Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, New Adult Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Faith In Him Julia Firlotte 5* #Review @juliafirlotte @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #Intrigue #Summer #Love #FallingForYou #Secrets #RomanticSuspense #NewAdultRomance #Kansas #FaithinHim

Adam’s deepest wounds are abandonment and betrayal. He’s spent years searching for that special someone who can fill his desolate world with love and trust. He thought he’d found her once, but instead got dragged into a dangerous criminal underworld that tore his wounds wide open and left him broken.

But as he falls in love, Adam fights back hard and fast against the darkness that surrounds him. Fidelity, bravery, and integrity become his values, and he’s sticking to them. That is until he meets Ella, the tender-hearted soul mate he’s yearned for. Now suddenly there’s more at risk than just himself.

Adam’s an all or nothing kind of guy. How far will he go to keep Ella safe? And will Ella have enough faith in him to love him anyway?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is the second book in the Falling for You romantic suspense series, and this features Adam’s point of view. After an adrenaline-pumping beginning, you soon realise that Adam is not what he seems. The story moves between the present day and Adam’s recent past. His past shows why he is emotionally guarded and illudes to the secrets he hides.

Adam’s past threatens his future and any chance of romance with Ella. Seeing things from his point of view gives the story an immediate, intense quality which ramps up the air of menace and suspense. I enjoyed seeing the story from his viewpoint. His streetwise maturity is an interesting contrast to Ella’s naivety and vulnerability. He is a strongly protective character, and this conflicts with his attraction to Ella and causes problems between them.

The intrigue and suspense are well written. The slow-burn romance makes you empathise and want them to find the happiness they deserve with each other.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Julia Firlotte

Julia Firlotte loves writing gripping stories about strong alphas with big hearts and the heroines who fall for them. Angst and passion, trust and intrigue are fundamental to all of the love stories Julia writes, so regardless of how her characters misbehave, you’ll definitely want to keep reading about them.

Julia has been reading romance novels since she was a teenager and started writing her own in 2018. She has lots of stories in her head, but never enough time to write them all. Julia believes strongly in making her character’s worlds as real as possible and there are many character insights on her website if you’d like to learn more about them.

Julia lives in Southern England with her husband, son and daughter and their five cats and would love to meet you on social media.

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Read my review of Trust in You which is now available on Kindle Unlimited on Amazon

Posted in Blog Tour, Family Drama, Romance

Summer At My Sister’s Emily Harvale 5*#Review #BlogTour @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Summer #Uplit #heartwarming #SummeratmySisters #secrets #BookReview #SeahorseHarbour

Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.

Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much. They aren’t identical twins. Perhaps the only things they have in common are agreeing their mother can be a nightmare – and their birthdays. This summer they’ll be thirty-five.
 
Diana has the perfect husband, two talented youngsters, and an adorable dog. She runs a successful business from home, a popular book club, and hosts sparkling parties for her wealthy husband. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.
 
Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends, and always looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge. She loves Diana, deeply, but each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.
 
But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she hiding something too? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance. And it all begins with a phone call from their mother.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first book by this author. I can see why she has such a loyal following of readers. The setting is charismatic and vibrant, as are the characters, but they have their flaws and so are entirely believable.

Diana and Josephine are diverse in both looks and personality, but their sisterly bond is real and grows as the story progresses. There are lots of characters to meet in the first of the Seahorse Harbour series and some very enticing men.

This story has lots of laughter, some poignant moments and romance what more do you need from a Summer read?

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 Blitz, Book Spotlight, Family Drama, New Books, Romance

Summer At My Sister’s Emily Harvale #BlogBlitz @emilyharvale @rararesources #Romance #Summer #Uplit #heartwarming #publicationday #31July #SummeratmySisters #secrets

Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.

Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much. They aren’t identical twins. Perhaps the only things they have in common are agreeing their mother can be a nightmare – and their birthdays. This summer they’ll be thirty-five.
 
Diana has the perfect husband, two talented youngsters, and an adorable dog. She runs a successful business from home, a popular book club, and hosts sparkling parties for her wealthy husband. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.
 
Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends, and always looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge. She loves Diana, deeply, but each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.
 
But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she hiding something too? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance. And it all begins with a phone call from their mother.

Publication Date: 31st July

An exciting update from Emily Harvale

I apologise if you haven’t seen me on social media very much recently but I’ve been exceptionally busy working on lots of exciting stuff (technical term) 😂🤩 for my new book, my website … and a map for my new series of standalone stories set in the tiny village of Seahorse Harbour.

The map will ‘go live’ on July 31st, publication day for the first in the series, which is … yep, you guessed it, Summer at my sister’s. Let me explain a bit more.

Summer at my sister’s was originally a standalone, but then I had an idea for a Christmas book, so it became a two-book series, with Book 2 featuring a couple of new characters and most of the characters from Summer at my sister’s (with me so far?) ……

Then …. I had an idea for another completely separate story set in the same village (which I’m writing at the mo.) This one has new characters.
So now, each story in this series will be a standalone with new characters … but as each book is set in Seahorse Harbour, you’ll be able to ‘see’ what’s going on with the characters from the previous books, because you can’t help but bump into people in a tiny village, can you?

I have to say, I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!😍🤩💖🥰 I’ve got so many story ideas, although I’ve only written 2 of the books so far, Summer at my sister’s and the Christmas book, which is called …..

Wait for it……(no, that’s not the title)

Christmas at Aunt Elsie’s

This Christmas book will be available for pre-order from early August. 💖🤩🥰😍

Did I mention that I love this series? And yes – I’m just a little bit over-excited. I can’t wait to share these fabulously feel-good stories with you. I hope you’re a little bit excited too. 🤩💖 xxx

Amazon UK

Thank you so much for allowing me to share a little extract from my new book, Summer at my Sister’s.

This is from Chapter Three. Josie Parnell asked her taxi driver called Jonno, to drop her at The Seahorse Inn. Jonno is friends with the deliciously handsome owner, Mikkel Meloy, and they’ve just leaned into one another and slapped each other on the back. Now Mikkel turns to Josie.

‘Hi. I’m Mikkel. Mikkel Meloy. My friends call me Mik.’

He held out his hand to me and I eyed it nervously, unsure whether or not to take it.

‘You’re not going to pull me into a hug and slap me on the back, are you?’

His dark blond brows shot up and then he gave a roar of laughter as he shook his mane of golden blond hair.

‘I promise not to slap you on the back.’ His voice was strong and gravelly with just a slight trace of a Nordic accent. ‘And if you’d rather I didn’t hug you, I understand. But we’re very friendly people.’

‘Norwegians?’

The gorgeous smile lit up the deepest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.

‘I meant in Seahorse Harbour, but yes, I’m originally from Norway and we’re very friendly there also.’

‘I’m from London, and lately, New York. We carry pepper spray in our handbags.’

He must’ve seen I was joking because he laughed and raised both hands in the air.

‘I’ll wait until you’re ready to hug me then. Do you want a drink?’

‘No. I’d like a pound of sausages.’

A crease formed between his brows but he soon laughed again.

‘Ah. Pretty and funny. I like that in a woman.’

‘I’m off then,’ Jonno said, grinning. ‘If you decide you want a lift to your sister’s give me a call.’ He handed me a card. ‘It’s almost lunchtime so I’m popping home for a sarnie. I’ll be out and about again by the time you’ve had your wine.’

‘Thanks, Jonno, but I’ll be fine. I will give you a call if I need a taxi while I’m here though.’

He waved goodbye to me, gave Mikkel a friendly slap on the arm and was gone in a matter of seconds. Mikkel slung one of my bags on his shoulder and grabbed my cases, wheeling them into the pub.

‘They’re not mine,’ I said.

He stopped for a second, tutted and shook his head.

‘You like to play games,’ he said. ‘I like to play games too.’

From the look he was giving me I had a pretty good idea of the sort of games Mikkel Meloy liked to play. And most of them would involve getting naked, I suspected.

