#BlogTour! #Review – The French Adventure by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @BrookCottageBKS

French
Bit late to the party tonight, but it’s here now! I am super excited to be sharing my review of Lucy Coleman’s ‘The French Adventure’. Big thanks to BrookCottageBks for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

The French Adventure
Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much-needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.

Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…

What does TWG think?

Right, I pride myself on being honest, so I need to lay my cards out on the table right here, right now. Personally, the beginning of this book grated on me, coming across as a bit too ‘Dear Diary’ for my liking. Now I’m not too sure whether that was the storyline, or whether it was the way the main character, Anna, came across, but it did make it a lot harder for me to completely gel with the storyline.

HOWEVER, at around the halfway mark, the authors writing style became more prominent, showcasing her true talent in all its glory. It was from that moment when I started to gel with the storyline and its characters, looking forward to what was coming up next. The ‘Dear Diary’ feeling had gone, and Anna came across as being more defined as a character. Please don’t think I’m being harsh by what I said above, I’m not at all. All of my comments in this review are solely based on my opinion and are in no way personally directed at the author…..and breathe!

When the storyline changed its location to France, I found myself becoming a lot more empathic to Anna and the situation she had found herself in. Of course I had a few choice words to say about the other ‘person’ in the equation, but I’ll let you find that out for yourself when you read it! I was so pleased to see her personality grow as the storyline went on, as it blossomed her confidence with made her seem a lot more likeable and a lot more ‘you know what, I see myself in her’.

Even though ‘The French Adventure’ does contain a romantic element, the story itself is a mixture of thought-provoking situations, dramatic scenes, and a good daffy of mystery. The romance didn’t overpower the gritty parts of the storyline, and the gritty parts didn’t overpower the romance. All in all, for me, I found the storyline to be rather well-balanced – I mean, it had everything you could want!

Despite not getting off to a good start with ‘The French Adventure’, I am so, SO glad that I listened to my gut an persevered with the book as I ended up thoroughly enjoying it, with my cheeks hurting due to a big beamer I had on my face. I loved how different the vibe of the story was, especially the uniqueness of the characters themselves and what the author got them doing. It wasn’t samey, it was completely refreshing.

Such a delightful, magnetic, enchanting and smile inducing read from the fabulously talented, Lucy Coleman. If you’re fed up with seeing snow every time you open the curtains in the morning, what better way to escape all of that than by going on ‘The French Adventure’ of a lifetime.

Buy now!

Excerpt.

The L Word
Two weeks today will be the first anniversary of our first real date. Being wined and
dined in a chic little French restaurant was a gigantic step forward; it signalled the
beginning of a new era in my relationship with Karl. Even though at least half of the
meal was spent talking about work, his intentions were clear – we were no longer
simply colleagues and romance was in the air.
Since then, Karl must have told me that he loves me more than a thousand times.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but I can assure you that’s not the case. He
usually manages to slip it into the conversation at least three times a day. The first
time he said the L word to me, it slid off his tongue so easily I could almost have
missed it. It wasn’t a staring into each other’s eyes moment of discovery, just a
casual ‘love you, babe’.
As the months rolled by, I pushed aside my growing fear that it was only a word to
him. Because it means so much more to me, I freeze whenever he tacks it onto a
sentence.
And, yes, I’m very aware that my air of disapproval does make me sound ungrateful
and undeserving. But it’s all about self-preservation, you see. I’ll never utter that
word again until I’m one hundred per cent certain that the man I’m saying it to
believes I’m their soul mate too – the perfect fit.
The last time I uttered the L word, was six years ago. It was to a guy I’d known since
childhood and the man I genuinely believed I would marry when the time was right.
He was handsome in a rugged way, fired up with ambition and exciting to be around.
Sadly, everyone we knew thought we were the perfect couple too, except the guy in
question, as it turned out…

About the author.

Lucy Coleman always knew that one day she would write, but first life took her on a
wonderful journey of self-discovery for which she is very grateful. Family life and two very diverse careers later she now spends most days glued to a keyboard, which she refers to as her personal quality time.

‘It’s only when you know who you are that you truly understand what makes you
happy – and writing about love, life and relationships makes me leap out of bed
every morning!’

