When her dreams of young love were cruelly shattered, Nerissa Morgan found it hard to move on. Now, at forty-three, everyone around her is enjoying life while she’s just going through the motions. With her boss retiring and rumours of a new doctor coming in to take over the practice she manages, change is coming, whether she’s ready for it or not.
Following the death of his beloved wife, Tom Nelson buried himself in work at his busy inner-London GP practice. When his teenage children find themselves in trouble at school, he realises he’s completely lost touch with them. Desperate to reconnect before it’s too late, he whisks his family away to the pretty seaside village of Mermaids Point determined to make a fresh start.
But all is not as idyllic as it seems. With his predecessor reluctant to let go of the reins and the children as distant as ever, the last thing Tom needs is an undeniable attraction to the woman he unexpectedly finds himself sharing a roof with…
Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Returning to Mermaids’ point in the Autumn is an emotional and uplifting experience. Readable, as a standalone, but if, like me, you read the first book in the series, it’s good to see what’s happened in the lives of the town’s coastal community.
Forty-three-year-old Nerissa has never moved on emotionally after the tragic loss of her first love. The reawakening of her dreams as a mature woman reflect the season. Nerissa’s life changes when Tom, the new doctor, moves into all aspects of her previously sedate existence. Tom is bereaved and has issues parenting his two children. Neither is looking for romance, but proximity and serendipity conspire against them, but will they take the chance on love?
Community, family and friendship are interwoven into this gentle contemporary romance making this a heartwarming read.
Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas.
When millionaire Mansur Ali is called urgently home to Somaliland, he’s shocked to find that thewoman who broke his heart needs his help. After an accident, Amal has lost many memories…including Manny’s marriage proposal and her rejection! Manny will help her seek treatment in Addis Ababa, but he’s resolved to keep his heart firmly off-limits. A promise that is tested when their journey brings them closer than ever before…
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher in return for an honest review.
Second chance romance is always a favourite, and this one has the added dimension of an amnesia trope, which introduces additional conflicts and endless possibilities for Amal and Manny’s romance. The setting in Somaliland and Ethiopia allows the reader to explore a lesser-known region of Africa through the author’s insightful and vivid descriptions.
This romance has many layers, which draw the reader into the story. Amal and Manny are both successful entrepreneurs. Amal in Africa and Manny globally. They are both visionary and want to help rebuild and sustain their homeland, even though Manny never thought to return until his fate decreed otherwise. They both have romantic souls and deserve their second chance. It reflects cultural differences and issues faced by people of colour, which makes it contemporary and relevant.
The romance is gentle despite its many conflicts, and the ending is satisfying.
Guest Post – Finally Seeing Myself In Books By Hana Sheik
There’s a reason I call SECOND CHANCE TO WEAR HIS RING the book of my heart. I have written dozens of manuscripts before it, though none are likely going to see the light of day. When I sat down to write my first chapter of SECOND CHANCE TO WEAR HIS RING more than three years ago today, I knew I wanted to write characters who looked more like me. I wanted to wax poetic about beautiful brown skin, and I wanted to set my story in Somaliland—my other home.
So when Harlequin announced their Harlequin Romance Blitz I never thought the story I’d set in Somaliland and Ethiopia would stand a chance. I kept telling myself it wasn’t “glamourous” enough for the jet-set sparkling love stories in Harlequin Romance. But, of course, I was dead wrong! And I’m happy I was or else I wouldn’t be able to share my book with the world today.
In SECOND CHANCE TO WEAR HIS RING, I lightly touch on how looking different has placed barriers for my black Muslim hero, Mansur to achieving his success. The rest of the book celebrates the beauty of Africa, the history and the people living there today. It also shines a light on some of the continent’s problems, its progresses, and the possibility of its bright future. This last part is why I made my heroine, Amal an architect. I literally wanted her helping build on Africa.
I will pivot now and talk book covers.
More and more I’m seeing romance books with covers of black models, black couples, and black families. It’s also thrilling to see more authors from marginalized backgrounds and communities telling their stories.
Speaking of covers, when I saw the cover of SECOND CHANCE TO WEAR HIS RING, I just about nearly cried. I was happily stunned for the first few minutes after seeing it, and then I showed my sister, and I remember her saying that the model on the cover was gorgeous. I wholeheartedly agree! I still thank the cover gods every day.
