Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour – Finding Dreams Lauren Westwood – Extract and 5* Review

When Lizzie Green opens up her house to be used as a set for a film based on a bestselling romance novel, she has no idea how her life will change. A heartwarming story of love and second chances.

Lizzie Greene is about to lose everything when her husband suddenly dies, and his debts come to light.

To make ends meet she opens up her quirky old house to be used as a set for a film based on a bestselling romance novel. Her life and household are turned upside down when a whole cast of colourful characters enters her family’s lives: from an enigmatic author, a handsome location scout, a brooding director, to a heart-throb leading man, never mind her now ex-mother-in-law camped out in her drive. As Lizzie delves deeper into the film’s book, all is not as it seems.

Will her desire to save her house and unravel the secrets of the past lead to new love, or to mortal danger?

Links to buy

 Amazon: http://amzn.to/2odyMci

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2EFOozB

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ESS4Nz

iBooks: https://apple.co/2sCUURQ

Extract

‘Chapter 1

January – ten months later

On the scale of human tragedies, ‘Sussex mum loses husband’ is a drop in the ocean. It’s not like I’ve been forced to leave the country due to war or disease or famine. It’s not like I’m having to live with the guilt of suicide or the drain of terminal illness. I haven’t even suffered the shame of having my husband run off with a toned and tanned other woman many years my junior to start a new life. Dave, it turned out, had a weak heart – it gave out suddenly and unexpectedly. People live, and people die; ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

Even now, I can still hear the voice of the priest intoning these futile words, as the coffin was lowered into the earth. They screamed in my head like fingernails scratching across a blackboard, and I felt like they might pull me down with him. Why hadn’t Dave given instructions to be cremated? Why would he want to be buried in a wooden box in the ground? That little detail became the hook, the outlet for my grief. It just seemed so pointless – so bloody cold – to lie there forever in the dank darkness, all alone except for the bugs and worms. It just seemed so bloody Dave.

A light coating of frost covers the ground as I pull into the car park of Westbury Junior School. The sky is heavy and overcast. Though it’s already the end of January, spring feels very far away. The heater in the car is going full tilt, but still, I can’t stop shivering. Not with the cold, but with the decision I made, last night, lying in bed sleepless and alone. That I can’t put off any longer this thing, I’ve been dreading. I have to do it today.

As I look round for a space, I practise deep breathing like the grief books say to do – trying to find a moment of stillness and inner peace. Life has definitely thrown me lemons, but didn’t some wise old sage say that when that happens, you should ‘make lemonade’?

Jamming on the brakes, I narrowly miss being mown down by a Range Rover reversing into a compact car space.

‘Arsehole,’ I mutter, directed both at that wise old sage and the other vehicle.

‘Jeez, Mum,’ Katie grumbles. ‘You’re such a bad driver.’

‘Thanks.’ I swallow back what I really feel like saying to my nine-going-on-nineteen-year-old daughter. I know she’s having a hard time right now with having lost her dad and the pressures of Year 4, but for some reason, I’ve become the focus of her issues. Even though I’m trying my best to keep my own worries from the kids and be strong for their sake, they aren’t stupid. Once or twice, Katie’s found me crying my eyes out. On those occasions, we hugged each other, and she cried too. I’ve let her go on believing that I’m upset only because I miss her dad – her loveable, squeezable, just-a-little-dull dad, rather than the real reason. The rest of the time, she acts like I’m Colonel Mustard in the library with the lead pipe, solely responsible for how bad she’s feeling at the moment.

I find a space in the far corner of the car park. Katie gets out and unloads her rucksack. I try to hand her her coat, but she looks at me like I’m some kind of alien life force. With a sigh, I get out of the car and go round to the side to unbuckle Jack from his car seat.

‘Luv you, Mummy,’ he says, smearing a sticky hand on my jumper.

‘Me too, pumpkin.’ I lift him out. His trousers are soaking wet. While my love for him in no way diminishes, it blurs right out of focus. ‘Jack!’ I say. ‘You went to the potty before we left!’

His plump little face screws up and all of a sudden he starts to howl.

