#JoJosFrenchEscape #LorraineWilson @RomanceMinx @RaRaResources @0nemorechapter_ #publicationday #blogger

Happy publication day, Lorraine Wilson! Flights may be grounded just now, but if you’re missing venturing overseas, then this little home away from home novel may just be the ticket. Many thanks to Rachel and the publisher for the tour invite and ARC.

Trapped in paradise…

For twelve months JoJo Grant has been hiding from a secret too shameful to share. And whilst her sanctuary might be the beautiful French countryside, JoJo has a horrible feeling that her peace is about to be shattered…because bursting into her life is the hottest celebrity chef around – Callum O’Connor.

Callum knows all about JoJo’s past, her time as a reality star, the scandal that has dogged her, but he isn’t sure why she’s still hiding? After spending time with Jojo, it’s obvious to him that she has nothing to be ashamed of – she just needs to be a little braver…

But as much as JoJo likes Callum, he thrives on the glare of the outside world. Can JoJo let go of her past…with Callum by her side?

What does TWG think?

Before I delve into my nitty gritty thoughts, I want to briefly touch on the message that this story conveys as it’s something incredibly important. JoJo hasn’t had an easy time of it in regards to her love life, after finding herself splattered all over social media for all and sundry to see. Literally. Thanks to her ex boyfriend, Aiden, JoJo was put into a position that nobody should ever find themselves in. The meanings of consent, trust, misuse of power, and emotional damage, are the building blocks to the message of the storyline, and as I said above, a very important message at that. Nobody has the right to refuse you when it comes to using the word ‘NO’, and nobody should ever use you in a way where the law is being questioned.

I know that what I have written above sounds very deep and serious (that’s because it is), but there is a lot of humour to go alongside that depth. Also, if you’re a fan of the old sex scene then make yourself comfortable as there is quite a few in here! Believable and hot to trot on one hand, yet on the other hand, the use of the word ‘sex’ and ‘folds’ to describe the vaginal region had me cringing big time. For me, those words poured water over the heat and turned a highly charged scene into a ‘noooo’.

That aside, I thought the dogs were absolutely brilliant – I wish I I called my rescue dog ‘Flump’! How brilliant is that name! Barney is such a dote and reminded me of my own little Barney dog. Flumps antics with the stealing were hilarious! He, alongside the other four legged friends mentioned, were the stars of the show in my eyes. 100 percent.

I flew through this novel, and I ended up really enjoying the strong friendships and companionships that were described in such moving detail. I could tell that the author really believed in those relationships and that they were written straight from the heart.

An enjoyable read with a rough around the edges storyline that showed promise.

Buy now.

#ACornishSummerHolidayattheLittleDuckPondCafe #Promo @Rosie_Green1988 @RaRaResources #blogger

I’m not going to lie, I am finding things pretty difficult right now and my reading mojo (and checking my diary) has completely gone out of the window. I do apologise for my lack of review on my stop today, but as I nearly missed my tour stop I didnt want to ACTUALLY miss it by posting nothing so here is a promo for now. However, I WILL be reading this book and a review will follow this weekend.

Ellie’s plan to turn a neighbouring barn into a venue to teach bread-making skills is under way – but when the construction work interferes with the smooth running of the cafe, she comes up with a plan that lifts the hearts of all the Little Duck Pond Café crew. They’ll close for a month and take a well-earned break in the tiny Cornish village of Pengully Sands, where Sylvia’s sister, Agatha, owns a holiday home.

With the glorious golden sands, sparkling azure sea and an ice cream parlour only yards away, it seems like the perfect location to relax and watch the surfers riding the waves (and maybe even having a go themselves).

But when they arrive, the girls find it isn’t quite the seaside idyll they were expecting. The house is less ‘holiday home’ and more ‘creepy, dilapidated haunted house’. And the ice cream parlour is sad and run down. Gracie, who runs it, is battling problems of her own, and the last thing she needs is a group of high-spirited girls arriving to disturb the peace and isolation she has so carefully cultivated for herself. And when a handsome stranger threatens her livelihood, it seems like the last straw. Can Gracie find her happy ever after – and even make friends with the Little Duck Pond Cafe girls next door?

This definitely won’t be the relaxing break the girls had planned. But that doesn’t mean it won’t turn out to be the holiday of a lifetime!

Buy now!

#WinterRising @CallisterAuthor @Bookouture #blogtour #secretservice

Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of ‘Winter Rising’ by Alex Callister.

