Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Look at me Now Simone Goodman 4*#Review @simonegauthor @BoldwoodBooks #BoldwoodBlogTours #RomCom #RealityTV #Cookery #Romance #Friendship #Extract #PublicationDay #BookReview #BlogTour

#LookatmeNow

GRACIE PORTER’S LIFE IS IN A TANGLE. HER TELEVISION COOKERY SHOW IS FLAILING AND HER BOYFRIEND’S AFFECTIONS ARE WANING. IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE…

Best friend Faith rescues her place on the small screen when she unwittingly lands them both starring roles in a steamy spin-off that becomes an instant hit. The new show is more about relationships, sex and stonking big vegetables than cooking.

Throw in a fluctuating crush on her surprisingly irresistible agent, Harry Hipgrave, an unlikely friendship with a pair of D-list models and a gossip journalist intent on making her life miserable, Grace wonders if becoming famous is all it’s cracked up to be?

Romantic, utterly uplifting and poignant.

Paperback at Amazon UK Kindle at Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Definitely a story for lovers of celebrity and reality TV.

‘Look at me Now’, follows Gracie’s exploits as a celebrity chef on day time television, new owners and a tired show mean either change or unemployment. Gracie and Faith come up with a topical slant to make the show a twenty-first-century hit. What happens next pushes Gracie, who is a typical rom-com heroine, likeable and naive, well out of her comfort zone. Can she do it? Well, you’ll have to read it and see.

There is genuine humour in this story, plenty of romantic and work-based angst and conflict, and a gentle romance. The cast of characters are vividly written, and most avoid becoming stereotypical.
The writing style is inclusive and informal and makes this an easy, escapist read. Short chapters keep it well-paced.

If you like a romantic comedy with a contemporary twist, this is an enjoyable read.

Extract from – Look At Me Now – Simone Goodman

Chapter 1

‘Oops!’ Rushing into the television station where I work, escaping the demonic gale that’s sweeping across London this morning, I slide delicately across the wet tiles inside the entrance.

I say delicately. But it’s more hope that I look like an accomplished ice skater as I clumsily regain my balance. Being a healthy size 14 – I don’t consider myself fat, I’m just not reed thin – there’s a risk I’ve come off more like a comedian on a banana skin. Thankfully, no one other than Mitzi, our receptionist, is here to hold me accountable.

‘Golly, Gracie, are you okay?’ Mitzi calls from across the foyer, where she’s sitting behind the front desk, most likely reading a script.

‘I’m okay, Mitzi.’ By all accounts, my near miss looked distinctly less than elegant. Laughing, I steady myself on the death-tiles. It could have been worse. I could have toppled right over my own feet.

It’s only a short few hundred metres dash from Oxford Circus Tube station to my workplace, our studios located in a narrow but deceptively cavernous Georgian building on Soho Square. My umbrella blowing inside-out against the pelting rain and wind this morning, I covered the distance as quickly as possible. My dash best described as a nippy jog, it’s the most exercise I’ve done in months. It’s early January, the time for New Year resolutions. Possibly, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for me to consider joining a gym?

‘I’ve been warning someone will break their bones on those tiles,’ Mitzi says.

‘We could do with a non-slip mat here,’ I agree.

‘We could do with a lot of things around here,’ Mitzi sighs.

She reminds me of Daisy Lowe, the model. Dark hair. Doe eyes. Cherry-red lips. Though her role is to welcome visitors, Mitzi looks the part for television. Like many people who work here, she yearns to be in front of the camera.

I have my own show. But it troubles me, more and more lately, that I don’t look like I belong. This isn’t to say I don’t have my finer points. Pragmatically speaking, we all do. What can I tell you? My eyes are sometimes so blue as to appear violet. Almond-shaped, they’re generously framed with oodles of long, thick lashes. My dark locks cascade to below my shoulders and, at thirty-three years of age, I’ve not got a single grey hair on my head. My complexion is creamy, free of lines and, generally, spots. But before you picture me as some uber-glamourous cross between a young Elizabeth Taylor and a brunette Katy Perry, bear in mind I’m the more robustly packaged (sometimes size 14 plus) version. Some days, I fear I’m veering more into the territory of a Dawn French and Melissa McCarthy lovechild – without their comedy vehicles for kicks. But surely no one likes a thin chef?

I host my own daily cookery show, Gracie Porter’s Gourmet Get-Together.

The title is a bit of a misnomer. It’s impossible to prepare gourmet meals, haute cuisine of several aesthetically balanced and rich courses of food, within a short thirty minutes allotment of air time. Notwithstanding that with preparation of the set, the ingredients and me, it takes almost a full day to pre-record every show that then airs across the whole of England, Scotland and Wales at 10.30 a.m. the following week. Also, there isn’t much ‘getting together’ with my format. I like to think I’m always engaging with my audience as they tune in to connect with me from the comforts of their own homes, but the original concept had me hosting the occasional special guest: other chefs, celebrities and perhaps the more interesting politician. With none of us, including my producer, Robin, moving in celebrity circles, with Westminster MPs otherwise occupied with their scandals, solicitations and squabbling and me reasoning that any chef who wants to be on television would surely want their own show, we failed to deliver. When no one pushed us, we let it slide. We don’t even have a live audience. It’s pretty much me and the crew who chow down after a recording finishes. On this basis, my cookery show has aired daily for almost a year and a half.

