Book review of ‘The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower’ by Rebecca Raisin.

The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin.
Published: 30th June 2016 by Carina UK.
Available to pre-order on Amazon UK.


‘Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…
Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.
Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…’


I am absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour for such a talented author. Thank you to Carina for inviting me on the tour personally, and a thank you to Rebecca for allowing me to read her book! Excited!!

There is nothing like getting swept up in the history of antiques; finding out where they came from and whether they hold any sentimental value. After all, everything has a story to tell….right? Anouk enjoys telling the story of the items, but she doesn’t enjoy telling her own story half as much. Who would want to after their heart was broken? As they say, ‘all is not fair in love and war’. Apparently bidding for antiques if like a war, but compared to what Anouk is about to be faced with, that bidding war seems like the better option..but is it? Will Anouk be able to tell her own story? Or will she find any reason not to, even if that was at the expense of herself?

It’s often said that walking into an antique shop is like walking into a life-sized treasure chest; so much beauty in one place, yet you have to search to find it. The same can be said for ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’, except, you don’t have to search for the beauty as it is right there in front of you. I have never been to France, let alone Paris, but thanks to the first few pages of Rebecca’s book, I felt like I was right there soaking up the atmosphere. Anouk (the character whose life you follow) had me very intrigued from the beginning because I could tell that there was so much more to her personality and life and I was looking forward to seeing how that would unfold. Anouk’s life hasn’t been straight forward at all, she has had quite a few knocks and it seems to still affect her as she is quite a fragile soul. Not only did Anouk catch my eye, all of the other characters within the book had something special about them. I felt that by the end of the book, I had gotten to know each character’s personality and some of their history, and I loved it.

To be extremely honest, between you and me, I didn’t just love the characters personalities. I loved the whole book. Every single page had a sense of drama about it with added suspense. It’s like you’re waiting for something to happen but you’re not sure what exactly, but then you’re kept guessing as the story takes another turn. I would say I was on the edge of my seat when I was reading it, but I was laying in my bed, but if I was on a chair, it would have me on the edge! Multiple times I laughed, multiple times I gasped. The book is a work of art. I am trying to be quite vague writing this review and it’s proving to be quite difficult to do so! I just want to tell you everything, but I can’t, and I won’t, so you have to go buy it and read it when it’s out!
As I said above, the book is filled with drama, not only that, it’s the sort of drama that has you asking questions as if you’re trying to solve a riddle. I tried to solve a riddle once, but I failed. I’m really glad that I did fail at it though, because it made the riddle even better! Sorry, I’m being a bit dubious right now aren’t I? The riddle that I tried to solve was this book!

I cannot fault ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’ one bit. It is one thing for a story to have incredible characters, but it’s another thing to make the reader feel like they’re walking in the country it’s set in. Rebecca has written about how relaxing the lifestyle is in France, I felt relaxed reading it.

Rebecca writes with emotion. She writes to be believed. She writes with humour, compassion and the ability to connect the reader with the story on multiple levels. Such an amazing book from start to finish. Finishing ‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’ felt like I had lost something, like a friend. The whole novel had me spellbound and captivated by the essence of its beauty.
‘The Little Antique Shop Under The Eiffel Tower’ is a valuable that needs to be treasured for many years to come.

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Celebrate good times C’MON! #nomoredays

‘There’s a party goin’ on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you.’

Ceeeelllllleeeeebrrraaattttiiiiooooonnnnnnn!!!!!!

We had Annie on the blog the other day and now we are joined by Kool and the Gang! (lyrics courtesy of Kool and the Gang).

‘Why are we celebrating?’ I hear you ask. Well……

todayy

You get to meet Anouk today in Paris! The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower is available to buy as of….RIGHT NOW!
That’s it my lovelies, today is publication day for the wonderful Rebecca Raisin. I hope you will all join in me in congratulating her on the release of her latest novel.

If you wish to buy your copy, you can do so via Amazon UK.

Big thank you to Karan for inviting me to do the Release Countdown Blitz this week, and a big thank you to all of you for counting down with us!

