#MyOneMonthMarriage @sharilow @Boldwoodbooks #boldwoodbloggers #Extract #blogtour

Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in Shari Low’s blog tour. Today I will be sharing an extract from ‘My One Month Marriage’ – enjoy!

You know that “till death do us part” bit in the wedding vows? Well, Zoe Danton believed it. One month after she said “I do”, the man she loved is gone, given his marching orders after Zoe discovered a devastating secret.
As teenagers facing a crushing loss, Zoe made a pact with her three sisters to stick together no matter what. Now she’s discovered that one of them may have been the reason her husband betrayed her. She’s lost her happy-ever-after, but has she lost a sister too?

Buy now.

Extract.

I hear the sound of the oven door banging shut, before she re-enters with a glass of radiation pink. ‘I took some of this from the cocktail shaker,’ she informs us. ‘It looks suspiciously like something I’d prescribe for acid reflux. Right, what’s the latest? Married anyone else since I saw you yesterday? Divorced yet? Engaged again?’

I refuse to rise to her innocent-faced sarcasm, instead going for dry threats and indignation. ‘If you carry on like that, I’m going in to work.’

‘It’s Sunday,’ Verity points out, always one to insert facts into the equation.

‘And I hate to point out that your job was at the root of this whole debacle in the first place,’ Yvie adds, following it up with, ‘Jesus, my bra straps are killing me. Did I mention I’m going back on the diet tomorrow?’

‘You did. Is it the same one as last week? And the week before?’ Verity teases.

‘Not sure, but right now I’m hoping I lose nine and a half stone of smug older sister,’ Yvie fires back. She takes no cheek from anyone and I love her for it.

‘I thought you were embracing your curves?’ I enquire, confused.

‘That was last week. This week, I want to book a holiday, wear a bikini and I’ve realised that to feel good about that I’ll need to lose the equivalent of a small dinghy in weight in a month and a half. Starting right after that lasagne.’

I don’t argue. Only a fool would get in between Yvie and her ever changing body-confidence issues.

‘Anyway, I preferred it when we were revelling in your disaster of a life,’ she tells me. ‘Where were we?’

‘Where were we?’ It’s like an echo, only said in a voice that is sharper than the other three in my living room. Marina, only her head and neck visible round the side of the door, is the oldest of the four of us and the designated grown-up. She’s the kind of woman who makes lists, has a pension plan and who knows the difference between a vintage bottle of plonk and something off the shelf at Lidl.

‘Yvie has just pointed out that my job was to blame for all this.’

‘Yes, well, she’s not wrong. At least at the start. Although, to be fair, you did take an unfortunate situation, handle it badly, then let it descend into a complete roaring balls-up,’ Marina concurs before her head and shoulders disappear and I hear the sound of her clicking heels fading as she heads down the hall to the kitchen. I’d bet my last pound that she is carrying a bag containing sushi and hummus – she considers healthy food to be the only option, even in a crisis.

Yvie gestures to the door. ‘See? Even her Highness agrees. I finally feel validated as an adult.’

I ignore the playful barb. Successfully negotiating life with three sisters is fifty per cent love, thirty per cent tolerance and twenty per cent dodging the ever-changing dynamics between us.

Especially, in this case, as they both have a point. My job, first as sales director, then latterly as partner of Glasgow marketing company, The B Agency, definitely contributed to my current situation. If I hadn’t worked there, I wouldn’t have met Tom. I wouldn’t have fallen in love. He wouldn’t have broken my heart. And then I wouldn’t have gone on to screw up my life so colossally that I’m now contemplating eating dodgy lasagne while wondering what I am going to tell my mother when I return her generous wedding gift of a lavish, smoked glass beaded chandelier.

Granted, it is lovely – in a blingy, wear sunglasses because it’s so bright it could cause eye damage, kind of way. But the fact that I live in a flat with low ceilings transforms it from an ostentatious decorative statement to a concussion risk.

#ARivieraRetreat #blogtour #extract #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks @jenniewriter

Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in Jennifer Bohnet’s blog tour for ‘A Riviera Retreat’. To close the tour I have an extract to share with you. Enjoy!

