Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel

Dreaming of Verona T.A.Williams 5*#Review @canelo_co @tawilliamsbooks @rararesources #DreamingofVerona #PublicationDayPush #BookReview

#DreamingofVerona

Verona is the City of Love. But will Suzie find romance there or, like Romeo and Juliet, will it all end in tears?

When Suzie is hired to accompany spoiled, abrasive Lady Alexandra Tedburn on an all-expenses-paid holiday to Italy, she fears the trip will be a disaster.

But she soon discovers there’s more to Alex than shopping and tantrums, and she’s determined to help her realise her potential – against Alex’s authoritarian father’s wishes.

As they settle in Verona, Suzie can’t stop thinking about local artist Michael, who is still mourning the tragic death of his wife. With Suzie’s future uncertain, and Michael’s past
holding him back, it seems there’s no hope for romance in the city of
star-crossed lovers… or is there?

A gorgeously uplifting and moving story

Amazon UK  Amazon

DreamingofVerona

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

My Thoughts…

This book is just what you need to read on a cold, cloudy, February afternoon. Romance and sunshine in Shakespeare’s Verona certainly hit the spot.

Suzie, gets the chance to be a paid companion to Lady Alexander Tedburn, and visit Italy, particularly Venice and romantic Verona. Not a historic romantic adventure, but a contemporary story of friendship, romance and travel despite the fact, Alex’s father’s ideas are firmly rooted in the nineteenth century.

Alex and Suzie’s friendship flourishes, and gradually Alex gains the confidence to believe in herself and follow her dreams, despite her father and his wealth.

Suzie is clever but yet to find her niche career, and lacks romance in her life. Verona is her dream destination, but will her dreams come true? Or end in tragedy like Shakespeare’s Juliet?

There is a lovely blend of friendship, humour, romance and travel in this story, which is written in the author’s usual engaging, knowledgeable style. Having visited Lake Garda, Verona and the surrounding area, the story bought back fond memories of the place and its culture, which is vividly described and gives the story its unique selling point for me.

The romance is angst-ridden and gentle but ultimately satisfying. The characters are diverse and realistic, and the plot is simple but full of interest and draws the story to a lovely hopeful conclusion for Alex and Suzie, both in terms of career and romance.

#TAWilliams

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations and, as a writer, I obviously have to go there in person and check them out first. I love my job…

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Posted in Book Post, Book Spotlight, Friendship, New Books, Romance

The Neighbours Nicola Gill #BookPost @Nicola_J_Gill @AvonBooksUK #BlogTour #Romance #TheNeighbours #Friendship #life #relationships #Paperback

Another lovely book through the post from debut author Nicola Gill. I’m taking part in her blog tour on February 28 2020

Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour…
 
Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap, she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards?
 
Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends…

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Getting Dirty Rachael Stewart 5* #Review @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonDare #HarlequinDare #PublicationDayPush @rararesources #Romance #Dare #GettingDirty #MillsandBoonInsider #Investigator #Socialite #BookReview #WeekendReads

#GettingDirty

Sometimes digging up the dirt

Means getting deliciously dirty…

I always work for the good guys. My job was simple: get the dirt on Coco Lauren, a princess of a socialite who talks—and plays—dirty. But I kissed her. I tasted her. Uncovered the tantalising woman beneath the polished façade. And she undid me in every way. Now I’m the bad guy. But how do I tell Coco the truth…when coming clean means losing her?

Amazon UK

#GettingDirty

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

My Thoughts…

You always know you’re in for a sensual treat when you read this author’s books.’ Getting Dirty’ delivers this and more. The characters are believably relatable, the pacing is fast, and the romance is conflicted, emotional and so sexy.

Ash has every reason not to like socialites, and he has no trouble digging up the dirt on Coco until he meets her. The attraction is instant and unwelcome, but undeniable, and soon he is drowning in a conflicted spiral of personal and professional.