I am on the blog tour for Rebecca’s book later on today (making her sweat), so please do keep an eye out! I am very excited to share my thoughts with you (as per usual)!!
Book and Author Information

Title: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 2

Standalone?: Yes

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers 

Summary

Escape to Paris this summer and prepare to be swept off your feet…

Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…

Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…

Watch out for more in The Little Paris Collection

1. The Little Bookshop on the Seine

2. The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower

3. The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées 

Book Links

Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B00W7Y9VQG

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00W7Y9VQG

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/little-antique-shop-under/id1022781469?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower-rebecca-raisin/1121995906?ean=9781474035514

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25371094-the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower

Author Biography

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. 

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.rebeccaraisin.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6915386.Rebecca_Raisin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaxandwillsmum

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccaraisin/

Book review of ‘Melody Bittersweet and The Girls Ghostbusting Agency’ by Kitty French.

Melody Bittersweet and The Girls Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French.
Published 14th July 2016 by Bookouture.
Available to buy from Amazon UK.

‘Life’s tricky for Melody Bittersweet. She’s single, she’s addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers and … she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one’s swiping right on Tinder?
Waking up lonely on her twenty-seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change.
Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency – kind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her sexy enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat.
Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there are the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job…  ‘

Huge thank you to Bookouture for letting me read an early copy of the book, despite my pestering and whinging like a much younger person (far too impatient to wait).
Already on Facebook and Twitter, there have been nothing but good things said about this book, I was extremely hopeful that it would live up to the excitement when I read it for myself.
Meet Melody Bittersweet. She isn’t what you would class as your ‘average’ twenty-something female. Well, kind of. I mean, she has a sugar addiction and she’s a single woman who has dreams about Robert Downey Jr. Isn’t that pretty much the norm? No? Oh…anywayyyyyy!
The only difference between Melody and myself(I jest) is that she can see dead people, aka ghosts, and she can talk to them. Melody feels she has reached an age where she needs to be more of a grown-up; so she buys a dog called Parsnip…sorry…Lestat! She also decides to create her own Ghostbusting Agency with her best friend. Little does Melody know, her new agency isn’t going to be all overalls and ghost vacuums. There is more to things that meets the eye…literally, but can Melody figure out the answers she needs? Or will she be fighting with her dog for sugary treats?

I am actually struggling to write this review because Kitty French’s book is the type of book that I just want to tell you EVERYTHING about, and I can’t. Well I could, but that would ruin it for you, and you have to read this book. You just have to.

As I said above, I was rather impatient after I saw the cover of the book as I wanted to read it straight away. Poor Kim had to cope with me like an excitable puppy!
Melody Bittersweet and The Girls Ghostbusting Agency had me laughing so hard I went from human to snorting pig to a seal then a banshee within seconds. I am not over exaggerating either, my laugh goes through levels when I find things absolutely hilarious. Right from the start of the book through to the end, is full of innuendos, smut, sarcasm and pure hilarity. I have not laughed like that in a very, very long time.

I adored the modern references to the celebrity world and how different Melody and her best friend are. To be honest, judging the book by the title alone, you just know it’s not going to be a completely serious book! Reading about Melody’s adventures was like opening a treasure chest. Each and every page was full of something special. Now that could be anything from a characters actions, or a situation Melody found herself in. It’s a book that just keeps giving, right until the very end. A book that will make tears roll down your cheeks due to constant laughter. A book that is full of food that will make you extremely hungry, I totally need a cannoli fyi!

One thing I wasn’t expecting to happen whilst reading this book, was for me to start crying. For approximately 1 minute (dependant on your reading speed), the book took a little serious turn. I felt that that particular minute was packed full of raw emotion. I genuinely wasn’t expecting it to catch me like it did, maybe I got very involved with the storyline just like the characters. Not complaining though!

Melody Bittersweet and The Girls Ghostbusting Agency did not disappoint one bit, I was extremely gutted that it had to end. If Melody needs another girl for her agency, sign me up! If I could sum up the story in just one word, I would say ‘unforgettable’. If I could read it for the first time, every time, I would. Kitty French has written such a wonderful and clever book with so much imagination throughout the words. Thank you Kitty for making me laugh so hard. You have made me find my laugh deep within in a time where I want to do anything but laugh.

Sheer brilliance! Are you wondering whether you should read it or not? The magic 8 ball says….yes.

