Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial

The Promise of Summer Part 1- With This Ring… Bella Osborne 5* #Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

With a terrible track record when it comes to men, Ruby has all but given up on love. She finally decides to take fate into her own hands and boards a train to London to attend the appointment of a lifetime.

When a stranger starts chatting to her, Ruby’s faith in romance is restored as he nervously reveals a sparkling diamond and an extravagant proposal plan. When he leaves the ring behind, Ruby is determined to track him down – but fellow passenger Curtis has other ideas about how best to save the day.

Can this unlikely pair reunite the ring with its rightful owner before it’s too late?

Pre-order Amazon UK

Publication Date – 26th May 2021

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

My Thoughts…

The first part of a new series is something to celebrate, and this one is 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. She 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. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Bella Osborne

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.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Borrow a BookShop Holiday Kiley Dunbar 5*#Review @KileyDunbar @HeraBooks @rararesources #Romance #holiday #humour #BlogTour #BookReview #RomCom #Friendship #TheBorrowaBookshopHoliday

The Fully Booked Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Fully Booked Bookshop, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

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

My Thoughts…

This story has beautifully crafted complex characters, believable relationship dynamics and a lovely coastal setting. The idea of taking your holiday in a bookshop is an appealing prospect. This is a detailed story with the painstaking character development of Jude, the main protagonist so that the reader appreciates how important an experience running the bookshop in the tiny coastal community is for her.

Jude’s life before the bookshop experience is as a carer for her Gran supporting her parents’ business and studying for a part-time degree. Her secret relationship with a professor at her University implodes on graduation day, forcing Jude to gain insight into her current life. She is a giving and loyal woman for whom family is everything. Caring for her Gran has put her life on hold to the point where she is anxious to move out of her comfort zone to see what the world offers for her.

Jude’s anxiety is written believably with sensitivity. The quirky community, meeting Elliot and running the bookshop make her realise that life is for living. The story is often humorous with a cast of vividly written characters and a charismatic dog. The friendship and eventual romance with Elliot are conflicted and resolved in a climatic and poignant way as his secrets are revealed.

Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

Kiley also works as a senior lecturer, teaching creative writing at the Manchester Writing School. One Winter’s Night was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Extract, Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Italy Ever After Leonie Mack 4*#Review @LeonieMAuthor @BoldwoodBooks #Extract #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour @rararesources #RomCom #Romance #Summer #Family #SecondChance #Italy #holidayromance #MondayBlogs #ItalyEverAfter

Escape to the sun and head off to Italy, with the wonderfully warm and ever-so-page-turning Leonie Mack!

TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.

When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life. 

Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.

As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?

Leonie Mack is back with a sizzling, sun-baked love story.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I love romance set in Italy, and as this one is set around Lake Garda, somewhere I’ve visited, I couldn’t resist it.

Just about to be divorced Lou, is still reeling from the fallout, we meet her ex in the opening chapters, and he is not likeable. Her confidence is low despite her career in front of the TV cameras, and it’s clear she is a kind and loving woman who doesn’t value herself. Her latest meeting with Mr (Nick) Romano right after her latest confrontation with the ex is unsettling for them both and makes her wonder whether helping out on the school music camp in Italy is sensible.

The chemistry sizzling between Lou and Nick gets hotter in beautiful Lake Garda, and there are lots of nearly moments that are romantic. The conflicts to their possible relationship are both internal and external, but they are good for each other, and you want them to find happiness together.

The musical setting adds authenticity to the story and is integral to Nick’s backstory. The balance of humour, poignancy and romance is good, and the ending is romantic and uplifting.

Leonie Mack

Leonie Mack is a debut novelist whose first book My Christmas Number One was published by Boldwood in September 2020. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

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Extract from Italy Ever After – Leonie Mack

Damn him. Phil was winning this game. His look was tolerant. His eyes were warm, even vaguely fond. Lou was losing. Her jaw was clenched so hard she felt like a petulant child with braces. She smoothed her hand down her tailored skirt. Confronting him in her work clothes was supposed to remind her she could deal with him like an adult. But really, she wanted to run home and change into her sweats, as she usually did after her shift. 

