When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves into her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?
Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.
Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review
Part three of ‘Wildflower Park‘, aptly called ‘Oopsy Daisy’, follows on from the cliffhanger at the end of part two, Heavily pregnant Sophie, Anna’s best friend has left her husband. The early chapters are emotional, but there are plenty of funny moments too, as Sophie and Anna discuss the state of her marriage. There are some touching scenes with Bill, humour with Maurice(the cat) and Anna wonders if she really is cut out for the single life.
Anna undergoes significant character development in this story. Illustrated by scenes with her ex Liam, Hudson, her attractive work colleague, and Connor, the man she met by mistake. She’s in a quandary, should she hold out for her soulmate, settle for what’s available, or go it alone?
A new opportunity forces her to face her past fears and this part of the story ends with something unexpected. I’m off to read part four, I can’t wait.
Angela keeps a roof over her head, albeit a leaking one, by writing romance novels. But, Angela’s never really believed in the traditional happily ever after ending. So, she begins writing the story of Grace, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer shortly after finding out her husband Rick is having an affair. Again.
As she writes the story to dispel the myth of happily ever after, Angela begins a relationship with Mark, the contractor who comes to fix her leaking roof, and ironically, it looks like she may be on the way to her own happy ending. But Angela’s had a difficult past and has a cynical outlook, while Mark’s life has just gotten messy. Angela wonders if this is all going to work out.
Grace lies in bed at night, wondering if what Rick wants to give her, and what he is capable of giving her, are two different things. She asks Rick to move out temporarily, while they try to assess their marriage. She wonders how she can get such comfort and security from a man who cheated on her.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
As with her previous novel ‘ A Path to the Lake’, the author delivers an original plot, believable characters and a story with a unique charm. ‘Full of Grace’ is told from two points of view. Angela, a romance writer, never seems to find the ‘happily ever after’ she writes in her romances, and Grace, the character created by Angela as a conduit of her new writing style.
Through writing Grace’s story as she searches for her new purpose in life, Angela finds challenges in her own life, which make her realise that romance is possible in the real world too.
This is an engaging read, the characters are easy to empathise and you become invested in their lives. The pacing is perfect and the story easy to read. This is a story of ordinary people facing life’s mercurial challenges. It is the strength of the characters and the relatability of the plot that makes it such an enjoyable read.
A forbidden love affair. A long-buried secret. A journey that will change everything.
Morocco, 1984. High in the Atlas Mountains, Hanane’s love for Irishman Gus is forbidden. Forced to flee her home with the man she loves, Hanane is certain she’s running towards her destiny. But she has made a decision that will haunt her family for years to come.
London, 2009. When Addy discovers a mysterious letter in her late father’s belongings, she journeys to Morocco in search of answers. But instead, she finds secrets – and is quickly pulled into a world that she doesn’t understand.
And when history starts to repeat itself, it seems her journey might just change the person she is forever
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Addy has survived illness and when her estranged father dies, she finds old photographs, one of which contains a happy image of her father Gus, and a woman she doesn’t know, The back of the photo is dated 1984 Morocco.
She sets off on a journey of discovery, hoping to get to know her father better. She falls in love with Morocco but finds more questions than answers and risks repeating history.
The setting for this story is beautifully described. The vivid images immerse the reader, in the culture and ethos of Morocco. I like the timeslip story best, but unfortunately, the plot doesn’t allow this to be explored to its full potential. Whilst this faithfully represents what Addy discovers, from a reader’s point of view it would have been preferable to spend more time in 1984.
The characters whilst complex and interesting are hard to empathise in most cases. The pacing is a little slow and there is perhaps too much emphasis on the setting rather than the characterisation and plot.
An interesting read of forbidden love in a different culture.
A stolen sister. A daughter determined to uncover the truth.
Belle Hatton has embarked upon an exciting new life far from home: a glamorous job as a nightclub singer in 1930s Burma, with a host of sophisticated new friends and admirers. But Belle is haunted by a mystery from the past – a 25-year-old newspaper clipping found in her parents’ belongings after their death, saying that the Hattons were leaving Rangoon after the disappearance of their baby daughter, Elvira.
Belle is desperate to find out what happened to the sister she never knew she had – but when she starts asking questions, she is confronted with unsettling rumours, malicious gossip, and outright threats. Oliver, an attractive, easy-going American journalist, promises to help her, but an anonymous note tells her not to trust those closest to her. . .