‘Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow…..’

you’re always a day……AWAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

one day

Did you see what I did there? Are you as proud of me as I am of myself?

No?

Darn…..okay then! I’m sure you have guessed by now what may be happening tomorrow, after all, I have given you a HUGE clue above. -waits for penny to drop-

That is right my fantastic little gems, TOMORROW (finally), ‘The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower’ by Rebecca Raisin is being released! From tomorrow you can shimmy yourself onto Amazon (or any other places you use for e-books), and bag yourself a copy! I have been lucky enough to read this book already and whilst I can’t say my views on it (properly) just yet, I can definitely say that you will not be disappointed.

If you want your copy to ping onto your e-reader at around midnight (ish), then pre-order your copy now: Buy via Amazon.

When you do buy your own copy and manage to read it, pretty please could you leave a constructive review for Rebecca on Amazon/Goodreads etc, afterwards? Reviews to authors are like gold, and if you appreciate a book what better way to support the author!

Guess what Jennifer Bohnet! Surprise! ‘I’m Virtually yours.’

I’m Virtually Yours by Jennifer Bohnet.
Published 9th December 2013 by Carina UK.
Available to buy in E-book format from Amazon UK.

‘Polly Jones is taken aback when a new client asks her to investigate the Robertson family business in Devon, after all, a ‘virtual assistant’ doesn’t usually leave their home office! But she needs the work – and less proximity to an endless supply of tea and biscuits can only be a good thing right? So she sets off, with energetic puppy Rosie close by her side.

Polly’s new job isn’t quite in her comfort zone… Arriving in the small fishing village where everyone knows everyone’s business, any upsides (all those yummy scones and clotted cream) of course have their downside – she’s completely forgotten to pack her sea legs, and the temptingly handsome Will Robertson is making her job difficult at every turn.

It’s so much easier to keep things strictly professional in the virtual world – but with no e-mail to hide behind Polly must admit that Will’s smile is incredibly, deliciously distracting…’

Jennifer Bohnet has been on my ‘author to read’ list for quite a while, and still is because there are a few others I just need to read. After reading a rather deeply emotional book, I needed to find something shorter to read, so obviously Jennifer came to mind. As soon as I saw the title of this book on Amazon, I just had to buy it. Curiosity got the better of me because I thought ‘is this about dating websites?’ ‘is this book about someone dreaming?’, I had no idea! That in itself made me excited. I like playing the guessing game with books because I no longer read the blurbs, I want to find out the information for myself. ‘I’m Virtually Yours’ was certainly no different. You’re probably thinking I am a tad on the odd bookish nerd side, but I can tell you one thing, after reading this particular book, I am SO glad that I go by the title and covers of books instead of the blurbs (mostly).

Polly is a ‘virtual assistant’. She works for clients without meeting them (or leaving her home office). However, the job that she was asked to do meant she had to leave her home and play detective for a boat business. There is one slight hindrance with that, Polly and boats do not mix well, especially when everything is not as it seems!

As soon as I found out Polly’s job, I wondered (and still do) how I could make that my job! (PS, if you know, do tell me!)
Polly is such a loveable character, she comes across in the story as such a down to earth person. I must admit that I did warm to her straight away! As the story unfolds it’s quite clear my original guess about the book is completely way off mark, and I’m glad because it had considerably more oomph to it than my guess. ‘I’m Virtually Yours’ is a novella (short story), and it is ideal if you fancy something to read that isn’t too heavy, but has enough detail in it to keep you interested. I loved how the story was quite fast paced in terms of the storyline, but I am curious as to what happened after with Polly and the boats. They say romance happens when you least expect it. Jennifer Bohnet certainly hit the nail on the head with that, especially as Polly went to Devon to investigate the boats, NOT the boatmen.

Reading ‘I’m Virtually Yours’ has given me a taster of Jennifer’s writing style; which means I am now more excited to read the other books she has written. This novella is such a fun, light-hearted and warming read. I needed to read a book that let me get lost within its words..this book did just that. Such a pleasure to read.

No longer ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’, more ‘Hiya younger Ruby!’. Courtesy of A.L.Michael.

