Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Romance

A Surprise Christmas Wedding Phillipa Ashley 5* #Review @PhillipaAshley @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsAudioUK #festive #Christmas #Cumbria #Events #Weddings #Winter #BookReview #Audiobook Narrator Laura Kirman @laurakirman #Review #ASupriseChristmasWedding

It’s been a year since Lottie’s fiancé walked out, leaving her heartbroken. But things start to look up when she lands her dream job at a beautiful Lake District estate, with a handsome groundskeeper for a neighbour.
 
So when Lottie is asked to organise a last minute Christmas wedding at Firholme, she can’t wait to get started. Until she meets the couple, and discovers that Connor, the man who broke her heart, is the groom-to-be.
 

As snow falls on the hills, can Lottie put aside her past to organise the perfect winter wedding? And will there be any festive magic left to bring Lottie the perfect Christmas she deserves?

Curl up with this gorgeous story about love and second chances.

Amazon UK Audiobook

I received a copy of this book and audiobook from Avon Books UK and Harper Collins Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I’ve read lots of this author’s books, but this is the first I’ve listened to as an audiobook. Rather than Cornwall, the setting for this story is Cumbria one of my favourite places, so I couldn’t wait to start listening. This is a story of betrayal, forgiveness and second chances with a surprising festive wedding. Not wanting to give away the plot suffice it to say not all surprises are welcome.

Lottie is working as an event planner at a Cumbrian country house. Planning her first wedding causes conflict in her personal and professional lives, ultimately it makes her realise, some truths about herself and her previous relationship. Jay appears unsocial, but he has trust issues when it comes to relationships, something that stands between his and Lottie’s happiness.

The story has some lovely festive touches, and the romance is conflicted, but rewarding. There is also a poignantly relevant sub-plot about Lottie’s sister, which shows the importance of their sisterly bond and is a particularly heartwarming part of the story.

The characters are vibrant and wonderfully flawed, and they are brought to life, convincingly, by the excellent narrator. Not all the characters are easy to like, particularly Connor and his fiancee Keegan. The story has a good plot for an audiobook with lots of characters and dialects. The narrator is professional and copes well with the different accents and characters.

If you are looking for a festive read with family and forgiveness at its heart with ripples of romance, and humour this is a perfect read.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

Christmas At Aunt Elsie’s Emily Harvale 5*#Review #BlogBlitz @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Christmas #Uplit #heartwarming #ChristmasatAuntElsies #secrets #BookReview #SeahorseHarbour

A distant relative. A blizzard. A Christmas of surprises.

Lottie Short isn’t looking forward to Christmas. Her boyfriend has dumped her and she’s also lost her job. Lottie and her beloved spaniel, Merry, are facing the festive season – and a bleak future, alone.

But a Christmas card and round-robin letter give Lottie hope. And as the first snowflakes fall, she’s on her way to the tiny seaside village of Seahorse Harbour to visit her distant aunt. She’ll stay in a cosy B&B and get some bracing, sea air. That might lift her spirits.

What she doesn’t plan for is a blizzard, her aunt taking a fall, or the dramas unfolding all around her. But at least there’s a warm welcome at Aunt Elsie’s cottage … and a roaring log fire in the village pub.

That’s not all that might bring a rosy glow to Lottie’s cheeks. Asher Bryant, the local vet is pretty hot, and Lottie also hits it off with another visitor to Seahorse Harbour. This festive season might be better than she hoped.

And when Lottie gets more than one surprise this Christmas, perhaps she and Merry won’t be spending the New Year on their own.

This is book 2 in Emily Harvale’s new series of standalone novels set in the tiny, seaside village of Seahorse Harbour.

Amazon UK

Read Book 1 Summer At My Sister’s Amazon UK

Read My Review of Summer At My Sister’s

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

My Thoughts…

There’s a Winter setting for the second book in the Seahorse Harbour series. At a low point in her life, Lottie finds connecting with a distant relative is the lifeline she needs, especially at Christmastime. There’s a mix of old friends and new characters in this festive themed story. The series has engaging characters and a lovely blend of humour, poignancy and romance, but this reads as a standalone.

A family accident and inclement weather provide the drama. Lottie has the possibility of second chance romance. The story flows at a good pace immersing the reader in relatable characters’lives. There’s a heartwarming uplifting sense of friendship and community in keeping with the season.