Katie rolls her eyes. ‘I’m going in, Mum,’ she says. ‘This is just so embarrassing.’ She pokes Jack in the arm. ‘You’re a BIG FAT CRY BABY!’

‘Am not!’ he cries.

‘Katie!’ I yell, but she’s already run off, her rucksack thumping against her back. I suck in a breath and say a silent prayer as she runs in between two SUVs that are poised like bellowing bulls waiting for a parking space. I lay Jack down in the driver’s seat and pull off his welly boots, his wee-soaked socks, trousers and Disney Cars so-called absorbent pants, noting that somehow, he’s also managed to get wee on his T-shirt and coat. I strip him down, my jaw clenched as he kicks at me and yells, ‘Katie’s mean.’

‘You’re a big boy,’ I say, the lie tripping easily off my tongue. ‘Three years old! So just ignore her. Now let’s get dressed and go to nursery.’

Eventually, I manage to wriggle him into a set of spare clothing, wipe off his boots with a baby wipe, and bundle him into his coat and woolly hat.

When I try to lead him across the car park by the hand, he starts screaming for a ‘cuggle’. I give in and pick him up. Ten months on from Dave’s death, and I’ve been surviving by taking the path of least resistance. Besides, as long as I’m carrying him, he’ll serve as a kind of human shield from some rogue mum who might try and ask me how I’m doing. Not today of all days…’

My Thoughts

Lizzie’s life changes overnight from normal to tragic when her husband dies suddenly, leaving her and the children grief-stricken when fate deals her another blow. Her husband had a secret life tainting her memories of their life together and facing debts that threaten their family home.

Lizzie is a great character, and facing more than her share of life’s woes, you have to empathise. Her one asset the family home is historical and striking and is scouted for a film, which brings an eclectic cast of characters, humour and poignant scenes worthy of any Hollywood film.

The vivid setting and believable plot make this imaginable and readable, although the romance’s course is predictably choppy, it is lighthearted and hopeful. An easy to read writing style keeps you turning the pages with just enough conflict and surprises right to the end, it an enjoyable read.

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

Lauren Westwood is also a prize-winning debut YA novelist and a solicitor for a renewable energy company. Originally from California, she now lives in a rickety 400-year-old house in Surrey, with her partner Ian and their three young daughters.

 

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Posted in Book Review

Wedding Bells at the Dog and Duck- Jill Steeples – Blog Tour: Extract and 5* Review

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Ellie Browne, landlady of The Dog & Duck, is looking forward to a relaxing Christmas Day before the arrival of her and her partner Max’s baby in the New Year. But with a snowstorm brewing outside, it seems that things might not go quite to plan.

After the dramatic events of the holiday season, Ellie settles into her new life at Max’s huge country mansion Braithwaite Manor, juggling work and family as best she can. When she’s asked to help organise a summer wedding for one of her best friends it’s only natural that her mind turns to her own, non-existent, wedding plans!

But with Max decidedly lukewarm on the subject and other family complications threatening to disrupt life further, Ellie fears there’ll never be wedding bells at the Dog & Duck after all.

Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BHaIpB

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2BKxTzc

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2GqyKnZ

iBooks: https://apple.co/2CvGWRn

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Extract

‘ ‘I’m just desperate to get back to some kind of normality.’

Gemma laughed ruefully. ‘Are you kidding? Nothing will seem like normal for a long time to come.’

I gave a weak smile in return. I suppose with five young children of her own, Gemma would know about these things. It was all a mystery to me. Even with Junior’s arrival imminent, I still couldn’t quite believe I was about to become a mother. Honestly, ‘out of my depth’ didn’t nearly cover it. It was almost as if it was happening to someone else. I put that down to the fact that none of this was planned. I’d always thought a baby was something for the future, at a time when I had my whole life in order, but life has a habit of throwing you a curveball when you least expect it. I looked down at my huge bump, cradling my arms around its fullness. Not that I’d want to change anything in the slightest.

‘Still,’ Gemma went on, ‘you haven’t got long to wait now.’