‘She’s eleven, Lou. This is her last summer before secondary school. Can’t you let up a little?’ 

He was the voice of reason, too? Phil never raised his voice because he never needed to. He was the kind of man who spoke and it was done. He was attractive, too – even now at forty-four – which meant he’d never had to stay single for long. She couldn’t blame the woman who’d become his girlfriend only a few months after their separation – except that she could blame her and she would. It was the right of a nearly officially ex-wife, right? 

‘All Edie wants to do is play music. Elite tuition and orchestra rehearsals is her idea of paradise. I’m not forcing her to do anything.’ 

His lips twitched. ‘And a few weeks in the Italian sunshine is your idea of a nice free holiday?’ 

Strike one. She would have been satisfied to hear him behaving like the juvenile ex-husband, except that he was an expert at pressing her overdeveloped sense of her own inadequacy button. 

‘It’s not a holiday for me. I’m going as a chaperone and I have to pay my own way. The only reason I’ve volunteered is because Edie is one of the youngest kids going. Most of the parents are looking forward to the three weeks of childcare before the competition’ 

‘You can always send her to us. You know that. You don’t have to martyr yourself.’ 

Lou choked on his sympathy, wishing he would do the same. She took a deep breath. She should have accepted by now that Phil’s wiring where she was concerned would never change. 

‘Can we get back to the point? Edie wants to go and it’s a unique opportunity. This youth music festival only happens every four years. She’ll get to play in an orchestra under a professional conductor and participate in a competition.’ 

Phil held up a hand. ‘I did read the information you emailed me. But I fail to see why our eleven-year-old has to participate in a very expensive competition. You’ve already forced my hand with the school choice. I’d say you’re pretty low on credit with me at the moment.’ 

Lou recoiled. She needed ‘credit’ to get Phil to consider her opinion about their daughter? How was an ex-wife supposed to earn credit? Not only was she forced to serenely ignore the practical difficulties of having day-to-day responsibility for their daughter alone, but Phil still required her to manage him to make sure they did their best by Edie. Good God, it was miserable. 

Phil looked at her with his unflappably perfect haircut and warm eyes with their distinguished crinkles that on her would be called crow’s feet. It was clear why she’d thrown herself at him twelve years ago when she’d been a young and stupid graduate with too little understanding of the world’s faults – and far too little contraception. What was less clear was how she was supposed to deal with him now. 

‘You know how much she loves playing the violin.’ 

‘I know, she does little else.’ 

Edie practised especially diligently at Phil’s because it meant less time with the obsequious girlfriend. 

‘I’m still not sure I want to encourage her obsession.’ 

‘Then you’ll be happy to know the camp takes that into account. Although they rehearse every day, there’s also time dedicated to outdoor activities and confidence-building. I think we can both agree that it would be good for Edie to have some confidence outside her musical talent.’ 

The faintest glint in his eye was the only clue that he was feeling the pressure. But Phil never backed off. Instead, he calmly went on the offensive. ‘So, you plan to make Edie do a high ropes course while you sit in the sun at Sirmione sipping an Aperol Spritz?’ 

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Promise of Summer Bella Osborne #CoverReveal @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella @rararesources #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #preorder #ThePromiseofSummer

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

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?

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Publication Date – 22nd July 2021

Bella Osborne

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.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Extract, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Life’s A Beach Portia MacIntosh 5*#Review @PortiaMacIntosh @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #RomCom #BookReview #BlogTour #LifesABeach

Sun, sea and inescapable exes…
Peach is excited to hear that her sister, Di, is getting married. Of course, she would have preferred her little sister to be engaged to someone she’s known longer than a week – and the fact that his name is Charles doesn’t bode well – but who is she to judge?! Afterall, her own love life is non-existent, and who doesn’t love a destination wedding…?

Whisked away to the gorgeous Italian coast, Peach assumes her role as chief bridesmaid and, despite her reservations about the groom, she tries to ensure everything goes to plan.

