#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!

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#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