If she isn’t online she’s either playing with the kids, whose imaginations seem to
know no bounds, or painting something. As a serial house mover together with her
lovely husband, there is always a new challenge to keep her occupied!
Lucy also writes under the name Linn B. Halton.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Website

Competition!

Prize
To be in with a chance of winning the French coffee set pictured above, all you need to do is click the link below. Good luck!

Please note that the giveaway is UK only!

Enter now!

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#BlogTour #Review – The Long Walk Back – Rachel Dove @WriterDove @HQDigitalUK @brookcottagebks

The Long Walk Back Tour Banner

long walk back cover
Does everyone deserve a second chance?

As an army trauma surgeon Kate knows how to keep her cool in the most high
pressure of situations. Although back at home in England her marriage is falling
apart, out in the desert she’s happy knowing that she’s saving lives.

Until she meets Cooper. It’s up to Kate to make a split-second decision to save
Cooper’s life. Yet Cooper doesn’t want to be saved. Can Kate convince him to
give his life a second chance even though its turning out dramatically different
from how he planned?

What does TWG think?

What an opening!! The first couple of pages of this novel had me absolutely gripped. Will they survive or won’t they? How would they come back from the devastating situation they witnessed? Only time would tell, but it was going to be a rollercoaster ride of a journey, whichever way it went.

It was pretty clear from the onset that the storyline was going to be highly emotive – I just didn’t expect it to be THAT emotional. ‘The Long Walk Back’ covers a variety of topics, always giving you something to sink your teeth into when you turn the page. Obviously I can’t discuss my thoughts on the plot too much, as that would result in spoilers!

I have to admit though, there were times when I could not stand Kate. I found a lot of her actions to be extremely selfish and self-centred, especially given the nature of her circumstances. Whilst I realise that people react in different ways during troublesome times, I found Kate’s reactions to be jaw dropping. And not in a good way. On the other side of the coin though, there were times where I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey, hoping for the best outcome for her current situation. Kate had gone through so much in such a short space of time, I’m not disputing that at all, I just wish she didn’t make me go ‘hmmmmm’ a lot of times, that’s all.

As for Cooper, well, I think the author hit the nail on the head regarding his character traits, especially how he reacted to a certain life changing event. His heart always seemed to be in the right place which, whilst was so lovely to read, I felt it was wasted on Kate. God I sound nasty don’t I haha. Just to clarify, these are my opinions of the characters and not my opinion of the authors writing. I treat characters in books like real  people!

Overall, I really did enjoy reading ‘The Long Walk Back’ as it was so refreshing to read a storyline which laid a lot of ‘taboo’ subjects bare, showing readers that there are people in the real world who deal with things like the characters in the book. It was realistic, relatable and of course, emotionally charged. I absolutely love Rachel Dove’s writing style as she always seems to get into the heart of her characters, ensuring that they deliver the storyline to the highest level. Once again, I do think that the author has delivered on that, and I feel that Rachel Dove should be exceptionally proud of the rock solid storyline she has created.

Emotional, heart-warming, and most definitely eye-opening; ‘The Long Walk Back’ will make you look at your life in a completely different way, changing your mindset from just ‘being’ to ‘living’.

Huge thanks HQDigitalUK.

Amazon UK // Kobo // Barnes and Noble 

Extract.