Seeing as A.L.Michael and I enjoy bringing something different to TWG, we obviously need to keep that momentum going. Obviously! The last blog post we had, featured a wonderful cake recipe. Any of you made it yet? If you don’t know what I’m on about, take a nosy here —> Love cake, ‘Ruby Tuesday’, cake, A.L.Michael and…cake? <— and go into the kitchen and make cake!

I hope the title of the blog, or part of it, sounds a bit familiar to you. Author A.L.Michael released the first book in a series back in April, called ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’.
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!
The second book in the series is released in August, and I am already very impatient because I want to read it yesterday! A.L.Michael has put together these posts for me so I can get my fix of her amazing book whilst I’m pacing the floor waiting for the next one. Well, she didn’t know that bit, but she does now. Hiya!!!!

Today’s post is yet again something different. A character from the book,  Ruby Tuesday has written a letter to her younger self, and it certainly isn’t one to be missed. Powerful words. Enjoy.

What I would tell my younger self
by Ruby Tuesday
This feels kind of like a school report, one of the ones I would have bunked off doing, and somehow managed to get away with, instead of an article for a magazine. It’s funny how
things end up seeming the same.
I loved being young, there was nothing better than being seventeen and in love with every
boy who jutted his lip and looked at you like you were a delicious piece of pie, or the most
glorious ice cream sundae. I loved the power I had then, people just seemed to do what I
want without me even really trying. I know that sounds stuck up, and no doubt there’ll be a headline in a tabloid newspaper tomorrow saying ‘Ruby Tuesday thinks people love her’,
but it was true. Something about having nothing to lose, I guess.
I was never mean, I don’t think, and I can be proud of that, but I had to be in control.
I loved my friends, like, my school friends, more than anything. I had moved so many times by that point, foster home to foster home, and I knew none of them would ever stick, because I always caused trouble. I just couldn’t help it, it was my way. But I wouldn’t tell myself to cause less trouble, because that’s how I found my friends. In detentions and after school sessions, random and peculiar punishments (are they still getting kids to scrape chewing gum off desks and put dots in every corner on a page of squared paper, because that’s a real fucking waste of time – give them a newspaper and tell them about the world, would you?) is how I made friends. And enemies. Maybe that should be my advice, to have made fewer enemies, been nicer about everything.

I had a certain thing I liked to do, and I thought I was being good, a vigilante for justice, and female empowerment, as much as anyone knows what they’re doing at seventeen. I used to test their boyfriends, used to see if they’d cave and fall for flattery and flirtation. The boys who fell for it were publicly shamed and their girlfriends were told. They were found unworthy, and it proved to me just how fickle men were. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t have based my opinion of all men on the pricks of horny teenage boys, but I did. And the weirdest thing happened – the girls stayed with them. They blamed me, and they stayed with the boyfriend, convinced it was my evil feminine wiles, and not their less than significant others. And that was the way of the world then, and it’s the same now.

So I play the part a little more. I put on my make up and I curl my hair and I sing to the world that the boy is treating you bad, and I want to be your friend and I wish you would listen. I want to save every one of those women from throwing themselves away on someone who’s unworthy. But…it made me a bitch, obviously, so maybe I should tell my younger self to stop all that shit. Maybe I should have told her to chill with the drinking and the need for drama, to stop acting like every day was her last on earth and just do her fucking maths homework. No wonder I got screwed in my first contract – could they add that to the syllabus as well?

Learning about percentages would be so much better in context! I think I would tell Ruby to wait, not to run whenever things got hard, not to be so eager to dish out the advice and so unwilling to take it. I loved people and I still held them away from me, never letting them see the whole. And now everyone sees Ruby Tuesday, and Ruby Montgomery, that poor little girl with no parents and no lunchbox, who grinned and caused trouble, well, there’s only three people in the world who still remember her.
And maybe I’ll get really lucky, and they’ll read this, and know how much I miss them.

The next book in the House On Camden Square series, is available to pre-order right now via Amazon UK.
Big thank you to A.L.Michael for yet another wonderful post. If you wish to keep up to date with the latest from her then you can do so via Twitter.

My thoughts on ‘Time after Time’, NO, not the one by Cindi Lauper! Written by Hannah McKinnon.