‘A couple of weeks.’ Although from where I was standing that seemed like a lifetime away.

‘Ha, no,’ said Gemma, looking from my bump to my face intently, observing me as though she was a midwife at the maternity unit, and not my barmaid. ‘I reckon the next day or two.’ She nodded sagely. ‘You mark my words.’

Mulling over that thought, our attention was commanded by Max, who was standing at the bar, pinging a spoon against a glass.

Ah, the Max effect. Warm squidgy vibes engulfed me. It hadn’t lessened in the slightest, in all the months that I’d known him. Just to catch a glimpse of him across the room, to see his dark wayward hair doing its own thing, his intelligent questioning eyes, the warm, wide smile on his lips, still stirred feelings inside me which I wasn’t sure were entirely appropriate for a heavily pregnant woman.

‘Okay everyone, if you’d like to make your way out to the barn, lunch will be served shortly. Just a word of warning. You can’t fail to have noticed the crazy weather out there, the snow has been coming down heavily for the last couple of hours. We have cleared and salted the path, but just be careful. We don’t want any broken bones or any nasty accidents.’ Max fixed his brown eyes on me, raising his brows, as though I might be a prime candidate for an accident. Then as his gaze warmed and softened, I felt myself smile, a warm sensation flooding my chest.

‘I can’t believe this weather,’ said Polly, one of my best friends and owner of Polly’s Flowers, the shop next door. She was currently hanging on to the arm of her new boyfriend, George, as though her life depended on it, something to do with the number of glasses of Prosecco she’d been knocking back this morning, I imagined. Still, it was lovely to see her so happy. Seeing them, a proper couple now, so loved-up and content, only added to the festive feeling. George had moved into the village this year, taking up residence in our family home, while my parents were away working in Dubai. It took me a while to figure out what he was doing in the village, and despite my unsubtle attempts to find out, it was Katy, Max’s younger sister, who put me out of my misery by informing me that George was none other than the bestselling author GG Williamson.

That had certainly caused a frisson of excitement in the village. Katy, having read all of his books, was one of his biggest fans and was now hanging onto George’s other arm, leading the way out into the beer garden, chattering away excitedly.

Gemma rounded up her five kids and husband, shooing them in the direction of the back door and Dan, my right-hand man and bar manager, who’d been keeping all our guests’ glasses filled over the last hour or so, took hold of his girlfriend Silke’s hand and stepped backwards, waiting for everyone to go through in front of him.

I owed a huge debt of gratitude to Dan. He’d volunteered to move into the pub with Silke while I was on maternity leave to take up the role of caretaker/manager. As it happened, the narrowboat they lived on was due to go into the shipyard for urgent repairs over winter and was likely to be out of action for a couple of months, leaving them homeless, so them moving into the pub had worked out well for everyone concerned.

My move into Max’s imposing Georgian house, Braithwaite Manor, wasn’t half as traumatic as I suspected it might be, although I realised for most people the idea of moving into a mansion would be far from traumatic. I’d put it off to the last minute possible though, reluctant to leave The Dog and Duck, the place that had been my whole world for almost two years, telling everyone I’d be back soon. What was I thinking? For so long I’d been so emotionally invested in the pub, that I’d been reluctant to let go of the reins. It had been a whirlwind couple of years admittedly. Thinking back to when I first returned home to Little Leyton, from my busy corporate life in London, to take some time out to consider the next steps in life, I could never have imagined just how dramatically my life would change.’

My Thoughts…

‘Wedding Bells at the Dog and Duck’, is the third book in this series and the first one I’ve read. It reads perfectly well as a standalone novel but having finished it I enjoyed it so much I want to read the first two in the series to discover Ellie and Max’s early love story.

Romance and humour fill the pages of this gentle love story, which depicts English village life centring around the country pub and its charismatic landlady Ellie Browne and her sexy, partner Max Golding. Romantically involved they are about to have their first child and Max wants to marry Ellie, but she is holding back. 