When Retreat owner Amy offers three lucky competition winners a holiday on the Cote d’Azur, she has no idea that this simple act of kindness will have life-changing repercussions on her own life as well as those who join her…

Young entrepreneur Chelsea has just been subjected to a very public relationship break up and needs to get away to lick her wounds.

MP’s wife Victoria is at a crossroads in her life now that the children have left home. She realises she has ambitions of her own and needs some ‘me time’ to figure things out.

Recently widowed Matilda is assessing life without her beloved husband. Can she find the courage to follow their dream on her own?

The four women, despite their differences, bond and support each other, making memories and forming friendships that will last for years.

Buy now.

Extract.

Tasha had run Belle Vue Villa as a successful auberge after Francois, her husband, had died and Amy knew that the villa would have to continue to earn its keep for her in the future. Rather than having holidaymakers turn up willy-nilly looking for a bed, Amy decided to focus on offering short retreats for writers and painters throughout the year. That way she’d always know how busy she’d be – with the added bonus of not having to worry about unexpected or unwanted strangers knocking on the door at all times of the day or night.

Lots of Tasha’s guests had left comments in the visitor’s book over the years, saying how special the house felt; how serene the atmosphere around the place was; several had said the villa was definitely a little French paradise. Amy had vowed to herself that she would do her utmost to keep the lovely ambiance that Tasha had masterfully created in and around the villa, while she endeavoured to put her own stamp on the place.

Five years on, Amy knew she could feel proud of what she’d achieved at Belle Vue. The auberge was now a popular venue as a retreat for artists and writers and it was her guests who left compliments in the visitor’s book and were returning time and time again. One particular writer had returned four times last year, saying she wrote more in a week when staying there than she wrote in a month at home. Amy knew Tasha would be proud and thrilled for her at the way the retreat had found its place in a niche market and taken off so well.

Turning back into the kitchen, Amy picked up the photo of her aunt that stood on the dresser and gently touched it. She owed Tasha so much. Thoughtfully, she replaced the photo. But how to show that gratitude? Tasha had always drummed into her the notion ‘it’s easy to take, but you must always, always give back too’. Amy knew that if Tasha had still been alive, she’d have wholeheartedly endorsed the current ‘do a random act of kindness for a stranger’ memes that seemed to appear every day on social media.

Amy smiled, remembering how Tasha had thoroughly embraced social media, joining groups, signing up for causes and having hundreds of friends on Facebook. Amy also knew her grateful act of ‘paying it back’ was long overdue, but despite thinking about it for weeks, months, not a single idea had surfaced. Nothing she thought of seemed grateful enough.

She glanced at the kitchen clock. A little early, but she’d open the bottle of wine she’d bought especially for today and leave it to breathe for a while. Opening a bottle of wine and silently toasting Tasha while watching the DVD of the film Enchanted April was a ritual that always finished off this particular day for Amy. Tasha had introduced her to the film and together they had watched it countless times.

As the credits rolled at the end of the film, Amy switched off the DVD, poured the last of the wine into her glass and opened her laptop, her head spinning not only from the wine she’d drunk but also with the perfect idea of how to give something back. To finally thank the universe for her good fortune.

Like the film she’d just watched, where an advertisement drew four women together, all strangers to each other, for a holiday in an Italian castle in the 1920s, her random act of kindness would begin with an advertisement too. Not in a newspaper but on twenty-first century social media.

Are you a woman who longs to spend time in retreat? Or simply in need of a holiday?

Answer the following question: Who wrote the book Enchanted April, and in less than one hundred words say which character you identify with most and why you need to win a holiday (June 6–16) at a retreat in the countryside behind the French Riviera. Travel expenses not included but low-cost flights are available to Nice. Transport to and from the airport will be arranged. Please note the date of the holiday on offer is NOT changeable or transferable.

Competition closes midnight the 31st of this month. Three lucky winners will be notified by email within one week of the competition closing.

