Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

Put It Out There – 4 * Review – D.R. Graham – (Britannia Beach #1)

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Blurb - Coastal

‘Did you miss me?’

Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.

Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for— bolder, more experienced – but is that who she wants to be?

With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon 

My Review - Coastal

Put It Out There (Britannia Beach, #1)

 

Derian returns home a year after her father’ death, to find some things always stay the same, whilst others are subtly different. Derian has a gift, which confuses her. She matures emotionally in this story, as she accepts past tragedy, copes with change and discovers her inner strengths.
Romance or the lack of it dominates Deri’s life. Finding it where she least expects, leads to mixed emotions and false starts. When she accepts who she wants, they are annoyingly reticent.
Deri’s friends and family are interesting, realistic characters, who bring Britannia Beach to life. The language and heat level are appropriate for the intended readers. The ending completes this chapter of Deri’s young life but leaves un- answered questions for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Put It Out There by D.R. Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Put It Out There (Britannia Beach, #1) by D.R. Graham

D.R. Graham

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay – Zoe Cook – 4* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Lucy, hi. It’s Tom. How are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to get in touch but it’s hard to know how to after so much time. I hear you’re doing really well up there. I knew you would be.

You should come here, you know, back to Hideaway bay. Come and see everyone, see how little it’s all changed. Feel the sand between your toes, the Cornish sea breeze on your face. When the sun hits the surf in that way it does, it’s as magical as ever.

That’s why I’m writing to you, actually. I want to get the gang back together again, one last time before…well…just one last time. You should come too. The four of us, a summer on the beach, like old times. We all want you here for it. I want you here for it. It’s been so long since I saw you.

I still think about you.

Tom.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember

This story gets better with every page you read. The first few chapters, authentically set in London’s celebrity and media culture, highlight Lucy’s superficial character. Lucy‘s self destruction imminent, as she seeks the ultimate career high.
There are references to drug taking, which I disliked but this are important indicators of Lucy’s deterioration and the culture she is part of. Similarly, smoking is a legacy of her teenage.
Flashback chapters in Hideaway Bay feature teenage Lucy and introduce the other three friends, who are linchpins of this story. Lucy wants to escape the seaside town, even though most people would love to live there. The phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone’, comes to mind.
This story has plenty of surprises that inform Lucy’s current emotional state. The cast of characters both in Hideaway Bay and London are vivid and believable. For me, it is the last quarter of the story that tugs at the heartstrings. The twist is unexpected and poignant. You really care because the characters are like old friends by this time.
Well written women’s fiction, a lovely balance of humour, romance, sadness and secrets in a charming seaside setting.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

ne Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook

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Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

3* Review: Found: One Secret Baby – Nancy Holland

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Winter Blurb

LA lawyer Rosalie Walker will do whatever it takes to protect her adopted son. She promised his mother before she died that she’d look after him and keep him safe from his paternal family. So when delectable Morgan Danby walks into her office in search of his nephew, she must keep the baby in her care a secret—even if one look from Morgan makes her want to share everything with him…

As a favour to his step-mother— the woman who actually raised him, unlike his real mother who abandoned him as a child—successful businessman, Morgan is searching for the son of his incarcerated step-brother. He can tell Rosalie is hiding something and the temptation to seduce her for her secret is strong, but will he be able to handle the consequences once all is revealed…?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

Found: One Secret Baby

 

If you enjoy the secret baby trope, with a liberal sprinkling of passionate romance, this story will appeal. Rosalie is an independent, strong character, who has always put her life on hold for people she loves; first her chronically ill mother and then to bring up the young son of a friend who tragically died. She is genuine and selfless and an easy character to root for.
Morgan is from old money and used to getting what he wants. Ruled by duty, he is determined to locate his step brother’s child. He keeps his heart hidden and pushes the emotional and physical abuse of his childhood, to the back of his mind. This makes him appear brusque and unfeeling but when you see things from his point of view, it’s clear he is an emotional man.
The simple plot has elements of menace, which make you shudder, balanced by lots of light-hearted moments with the charming Joey and Rosalie. The romance between Rosalie and Morgan is stormy and full of misunderstanding but the ending is romantic and satisfying.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

Found: One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Found One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland

Nancy Holland

 

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Posted in Book Review

5* Review: From Paris With Love This Christmas – Jules Wake

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Untitled

Just until Christmas…

That’s what Paris socialite Siena keeps telling herself. She’ll hide away in her sister Laurie’s cottage near London to escape her hot-tempered fiancé.

However, when Jason – gorgeous but a bit of a Grinch – picks her up from the airport, he reveals that Laurie hasn’t lived there for months, complicating Siena’s holiday getaway.

