The Christmas Promise – Sue Moorcroft – 5* Review

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blurb-winter

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

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my-review-winter

The Christmas Promise: The perfect cosy festive treat!This isn’t your usual festive tale, although Christmas cheer, or the lack of it is integral to the story. The concept is original. Ava is struggling to make her hat-making business pay, fending off unwanted attention from her ex and trying to rise above her ingrained dislike of Christmas. Enough conflict for a festive tale? Perhaps, but there’s even more in this complex story. Ava ‘s trust is abused, pushing her emotional limits to breaking point. The story focuses on important, relevant issues, which are the downside of our digital age.
Well developed, realistic characters define this story. Ava is easy to empathise with and the perfect women’s fiction heroine. Sam is attractive both in terms of his physical attributes and personality. He is the ‘good guy’ but not without his flaws, which threaten any chance he may have with Ava.
There are enticing twists in the plot that make this a page turner. The pacing is right for a women’s fiction book, steady rather than fast paced. There is a phenomenal amount of detail, ranging from how to make a couture hat, to how to run a viral social media campaign. Although this sometimes slows the pace, it is vital for the story’s authenticity.
Poignant moments are plentiful and there is a lovely romantic thread contrasting cleverly with the sometimes, sordid backlash of an intimate relationship. Despite the rollercoaster emotions and the seriousness of some of the plot themes, this story is an absorbing, easy read, set at lovely festive time of the year.
There is also an intriguing glimpse of the author’s next book, which I look forward to reading, next year.
I received a copy of this book from Avon UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Christmas Promise: The perfect cosy festive treat! by Sue Moorcroft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Christmas Promise The perfect cosy festive treat! by Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft

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London Calling – Mark Daydy- 4* Review

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Blurb 2016- 2

When 29-year-old Taunton-based Erin Goodleigh learns that an old boyfriend is a successful writer in London, she is astonished. Back in sixth-form, when they co-wrote the school play, she practically carried the lazy worm. So how did he do it and – more importantly – is it too late for her to fulfil her side of the vow they made to become successful writers?

Follow Erin’s adventures in London – with old university friend Trish, two-faced ex-boyfriend Ian and motorcycle messenger-writer Paul – as she pursues her dream armed only with hope, determination and a second-hand Amstrad computer.

Buy Links 2016 -2

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My Review -1

‘London Calling’ manages to be both amusing and insightful with enough nineties nostalgia to make it interesting. Erin is a writer but she works as a ‘junior executive’ in her parents’ packaging company in the south west of England. She grew up in Hammersmith in the seventies and wants to become writer for BBC radio, moving back to London is the only way.

The weekly timetable for non commissioned writers serves to emphasise how difficult it is to follow your dream in the creative world. Money is tight and disappointment plentiful but sticking at it, is the only way to realise your chance of becoming a commissioned writer.

 Those who are not discouraged with their numerous failures form a club of sorts and the team spirit is an important theme of this story.

The authenticity of the plot makes it a little repetitive at times but Erin is a strong, likeable character and you follow her rejections and small wins avidly. There is an interesting romantic dynamic between Erin and fellow non commissioned writer Paul, which adds to her roller-coaster life.

The historic influences are strong and make you realise how much has changed in the last twenty years. Does anybody remember the ‘Amstrad’ computer?

‘London Calling’ is a light hearted tale of ambition and stamina with lots of humour and a lovely thread of romance.

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

Author Bio 2016- 2

13995020Over the past 20 years, I’ve written extensively for TV and radio in the UK and I’m currently developing a TV sitcom (optioned by NBC-Universal).

I love reading heart-warming, humorous novels about life’s little ups and downs, so it’s hardly a shock that I’ve started writing them myself. In my stories, I look to bring the feel-good factor (laughter and, perhaps, a few tears) to romance and relationships, changing careers, moving home, family upheaval, growing up, and a whole host of other bumps in the road.

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.

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

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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.

 

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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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Cover Reveal: Hand Over Fist – Michael Ross

Coming May 3rd from Limitless Publishing…
 

HAND OVER FIST by Michael Ross

Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS

Mystery Thriller Blurb

When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…

 Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.

Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…

 Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.

The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…

 Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was. 

 In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…

Lives depend on it.

 

Author Bio

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.

 Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life

 This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.

 I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.

 Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.

 Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.