#MakingWishesatBayView @JessicaRedland @Boldwoodbooks #Boldwoodbloggers #extract

Please forgive me here as my stop on this tour is an extract! I aim to read Jessica’s book as soon as I can though, hopefully the extract will whet your appetite. Before I share it, here is a little bit more about the book and the all important purchase link:

Never give up on a wish for a happy ever after…

Callie Derbyshire has it all: her dream job as a carer at Bay View, finally she has found the love of her life. Everything is perfect. Well, almost. Ex-partners are insistent on stirring up trouble, and Callie’s favourite resident, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self.

But after discovering the truth about Ruby’s lost love, Callie is determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. After all, it’s never too late to let love in again. Or is it?

Purchase now from Amazon.

Extract.

How was your evening with your sugar daddy?’ Ruby asked the next morning as I called at her room with her medication.

‘Not good. I think I’ve been dumped.’‘How can you think you’ve been dumped. You either have or you haven’t.’I shrugged. ‘I don’t really understand what happened. He accused me of being high-maintenance and stormed out.’

She shook her head. ‘You don’t need him, darling. When I was your age, I had six suitors on the go. One for each day of the week and Sunday off—’

‘To repent your sins?’

Ruby laughed, her eyes twinkling with mischief. ‘Goodness, no! Sunday was for whomever had pleased me best during the week. I wanted to spend my day off pleasurably.’

‘Are you not finished your rounds yet, Carolyn?’ The She-Devil’s pitchy voice bore into me, wiping the smile from my face.

‘Nearly.’

‘Nearly isn’t good enough. You should have finished ten minutes ago.’

‘It was my fault,’ Ruby said. ‘I had a funny turn. Callie had to help me out.’

The She-Devil’s eyes bore into me. ‘Is this true?’

I nodded and crossed my fingers behind my back. ‘Ruby went a bit dizzy.’

She turned to Ruby. ‘You’re fine now?’

‘Yes. Much better. Callie was amazing as always. She’s such a gem.’

I had to look away. The She-Devil would not have appreciated the compliment.

‘Yes, well, finish your rounds, Carolyn, then report to my office. One of the residents has only just advised us that they had an accident in the night. I’ll need you to strip their bed.’

I could imagine the grin on her face as she sashayed down the corridor towards her office, delighted that I had a soggy mattress to deal with. Or worse. I bet she’d been saving that task especially for me, as usual. Cow.

‘Thanks for defending me, Ruby,’ I said.

‘Any time. Couldn’t have you dumped and sacked in the space of twenty-four hours, could we?’

I smiled. ‘Will you be down for dominoes this afternoon?’

‘Of course. I need to beat that Iris Davies this week. I’m sure she’s cheating.’

‘She was the North Yorkshire Pub Dominoes Champion for a decade, Ruby.’

‘Yes. No doubt by cheating. I’m onto her.’ She pointed two fingers at her eyes, then flicked them away, then back again.

‘I’ll see you later.’ I laughed as I kicked the brake off the trolley and started to push it away.

‘Callie!’ she called. ‘If you really have parted company with your sugar daddy, you could always court my grandson, Rhys.’

I turned to face her. The cheeky grin on her face matched her playful tone. ‘Would this be the illusive grandson who never visits?

‘It might be.’

‘Are you sure he exists?’

She laughed as she tapped the side of her nose. ‘That’s for me to know and you to find out.’

Sharing an #extract from #NoFilter! @scribbler_maxi #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks

For my stop on Maxine Morrey’s blog tour, I am sharing an extract from her new book, #No Filter. Before i do though, here is a little bit more about the book:

Popular lifestyle blogger, Libby Cartwright, is being boggled by business when help shows up in the shape of gorgeous but shy, Charlie Richmond. Libby’s determined to keep it at ‘just good friends’ – she’s dated someone from ‘Corporate Land’ before and it didn’t end well. As she and Charlie begin spending more time together, Libby is starting to waver – until she discovers something which makes her question if she’s ready for love.

Still reeling, she suffers another blow as her blog is attacked in a national newspaper, for promoting unachievable perfection. Libby knows it’s not true – but the only way to prove that is to strip off the armour she’s been wearing for years.

Is she brave enough to show the world she’s far from perfect? And will Charlie be by her side if she does…

Available to purchase now from Amazon.

Extract.