It’s Christmas, and most of the villagers are having Christmas dinner at the pub, which leads to one or two surprises for Ellie and Max. There is a wealth of carefully crafted characters who bring the pub and village to life, they all have their own stories, and these subplots continue throughout the book adding interest and realism. 

Who is the mysterious character knocking on the pub door on Christmas day,  I  did guess, but it doesn’t matter because it adds an element of mystery to a story about family, friendship and making the most of what life gives you.

The Dog and Duck is the quintessential village pub, a focal point for village life and Max is the modern day squire breathing life into the village and ensuring all are taken care of. If you fancy a slice of English village life with lots of laughs, a few tears and lashings of romance read on…

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

Steeples_JillJill Steeples lives in a small market town in Bedfordshire with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, baking cakes, eating them and drinking wine.

Website: http://www.jillsteeples.co.uk/

Twitter: @Jillesteeples

Facebook: @JillSteeplesWriter

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

The Windmill Cafe Summer Breeze Poppy Blake 3 *Review

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The Windmill Cafe is open for business!

As Rosie Barnes serves glasses of tangy lemonade and ice-cold prosecco at her summer garden party, she couldn’t be happier. The Windmill Café, with its peppermint green sails, is a roaring success and has given Rosie a chance to escape the heartbreak of her busy life in London.

But then disaster strikes when popstar Suki Richards is taken unexpectedly ill at the party. Now all eyes are on Rosie…have her famous raspberry cupcakes poisoned her most high-profile guest? Or is someone else trying to damage Suki’s chance of stardom?

If Rosie wants to save her picture-perfect life, and the reputation of her beloved Windmill Café, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of the mystery…and fast!

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts… 

A windmill cafe is a delightfully quirky idea. Although the windmill doesn’t take centre stage in this story, the plot is also quirky, a cosy mystery mixed in with a romantic comedy.

This story lacks imagery. I want to know about the windmill and the glorious Norfolk countryside and coast but the details are sketchy, and so for me, the setting doesn’t have the impact it should.

I like cosy mysteries, lots of characters, a beautiful setting, an enigmatic detective or two and foul play. This story has all the necessary ingredients for a fun read, but they need more mixing and cooking to achieve their full potential.

The story’s protagonists are immature and naive; they remind me of the children’s characters,’The Famous Five’. They need to develop as the story does and unfortunately, they don’t, remaining two dimensional rather than complex and three dimensional.

An okay read but needs to be faster paced, with more suspense, plot twists and character development.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Scandal – Sasha Morgan Extract and 4* Review

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As the new custodian of the ancestral home, Treweham Hall, Tobias Cavendish-Blake soon discovers exactly what he’s inherited. Instant financial action is needed if the Hall is to survive the mounting debts it’s racking up. Adding insult to injury the family is forced to sell the Gate House on the estate to lottery winners Gary and Tracy Belcher – not the kind of neighbours Tobias was hoping for.

Megan Taylor inherits her grandmother’s country cottage in the village of Treweham and decides to make a fresh start there, taking a job at the local country pub.

When Megan meets Tobias, the attraction is clear, but she is determined to resist his charms, put off by his reputation and that of his best friends – the rakish Seamus Fox, son of a millionaire racehorse trainer and dastardly jockey Dylan Delany. But Tobias is a hard man to resist…

Amazon UK

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Kobo

Google Play

iBooks

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Extract

‘‘I’m due a race soon,’ Dylan chipped in. ‘A substantial wager would bring in the bacon.’

Tobias grinned. ‘What if you lose?’

‘I never do, not when it matters,’ replied Dylan with confidence and a wink. Dylan’s ocean-blue eyes twinkled with mischief. He was fiercely competitive, and his athletic physique made him the hugely successful jockey he was. His ancestry dated back to Romany travellers, and he attributed his gift of the gab to this, as well as his success with the ladies. Dylan Delany was a real catch, everyone knew that, but the trouble was he refused to be caught. He weaved his way through various relationships, ducking and diving, avoiding any commitment. The more unobtainable he became, the more he was desired.

