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

Life in the Chastity Zone Holly Brandon 4*#Review #HollyBrandon @LoveBooksGroup #lovebookstours #ChastitySeries #romcom #BookTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

Thirty-year-old Chastity (Chase) Morgan has always dreamed of her fairytale life—the perfect career, wedding, marriage, family, and on and on.

A structural engineer, Chase is brilliant in her line of work, but keeping to her moniker, she is as chaste as they come. Although she doesn’t know the first thing about love and dating, everything changes when she meets Grant Stevens. Wedding bells appear to be right around the corner until he unceremoniously abandons her for another.

Derailed but determined, Chase has to find a way to move on. Little does she know that sinister plans are at work to squash her hopes and dreams.

While a psychic medium comes to her aide, it’s uncertain whether or not Chastity will follow the clairvoyant’s advice. Only time will tell if she’ll choose between throwing away her virginity and diving full force into the dating world, or clinging to her fairytale life plan.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a quirky romantic comedy with larger than life characters, humorous incidents and romance. Chase or Chastity is looking forward to getting married. She’s glad she is still a virgin until her fiance cools off and she finds he’s already married to a man. Now what? Keep looking for the one? Or follow her cousin’s mantra and chase hot men and have lots of sex?

Chase and her family take a bit of getting used to, but they bring the story to life and keep you turning the pages. This is a long book, but it is well-paced, and the detail helps the reader get the know Chastity and why she does what she does.

It has a good balance of romance and humour with a smattering of poignancy. It’s original and full of visual imagery that makes the comic scenes and the romance easy to imagine.

Author Holly Brandon breaks free from her analytical side to produce Life in the Chastity Zone. Holding a Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Civil Engineering, Holly is best known for her published works in the Journal of Earthquakes, Earthquake Engineering, and Engineering Vibrations and Earthquake Science. Unbelievable as it may appear, many of the scenes in Life in the Chastity Zone are based on true-life experiences. Holly invites readers to follow Chastity on her crazy and hilarious adventures in her search for love and happiness. With more to come, Life in the Chastity Zone is the first in an unforgettable, brand new Chastity Zone series.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Adult Romance, Romance

Coming Back to You Lily Haden 4*#Review @hwoods_creative @rararesources #NewAdultRomance #comingofage #FirstLove #SecondChance #Life #Friendship #Soulmates #serendipity #BookReview #BlogTour

Some loves last for just a short time, but ours lasted a lifetime.

From the moment that Emma met Ryan, she knew he was the one for her, but he leaves her heartbroken when he betrays her and disappears from her life, only to return and shatter her heart for a second time.

We were never meant to be, we just happened against the odds.

It feels like fate when life throws them back together as adults, but Emma has moved on now and she can’t throw everything away for the man who left her heartbroken twice.

Emma is living a charmed life with a beautiful family and her art career beginning to take off, but she can’t help feeling like her heart is pulling her back to her first love.

I keep on coming back to you.

One chance encounter with Ryan, so unexpected that it feels like it was written in the stars, throws them back together and she can’t deny the connection between them is stronger than ever. Emma learns that Ryan has been keeping a secret from her, and she has to decide whether to turn away from him forever or keep fighting for their love against all odds.

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All 2020 royalties from this book will be going to Huntington’s Disease Association (https://www.hda.org.uk/)

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

My Thoughts…

First love and second chances told in a believable, engaging way. Emma meets Ryan when she is young and impressionable. A jealous friend and a family drama split the couple apart. Ryan is always there, in her peripheral memory, her soulmate but is he?

The story is full of ordinary life events with a cast of memorable characters. Strong friendships and serendipity characterise this heartwarming story. The final twists are heartbreaking and a surprise. The ending is realistic and makes the best of cruel circumstances.

Lily Haden

Lily Hayden writes chick lit with a kick.

Modern day women want modern day heroines and Lily’s characters want sizzling romance, rewarding careers and equal partnerships, but like all of us, they face many challenges and it isn’t always easy.

A mother to four children, Lily graduated with a degree in Business in her hometown in South Wales and enjoyed a successful career in Financial Services before fulfilling a lifelong ambition to write books.

Her debut novel Butterflies, a heartwarming alternative to the traditional boy-meets-girl story, was released in 2018, reaching readers all over the world and she is the author of five books, including a Young Adult Dystopian novel Project Terra under the alias SJ Woods (because who doesn’t love a bit of action and defeating bad guys every now and again).

Follow Lily on social media for the latest releases, promotions and occasional photos of her dogs.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction

The Awakening Of Claudia Faraday Patsy Trench 4*#Review @PatsyTrench @rararesources #HistFic #1920s #Women #Society #BlogTour #BookReview #RoaringTwenties

‘It got better, in time, though to be truthful it always felt more of a duty than a pleasure: a little like homework, satisfying when over, and done well, but never exactly enjoyable. But then nobody had ever suggested it could be otherwise.’