But weddings are never straightforward affairs… throw in some unexpected guests in the form of ex-boyfriends and one night stands, and soon enough there is more drama than a reality tv show.

Can Peach keep the show on the road, or might she end up in a whirlwind romance of her own…?

Escape to the stunning Italian coast with bestseller Portia MacIntosh.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Penelope’s world is a non-stop rollercoaster of fun, misunderstandings and romance in a glamorous Italian island setting. Told from Penelope’s viewpoint, the reader experiences her self-deprecating humour and innermost emotions, which makes her easy to empathise with and like. Relatable characters enhance a plot that is full of secrets and twists.

It’s a perfect beach read addictive but lighthearted. Perfect for those of us who like our romance full of conflict, fun and passion.

Portia MacIntosh

Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 16 novels, including The Plus One Pact and My Great Ex-Scape. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real-life experiences.

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Extract from Life’s A Beach – Portia Mackintosh

Your wedding day is easily supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life – but if you want to make absolutely sure it is, you can always spend £2,500 on a horse-drawn Cinderella-style carriage. 

‘It’s top of the range,’ the hotel wedding coordinator assures me. ‘It’s a gorgeous ivory fairy-tale pumpkin carriage, with a stunning white upholstery interior – it even has a little crown on top. It’s always in incredibly high demand.’ 

‘It sounds beautiful,’ I reply. 

‘If you do decide to have your wedding here, we can make arrangements to suit your big day – whether you want picking up from home, taking to the church, or here if you would prefer one of our non-religious ceremonies, which I highly recommend. Churches can be so drab. Of course, there is an additional cost per mile, but we can get down to things like that later. Shall we head inside?’ 

Annette is the wedding coordinator at The Chadwick Hotel in York. We’re currently standing outside the five-star hotel, admiring the Grade II-listed building from the gravel pathway that leads up to it. 

It’s a gorgeously warm sunny day. The kind where you can comfortably get away with wearing a strappy sundress, but not quite hot enough to leave you looking a mess – a few degrees hotter than this and my long, straight blonde hair would be half frizzy, half stuck to the sides of my face hair instead. Today is just perfect though, so it’s sundresses, sandals, straight hair and smear-free make-up. 

‘Yes,’ I reply excitedly. ‘Let’s do it.’ 

‘So, the hotel has actually been open for more than a century. As you can see, it boasts an ornate terracotta façade, typical of high Victorian architecture, and the stone cupola makes for a stunning backdrop for outside photos.’ 

I smile and nod because, if I’m being honest, I have no idea what any of that means. It is a gorgeous old building though, surrounded by large gardens full of flowers, huge ponds with grand fountains at their heart, and trees in all directions. It’s hard to believe we’re so close to the city, and impossible not to get carried away, thinking about pulling up in front of the huge doors, having my photo taken with my dad, and then coming back out here after tying the knot to take gigabytes worth of photos with my future husband and everyone we love. 

‘Beautiful,’ I say simply. There’s just no other word for it. 

Once inside the large lobby, Annette picks up a wedding pack that’s waiting for me at reception, before leading me past the grand wooden staircase that sits in the centre of the room. I marvel at the spectacular light that hangs at the centre of the atrium, a large double drum chandelier suspended high above, captivating me so powerfully I nearly bump into a hotel employee coming the other way. 

‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,’ I blurt. ‘I was mesmerised.’ 

‘No worries,’ he says with a laugh. 

Annette laughs gently. 

‘You’d be surprised how often that happens,’ she reassures me. ‘Come, let me show you the function room.’ 

‘The function room’ sounds like a rather bland concept. Well, many places have a function room, from restaurants to town halls, so the only real expectation I have is space for tables. But this function room surely deserves a grander title, because it is everything. It’s maybe three times the height of a regular room, with enormous arch-shaped windows that flood the place with the most beautiful natural light. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Dial A For Aunties Jesse Sutanto 4*#Review @thewritinghippo @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #humour #romance #family #drama #PublicationDay #DialAForAunties #Women

When Meddy Chan accidentally kills her blind date, she turns to her aunties for help. Their meddling set her up on the date so they kind of owe her.

