeniable and often explosive. The sex is more explicit than usual in romantic comedy but as this forms the basis for the story that is a given. There is a good balance of romance and passion between our unlikely couple but the chance for a happy ever after for Angel and Seb is in doubt right to the end.
Angel’s objectionable boss, stereotypical, ‘old school’ editor, Steve easily manipulates her into making questionable choices. His sexist and homophobic behaviour doesn’t make pleasant reading but is essential for the plot’s authenticity and Angel’s out of character behaviour, in agreeing to be the bait in the honey trap.
A different interpretation of a popular theme, making an overall enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker

Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

4* Review- Caroline Storer- The Roman’s Revenge – #SummerImpulse

25361494

Untitled

For wealthy merchant Metellus, nothing is as important as his desire for revenge. Ever since his father’s death, he’s been planning to wreak vengeance on those responsible. So when he rescues the daughter of his sworn enemy, Livia Drasus from a shipwreck Metellus sees an opportunity to set his plans in motion.

…is fair game in his planned revenge!

Making Livia his wife is the perfect way to get close to her family. What Metellus doesn’t expect is the fire that burns so passionately when he takes feisty Livia to his bed! Falling for his wife was never part of the plan, and soon he stands to lose more than he ever thought possible. Now Metellus must decide, is gaining his revenge worth risking his heart?

Buy Links 1

Amazon UK

Amazon 

My Review 2

The Roman's Revenge

The Roman Empire immediately conjures up images of war, occupation and riches but this story is primarily is about revenge. Roman society’s political intrigue, the importance of reputation and the back stabbing ethos are well defined. As are the consequence of falling foul of society’s whims.
Metellus seeks revenge for his father who fell from grace after the political manipulation of Livia’s father. A tragic accident aids Metellus’ revenge. Essentially a noble man, Metellus does act dishonourably towards Livia on many occasions and uses her feelings for him to his own advantage. Strong willed Livia refuses to be the pawn in his revenge fest.
An interesting historical tale enriched with sensual tension between Livia and Metellus against a background of malicious gossip and deception.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Roman’s Revenge by Caroline Storer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Roman's Revenge by Caroline Storer

Caroline Storer

Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

You’ll Find Me in Manhattan – Jill Knapp – 5* Review #SummerImpulse

cover75704-medium

Blurb 2016- 2

Amalia and Olivia have found themselves at a crossroads. Their last year in their Master’s program at NYU is proving to be a trying one, and on top of that, Olivia has to balance planning a wedding AND managing the unwanted input of her estranged mother – who doesn’t even like her fiancé!

Meanwhile, Amalia finds herself feeling more lost than ever as graduation approaches and her classmates begin making plans for next year. Still torn between Michael and Hayden, she finally makes a decision – but one that that will either box her in, leaving her always wanting more out of life, or finally breaking free to find the happiness and stability she’s always needed.

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon  UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

You’ll Find Me in ManhattanThe final book in the ‘What Happens to Men’ series continues the college adventures of Amalia and Olivia. It’s a while since I read book 2 but once I reacquainted with the setting and characters, I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished.
Even though it is Olivia who is planning her wedding to Alex, Amalia’s complex life dominates this story. Finally she gets what she has always wanted, only to find it’s not what she hoped it would be. A grumpy professor, an emotionally detached boyfriend and unwanted therapy all figure in Amalia’s ‘Masters’ year, she wonders if she can survive? Gradually she discovers who she really is and finds that she likes her, which makes for plenty of laughs, a few tears and a hopeful future.
This is a story of few characters but Amalia and Olivia are vibrant and realistic and the writing style is easy reading. This is a great ending to a fabulous series, definitely worth reading whatever your age.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

You’ll Find Me in Manhattan by Jill Knapp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


You’ll Find Me in Manhattan by Jill Knapp

Jill Knapp

Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

5*Review: Jane Lark – The Reckless Love of an Heir #Summer Impulse

Summer Impulse Final

#Summer Impulse

30970765

Historical Blurb

“You are reckless, proud, spoiled and everything I dislike!”

For Lord Henry Marlow, the future Earl of Barrington, life is for living before he accepts his duty. No wager is too risky or challenge too dangerous – until a racing injury forces the Barrington heir to return home and prepare for his destiny. But the one thing Henry will not do is bow to his parents’ wishes and propose to his childhood friend and neighbour, beautiful Alethea Forth. And he’ll not put up with her disapproving sister, Susan, either, no matter how much he enjoys their verbal sparring…

Kind-hearted, bookish Susan Forth has always thought Henry arrogant and self-centred, and has never hidden her dislike of the rogue! But this injured, vulnerable Henry reluctantly brings out her natural compassion, and a shocking desire for the man who is expected to marry her sister! A stolen kiss leads to a forbidden passion – and for the first time in her life, Susan knows what it’s like to be reckless – with a man who is finally learning to care.

But when tragedy strikes, their secret love is all that holds them together – and could tear their lives apart…

Historical Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

The Reckless Love of an Heir

 

Another lovely historical romance from the Marlow saga, whilst this story lacks the hard hitting seedier view of Regency society of the other stories, it definitely has its serious side. Two sisters, two families’ expectations and an unexpected tragedy all make this story every bit as good as the others and thoroughly enjoyable.
For regular reader of this saga, like me, it’s interesting to find out what happens to the offspring of the original Marlow family members we have met. Henry is the son of Robert Earl of Barrington (The Passionate Love of a Rake) and is every bit as wild and reckless as his father. He faces a similar crisis of conscience as his father did and certainly becomes a son to be proud of.
Alethea and Susan are complete opposites and Susan is much easier to like than her sister; though she is not without her flaws, the most obvious being living in her sister’s shadow.
Fraught with dilemma but deeply emotional the perfectly pitched sensuality between the couple is their only hope of a future together.
‘The Reckless Love of an Heir’, is an easy yet often poignant read, the perfect escape for a couple of hours.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

The Reckless Love of an Heir by Jane Lark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Reckless Love of an Heir by Jane Lark

Jane Lark

Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviews

Historical My Review