Posted in #BookBlogger , #amreading, Book Spotlight, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, This Week's Books

One Summer in Paris #amreading #SaturdayMorning #books #bookblogger #spotlight #NetGalley @HQStories @SarahMorgan_

One charming bookshop, two unlikely friends, and a summer in Paris that will change their lives forever…

Grace can’t believe it when her husband of twenty-five years announces he doesn’t want to join her on their anniversary trip to Paris – instead, he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock, Grace makes the bold decision to go on this holiday of a lifetime alone.

Audrey leaves behind heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no knowledge of the French language, her summer adventure seems doomed to fail. Until she meets Grace and everything changes…

Living in neighbouring apartments above the bookshop, Grace and Audrey form an unlikely friendship. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding each other might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

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

My Thoughts So Far…

So, I thought I’d share what I’m currently reading this weekend. Sarah Morgan has always been a favourite author, and her new book released by HQ on April 4th 2019, is full of good things.

I have only read about 16 %, so far, we haven’t even reached Paris yet, and I can’t put it down. The two main characters Grace and Audrey are so likeable, despite the emotional wasteland they find themselves in. They are realistic and easy to empathise and I can’t wait to find out what happens in Paris.

There is also a collection of subsidiary characters that resonate, but not always in a good way, but that’s a true reflection of life, isn’t it?

I will post my review of this story in early April, but in the meantime, if you are looking for a great holiday read, with angst, romance, family drama and friendship, this is a contender.

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Posted in Book Review

No More Amazon Reviews –

Regular visitors to my blog will be expecting a review, and normal service will be resumed, but I just wanted to share with you the problems I have encountered recently with Amazon UK and my reviews. I usually post the review I share here on Amazon UK, but that will not be happening any more – see a copy of the email below.

 

Hello,

I am a member of the Amazon.com Product Review Abuse team. Jeff Bezos received your email and requested that I research this issue and respond on his behalf.

We have determined that you have violated our Community Guidelines. As a result, we have suppressed all of your reviews, and you will no longer be able to post community content on Amazon. This includes Customer Reviews.

Customer Reviews are meant to give customers unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers. Because our goal is to provide Customer Reviews that help customers make informed purchase decisions, any accounts and reviews that could be viewed as advertising, promotional, or biased will be removed.

Your community privileges may have been revoked for one or more of the following reasons:
— Elements of your account indicate a relationship to sellers, publishers, or other reviewers of the products you review.
— Your reviews were posted in exchange for compensation, such as gift cards to purchase the product, product refunds, review swaps, or free or discounted products.
— You requested free or discounted products in exchange for reviews.

We made this decision after carefully considering your account. This decision is final, and your community privileges will not be reinstated.

To learn more about our policies, please review the following on Amazon.co.uk:
— Community Guidelines (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201929730)

We cannot share any further information about this decision, and we may not reply to further emails about this issue.

Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.
Warmest regards,
Review Moderator
Amazon.co.uk

 

From what I can gather from the jargon, my reviews are considered biased because I receive arcs from authors, publishers and NetGalley. So do other book bloggers who post on Amazon UK  and yet other bloggers reviews’ and indeed Amazon’s ‘Vine Voice’ reviews are apparently acceptable?

My reviews are not biased, they are my opinion, people who read them can accept or discount them. I do read widely, usually 7+plus books a week and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Reading, reviewing and blogging is my hobby, and it now feels tainted. The email allows no appeal, or even further correspondence and I’m left feeling like a victim in this. 

Thank you for reading this and following my blog.

Jane x

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Street Soldier – Andy McNab- 5* Review

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.

A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean . . . as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.

Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British Army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.

Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review -1

Street Soldier

The story’s vivid imagery draws the reader into the world of London’s street gangs. Sean Harker has many commendable qualities, despite his criminal intentions and is an easy anti- hero to identify with, whatever your age but particularly for the intended late teen, young adult audience.
This is a hard-hitting story. The reality of Sean’s life as a gang member is often sordid but when his luck runs out, the chance to start again beckons but will he survive it? The scene setting of the first few chapters is so important for the rest of the story, as Sean’s new life collides with his old with alarming consequences.
Although Sean makes some questionable choices and friends, these illustrate his naivety, despite his former life as a gang member. The plot is simple to follow but the strong characters make it exciting and page turning and Sean is definitely a character who could have more adventures in future books.
‘Street Soldier’ is great storytelling with a realistic edge. Fast paced action with a true hero and an overriding theme of hope, whatever the challenges.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Street Soldier by Andy McNab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Street Soldier by Andy McNab

Andy McNab

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review : Every Time a Bell Rings – Carmel Harrington

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Blurb - Flower

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.
As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.
Hence, Christmas is cancelled.
So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.
But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…
Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Buy Links 3
Amazon UK
Amazon

