Posted in Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Romance

The Storm Girl Kathleen McGurl 5*#Review @KathMcGurl @HQStories @rararesources #Timeslip #HistFic #ContemporaryFiction #Adventure #Mystery #Family #Secrets #Betrayal #Loss #friendship #romance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheStormGirl #Mudeford

A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.

1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role of helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…

Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

In a dual timeline story set in Mudeford near Christchurch in Dorset, divorced, Millie moves into an old historic former Inn needing renovation; as the work progresses, the house begins to give up its secrets. In 1784 Ester lives and works in the Inn at Mudeford. She and many townsfolk are involved in smuggling. The sense of betrayal and danger immerses the reader in the historical part of this story. Historical details vibrantly bring 1784 Mudeford to life. The Inn is the link between the past and present, and the two interwoven timelines create an engaging story full of adventure, mystery and romance.

I love the clever plotting that links the two time periods, the believable characters and the mystery to be solved.

Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but her home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, New Books, Romance, Travel

Summer at the French Café Sue Moorcroft 5* #Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Romance #Family #Secrets #BlogTour #Summer #relationships #Alsace #France #BookCafé #Bookshop #Café @rararesources #Friendship #BookReview #SummerattheFrenchCafé

Sparkling sun, strolls in the gorgeous French countryside, that first sip of cool, crisp wine – Summer is Kat’s favourite season. And this year should be no exception…

As soon as Kat Jenson set foot in the idyllic French village of Kirchhoffen, she knew she’d found her home. Now she has a dreamy boyfriend, a delightful dog and the perfect job managing a bustling book café in the vibrant Parc Lemmel.

But when she learns her boyfriend isn’t all he seems, it’s the start of a difficult summer for Kat. Vindictive troublemakers, work woes and family heartache follow, and the clear blue sky that was her life suddenly seems full of clouds.

Then she gets to know the mysterious Noah, and her sun begins to shine brighter than ever. But Noah has problems of his own – ones that could scupper their new-found happiness. Together, can they overcome their many obstacles, and find love again?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

In the Alsace region of France, summer is not without its emotional complications for Kat, the manager of a bustling book café. Looking forward to a lovely summer in a job she loves, her relationship implodes with subsequent difficulties at work that threaten her career. Having her brother Solly and meeting the enigmatic Noah are the positive influences in her life, but they are not without problems, and Kat is reluctant to risk taking a chance on love again.

Romance is a theme of this story, but it’s conflicted with Kat and Noah’s emotional past and his current family drama. Blended families are another predominant theme explored through Kat and Noah’s experiences. Lies and secrets complicate their lives, and they have to work hard to be together.

Despite the angst and the drama, there are many lighthearted moments in this realistically plotted story, and I particularly enjoyed those with Kat’s cute dog Angelique. I also enjoyed the believably flawed characters, the storytelling, and the vibrant setting.

Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the #1 spot on Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Romance

Whisked into the Billionaire’s World Nina Singh 4*#Review @ninasinghauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #Romance #fairytale #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview

A proposal she can’t say no to!

When hotel manager Clairey has no choice but to halt the hotel’s most important wedding, she finds herself fired…and face to face with Drex, the groom’s billionaire brother. She’s stunned by his proposal that they fix the mess she’s made together! But, catapulted into Drex’s opulent world, Clairey’s unprepared for the inconvenient feelings that blur the lines of their convenient partnership…

 

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This sweet romantic story has a Cinderella vibe, and if you accept that this is closer to a fairytale than reality, it is a good relaxing read.

After a rash but well-motivated attempt to stop a wedding, Clairey is out of a job. Drex is used to clearing up after his younger brother, but now he has responsibility for his young niece and needs help. Clairey and Drex, both victims of a troubled upbringing, are attracted to the other on many levels, and their emotional connection is as strong as their physical attraction. Still, neither sees it, causing conflict in their fledgeling relationship.

Clairey seems very accepting, always falling in with Drex’s plans, but she is motivated by her love for him and his niece. Drex is under pressure from his vast business empire and unwilling to pursue his attraction and feelings for Clairey as he is her boss. Still, eventually, after much heart-searching, he realises he loves her.

This book is an escapist romantic story between two likeable protagonists who deserve their happy-ever-after.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Humour, Literary Humour, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Woman of a Certain Rage Georgie Hall 5*#Review @GeorgieHallUK @AriaFiction @HoZ_Books #WomanofaCertainRage #Women #Ageing #Menopause #humour #loss #repost #BookReview #paperback #publicationday

Eliza is angry. Very angry, and very, very hot.