Dylan had a reputation, and it took some upholding. He couldn’t help it if he loved women. He genuinely did like their company. He appreciated their femininity, the way they dressed so elegantly, their fragrance, their beautiful shiny, long hair, or sassy short hair, for that matter – he liked both. He was a sucker for any damsel – he was only human, after all. But deep down Dylan was a decent man and hated to see one of his close friends in any kind of trouble. Seamus was equally protective of his best friend.

‘True,’ agreed Seamus, ‘but it’s too much of a risk in the current climate.’

Dylan looked at him. ‘Says the Fox for whom I’ve made a fortune.’

‘True again,’ said Seamus with a laugh. Fox was a fitting name for him, with his ginger hair and sly, cunning wit.

‘Sometimes I feel like selling the whole bloody place, lock, stock and barrel to some rich American… throw in the title, too,’ moaned Tobias.

‘Surely it’s not that bad,’ sighed Seamus. He’d grown to love Tobias’ home, spending many a childhood summer there, and he smiled wistfully remembering the scrapes they’d got into. He’d also grown to love the family, who always made him feel so welcome. In later years Treweham Hall had acted as a temporary retreat when he had fallen out with his father. Sean Fox was a formidable force. He had a driving ambition where his horses were concerned and ran his stables with a cast-iron fist. Although he loved both his sons, he wouldn’t tolerate any form of subordination and treated them as he would any other member of staff, strictly but fairly. A young Seamus didn’t agree with his father’s authoritarian methods, and his defiance had got him booted out of the Fox household. The Cavendish-Blakes came to the rescue, giving him the full use of the Gate House on their estate. This had proved to be the perfect solution, especially to Seamus’ mother, whose desperate pleas to bring Seamus home had been totally ignored by her hardened husband.’

My Thoughts… 

Treweham is a quintessential English village, full of camaraderie, family life, gossip and the occasional scandal. There are a plethora of characters who are realistic; each has their role in the village life and a story to tell.
An easy to follow the plot, written from multi-points of view, in short chapters, interlocks nicely as the book progresses. Fast- paced the story has multiple themes; saving the ancestral home, winning the lottery, secret love and tabloid scandals being the main ones. Gentle romance, sensual affairs and a mystery hidden in the depths of the cottage Megan inherits from her beloved Grandmother are all explored and make this an interesting read.
This story is pure escapism and has the makings of an excellent series of books.
I received a copy of this book from Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Morgan, SashaSasha lives in a rural, coastal village in Lancashire with her husband and Labrador dog. She has always written stories from a very young age and finds her fictional world so much more exciting than the real one.

 

Posted in Book Review

The Little Cafe in Copenhagen – Julie Caplin – 5* Review

Welcome to the little cafe in Copenhagen where the smell of cinnamon fills the air, the hot chocolate is as smooth as silk and romance is just around the corner…

Publicist Kate Sinclair’s life in London is everything she thought she wanted: success, glamour and a charming boyfriend. Until that boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a much sought-after promotion from her.Heartbroken and questioning everything, Kate needs to escape.

From candles and cosy nights into romantic late-night walks through the beautiful cobbled streets of Copenhagen, Kate discovers how to live life ‘the Danish way’. Can the secrets of hygge and happiness lead her to her own happily-ever-after?

Amazon UK

 Amazon

My Thoughts…

This story captures the essence of Denmark, with a whistle-stop tour of the main attractions and an exploration of the Danish way of living. Kate is a publicist, who is determined to enjoy the life her mother wanted for her, but when she lands a contract, no one has time for she questions her life choices. Is she happy? Does she need to babysit her family?  Is this the life her mum wanted her to have?

Taking six journalists to Copenhagen puts Kate right out of her comfort zone, but she wants to prove herself and get the promotion that always seems just out of reach. Meeting Eva and exploring her lovely cafe and its menu, is life changing for Kate. Gradually she begins to understand the concept of Hygge and how choosing wisely in all things can lead to a fulfilling life.

Clever, pacy plotting and believable, flawed characters make this story an exciting read. There many funny and poignant moments and plenty that irritate the hell out of you, especially the way the PR agency treat Kate and some of the early antics of the journalists. The journalists are fab characters, and as Kate gets to know them, she finds that beneath their hardened, professional persona they are lovely people. 