Kate was in a real mood; Trevor could tell from the way she pounded across the tent to him.
He was doing his rounds, and they had had a good night. A good night here was when they still had the same number alive as the day before. A great day was when there were no casualties at all, but Trevor was hard pushed to remember many days like that.
‘Who’s upset you? Neil whingeing about doing the dishwasher again, is he?’ Trevor asked, and immediately regretted cracking the joke when the icicles from Kate’s frosty glare jabbed him in the chest.
‘Captain Cooper thinks he is hilarious. I’m just waiting for him to call me ‘toots’ and slap me on the behind,’ Kate said, seething. Trevor checked the vitals on his sleeping patient, and satisfied, made notes on his chart.
‘So he’s awake? That’s amazing! How is he doing?’
‘Oh he’s doing just fine, for a male chauvinist pig.’
Kate,’ Trevor admonished, trying not to laugh at her furious expression. ‘How are his vitals?’
Kate pursed her lips, taking a breath to focus on the job. ‘He’s stable, the chest drain is
working well. I’m still concerned about his leg though. He has limited blood flow to the area, and I’m worried about sepsis.’
Trevor nodded sadly. ‘So he will probably lose the leg, if we try to keep him alive.’ He
rubbed at his temples. ‘Not told him any of this, have you?’
Kate shook her head. ‘I told him you would explain on this morning’s ward round. I wanted to go through everything again, monitor him closely for as long as we safely can before we make a decision.’
Trevor looked at her, his face unreadable. ‘It may not be our decision, it’s up to him.’
Kate looked nonplussed. ‘The evac chopper is coming in two days. At present, he’s too
unstable to move. We need to get him home then, leg or no leg. A decision between losing a limb and dying is not a great thing to have thrust at you, granted – but he wants to live,
surely?’
Trevor placed the chart at the foot of the bed and started to walk towards the next patient, issuing medication instructions to the nurse as he walked.
‘Kate,’ he began in a tone he might have used to tell his child that Father Christmas wasn’t real. ‘I have worked on men like Captain Cooper since this whole nightmare started. These are army men to the core. Sometimes going home means no family, no buddies, no job, and a lifetime of relying on other people. They are proud, and sometimes, to them, the reality is worse than death. Don’t take anything for granted when it comes to patient wishes.’
‘A boy died yesterday, to save these men. Surely that’s reason enough to want to live?’
Kate ran her fingers through her hair, suddenly feeling tired all over again.
‘Cooper knows that. Better than most, probably. It’s still his decision, he has to live with it. Understood?’ Trevor spoke firmly now.
Kate opened her mouth to argue, but she thought better of it. She respected her mentor,
always had, and she didn’t want to argue. Not when the fact that life was so short and
precious was evident in every face, every feature she saw over here. ‘Understood.’

Giveaway!!

To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of ‘The Long Walk Back by Rachel Dove’, enter the giveaway by clicking the link below. Open internationally.

Enter the giveaway here!

About the author.

I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses.
In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.

My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now.
In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in e-book and paperback, and the follow-up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Instagram // Blog

#BlogBlitz! #Review – House of Christmas Secrets by @LyndaStacey @ChocLitUK @Brookcottagebks

HOCS copy
This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…

Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix?

What does TWG think?

In all honesty, I have no idea how to even begin with this review. I mean, there is SO much to this storyline from suspense to romance, to domestic situations to crime, I really don’t think that my words about this book would do it justice in the slightest. I will try my very best, but do expect a little vagueness as I don’t wish to undo the authors hard work by giving away her extraordinary storyline.

‘House of Christmas Secrets’ follows on from Lynda Stacey’s previous novel, ‘House of Secrets’ which was published last year. Seeing as I didn’t read the first book before I got stuck into this festive treat, I really do feel that ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ can be read perfectly well as a standalone. However, if you’re wanting to get more of a back story to certain characters, then you may wish to read the first book before starting this book. For me, I found that NOT reading ‘House of Secrets’ beforehand, allowed me to experience more shock when certain situations arose – especially when the author brought some of the characters past to light. I was stunned, emotional and absolutely gripped by the story which the author was drip feeding me. How could Jess and her family move on from such heartbreak and devastation? You would think that Christmas time brought out people’s kind-hearted nature and generosity, wouldn’t you? Well, certain characters in this book obviously couldn’t give a flying candy cane whether it was Christmas or not, as they only had their own interests at the forefront of their mind. Regardless of how much upset it brought to other people.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, BUT, this storyline really did take me on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. As I said above, the storyline incorporated romance alongside crime, domestic situations alongside heartbreak – and that’s just the obvious themes! I absolutely loved how ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ was able to take a snippet from most genres, mix them altogether with some rather unforgettable characters, to create one memorable and gut wrenching novel. Reading this book was a bit like having a picnic – you’re unsure as to what one thing you fancy to eat, but with multiple plates full to the brim of exciting treats, you would think it an absolute travesty not to try something from each plate. Why have one genre when you can have multiple?