‘That’s it! I am totally going to jail. I’m going to get it wrong, owe thousands, not be able to pay, and go to jail!’ I flung myself backwards with an overly dramatic sigh and lay sprawled on the paperwork I had been looking at. ‘And seriously? Me in an orange jumpsuit? I don’t care how on trend they are; I could never pull that off! Orange is so not my colour.’

Amy topped up her wine glass before reaching a hand down to grab my arm, tugging me in the direction of the sofa. I slid along the floor for a few moments in my prone position, like some sort of beached, four-legged starfish, until I eventually bumped into the furniture.

‘I think that’s more America, hon,’ she said, yanking me upwards. ‘I’m not sure what ours are like. Something much more subtle, I expect. And don’t worry. I’ll hide a file inside the first cake I bring you. You’ll be out in no time.’

I paused in my clambering from the floor onto the sofa, and gave her a look. She made a sawing motion with one hand, accompanied by an over-exaggerated wink as she held out my wine glass. Flopping onto the couch, I took the glass and swigged a large mouthful, before laying my head back onto the soft cushions.

‘Seriously though. I really don’t know what I’m doing with this. I thought I was handling all this business stuff OK until now.’

‘And you are!’ Amy interjected. ‘Your blog is doing amazingly well! I can’t believe the difference in a year – it’s incredible! Seriously, Libs, you should really be proud of yourself.’

I sighed. ‘Thanks, Ames. And I am, and of Tilly. I couldn’t have done it without her. But I’m so frustrated! I’ve taken on this insane learning curve and, for the most part, got the hang of things. I think. But this?’ I kicked a piece of paper with my bare toes. ‘This, I just cannot get my head round! Why does tax have to be so bloody complicated? They send you this stuff so that you are supposedly able to do it yourself, but write it in the most confusing language possible! How is that even remotely helpful?’

Amy just shook her head and took another sip of wine.

‘So, what are you going to do?’

‘I don’t know. I guess I need to start looking for an accountant.’ I twiddled the wine glass stem in my hand.

Amy leant over and bumped her head gently on my shoulder. ‘You know; it is OK to ask people for help sometimes. We can’t all be amazing at everything. Creating all this in such a short space of time is brilliant, Libby. Finding that you need some extra expertise in one area is perfectly acceptable, and perfectly normal.’

‘I guess.’ I put the glass down. ‘Before I forget, I have something for you.’

Immediately, Amy sat up straighter in anticipation and her eyes watched me as I crossed to the other side of the room and picked up a small, but fancy, cardboard bag with intricately twisted rope handles and a swirly script logo on the side. Walking back over to the sofa, I plopped the bag down on Amy’s lap.

‘Did I ever tell you that going for it with this lifestyle blog business is the best thing that you’ve ever done?’

I laughed. ‘You just like the freebies.’

#BlogTour! #Review – #ChristmasEveryDay by Beth Moran (@BethCMoran) @BoldwoodBooks

Christmas Every Day Blog Tour Final
Thank you so much to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for this festive delight, ‘Christmas Every Day’ by Beth Moran, and for an ARC of the book as well. Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier each year but if you’re anything like Beth Moran and her characters, would you wish that it could be ‘Christmas Every Day’? I hope you enjoy my review as much as I enjoyed the book:

51+Ip2Dr9ZL

When Jenny inherits her estranged grandmother’s cottage in Sherwood Forest, she has nothing to lose – no money, no job, no friends, no family to speak of, and zero self-respect. Things can only get better…

Her grumpy, but decidedly handsome new neighbour, Mack, has a habit of bestowing unsolicited good deeds on her. And when Jenny is welcomed into a rather unusual book club, life seems to finally be getting more interesting.

Instead of reading, the members pledge to complete individual challenges before Christmas: from finding new love, learning to bake, to completing a daredevil bucket list. Jenny can’t resist joining in, and soon a year of friendship and laughter, tears and regrets unfolds in the most unexpected ways.

What does TWG think?

‘Oh I wish it could be Christmas, every dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.’

Do you? Do you really? I couldn’t handle the expense or the amount of food! Surely there would need to be some ground rules put in place before things got out of hand? Or am I thinking too deeply about something that actually won’t happen…..