I coughed to clear the images popping into my head and followed him inside. The change from bright sunlight to the dark interior soothed my eyes and meant I had to remove my sunglasses. He deposited my cases right in front of the bar and was behind it in three strides. Long, well-defined, tanned legs, gorgeous-looking bottom hidden beneath khaki shorts, manly waist and a black T-shirt stretched tight across those broad shoulders, kissed at his neck by the curled tips of that golden blond hair, made me drop onto the nearest stool, feeling a little overcome.

‘Wow!’ I said out loud, not realising I had done so.

‘Like it?’ he asked, beaming at me.

For a moment I wondered how to respond and then I realised he thought I was commenting on the inside of the pub as he glanced around and held out his hands as if offering me the entire room.

I quickly took in the white-washed walls, the ropes and nets and other fishing paraphernalia hanging from the black beams and the low, white-washed ceiling. The walls bore photographs of Seahorse Harbour through the ages, some sepia, some in colour, together with paintings of the sea, seahorses, or ships. And there were several ceramic seahorses on the large window sills. I’m not sure what effect he was going for but it somehow worked.

‘Very nice,’ I said, nodding my approval.

The only things that hadn’t changed since I was last in The Seahorse Inn were the name, the black beams and the large fireplace in the far wall. I sat in front of that during a very cold October, many years ago with the man I loved and he told me his decision. A decision that would change my life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this extract. I hope you enjoyed it.

And thank you, lovely, for sharing this on your blog. xxx

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, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Friendship, Parenting and Famlies

Gloria The Summer Fun Bus Sue Wickstead 5*#Review @JayJayBus #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #Summer @rararesources #BlogTour #Fun #BookReview #PictureBooks #playbus #GloriaTheSummerFunBus

Gloria is a special Playbus.

She is painted with bright colours that makes her stand out. Now she is ready for a summer of fun, but will Max enjoy the adventure.

Why don’t you join in the fun, too?

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Sue Wickstead Shop

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

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely story about Gloria, who is an old bus. She’s converted to a playbus and visits different areas so that children can play on her. The illustrations are bright and fun, and the text is easy to read and understand. Great for reading with younger children or for older children to read by themselves.

Max and his family visit Gloria the playbus, but he’s too old for playing on the bus like his younger brother, or so he thinks. After refusing to join in, he makes a mess and then lots of noise. He realises no one is judging, and that he’s having fun.

This is a fun way to learn that you shouldn’t dismiss things without trying them first.

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author and writes children’s picture books with a bus theme. She has also written a photographic history book about the real bus, which is where her story writing began.

Sue once worked with a playbus charity based in Crawley. This led her to write the photographic history book about the project. The ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book was published in 2012.

Sue then began to write a fictional tale about the bus. ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name and has now been followed by more picture books which all indeed have a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey.

Gloria is the most recent book and is based on the summer play-schemes which operated during the school holidays providing a safe place for children to meet and to play.

Award winning author

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Daisy Daydreams Bus Rhymes and Jokes (Open to UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway Links 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 be passed 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.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel

Summer on a Sunny Island Sue Moorcroft 5*#Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Summer #Romance #HolidayRomance #Malta #BookReview #WeekendReads

When Rosa Hammond splits up from her partner Marcus, her Mum Dora suggests a summer in Malta. Not one to sit back and watch her daughter be unhappy, Dora introduces Rosa to Zach, in the hope that romance will bloom under the summer sun. But Rosa’s determined not to be swayed by a handsome man – she’s in Malta to work, after all.

Zach, meanwhile, is a magnet for trouble and is dealing with a fair few problems of his own. Neither Rosa or Zach are ready for love – but does fate have other ideas? And after a summer in paradise, will Rosa ever want to leave?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I love that this story introduces Rosa and Zach from the first page, and makes the reader realise neither are looking for a romantic relationship despite their chemistry. As the story unfolds passion ignites, as their emotional barriers crumble. This is a slow burn romance, full of internal and external conflict.

The island setting is vibrant and easy to imagine, the author’s first-hand knowledge evident. All the characters have a part to play in this complex story of family drama, youthful mistakes and second chances.