Coco is hurting and vulnerable, trying to be what she knows her Granny wants but needing something to deaden the pain at the prospect of losing her. Ash is just a source of pain relief, isn’t he? Soon, she is in too deep, and far more emotionally exposed than she wants to be.

The dramatic irony of knowing that Ash’s secret will devastate Coco, and destroy any possibility of a future together, ramps up the story’s intensity. As you wait for the inevitable. Coco is likeable and you want her to be appreciated for who she is. Her maturity and ability to forgive, ultimately make this story perfect.

Ash has a lot to learn, and a great deal of emotional baggage to leave behind before he deserves Coco. His heart and instincts are good, but he’s blinkered by past hurts, and getting over these are difficult, and endanger his future happiness.

An emotionally honest, romantic adventure with a couple you can empathise and a happy ending they deserve.

#RachaelStewart

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heart-warmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it’s now her full-time pleasure, a dream come true. 

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

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Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Getting Dirty by Rachael Stewart (Open INT)

Click on Giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

Virgin River Robyn Carr 4*#Review @RCarrWriter @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #NetFlix #Romance #SmallTown #StartingOver #Loss #Grief #Friendship #Nursing #MillsandBoonInsiders #paperback


Sometimes all you need is a fresh start

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees an advert for a midwife in the remote town of Virgin River, she decides this is the perfect place to escape her heartache and to revitalise the nursing career she loves.

However, her hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is uninhabitable, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. But when a tiny baby is abandoned on a front porch, Mel must decide whether to stay and help or cut her losses and leave.

Helped by local barman, and former marine, Jack Sheridan Mel must face her past and finds that there may be a future in Virgin River after all.

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

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

#back cover #VirginRiver

My Thoughts…

Virgin River begins with a familiar and popular trope in the romance genre, of grieving widow, starting over in a small town, away from everything she knew before. Bereaved Melinda, takes up a midwife and nurse practitioner post in a remote rural small town Virgin River. She is promised cosy accommodation, a thriving medical practice in need of her skills and a lovely town to live in.

What she finds is less than ideal. Layered on top of her perilous emotional state, she feels like getting back in her car and heading back to the city, even if the memories there are too painful to live with.

An emotional event makes her stay in the short term because she’s not a quitter, but a consummate professional and big-hearted woman. Little by little the town and its inhabitants draw her in and she begins to enjoy the generosity, caring spirit of a small town, even if it is accompanied by gossip and mostly well-meant interference.

This idyllic story, which captures the small town ethos, has authentic, relatable characters, who you long to know more about. They are why it is an engaging read. There are many other books in this series, so it is likely your favourite will get their own story told, in a later book.

The romance is gentle and sensitive taking account of Melinda’s loss. Although it reflects conservative values to women, this is in keeping with the culture and setting. Contemporary issues are explored too, again viewed from a small town point of view, which is interesting and realistic.

There is a successful TV series based on the Virgin River books, and the quality of the characters and charm of the contemporary story shows why this is the case.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Guest post, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Moonlight Kisses at Willow Tree Hall Alison Sherlock 4*#Review @Aria_Fiction @AlisonSherlock #BlogTour #GuestPost #BookReview #TheWillowTreeHallSeries #MoonLightKissesatWillowTreeHall #RomCom #Romance #humour #rural #heartwarming #SecondChances

Lily Harper is an events organiser, but her neat, ordered world has just exploded. First she lost her job, then she lost her fiancé. Her five-year plan is looking increasingly shaky.

Lost and lonely, Lily heads home to her childhood village, and accepts the position of live-in housekeeper at the grand but welcoming Willow Tree Hall. It’s not exactly her dream job – Lily is more used to arranging parties than pantries – but at least she’s working.

Her first task is to arrange the Willow Tree Hall summer fete. Lily is in her element, writing to-do lists and organising bunting and baking – until her old flame Jack Carter turns up in the village. Lily hasn’t seen Jack in over ten years, when he sped off on his motorbike, taking with him the pieces of her broken heart.