‘Winter,’ he says. ‘You’re going rogue again.’
‘Desperate times.’
‘This is like chess and you’re the Queen. The best player on the board doesn’t get into a fight with a pawn.’
‘The Guardsman is no pawn.’

Winter returns to face the most feared hitman of all time: the nameless, faceless Guardsman.

Secret Service agent Winter knows global crime boss Alek Konstantin’s days are numbered after she seduced him, then revealed his identity to the world. Now, permanently on the run from the authorities, Alek fights to regain control as the brutal criminal organisation he ruled with an iron fist crashes down around him.

When a young woman called Lucy is viciously stabbed and dumped on a mossy grave, a harrowing message for Winter carved on her forehead. Winter follows the trail to the Guardsman – a pitiless contract killer, and Alek’s top hitman. Has the Guardsman gone rogue or is Alek pulling the strings to taunt Winter once more?

In a desperate bid to lure Lucy’s killer from the shadows and find a path to Alek, Winter books the Guardsman for a hit on herself. If she succeeds, she’ll have the world’s most dangerous killer at her mercy. But if she fails…

What does TWG think?

I am in my absolute element with this series! Winter is hardcore – she does not give a jot about anything and, whilst that ends up working in her favour some of the time, there are also times where not giving a hoot doesn’t work too well for her.

Take the Guardsman for example. On one side I can see why she cannot let emotions get the better of her (or any other thoughts for that matter), so it’s as though removing herself from the physical tasks ahead, is what works for her. At times, because on the other side of the coin, I think that her not giving a damn means that she ends up thinking a lot more irrationally. Probably why she gets herself in multiple pickles!

Alex Callister has Winter’s character and personality absolutely nailed. Shes very marmite yet I find that that makes her all the more intriguing because you never know what she is going to do next.

The suspense, thrill, and cut throat moments in the storyline were second to none. I loved the darkness and uncertainty which surrounded Winter’s every move – I didnt want the book to finish!

Another great read to grip hold of!

Buy now.

#HerLastMistake @CKovachAuthor @Bookouture #review #psychologicalthriller #blogtour

Many apologies for posting this a day late – horrendous pain rendered me useless.

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Carla Kovach’s blog tour for ‘Her Last Mistake’ and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Dressed in a sage green bridesmaid dress, and smiling for pictures, Holly is the happiest she’s ever been. Hours later, Holly is dead.

People love to hate Holly Long. Smart, beautiful and a woman who men find it hard to say no to, she’s the town’s most gossiped about resident.

Now Holly’s body lies in her hotel room, strangled at her best friend’s wedding party. And the gossip has stopped, because nobody wants to look like they did it.

When police search Holly’s immaculate apartment, amongst her stylish furnishings and expensive jewellery, they discover a different side to Holly. Orderly and precise, she wasn’t the chaotic party girl everyone thought her to be. In fact, Holly was a planner, and her next plan was to come out and tell her biggest secret – something she had been hiding for months, something that had the potential to ruin the lives of more than one wedding guest.

There are plenty of people who might have wanted to kill Holly, but only one who has finally made good on their promise.

What does TWG think?

Mind….blown!

What I love most about Carla Kovach’s novels is that, even though I have learned to expect the unexpected in regards to her storylines, the author STILL manages to catch me off guard with the shock element. Even if I wasn’t expecting it or it was deemed unexpected, the situations written about in this book were off the chart. Some may say that I don’t even have a word to describe what they were….and they would be right because I do not!

Holly is a very naive character and, even though that’s not always a bad thing, her naivety didnt really help her this time as she found herself losing the will to live….literally. Because of the way she lived her life (in secret), the truth behind her murder took a long time to make itself known as nobody had the answers to the questions Gina Harte and her team put to them.

Holly wasnt the only unlucky one in this storyline! If you’ve read the other books in the series you’ll know that Gina herself hasn’t had luck on her side at all, but for once I’m not actually meaning her!

The suspense behind this novel was exceptionally well done and didnt falter until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of unknown that made itself evident throughout the chapters, meaning that I couldnt second guess a thing….even if I wanted to.

Just like many other psychological thrillers, the storyline takes it’s time to warm up, however the conclusion was more than worth the wait and showcased Carla Kovach’s twisted, unsavoury and utterly fascinating mind. A job well done.

Buy now.