Although hiding this goddamn dead body is going to be harder than they thought, especially when her family’s wedding business has THE biggest wedding of the year happening right now.

 It turns out the wedding venue just happens to be managed by Meddy’s ex, aka the one who got away. It’s the worst time to see him again, or…is it? Can Meddy finally find love and make her overbearing family happy?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story is a multigenerational delight, full of humorous incidents and vibrant characters. It has a little of everything culture, drama, fun, murder mystery and romance. The family curse means Meddy feels she can’t leave her mother and aunties, as their husbands and sons have, but this has consequences for Meddy, which become clear as the story progresses.

This story is a journey of self-realisation for Meddy, who has changed the course of life for her female relatives. It also explores the concept of family and the willingness to do anything for a loved one. The visual writing style makes the comic and dramatic events easy to visualise and therefore more engaging. The dialogue is key to the enjoyment in a novel that is the perfect escape.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Romance

Finding Home Kate Field 4* #Review @katehaswords @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #FamilyDrama #Romance #humour #BlogTour #Secrets #BookReview #Heartwarming #FindingHome

She might not have much in this world, but it cost nothing to be kind… 

Meet Miranda Brown: you can call her Mim. She’s jobless, homeless and living in her car… but with a history like hers she knows she has a huge amount to be grateful for.

Meet Beatrice and William Howard: Bill and Bea to you. The heads of the Howard family and owners of Venhallow Hall, a sprawling seaside Devonshire estate… stranded in a layby five hours from home the night before their niece’s wedding.

When fate brings the trio together, Mim doesn’t think twice before offering to drive the affable older couple home. It’s not like she has anywhere else to be. But as the car pulls into the picturesque village of Littlemead, Mim has no idea how her life is about to change…

An uplifting story of found family and true love.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Mim is currently homeless, but she still offers to help a couple whose car breaks down. This selfless act is a turning point for Mim. She is a relatable character with a kind heart but an understandable wary outlook. The Howard family positively changes her life, and she learns that their family isn’t perfect and that relationships need work to flourish.

This is a character-driven story with believable family dynamics and authentic characters. Mim’s relationship with Corin intensifies as they get to know each other, and these two characters experience the most notable character development.

A heartwarming and poignant story.

Kate Field

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,where she lives with her husband, daughter and mischievous cat. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Mystery, Romance, Travel

Aegean Sun: The Kafenion Stephanie Wood #BookPromo @stephaniewooduk @rararesources #AegeanSun #GreekIslands

The Kafenion has much more to offer than just coffee and cake!

The Kafenion is undergoing its regular seasonal change from traditional coffee shop and local hangout to summertime hotspot for the massive influx of tourists who visit the Greek island each year.

The furniture has been updated, the new signs for more specific coffee types have been installed, the basic cookies have been replaced with a tempting range of cakes and desserts and a fresh coat of paint has added an optimistic glow to the place, which always attracts the many visitors who are looking for a treat.

Jane has been working on the island for a few years and finds a job in the kafenion for her friend Helen, who is hoping for some fun and romance during the summer.

Xenon and Kyriakos both make regular deliveries of fresh produce to the kafenion and they find other reasons to want to visit when Jane and Helen are around, but are they both interested in the same girl?

Georgina discovers the kafenion while searching for information from her mother’s past, but does Pericles have all the answers or will he just cause more confusion?

Visit the kafenion during a Greek summer season to see how the staff and their regulars navigate their way through complex working and romantic relationships.
This is the eleventh book of standalone reads in the Aegean Sun series.

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Stephanie Wood

Stephanie Wood writes contemporary fiction in the form of novels, novellas and short stories and you can find the running order of her titles on the ‘look inside’ of any book.