My Review

Every Time a Bell RingsI eagerly anticipated reading this book and it proved to be the perfect early Christmas present. Full of charming sentiment, realistic life stories and characters so authentic, you expect them to be sitting in the room with you.
Belle is an engaging and courageous child, who becomes an outwardly strong woman; hiding her guilt, lack of self esteem and vulnerability, even from those closest to her. When we first meet her she is on the cusp of a happy ever after and that worried me slightly. Surely nothing could top the hopeful beginning but I was wrong. There are plenty more romantic moments to come, interwoven with despair, goodness, humour and sadness, in this heartfelt, provoking tale, of an individual’s importance in the world.
Belle’s vulnerability is not unexpected, as a foster child she experiences loss and uncertainty. I won’t spoil the story for potential readers but be prepared to experience, the full spectrum of emotions when you read this. The writing is sensitive. Even in its darkest moments you can see glimmers of light and these keep you turning the pages.
This story draws you into its world; the ending is as enchanting, as its characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

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Posted in Book Review

3* Review: All Together Now – Gill Hornby

25437042Blurb -2The small town of Bridgeford is in crisis. The high street is half empty, businesses are closing and the idea of civic pride seems old-fashioned to the commuters rushing home from work. Somehow, it seems to have lost its heart.

But there is one thing that might just bring the town together: music. The Bridgeford Community Choir has a chance of winning the county championship. First though, the small band of singers must find a lot of new members and a whole new sound.

Enter Tracey – one of life’s soloists, and hiding a secret past; Bennett – a church choir refugee, baffled by the modern world. And Jazzy – who sees her voice as her passport straight out of town to a future of fame and fortune. Can they really fit in with dependable old regulars like Annie? Can they learn to work together, save their singing group and maybe even their community?

Buy Links -2Amazon UK
Amazon

My Review

All Together NowThe first chapter of this story captures the reader’s attention and makes you want to read on. Sadly, the rest of the story doesn’t fulfil its initial promise.

The storyline of a community choir bringing an ailing town together is a topical but the characters are hard to empathise with and lack the complexity, to draw you into their world.
The pacing is slow, especially in the first half of the story, which lacks the page turning ability, a longer novel needs.

The realistic dialogue and visual imagery, made me want to finish the story. The ending, although not a surprise, does provide a satisfactory conclusion.

I received a copy of this book from Little, Brown Book Group via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

All Together Now by Gill Hornby

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


All Together Now by Gill Hornby

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: A Kiss in the Dark – Lisa Fox

25678438Poppy - BlurbGrace’s attraction to her new web designer, amateur boxer and all-around playboy, Ryan Granger, is off the charts. But the bad boy of programming is not someone she needs to get entangled with. She’s got too many responsibilities and no time for games. She has deadlines to meet and a sick father to care for. Ryan is tempting, but being with him is completely unrealistic. Still, a girl can fantasize, right?

Ryan wants Grace badly, but while he’s building her website, they have to keep things strictly professional. Thankfully, walking her home during a city-wide blackout is on his own time and whatever happens in the dark doesn’t count. He’s falling hard for Grace and he is a man used to winning. The only problem is, he’s got to convince her that he’s worthy of her trust.

Flowers - Buy LinksAmazon UK

Amazon

Flowers - My Review

A Kiss In the DarkAn easy to read novella that delivers nicely written, contemporary escapism, perfect for the beach. Grace and Ryan are likeably imperfect and easy to warm to. The story’s New York setting adds an extra dimension and makes the couple’s unlikely meeting plausible.

Ryan is a web designer who also enjoys boxing. His fashionable job and trendy hobby, ramp up the escapism value of this story. Grace, a successful writer has family issues, which make her insular and guilty. Playboy Ryan is the perfect man to let her live a little. Something every girl needs. The scenes with Grace’s father are poignant, realistic and sensitively written.

Despite the story’s brevity, both character’s develop as a result of their interaction and the romantic ending is worthy of them and their emotional journey.

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

A Kiss In the Dark by Lisa Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Kiss In the Dark by Lisa  Fox

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4* Review: Access All Areas – Charlotte Phillips

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Untitled
After losing her elderly parents, portrait photographer Anna will do anything to avoid losing the family home – the only thing she has left of her perfect childhood.

When a friend who works at the exclusive boutique hotel, The Lavington, provides a hot tip – an A list film star is staying there with her rumored toyboy lover – Anna comes up with a plan. A photo of them together could be the answer to all Anna’s money problems.

Unfortunately, she’s the worst paparazzi photographer on the planet and Jack, the hotel’s new head of security, back in England after globetrotting as bodyguard to the stars, isn’t about to allow a picture on his watch. No matter how cute the photographer might be…

Buy Links 1 Amazon UK

AmazonMy Review 2

Access All Areas‘Access All Areas’ is a contemporary tale, full of humour and romance. Like the previous ‘Do Not Disturb’ books, this story features an unlikely couple, who meet unexpectedly at a boutique hotel. Opposites attract and help each other view life differently.

Portrait photographer, Anna ignores her scruples to solve some pressing financial difficulties. Her fragile emotional state threatens her success but puts her on the radar of new head of security, Jack.

Yin and Yang perfectly describes this mismatched couple but the physical attraction between Anna and Jack, proves impossible to ignore. Catapulted into a brief, passionate interlude; the sensual scenes have plenty of heat.
This well paced story has realistic and often humorous dialogue. Getting the perfect money shot is full of comic incidents.