This is perfect Summer escapism with believable characters, contemporary issues and realistic romance.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Family Drama, Romance

Summer At My Sister’s Emily Harvale #CoverReveal @emilyharvale @rarresources #Romance #Summer #Uplit #heartwarming #preorder #31July #SummeratmySisters #secrets

Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.

Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much. They aren’t identical twins. Perhaps the only things they have in common are agreeing their mother can be a nightmare – and their birthdays. This summer they’ll be thirty-five.
 
Diana has the perfect husband, two talented youngsters, and an adorable dog. She runs a successful business from home, a popular book club, and hosts sparkling parties for her wealthy husband. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.
 
Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends, and always looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge. She loves Diana, deeply, but each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.
 
But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she hiding something too? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance. And it all begins with a phone call from their mother.

Publication Date: 31st July- #Preorder

Amazon UK

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, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Motivational, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

One Day in Summer Shari Low 5* #Review @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks #Family #Drama #Secrets #Romance #Humour #SecondChances #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #BoldwoodBloggers #RachelsRandomResources #OneDayInSummer #WednesdayWisdom

One day in summer, three lives are about to change forever.

After two decades of looking after others, this is the day that Agnetha McMaster is reclaiming her life. It’s her turn, her time but will she have the courage to start again?

Ten years ago, Mitchell McMaster divorced Agnetha and married her best friend, Celeste. Now he suspects his second wife is having an affair. This is the day he’ll discover if karma has come back to bite him.

Thanks to a DNA test, this is the day that Hope McTeer will finally meet her biological father. But will the reunion bring Hope the answers that she’s looking for?

Three people. Twenty-four hours. A lifetime of secrets to unravel.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a heartwarming story, focusing on three individuals, one day in Summer. It’s a story of family, loss and love. How life changes you until sometimes, you don’t recognise the person you’ve become.

The story takes place in a day with flashbacks to the past. Family life, marriage breakdown, betrayal and love are explored, through the eyes of Agnetha, Mitchell and Hope. The multi-person point of view, over a set period, is part of the author’s unique style, and it works well.

The characters are believable and relatable. The emotional day takes the reader on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. There’s an uplifting ethos despite the setbacks which gives you hope that there’s always a second chance if you’re brave enough to take it.

Shari Low

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

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance

The Summer of Taking Chances Lynne Shelby 4*#Review @LynneB1 @AccentPress #Romance #SecondChance #Seaside #SummerRead @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #BookReview #BlogTour #ThursdayThoughts

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?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

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

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.

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

The Summer Island Swap Samantha Tonge 5*#Review @Aria_Fiction @SamTongeWriter @HoZ_Books #BlogTour #Summer #Holiday #Romance #Humour #Motivational #Extract #BookReview #Conservation #SelfRealisation #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #TheSummerIslandSwap

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect…

 After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

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

My Thoughts…

Humour, originality and romance are all integral to this motivational story. There are good intentions, misunderstandings and an idyllic if not expected setting. Deeper issues of controlling behaviour and conservation add depth and engagement.

Forced out of her comfort level, Sarah confronts issues caused by her difficult childhood. She is conflicted but easy to empathise. Gentle romance is the catalyst for her emotional journey, which is positive and satisfying.

Extract from Summer Island Swop – Samantha Tonge

‘I’ll still have to clear it at work. I’m not sure how Prue will feel about me taking a month off.’

Just the mention of my boss’s name made my stomach knot.

‘No one’s indispensable. Not even wonderful you,’ she called back.

My chest felt warm. Over recent years, Amy had matured and started to look out for me, cooking dinner and mowing the lawn. However, I’d never lose my maternal feelings towards her. When we were ten and six ours was quite an age gap. As was eighteen and fourteen when I’d had to leave her behind with Dad but promised we’d live together again. I beat the sugar and butter, remembering her tears and his folded arms as I dragged my suitcase past the fountain and out of the huge driveway, into the street. I’d finally realised I had to leave after… I swallowed. No. I wasn’t going to think about that now.

I let Nelly into the back garden, busied myself with ingredients and cleaned up whilst the cookies baked. Their sweet aroma wafted through the air as I carried them into the lounge, on a tray, with two coffees.