Anyway, Jenny has to start her life again. Well, not quite. I mean, she can’t exactly go back where she came from and ask her mother to give birth to her again now can she? She does require a brand new start though after things got severely out of hand in her old job. I so wish I could divulge what happened as it is an absolute BELTER! But I can’t, because I would be in trouble. Soz……

So, in the quest to find her new start, Jenny goes to live in a cottage which hasn’t seen anyone live in it for many, many years. Seriously, you cannot count the copious amounts of rats that have taken over the house!

Jenny is STUBBORN! Not just a teensy bit stubborn so it’s slightly endearing, she’s stubborn to the point where you want to shout at her to accept help. I know that there are people who prefer to do things themselves without feeling like they owe anybody anything if they received help, I get that, I’m a stubborn ahem too. But come on, how often would you get a neighbour who seems to be a Jack of all trades, offering his services? Mind out of the gutter…

The community spirit in this book is phenomenal. I loved how everyone was there for one another, whether they had known them briefly or not, they just didn’t turn anybody away. If one person had something they no longer needed but someone so desperately needed that item, they would give it to them no questions asked. How lovely is that? I can’t even get my brother to share his cheese and onion crisps with me and I’ve known him 29 years! RUDE!

I lapped up every inch of this book, losing myself in the wonderful personalities of the characters, the emotive actions of certain characters, Jenny included, and the hilarity behind the overall storyline.

I went into ‘Christmas Every Day’ thinking that I was going to be faced with a typical romantic novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that of course), but instead I ended up reading a book which not only has romance by the bucketloads, it also has a subplot which literally moved me to tears. I wasn’t expecting to be blindsided by the details of bullying, health, regrets, secrets, and strength, however that is exactly what happened and wow, all of it completely blew me away.

I LOVED how unique the storyline was, and I adored how every little path came together to create a storyline that was full of multiple, beautiful journeys all incased under one umbrella; hope.

‘Christmas Every Day’ is as glittery as a Christmas tree after your three year old has decorated it.
As funny as your family member channelling their inner Santa Claus for the younger families (ridiculous Ho-Ho-Ho included).
As emotive as hearing yet another Cliff Richard Christmas song on the radio….
And as brilliant as watching young children get excited about their presents on Christmas morning.

Whether you’ll find yourself on the ‘Naughty’ or ‘Nice’ list this Christmas, ‘Christmas Every Day’ has found itself on my ‘top reads of 2019’ list. I absolutely adored it.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSecretToHappiness by @JessicaRedland (@JessicaRedland) @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodblogtours

It is finally my turn to host Jessica Redland and her novel, ‘The Secret to Happiness’ on my blog, as I take part in the blog tour today. Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Everyone deserves a chance at happiness…

Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…

Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.

Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …
When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…

What does TWG think?

When I first saw the cover of ‘The Secret to Happiness’, I thought that the storyline was going to follow the usual trends that are found popular fiction at the moment. But it didn’t, not really. Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course, it’s just nice to read a book which steers its characters in an unexpected direction.

And unexpected this was. I never expected to read the last chapter through tear filled eyes, nor did I expect to have teare cascading down my face at the very end.

Danniella is broken, yet she refuses to open up to anyone as she is scared not only of their reaction, but hers. She would do anything to get the confidence to make friends and trust someone to be her confidant; if only she could get over the hurdle that was holding her back.

Next up is Alison and, just like Danniella, she struggles with her confidence. It probably doesn’t help that her relationship isn’t doing much to help her insecurities. How can you tell someone who has been with their partner for many, many years, that they deserve someone who isn’t a doorknob? Will they believe you? Probably not!

The last main character who is featured in the book is fitness fanatic, Karen. On the outside, her life is one which could cause copious amounts of envy, yet the picture on the inside tells a completely different story.

As I said at the beginning, I really wasn’t expecting what this storyline delivered. A lot of books I have read, have had characters with secrets about being in love with someone else etcetera, but ‘The Secret to Happiness’ reveals secrets on a much deeper scale. Each of the characters journeys revealed heartbreaking situations, emotional challenges, and such life changing and poignant discoveries; a couple of which I was able to relate to personally.