 The Little Cafe in Copenhagen is just like one of my favourite Danish pastries; rich, sweet, often fruity, and with a lovely romantic ending, the icing on top.

I am looking forward to reading  Sophie’s story ‘The Little Brooklyn Bakery, which is previewed at the end of this story’.

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

Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop – Caroline Roberts – 5* Review

 

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Amazon UK

 Amazon

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Festive angst and cheer at the castle tea shop. Easy to read with believable characters and events, definitely my favourite book in this series. Romance, friendship and sparkling humour. Lovely down to earth characters, a perfect slice of cafe life at the castle for Christmas. I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

Christmas at the Cornish Cafe – The Penwith Trilogy #2 – Phillipa Ashley- 5*Review

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Christmas will be slightly less turbulent than summer, won’t it? Demi certainly hopes so.

She and Cal are keeping their fledgling relationship under wraps for now. But then Kit Bannen, a hunky, blond – and somewhat mysterious – writer arrives at Kilhallon Resort, and not everyone is charmed. Cal is sure that Kit is hiding something. But is he the only one guarding a secret?

Demi is busy baking festive treats for the newly opened Demelza’s cafe, but when Cal’s ex Isla arrives to shoot scenes for her new drama, Demi can’t help but worry that things aren’t quite over between them. Kit flirts with both women, fuelling Cal’s suspicions that Kit has hidden motives for staying on at Kilhallon. Then Cal has to go to London, leaving Demi and Kit to decorate the cafe for Christmas . . . all by themselves.

A storm is brewing in more ways than one. As surprises unfold and truths are uncovered, can Demi and Cal finally open up to each other about their feelings?

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Amazon UK

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Christmas at the Cornish Café (The Penwith Trilogy, Book 2)

A festive, gentle romantic story with complex characters and an interesting plot. The story concentrates on opening the café and there are lots of new characters. One threatens Cal’s new found happiness with Demi.
A lot happens in this story. Demi achieves her potential by leading the café project. She carries more than her share of emotional baggage and this influences how she perceives her relationship with Cal. Cal continues to battle his own secret demons, leaving him moody and unapproachable. He’s a good guy at heart and you want him to overcome the horrors of his past.
There are some unexpected plot twists and surprising character developments, which illustrate the village’s comaradie and the overriding spirit of the novel. A good mix of questions answered and new ones posed make reading the last book in the series essential. There is no cliff-hanger ending but it is hopeful, just as a festive read should be. I can’t help thinking the problems for Cal, Demi and their friends may not be over yet.
Cal and Demi are the contemporary counterparts of Poldark and Demelza and Cornwall steals the show in this novel too.
I received a copy of this book from Avon UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Christmas at the Cornish Café by Phillipa Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Christmas at the Cornish Café (The Penwith Trilogy, Book 2) by Phillipa Ashley

Phillipa Ashley

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Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

The Empire State Cat’s Christmas Gift – Nic Tatano – 5*Review

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The night her house catches fire, kick-ass lawyer Tish McKenna’s neatly ordered life is thrown into chaos. At least she’s alive—thanks to her adorable cat, Socks!—and after her near-death experience Tish realises she wants more in her life than late nights and case files…

Professionally speaking, hot-shot attorney, Spencer Capshaw hadn’t realised how far off track he’d come. Sure, he had his reasons originally—saving his dad’s life required more money than the DA’s office paid him—yet helping corrupt corporate bigwigs was not why he became a lawyer…

With a little help from a furry friend, these two lost souls find each other in the heart of Manhattan. But when Tish and Spence are pitted against each other in a trial that pushes them both to their limits, can their budding relationship survive?

