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, Romance, Travel

Single in Buenos Aires (The Polo Diaries, #1) Roxana Valea 3*#Review @roxana_valea #Travel #Polo #RomCom #Argentina #Romance #Sport #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Journal #RachelsRandomResources #FridayReads

Roxy plays polo… but dreams of love. Forty-one-year-old polo player Roxy arrives in Argentina with a to-do list that includes healing from a polo injury and falling in love with a handsome Argentine. From polo boots to tango shoes, the adrenaline of riding horses to glamorous after-game parties, Roxy learns to navigate this unfamiliar landscape with the help of new friends who teach her to take life as it comes. But will she find true love? Over three months in Buenos Aires, nothing goes according to plan, and yet, all the items on her list mysteriously get ticked off in the end. Just not the way she had imagined.

Fans of the Bridget Jones series will love the blend of humour, travel, and romantic comedy at the heart of Single in Buenos Aires, all topped off with the unforgettable flavour of life in one of the most sensual and passionate cities in the world.

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

My Thoughts…

An independent woman travels to Argentina, to experience everything it has to offer. A devotee of polo, she wants to recover from a sports injury to play again, whilst meeting her soulmate. She has a to-do list and sets about completing it in a forthright way, but life is never simple as she finds out.

Written in the form of a journal, this story’s originality wars with being repetitive. There are lots of references to Argentina’s culture, landscape, city and way of life, which are fascinating, but the protagonist lacks depth, despite spilling her thoughts into her journal, and is hard to empathise.

As a holiday read, and an informative guide on all things Argentinian, including their obsession and proficiency with polo, it is interesting.

#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, Family Drama, Romance, Travel

A Springtime to Remember Lucy Coleman 5*#Review @LucyColemanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #BoldwoodBloggers #BlogTour #BookReview #Romance #France #FamilyDrama #Secrets #Relationships

#ASpringtimetoRemember

Let Lucy Coleman transport you to glorious, sun-drenched France, for the perfect feel-good read. Paris and the Palace of Versailles have always meant a lot to TV producer Lexie. Her grandma Viv spent a year there, but her adventures and memories were never discussed, and Lexie has long wondered why they were a family secret.

When work presents the perfect excuse to spend Springtime in Versailles, Lexie delves into Viv’s old diaries and scrapbooks, and with the help of handsome interpreter Ronan, she is soon learning more about the characters that tend to the magnificent gardens, now and in the past.

In amongst the beauty and splendour of the French countryside, a story of lost love, rivalry and tragedy unfold. Can Lexie and Ronan right the wrongs of the past, and will France play its tricks on them both before Lexie has to go home? Will this truly be a Springtime to Remember…?

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

My Thoughts…

Beautifully descriptive, this story portrays the ambience of France so well, the author’s love of the Palace of Versailles, is apparent, and this translates easily into Lexie’s first impressions and total enchantment with this iconic French location.

This story has a slow-burning romance with oodles of simmering passion, a family drama and mystery, which intertwines serendipitously with Lexie and Ronan’s budding romance. The characters are believable and easy to root for, and the historical input gives the story realistic depth and added interest.

This story is full of charm and emotion and allows the reader the chance to explore the mysteries of France and Lexie’s family. A lovely way to escape the depths of an English winter, to the romance and warmth of France. from the comfort of your armchair.

#LucyColeman

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Romance, Travel

A Wedding in December Sarah Morgan 5*#Review @SarahMorgan_ @HQStories #Romance #Festive #Christmas #Aspen #Wedding #Family #Secrets #Drama #Relationships #BookReview

#AWeddingInDecember

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding.

First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.

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

My Thoughts…

A Christmas wedding is so romantic, but Rosie’s family are worried. Is Rosie rushing into a relationship impulsively as usual? Katie, the older sister believes so, and heads to Colorado to stop the wedding. Her own life is complicated, and maybe she is too conflicted to examine her motives too closely? Maggie’s girls’ are her life, she wants them to be happy, but can she conquer her fears to be at her daughter’s side? Marriage is a touchy subject for her and Nick, their father, but only Rosie’s happiness matters now.

This is a festive, family drama, played out against the snowy wonderland of Aspen, Colorado. Told from Maggie, Rosie and Katie’s point of view. The secrets are exposed and the hurts laid bare in this emotional story full of angst, love and tears.

There are many conflicts both internal and external to be overcome by all the family’s members, but the magic of Christmas, familial love and a touch of laughter and romance make anything possible in this lovely festive tale.

