arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · lifestyle · romance · womens fiction

#MarriedAtFirstSwipe @FabFrosty @simonschusteruk @teambatc #review

Delighted to be joining the blog tour for ‘Married at First Swipe’ by Claire Frost. As always, thank you to Becca and the team at Simon & Schuster for inviting me to take part and sending a copy my way.

Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems…
 
Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.
 
When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?
 
In the modern tech-fuelled world of dating, is it possible to find true love?

What does TWG think?

I’m all for girl power and females supporting others, which is very handy as if the Spice Girls needed two new members, I am sure Hannah and Jess would fit the bill tenfold! Plus, its handy because this novel is full of girl power and strong women! Strong females come in all shapes and sizes. Some find their strength by letting their tears out, whilst others share their strength by using various different coping mechanisms. Or, if you’re anything like Hannah, you’ll find ‘strength’ in asking your best friend of over 20 years to find you the man you’re going to marry….on the day you’re going to get married.  

No, you didn’t read that wrong, Hannah wasn’t going to see or meet her new man until the day of the wedding! I mean REALLY, does anyone really trust someone THAT much? I don’t think i could have done that at all. One, I’m far too nosey. Two, I don’t even know my own dream type, let alone someone else working it out. And three, I dont even want to get married!

Anyway, as completely bonkers as this story is, for the reasons mentioned above, I could NOT wait to find out the details, and whether Hannah actually made it down the aisle, or what happened in the future. It really was such a ‘rub your hands together with glee because you’re about to get some gossip’ type of read, and I was in my element.

Even though Hannah’s love life was the center of attention, Jess’ marriage ended up showing cracks, highlighting the fact that whilst marriage is a wonderful thing for those who want it, its always a work in progress, regardless of how long you’re with the other person for. Even I found Tom, her husband, infuriating because he was a lazy little sphincter. But then again, did Jess have her expectations to high?

Overall I really enjoyed delving into the lives of Hannah and Jess, and I especially love G-Ma – what an absolute character!! At times, however, I did find the character dialogue between the main characters to be a little stilted in the fluidty, and I felt that sometimes the dialogue didn’t have as much oomph in it as the rest of the story had. With that being said, I really did appreciate the distraction that Married At First Swipe gave me, and I throughly enjoyed how fun and totally out there the storyline was – I definitely recommend it for readers who like to know every little detail about someone, as well as readers who like their stories to be outside the box!

Buy ‘Married At First Swipe’ from Amazon.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle

#MyMothersSecret by Julia Roberts (@JuliaRobertsTV) – TWG’s #review @bookouture

Thank you, Bookouture and Julia herself, for asking me to be involved in the blog tour of ‘My Mother’s Secret. You can read my thoughts on the book right after the blurb. Enjoy!

‘They told me he died, but I never believed them. I’d have known,’ she says, her voice little more than a whisper and her eyes searching mine. ‘A mother would know if her child died, wouldn’t she?’

The phone call comes in the middle of the night, rousing Danni from her safe, warm bed. The police have found her mother Diana wandering miles from her house, confused and lost. Danni races to her mother’s side – and as usual, Diana doesn’t seem to want her there. But when Danni finds out that her mother is seriously ill, she decides to put the past behind her, and care for her mother in the time they have left.

But as some of Diana’s memories are slipping away, others are forcing their way to the surface. One night she breaks down and reveals that before Danni was born, she had another baby who never got to see the world. Faced with her mother’s heartbreak, Danni vows to do everything she can to bring Diana some peace, hoping that it will mend their fractured relationship too.

Yet as Danni investigates the past, tracking down the aunt she’s never met and searching for her lost brother’s resting place, her good intentions have unexpected consequences as more truths emerge. And there’s one shocking revelation which could change Danni’s life forever. Are some secrets best left buried?

What does TWG think?

I’ll get straight to the point. This book broke me. It left me an emotional, vulnerable shell of a person and I am astounded at Julia Roberts’ talent at making that happen. It takes a lot to melt my exterior, but by golly ‘My Mother’s Secret’ turned me into a puddle.

A mother’s instinct is one of the most powerful tools a woman could ever possess. Despite the fact that Diana’s health was deteoriating and that time was of the essence, her instinct told her to trust them and what she has been believing all along; that her dear child never died.

