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

Starlight Cottage K.T.Dady 4*#Review #PepperBay @kt_dady @rararesources #IsleofWight #Friendship #family #Romance #secondchances #community #BlogTour #BookReview #StarlightCottage #mentalhealth

Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, drama, friendship, and love.

Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight.

The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories that intertwine with recurring characters.

Starlight Cottage – Anna Cooper and Jake Reynolds both live at the luxury London building, River Heights. The only difference is that Jake lives in the penthouse, and Anna lives in a tent on the roof.

When Jake finds out, he offers Anna a chance of a new life in his grandmother’s childhood home in Pepper Bay, and she decides to take the opportunity to see if she really can make a fresh start somewhere else.

The beauty of Pepper Bay, with its quaint shops, chocolate box cottages, and all of Jake’s closest friends, immediately fills Anna’s heart with nothing but love, and it isn’t just Starlight Cottage that she finds herself falling in love with.

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

My Thoughts…

The first meeting between Anna and Jake isn’t promising, but it introduces the characters succinctly and adds some lovely touches of humour and poignancy. Max the dog is a lovely character, the perfect friend, and matchmaker. Pepper Bay proves to be their salvation, with its caring, kindly intrusive community and coastal beauty. Both characters have emotional journeys to travel to reach their happy place, and the reader is immersed in their story and wants them to get there.

This is a gentle romance with believable characters that is an engaging read.

Author, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.

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

Love on Location Lynne Shelby 5*#Review @LynneB1 @AccentPress #Romance #Movies #Greece #Kyros#SummerRead #Scriptwriter #LoveonLocation #Relationships #Friendships @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Can movie magic lead to a real-life romance?

When Laurel Martin is hired to rewrite the script for a new timeslip blockbuster, she expects the historical advisor hired by the studio to be an elderly academic who won’t interfere too much with her writing. But when she meets Professor Jason Harding, a young and unexpectedly handsome archaeologist who has some ideas of his own about the script, she realises the job isn’t going to be as simple as she first thought.

As their work takes them from arguing over historical details in a cramped London office to discovering the hidden beauties of a Greek island, Laurel and Jason’s relationship starts to echo the romance of their script.

But with Laurel’s actor ex-boyfriend making trouble at home, and constant issues with the volatile director, will Laurel and Jason ever be able to write the happy ending for their own story?

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

My Thoughts…

Set against the background of the filmmaking industry, this story immerses the reader in the world of scriptwriting, glamorous locations and exacting directors.

Laurel is asked to revise a script with the help of Jason, a historical advisor. She hopes this is her chance to write movie scripts full-time. Life is more complex than the script she writes in her mind. Jason is an academic and an archaeologist. The couple clash over the script but gradually realise together they are a talented team.

Vivid descriptions of the locations, and the glamour and unpredictability of the film industry, make this an informative read. The perfect Summer escape is completed with believably flawed vibrant characters and realistically crafted romance.

Lynne Shelby

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, ‘French Kissing’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition. She has done a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actor’s chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance, Travel

A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanauth @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #AChristmasWeddingintheCotswolds #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship # #uplit #wedding #festive

What could be more festive than a winter wedding in the picturesque English countryside? Join us for Christmas in the Cotswolds with the bestselling Lucy Coleman

Imogen Tolliman and Gray Adams can’t wait to get married after getting engaged the previous year, when they were stranded by snow in a blizzard. Now they are busy planning their wedding, but when the date slips six months because Gray is working on a huge film project, it seems like fate that after their snowy start, they will end up getting married at Christmas.

The couple are living in Immi’s grandfather’s picturesque lock-keeper’s cottage at the Aysbury
marina in the Cotswolds, which they are renovating to become their forever family home. As well as building work, full-time jobs and wedding planning, Immi is in charge of raising money to build a children’s playground, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Santa Ahoy Cruises – her grandfather Tollie’s life work
.

When Gray is suddenly forced to travel abroad, Immi is left to cope with everything alone, and
before long, even the best-laid plans start to wobble. When a terrible betrayal is uncovered, the whole community of Aysbury is left reeling, and Immi is left wondering if there will be a wedding after all…

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to an unforgettable Cotswolds Christmas full of romance and laughter, friendship and family and much-loved festive traditions.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts

With characters we first met in Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this is a lovely heartwarming story of community, friendship, love and secrets. Planning her wedding keeps getting further down Immi’s to-do list. She needs help but doesn’t like to ask. Events conspire until compromises and accepting she can’t do everything alone is inevitable. This story reads well as a standalone as salient details of their lives so far are integrated into this story.

