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

Fateful Coincidence Lasairiona E. McMaster 4*#Review @QueenofFireLas #LisaMillar #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship #NewAdult #Relationships @rararesources #RachelsRandomTours #BookReview

Five thousand miles from her ex, Lisa is living with her decision to call it quits and leave both AJ and Alabama behind. She believes she’s finally ready to put her broken heart back together and move forward with her life as a single woman. But when she meets a seemingly too-good-to-be-true doctor, she feels both unsure of herself and guilty for moving on so quickly from her engagement to AJ. Lisa finds herself at a crossroads, does she give up all hope of ever reconciling with AJ and take a chance on love again with someone new? Or is her heart destined to be forever entwined with the married man she met on the internet?

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in ‘The Lisa Millar series’ keeps the faith, it is emotional, fast-paced, and full of life’s lows and highs. Lisa is tired of being the ‘other woman’, after her loss, she is broken, and compromise is not on her agenda. At this point, knowing she loves AJ, and he loves her, is not enough, she needs them to be together. without obstacles, mental or physical.

Like all the books in this series, this is a page-turner, it seems Lisa is moving on, but aren’t soulmates meant to be together? Even though I am not in the intended audience group for this story, I appreciate its portrayal of what it’s like to be young and in love. The possibilities, the seemingly insurmountable lows, and the feeling that on some level, you are invincible, whatever life throws at you.

There is lots of interactive dialogue, which is part of this author’s style, drama and love. The conclusion leaves you feeling that whatever went before, this was always how it was supposed to end.

Lasairiona E McMaster

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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Read my reviews of the first two books in the series by clicking on the links

Intimate Strangers

The Good In Goodbye

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

A Horse Called Bicycle (The PoloDiaries #2) @roxana_valea 4* #Review #Travel #Polo #RomCom #Argentina #Romance #Sport #SelfRealisation #BlogBlitz #BookReview @rararesources #Journal #RachelsRandomResources

#AHorseCalledBicycle

Roxy found love . . . but is it enough? In the second instalment of the Polo Diaries series, polo player

Roxy goes back to Argentina a year after the events in Single in Buenos Aires, filled with dreams of settling down with the man she loves. This time, once again, Argentina is full of surprises and things are not what they appear to be. Or maybe they’re exactly what they’re meant to be, as a fortune-teller informs her.

Roxy takes a leap of faith and follows her dreams once again. She spends time at glamorous party venues of Buenos Aires and travels to the rough and wild pampas. Along the way, Roxy’s friends support and champion her quest for love, but when things get out of hand, Roxy realizes she needs to listen to her own inner voice and must make a hard choice. Two paths open in front of her, each one with far-reaching consequences. Which will she choose?

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

My Thoughts…

After her last trip to Argentina Roxy returns to the country, considerably more emotionally and physically damaged than on her previous trip. She wants her happily ever after, and to continue doing what she loves, but starts to question if it is the right thing for her, now?

Self-realisation is a key element of this second story, completing her to-do list on her previous visit didn’t fulfil her. Can she see that the answers to her happiness lie within? I empathised more with this damaged, yet mature woman, perhaps because I’m older and understood this Roxy more? This story is uplifting and held my interest throughout.

#RoxanaValea

Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–travelling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.

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

The Good in Goodbye Lasairiona E. McMaster 4*#Review @QueenofFireLas #LisaMillar #BlogTour #Romance #Friendship #NewAdult #Relationships @rararesources #RachelsRandomTours #BookReview

#TheGoodinGoodbye

Relationships are complicated. Long-distance ones, even more so.

When Lisa Millar met AJ Williams online through mutual friends, she wasn’t prepared to fall in love with the man of her dreams. She was even less prepared to discover that he already had a wife. In a heart-wrenching story of love attempting to transcend miles, Lisa finds herself pregnant and on the wrong side of the Atlantic from the man she loves.

Will their love conquer all? Or will the intricacies of a relationship woven across the Atlantic be too much to take and tear them apart once and for all?

(Warning: This book ends on a cliff hanger)

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#TheGoodInGoodbye

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

My Thoughts…

Another passionate chapter of the internet romance between Lisa and AJ. This new adult romance is emotional with touches of humour and sadness that draw you into their lives and make you care what happens to them. Lisa’s pregnant, and this leads to a new vulnerability, whilst highlighting the drawbacks of her relationship with A.J.

The story is sensitively written, and the characters, as in the first book, continue to be believable. The story charts the rough with the smooth, before tumbling to the inevitable cliff hanger, which is a signature of this series.