Time after Time by Hannah McKinnon.
Published 2nd June 2016 by Maze (an imprint of HarperCollins).
Available to buy in E-book format from Amazon UK.

‘Have you ever wondered ‘what if?’
When Hayley Cooper goes to sleep wishing for a different life, then wakes up in bed with her first boyfriend, she can’t believe her eyes. She hasn’t seen Chris in over twenty years – but now she’s married to him. And Hayley is in for a few more romantic surprises . . .
Over a single weekend, Hayley lives her life time and time again, and as each of her former loves resurface, Hayley starts to realise that there’s some truth in the saying ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Yes, the past two years with her husband Rick have been tough, but is the grass always greener?’

Such a good question; have you ever wondered ‘what if?’. Have you ever wondered what things would be like if you had taken a different path in life? Have you ever wondered what your acquaintances from the past would be like after you have moved on? Lets just pause for a second whilst you get into the ‘what if?’ mind-set….

Have you thought about it yet?

What about now?

Now?!

We’re only human, of course we are bound to wonder ‘what if?’ whenever relationships end, or we make a huge decision in life. However, we cannot wave a magic wand, or close our eyes and be back in time, to a life that never was. Well, WE can’t, but there seems to be just one person that can. Does the name ‘Hayley Cooper’ ring a bell to you? No? Well it should! (Why haven’t you read this book yet?! :o)

Hayley Cooper is in a difficult situation in her current life and it’s safe to say that she is pretty peeved with the way things are going. She wants a different life, and it gets her wondering about her ex boyfriends. Little did she know she would come face to face with them when she woke up the next morning.

That reminds me, what day is it today? Monday, or Saturday?

The cover of this book totally threw me. I had seen it multiple times over on Twitter and Amazon but hadn’t had the chance to click buy. So, when Avon publishers tweeted about it again one night, I made sure I got it there and then. Not only is it a memorable cover, it is also a very romantic looking cover, although I stupidly judged the book by its cover and wondered why I was getting confused. Only a smidge though, honestly…

Hayley is the main character of the story. She is married with children but there is something about her life that isn’t sitting right with her. Something doesn’t seem quite right and she cannot seem to put her finger on it. That is of course, until she follows all the paths of her past that she never took. Hayley seems to like the weekend in this book because she re-visits the same day multiple times! If you went back in time to visit all of the ‘what ifs’ of your past, do you think that you would be met with positivity, with everything the same as you have always dreamt about?

That is a tough one to answer. Although in Hayley’s case, it was definitely an eye opener for her (and for me, her past is fascinating!). My opinion of Hayley changed throughout the book because of how the story unfolded. One moment I felt incredibly sorry for her, another time I felt infuriated with her because she just could not see what she had which meant her decisions were otherwise jaded. Hayley’s best friend is a hoot, my sort of person with a mouth that’s always on fast forward.

Considering the amount of to-ing and fro-ing this book does, it didn’t actually get me flustered, which is surprising. Books like that usually do, but maybe because the switch was always expected, it didn’t confuse me. Whilst the book contains very funny moments, as well as some difficult situations, it made me think about my life. What if I had chosen different paths? Obviously I can’t do anything about it now, but it’s only natural to wonder.
Hannah has written such a heart warming and emotionally driven book, which was full of depth and relatable situations. The message behind the story is a rather powerful one, however, the added softness in terms of humour and sarcasm, turns it into a light-hearted read as well.
I must say, I am looking forward to whatever Hannah has up her sleeve next. I can promise you one thing though, I won’t ever be thinking ‘what if’ about this book because I know I took the right path by reading it!

‘Three…is the magic number!’

three

Three certainly is the magic number as it’s only 3 DAYS TO GO!

Say whhhaaaattttt?!

3 DAYS!

Say whaatttttttt?!

3 DAYS!!!

Following me yet? The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower is released in just three days. I am rather excited because I have already read this book and you are in for a treat!!!

Go and pre-order your copy right HERE, right now! Join us again tomorrow as we get even closer to the release day with more counting down!

Book review of ‘Last Dance in Havana’ by Rosanna Ley. Courtesy of #QuercusSummer!