Emily Harvale

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Romance

Christmas Reunion in Paris Liz Fielding 5*#Review @lizfielding @MillsandBoon @harlequinbooks #Romance #Festive #ChristmasReunioninParis #ChristmasattheHarringtonParkHotel @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview

Parisian reunion
With the one that got away!

Celebrity chef James Harrington never expected to find himself face-to-face with Chloe, his first love, again… Especially, with her working as a chambermaid at his luxury hotel! Their chemistry’s as strong as ever, but she’s hiding a secret. Can James convince Chloe that their love is worth taking a chance on – again?

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

My Thoughts…

True love is never easy, and Chloe and James’ path to happy-ever-after is full of angst and conflict. Teenage lovers, they were torn apart by Chloe’s father who only thought of himself, and his reputation.

The reunion for this ill-fated couple is unexpected and paves the way for a second chance romance but do they still want the same things? James has a lesson to learn, Chloe needs to face her past, and both need luck and support.

There are festive trips in Paris which are romantic and lull the reader into thinking they will fall into each other arms forever, but this is more realistic, and both have to work hard for what they want. The characters are flawed, relatable and easy to empathise. The Parisian setting is romantic and vibrant, and the ending is worthy of their emotional journey.

This is a lovely romantic story with a festive twist.

Liz Fielding

Best selling author, Liz Fielding worked as a secretary in Africa, the Middle East and the UK before writing full time. Her award winning books are published worldwide in multiple languages and she has more than 15 million books in print.

Katie Fforde wrote, when honouring her with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019 said – “Liz Fielding’s books, with their warmth, humour and emotion, have charmed millions of readers. She is a true star of the romantic fiction genre…”

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Festive Read, Romance, Travel

All About Us Tom Ellen 4*#Review @TomEllen7 @HQStories #TimeTravel #Romance #December #Winter #Festive #SecondChances #BlogTour #BookReview #AllAboutUs #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #Paperback

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Two loves. Two lives. One destiny…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The festive season crystallises memories good and bad for most people and Christmas 2020 proves to be a memorable one for Ben. At a low point in his life, he has a serendipitous meeting with a man who gives him a watch and food for thought. What follows, defies belief but at such a magical time of year, anything is possible, right?

Ben, his wife Daff, best friend Harv and Alice the what-if lover are all well-described, relatable characters in this engaging story. The festive twist comes from the December time frame and the contemporary interpretation of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.

This story focuses on the turning points of Ben’s life when he makes life-changing decisions. Given the opportunity, should he change them? Revisiting the past forces Ben to see things differently, not everything is as he remembers it, and this is important for his future actions.

There’s a new adult romance, coming of age, loss, love and magical time travel in this reflective story.

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

Boomerville at Ballymegille Caroline James 5*#Review @CarolineJames12 #Friendship #SecondChances #Heartwarming #Ireland #ContemporaryFiction #Humour #BookReview #BlogTour #MondayBlogs @rararesources

Boomerville is back!

Join Hattie and Jo as they head to Southern Ireland to open Boomerville Manor, a holiday retreat for guests of ‘a certain age’. There’s Irish craic and shenanigans aplenty for the colourful cast of characters as everyone gathers for the grand opening.

Meet Melissa, an ex-cabaret singer running from her abusive husband, and Bill, a bachelor bullied from beyond the grave by the ghostly voice of his mother. Along with local bobby Harry the Helmet, ageing aquatic team the Boomerville Babes, eccentric artist Lucinda Gray, and heartthrob Finbar Murphy, they gather in Ireland and the fun begins. But murder is in the air and there’s mischief afoot. Will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?

Set in the beautiful Irish countryside, ‘Boomerville at Ballymegille’ is a heart-warming story of friendship, fears and new beginnings.

Amazon UK  Amazon

My Thoughts…

If you are looking to escape into a good book, this one is perfect. There is an enticing mix of vivid, relatable characters and an absorbing plot that immerses you into the world of Hattie and Jo. Humour and poignancy add realism into an enjoyable book which is hard to put down.

Jo needs a new project and opens a new Boomerville establishment in Ireland. There’s a host of new characters to meet with a myriad of life issues to face and overcome. Insightful writing introduces serious themes but deals with them positively keeping the spirit of the story intact.