Belle survives riots, intruders, and bomb attacks – but nothing will stop her in her mission to uncover the truth. Can she trust her growing feelings for Oliver? Is her sister really dead? And could there be a chance Belle might find her?
I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Such an evocative read, this story of loss, political unrest and a quest for the truth takes place in Burma during the 1930s, with slips back in time to 1911 and the 1920s.
Belle has left England, for a life as a singer in exotic Rangoon. She’s not the usual type of singer they have, but her talent and independent spirit bring her both admirers and adversaries.
Her mother’s failing mental health blighted her childhood, but after her father’s death, she discovers her parents once lived in Rangoon and had and lost a child there. Can this terrible tragedy explain her mother’s illness and what happened to her missing sister?
Belle’s search for the fate of her missing sister reveals more questions and answers, Oliver an attractive journalist offers to help, but can she trust his motives, or should she rely on the establishment to help her?
The plot is engaging. The perfect pacing adds to the story’s sense of mystery and menace. The political climate is dangerous, and Belle shows her emotional strength as she witnesses unspeakable violence and prejudice.
Full of powerful imagery, both in terms of the geographical and historical setting and the vivid characterisation, this story enthrals the reader. There is a mystery to solve a family tragedy to witness and empathise, and a lovely romance.
A lovely escapist read, which will touch your emotions and inspire your imagination.
Escape to the cosiest little lodge in Iceland for love, log fires and the Northern Lights…
With a shattered heart and her career completely in tatters, Lucy needs to get away from her life in the UK. But, when she takes a job as hotel manager of the Northern Lights Lodge, she doesn’t quite expect to find herself in a land of bubbling hot springs and snowflake-dusted glaciers – and in the company of gorgeous Scottish barman, Alex.
Determined to turn her life around, Lucy sets about making the lodge the number one romantic destination in Iceland – even though romance is the last thing she wants. However, as Alex and Lucy grow closer under the dancing lights of the Aurora, Lucy might just learn how to fall in love again…
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
If your reading likes include romance, delicious food, stunning settings and believable characters, the Northern Lights Lodge is the perfect book for you. The fourth book in the #Romantic Escapes series, it tells the story of Lucy and Alex as they fall under the spell of the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Lucy’s life is not what she imagined. She’s lost her prestigious job, her reputation and her lover. She doesn’t want to work at a remote hotel in Iceland but it’s her only option. Alex is tired of being Mr Nice Guy, he never gets the girl and even though he knows he made the right decision about Nina, it hurts.
The plot is simple but effective and you learn lots about Iceland, its customs, food and people. The romance is a lovely mix of sweet and sensual, and even when you think everything is okay, Alex’s secret threatens their future happiness.
Important current social issues are explored in this book, which shows the growth of Lucy’s emotional strength, as she realises her true worth.
The ending is magical. It gives this couple the life they deserve, on their own terms, providing you can be kind and caring and win..
I received a paperback copy of this book from Head of Zeus Books in return for an honest review.
If like me you believe in fate and love the film ‘Serendipity’, you’ll enjoy this well-written ‘what if’ story. Most people in a long-term relationship wonder, whether they are with their soulmate, or if under different circumstances they would be with someone else. This story explores Liv’s decision taken at the cusp of the 21st-century, stay with Nate or split up and live their lives apart.
A story of two halves, the outcome of being ‘without him’ is explored first and then ‘with him’. There’s friendship, conflict, romance and sadness but the ultimate conclusion is satisfying in both stories. The setting and relationships are believable, and though flawed, the characters endear themselves to the reader, and you want them to find happiness and fulfilment.
The pacing of the story makes it easy to read, and even though the storyline focuses on ordinary, everyday life, it is full of suspense, poignancy, laughter and love and makes this a lovely lighthearted read.
Guest Post – Serendipity – Shari Low
Some may have said it was serendipity. Some
may call it love at first sight. But when a complete stranger walked towards me
one night 25 years ago, I smiled because I knew I was in the right place at the
right time. A week later we got engaged, and we’ve stuck together through a
lifetime of children, books, ups, downs, dodgy fashion choices (but perms were
so in!) and a labradoodle.
However, what would have happened if we hadn’t
met? Would someone else have been the love of my life? Would I never have found
this kind of happiness? Would I have married a rock star and settled for a life
of loud music, wanton behaviour and leather trousers?
Actually, I quite like the sound of that
Or perhaps that chance meeting was meant to
happen, and we were somehow destined to cross paths, if not that night, then at
some other point in the future.
Those thoughts were the starting point for my
new novel With Or Without You.