Late for work and dodging traffic, Eliza’s still reeling from the latest row with her husband Paddy. Twenty-something years ago their eyes met over the class divide in oh-so-cool Britpop London, but these days their eyes only meet to bicker over the three-seat sofa.

Paddy seems content filling his downtime with canal boats and cricket, but Eliza craves the freedom and excitement of her youth. Being fifty feels far too close to pensionable, their three teenage children are growing up fast, and even the dog has upped and died. Something is going to have to change—menopause be damned!

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This story captures the essence of what it’s like for most women growing older, with a wealth of experience and knowledge but not to be seen. Eliza’s story immerses the reader in a myriad of emotions, there are many hilarious moments, but these are tempered by the fear, poignancy and the sense of loss.

Eliza is menopausal and suffering. Her body is unrecognisable, life’s pleasures seem a distant memory, and everyone appears to be getting on with their lives without her. This is an entertaining read written in an engaging but relatable way. It explores many issues that women at this stage of their life face.

It’s an easy read and will appeal to many women of a certain age.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Temptation in Istanbul Hana Sheik 4*#Review @HanaSoChic @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon @rararesources #MillsandBoonTrueLove #HarlequinRomance #BlogBlitz #BookReview #SecondChance #Romance #TemptationinIstanbul #publicationdaypush #publicationday

Escape to Istanbul, where a nanny may just tempt a bruised billionaire to give love a second chance in this heartwarming romance by Hana Sheik.

A single dad’s greatest temptation?

The nanny on his doorstep! 

Billionaire Faisal is anxiously awaiting custody of his little girl, who’s been living miles away with her mother. First, he must win the approval of her nanny, Maryan, who has travelled with her to Istanbul. While he shows Maryan the delights of his city, the instant attraction between them is hard to ignore. But Maryan leaves in two weeks, so Faisal must decide how much of his bruised heart he is prepared to risk…

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

Billionaire Faisal wants to reconnect with his young daughter, who he has seen little of since his break up with her mother. He is determined to make time for her in his busy life. Maryan wants Zara to be happy with her father, but she needs him to know what that requires, even if she oversteps.

Maryan and Faisel have an instant attraction that they both dismiss. Both have trust issues, and they live in different worlds. When Faisel asks Maryann to stay at his home to settle his daughter, they are in each other’s orbit, and the temptation to give in to their feelings is too powerful to resist.

Gentle romance full of internal and external conflicts. The characters are likeable, and you want them to find happiness together. I like the setting and the chemistry between Faisel and Maryan.

Hana Sheik

Hana Sheik falls in love every day reading her favourite romances and writing her own happy-ever-afters. She’s worked as a data entry operator, customer service rep, telemarketer, and ghostwriter—but being a romance author is without a doubt the best job ever! Born in Somalia, she moved to the beautiful capital of Canada as a toddler and still lives there happily with her family. She loves to hear from readers. Reach out to her on the contact page at hanasheik.com

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Giveaway to Win 3 x paperback copies of Temptation in Istanbul (Open to UK / Ireland / US & Canada)

Click on the giveaway link to enter.

*Terms and Conditions – UK / Ireland / US and Canada 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 Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Books, Romance

The Billionaire’s One-Night Baby Joss Wood 5*#Review #ScandalsofLeRouxWedding @JossWoodbooks @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #Romance #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #SouthAfrica

Bound forever…by one night!

South African billionaire Jago doesn’t believe in happily ever after. But a single breath-taking encounter with Dodi…that he believes in. Only now Dodi’s pregnant! And suddenly Jago can’t picture a future without their child – or her…

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The emotion and the passion match the sizzling hot climate of South Africa, the setting for this billionaire romance. Jago and Elodie Kate (Dodi) have always been in each other’s lives, as she is his sister’s best friend, but they have hardly talked, although they did share a passionate kiss years before.

Emotional and sensual, the chemistry between Jago and Elodie intensifies in her high-end wedding boutique. Wary of commitment after traumatic childhoods and past relationships, the unexpected pregnancy forces them to be honest about their true feelings and face their fears. Their conflicted romance takes them on an emotional rollercoaster with a romantic and satisfying conclusion.