#AlwaysBeenYou by Lasairiona E.McMaster @QueenOfFireLas @RaRaResources #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the tour, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Five thousand miles from his ex, AJ is living with Lisa’s decision to call it quits and leave both him, and Alabama behind. Upon hearing that Lisa is moving forward from their engagement with a new (and handsome!) doctor-boyfriend, AJ is confused and broken at the idea of facing life without his soul mate.

AJ finds himself at a cross roads, does he give up all hope of ever reconciling with Lisa and take a chance on love again with someone new? Or is his heart destined to be forever entwined with the beautiful Irish woman he met on the internet… who is now with another man?

What does TWG think?

If you’ve already read ‘Intimate Strangers’ and the other books in the ‘Lisa Millar’ series, then you’ll have a head start on the storyline in this book and the other two in this particular series. Why? Because ‘Always Been You’ is written from AJ’s point of view. Unlike the previous series where we were seeing things from Lisa’s point of view, the tables have now turned. I believe the correct phrase is ‘there are two sides to every story’?

Now, if you haven’t read the other series, then you have a choice whether to find out what happens from AJ’s narrative, or Lisa’s. Obviously it is definitely a good thing to see the situations from the side of the other person involved, as the emotions from that character were a lot stronger after coming from the horses mouth. There were no secondary emotions from the main character.

For me, having gone through an array of emotions reading Lisa’s side of the story, I felt a bit cheated reading this because a lot of it, if not most, I already knew. The only difference being that its written in AJ’s narrative, and that his thoughts and feelings are at the heart of the storyline this time round.

Whilst I could see the reasoning behind wanting to give AJ chance to tell his side of the story, I feel like it hasn’t done the overall storyline justice.

It was lovely to remember certain situations and characters again though. I did appreciate that as I loved the first series!

I didnt find the events as shocking or emotional as I did the first time round, however they did still stir up something within me, whatever that may be!

I love this authors work and I truly believe that she delivers emotion via her storylines as though it’s the most fragile thing ever.

Buy now.

#TheLittleVillageOfNewStarts @Donnashc @Bookouture #PublicationDay #blogtour #review

Happy publication day, Donna Ashcroft and ‘The Little Village of New Starts’ – I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the blog tour today. Many thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Evie Stuart is playing it safe. She lives on her family’s remote farm in the Scottish Highlands and never ventures beyond the local village of Lockton. The most unpredictable events in her life are the antics of Miss Daisy, her grandmother Agnes’s pygmy goat. She’s learned that bad things happen when she’s impulsive, and she’s determined not to get burned again.

Callum Ryder is exactly the opposite of what Evie wants in her ordered world. Six foot two of reckless energy with twinkling eyes and a dangerously charming smile, he’s a thrill-seeking American firefighter with no idea how to slow down. Callum enters Lockton like a whirlwind, fleeing his problems in New York City in search of the truth about his Scottish family.

Yet the pair might have more in common than they think… When the well-meaning Agnes persuades her to help Callum find his grandfather, Evie finds herself being challenged more than she has in years: from swimming in the fabled Bonnie Lochan to exploring an ancient castle and even entering the village jam-making championships. Turns out it’s easy for Evie and Callum to connect when they let go of their fears and enjoy the most surprising summer of their lives.

But getting close to Callum so quickly soon starts to look like it might ruin everything for Evie: she’s heading for a disaster exactly like the one that destroyed her a year ago when she fell for the wrong man and let him change her life. Maybe a fresh start isn’t going to be so simple after all… Is the safe haven Evie’s built about to crumble down around her?

What does TWG think?

Someone switch on the fan because it has gotten hot in here!!!! I would say, ‘so take off all your clothes’, just like the popular song goes, but I think Callum has done more than his fair share of stripping!

Callum has flown to Scotland on an adventure to find his Grandad, also known as the mysterious ‘L.M’. What he didnt bargain for, however, was a certain redhead to get under his skin in more ways than one. Poor Callum has a bit of a wounded soul after losing his mum. Not only is he dealing with the grief surrounding that, hes also dealing with an horrendous bout of guilt.

Evie, like Callum, has a wounded soul, but for reasons completely different to his. Different they may be, yet they still leave their emotional scars on the characters.

Donna Ashcroft’s new novel is the much needed light at the end of the tunnel. The storyline may be fictional, as are the characters, however the message behind the novel is something readers can hone in on, and believe, during these unprecedented times. The feeling of hope gave me such joy while I was reading, when I felt as though there was no joy to be had in the outside world.