The story reads well as a standalone but is a sequel to The Best Boomerville Hotel, which is on my list to read. Characterised by independent, intelligent older female characters, this story has something to offer everyone regardless of age.

CAROLINE JAMES

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can.

A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. Caroline also runs writing workshops.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking up a mountain with her two Westie dogs, sipping raspberry gin or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

Books by Caroline James:

Hattie Goes to Hollywood

The Best Boomerville Hotel

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Coffee Tea the Chef & Me

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

Jungle Rock

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

Coming Home to Penvennan Cove Linn B Halton 4*#Review @LinnBHalton @Aria_Fiction #Romance #SecondChances #Cornwall #Family #BlogTour #BookReview #ComingHome

Can Kerra’s Cornish hometown offer the fresh start she needs?

When Kerra left the quiet Cornish town of Penvennan Cove for the bright lights of London she didn’t look back. But after the death of her mother, she’s decided it’s time to face her past and return to the place she called home. Her father needs her, and perhaps she needs him more than she’s willing to admit?

Tackling town gossip, home renovations and a flame from her past, it’s not quite smooth sailing for Kerra. Ross is the bad boy she was meant to forget, not a man who still sets her heart aflutter. As he helps bring her dream home to life, they begin to break down the barriers that have been holding them back and in the process learn things about themselves they never thought possible.

As friends old and new come together, the future in Penvennan looks bright.

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

My Thoughts…

It took me a while to immerse myself in this story of coming home, friendship and second chances. Perhaps, because it’s a little different from previous books I’ve read by this author.

As the first book in a series, world-building is a requirement, and the first part of this story does that. It begins with Kerra wrapping up her old life after a successful sale of her website business, and returning to her home village to help her dad. She also wants to try something new, as she recovers from her mother’s death. Life in Penvennan Cove is a surprise for Kerra, whilst the sense of community, gossip and many of the inhabitants are as she remembers them, there are significant changes too.

As I get to know the characters, their lives, and how they connect to Kerra, and each other, this becomes a heartwarming, page-turning read. The characters are diverse and relatable with believable lives and relationships.

Romance features in this story for Kerra and her friends, but although this is an important theme, it’s not the only one. Kerra and Drew renovate their cottages. The details included add authenticity. This story, explores a myriad of human emotion bringing characters to life, and drawing the readers’ empathy. Written from Kerra’s point of view in the first person it gives an intimate insight into her feelings and thoughts.
The Penvennan Cove community has plenty of scope for future stories, and I look forward to future visits.

Linn B. Halton

From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Medical Romance, Romance

The Vet’s Secret Son Annie O’Neil 4* #Review @AnnieONeilBooks @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonMedical #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #DolphinCoveVets #Cornwall #MondayBlogs

Returning for forgiveness…
Staying as a father

When Lucas Williams was forced to walk away from Ellie Stone, he knew he was giving up on their dreams of opening a veterinary practice together. Now he’s back and hoping to make amends. But he’s not surprised by how successful Ellie’s become, or that their powerful connection has endured. The surprise is that when he left six years ago, Ellie was pregnant – with his son!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A sweet second chance romance, for two vets, dedicated to animals but torn apart by family drama which leaves a big secret between them.

The characters in this romance are relatable. Ellie is clever and courageous, but so scared of losing the son who means everything to her. Lucas is loyal to his family even when it means destroying what he has with Ellie. His motivations are understandable but flawed. The supporting cast, including many animals, give this story an authentic ethos and add humour and poignancy to a lovely romantic tale full of angst but thankfully happily resolved.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Adult Romance, Romance

Coming Back to You Lily Haden 4*#Review @hwoods_creative @rararesources #NewAdultRomance #comingofage #FirstLove #SecondChance #Life #Friendship #Soulmates #serendipity #BookReview #BlogTour

Some loves last for just a short time, but ours lasted a lifetime.

From the moment that Emma met Ryan, she knew he was the one for her, but he leaves her heartbroken when he betrays her and disappears from her life, only to return and shatter her heart for a second time.

We were never meant to be, we just happened against the odds.

It feels like fate when life throws them back together as adults, but Emma has moved on now and she can’t throw everything away for the man who left her heartbroken twice.

Emma is living a charmed life with a beautiful family and her art career beginning to take off, but she can’t help feeling like her heart is pulling her back to her first love.