The characters are believably flawed, and the sense of community is uplifting. The conflicts Immi faces are relatable, and this is a journey of self-belief and self-discovery for her. The sense of place and season is vividly described.

A lovely rural story with engaging characters and a picture postcard setting.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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Read my review of Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage

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

Meet Me in Tahiti Georgia Toffolo 4*#Review @ToffTalks @MillsandBoon #Romance #SecondChances #memories #Tahiti #BookReview #MeetMeinTahiti #MeetMe #MillsandBoonInsiders @AvrilTremayne

Where there’s always a second chance at first love…

Zoe has spent her life facing battles: fighting her parents for independence, struggling with her feelings for local bad boy Finn and, after a car accident at eighteen, adjusting to the fact she would not walk again. She remained strong until the day Finn, the person she thought she could trust, broke her heart… Now a successful travel writer, Zoe is excited to review a new luxury hotel in the beautiful South Pacific – until she meets its owner…

Finn was never good enough for Zoe. He knew it. Zoe’s family knew it. The village of Hawkes Cove made sure he knew it. Proven when he let her down in the worst way possible. Now a successful businessman, he thought his past was behind him, until a journalist turns up to review his new resort…

As Finn shows Zoe the exotic wonders of the islands both face the fact their shared past might just be the beginning of a future. But only if Zoe can win the biggest battle of her life…facing up to her heart’s desire.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in romantic Tahiti, Zoe and Finn meet again after twelve years and find that the attraction still burns brightly between them but are they brave enough to overcome past differences? Zoe is a travel writer who explores holiday resorts to discover their accessibility. Zoe’s story is a journey of self-discovery, coming to terms with her past and taking a second chance at love with Finn. The story features Victoria, Lily and Malie and is told from Zoe and Finn’s viewpoints.

The setting is well described, and the friendship dynamic between the women is pivotal to the story and well written. This is an enjoyable chapter in the Meet Me series, humorous, poignant and romantic.

Read my review of Meet Me in London

Read my review of Meet Me in Hawaii

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

The Affair Hilary Boyd 4*#Review @HilaryBoyd @PenguinUKBooks @MichaelJBooks #FamilyDrama #Relationships #psychologicalsuspense #BookReview #TheAffair

A SUMMER SHE WILL REMEMBER FOREVER. BECAUSE HE WON’T LET HER FORGET . . .

Escape to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Como in the irresistible and gripping new novel from the million-copy bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park, The Anniversary and The Lie

Connie McCabe longs for the summer where she spends the days leading tours across Europe.

But it’s on the glamorous shores of Lake Como where she is truly swept away, when Jared, a much younger man, falls for her.

Despite resisting his advances Connie finds that he’s got under her skin.

And so begins a long, hot, intoxicating summer where Connie succumbs and breaks her marriage vows.

At the end of the season Connie returns home to her husband, wanting to put this affair behind her.

But Jared has other ideas . . .

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK- Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The emotion and intensity of this immersive family drama draw the reader into Connie’s world. She is believably flawed and easy to empathise with. The affair is brief and easy for Connie to compartmentalize from her daily life. Her crumbling marriage and lack of response from her husband make her vulnerable to flirtation. The inevitable consequences are devastating for her and her family. Her friendships are strong, which help her come to terms with her imploding life. The twist is cleverly woven into the story and allows for an impactful, poignant conclusion.

This is an absorbing read with relatable characters and scenarios.

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

The Seaside Cocktail Campervan Caroline Roberts 5*#Review @_caroroberts @0neMoreChapter_ @fictionpubteam #BookReview #Northumberland #Romance #family #Weddings #campervan #cocktails #Friendship #secrets #TheSeasideCocktailCampervan

Bringing love, laughter and friendship from coast to coast…

*The new heatwarming and cosy romance from Caroline Roberts – the only seaside escape you need this summer!*

Next stop: seaside, sunshine and romance!

When Lucy isn’t in her cosy cottage by the sea, she’s winding through the Northumberland coast with her loveable Dachsund Daisy, cooking up a storm at the local village celebrations. Inspired by her Italian Poppa, Lucy’s chasing a new dream with her pizza van business. And at one particular party she meets Jack, the brooding but gorgeous owner of the Cocktail Campervan.

Wary of repeating mistakes of the past, Lucy and Jack keep it strictly business. But as the summer drifts by in a swirl of garden parties, fun and fizz, laughs and celebrations, and as the cocktail campervan creates the community they so desperately need, romance starts to blossom – one stop at a time…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has all the qualities I’ve come to expect from this author’s books. Romance full of conflict and emotional connection, friendship, family drama and a lovely mix of humour, poignancy and recipes to complete the collection.

