Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Giveaway, Humour, New Books

The Spa Break Caroline James 4*#Review @CarolineJames12 @0neMoreChapter_ #Friendship #SecondChances #Heartwarming #age #women #selfdiscovery #humour #uplit #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #TheSpaBreak #giveaway

A weekend at the spa will leave four old friends with a whole lot more than they’d bargained for…

The glossy brochure promised a serene experience of total tranquillity and rejuvenation, but what best friends Bridgette, Emily, Serena and Marjory get is a weekend that upends their lives!

There for a girls’ weekend to celebrate Bridgette’s impending seventieth birthday, the spa soon has these spicy sexagenarians realising that there are unexpected benefits to age and experience and that over the hill certainly doesn’t mean out of the game…in any respect…

Amazon UK  Kobo Google Barnes and Noble

I received a copy of this book from the author.

My Thoughts…

Four friends go on a weekend spa break to celebrate a birthday; all are older and feel their lives are not what they want them to be. The spa setting is full of colourful characters and new experiences, which help the four friends to find themselves again and move on positively.
The women are believable characters that the reader cares about, brought to life with detailed backstories and their spa experiences. The humour is plentiful, with pertinent, poignant moments that resonate. It’s escapist and uplifting.

CAROLINE JAMES

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James, has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but escapes whenever lockdown allows. A public speaker, which has included talks and lectures on cruise ships worldwide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. Caroline writes articles and runs writing workshops, is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer & Journalists and the Society of Authors. In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking with Fred, her Westie and in summer, wild water swimming. In winter, when not working, she relaxes with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

Website Twitter Facebook Amazon Author Page

Giveaway to Win a Fred the Westie soft toy and a personalised box of chocolates (UK Only)

Click on the giveaway link to enter.

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Scottish Highland Surprise Julie Shackman 5*#Review @G13Julie @0neMoreChapter_ #Romance #Mystery #Secrets #Family Friendship #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #AScottishHighlandSurprise

Discover the secrets and surprises that the scenic Scottish town of Briar Glen has to offer…

When wedding planner Sophie Harkness refuses to move a friend’s wedding to accommodate a spoilt bridezilla, she finds herself out of a job. That is until she discovers her late grandma has purchased a local shop for her in the pretty Scottish town of Briar Glen.

Surprised and delighted, Sophie opens her own porcelain shop in honour of her grandmother. But when an unusual tea set is left with Sophie, along with a mysterious letter, she can’t help but be intrigued by the story behind the antique.

And when the handsome but aloof art critic Xander North comes knocking on her door, Sophie is about to find out the true colourful past of her latest treasure.

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

As a wedding planner in a highlands hotel, Sophie loves her role except for her boss and the often overzealous brides. Resigning on a point of principle means she can take up the opportunity afforded by her late grandmother, but can she make the business succeed? A multilayered story tells the story of her grandmother’s early life, a mystery surrounding an antique tea set and a gentle but conflicted romance for Sophie.

I like the story’s originality and how the plot incorporates three women’s stories, all intricately woven into an engaging plot. Sophie is s likeable character with easy to understand motivations. Xander is the perfect love interest, arrogant but hiding a broken and kind heart.

This story provides the reader with an enjoyable medley of mystery, poignancy and romance.

Julie Shackman

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, who she named Cooper. A Scottish Highland Surprise is Julie’s sixth novel.

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance, Romance

The People’s Princess Flora Harding 5*#Review #Audiobook #Review #Narrator Julie Teal #ThePeoplesPrincess #HistFic #HistoricalFiction

Step behind the palace doors in this gripping historical novel that is a must read for fans of The Crown and Princess Diana!

Buckingham Palace, 1981

Her engagement to Prince Charles is a dream come true for Lady Diana Spencer but marrying the heir to the throne is not all that it seems. Alone and bored in the palace, she resents the stuffy courtiers who are intent on instructing her about her new role as Princess of Wales…

But when she discovers a diary written in the 1800s by Princess Charlotte of Wales, a young woman born into a gilded cage so like herself, Diana is drawn into the story of Charlotte’s reckless love affairs and fraught relationship with her father, the Prince Regent.