The main characters, Nate and Liv, have been together since they were teenagers. Now in their mid-twenties, their all-consuming love has faded to friendship and they’ve decided that their marriage has run its course. They agree to separate at midnight on the final day of 1999, but at the last minute, Nate wavers. The storyline then splits into two strands, one following the couple over the next eighteen years if they stay together, the other if they part.
Will they find each other again? Or will
they discover a greater love elsewhere? Does serendipity really exist, or is
everyone’s fate already pre-determined, our lives like tangled paths that will
end at the same destination no matter what choices we make?
As the stories unfold, Nate and Liv, and the people who share their lives discover the answers to those questions.
As for me? Excuse the uncharacteristic
sentimentality, but I’ll never regret being in that place at that time and
meeting that bloke.
Leather trousers go out of fashion. Soul
mates never do.
With Or Without You was published in
paperback by Aria on 7th Feb 2019
Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including With Or Without You, Another Day In Winter, One Day In December, A Life Without You and The Story Of Our Life. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift.
Self-made businesswoman Lucinda Graves is determined to add a tropical hotel to her company’s empire—and devastatingly handsome owner Jason Kaoki is willing to negotiate… But only if Lucinda rises to each challenge he sets! Lucinda passes every test, but as each dare grows hotter and wilder than the last will she be able to keep her eyes on the prize?
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review
Sizzling hot from the start and I don’t just mean the weather. Lucinda finds that doing business on a remote Pacific Island has a completely different set of rules.
Lucinda and Jason are successful and rich, both have known physical and emotional hardship and it has left its scars. Relationships have not featured in either of their lives to date. Both players, they embark on a series of sensual games. They both want to win, but neither expect the prize to be so life-changing.
This is an intense story, concentrating on the couple. There are some surprisingly poignant moments as their earlier lives are revealed. The romance is hot and explicit as expected in the Dare series. There is romance too, but it follows in the wake of their physical awakening.
The ending chapters are romantic and allow the reader to see how far the characters have developed since their first meeting. This is part of a series but reads well as a standalone story.
A story for those who like glamorous, hot romantic stories,
Abandoned as a small child, Annabelle Smith has only vague memories of her past. Now living as a healer in London’s poverty-stricken East End, she receives a life-changing visit from the rich and imposing Lytton Staines, Earl of Thornton. He needs a cure for his ailing sister and helping him thrusts Belle into his dazzling life of luxury. But it’s Lytton who makes her world come alive!
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
An elegant Earl is not the usual visitor at Miss Anabelle Smith’s rented accommodation It is her reputation as a healer that draws him to her, but when they meet there is instant chemistry. The plot is fast paced and has clever twists, which gradually reveal the puzzle of Anabelle’s former life.
The romance is charming. Lytton is an honourable character and Anabelle, self-reliant and kind, they deserve their happy ending, but are their backgrounds and the conflicts that befall them too diverse and numerous?
This is the third book in the ‘Gentlemen of Honour’series, but the first one I have read, and it is a good standalone read. However, the characters from previous books, who feature briefly here, make me want to read their stories too,
Romantic, full of secrets and simmering passion this Regency romance is the perfect escape for an hour or two.
The glamour of Hollywood. The magic of the Tuscan countryside. One big decision…
Beatrice Kingdom (Bee to her friends) wakes up in hospital in Tuscany. After an accident on a film set leaves her burned and scarred, she feels her whole life has been turned upside down.
Bee is offered the chance of recuperating in a stunning Tuscan villa in the company of a world-famous film star, the irascible Mimi Robertson. Here amid the vines and olive groves, Bee quickly finds there’s more to the place than meets the eye, not least a certain Luca(and Romeo the dog).
As she comes to terms with her injuries and her new life takes shape, Bee will have to travel a road of self-discovery… and make a huge decision.
I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Bee’s life will never be the same again. After a near-fatal accident on a film set in Siena, she takes the chance to recuperate and rediscover who she is. Her film star companion, is diva-like, and she’s never lived in the country, but she never been physically scarred before and she needs time to come to terms with the new her. A remote Tuscan villa is a perfect place for this.
The characters in this story are complex and authentic and the well-paced plot is full of romance, self-realisation, mystery and humour. Culture, cuisine and celebrity give the story its vivacity and Romeo, the Labrador is perfectly described, and so lovable. The Tuscan setting comes to life in this story and you can imagine the vineyards, hills and history that epitomises it.
A lovely story of food, glamour, history and love with a memorable Italian flavour and setting.
T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing. Twitter @TAWilliamsBooks