Contemporary and relevant, we follow Jack (the cocktail campervan man) and Lucy(the All Fired Up pizza woman) as they travel Northumberland’s coastal and rural regions at various celebratory events. Both are in an emotional wasteland from failed relationships and family tragedy. Despite their growing attraction, they fear loss more than they crave love.

This book explores the couple’s emotional journey. It’s highlighted by interesting events that add authenticity and depth to this lovely story. The descriptions immerse the reader in this mobile catering world with picturesque settings and mouthwatering recipes.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

A Blues Singer to Redeem Him Elle Jackson 4*#Review @readellejackson @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistFic #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #1920s #NorthAmerica #BookReview #ABluesSingertoRedeemHim

Nights at the speakeasy…

Spark a dangerous romance

Evelyn Laroque’s performances at Lorenzo De Luca’s Kansas City blues club draw even bigger crowds than his bootleg whiskey. And every time he hears her voice, Lorenzo falls a little harder for the achingly beautiful blues singer. When Evelyn becomes a target for the KKK, Lorenzo faces an impossible choice. Will this son of a gangster turn to the mob if it’s the only way to protect the woman he loves?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The author captures this violent period of North American history succinctly. The story has a dramatic and devastating beginning, but it draws the reader into this time of lawlessness.

Evelyn is still grieving from losing her parents in a violent massacre but determined to realise her dream of being a singer whilst helping her grandmother. Lorenzo is the heir to the De Luca family, entrenched in the mob. He wants to do things differently, but his father’s influence is great. Lorenzo has powerful enemies and someone he wants to protect, but can he do it his way?

This is an atmospheric story with detailed world-building that doesn’t shy away from the prejudice and violence of the 1920s. The romance between Evelyn and Lorenzo is riven with conflicts. They both realise that any relationship would put the other in danger of reprisal, but the attraction is great and the gradual emotional connection even more compelling. The romance is forbidden but inevitable with courageous characters who the reader wants to find happiness.

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

A MidwinterMatch Jane Lovering 4*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #love #life #friendship #romance #rivals #secrets #self-belief @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #AMidwinterMatch

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first winter-themed book of the year and gives the reader so much more than a cosy winter read. Ruby and Zac are counsellors who find they both have to compete for the same job after a company merger. Told from Ruby’s viewpoint, we realise she is recovering from a bad break-up, being in debt and losing her home. Zac is outwardly positive and self-assured, but as the two are drawn into forced proximity, they begin to see the true person behind the facade and become friends.

The setting in a wintry York is wonderfully described and immerses the reader in this festive setting. The characters are flawed and relatable, all with stories to relate that add to the book’s authenticity. The story has a strong focus on mental health and its triggers which make it contemporary and relevant. There is a balance of humour and poignancy. The reader wants the characters to have what they deserve in life in this engaging story.

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home. 

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Books, Romance

Beauty in the Billionaire’s Bed Louise Fuller 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsider #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #Romance #Proximity #Northumberland #preorder #August19 #BeautyintheBillionairesBed

The temperature is rising for this adventurous billionaire when he encounters a gorgeous stranger in this sexy forced-proximity story by Louise Fuller!

An uninvited guest
An undeniable desire!

Billionaire explorer Arlo Milburn returns home to his secluded mansion to find an unexpected beauty sleeping in his bed! Learning that Frankie Fox is a social media influencer does nothing to inspire his trust. It’s been a while since Arlo welcomed anyone into his solitary life…

However, stranded with Frankie while a storm rages outside, Arlo discovers her glamorous persona shields a warm, wounded young woman who touches him in ways he hadn’t thought possible. Attraction may have brought them together, but can it break down his walls entirely?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A passionate encounter on a Northumberland island brings Frankie and Arlo together. This is an atmospheric and emotional romance with a contemporary edge. There are believable characters, sexy encounters and a growing emotional connection between the couple. The internal conflicts are relatable, and the romance is hot. This is the perfect romantic escape for those who like sensual romance.

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 @HoZ_Books #WomanofaCertainRage #Women #Ageing #Menopause #humour #loss #BookReview

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!

Woman of a Certain Rage is a smart and funny novel for all the women who won’t be told it’s too late to shake things up, and Eliza is a heroine many will recognise. She may sweat a lot and need a wee all the time, but she has something to prove. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from ‘Head of Zeus’ via NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

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.