This storyline is steamy at times, and if you blush easily then make sure you read it in the garden so that you dont need to try and explain anything haha.

The family dynamics of Evie and her family were humbling, genuine, and absolutely hilarious. When I grow up I want to be like Nanna Agnes – that woman reminded me so much of my great grandmother, Waddy, it was uncanny! I was just waiting for Waddy’s trademark phrase ‘golla golla cats meat’ to come out of Agnes’ mouth!

I must mention my favourite character though as they are an absolute legend…..

….Miss Daisy, come on down! Omg! I never knew a goat could be like that! (If they cant really, dont tell me as I want to believe that they’re all like Miss Daisy!).

I throughly enjoyed delving into Evie and Callum’s story – the most uplifting read I have read in a while. Donna Ashcroft made her characters come alive in a way that readers will keep on remembering, refusing to forget the sheer joy those characters brought to their lives, albeit temporarily.

Ashcroft is definitely my go to author when I need something to put a smile back on my face. I dont think you can put a price on that really, can you? A diamond in the rough, a shining star in the night sky, Donna Ashcroft is my hope when the going gets tough. I cannot recommend this enough.

Buy now.

#LibbyQuinn #Boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks @AuthorFreya @ClaireAllan @RaRaResources #Promo

So annoyed at myself for not downloading the book before it was archived. However I will buy it and review at a later date – I apologise! I am excited to be a part of the tour today though, with a promo about the book and where you can purchase it.

Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible.

After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality.

She hopes opening ‘Once Upon A Book’ on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age.
When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

Purchase now

About the author.

Freya Kennedy lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and a mad dog called Izzy. She worked as a journalist for eighteen years before deciding to write full time. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her nieces and nephews, cleaning up after her children (a lot) and telling her dog that she loves her.

She has met Michael Buble and even kissed him. It was one of her best ever moments.

She believes in happy ever afters.

Freya Kennedy is a pen name for Claire Allan, who also writes psychological thrillers.

http://www.claireallan.com/

https://www.instagram.com/claireallan_author/

Sign up to Freya’s newsletter here:

#SummerOnASunnyIsland @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #blogtour #review #SummerReads

Delighted to be joining Sue Moorcroft on her blog tour today for ‘Summer On A Sunny Island’ – many thanks to Avon the ARC, and for inviting me to take part. Here is my review:

This summer, sparks are flying on the island of Malta…

When Rosa Hammond splits up from her partner Marcus, her Mum Dory suggests a summer in Malta. Not one to sit back and watch her daughter be unhappy, Dory 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?

What does TWG think?

Wow, what can I say? Firstly, don’t be fooled by the summery cover as this novel is more than just summer romances in a different country. I was genuinely surprised by how much the content differed from my first impression of the cover, and that is definitely a compliment!

I am a huge fan of Sue Moorcroft’s novels, so I had very high hopes for ‘Summer on a Sunny Island’. Did it deliver? If you asked me that question after three or four chapters, I would have said no as I felt like I wasn’t reading a Sue Moorcroft novel. It didn’t, at the beginning, have the vibe from the author that I have loved in all of her previous novels.

Wait a second, before you get angry…..

HOWEVER! Once the storyline got going, it was as though the author had warmed up her voice and got comfortable in her story because, what started off as a bit ‘meh’, ended up becoming one of my most favourite books that Sue Moorcroft has written to date! I loved Rosa and Dory’s relationship – it was so genuine and loving. A real pleasure to read.

I also loved the dynamics between Zach and his family, even though they were, like many other families, quite flawed, the level of depth that their situations brought to the storyline is what gave the novel that bite, that extra lot of oomph. In my opinion, I felt that the issues that arose courtesy of Zach and family, is what turned the novel from typical summer romance read, to a diverse, in depth, passionate, summer romance read.

Sue Moorcroft delivered with her trademark humour, her hot under the collar moments, and brilliantly crafted characters who were as strong on their own as they were together. Yes, it took me a while to warm up to this, however it was soooooo worth the wait and then some.

Loved it – this is the ideal read for all seasons, nevermind just summer. Give this author a crown because she is the queen of romance!

Buy now.

#BarefootOnTheBeach by Katlyn Duncan (@Katlyn_Duncan) @RaRaResources #blogtour #review @HQDigitalUK

Next up is a review of ‘Barefoot On The Beach’ by Katlyn Duncan – many thanks to HQ for the ARC, and thank you to Rachel for the tour invite.