‘Good timing,’ said Amy and turned off her screen, looking pleased with herself. I put the tray on the table and joined her.

‘Is it all booked?’

She nodded. ‘A modest deposit paid. The rest is due in the middle of June, two weeks before we leave.’

‘Can’t you at least share which part of the world we’re visiting?’

‘That would be telling,’ she replied airily and took the largest cookie.

I jumped up and held her right arm firm whilst tickling the armpit. ‘I won’t stop until I find out, Amy Sterling.’

However, she was as strong as me these days and, giggling, held the cookie in her mouth and forced both of my hands away. I sat down once more. I recognised that expression. She was determined to keep her secret. Sometimes, with my impulsive sister, that could be a dangerous thing, like when she’d agreed to do a charity skydive with colleagues at work. She didn’t tell me until the morning of the jump.

‘Just a clue. A teeny one,’ I said. ‘Please…’

 ‘I’ve never seen you this excited before. Well, not since you were made assistant manager. Oh, and the time you found that fancy moisturiser for half price.’

‘It wasn’t just any moisturiser. The Duchess of Cambridge uses it.’ I pressed my palms together. ‘At least let me guess… the Canary Islands? Barbados? Australia’s an island, right? I mean, you and me – we share most things, don’t we?’

‘Best buddies, always,’ she said solemnly.

It was a promise we’d made to each other, the day after Mum’s funeral. And sure enough, we confided in each other about our latest celebrity crushes, about our dreams for the future; we put the world to rights over Chardonnay and Pringles. I knew her favourite colour, favourite food, favourite band. She could always tell when I’d had a stressful day at work and, without prying, would make me a hot chocolate, fetch a blanket and switch on my current Netflix obsession.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award.

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

Barefoot on the Beach Katylyn Duncan 4*#Review @katlyn_duncan @HQDigitalUK #Romance #Beach #Wedding #Summer #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #SecondChance #Marriage #contemporaryfiction #Relationships #BarefootontheBeach @Harper360 @Harper360UK @HQStories #NewEngland

Renee Clarke is perfectly happy just the way she is…​

Renee may be thrilled to be planning her sister’s wedding, but after witnessing her mother’s two failed marriages, she has always vowed that she is better off on her own.​

But when Renee discovers that Luc Hardy has moved next door, her world is knocked off kilter. Luc was her whirlwind summer romance as a teen and, more importantly, her first love. Now he’s back in West Cove, looking more handsome than ever.

​There is no escaping the romance in the air this summer. With the wedding planning in full swing, Renee begins to believe that she might be able to put her childhood reservations about marriage aside.

​Yet when her mother arrives, she stirs a torrent of emotions in Renee’s heart.  She’s up to her old tricks again–boasting about her latest conquests–reaffirming Renee’s lack of faith in love.

As Renee’s happily-ever-after hangs in the balance, will Luc be able to convince her that true love can last forever?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Barefoot on the Beach is a second chance romance with family drama. The multilayered plot delves into dysfunctional family dynamics. It explores how children may be affected by the success or failure of their parent’s relationship. Renee is anti-marriage because of her mother’s influence, even when she meets Luc again, she is wary of falling in love.

As she plans her sister’s wedding, she reacquaints with Luc. Their chances of happy ever are remote in the face of their internal conflicts and past nurturing. The setting is well described and immersive, the perfect wedding location.

A gently paced story because of Renee’s internal analysis of her family relationships and her view of marriage, but the romance is lovely and eventually finds a way to win. Believable, strong characters and simple but effective plotting tell an engaging story of family relationships and love in an iconic New England setting.

Katlyn Duncan

Coming from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Katlyn Duncan always had her head in the clouds. Working as a scientist for most of her adult life, she enjoyed breaking down the hows and whys of life. This translated into her love of stories and getting into the minds of her characters.

Currently, she’s a full-time author and freelance writer. When she’s not writing, she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’.

She currently resides in Southern New England with her family. Check out more about her writing and current TV addiction in her newsletter, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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