As she reads the diary, Diana can see many parallels with her own life and future as Princess of Wales.

The story allows a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in the palace, the tensions in Diana’s relationship with the royal family during the engagement, and the wedding itself.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

The People’s Princess is a dual timeline historical fiction audiobook inspired by Diana and Charlotte, Princesses of Wales. The narrator makes the characters authentic and easy to visualise. The listener quickly develops empathy with Charlotte and Diana.

Charlotte’s viewpoint stems from a personal journal found by a historian and given to the fictional Diana character before her wedding. The book portrays the Regency period as severe rather than romantic for Princess Charlotte. Diana’s story reflects the public perception of the time before her marriage that later emerged through the media. Her story is one of coming of age, disillusionment and poignancy. Parallels between the two teased out in this historical fiction make it compelling listening.

I enjoyed the creative sensory imagery that brought Regency England and London in 1981 vividly to life, immersing the listener in the two different worlds. It is an emotional story with believably flawed characters and pertinent historical details that make this is an engaging audiobook.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Scottish Highland Surprise Julie Shackman #CoverReveal @G13Julie @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #AScottishHighlandSurprise

Discover the secrets and surprises that the scenic Scottish town of Briar Glen has to offer…

When wedding planner Sophie Harkness refuses to move a friend’s wedding to accommodate a spoilt bridezilla, she finds herself out of a job. That is until she discovers her late grandma has purchased a local shop for her in the pretty Scottish town of Briar Glen.

Surprised and delighted, Sophie opens her own porcelain shop in honour of her grandmother. But when an unusual tea set is left with Sophie, along with a mysterious letter, she can’t help but be intrigued by the story behind the antique.

And when the handsome but aloof art critic Xander North comes knocking on her door, Sophie is about to find out the true colourful past of her latest treasure.

The perfect feel-good romance.

Amazon UK Amazon

Publication Date: 22nd April 

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, who she named Cooper. A Scottish Highland Surprise is Julie’s sixth novel.

Twitter Facebook

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

A Sunrise Over Bali Sandy Barker 5*#Review @sandybarker @0neMoreChapter_ #humour #romcom #Friendship #selfrealisation #Romance #Bali @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #ASunriseOverBali #TheHolidayRomance

Home is where the heart is . . .

When Jaelee Tan leaves her high-flying PR job in Miami for a sabbatical in Bali, the last thing she expects is for it to become permanent. But when her boss demands the trip be cut short, Jae does the only thing she can think of and quits on the spot.
 
With two months in Bali, a new group of friends and the gorgeous scenery and beaches, Jae is determined to make the most of her newfound freedom. And when she locks eyes with hunky Scot, Alistair, Jae wonders if she’ll lose her heart to more than just a Balinese sunrise.

Amazon UK Amazon Apple Foyles Google Play Waterstones Amazon au Amazon ca

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

My Thoughts…

You are always guaranteed an escapist read with this author, and Bali is a fascinating mix of idyllic and surprising. The references to the less desirable aspects of this paradise create an authentic world for the reader to explore.

Jaelee, who devotees of the series will remember from That Night in Paris, is still healing from a break-up. Her career is full-on, and when she feels betrayed by an old friend, she decides to take time off and spend two months in Bali at a UROP. This place of living with others, particularly favoured by digital nomads, lets her examine her life and what she wants from it.

This story balances humour and poignancy and delivers an uplifting read full of friendships, romance and self-realisation. Jaelee is a complex character. She has a self-deprecating sense of humour and succeeds to achieve the recognition that she never receives from her close family. The characterisation is vivid, and I can picture Jalee and the vibrant characters she meets and gets to know.

Sandy Barker

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. She lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.The series continues in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney and there are two more to come in 2022. Her standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and next up is The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud rom-com set in the world of Reality TV.