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Lines We Forget J.E.Warren – Release Blitz & 4* Review

FIGHTING DESTING - SHELLY MORGAN - LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
DESIGNED BY TOJ PUBLISHING SERVICES WWW.TOJPUBLISHING.COM

Winter Blurb

Love never comes easy, especially to those who aren’t prepared for it…
Twenty-four-year-old musician Charlie Stone has always played the classics. It’s just another day of playing the same old songs until he notices her—Anna Garrett, a beauty with cold-bitten, rosy cheeks and a coffee cup clutched in her hands.

Five songs later, and she’s still standing there. He vows to steal her heart the only way he knows how.

In the heart of London, chance encounters are few and far between, but a warm melody can bring people together…

New day, same old disappointments. Anna Garrett believes her luck at finding love has stalled before it’s even started when she’s stood up for a second date with a friend of her housemate.
But when she sees a handsome musician playing his heart out, everything changes. Memories come flooding back. As she listens to the music, Anna realises she must take matters of love and luck into her own hands.

When opposites attract, sparks fly…

After a series of wonderful, unconventional dates, feisty Anna and hopeless romantic Charlie declare their love for each other. But their newfound bond is rocked to its core by a New Year’s Eve party gone awry that threatens to throw them off course.

Finally, a bright future appears to be within their grasp. But when Anna’s world fractures and distance comes between them, the real work begins.

Will their love go on in perfect harmony, or become another old song full of Lines We Forget?

Teaser 1

Winter Buy Links

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Winter My Review
This is an unusual love story set in London. Charlie is a musician who despite his privileged background craves a simpler life, filled with music, which he funds working in a music shop and busking outside a London Underground station. Country girl Anna works in London, living the dream; except she doesn’t like her job or her bitchy colleagues and is fed up of being constantly set up by her flatmate with materialistic arrogant men.
Charlie’s attraction to Anna is instant and powerful and he tries to charm her with his music. Anna doesn’t notice him at first until he plays a song that captures her heart and evokes loving memories of her childhood. Charlie and Anna are opposite in background, family and aspirations but they form an unlikely bond. Seen through Anna and Charlie’s eyes we experience their emotional highs and lows as they try to discover their happy ever after.
For me Anna and Charlie are difficult to warm to. However they are realistic characters and reflect twenty-first century relationships. The setting is vibrant and contrasts with the introspective nature of the story, which is full of angst.
If you like your romance totally focused on the hero and heroine and a little quirky, this story should appeal to you.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Author Bio 2016- 2

J.E.Warren currently resides in a somewhat sleepy seaside town, and is a British Romance/YA writer who has a long standing love for milky tea, travel, shaggy haired 90’s band Hanson, and small dogs.

She enjoys writing and bringing to life realistic and relatable characters, especially strong, sharp and savvy females who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.

Music has always played a big part in her life – from noisy rock to reggae, folk to pop punk and everything else in between. And is a constant source of inspiration when writing, especially when plotting new ways to steal reader’s hearts, or make them swoon (usually with the help of guitar playing heartthrobs.)

When she’s not writing, J.E likes to curate perfect playlists – of which she has many, and catch up on her favourite shows (again too many), though you can be certain to find Buffy The Vampire Slayer on heavy rotation.

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4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River -Part 4 – Mark Daydy

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Winter Blurb

It’s 1978. Will Tom’s chances of finally taking his relationship with Claire to the ultimate levels of ecstasy be affected by her being in a different country? What exactly is Tom’s musical destiny? And is he the man to finally sort out his mixed-up family?

Winter Buy Links

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Amazon

Winter My Review

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part FourThe final part of ‘The Girl Who Lived by the River’ takes place in 1978.
Tom, now eighteen realises what it means to be an adult and starts to reassess his teenage aspirations and dreams. His on/off relationship with Claire is ongoing but with the release of her group’s first single, the chance she will want what Tom has to offer her seems remote.
Tom’s reactions to the political and industrial unrest of this time show how he has matured from the beginning of the book.
The final instalment of Tom’s teenage angst reveals the secrets of the family mystery and answers the question of when he will lose his virginity. There are certainly a few surprises along the way.
If you enjoy ‘retro’, I recommend this book, which captures the late seventies perfectly and introduces the reader to realistic, memorable characters. This is an enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part Four by Mark Daydy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part Four by Mark Daydy

Mark Daydy

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4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River – Mark Daydy