I felt for Diana, dont get me wrong, but I felt so sorry for Danni because of how she ended up living in the shadow of a brother she had never even met, or never knew existed until now. She has so many questions yet her mother isn’t in a position to answer them all….its no wonder she ended up doing a bit of detective work, right?

This storyline reminded me of something so fragile. So precious. Something that requires delicate handling. The emotional scenes that took over the book were heart shattering snowflakes. You want to touch them, to look after them, yet they cannot be held. It broke me. Im not saying that that is a bad thing either because it takes talent to reduce me to a snivelling shell.

What i enjoyed most about this book was the power and strength of the characters and their actual storyline. It touched upon situations that aren’t really spoken about, and I felt that Roberts did her characters justice in the way she told their story.

If youre in the mood for a powerful, emotionally driven novel, then this is definitely the one for you.

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Apple.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · romance

#TheMemoryKeeper by @JHaleauthor – @HarpethRoad first blog tour! #digitalpublisher #review

Hugest of thanks to Jenny Hale and Harpeth Road themselves, for inviting me to take part in the first ever blog tour for Harpeth Road, a new digital publisher who specialises in romantic fiction. It is an absolute honour to be involved!

Today is day two of the tour for ‘The Memory Keeper’ by Harpeth Road founder herself, Jenny Hale, and I have a review for you all. Before I get to my thoughts though, here is a little bit more about the book and the very gorgeous cover:

Hannah Townsend’s life is just as she’s always wanted it to be. She has the perfect job at a New York magazine, a small but elegant apartment in the upper west side, and an incredibly successful beau named Miles Monahan. This year, for her thirty-fifth birthday, she’s leaving the icy city sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and meeting Miles at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums. 

But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else. 

With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of a handsome businessman from Hannah’s past named Liam McGuire that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever. 

What does TWG think?

Jenny Hale writes romantic fiction that flows like the smoothest and silkiest chocolate. In other words; her story telling is utterly divine.

‘The Memory Keeper’ tells a story of love, hope and realising that life doesn’t always go the way that you want it to. Hannah likes perfection. She likes everything just so, and when something comes along to threaten that peace she has worked so hard to keep, it unnerves her. Add a family member with health that is quickly depleting, Hannah is unsure about where her life is heading.

Romantic fiction comes with exactly that, a romance, and this book keeps readers on their toes with the love interest in the present AND the past. Dun dun dunnnnnnn!! There’s got to be a bit of history to come back in your life that rocks the boat! Poor Hannah doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going….in more ways than one!

I really enjoyed losing myself in this drama filled, loving, heartwarming read. I’ve been finding reading quite difficult just now, so when I find a book that keeps me hooked and takes me on a journey, I relish it like never before and I’m thankful to Jenny Hale and The Memory Keeper for being that book.

Purchase from Amazon.

Purchase from Kobo.

Purchase from Apple.

Purchase from Barnes and Noble.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Police procedural

#PromisesInTheDark by @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #review

Happy publication day to D.K.Hood and ‘Promises In The Dark’! I am delighted to be kicking of the blog tour today – many thanks to Bookouture for having me.

The young girl pushes against the backseat of the family sedan, fighting to free herself from the crude ties restricting her hands and feet. As the car speeds towards the edge of town, she looks back at her family home, and watches in horror as it is suddenly engulfed in a mass of flames. Trembling with fear, she turns towards the driver and hears only laughter. She knows that the worst is yet to come…

Detective Jenna Alton surveys the charred remains of the large suburban home, stopping to pause at the three lifeless bodies of the Woods family. Jenna knows she’s looking for a serial killer, but her priority is finding the missing teenage daughter last seen on the night of the inferno.

Days later, Sophie Wood’s body is discovered floating in a shallow pool of crystal-clear water—known locally as Dead Man’s Drop—but Jenna still doesn’t know who would target the quiet family in such a brutal attack.

Delving into the family’s past, she makes a shocking discovery—a link between the killer and someone connected to her deputy David Kane. If Jenna is right and the killer is back and seeking revenge, then she must act fast to keep her deputy safe.

When another girl is taken, Jenna and David follow the trail into a network of underground caves on the outskirts of town. With little time before the killer claims his next victim, they race into the pitch-black tunnels, unsure whether they have just walked into the killer’s trap. Can they find the girl in time and escape the caves without the killer chasing them down?

What does TWG think?

One of, if not THE most disturbing book of the series so far! Which is saying something considering the things that Kane and Alton have come across in the 9 previous books.