Twitter Facebook Instagram Website

The Holiday Romance Series – Read my reviews.

One Summer in Santorini

That Night in Paris

A Sunset in Sydney

Posted in Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Tea for Two at the Little Cornish Kitchen Jane Linfoot 5*#Review @janelinfoot @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #romcom #Cornwall #BlogTour #BookReview #TeaforTwoattheLittleCornishKitchen

St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere…

The Little Cornish Kitchen is going on tour!
When internet sensation ‘Cressida Cupcake’ has a soggy bottomed TV fiasco and faces bake-off backlash she jumps at the chance to spend some time hiding out in St Aidan, dog sitting for her brother.

Picturesque Seaspray Cottage is meant to be Cressy Hobson’s port in the storm but with her blog sponsors having fled and her book deal gone sideways her funds are running low and she’s forced to turn to the locals for help. Soon her quiet weeks in Cornwall are filled with chasing sheep, saving the local retirement village, taking The Little Cornish Kitchen into people’s homes for baking nights…and keeping a vigilant guard against romance.

The one and only time Cressy lost her head to love was over a decade ago while in St Aidan, and she won’t be making the same mistake again – a feat easier said than done when Ross Bradbury looks even better a decade on…and every step she takes seems to put him in her path!

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is the perfect uplifting book for a cold and cloudy February day. I love how this author creates believable characters, dreamy romance and plenty of humorous moments in an idyllic Cornish setting.

Cressy is a successful internet baker, but a baking disaster threatens to destroy her fledgling career when social media turns against her. Independent, she initially resists the community support and friendship St Aidan offers but not for long.

Ross, the local vet, has a brief but traumatic history with Cressy, and his presence in the village is hard to ignore. The chemistry is undeniable, but both have internal conflicts to overcome to try again.

This is a lovely multi-generational story with relatable vibrant characters, humour, poignancy and romance.

Jane Linfoot

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a cottage, up the steepest hill in Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket. Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident while working as an architect, and renovating country houses. While she loves to write feel-good books that let readers escape, she’s always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes, and credits her characters for creating their own storylines. Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem. She has lots of Pinterest boards relating to her novels.

Twitter Facebook Instagram Pinterest

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

The Great Summer Street Party – Sunshine and Cider Cake Georgia Hill 5*#Review @georgiawrites @0neMoreChapter_ #BookReview #series #coastal #romcom #community #Dorset #TheGreatSummerStreetParty #weekendreads

Welcome to Berecombe-by-the-Sea for a year of very special celebrations…

This year sees the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to those brave boys who went to fight on French beaches for our freedom.

And now Berecombe is playing host to our American allies once more. All surviving soldiers who were billeted in the town have been invited for street parties, a D-Day parade, a black-tie ball at The Henville and much, much more.

So, come along, get dressed up and join in the fun!

Ashley Lyddon arrives in the quaint coastal community of Berecombe feeling more than a little lost. The former art teacher desperately needs a fresh start after a car accident that cost her everything. How is it that the town’s older residents seem to have more zest for life than she does?

A certain American history lecturer, Eddie McQueen, has also blown into town, just like the GIs did seventy-five years previously. Then, as now, they shook things up and left secrets trailing in their wake.

Ashley knows all too well, like the D-Day soldiers, that laying the past to rest is easier said than done although her new community seems to believe that tea and cake – lots and lots of cake – solves most of life’s problems. And as Ashley is forced to admit, they are nearly always right…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This promises to be a delightful series. Berecome-by-Sea is getting ready to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings, and this story introduces so lovely new characters and some well-loved favourites.

Ashley is in Berecome, trying to heal and make a new start after a horrific car accident changed her life. Noah, her cousin, is organising the anniversary celebrations. They have a believable connection. Eddie is visiting the town to discover more about his Grandfather and is teaching at the local college. Ashley and Eddie’s first meeting shows how the accident affected her and his innate kindness. The chemistry between them is tangible, and there is the possibility of romance. Biddy and Beryl add humour to the mix, and there is a host of other characters to make this an uplifting read.