An enchanting festive story of family, laughter, love and secrets.

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 Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Travel

The Vagabond Mother Tracey Scott- Townsend 4*#Review #BlogTour @authortrace @Wildpressed @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #LiteraryFiction #Travel #Family #Relationships

#TheVagabondMother

Not every Vagabond is a Castaway…

Maya Galen’s oldest son, Jamie, left home eight years ago after a massive row with his parents and now Joe, her youngest child and apple of her eye, has cut off all contact with them too.

Called to Australia to identify the body of a young man, Maya is given her son’s journal. After a sleepless night, she decides that the only thing she can do is follow in Joe’s footsteps and try to discover her most basic human self. Eschewing a monetary lifestyle, from now on she must rely on her physical and emotional strength to survive.

Following Joe’s hand-drawn maps and journal entries, she travels from Australia to Denmark and beyond, meeting many other travellers along the way and learning valuable lessons.

Eventually, a crisis forces her to return home and confront the end of her marriage, but also a new understanding of what family, in the widest sense, really means.

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I received a copy of this book from Wild Pressed Books in return for an honest review.

#Paperback

My Thoughts…

It’s clear from reading this book that the author has done her research, I read that the story is inspired by her young son’s travels. ‘The Vagabond Guide’ at the end of the book is provided, courtesy of his experience and the author’s thoughts as a mother. She also includes travel and work experiences from other family members, as well as her own travelling exploits.

As someone who has travelled very little, I found the book enlightening. Whilst, it didn’t give me the vagabond travelling bug, I can understand why people do this, especially someone like Maya, the main protagonist. Maya’s previous life was totally different from her travelling experience. It was losing contact with her youngest son and then recovering his journal that made her follow in her son’s footsteps.

This story is partly a travelogue, with fascinating experiences retold, of places Maya sees, the people, her fellow travellers and the food. It is also an emotional journey, feeling closer to the young son, she lost touch with. His journal guides her and us, and this is an emotional journey as much as a geographical one. This is a journey for the senses and the spirit and needs to be read with this in mind. I enjoyed it.

Relationships are an important part of this story, and it’s interesting that Maya’s daughters value her more in her absence as if they are seeing her for her true worth. Her relationship with her husband is also explored, as her independence strains the previous roles in their marriage.

Topical and timeless, if you are looking to escape and are prepared for a gamut of emotions this story is for you.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Friendship, Humour, Indie, Mystery, Novella, Romance, Travel

The Louise Fawley Symphony Rikki Evans 3*#Review @RikkiAuthor @SilverWoodBooks @rararesources #humour #eroticromance #Espionage #Novella #BookReview #BlogTour #LFS

#LFS

Meet Louise Fawley – the newest, sassiest and sleaziest agent in Her Majesty’s Secret Service. 

Follow Louise as she burgles and bungles at Melusine Plastics, gets flirtatious and salacious in Vetchley Castle, grows amorous and glamorous in Sainte-Modeste, and finally, hooks and sinks her villainess on the superyacht Bonquonne.

In this delicious, light-hearted, randy romp, can Louise solve the arcane mystery of La Ligne? 

he Louise Fawley Symphony contains material of a sexually-explicit nature, so will not be to the taste of every adult reader.

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

My Thoughts…

The blurb enticed me to read this book, The glamour, giggles and gratuitous sexual encounters I anticipated, but the frenetic pace was a surprise. I enjoy fast-paced fiction but at times this was too much.

Told from Louise’s point of view, she is a curious mix of reality superstar and an emotionally damaged adult who didn’t receive enough nurturing in childhood. Winning money, gave her a status that she never aspired to, even though she tenaciously worked her way up the corporate ladder. Self-esteem issues deny her insight into her true worth. I like her, and her perchance for crazy schemes, danger and scandal make her the perfect protagonist for a story of this type.

The plot is imaginative and quirky. Full of humour and sexy moments. The vivid imagery gives you a good sense of the settings, but the characters are not so well described.

Irreverent, original and steamy, try this if you are looking for something different.

After more than twenty-five years in accountancy, Rikki quit the profession to care for a parent whose health had deteriorated and to give more time to those interests and hobbies which had helped render accountancy almost bearable.

 Rikki’s interests include all things historical, from castles to candlesticks, music of many genres, from Gregorian Chant to Brit Pop, and above all, like HE Bates, is happiest when working and whiling in a garden.

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