Lily vowed she would never forgive him. But as Willow Tree Hall weaves its magic, Lily finds she might just give Jack a second chance after all…

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#BlogTour #Aria

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

My Thoughts…

Book 4, and the final one in the Willow Tree Hall series can be read as a standalone as Lily and Jack’s story is the focus. There are some familiar faces, for those of us who have read previous books in the series. and it’s good to reacquaint with those and see how their lives have moved on.

Lily and Jack, both have emotional baggage from their past to come to terms with, both individually and together. Their connection gives the story its slow-building sweet romance, with plenty of angst and anger to overcome.

The perilous state of the hall and the need to secure its future remains a perennial problem. Jack’s a catalyst in this, but friendship proves stronger than financial reward and makes you like him even more.

The authentically crafted, complex characters, and the delightful rural setting make this a lovely escapist story, perfect to read when you need a little me time.

Guest Post – Alison Sherlock – The Willow Tree hall Series – Inspiration

Moonlight Kisses at Willow Tree Hall is the last book in my Willow Tree Hall series. All of my previous books had been standalone but the idea for this series is to discover the lives and loves of those who live at Willow Tree Hall throughout all four books.

The idea for Willow Tree Hall actually came from watching Downton Abbey! I watched the programme and wondered what it would be like to live in a grand stately home in the present day. As I researched the subject, I realised that many of our country estates had fallen into disrepair due to the high running costs. And thus became the ‘eureka’ moment that began the plot for Book 1 in the series, Love Begins At Willow Tree Hall.

The renovation and transformation of Willow Tree Hall continue with Summer Secrets at Willow Tree Hall, A Winter Wedding at Willow Tree Hall and finally with Moonlight Kisses at Willow Tree Hall, although you don’t need to read them in any particular order.

I was a tiny bit worried about writing a series but it’s actually been great fun to write as I loved having the chance to catch up with my characters each time I began a new book.

This time, the story concentrates on Lily who is the head gardener’s grandaughter. Lily has been living in London so when she is forced to head back to the local village, it’s all a bit of a shock for her!

The hero is Jack, Lily’s very first love and cause of some major heartbreak in her past. They haven’t seen each other for almost a decade and so Lily has a huge shock when, as her new role of housekeeper, they bump into each other at Willow Tree Hall!

But it’s not just Lily and Jack who need to find their happy ever after. This time, the whole of Willow Tree Hall itself is in danger …

In fact, I am heartbroken to be leaving the Harris family and all their friends behind with this last book. Will I be able to leave the village of Cranley and Willow Tree Hall behind me forever? Never say never is my motto!

#AlisonSherlock

Alison Sherlock enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and a daft golden retriever. Twitter Facebook

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Extract, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

My One Month Marriage Shari Low 5* #Review @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks #Extract #BoldwoodBloggers #Family #Drama #Sisters #Secrets #Romance #Humour #BlogTour #BookReview

“I JUST NEED TO KNOW…WHICH ONE OF YOU SLEPT WITH MY HUSBAND?”

My One Month Marriage – Shari Low

You know that “till death do us part” bit in the wedding vows? Well, Zoe Danton believed it. One month after she said “I do”, the man she loved is gone, given his marching orders after Zoe discovered a devastating secret.

As teenagers facing a crushing loss, Zoe made a pact with her three sisters to stick together no matter what. Now she’s discovered that one of them may have been the reason her husband betrayed her. She’s lost her happy-ever-after, but has she lost a sister too?

Amazon UK eBook Paperback

#BoldwoodBloggers

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

My Thoughts…

Not the most uplifting of titles, but certainly one that starts you turning the pages. Whilst Zoe’s unfortunately short marriage draws you into this story, what you find within the pages is an excellent family drama, full of emotions, laughter, lies, loss and secrets and many poignant moments that make you think.

The characters and setting are authentic and relatable, and despite the different viewpoints and timescales, it’s easy to read. You care about the characters, whilst experiencing a gamut of emotions with them.