Seeing the cover also reminds why I am building a brand writing black love stories, black Muslim romances, and diverse happy-for-nows and happily ever afters. I dying to build a library of romances for the next generation of black, Muslim and POC romance readers, one book at a time. Being a part of this movement to diversify bookshelves is both humbling and triumphant.
I will close this guest post off by sharing four fun facts about SECOND CHANCE TO WEAR HIS RING:
It features a black Muslim hero and heroine.
It’s set in Hargeisa, Somaliland and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (though mostly Ethiopia).
I have only visited Somaliland—but I’m planning a trip to Addis Ababa soon!
I love the amnesia trope, even though it was a tricky one to write!
It’s been lovely visiting your blog, Jane! Thank you for having me.
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.
*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 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 benpassed 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 despatch or delivery of the prize.
You won’t find happiness without breaking a few eggs…
Miriam Ryan was the MD of a successful events and catering company, but these days even the thought of chopping an onion sends her stress levels sky rocketing. A retreat to the Welsh village of her childhood holidays seems to offer the escape she’s craving – just peace, quiet, no people, a generous supply of ready meals… did she mention no people? Enter a cheery pub landlord, a lovesick letting agent, a grumpy astronomer with a fridge raiding habit – not to mention a surprise supper club that requires the chopping of many onions – and Miriam realises her escape has turned into exactly what she was trying to get away from, but could that be just the thing she needs to allow a little bit of summer happiness into her life?
I received a copy of this book from Ruby Fiction in return for an honest review.
A gentle, humorous story that explores life’s pressures and how taking a trip, even if it is not whatyou expected, can give you a better perspective. Miriam finds running her successful company is damaging her health. Her escape is not what she expects. However, it helps her to come to terms with her past and present life.
The setting is well-described and integral to Miriam’s life changes. Believable characters add emotion and vibrancy to the story. There is a good mix of humour and poignancy with uplifting friendship, romance and self-realisation.
This is a lovely escapist summer read.
Chris Penhall won the 2019 Choc-Lit Search for a Star competition, sponsored by Your Cat Magazine, for her debut novel, The House That Alice Built. The sequel, New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun was published in August 2020. Her short story, Lily McKee’s Seven Days of Christmas appears in Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction’s Cosy Christmas Treats anthology.
Her new novel, Finding Summer Happiness, which is set in Pembrokeshire in South West Wales was published in May 2021.
Chris is an author and freelance radio producer for BBC Local Radio. She also has her own podcast – The Talking to My Friends About Book Podcast in which she chats to her friends about books. Good title!
Born in Neath in South Wales, she has also lived in London and in Portugal, which is where The House That Alice Built is set. It was whilst living in Cascais near Lisbon that she began to dabble in writing fiction, but it was many years later that she was confident enough to start writing her first novel, and many years after that she finally finished it!
A lover of books, music and cats, she is also an enthusiastic salsa dancer, a keen cook, and loves to travel. She is never happier than when she is gazing at the sea.
Can one week in paradise… …heal ten years of heartache?
When the elite M dating agency sends wealthy Freddie Highgrove to the Seychelles for a weeklong “date,” the last person he’s expecting to be matched with is Jasmine Walker, his first love and ex-fiancée! Ten years ago, his family’s expectations for a high-society marriage sent housekeeper’s daughter Jasmine running. Can one week in paradise bring them back together?Purchase Link –
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This second chance romance is set in the romantic Seychelles isles, full of reflection, romance, and passionate reunion.
Freddie is heir to Highgrove, and all that, being Laird entails. Now a successful app developer, Jasmine is the daughter of his family’s housekeeper and his ex-fiancee. Matched by M, the exclusive dating agency, they are both surprised, but Jasmine left him, Cinderella-style, and he doesn’t want his heart stolen again. Jasmine ran away for her mother and his family, but seeing him again, she realises this time she’s here to stay.
Their rekindled romance is sensual, seductive and sentimental. The descriptions of the idyllic honeymoon style setting are lovely, and heartfelt emotion colours their every action.
A lovely fairytale ending for this second chance romance with two characters who deserve their happiness.
Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.
She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, 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.
– Paperback of Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella
– Mills & Boon Notebook
– Rose Gold Pen
– Cute Placemat
– Lip balm
– Heart post-its
– Author Swag
*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.