Last Dance in Havana by Rosanna Ley.
Published 19th May 2016 by Quercus.
Available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he’s the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro’s army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?

England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother’s untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulder to cry on – Grace’s career is in flux, she isn’t sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she’s begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can’t make Grace’s problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family’s happiness?’

It is now time for a bit of time travelling as you step back in time with the ‘Last Dance in Havana’. Rosanna Ley brings to life an exotic tale full of Cuban history, personal memories, time lost and time gained. I was given this book to review as part of #QuercusSummer, thank you to Quercus for inviting me to be involved! For reasons I am unsure of, ‘Last Dance in Havana’ was the first book of Rosanna’s that I had ever read. That revelation in particular made the reviewing experience even more enjoyable. I was about to ‘meet’ a new author within a story that I had no idea could capture my mind as much as it did.

‘Last Dance in Havana’ switches between 1958 in Cuba, and 2012 in Bristol, England. Straight away we are introduced to a sixteen year old Elisa in her home country of Cuba. She thinks that no guy would want to dance with her, but, much to her surprise, a mysterious man leads her to dance the passionate and powerful rumba. Elisa soon realises that there is more to the man who meets the eye. Little did she know how much he, and the rumba, could change her life.

The story continues to follow Elisa’s life throughout the years, and introduces us to her step-daughter Grace. Grace and Elisa have always been very close, but, due to Grace’s error in judgement, relationships that were once close, get tested in multiple ways.

I must say I was a bit surprised when I discovered how long the book is, but, considering the amount of detail and magic that is written, it’s no wonder it’s longer than average! Before I began reading the novel, I had never been to Cuba. After I had read the novel, I felt as though I was just back from a holiday in Cuba. Discovering the uncertain times that Cuban people faced was a true eye opener. It might be slight ignorance on my part, but I had no idea that the circumstances back then were so very tainted. I feel that Rosanna’s description of Cuba and the events that unfolded were written beautifully. All I can assume is that Rosanna has stepped onto Cuban soil herself because everything written seemed vivid and fresh.

As the story unfolds, we meet other characters that influence Elisa and Grace and their lives. I found each of the characters to be quite complex because I felt that I had to really get to know them throughout the story before I could understand them. Usually I would find characters with extreme complexity a bit of a chore within a book, however, due to the nature of the situations within the book, I felt it was definitely needed. Because of that, I was able to grow with the characters rather than think that they had outstayed their welcome.

One character in particular, Grace, had me sitting on the fence in terms of my opinion of her. For me, she is one of the ‘marmite‘ characters as the choices she made, made me question her integrity. Having said that, another scenario within the book saw me relating to her on an emotional level.

Rounding up, I did enjoy the book. I found it to be extremely well written with extreme depth. It did take me a while to get into it because of the amount of information and the switching between years, but that is nothing against the book itself. ‘Last Dance in Havana’ is definitely a book to lose yourself in at summer time, or anytime. Why escape to your back garden with a blow up pool when you can escape to Cuba…from your bed?

What is Quercus Summer?

‘Quercus is about to launch our biggest library promotion Pick the Perfect Poolside Read with Quercus next week! Working in partnership with 150 libraries and the Reading Agency we’ll be inviting readers to travel the world with Quercus this summer. We wanted to extend our summer reading challenge out to the people we know who love to read just as much as us, the lovely UK book blogging community!’

Follow Quercus publishers on Twitter!

‘Everybody get up singing 1..2..3..4…….’

0625Raisin-Antique-RWCntdn5days
5IVE WILL MAKE YOU GET DOWN NOW!’ …to Amazon!
If you’re a new follower of my blog, you will soon realise that I enjoy a song and dance, oh and cake. So if there is any opportunity for me to think that I am Whitney Houston (rest her soul!), then obviously I am going to take it!

5 days to goooooooo, it’s only 5 days to goooooooooooooo!!!! That is right my lovely readers. It is only…how many? 5 DAYS to go until Rebecca Raisin takes us on a trip to Paris!
You can ensure your copy is….yours by pre-ordering right this second via Amazon UK.

‘Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…
Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.
Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…’

It is getting much closer to the release date of this wonderful book from a wonderful author, so yes, I will continue to sing and dance about this book…aka counting down ;)!