A story that starts off with young children being the bait, indirectly speaking, always puts the fear of christ up me. Not that I’m saying should a child be used as bait later on in the book then I’ll be okay with it, not at all. I just find themes like that enough to make my jaw drop further, and a nervous energy crawl up my body far quicker than if I had read it in the middle. That’s exactly what happened here. The prologue plants the seed and ties the roots of the storyline in knots, making it hard for the reader to leave it alone regardless of how nervy you have begun to feel. Honestly, it was brilliantly written and definitely set the scene for the rest of the book.

Once again Kane and Alton have their work cut out for them. Their murderer hasn’t made things very easy for them, despite leaving a ‘trail’ of dead bodies in his wake. Whoever this person is is clearly dangerous and doesn’t think much of other living things. Just another thing that kept me hooked!

I was very disturbed by the storyline, but without sounding weird, I didnt find that a negative thing because what else would you expect from a thriller? Teddy bears and picnics? No. D.K.Hood may have her characters having picnics, but she would also have a dead body stuffed in the bear! (Just to clarify, that isn’t what happens in this book!)

As I may have said once or twice, I was truly glued to this novel and the way the characters developed over time. It may be the tenth book in the series, yet Kane and Alton never fail to surprise me.

Yet another dark, devious, and utterly transfixing novel from an author who is outstanding at holding her readers hostage with her words.

Buy now.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · BOTBSPublicity · lifestyle · netgalley · Non Fiction · real life

#TheBoyBetween by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (@MrsAmandaProwse) @BOTBSPublicity #mentalhealthawareness #depression

Before I go any further I just want to say sorry to Amanda, Josiah and Sarah for the delay in posting my review, and thank you to Sarah and Netgalley for the ARC.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

What does TWG think?

Firstly, having the courage to openly discuss a time in your life where you felt suicide was the only option, with complete strangers and in the form of a book, is such a brave thing to do. I take my hat off to Josiah for choosing to put awareness above everything else. Its not an easy thing to do at all. I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you.

Secondly, Amanda….its hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent who has to watch from the sidelines whilst her child goes through a situation only they can get themself out of. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been to go through that with Josiah, or the toll it took on your own mental health. Not only that, the courage it must have taken you openly dissect and ‘admit’ where you felt you went wrong as a parent, and to talk about such a heartbreaking time in your life. Your strength astounds me and I am so proud of you.

Depression is STILL seen as a taboo thing because you cannot see what is broken so, if you cannot see what is broken then nothing must be broken…..right? Completely and utterly wrong. In the book Josiah stated that he wished he had broken his arm or his leg because then he and others could see what was broken and what was needed to fix it. With depression or other mental illnesses, it isn’t a case of one thing fixes all.

How do I know this? Because like millions of other people, and like Josiah himself, I have depression and I also have a form of EDS too (hEDS in fact). As soon as I read about that diagnosis, my breath caught in my throat because I could relate to him on yet another level. I wanted to shout into the book that Josiah wasn’t alone because I could, and can, empathise with him.

This isn’t an easy read by any means. Its raw. Its hard hitting. Its emotional. Its dark. But above all else, its honest. Choosing to openly admit you were close to suicide, and choosing to talk about extremely personal things in order to bring awareness to the topic, is, as I’ve already said, such a brave thing to do. Unfortunately it can also bring a lot of judgement which, whilst its part of human nature to comment on the situations of the world and his wife, we have no right to do so as each and every one of us are different. Each and every one of us react to things in a different way, and what upsets one person may not upset another.

For example; in her chapters, Amanda spoke about how she felt she had let her son down with her parenting. Personally, I feel that she acted from the heart and in a way only a mumma bear knows how. I don’t think that she did anything wrong as a parent, because she was only acting out of love and fear. But Amanda does/did think those things. Is she wrong to feel like that? Hell no. Is my opinion wrong? No. Im an outsider looking in, there’s a huge difference.

Josiah’s story is a very relatable one and I would love to say that it’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t happen very often, but it does. What doesn’t happen very often is someone being so open about it instead of choosing to act like everything was all fluffy clouds and rainbows.

The honesty throughout this book, from both Amanda and Josiah, was incredibly moving and at times shook me to the core because I understood. Now me saying that isn’t taking the onus off them, not at all.