Escape to the sun and head off to Italy, with the wonderfully warm and ever-so-page-turning Leonie Mack!
TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.
When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life.
Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.
As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?
Leonie Mack is back with a sizzling, sun-baked love story.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I love romance set in Italy, and as this one is set around Lake Garda, somewhere I’ve visited, I couldn’t resist it.
Just about to be divorced Lou, is still reeling from the fallout, we meet her ex in the opening chapters, and he is not likeable. Her confidence is low despite her career in front of the TV cameras, and it’s clear she is a kind and loving woman who doesn’t value herself. Her latest meeting with Mr (Nick) Romano right after her latest confrontation with the ex is unsettling for them both and makes her wonder whether helping out on the school music camp in Italy is sensible.
The chemistry sizzling between Lou and Nick gets hotter in beautiful Lake Garda, and there are lots of nearly moments that are romantic. The conflicts to their possible relationship are both internal and external, but they are good for each other, and you want them to find happiness together.
The musical setting adds authenticity to the story and is integral to Nick’s backstory. The balance of humour, poignancy and romance is good, and the ending is romantic and uplifting.
Leonie Mack is a debut novelist whose first book My Christmas Number One was published by Boldwood in September 2020. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!
Damn him. Phil was winning this game. His look was tolerant. His eyes were warm, even vaguely fond. Lou was losing. Her jaw was clenched so hard she felt like a petulant child with braces. She smoothed her hand down her tailored skirt. Confronting him in her work clothes was supposed to remind her she could deal with him like an adult. But really, she wanted to run home and change into her sweats, as she usually did after her shift.
‘She’s eleven, Lou. This is her last summer before secondary school. Can’t you let up a little?’
He was the voice of reason, too? Phil never raised his voice because he never needed to. He was the kind of man who spoke and it was done. He was attractive, too – even now at forty-four – which meant he’d never had to stay single for long. She couldn’t blame the woman who’d become his girlfriend only a few months after their separation – except that she could blame her and she would. It was the right of a nearly officially ex-wife, right?
‘All Edie wants to do is play music. Elite tuition and orchestra rehearsals is her idea of paradise. I’m not forcing her to do anything.’
His lips twitched. ‘And a few weeks in the Italian sunshine is your idea of a nice free holiday?’
Strike one. She would have been satisfied to hear him behaving like the juvenile ex-husband, except that he was an expert at pressing her overdeveloped sense of her own inadequacy button.
‘It’s not a holiday for me. I’m going as a chaperone and I have to pay my own way. The only reason I’ve volunteered is because Edie is one of the youngest kids going. Most of the parents are looking forward to the three weeks of childcare before the competition’
‘You can always send her to us. You know that. You don’t have to martyr yourself.’
Lou choked on his sympathy, wishing he would do the same. She took a deep breath. She should have accepted by now that Phil’s wiring where she was concerned would never change.
‘Can we get back to the point? Edie wants to go and it’s a unique opportunity. This youth music festival only happens every four years. She’ll get to play in an orchestra under a professional conductor and participate in a competition.’
Phil held up a hand. ‘I did read the information you emailed me. But I fail to see why our eleven-year-old has to participate in a very expensive competition. You’ve already forced my hand with the school choice. I’d say you’re pretty low on credit with me at the moment.’
Lou recoiled. She needed ‘credit’ to get Phil to consider her opinion about their daughter? How was an ex-wife supposed to earn credit? Not only was she forced to serenely ignore the practical difficulties of having day-to-day responsibility for their daughter alone, but Phil still required her to manage him to make sure they did their best by Edie. Good God, it was miserable.
Phil looked at her with his unflappably perfect haircut and warm eyes with their distinguished crinkles that on her would be called crow’s feet. It was clear why she’d thrown herself at him twelve years ago when she’d been a young and stupid graduate with too little understanding of the world’s faults – and far too little contraception. What was less clear was how she was supposed to deal with him now.
‘You know how much she loves playing the violin.’
‘I know, she does little else.’
Edie practised especially diligently at Phil’s because it meant less time with the obsequious girlfriend.
‘I’m still not sure I want to encourage her obsession.’
‘Then you’ll be happy to know the camp takes that into account. Although they rehearse every day, there’s also time dedicated to outdoor activities and confidence-building. I think we can both agree that it would be good for Edie to have some confidence outside her musical talent.’