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The Empire State Cat's Christmas Gift

I enjoyed the first story in this series, ‘The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club’, featuring career driven, intelligent best friends; Madison, Tish, Rory and A.J and their lovable kittens. This book, the second in the series is delightful with its festive twist. A good standalone read but I recommend reading book one first for maximum enjoyment.
There is a great love story, mixed with humour and suspense, which is an easy, enjoyable read. As you expect with Nic Tatano books, the characters are believable, complex and intriguing. The plot has plenty of twists and a lovely romantic ending.
The supporting cast of characters also make this book something special, especially, Socks the matchmaking kitten, whose antics will be familiar to every cat owner.
Tish is a lawyer and so is Spencer, so courtroom scenes are inevitable. These appear authentic and are full of crisp dialogue with moments of humour and poignancy. There is great pacing that moves the story along nicely and provides subtle clues to the plot twists and development of the romance.
A lovely festive read with an original storyline and memorable characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Empire State Cat’s Christmas Gift by Nic Tatano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Empire State Cat's Christmas Gift by Nic Tatano

Nic Tatano

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The One With The Wedding Dress – Bridesmaids #2 – Erin Lawless- 4* Review

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Nora Dervan is ready for her Happy Ever After. With her darling Harry waiting at the altar, and all her family and friends around her. She is certain that her special day will not be forgotten/will be one to remember…

But with her four bridesmaids hiding more secrets, than bottles of champagne. Will her big day be remembered for all the right reasons?

Bea has barely gotten past the fact that her two best friends are dating, and now they’re engaged, whilst cupid’s arrow points in a forbidden direction for Cleo. She is so distracted by her off limits, hot new colleague that she has forgotten Daisy, who has been left dreading the singles table. There’s more romance in the cheesy pick- up lines than Sarah’s own marriage, which hasn’t turned out as she hoped it would be.

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My Review 2016-1

The One With The Wedding Dress

 

Reacquainting with bride to be Nora and her prospective bridesmaids, as they celebrate Cleo’s thirtieth birthday is easy, despite the months that have passed since I read part 1 of the Bridesmaids’ story. Experience, a nerve racking but hilarious weekend finding the perfect wedding dress. There is plenty of tension between bridesmaids Cleo and Bea and Nora and her mum, who seems set on ruining her daughter’s wedding dress buying experience.
It’s enjoyable sharing the ups and downs of the weekend and the story ends with an unexpected cliff-hanger that could threaten the stability of the group and turn the wedding into a disaster.
This is a quick easy read but there are complex characters and vivid imagery which make this story addictive. I also love the snippets of real wedding memories at the beginning of each chapter.
Looking forward to the hen weekend, all the fun without the hangover, what could be better?
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

 

The One With The Wedding Dress by Erin Lawless

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The One With The Wedding Dress by Erin Lawless

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Singalong Society for Singletons – Katey Lovell – 5* Review

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BLURB

Monique and Issy are teachers, housemates and lovers of musicals! Their Friday night routine consists of snacks, wine and the Frozen DVD. So when Monique’s boyfriend moves to America for a year and her sister Hope moves in because of her own relationship woes, Friday nights get a new name… ‘The Singalong Society for Singletons’!

It’s a chance to get together, sing along to their favourite tracks from the best-loved West End shows, and forget the worries of work, relationships and love (or lack of it). But when Issy shares the details of their little group further afield, they get some unexpected new members who might just change their opinions on singledom for good….

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My Review -1

The Singalong Society for Singletons

What stands out most about this delightful story is its originality. Not a cottage, tea room or coastal location in sight yet the quirky society draws you in and keeps you turning the pages. The setting is urban and the characters refreshingly ordinary and realistic. Many of us choose dance, music or movies to escape the humdrum or emotional pain of everyday life. In this story, the girls chill out and singalong to a selection of well know musicals both modern and vintage and manage to find out what’s most important in their real lives too.
Monique and Issy house share, Hope joins them when her relationship reaches an impasse and Connie a lifelong friend of Monique’s, is a regular Friday night visitor to the little terraced house somewhere in Sheffield. The characters are unremarkable but memorable and easy to like because they are familiar to all of us. Their interactions and thoughts provide plenty of humour and there are also undeniable sparks of romance, for all members of the Singalong Society.
This is a story about realising your dreams, finding out what and who is important to you and not settling for second best. A lovely, uplifting read.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell

Katey Lovell

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