I am so proud of Amanda and Josiah for their strength and courage as they wrote this book together. It is such an important topic to discuss, more so as a one size doesn’t fit all and different things work for different people. I want to thank them both for sharing their stories with the world, and I wish I could hug them both. However my ramblings will have to do!

I cannot recommend this book enough. Its beautifully harrowing, tenderly heartbreaking, but poignant and severely honest. Its a little ray of hope when the skies turn grey. Its the one shining star in the night sky to help you on your way. Its a ‘friend’ when you feel like you have absolutely no one to turn to.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#TheMissingPiece by Catherine Miller (@Katylittlelady) @bookouture

Broken Heart Syndrome: A sudden and acute form of heart failure, brought on by emotional or physical distress..

After years of studying cardiac medicine, thirty-one-year-old Keisha knows the heart inside out. She knows the average heartrate for each age group, she can name every valve, and she can tell you exactly how much blood it pumps daily.

The one thing she doesn’t know is how to fall in love. And nor does she want to. The secret her tattoo covers is a reminder that the best way to protect a heart is to never let it feel in the first place…

Seventy-nine-year-old Clive is Subject Five in Keisha’s latest research project. He’s been in love since he was seventeen, ever since he met Nancy at a tea dance. But last night, his beloved wife was killed. Suddenly, he has no one to waltz with. He has woken up in hospital, a widower diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome.

These strangers, brought together by a broken heart, must face up to the truth of their pasts. Can Clive teach his new friend that until you’ve loved, you haven’t lived? And can Keisha help him see that it’s never too late for a second chance?

What does TWG think?

Omg I was all excited at first after spotting the main characters name, thinking that my name was being used!!!! Spoiler…its not as I’m Kaisha, not Keisha. Gutted! And no, they’re not pronounced the same either! Trying not to read it as my own name was definitely a task and a half I must say ha!

Keisha is a very reserved character who is severely set in her ways. Her own little quirks (like continuously checking her pulse) are what makes her who she is, but not many people understand her because of it. Honestly, she doesn’t even understand herself half the time!!

After the loss of a loved one, Keisha’s life changed and she was left feeling as though she was the cause and so, because of that, Keisha put that energy into her work to try and help others such as Clive or, as he is affectionately known; Subject number 5. No, not mambo number 5….SUBJECT number 5.

Poor Clive hasn’t had it easy and he fights a daily battle with his memory. I felt for him but I was so pleased that Keisha and nurse George refused to give up on him, even when he wanted to give up on himself.

I thought this book was such a cute, heartwarming novel which took on a voice I hadn’t really heard/read before. I thought the storyline was so unique and so interesting, my attention didn’t falter from the book at all.

Whilst I didnt cry or find the book overly emotional, I did love how touching it was and how every character had multiple layers to their personalities, as I felt as though I was constantly surprised by a new revelation instead of knowing everything straight away.

Its evidently clear that a lot of love and attention has gone into creating this story by the author, and I believe that she has done herself and her characters exceptionally proud by bringing their story to life in such a tender and warming manner.

Overall this was an enlightening, thoughtful read which warmed that ice cold heart of mine.

(Many thanks to Bookouture for the ARC)

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · womens fiction

#TheHouseatMagpieCove by Kennedy Kerr @KennedyKerr5 @bookouture

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for the ARC.

The Cornish beach house creaked in the salty sea wind and, from the weathered wooden porch, Mara watched a lone magpie circle above. It was silly to think that her mother’s spirit was still with her, but Mara felt as if there was something keeping her here. A secret that needed to be told…

When Mara Hughes inherits her late mother’s tumbledown beach house overlooking the bright, sandy sweep of Magpie Cove, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. With her marriage on the rocks and her husband threatening to take the family home, the beach house – with all the bittersweet memories it holds – might be the thing that finally sends Mara’s world crashing down around her. She tells herself she’ll only spend a few days there: sell it and move on to rebuilding her life.

When Mara arrives, the house is in a worse state than she feared – holes in the bedroom ceiling, birds’ nests in the attic and the beautiful, wrap-around porch on the brink of collapse… but she loves it anyway. With all its history it feels like the last link to her late mother and, determined to do whatever it takes to keep it in the family, Mara strikes a deal with local handyman – and town heartthrob – Brian Oakley to save the crumbling cottage from ruin.