If I could have bottled up the feelings that Jessica Redland’s beautiful story telling gave me, I would have had the entire world in my hands. I cannot even begin to explain just how this book made me feel. I was genuinely bowled over by the sensitivity of the author as she put several devastating situations under the spotlight – something which can only be done by an incredible talent like Jessica Redland.

Despite the intense emotion I felt whilst reading the book, I also found myself in hysterics at some of the characters antics, especially when all three ladies got together. I would have done anything, and would do anything, to have such genuine and incredible friendships just like the ones described in this book. That said, i was so pleased to see that each of the ladies finally had someone that they could turn to. I mean, it may be a small thing to some, but having another person ask if you’re okay or if you want to talk about anything, is an act which can make that person’s day. It may even be the starting block in rebuilding somebody’s confidence. You just never know.

Nevermind trying to work out what the secret to happiness is; it is literally right in front of you and it goes by the name of ‘The Secret to Happiness’ by Jessica Redland – the most genuinely beautiful, emotive, and phenomenal books I have ever, EVER read.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Extract from Honeymoon For One by Frankie Collins (@frankiecollins_) @BoldwoodBooks #Boldwoodblogtour

Frankie Collins Blog Tour (2)
Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Honeymoon For One’ by Frankie Collins, it’s a pleasure to be involved! For my stop on the tour, I am delighted to be sharing an extract from the book itself. Before I do that, here is a little bit more about the book, as well as the all important ‘buy’ link. Enjoy!

9781838890773

When disaster strikes, paradise calls…

As a published novelist, Lila Rose has been writing about fictional weddings all her life. But disaster strikes on her own big day when she hears her philandering fiancé, Daniel whispering sweet nothings to someone else.

With her dream day shattered, all Lila wants to do is run and hide, so she decides to fly solo on her own honeymoon.

When Daniel arrives in the resort with his new squeeze, Lila strikes up a ‘showmance’ with hot new movie star, Freddie Bianchi. Freddie is perfect for the part and Lila soon relaxes into her leading lady role.

But as truth starts to merge with fiction, could real love be in the air?

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

Your wedding day is the start of a life-long journey, and, like any other journey, it
requires a lot of planning.
First, and most importantly, you need to know where you’re going and how you’re
going to get there. Are you on a one-track path to growing old together or are you
planning on making stops at pets, babies or house moves?
On a real trip you’re going to want insurance, but on the life-long journey of
marriage, assurance is what you need. Are you doing this with the right person? Will
they stand by you for better, for worse? For richer, for poorer? In sickness and in
health?

When your plans are all in place and it’s time to set off on this wonderful, wild
adventure, the only thing left to do is pack – but pack light.
Unfortunately, on this non-stop flight to a happy ever after, ex-boyfriends will not
fit in the overhead storage, no matter how much you dissected the relationship. All
baggage must be destroyed before boarding – you absolutely cannot bring your baggage
into a marriage.

Before you tie the knot, customs will confiscate any and all contraband still on
your person, not limited to, but including flirtatious WhatsApp threads and other
miscellaneous weaponry.

I’m travelling light today. All I have with me is my something old (a necklace my
grandma left me in her will), my something new (the sapphire studs in my ears), and my
something borrowed (a handkerchief from my mum, which I’m going to keep in the
pocket of my wedding dress, because you’d better believe I had my wedding dress made
with sneaky pockets). My something blue is (apparently) my best friend, Ali, who is
currently lying on the chaise longue at the bottom of my bed in my hotel room.
‘Oh, Lila,’ she says dramatically. ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’