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Poppy - Blurb
If you’ve ever experienced the joys and agonies of growing up (well, who hasn’t!) – then travel back to 1975 and meet Tom Alder whose life would be just perfect if only he had a girlfriend, some guitar skills and a family without quite so many skeletons in the closet.
Flowers - Buy LinksAmazon UK
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Flowers - My Review

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part One Part one, of this four part serial takes you back to the 1970’s. The intermittent decade in the UK between the swinging sixties and the affluent eighties. Epitomised by industrial decline, trade unions, bad fashion and music. I was a teenager in the seventies and this story captures the decade of austerity, glam rock and disco perfectly. A story of first love and teenage aspirations, set in London’s docklands, before it became a fashionable place to live. This gentle, humorous story will draw you into Tom’s world.

Tom has never had a girlfriend but he aims to put that right, before his rapidly approaching sixteenth birthday. Tom is a likeable character and typical of a teenage boy in the seventies, before the internet, sophisticated computer games and musical downloads. Tom, like so many young boys wants to be a rock star, the gateway to fame, riches and women. The first part of this, often poignant serial explores his tentative steps towards forming a band and finding himself a girlfriend.

Through Tom’s school friends and foe, you meet lots of interesting, realistic characters and experience the camaraderie and difficulties of living in the London’s East End; at a time when the docks were in decline and unemployment out of control. A curious mix of new adult and romantic comedy this introduction to Tom’s life is easy to read and addictive. I can’t wait to see what 1976 brings for Tom, in part two.

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

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part One by Mark Daydy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part One by Mark Daydy

Mark Daydy

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Somewhere Only We Know – Erin Lawless – Paperback Launch 11 September 2015

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Today, September 11 2015, is paperback launch day for ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ by Erin Lawless. The book launch is at Clapham Books at 19.30 Unfortunately I can’t attend but I wanted to share the event  with you.

Poppy - Blurb

18040689Boy meets girl… Alex Bradley can’t help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.
Girl meets boy… Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back home.
Girl gets deported? It’s going to be a bumpy ride, one she’s dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.
From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?
Funny, addictive and always honest, this is a love letter to London, friendship and the unexpected from the author of the bestselling The Best Thing I Never Had.

Flowers - My Review

18040689I was looking forward to reading ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. Its vivid characters, well researched setting and original take on girl meets boy, met all my expectations.
Nadia and Alex are complex, believable characters, Yin and Yang drawn together in a serendipitous way, they gradually discover what’s been missing in their lives.
Nadia is likeable and despite her looming problems, reaches out to Alex shows him how to enjoy life. Alex is hiding secrets that may damage their fledgling relationship. Their London and south coast adventures are entertaining, realistic and make their growing attraction inevitable to everyone, including the reader, but not themselves.
The supporting cast are equally vibrant and showcase the main characters, without upstaging them. I would like to see what happens to Caro, Holly and Rory in another book, perhaps? This is a story of young, sometimes emotionally immature adults. The romance is gentle and illuminates rather than dominates the story.
A great holiday read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Flowers - Buy LinksAmazon UK

Poppy - Author Bio

UK4A9482Erin Lawless lives a happy life full of wonderful friends, in love with a man who buys her books instead of flowers. To mix things up a little, she writes books where friends and lovers hit obstacles and (usually) overcome them. When she’s not doing that she reads absolutely everything she gets her hands on, spends an inordinate amount of time in pyjamas and runs a fun-but-informative blog on British history.

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 Here’s my review of Erin’s New Adult Bestseller The Best Thing I Never Had

Flowers - My Review

18798691The Best Thing I Never Had is a great read with fabulous characters.
Divided into past and present events this story’s structure allows the reader to know the characters in depth and really want to know what happens to them which I liked. The focus of the first section is the long awaited wedding of two of the group of university friends and it is here the reader realises something momentous occurred in their shared past but doesn’t know what.

Just over half the story takes place in the past although pacing of this section of the book allows you to experience events with the characters as it happens which makes it easy and interesting to read.

The second half surrounds the wedding and how the characters have fared since university. There are a few surprises both in character development and plot. This was my favourite part of the story possibly because the characters were less annoying and more world weary.

The characters are vivid. It’s easy to love or hate them. This is all about the people what they think, what they feel and what they do. The plot is not the main focus of this story but it does hold some pleasing twists.

Packed full of emotion and humour this story is definitely worth reading even though it is longer than is currently fashionable. I look forward to the next book by this author.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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