Zoe and her three sisters are close especially after the loss they suffered as young girls. The family drama affected each of them in differing ways as they coped with it, and the resultant women are on the surface strikingly different personalities. This is a complex story, moving between the sisters’ points of view and the past and present. You learn what has made them into the women they are, and the connection they have Zoe’s failed marriage.

Some of the storylines are repeated, seen from a different point of view, but this part of this author’s writing style and is not a negative, but a way to see why the characters are motivated to act as they do.

A lovely story of family and sisters and learning to let go of the past.

Extract from My One Month Marriage – Shari Low

But back to the point. Yvie and Marina are right. If I worked anywhere else – the Civil Service, Top Shop, NASA – then none of this would have happened.

And to quote everyone in the entire history of the world who ever messed up, I just wish I could go back in time and change so many things.

In fact, right now I’d settle for just understanding what has happened to my life because there are still so many questions. So many uncertainties.

My phone buzzes and I stretch over a ceramic planter in the shape of a pair of wellies (from Auntie Geraldine – she has a picture of Alan Titchmarsh on her kitchen wall) to retrieve it from the table beside the sofa.

Marina’s heels click into the room and in my peripheral vision I can see that she slides elegantly into the armchair by the window, plate of sushi in hand.

The name at the top of the notification makes my anxiety soar. Roger Kemp. Sadly, no relation to anyone who was ever a member of Spandau Ballet. Or that slightly scary bloke who played Grant Mitchell in EastEnders and now makes documentaries about criminal gangs and serial killers.

With a shaking thumb, I swipe open the message.

Roger Kemp is a friend and client, the director of a hotel chain that employs our agency for all its marketing needs. After the proverbial hit the fan, I’d asked him for a favour. A slightly underhand, confidentiality-breaching, possibly borderline-illegal favour. With a bit of luck, the bloke that makes the documentaries about true crime won’t find out about it.

I’d asked Roger to check on who paid for a room in one of his hotels last weekend, on the night that my husband broke his vows only thirty days after making them. You know, that fairly insignificant one about being faithful in good times and bad. You see, I know it wasn’t my husband because he’d put his credit cards in my handbag that evening, so it must have been someone else. The other woman.

The thought forces me to take another swig of the unidentifiable pink cocktail.

Anyway, the favour I’d requested of Roger would mean asking someone in his financial team to pull up the credit card records and sharing the sordid details with me.

Now I stare in disbelief at the answer, typed right there on the screen of my phone.

#ShariLow

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter and With Or Without You and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow and her first title for Boldwood will be My One Month Marriage in January 2020.

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#MyOneMonthMarriage
Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Romance

Rewrite The Stars Emma Heatherington 5*#Review @emmalou13 @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Family#Drama #Romance #MentalHealth #relationships #life #serendipity #BookReview

It’s never too late to say I love you…

From the moment they meet one December day there’s something between Charlotte Taylor and her brother’s best friend, Tom Farley. But Tom’s already taken and Charlie has to let him go…

It’s another five years before their paths cross again only a secret from the past forces Charlie to make a choice. She promises herself she’ll never look back…

The years pass and Charlie moves on with her life but she can never forget Tom. He’s always there whispering ‘What if?’.

Can Charlie leave the life she has built for one last chance with Tom?  Or is the one that got away not really the one at all…?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK- Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A heartwarming, serendipitous story, about Charlotte’s life and loves. At twenty-two, she meets the one, but there’s someone else in Tom’s life, and the love remains unrequited. The story continues with chance meetings, but life events force them apart.

Music is a recurrent theme in this story, reflecting life events and changes in emotions.

The romance is chequered, but Charlotte faces family tragedies and difficult decisions that shape her as a person. The impact of mental health issues on families is explored with sensitivity. The idea that our lives could be different if we’d made another choice is also a theme of this emotional story. As Charlotte matures and changes, as life events occur.

There is a strong sense of place in this story that grounds it, adds interest and give it authenticity.
The characters are realistic and draw you into their world.

The ending is plausible and positive.