Previously, I worked as a normal chef. I prepared mouth-watering meals in lovely places where people came to eat. When it comes to food, I’m a consummate professional. As far as television goes, I’m still cutting my teeth.

From the beginning, both investment and expectation of our little cookery show has been low. Being at the bottom end of a long list of hot shows and hotter stars left me below the radar – and this has suited me fine. Things changed late last year after Titan Media, the US entertainment giant, acquired a large chunk of our relatively tiny UK operations. This afternoon, at 3 p.m., I have a meeting with the American executives who now run things to discuss my ‘future services to the company’. It hasn’t escaped me that not everyone summoned to such meetings returned from their New Year breaks. People have been literally disappearing from the studios in droves. And I know my ratings aren’t the best.

I don’t disagree with Mitzi that things around here could be better. However, today is a day for putting the best, most confident and upbeat version of me forward.

‘I’m sure things will settle down and everything will be fine again soon,’ I assure her. I put my wet umbrella inside a cotton shopping bag.

Behind me, the front doors burst open. I turn to look. Shadowing the doorway, wearing her long, spectral black-hooded cape, stands Zelda the Magnificent, our resident daytime television psychic.

‘Gracie,’ Zelda declares on seeing me. ‘Dahling.’ Her voice is deep and melodic. Her accent is old Budapest enchantment. She’s like a darker, earthier Zsa Zsa Gabor. ‘Please, stop for Zelda,’ she implores in her dulcet tones. ‘I have, for you, a vision.’

#SimoneGoodman

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Simone’s Bio – Simone Goodman is CFO at one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Europe. She is Australian and lives in London with her daughter and her two cats.  Look At Me Now is her debut romantic comedy and will be published in November 2019.

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review The Right Side of Mr Wrong Jane Linfoot

The Right side of Mr Wrong One-off, moving on sex wasn’t meant to be this hot…
When determined singleton Shea Summers is persuaded to become the “wife” of the Lord of Edgerton Manor, the last thing she wants to do is play house with a stranger.

Brooding playboy Brando Marshall, is far from happy when Shea turns up at his sprawling estate with production crew in tow. Surely she’s just another woman after his wallet? And if she’s looking for Mr Right, she’s definitely hitting on the wrong guy. Then again, after catching an unscheduled glimpse of her knickers, perhaps Brando needs to teach this “gold-digger” a lesson!

She’s seizing the moment, he’s breaking the rules, and when bad boys can be so much fun, who can resist getting on the right side of Mr. Wrong…

Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon .com

My Review
The Right Side of Mr Wrong is a delightful romp in rural England full of emotion, humour, spice and hidden secrets it has all the required ingredients for a compelling read.

Brando, lord of the manor by default, so not in the market for a wife is horrified his younger sister who works in TV thinks he needs one. Bryony creates a reality TV show around finding him a wife and he agrees to pick the winner to keep his sister sweet and out of his love life.

Shea a professional organiser works for the rich and famous. She wants to move on with her life and to prove she can she enters the TV competition. Much to her horror she wins. Friends and relatives concerned for her welfare push her into accepting a trip to meet Brando at his stately home in the English countryside. Brando agrees but intends to leave on the helicopter Shea arrives on. Running is what he does and he’s an expert.

A freak wind puts pay to his escape when it shows him rather more of Shea than he bargained for in public. He rethinks his plans and decides Shea is every man’s dream. Her chic, contained ,calm exterior masks a sassy, sexy siren. More important in Brando’s eyes she appears willing to indulge in commitment free sex with him . Shea denies their mutual attraction but his to die for physique and persistence makes her rethink. Hot, spicy sexual encounters in unexpected locations are inevitable.

Shea is shocked by her wild, wanton side. Brando is intrigued. The more she runs the more he wants to stay until he realises he has broken his own unwritten sexual encounter rules and doesn’t care. Brando’s emotional barriers tumble with each passionate interlude until Shea knows all Brando’s secrets but won’t share hers. When he discovers what she’s hiding he runs…

Centred exclusively on the couple and their emotional journey this story is well paced and full of anecdotal humour. The scorching love scenes reveal more about the characters than they realise. Shea and Brando are realistically flawed but their love story is worth investing your time in.

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

Check out my 5* review of Jane’s debut book with Harper Impulse How to Win a Guy in 10 Dates

The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Right Side of Mr Wrong

Jane Linfoot

About The Author

I’m Jane Linfoot, and I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and a bit of an edge.
I live in a mountain kingdom in Derbyshire, England, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos – happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. For me, writing romance is cool because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things french. When I’m not on Facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.

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