I smile at myself in the mirror. Most best friends are supportive, attentive maids of
honour. Ali is showing me her love and support by constantly questioning whether or
not this is the right thing to do. I wouldn’t have her any other way though.
‘I’m pretty sure,’ I tell her. ‘I made sure I was sure before I spent thousands of
pounds on a wedding and a honeymoon.’
‘Well, yeah, I figured,’ she replies. ‘But… I don’t know, I don’t think I thought you’d
go through with it.’
I laugh.
‘And yet here we are,’ I say, smiling at her.
‘Daniel is… you know, he’s fine,’ she says.
‘Fine,’ I repeat back to her. Just what a bride wants to hear on her wedding day.
‘Yeah, he’s fine… he’s maybe just fine though?’
My best friend hasn’t waited until my wedding day to say this, she’s been telling
me for years that Daniel was just too boring to settle down with. I think this is a ‘speak
now or forever hold your peace’ type conversation, not that the latter sounds remotely
like something Ali would do.
‘I know you think he’s boring,’ I tell her. ‘But, maybe “boring guys” are the ones
you settle down with? Take that playboy banker you met last weekend – you wouldn’t
marry him, would you?’
‘Well, someone clearly did,’ she points out. ‘There was a wedding ring in his hotel
bathroom.’
‘Was?’ I dare to ask.
‘Yeah, I flushed it down the lav,’ she says casually. ‘I really don’t appreciate being
lied to.’
Ali is a real force to be reckoned with.
‘I know you’re only being semi-serious with the whole talking me out of getting
married thing,’ I start. ‘But honestly, I’ve thought this through. I love him, we’re happy
together – OK, things might not be wild, but I know in my heart that it’s time to put sexy
playboy bankers behind me.’
‘Well, that’s what I do with them,’ Ali says with a wiggle of her eyebrows.
I know that Ali just wants me to be happy, but I did consider all of this before
agreeing to marry my fiancé, Daniel Tyler, and when I say I considered it before
agreeing, I mean I literally asked him for a moment, before I gave him my answer. The reason for this is because marriage is something I take seriously. My parents, both sixty-
five years of age, have been married since they were nineteen. I might be thirty-one, but I want to marry once, and for life. I had a blast in my twenties, Daniel and I moved in
together when I was twenty-nine and now, comfortably accepting of the fact I am in my
thirties, I finally feel ready to tie the knot.

When some women say they have been planning their wedding for years, what
they really mean is they’ve been dressing up in net curtains as kids and trolling
Pinterest for flower arrangements as adults. Well, I really have been planning weddings
for years… sort of. Not my own wedding and I’m certainly not a wedding planner.
I’m a rom-com author and although the weddings I work with may be fictional, I
haven’t just planned a lot of them – I’ve ruined a lot of them too. I’ve written ten books
now, so it’s pretty safe to say I’ve considered every possible triumph, every little hiccup
and every epic fail my romantic yet devious mind can conjure up.
So, yes, while I have researched flowers, cakes and dresses, and tweaked them
accordingly (pockets! Honestly, this is going to be a game changer), I don’t just know
what this wedding needs, I know what it doesn’t need too. Obsessing over what flavour
frosting to have is rather silly – that’s just the icing on the cake. What you should be
worrying about are the things that are out of your control.
I have essentially reverse-engineered every single wedding I’ve ever written, to
make sure that my real wedding is perfect. It’s kind of a genius move.

About the author.

Frankie Collins is the pseudonym of Portia MacIntosh, bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and The Accidental Honeymoon. Previously a music journalist, Frankie writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

Follow Frankie on Twitter

#BlogTour! #Review – #VillaOfSunAndSecrets by Jennifer Bohnet (@jenniewriter) #BoldwoodBlogTour @BoldwoodBooks

Happy publication day, Jennifer Bohnet! It is such an honour to be kicking off the blog tour for her new release, ‘Villa of Sun and Secrets’. Huge thanks to Boldwood Books for the tour invite and ARC.

It’s never too late to live the dream…

Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan.

Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.

What does TWG think?

Geez, was a bit like opening Pandora’s box with this one! With the cover being so colourful and summery, I was expecting a light and fluffy novel. What I got, however, was something incredibly different. ‘Villa of Sun and Secrets’ is such a rollercoaster ride of a story. One minute Carla was living in her marital home, and then the next she was filing for a divorce from a husband who couldn’t keep it in his pants. What a lovely bloke.

Anyway, Carla soon realised that she deserved better, and with a big birthday looming, she couldn’t think of a better time to create a life that shr was finally worthy of. I don’t think she expected the hurdles she came up against along the way….