At first, Jason and Siena don’t see eye to eye. But after a weekend in the most romantic city in the world, experiencing all it has to offer – from the magic of a fir-lined Champs-Élysées, lit up by thousands of sparkling fairy lights, to the swoosh of skates on ice at the Eiffel Tower – Siena shows Jason her Paris, and a whole other side to herself. Suddenly Siena’s December deadline seems far too close…

This Christmas, jet off to Paris with Siena and Jason and experience the magic of the holiday season.

 

Buy Links 1

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review 2

With Love From Paris This Christmas

Yes, I know it’s not Christmas but I really enjoyed this author’s first book ‘From Italy With Love’ and I do love Christmas stories, so I thought why not? I’m so glad I did. ‘From Paris With Love This Christmas’ is full of lovely characters and festive settings, with plenty of romance and fun. It features Siena, the younger sister of Laurie, the romantic heroine in From Italy With Love.’
Siena’s emotional journey is the backbone of this story and although flawed, she develops into a romantic heroine definitely worth rooting for. The romance is natural and peppered with comic moments and lots of sexual tension that culminates in a believable outcome.
Jason is grumpy but loveable and the perfect foil for Siena’s emotional growth.
I loved the guys in the pub and the quirky but supportive Lisa. Hope we get to read her story soon.
A lovely romantic read whatever the season.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

With Love From Paris This Christmas by Jules Wake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


With Love From Paris This Christmas by Jules Wake

Jules Wake

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Posted in #Sale, Book Review, Book Spotlight, Excerpt, Extract

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe – Debbie Johnson – Extract

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe

Definitely one of my favourite books this summer from the lovely Debbie Johnson,  I’m sharing my review again, now that the paperback has been released.

Blog Image- My review

Even at the story’s poignant beginning, the humour shines through, in the words of the enigmatic Laura, the heroine of this unusual story. I loved that we gathered all the necessary back story information, in letter form, as she answered a unique advertisement for a strange but intriguing, lifestyle job.

Laura is honest, loyal and has a lovely self -depreciating humour that is recognisable to most women, who have families, where they are the unappreciated lynchpin. The journey to their new adventure shares similarities, with most people’s long car journeys, with children and animals. The realistic dialogue and bordering on chaos scenarios made me giggle and reminiscence.

 Despite Laura’s fragile emotional state, a delightful sense of humour runs through this story. From the first meeting with the ‘Tall bloke.’ the visuals are great, so easy to imagine, especially ‘the flying undies as the top box is unpacked’.

The VIPS that make up the cafe regulars, all have a story to share as they reveal idiosyncrasies and secrets. Laura starts to heal as she listens to the cafe’s regulars stories and Matt (the tall bloke), help’s her discover the side of herself she never really knew existed.

This is a story of healing, family and being brave enough to dip your toe back in the pond again, after life’s unpredictable knocks. I would love to find this Cafe that restores your faith in human nature.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins in return for an honest review.

EXCERPT

‘I am feeling suddenly very tired and very sad. The absurdity of my situation flashes across my mind: I have uprooted my children, myself and my very elderly dog on some kind of wild-goose chase, pursuing God knows what. Happiness? Progress? A break from the underlying misery that seems to have been wrapped around my heart every day since David died?

Well, whatever it is, I’m not pursuing it fast enough – all I’m finding is exhaustion, grumpy kids, senile dogs and a caffeine overload. That and chronic embarrassment as I apologise to a mostly naked man, in the dark, in a place I’ve never even visited before – a place I’ve unilaterally decided to make our home for the summer.

I clench my eyes together very, very tightly, squeezing back any watery signs of self pity that might be tempted to overflow, and force myself to look at the man instead of the dog.

I can only see bits of his face reflected in the silvery lighting, but he looks about my age. Maybe a little older, I’m not sure. His hair is definitely a bit too long, and will probably dry a lighter shade of brown once it’s not soggy. His eyes seem to be hazel or brown or green, I can’t really tell, and he’s not smiling.

He was smiling when he was playing with Jimbo. But now he’s not. Now he’s looking at me. I guess I just have that effect on tall, handsome strangers.

’Are you all right?’ he asks, gruffly, frowning at me with such style and finesse that I instinctively know he frowns at least as much as he smiles. I suspect he’s one of those people who vastly prefers animals to people, and communicates much better with dogs than humans.

’Oh, yes, thank you… just tired. We’ve been driving all day and now we’ve got to find our cottage and unload the roofbox, and I don’t know how I’m going to do that because I didn’t bring the foot stool and I’m too short, and the kids need some dinner and I need some coffee… well, probably wine, to be honest, and…’

I catch a glimpse of his expression as I ramble incoherently, and note that he looks slightly frightened. I realise I sound like a crazy person and as I have the kind of hair that expands in heat and I’ve been stuck in a hot car all day, I undoubtedly look like one too.