I keep on coming back to you.

One chance encounter with Ryan, so unexpected that it feels like it was written in the stars, throws them back together and she can’t deny the connection between them is stronger than ever. Emma learns that Ryan has been keeping a secret from her, and she has to decide whether to turn away from him forever or keep fighting for their love against all odds.

Amazon UK Amazon

All 2020 royalties from this book will be going to Huntington’s Disease Association (https://www.hda.org.uk/)

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

My Thoughts…

First love and second chances told in a believable, engaging way. Emma meets Ryan when she is young and impressionable. A jealous friend and a family drama split the couple apart. Ryan is always there, in her peripheral memory, her soulmate but is he?

The story is full of ordinary life events with a cast of memorable characters. Strong friendships and serendipity characterise this heartwarming story. The final twists are heartbreaking and a surprise. The ending is realistic and makes the best of cruel circumstances.

Lily Haden

Lily Hayden writes chick lit with a kick.

Modern day women want modern day heroines and Lily’s characters want sizzling romance, rewarding careers and equal partnerships, but like all of us, they face many challenges and it isn’t always easy.

A mother to four children, Lily graduated with a degree in Business in her hometown in South Wales and enjoyed a successful career in Financial Services before fulfilling a lifelong ambition to write books.

Her debut novel Butterflies, a heartwarming alternative to the traditional boy-meets-girl story, was released in 2018, reaching readers all over the world and she is the author of five books, including a Young Adult Dystopian novel Project Terra under the alias SJ Woods (because who doesn’t love a bit of action and defeating bad guys every now and again).

Follow Lily on social media for the latest releases, promotions and occasional photos of her dogs.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

A Perfect Paris Christmas Mandy Baggot 5*#Review @mandybaggot @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #Festive #Romance #Friendship #Christmas #Paris #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #SecondChances #Serendipity

United in grief. Pushed apart by tragedy.

 Keeley Andrews knows more than anyone that you only live once. So when she receives an invitation to spend two weeks in Paris, all expenses paid, she jumps at the chance.

Ethan Bouchard has had the worst eighteen months of his life. He’s ready to give up on everything, including his hotel chain. So when he meets Keeley, it simply isn’t the right time.

As Keeley and Ethan continue to bump into each other on the romantic Parisian streets, they can’t help but wonder whether this is fate telling them to let go of the past and leap into the future…

Head to Paris this Christmas and fall in love under the lights of the Eiffel Tower with best-selling author, Mandy Baggot.

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

My Thoughts

This is no ordinary festive romance, but it fills you with emotion and goodwill. I love serendipitous romance, and this is what we have here, but it’s only a fraction of the story which explores, loss, living life to the full, and friendship against a festive Paris setting.

Sensitively told and well-researched this story takes Keely to Paris for a life-changing meeting. It’s an emotional read with many characters whose stories are intricately woven together into a lovely festive story.

This is a must-read for the festive season.

Mandy Baggot

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

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Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Mystery, Romance

The Lie Hilary Boyd 4*#Review @HilaryBoyd @PenguinUKBooks @MichaelJBooks #BookReview #TheLie

I just thought you should know who you’re married to . . .’

Romy and Michael had it all. 30 years of marriage, two wonderful sons and a beautiful home.

Until a letter arrives containing a shocking accusation, and everything falls apart.

Fleeing to an idyllic countryside village to find time to think, Romy finds herself drawn to Finch, a handsome stranger with a tragic past. Is this a chance to start again?

But then the phone rings: Michael is in hospital. He says he needs her help . . .

From the No.1 bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park.

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

My Thoughts…

This is an intense family drama. It explores the fragility of relationships and the damage caused by lies and dark secrets. Romy and Michael are a successful couple although she’s undoubtedly put her husband’s career as a barrister above her career aspirations she’s happy until she receives a letter. It makes her question her belief in her husband, her life to date. What should she do?

The ensuing moral dilemma damages her marriage and forces her to leave. Second chances avail themselves, but a life-changing event forces Romy to return to her former life and face the consequences.

Driven by vivid characters, this is an absorbing story full of darkness and mystery. Romy’s role as a mother defines her and almost forces her into a prison-like existence. Clever twists and contemporary issues make this story relevant.

The pacing is slow, but this fortifies the suspense, and the powerful ending is worth the angst.