‘Access All Areas’ is quick easy reading, perfect escapism.

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

Access All Areas by Charlotte Phillips

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Access All Areas by Charlotte Phillips

Charlotte Phillips

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Posted in What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading This Week…

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I hope you’ve managed to read some of my reviews from the books I’ve read in the past couple of weeks. Here’s what I’m reading this week. As always, reviews to follow in the next week or so.


19031001I’m ashamed to say, this book’s been buried in my ‘to be read’ pile. and so I’m determined to read it this week. 
The premise is appealing, a child is rescued after thirteen years on a remote island but the circumstances of his survival are amazing. 

22423865The third book in ‘The Billionaire Banker’ series is Besotted. I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion to Lana and Blake’s love story. The first two books in the series were excellent. 

23151517This is the second thriller I’ve read by Mike Bond, this one is set in Tibet and has an action packed,  if slightly confusing start but I’m intrigued enough to read on…

18716646 ‘Finding Mother’ is the second of Anne Allen’s books I’ve read. This one is set in Guernsey, Jersey and Spain and  follows a woman’s journey to discover her mother, with unforeseen consequences. The imagery in these Guernsey novels is great. I’m looking forward, to this next book in the series.

19516869Flight of Destiny is another book rescued from the bottom of my ‘to be read’ pile. This is a fantasy romance about members of a motorcycle club all of whom have paranormal abilities.

23597716Day Shift is the forthcoming release from one of my favourite authors Charlaine Harris. I am a devoted fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I have read some of the other books Charlaine has written but they didn’t have the same appeal as her ‘Sookie’ series for me.

‘ Day Shift’ is the second book in the ‘Midnight,Texas’ series. I haven’t read book 1. I think it’s a good test of a book and its characters to start mid series. I got this one from NetGalley and if I like it, I may buy book 1 – Midnight Crossroad 🙂

So that’s my reading sorted. Tomorrow find out how my writing is going.

Posted in Book Review

3* Review: The Temp – Emily Benet

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Blurb -2Amber is a twenty-something, out of university with a degree she’s not sure what to do with… so she temps in order to earn enough money to live in London.

One of her favourite life-hacks is to attend modern art gallery openings for free wine. It is during one of these that she thinks ‘if they can do it, why not me?’, and meeting a handsome gallery promoter cements her ambition to become famous through her art.

With the help—and sometimes hindrance—of her friends Farrell, Bibiana, and Egg (short for Egbert), can Amber achieve her dream AND snag handsome Elliott?

Buy Links -2Amazon UK

Amazon

My ReviewThe TempThe title drew me to this book but if you’re expecting office romance with a series of billionaire bosses you will be disappointed. I like the quirkiness of the first few chapters. The characters are vivid; full of flaws and oddities, which make them worth getting to know. I particularly like Amber’s flat mate Egg.
The plot is simple and easy to follow with no real surprises. I can understand why this story is popular on Wattpad it would be better read as a serial than a novel. The pacing in the middle sections is too slow for me. That said it is full of satirical humour and light romance and definitely worth a read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Temp by Emily Benet

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Temp by Emily Benet

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: The Kiss Before Midnight – Sophie Pembroke

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Blurb -2

Heading home to Liverpool for Christmas, Molly Mackenzie isn’t just looking forward to the mulled wine and mince pies – she’s got high hopes for who she’ll find under the mistletoe this year!

Unable to forget the delicious near miss with her brother’s best friend, Jake, last New Year’s Eve, Molly’s got a new resolution at the top of her list: seduce Jake and get this crazy chemistry out the way before it has serious repercussions on the rest of the Mackenzie family.

Only Molly has underestimated the magic of the holiday season… The more stolen moments in the snow that she shares with Jake, the more determined she is to make it a whole lot more than just a kiss before midnight.

Buy Links -2

Amazon UK

 

My Review

 

The Kiss Before MidnightIf you’re looking for a romantic Christmas story, ‘The Kiss Before Midnight’ is a must read. This is the second festive story by Sophie Pembroke that I have read this week and this one is definitely my favourite. Molly and Jake have known each other forever but after last New Year’s Eve, Molly can no longer see Jake, only as her older brother’s best friend.

Molly is a curious mix of confidence and insecurity. During the Christmas festivities, she questions her motives for leaving the city and job she loves and whether she should pursue her last New Year’s resolution.

Jake, is Molly’s parents’ surrogate son and he is reluctant to jeopardise this by pursuing Molly in the way he would like to. I loved Jake. In many ways he was like a small boy pressing his nose against the window of family life; A voyeur rather than a participant. Gradually he realises these feeling are internal rather than external barriers to his happiness.

The sensual heat between Jake and Molly is warmer than the mulled wine that flows so freely and leads to some humorous moments. When they finally give in to their attraction it leads to more misunderstanding and heartache for the couple.

The romance is sweet and the ending perfectly crafted. The setting is a perfect Christmas, English style, which I enjoyed.

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

The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke

Sophie Pembroke

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