Multiple times I had my hand clasped over my mouth in shock at what I had just read. Naturally I’m not going to say why, I’m not that mean to drop spoilers, but goodness me the Jeremy Kyle are gutted that they missed out on this one!!

As weird as this sounds, I was gripped by the rocky family dynamics and I was eager to find out where everyone stood. I still couldn’t believe my eyes though, and yet it wasn’t me receiving the news that Carla and Josette did!

I couldn’t help but love this emotive, cosy novel that had so many wonderful characters in it to get to know. I have never been to France, however after the beautiful descriptions of the setting, I would happily go and visit there in a heartbeat.

Jennifer Bohnet has such an idyllic, sensual way with words which makes her stories and characters come alive flawlessly. ‘Villa of Sun and Secrets’ was such an insightful and delightful read – a real escapism novel.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheDaughterInLaw by Nina Manning (@NinaManning78) #BoldWoodBlogTour @BoldwoodBooks

Blog Tour Nina Manning - Twitter Post
Very excited to be involved in one of Boldwood Book’s first blog tours! Thank you so much to Megan and the team for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘The Daughter In Law’ by Nina Manning.

9781838892166

No one is good enough for her son…

As a single mother, Annie has an especially close relationship with her son, Ben. They have always been together. Just the two of them. So, when Ben brings home his mysterious beautiful new wife, Daisy, immediately Annie doesn’t trust her. Who is this woman who has taken her son away from her? And what is she hiding?

She’ll protect him with her life…

When Ben disappears, suddenly Annie and Daisy are all the other one has. Alone in Annie’s big, remote house, just the two of them, the tension is rising. And like any protective mother, Annie will stop at nothing to expose her new daughter in law, and the secrets she is hiding…

What does TWG think?

Oooooooo this is Twisted with a capital T!!! There’s one thing having a close relationship with your son or daughter, and then there’s another thing being completely possessive over them? Annie says that she is close to her son, Ben, how she wants him to be happy, so why is she determined to make his marriage break apart before it’s even truly begun?

‘The Daughter In Law’ is told from different viewpoints; Annie, Daisy and Grace. Now, whilst we know from the start who Annie and Daisy are, who on Earth is Grace and where does she fit into everything?

I was very confused by Grace’s character and it took me a little while to figure out what the point of her was, so to speak. It was as though she came out of nowhere which at times made me feel as though I was reading two different books as the change in character dynamics didn’t seem to slot together well. Naturally, things do become much more clear towards the end of the book, but that confusion hindered my enjoyment of the book a little.

I felt a lot of empathy towards Daisy and her history. She has such a tortured soul who has no confidence in herself whatsoever. All she ever wanted was to be happy and supported in life, and that really isn’t too much to ask is it? Up until marrying Ben, Daisy didn’t really have anyone on her side except her best friend, Eve. How sad is that?

Michael Jackson may have asked this question over and over again, but no, Annie is definitely NOT okay! She is one messed up person. Maybe she was ill, who knows, but I definitely don’t use that as a reason for her actions as it’s offensive to those who are truly ill and don’t choose to cause harm to those who they supposedly love. Of course everyone is different, Annie however, was evil. A nasty, nasty piece of work. Nina Manning was very clever in the way she wrote Annie’s character as there were times where I felt as though I SHOULD be feeling sorry for Annie, especially at the beginning when I had no idea what sort of person she was like. I mean, not having your son come to see you for months on end must be upsetting…..BUT. Yes, there’s a massive but, one which I won’t delve into because of spoilers.

So yeah, this book is twisted. Clever….but twisted! Aside from the confusion with Grace’s character, I did end up being gripped by the psychological rollercoaster ride which Nina Manning took me on. It was very hard to sit and watch what was happening to Daisy, knowing full well I couldn’t shout out to her to warn her and, as daft as this sounds, I actually felt guilty for that! It just goes to show how invested in the storyline I became, and that is all down to the authors dark storytelling and sinister hook. A weirdly pleasing, yet highly gripping read. Be prepared to get your mind in a funk though, just saying!!

Buy now from Amazon UK