But when a box of unopened old letters arrives on her new doorstep – a bequest from her mother’s will – Mara’s resolve to save the beach house will be tested to the limit. Because Mara’s mother’s perfect childhood in Magpie Cove was forever spoiled by one haunting day in July, and the letters contain a secret about her family that Mara can scarcely believe to be true…

What does TWG think?

I really needed a book like this to fall in my lap as it was such a perfect distraction during such difficult times.

Its been a while since I was last transported to Cornwall and, whilst I’ve ‘travelled’ there multiple times via various different stories, I genuinely missed reading about idyllic and picturesque scenes. Was definitely better than reading my four walls!

Mara’s heartache is evident from the get go. She could fight against it all she wanted, however the more she fought, the stronger her emotions became. That said, i don’t think a box full of letters helped matters either!

I really felt myself getting lost in the storyline and Mara’s past, and I loved how the transition from reality to fiction was so very well done. Hats off to the author, Kennedy Kerr, for that as that is an incredible talent to have.

I really enjoyed getting to know Mara and, even though there was a lot of emotional situations in the story, I still felt that it was a really uplifting and humbling novel. Such a pleasure to read.

Buy now.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · lifestyle · netgalley · RNA · romance · womens fiction

#MyHusbandsDaughter by Emma Robinson @EmmaRobinsonUK @Bookouture

Many thanks, as always to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC.

It is just past ten o’clock on a cold Friday evening when Rebecca and her husband Jack’s doorbell rings. Outside is a woman who introduces herself as Jack’s ex-girlfriend Cara. And she’s holding the hand of a shivering, blue-eyed, four-year-old girl. Who she claims is Jack’s daughter.
Rebecca is shocked to discover he has a child from his last relationship – even one he hadn’t known about. Because becoming parents isn’t part of their life plan. They like children, but they also love their freedom and spending time together uninterrupted; the way that, if they wanted to, they could travel the world at a moment’s notice.
But Cara needs them. Because Cara has a devastating secret that she can’t tell anyone yet. Not even her daughter. A secret with the power to change all of their lives.
A secret that will ultimately mean Rebecca has to ask herself – could she find it in herself to welcome her husband’s child into her home, and into her heart?

What does TWG think?

Oh for goodness sake, Emma Robinson, did you have to go and switch on the water works? I mean, really?!

I’ve been crying a lot recently, so when I decided to pick up a book thought it was going to be a light hearted, Peppa Pig type book that I had chosen (no, wait, that mardy pig makes me cry too!). Then I realised I needed to read Emma Robinson’s novel and straight away knew that any hopes of furry beings having picnics were to stay where they belonged; on my daughters bookshelf. Instead of a Teddy bear picnic I had tension. I had suspense. I had emotion so fraught that I was scared it was going to slice my heart in two.

This book is black and white proof as to why Robinson is a published author, and there is no denying that her characterisation and realistic storylines make for excellent and dramatic reading.

The main topic of this read is a tough pill to swallow, however it is beautifully done in every sense of the word. I know I am being exceptionally vague by not delving into specific parts of the book or giving too much away, and thats because I don’t want to ruin the experience of this novel for anyone else. My only advice to you all would be to grab the tissues before you start reading, mute the phones, and buckle up for a ride you’ll never forget.

Buy now

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · humour · netgalley · romance · womens fiction

#IfEverydayWasChristmas by Donna Ashcroft @donnashc @Bookouture #TisTheSeasonToBeJolly

Thank you, as always, to Bookouture for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of Donna Ashcroft’s newest novel, ‘If Every Day Was Christmas’.

Snow is falling, fires are crackling merrily, and Lockton tradition has everyone hanging a promise they’re determined to keep this Christmas on the tree in the village square…

Meg Scott has promised to make a success of her first solo Christmas. She runs a year-round Christmas shop in the little Scottish village, and is a fan of all things mulled, sparkly and festive. So when her warring family shows up on her doorstep, ready to spread discord and tension, Meg is determined not to let them ruin her favourite time of the year.

Meanwhile, Christmas-hating Tom Riley-Clark has been called to the Highlands to help his old friend at The Apple Cross Inn. He’s ready to work hard and has no time for mince pies, tinsel or hanging a promise on the tree: the thought of every day being Christmas is his worst nightmare, and you wouldn’t catch him dead buying a bauble. So everyone is surprised when Christmas-loving Meg and grinch Tom start to get cozy under the mistletoe.