The faintest glint in his eye was the only clue that he was feeling the pressure. But Phil never backed off. Instead, he calmly went on the offensive. ‘So, you plan to make Edie do a high ropes course while you sit in the sun at Sirmione sipping an Aperol Spritz?’
When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.
Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…
Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.
Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.
After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.
Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.
After the tragic death of his wife, horse trainer Kern MacKinley shut himself off from the world – and love. Until the arrival of vet Ruby Day. Ruby may be reserved, but she has an unrivalled way with animals. And it’s not just her patients, Kern discovers, that Ruby has the ability to heal. Once he lets Ruby in, for him there’s no going back – but can he heal her too?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is an engaging romantic story. The two main characters are easy to like, and you feel their angst. Their emotional pain diminishes as their relationship develops into friends and something more. The animals and Ruby and Kern’s affinity for them give the story its unique quality. There’s a relatable cast of supporting characters most likeable, one notably not.
This is an emotional story with great characters and gentle healing romance.
What if you could go back in time and fix the biggest mistake of your life?
Two years ago, Maisie’s best friend walked out of her life and she hasn’t heard from him since. When she wakes up in 1994, she naturally assumes she’s dreaming. But when she finds herself in the past again the next night and her actions in the dream alter her present-day life, she begins to wonder if she’s somehow hopping back in time. And if she is time-travelling, can she save her friendship with Jonas?
When Maisie is forced to relive Christmases of the past, will she face up to her mistakes, or make them all over again?
The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a magical tale of friendship, first loves, and learning to live in the present.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
The idea of Christmas past, present and future is used here as a festive twist to explore coming of age, friendship and love from Maisie’s point of view. The story begins in the present, and the humour and connection between Maisie and Lily are engaging. Maisie realistically revisits past Christmases. She learns from her mistakes and omissions and subtly alters her future.
This is a story about growing up and changing friendships with a magical festive twist. The characters are relatable and engender emotions in the reader. The story is heartwarming and humorous.
Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. She’s been scribbling down bits of stories for as long as she can remember, graduating from a pen to a typewriter and then an electronic typewriter. And she felt like the bee’s knees typing on THAT. She now writes her books on a laptop (which has a proper delete button and everything).
Will an unexpected legacy… …lead to wedding bells?
When Hugo Grey’s aunt leaves her house to Alice Walters – a complete stranger! He is baffled. Especially as the will states Hugo must help Alice convert it into a butterfly centre! He and Alice clash over everything, except his attraction to the captivatingly feisty butterfly expert which is hard to ignore…
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Believable characters and an original plot make this story engaging and romantic. Intelligent and kind Alice has a history of picking the wrong man. Widower Hugo is struggling to live without his soulmate. They meet at a will reading, and first impressions are not favourable, but gradually they grow and nurture each other towards happiness.
The Butterfly and ecological themes add authenticity to the story. The romance is gentle, and the characters endear themselves to the reader. You want them to find happiness together.
This is a heartwarming tale with a relatable plot and engaging characters.
Would you take the second chance you’ve always dreamed of?
It’s been ten years since Emma Stevens last laid eyes on Jake Murray. When he left the small seaside village of South Quay to chase the limelight, Emma’s dreams left with him.
Now Emma is content living a quiet and uneventful life in South Quay. It’s far from the life she imagined, but at least her job at the local hotel has helped heal her broken heart.
But when Jake returns home for the summer to escape the spotlight, Emma’s feelings quickly come flooding back. There’s clearly a connection between them, but Jake has damaged her heart once already – will she ever be able to give him a second chance?
I received a copy of this book from Headline Accent via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is an emotional, romantic story. Set in an idyllic south coast seaside town, first love, teenage mistakes and lost opportunity all feature, in this second chance story.
Emma considers her life choices when her first love Jake returns to the town ten years later. With flashbacks to their teenage life, the story is full of angst and conflict balanced with may humorous moments.
Emma is flawed but easy to empathise. Affected by past decisions, she needs to move on, but can’t until she sees Jake again. Jake is arrogant and world-weary. Eventually, he gains insight, and the chance of a happy-ever-after is feasible.
The cast of characters make the story believable and balance the intensity between Emma and Jake.
The story flows and has an addictive quality that keeps you reading enjoyably until the conclusion.
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing, was published when it won a national writing competition. She has worked at a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actors’ chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre watching a musical, or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Athens – writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.