This was the view of Claudia Faraday, 1920s respectable wife and mother of three, on the subject of sex. That is until an unexpected turn of events shakes her out of her torpor and propels her back into the world revitalised and reawakened, where she discovers, as Marie Stopes might have said: Approached in the right way, even homework can be fun.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I rather enjoyed this exploration of Claudia’s life when she is left alone in the family home wondering what next? Constricted by society expectations but changed in the aftermath of WW1, Claudia realises she’s missing out and that a wealth of experience awaits her if she’s open to it.

Claudia is a rule follower, sexually naive and prejudiced about anything she doesn’t understand, but this story shows her character developing in positive ways. There are parallels with contemporary society for women who feel they are invisible after a certain age.

The witty writing is sensitive and often humorous in a self-deprecating way. The author describes the 1920s succinctly with salient historical details and real historical characters. Authentic dialogue and events that illustrate this as a time of celebration and change.

Patsy Trench

Patsy Trench lives a quiet and largely respectable life in north London. Claudia’s story shows a side of her normally shy and reserved nature that is little known, even to her friends and acquaintances. Her previous books, about her family’s history in Australia, are entertaining and informative accounts of that country’s early colonial beginnings. She began writing late, and in a previous life she was an actress, scriptwriter, playscout, founder of The Children’s Musical Theatre of London and lyricist. When not writing books she emerges from her shell to teach theatre and organise theatre trips for overseas students. She is the grateful mother of two clever and grown-up children, and she is addicted to rag rugging and, when current circumstances permit, fossicking on the Thames foreshore for ancient treasure.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Non-Fiction, Travel

In SatNav We Trust Jack Barrow 4*#Review @JackBarrowUK #Travelogue #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours #Life #History #England #nonfiction #travel #InSatNavWeTrust

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a travelogue through the historic counties of England, with an engaging often humorous narrator. The book takes the form of a diary as he journeys through England with his truck (Mileage given at the start of each chapter), his tent and his thoughts on life and its mysteries.

Whilst travelling, the author shares his thoughts on aspects of life and his beliefs. Not all of these will be relevant to the reader, but if you like to understand others, there’s intrinsic value in this. Full of historical interest, authentic characters and vivid imagery this is a lovely book to read.

The only thing that’s missing is illustrations of the journey or photographs which would have added to the shared experiences.

Jack Barrow

Jack Barrow is a writer of books and blogs about ideas based on popular philosophy in modern life. He is a critical thinker but not a pedant. He has an interest in spiritual perspectives having been brought up as both a Mormon and a Jehovah’s Witness. He’s not sure, but he believes this particular  ecclesifringical upbringing makes him a member of a pretty exclusive club. He is also fascinated by science. At the same age as his parents were taking him to church services, he was also watching Horizon documentaries and Tomorrow’s World, becoming fascinated about science and technology. Perhaps around the time of the moon landings, when he was six or seven, he came to the conclusion that, sooner or later, people would realise that the sky was full of planets and stars, science explained the universe, and that there was no God looking down. He really thought that religion’s days were numbered. Declining congregations seemed to back that up, but since then there has been a growth in grass roots movements that seem to indicate people are looking for something to fill the void left by organised religion. He now has a particular interest in the way people are creating their own spiritual perspectives (whatever spiritual means) from the bottom up using ideas sourced from history, folkloric sources and imagination. Rather ironically it was members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who first introduced him to the landscape of Wiltshire, with its stone circles and ancient monuments, which later kindled his interest in spiritual beliefs taken from more ancient perspectives.

He has also written a novel; The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil is a story of a group of magicians who discover a plot to build casinos in Blackpool and so turn the resort into a seedy, tacky, and depraved town. During this hard-drinking occult adventure, with gambling and frivolous trousers, Nigel, Wayne and Clint travel north on Friday night but they need to save the world by Sunday evening because they have to be back at work on Monday morning.

Jack lives in Hertfordshire, England, where he earns a living writing about things in engineering; this usually means photocopiers and bits of aeroplanes. He shares his home with R2D2 and C3PO, occasionally mentioned in his blog posts. People used to say he should get out more. At the time of writing he is currently shielding from the apocalypse, having been of a sickly disposition as a child, and wondering if he will be able to go to a live music pub ever again.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Romance, Travel

The Night We Met @zoefolbigg #CoverReveal @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #Romance #Preorder #Feb21

The Story…

 As a man holds his wife’s frail hand, he recounts a journey like no other…

Daniel and Olivia are destined to be together. At least, Daniel thinks this the night he sees Olivia across a sea of people. As he backpacks through Australia, Daniel and Liv continue to cross paths, yet never speak. Until one night, Liv joins Daniel for a drink. And that night everything changes.