I love the gentle romance and supportive friendships in this first book of the series.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Heartcross Castle Christie Barlow 5*#Review @ChristieJBarlow @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #LoveHeartLane #BookReview #Humour #Romance #romcom #family #secrets #celebrity #HeartcrossCastle

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what.

A second chance…
When her grandfather Marley passes away Grace Power discovers she’s been left the beautiful but crumbling estate of Heartcross Castle. As a single mum of three, Grace has no idea what she’s going to do with it – but who can say no to a roof over their kids’ heads and a chance to get away from past hurts?

And a forever home
Heartcross Castle is full of secrets – especially a lost security deposit box that holds the truth to everything… But when celebrity chef Andrew Glossop sets his eyes on the castle and, to make matters worse mistakes Grace as the new housekeeper, Grace tells him there is absolutely NO CHANCE he is getting his hands on her home. Devastated to have got it so wrong, Andrew will do anything to make it up to her – but is she willing to listen?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Heartcross Castle is an engaging read. Grace is a likeable, strong character who puts her children first. The chance to escape from an abusive relationship takes her back to her hometown, and she soon finds support from friends despite her absence.

Believable characters and a vibrant setting immerse the reader in this story. The mix of humour and poignancy is perfect. Family secrets, renewal of old friendships and the chance of romance make this one of my favourite books in the Love Heart Lane series.

Christie Barlow

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Instagram Twitter Facebook


Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Festive Read, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Romance

A Cornish Christmas Murder Fiona Leitch 4*#Review @fkleitch @0neMoreChapter_ #Cosymystery #murdermystery #Cornwall #humour #crimefiction #festive #ACornishChristmasMurder #ANoseyParkerCosyMystery #BookReview

It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.

Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…

Secrets mull like wine on the stove in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?

A Cornish Christmas Murder is a must-read mystery full of heart and humour.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a festive, cosy mystery set in Cornwall. There are familiar characters and a classical locked room murder mystery. Jodie Parker is an ex-detective, who always finds, herself faced with solving murders. Ably assisted by her friend Debbie, young daughter Daisy, she tries to solve the gory murder that takes place, in a country house, just before Christmas.

This is a slow build mystery with intricate character building. It didn’t draw me in as quickly as the previous books. The murder mystery is well-plotted, and the characters are relatable, and there are pertinent touches of humour and poignancy.

This story is just the book to curl up with on a cosy winter’s afternoon.

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Read my review of A Brush with Death (Book2)

Read my review of A Sprinkle of Sabotage (Book3)

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at The North Literary Agency.

Twitter Pinterest

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Friday Read, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

Christmas Island Natalie Normann 5*#Review @NatalieNormann1 @0neMoreChapter_ @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours  #ChristmasIsland #Norway #Festive #Christmas #Romance #Friendship #BookTour #BookReview #FridayReads

Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!

In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable

After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Christmas Island captures Norwegian festive traditions with vibrant descriptions and vivid sensory imagery. Inclement weather and seemingly unending darkness show why a bright Christmas celebration is necessary for the islanders. The atmospheric opening chapters introduce Holly, a doctor running from her life and hoping to find solace on the island. Instead, she gets lost, wet and is frightened in her first few hours on the island.

Tor is living a reclusive life on the island and is a mystery to the friendly islanders. His cat Troy is the reason he meets Holly, and the two have an interesting dynamic. The friendship and eventual romance is gentle and reflects their past hurts. The sense of community and customs makes this a heartwarming and uplifting read.

Natalie Normann grew up in a shipping town on the west coast of Norway and always wanted to be a writer. Actually, she wanted to smoke cigars and drink whiskey like Hemingway but settled for chocolate and the occasional glass of Baileys.

Her writing journey started with short stories in women’s magazines until her first book was published in 1995.

Goodreads LinkTree