But Tom has a big secret about his past, and in a small town like Lockton it’s hard to keep anything hidden for long. Will everything fall apart when Meg discovers who he really is? The pair are about to learn the hard way that some promises are impossible to keep…

What does TWG think?

Oh I wish it could be Christmas, every day….!!!!

Can you imagine it? Would you want it to be Christmas every single day? I wouldn’t, I think it would lose its sparkle! How about if you had a shop that was Christmas themed, so even in the height of summer when people are wandering around with money tucked into their sweaty bikini bottoms/swimming trunks, a shop would be selling snow themed ornaments. Every day would feel like Christmas then, wouldn’t it?

If you’ve ever struggled with ways to describe the festive season, then I suggest you study this book. If, after reading this, people STILL don’t quite get Christmas, then I will eat my hat!

Meg reminded me of Meg Ryan’s character in ‘Youve Got Mail’ – did anyone else think the same? Shes such a warm hearted, free spirited character who definitely has some oomph about her!

I’ve really been struggling with books of late, however I really was in my element with this as Donna Ashcroft never disappoints with her from the heart story telling. I’ve said this once before (or maybe more times than that), however I will happily say it again; Donna Ashcroft really is the Mrs Claus of fiction.

As always, the balance between romance, humour, and the ‘hook’, was absolutely spot on, giving me a little bit of everything whilst also leaving out nothing.

I, hand on heart, cannot fault this novel! Instead of wishing it could be Christmas every day, I cant help but wonder what it would be like If I Read Donna Ashcroft’s Novels Every Day!

A timeless, warm and homely read.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · contemporary fiction · womens fiction

#CathysChristmasKitchen by Tilly Tennant @TillyTenWriter @Bookouture

Before I start, I just want to apologise profusely to Tilly and Bookouture for the delay in getting this review out, but huge thank you to the publisher for their patience and understanding. (Oh, and the tour invite and ARC too!)

As the snow flutters down in the little village of Linnetford, escape to a cosy farmhouse kitchen, scented with the rich aromas of fruitcake and gingerbread, where a love of baking is about to unite two lonely hearts…

Cathy cooked at her mother’s side her whole life and could bake a fairy cake before she could ride a bike. Now she is facing her first Christmas without her beloved mother, she’s determined to use her memories for something positive. She decides to organise a weekly cooking class, sharing her mother’s precious recipes with other lonely souls.

There’s just one small spanner in the works: teenager Tansy, who attends Cathy’s classes even though she’s rude to everyone there and seems to hate every minute. Cathy is poised to ask Tansy to leave, but her uncle, physiotherapist Matt, begs her to give the teenager another chance. And Cathy can’t resist Matt’s sparkling hazel eyes and incredibly kind heart…

But just as Cathy is feeling she might find joy again, her ex returns to Linnetford, desperate for a second chance. With Matt becoming distant as his life gets more complicated, it seems so easy to return to the safe embrace of someone she knows so well. Can Cathy avoid the temptation of falling back in love with the man who broke her heart and let Christmas bring her the greatest gift – that of happiness?

What does TWG think?

There’s just something about baking at Christmas time, isnt there? I simply adore it and i am so excited to get into the kitchen to rustle up some festive goodies. Until then, I was able to live vicariously through Cathy and her love of baking, which thankfully kept that baking bug at bay for the time being.

Christmas for Cathy this year will be tainted with emotion, what with it being the first one without her mum. To keep herself busy, and her mums memory at the forefront of her mind (not that it ever left there), Cathy puts her skills to use and organises a class for other budding bakers. Now it wouldn’t be much of a storyline if everything went plain sailing from start to finish, would it?

Cathy’s heart was in the right place, however not everyone got the memo regarding the happiness that learning to bake can bring, leaving Cathy questioning the future of the classes and her own talents.

Of course, like all romantic fiction, there is a love interest involved. And, again, like most romantic fiction, there is also a past love interest who makes their presence known, much to Cathy’s annoyance.

(Doesn’t sound all plain sailing now, does it? Self raising if you ask me….).

Tilly’s latest novel was an absolute joy to read from start to finish. The storyline had festive cheer and tender moments, but it also had humour and situations which came at me like a bull in a china shop. Tilly truly brought her characters to life and put them in a league of their own without making them come across samey. Not only did this tickle my taste buds, it made me want to stalk my local physiotherapists to find one like Matt….

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