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books, Magic

Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure Emma Larkin 4* #Review @emmalarkinbooks @rararesources #childrensbooks #kidlit #ladiesgaelicfootball #blogblitz #bookreview #Ilustrator #PaulNugent #RebelinKerry

#IzzysMagicalFootballAdvneture

Izzy is a seven-year-old girl who lives in Ireland and loves all sport, especially Gaelic Football.

Izzy plays football with her brothers on a regular basis in their back garden and dreams of playing for her county in the All Ireland Ladies Football Final in Croke Park when she is older.

One day, Izzy puts on her great grandmother’s bracelet, which is made of old All Ireland medals that her great grandmother won a long time ago, and something unexpected and magical happens, which may make Izzy’s Croke Park dream a reality sooner than she expected…

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

My Thoughts…

A lovely family story, about believing in yourself and your dreams, and practice makes perfect.

Izzy regularly plays Gaelic football with her three brothers, and despite trying hard, is often on the losing side, which is frustrating and makes her unpopular with her teammate brother. Banished to her room, when she has a tantrum, she finds her grandmother’s bracelet, and then with a little magic, she sees what the future could be.

The characters are relatable, the adventure full of magic and motivation, and the illustrations follow the action beautifully. The introduction to Gaelic football is interesting, for those who are not familiar with it, and the story is pitched appropriately for the intended age group.

I read the electronic version of this, but the illustrations are clear and still enjoyable.

#EmmaLarkin

My name is Emma Larkin, and I am the founder of “Emma Larkin Books” and “Rebel in Kerry Press”.  I have recently written and published my first book “Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure”, and I hope to write many more books about Izzy and her adventures in sport. As may be evident from the name of my publishing imprint, I am a “Rebel in Kerry”!  This means that I am originally from County Cork in Ireland, which is known as the Rebel County, but I moved to Kerry (another county in Ireland which neighbours Cork) in 2006 and have been happily living in Kerry since then, with my husband and four children. My husband is a Kerry native and we live in North Kerry, near Listowel, where my husband is from and is an area which is rich in literary history! 

I have always enjoyed reading and writing. Writing essays was my favourite part of primary school!

In my spare time, I love to run. I am very involved in my local park run in Listowel. I also coach ladies’ football at underage level with my local ladies’ football club and did attempt to play ladies football for a few years with my local “Gaelic4Mothers&Others Team”! I may not have been the greatest football player, but I could run! And it was an hour each week where I could exercise in a fun environment with a fantastic group of women, who I remain friends with to this day.

My inspiration to write this book was my grandmother, Maureen Hennebry, née Cashman. She was on the Cork camogie team which won the All-Ireland Camogie Championship three times in a row between 1939 and 1941. She came from a family rich in GAA history, the Cashman’s of Blackrock in Cork, and is even mentioned in the following poem by the famous Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh:

Camogie MatchPatrick Kavanagh 1905 – 1967

Bright shone the sunlight on Peggy and Doreen

Wild swung the ash sticks.  Be careful astoreen;

Josie is getting into her stride now,

Kathleen is hurling with all her Cork pride now.

A shout from the side-line: Mark your man, Kathleen Cody.

Kathleen pucks it.  I tell you that puck was a dotie.

The game is exciting, it is indeed really,

Maureen Cashman is tackling the bold Ide O’Kiely …

In hindsight, I am in awe of the fact that my grandmother and her teammates played camogie at such a high level at a time in Ireland, where a woman’s role was predominantly to be a wife and homemaker. Which comes to my reason for writing this book, my grandmother was my inspiration to write it, but my reason for writing it was to encourage all young girls to play sports. It is crucial for our wellbeing and development and we need to make it as normal for girls to play sport as it is for boys. The growing popularity of women’s sports in Ireland and further afield is so encouraging and we need to continue to develop this. As the current 20*20 campaign says, “if she can’t see it, she can’t be it”. I hope that my book can in some way help to normalise girls playing football and that both boys and girls will enjoy reading about Izzy’s adventures!

Visit the following websites for more information;

20*20 campaign – www.20×20.ie

Sport Ireland – www.sportireland.ie

Ladies Gaelic Football Association – www.ladiesgaelic.ie

Camogie Association – www.camogie.ie

Women in sport – www.womeninsport.org

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

Intimate Strangers Lasairiona E. McMaster 4*Review @QueenofFireLas @rararesources #NewAdult #ContemporaryRomance #InternetRomance #ComingofAge #BookReview #BlogTour

#IntimateStrangers

Is there such a thing as too perfect?