Back in London, stuck in a monotonous routine, Daniel finds himself daydreaming of the woman with green eyes and fiery hair. Armed with only a name he begins a hunt to find her. With every passing moment, Daniel’s hopes begin to disappear. What if it wasn’t meant to be?

But then fate steps in, and Daniel and Olivia’s story can truly begin…

This is a tale of serendipity, missed chances and the power of love.

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Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons.

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

Hopeful Hearts at Glendale Hall Victoria Walters 5* #Review @Vicky_Walters @herabooks @rararesources #Love #Life #Highlands #Farming #community #Friends #Romance #choices #BookReview #BlogTour #Fridayreads

What happens when love takes you to unexpected places?

Heather Douglas appears to have it all. But living on a farm in the Scottish Highlands with her partner, Rory Fraser, all while bringing up their adorable toddler, Harry, isn’t easy. As a former librarian, Heather is worried that she’ll never fully fit into life on Fraser Farm. And after the death of her beloved mum five years ago, Heather feels lost, as well as guilty for holding back accepting Rory’s marriage proposal because she can’t imagine her wedding without her mother.

So when ex-boyfriend, Stewart, appears in the village of Glendale, it’s a shock to the system. The man who broke her heart years ago now has big plans for the neighbouring farm and wants Heather to be part of the development. Knowing that she’s living a very different life to the one they had planned at university leaves Heather wondering if she has made the right choices since she and Stewart broke up. Especially when things start to go very wrong on the farm …

This Christmas, Heather will need to face her fears and let go of the past or risk losing everything. She will need love, faith, and a whole lot of hope! Return to the beautiful Highlands village of Glendale with the latest book in the bestselling Glendale series – the perfect cosy, uplifting, romantic read.

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first book in the Glendale Hall series, and I loved it. There’s a vibrant highland community with authentic characters who enrich the story and draw you into their world. A wonderfully wintry setting is the backdrop for this story of family, friends and choices. Heather and Rory have a highland farm. Anxiety and grief dominant Heather’s life and make her question her life choices. Rory is supportive but struggles to understand Heather’s worries.

There are characters from previous books featured in this, but it’s a standalone story. Heather and Rory’s future is jeopardised, by someone from Heather’s past, and as this conflict is real, you fear for their happy ever after.

The plot is simple but effective, you empathise with Heather’s dilemma but mostly with Rory whose love never wavers. All this angst is amid threats to the way of life, snow and the festive celebrations. Emotional and relatable this is a perfect festive read.

Victoria Walters

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She’s the author of three novels, THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE, SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFÉ, and COMING HOME TO GLENDALE HALL. She has been chosen for W.H. Smith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.

Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Friendship, Motivational, Paranormal

Benevolent by Erin A. Jenson 5*#Review @ErinAJensen @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #RandomActsofKindness #love #fanfiction #Supernatural #Life #Motivational #BlogTour #BookReview #Benevolent

A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

Amazon UK

100% of the net proceeds from this book will go to Random Acts charitable organization.

Random Acts inspires many amazing things around the world every day — from small acts of kindness, such as inspiring someone to buy a stranger a cup of coffee, to much bigger acts of kindness like building a school in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

To learn more about Random Acts visit randomacts.org

My Thoughts…

Benevolent is a lovely story full of emotion and a message that resonates. Abbie is dying, and her previous life is playing out in her mind one last time. It begins with her dearest friend who she lost too soon and her first meeting with her guardian angel.

Supernatural the iconic series is Abbie’s solace in times of trouble. Naturally, her guardian angel resembles Castiel from the series. The first chapter is heartbreaking and sets the scene for a book that claims your emotions and provokes your thoughts.

A song title heads each chapter. This is Danny’s gift to Abbie.

The writing is lyrical, and the characters are believable even though the carefully constructed world is magical. It makes you cry, smile, remember things in your life, and all these things make it enjoyable.

I purchased a Kindle copy of this book, as 100% of the net proceeds from this book will go to Random Acts charitable organization.

Erin A. Jensen

Erin A. Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. Her debut novel won the bronze medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and received honorable mention in the 2018 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-book Awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she lives in upstate New York with her husband and two sons

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Travel

The Eliza Doll by Tracey Scott – Townsend 4*#Review @authortrace @Wildpressed @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TheElizaDoll #1980s #FamilyDrama #Love #Friendship #relationships #SelfRealisation #BlogTour #BookReview

Ellie lives in a campervan with her dog, Jack, selling her handmade dolls at craft fairs. There is one doll that she can’t bear to finish until she comes to terms with the truth of what has happened.