I like the believable characters, family dynamics and passionate romance.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Romance

The Belladonna Maze Sinéad Crowley 5* #Review @SCrowleyAuthor @SineadCrowley @HoZ_Books #literaryfiction #dualtimeline #gothic #fantasy #mystery #romance #histfic #TheBelladonnaMaze #IrishFiction #supernatural #BookReview

An old house can hold many secrets. Hollowpark in the west of Ireland certainly does. At the heart of the gardens is an intricate maze, named after a deadly poison, Belladonna. If you know the way through, it’s magical, a hiding place and playground like no other. If you don’t, it’s a place of fear and sinister riddles, where a young girl once went missing and was never seen again.

Grace comes to Hollowpark as a nanny for young Skye FitzMahon. Soon the mysterious past of Hollowpark has seduced her. Who is the woman she sometimes glimpses in an upstairs window? Or the apparition who keeps showing up unexpectedly, pleading, ‘Find me.’ And how can she fight her growing attraction to Skye’s father?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Beginning with a telling incident in The Belladonna Maze in 1825, this story alternates between the nineteenth century and 2007. It is an absorbing medley of literary fiction with gothic and supernatural elements.

Lyrical and full of vibrant characters and vivid imagery, the story weaves its magic on the reader, immersing them in the maze and its secrets. It reads like a contemporary fairytale, and the reader is never sure what is fact and what is fantasy. Belladonna is known for its hallucinatory effects.

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

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim Jules Wake 5* Review @Juleswake @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #Women #friendship #romance #trust #family #romcom #YorkshireEscapes

She’s trying to figure out her future.

He’s trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, and a scruffy dog who just can’t help getting into trouble, a new community is formed – just when they all need each other the most.

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher.

My Thoughts…

This story admirably showcases this author’s skill in taking relatable characters in everyday circumstances and bringing out what is unique in each person and situation.

Ettie is still searching for a career that suits her. Initially, she appears to lack commitment and drive, but the reader soon appreciates this is not the case. I enjoyed getting to know Ettie and the friends she met whilst wild swimming. Each character has a unique story that emerges and adds to this read’s motivational and uplifting quality.

Dominic is driven and determined to make a success of his latest project, whether he enjoys it or not. His past tragedies define him, and meeting Ettie challenges him to think again. Their friendship and romance are lovely and full of humour, misunderstanding and passion. The many engaging elements in this story make it the perfect read to help you relax.

Jules Wake

Jules Wake is the internationally bestselling author of over ten books including The Saturday Morning Park Run. She also writes as Julie Caplin and her Romantic Escapes series has hit the bestseller charts around the world.

After reading English at the University of East Anglia, Jules Wake worked in PR where she honed her fiction writing skills on press releases.  She’s now a full-time author and what better job is there than making stuff up! It certainly beats housework.

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

It Started With A Kiss Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Love #Romance #Friendship #MondayBlogs @bookandtonic #Edinburgh #ItStartedWithAKiss

Can two strangers’ dreams lead to their destiny?


American Star Mendoza is living in her dream location, Edinburgh, a place she discovered in British novels while growing up.

Employed at a trendy city-centre coffee shop, quirky, pink-haired Star spends her days fantasising about a handsome businessman she serves daily.


He’s totally out of her league but a girl can dream, right?

Fin Hunter is exhausted from striving for his father’s elusive love and approval, and from following a life path of his family’s making.

When things go drastically wrong Fin decides it’s time to stand on his own two feet and follow his own dream.

Star is bereft when her handsome stranger stops coming to her coffee shop, but a chance encounter in the most unlikely of places leaves her wondering if her fantasy could now become a reality?

Can opposites attract over their love of a city and music or is their story simply doomed to fail?

Previously Published as ‘Star Attraction’

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

My Thoughts…

Star and Fin are opposites. She works in a coffee shop and is a free spirit; he is a successful lawyer, yet when they meet, there is a spark, and as their story plays out, they discover more similarities than differences in the things that matter.

Excellent characterisation and world-building draw the reader into this lovely couple’s lives. They are flawed and relatable, and as their relationship deepens, they help each other become their true selves. The vibrant setting complements a story full of angst and love.

I like the story’s immersive qualities that invest the reader in Star and Fin’s lives and make what happens matter.

Lisa Hobman

Lisa Hobman has written many brilliantly reviewed women’s fiction titles – the first of which was shortlisted by the RNA for their debut novel award. In 2012 Lisa relocated her family from Yorkshire to a village in Scotland and this beautiful backdrop now inspires her uplifting and romantic stories. Her first title for Boldwood Dreaming Under an Island Skye was published in February 2021.

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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.

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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.

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