I know we all wish we could walk barefoot on the beach just now, but please do hold off a bit longer by staying at home and enjoy this read about a beach instead.

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?

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a gentle, easy read with all the nods to romance, then this novel will be right up your street.

When I say ‘easy read’, I mean that as a complimentary phrase, just to clarify. I’m finding reading quite difficult just now and heavy novels are avoided wherever possible. I need books which aren’t too heavy, too serious, or too taxing, and I really feel that ‘Barefoot on the Beach’ ticked those boxes for me.

The only similarity between Renee and Cait is that they’re related. That’s it. They really are like chalk and cheese as Renee is more organised and sees things through, whereas Cait expects things to be done for her as and when she chooses. It’s safe to say that she comes across quite spoilt, whilst also having a really unapproachable personality – i didnt gel with her much at all.

Whilst I could see how obligated to do what her sister asked of her, I wish Renee put her foot down. Yes, she may have been a motherly figure for her growing up, but that was then. It annoyed me that whenever Cait clicked her fingers Renee would come running, putting her own happiness on the back burner.

I did enjoy reading this book. I loved the setting, the doggy antics and the sweet romance that was gently interwoven into the story, however I felt like certain situations went on for much longer than they should have. For example, the row the sisters had just kept going backwards and forwards, not really adding much content to what the author had already built up. I felt like the delivery on some things could have been a bit more punchy than it was. That is only my opinion though, and I still really enjoyed the book despite that.

During an uncertain time in our own lives, one thing we can count on is the certainty of a happily ever after; something which Katlyn Duncan delivered on greatly.

Buy now.

#GuestPost from author of #MarrowJam, Susan A.King (@SusanKing63) @rararesources #blogtour

First of two tours this evening is a guest post written by the author of ‘Marrow Jam’, Susan A.King. Before I share the post, here is a little bit more about the book:

MURDER, MYSTERY…AND MARROWS

Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.

But no-one would have her down as a murderer.

So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?

Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.

Buy now.

Ever wondered why someone would write a book about marrows? Now is your chance to find out as I share the guest post written by Susan A.King – enjoy!

What, you may wonder, would compel someone to a write a story about murder and marrows? I can assure you, it started innocently enough.

On leaving secretarial college, and with a slump in the job market for office clerks, I unexpectedly found myself employed as a trainee florist – a job I grew to love. A year later, and having finally landed myself a job as a secretary, I was approached by a friend of the family who suggested I join her in entering the floral competition at the local show. I did question if it was entirely fair. I mean, after all, 12 months working as an apprentice in the floristry industry surely made me over-qualified. With her assurance all would be fine, I duly completed the application form and planned my submission.

The evening before the show, having chosen a category where the arrangement could be delivered in its finished form, I arrived at the entrance to the floral marquee with a not unsubstantial amount of confidence. I made my entrance, the small masterpiece I had created on full view. The first thing to hit me when I walked inside was the scent of sphagnum moss, the second thing, and right between the eyes, was the industry occurring at the centre of the marquee. Armpit deep in florist foam, a mountain of flowers at their feet, a platoon of ladies were mid-task assembling the largest displays of floral art I had ever seen. With a snip of twig here, a trim of stem there, they worked with precision and skill to create what can only be described as perfection. I looked again (with quickly diminishing self-assurance) at my own entry, wondering if a swift exit wasn’t an entirely unsound decision, when the competition adjudicator sidled alongside. Taking me by the arm, she escorted me to the signing-in desk. “Is it your first competition?” she asked. “Yes”, I mumbled, only too aware the calibre of the creation in my arms had drawn her to this conclusion. To my utter shame, I realised that the people present not only had considerably more years experience over my own, they were possessed of an ingenuity and flair I could only dream of.

Not without a certain degree of envy, I inspected each and every submission, taking time to congratulate their creators on their interpretation of the class title and infinite talent. During this unhurried amble, it became clear that everyone present was striving for a personal best and their tireless preparation had been rewarded with the panorama of flawless entries now filling the marquee.

It was at the prize-giving ceremony the next day, when my friend received the award for Best in Show, that a thought crossed my mind. Everyone was smiling but, I was sure, like myself, questioning what they needed to do to find themselves on the winner’s podium. What lengths, I wondered, would someone go to in order to win the coveted trophy?

My first novel, Marrow Jam, is a story based on competition rivalry and the not-so-smooth road travelled to achieve Best in Show.

Susan A King