The Eliza Doll is an uncompromising family drama about upheaval, off-grid living and living on the dole in 1980s England.

Set in East Yorkshire and Iceland from the eighties to the present.

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

My Thoughts…

This is a poignant story of a women’s life. It is part historical as it traces her time as a young woman in the 1980s with elements of family drama and relationships too. This is a relatable story of hardship, love and loss. It shows the relentless push forward of time and the fleeting quality of life.

Ellie appears to have muddled through life, but when she suffers unbearable tragedy and feels her best years have gone, she is easy to empathise. The grief process and the need to be valued for yourself underscores this story.

The flashbacks to the 1980s brought back memories for me too.

This engaging, lyrical story is full of angst and love with a believable and hopeful ending worthy of the main character.

Tracey-Scott-Townsend is the author of six novels — the most recent The Vagabond Mother (January 2020) and Sea Babies (May 2019) — all published by Wild Pressed Books and Inspired Quill Publishing. Reviews often describe her novels as poetic or painterly.

She is also a poet and a visual artist. She has a Fine Art MA and a BA (Hons) Visual Studies. She has exhibited paintings throughout the UK (as Tracey Scott). She has a long career as a workshop facilitator with community groups and in schools.

Tracey is co-director of an up-and-coming small independent publisher, Wild Pressed Books, which has a growing roster of authors and poets.

Mother of four grown-up children, Tracey spends as much time as possible travelling the UK and Europe in a camper van with her husband and two dogs, writing and editing while on the road. 

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Humour, Romance, Travel

The Jetsetters Amanda Eyre Ward 4*#Review @amandaeyreward @PenguinUKBooks #Family #Drama #Relationships #Life #Love #Friendship Parents #Children #Secrets #Lies #Travel #TheJetsetters #BookReview

A family reunited on a holiday of a lifetime…what could possibly go wrong?

When 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins submits an essay to the ‘Become a Jetsetter’ contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children: Lee, an almost-famous actress; Cord, a handsome Manhattan venture capitalist; and Regan, a harried mother who has never forgiven Charlotte for buying her a Weight Watchers gift certificate for her birthday.

But when she wins the cruise, the reality is not quite as she expected. As they sail from sun-drenched Athens, to glorious Rome, to tapas-laden Barcelona, lovers old and new join the adventure, and long-buried secrets are revealed.

Can four lost adults find their way back to themselves, and to each other? And more importantly, can they do it without killing each other?

A funny and deliciously sun-scented novel about the courage it takes to reveal our true selves, the pleasures and perils of family, and how we navigate the seas of adulthood to cruise – we can only hope – toward joy.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has the perfect mix of family drama and exciting holiday destinations. Charlotte is determined to reunite her family after losing her closest friend. Entering a writing competition, to win a cruise, seems the right thing to do. The story gives insight into past relationships and secrets the family members are keeping. The cruise ship setting works well. There’s nowhere to run, and this intensifies family tensions.

Brittle and flawed characters gradually share their past and present issues, making them easy to empathise. The family dynamic is complex but relatable. The intense emotion relieved by humorous moments.

The vividly described holiday locations add contrast to the story too. The vibrant imagery makes this story a sensory delight. The perfect balance to the literary dialogue as the family drama unfolds.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Travel

My Sardinian Summer Michaël Uras 3*#Review @MichaelUras @HodderBooks #Translator Adriana Hunter #Travel #Family #Friends #Life #Self Discovery #Summer #Sardinia #Literary #Fiction

Giacomo is stuck in a funk he can’t shake – and a translation he can’t finish. When he’s summoned home to Sardinia, to say a final goodbye to his dying grandmother, he’s offered the perfect opportunity to escape.

On the noisy, sun-drenched island, Giacomo reconnects with long-lost friends and overbearing relatives, relives the childhood he once couldn’t wait to leave behind, and rediscovers new joie-de-vivre within him. Never mind that he’s making no progress on his translation. . .

When the time comes to leave once more, Giacomo wonders: has he fallen back in love with his home-island? Or has he been hiding from something which he needs the courage to return and confront?

But most importantly – is his grandma really as ill as she’s claiming to be?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has an autobiographical quality about it. Giacomo is a translator returning to his home village in Sardinia when his grandmother falls ill. The remote village setting and the quirky characters that live there, give this story its humour, intrinsic interest and poignancy.

Giacomo is at a crossroads in his life. He uses his time in the village, to come to terms with this and make sense of his existence. There are memories revisited and acquaintances renewed, which create a web of anecdotes and experiences rather than a linear plotted story.

There are literary references and insight into the life of translator which Giacomo equates with his status, the ‘nearly’ man. It’s not a commercial book. It is an insight into an ordinary man’s life in a unique place, fascinating but not always relatable.