’And yes, I’m fine, thank you,’ I say, firmly. ’Do you happen to know where the Hyacinth House is? I have the keys.’

’I can help you,’ he says, looking away from my eyes and gazing off into the distance. He sounds a little bit grumpy, a touch reluctant – as though he knows he should help, but doesn’t really want to engage.

’No, I’m all right…’ I insist, wondering how I’m going to get Jimbo off his feet without appearing rude.

’Let me help. I don’t have any wine, but I can help with the other thing.’

’What?’ I ask, staring up at him in confusion. ’You can help me stop being too short?’

Quick as a flash, a grin breaks out on his face and he lets out a laugh. It doesn’t last long and he seems to clamp down on it as soon as he can, like he’s not used to hearing the sound in public.

’Sorry, no. I’m a vet, not a miracle worker. But I can unpack the roofbox for you. I’ll get dressed and come round. Hyacinth is just back there – next to the swimming pool. This is the nearest you can get the car, but I’ll help you unload. I assume you’re Laura?’

I feel a jolt of surprise that he knows who I am and also a jolt of a stubborn desire to continue insisting that I don’t need any help at all. I settle for just nodding and giving him a half-hearted smile as he extricates his bare feet from underneath the snoring dog’s tummy.

’Thought so. In that case, if I know Cherie, she’ll have left wine in the cottage – so all your problems will be solved.’

Ha, I think, watching him disappear off up the path and noticing Lizzie still tapping away on her phone, face scrunched up in that very deliberate expression of vexed boredom that teenagers specialise in.

If only.’

Want to read more? Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson is just 99p on Amazon!

 

Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

4*Review: A Family Holiday – Bella Osborne

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Blurb - Coastal

 

She’ll do whatever it takes to keep this family together…

As the nanny to four quirky but loveable children, Charlie French has learnt that if there was ever a cement shortage Weetabix would be a viable substitute and that YouTube videos can go viral in seconds, much to her horror. But, most importantly, she’s learnt that whatever happens you stick together as a family.

When tragedy strikes, Charlie is forced to decide whether it’s time to move on or fight to keep the children she loves. With the distraction of the children’s gorgeous Uncle Felix and the chance of a holiday in stunning Antigua, she’s left wondering if turquoise seas can wash away their present troubles. Is the pull of white sand beaches too tempting to resist or will paradise fail to keep them all together?

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

A Family Holiday: A heartwarming summer romance for fans of Katie Fforde

This story has all the right ingredients for a great summer read; effortless dialogue, a great setting, an interesting plot and vivid characters. It is a very enjoyable book.
Charlie is like a modern day ‘Mary Poppins’, totally child orientated and with more than her fair share of magic up her sleeve. The children are the most vibrant of the characters; they really steal the show and make this more of a family, than a romantic comedy read.
Fleur, Charlie’s best friend is an important character in the story but she is too weak and self centred to make a favourable impression. She does however serve to make Charlie look selfless in this story, despite the obstacles she faces.
Would be guardians, Ruth and Felix are well written characters. Ruth is the archetypical villain of the story. Whilst Felix lacks conviction as the story’s romantic hero I much preferred Jonathan. Felix’s motives driven by his passion for Charlie rather than genuine feelings for his nieces and nephews make him appear rather shallow and superficial.
Clearly the characters made an impression on me and there is a lovely balance of humour and poignancy. Definitely worth reading on the beach.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

A Family Holiday: A heartwarming summer romance  by Bella Osborne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A Family Holiday A heartwarming summer romance for fans of Katie Fforde by Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne

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Posted in Book Review

4* Review: The One with the Engagement Party- Erin Lawless – (Bridesmaids #1)

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BLURB

Nora Dervan is getting married… but her four bridesmaids are more full of secrets than champagne.

Bea has barely gotten past the fact that her two best friends are seeing each other, and now they’re engaged, and Cleo is rather distracted by the hot new colleague she absolutely, definitely must not sleep with. Daisy is dreading the singles’ table, whilst Sarah’s own marriage hasn’t turned out to be all she hoped it would be…

Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Flowers - My Review

The One With The Engagement PartyWell it is the ‘wedding season’ and this short introduction to the ‘Bridesmaids’ series, captures the atmosphere perfectly. The vivid and image rich characters and dialogue in this novella, make it an enjoyable read. All the bridesmaids have an interesting story to tell and this introductory book makes you want to find out what happens next.
There is a refreshing realism about this story, which many who have organised a wedding or been a bridesmaid will recognise. The overbearing ‘mother of the bride’ and the ‘best friend who hasn’t been asked to be a bridesmaid’, are particularly well portrayed.
If you enjoy light hearted contemporary romantic comedy, this is for you.
I received a copy of this story from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The One With The Engagement Party by Erin Lawless

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The One With The Engagement Party by Erin Lawless

Erin Lawless

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