Lisa Millar wasn’t supposed to fall in love with a guy on the Internet. But she did.

Other than living over five thousand miles away in America, AJ Williams is seemingly her perfect match. Strikingly handsome, musically talented, plays hockey and has a typical college-guy life.

In a moment of carpe diem, Lisa flies from Ireland to Alabama to surprise her internet-beau and finds herself face to face with an inconceivable reality that she couldn’t possibly have prepared for.

How well can you truly know someone you meet online?

Will true love win out, or will AJ’s secret life be too much for Lisa to bear? 

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

My Thoughts…

The blurb for this book attracted me, even though I don’t usually read new adult romance, anymore. I need to think back thirty-nine years, to recognise how I would react in these circumstances, and whether I would risk everything for love, on the strength of an internet acquaintance.

There wasn’t internet in the 1980s, but I still changed the course of my life for love, after a short acquaintance, and so, the main character Lisa’s motivations are something I can relate to.

This contemporary romance is well-written, with an easy to read, style. The youth of the characters and the initial decisions they make are often immature, reading this now, but perfectly in keeping with their age group and intended audience.

Honest and relatable, this story does present our internet lovers with plenty of conflicts, which test their feelings and motivations. The twisty plot tells an engaging story, and the characters are authentic.

The first in the Lisa Millar series, it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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Posted in Book Spotlight, New Books

Perfection Is Just An Illusion – Rebecca Barber

Perfection is just an illusionPoppy - Blurb Is it possible to have a perfect life? A perfect love? Or is perfection just an illusion…

James Thompson is an Olympic swimmer with gold medals, world records, and million-dollar sponsorship deals… But his fiancée Anna White is just an ordinary girl—or so she believes. When James takes her home for a visit and encounters her childhood friends and sleazy, jealous ex-boyfriend, Grant, he sees for the first time just how far apart their worlds really are. Anna’s so-called friends undermine and back stab, but James is up for the challenge… James is determined to make Anna see that while she might have once been an ugly duckling, she is now a stunning swan, and the only woman for him. As the London World Championships approach, media scrutiny of their relationship intensifies, and an intimate secret is uncovered…making their promise to each other nearly impossible to keep. Caught up in a whirlwind of press coverage, and championship competition… James and Anna find the stress almost overwhelming, and they struggle to maintain focus on their goals. But when victory finally appears certain, an old menace resurfaces and threatens to violate all James and Anna hold dear. Is it possible to have a perfect life? A perfect love? Or is perfection just an illusion…

Poppy - Author Bio

Rebecca BarberRebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

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Poppy - Excerpt“When he comes over please don’t say anything stupid or act funny around him. Please. I’m begging you. He’s just a normal guy like you and me,” Anna pleaded, wide eyed. At the mention of the ‘normal guy,’ Anna couldn’t help but notice the wide, suspicious eyes staring back at her. It was obvious that her comments had had the exact opposite effect than the one she’d been after. Instead of acting natural and normal, now Anna was worried what would fall out of their mouths. And what confused her more was why. After all, they’d all known each other for years, but now and all of a sudden Anna didn’t trust them. Not as far as she could throw them. But in the same moment the thought crossed her mind, James edged his way around the bar toward them. Daniel was first to see and recognise him. Anna watched on, horrified, as his mouth fell open, his eyes firmly fixed on James’s approaching figure. And slowly but surely, one by one, everyone else’s gaze followed. Anna hated her home town in that moment. And she knew James would have as well. This was why they never went anywhere or did anything. The whole bar was watching him. Every move he made was scrutinized, and as he passed by tables, Anna was disgusted to notice conversations fell short. People stopped pushing buttons on the poker machines, and even the bar attendants froze mid-pour as the entire club fell silent. But to James’s credit and Anna’s delight, he continued to walk purposefully across the room, his head held high, and took his seat next to Anna, offering her a glass of mineral water and a reassuring smile as she made introductions. Anna had never felt so many pairs of eyes on them at once. She felt them boring into her soul. So she did something she never would have done if she had been thinking straight. It was Anna’s greatest weaknesses; she was rash and impulsive. And when provoked, she tended to react first and think later. So she kissed James. In the middle of the crowded room, with hundreds of eyes fixated on them, she kissed him. It worked, luckily. Shocked people returned to what they were doing, leaving Anna’s cheeks burning. She could hear their names being whispered amongst patrons, but at least the staring and deafening silence was over. She heard rumours beginning to take shape, about how she—a nobody—had just kissed the superstar swimmer. Rebecca Barber Banner