She published the AEGEAN SUN series of books as a fly-on-the-wall vision of life in a Greek resort during the summer season, using her extensive experience as a holiday rep to bring some unusual incidents to life on the page. The series began as an exploration of the various ways in which tourists make the most of their holidays and how they interact with the locals while they are visiting. The later books in the series have taken a closer look at the locals themselves and show how their lives and relationships are sometimes changed by the regular influx of seasonal visitors.

The CHRISTMAS ON THE CLOSE series is set in a British suburban cul-de-sac over the festive period and visits each house individually to discover how the neighbours who live there celebrate the season in their own special way.

Stephanie lives in Lancashire where, apart from reading and writing, she loves gardening and cycling and is a huge fan of the soaps Emmerdale and Neighbours. If you would like to sign up to her newsletter list (with around four messages per year) you can do so on the contact page of her website and, as a thank you, will receive the free short story THE ZIA SUNSET EXCURSION.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books

Acts of Kindness Heather Barnett 4*#Review @WritesHeather @SerpentineBooks @rararesources #cozymystery #humour #village #mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #ActsofKindness

Dream Job. Fresh Start. Big Mistake.

When Bella Black arrives in a sleepy Wiltshire village, it seems like the perfect place for a new start: a lovely home, exciting job and an attractive colleague or two to take her mind off her recent divorce.

When people start disappearing, she realises she holds the key to a mystery bigger than she could have ever imagined.

Who is really pulling the strings at the secretive OAK Institute?

Can anyone be trusted?

Will Bella make the right choices before its too late?

Amazon UK Bookshop.org Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Acts of Kindness has vibrant characters and an engaging cosy style of mystery. The chance of a dream job is just what Bella needs, but things are more complex than she thought. Bella undertakes some amateur sleuthing with amusing and sometimes dangerous outcomes.

Eccentric characters and mysterious goings-on make this an amusing escapist read.

Heather Barnett

Heather Barnett gained a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds and has written ever since: from copywriting to stand-up comedy and sketches. She is now focusing on writing novels. Heather’s influences span Jane Austen and Douglas Adams at one end of the alphabet through to PG Wodehouse at the other.

Heather’s debut novel, Acts of Kindness, is an uplifting, light-hearted mystery. It was inspired by witnessing commuters helping a woman who’d fallen down the stairs at Paddington station; intermingled with wondering what was behind some grand stone gateposts that she used to drive past in Wiltshire.

Her second novel, Lord Seeks Wife, is a romantic comedy and will be published summer 2021.

Aside from writing, Heather’s interests are classic literature, cats and comedy.

Heather is head of marketing at an agency near Oxford and lives by the river Kennet in Berkshire.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Books, Novella

Eleven Days in June R P Gibson Colley 4*#Review The Tales of Little Leaf @RupertColley #1985 #Devon #Village #ComingofAge #Relationships #Love #humour #PublicationDay #MondayBlogs

Dan is 20, lives in a sleepy village in Devon and works in a small DIY shop. He likes numbers and hero worships Lord Nelson. But he finds ordinary people difficult to understand and he’s certainly never kissed a girl. His mother mocks him, he misses his father and he pines for Ollie, his only childhood friend who truly understood him.

But, despite it all, Dan thinks he’s happy enough. Until one June day, the beautiful and mysterious Libby walks into his shop – and into his life.

Libby’s sudden appearance turns Dan’s ordered existence upside down. But Dan soon realises that Libby isn’t who she seems. Who exactly is she? What is she hiding, and, more importantly, who’s that threatening man always looking for her?

In trying to help Libby, Dan comes to realise what’s missing in his own life, and, in turn, appreciates what’s really important…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a coming of age story, set in a sleepy Devon village in 1985. Dan is 20 but appears younger. Outwardly remote he is affected deeply by others’ perceptions of him. His dysfunctional childhood made him overly dependant on his mother and losing contact with a close childhood friend, also impacted him.

The story is short and simple, but the relationships, emotional angst and development are complex, Dan is likeable, and he has more friends than he realises. The adventure with Libby, the glamorous interloper, make him appreciate that.

This is an introspective story, but it’s an emotional read with heartwarming and poignant moments.

There is a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.