I did find several parts of this storyline quite difficult to read as the situations were exceptionally heart-breaking and emotional. I really was a bag of nerves hoping that things ended well for a couple of the characters in particular. I had to remind myself to breath! Also, and I might be the only one to say this, but my golly Jack Stone annoyed me! It was like battling with a man-child! Incredibly selfish, he really got my back up!

Overall, ‘House of Christmas Secrets’ is an unexpected, heart-warmingly devastating novel which seemed to enjoy ripping out my heart, before carefully putting it back in like the hearts from Build-a-Bear. I absolutely adored this novel, and I am in awe at the authors skills for including so many jaw dropping themes, whilst also maintaining the high level of emotion, poignancy and intrigue.

Definitely recommend this book, although make sure you switch every phone off before you start reading so that nobody can disturb you. Trust me, you really don’t want to move your eyes off the page for a second.

Huge thanks to ChocLitUK & BrookCottageBKS.

BUY LINKS

House of Christmas Secrets 
House of Secrets 
Tell me no Secrets

GIVEAWAY

Prize – 2 x signed copies of House of Secrets (UK & Ireland)

Enter the giveaway now!

About the author.

Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories
of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all
romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New
Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit &
Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s
been happily married to for over 20 years.

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Happens at Christmas by @EvonneWareham @ChocLitUK @Brookcottagebks

What Happens at Christmas Tour Banner
This evening I am pleased to welcome Evonne Wareham to TWG for the very first time, as part of a book release blitz courtesy of BrookCottageBKs. Huge thanks to ChocLitUK for the ARC, and BrookCottageBKs for having me take part in this blitz. Here is my review:

WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS_FRONT
Best-selling author Andrew Vitruvius knows that any publicity is good publicity. His agent tells him that often, so it must be true. In the run-up to Christmas, she excels herself – talking him into the craziest scheme yet: getting himself kidnapped, live on TV.

But when the plan goes ahead and Drew is unceremoniously thrown in the back of a van before being dragged to a hut in middle of the Brecon Beacons, it all starts to feel a little bit too real.

Meanwhile, not far away, Lori France and her four-year- old niece Misty are settling in to spend the holidays away after unexpected events leave them without a place to stay. Little do they know they’re about to make a shocking discovery and experience a Christmas they’re not likely to forget..

What does TWG think?

If you’re looking for a book which can cater for all of your bookish needs in one large swoop, look no further as Evonne Wareham has written a story which not only contains romance, it also contains a large about of suspense and grit. What more could you want?

What is even better is that ‘What Happens at Christmas’, if you haven’t worked it out already, is incredibly apt with this time of year as the story is set during the festive period. And no, before you start wondering, you’re not the only one who stresses out at this time of year. Take a look at Lori for example. She had a plan, was looking forward to her plan, but within seconds that plan had come unstuck thanks to an incredibly selfish family member. With Christmas looming and a house in disrepair, Lori has no home comforts around her and, funnily enough, neither does a Christmas guest who seems to have found himself in a rather sticky situation. Literally.

Hopefully I won’t sound like I’m being picky here, but there was something which I found rather confusing about this book. As the storyline was told from both Lori and Andrew’s viewpoints, I would have been able to enjoy the story more if those parts had been clearly set out and clearly labelled. Unfortunately they weren’t, which meant that it took me a little while to work out whose life I was on. Whilst it was clear that both characters lives are exceptionally different, the flow of the storyline became rather hindered by the confusion I felt when it took me most of a section to work out who I was reading. I appreciate that it might seem a minor detail to other people, but for me it does make a huge difference to my overall enjoyment of the novel.

That said, as soon as both characters paths crossed at about 35% of the way through, I was able to let myself go with the flow of the storyline a lot more. From that point on, I seemed to race through the pages, hooked on the situation which Andrew found himself in, as well as ensuring that Lori and her niece had the happy ending that they deserved. Personally, at 35% read, I felt that ‘What Happens at Christmas’ was in its element. The flow was lovely, the characters were intriguing, and the storyline was severely addictive. In my eyes, that was the important turning point for the storyline and I am SO glad that it had that moment.

As I said above, ‘What Happens at Christmas’ doesn’t just contain romance. It contains so much more – I was in shock during several events! Totally unexpected, whilst also being very cleverly written into the rest of the storyline.

Overall, this book had a jam-packed storyline which was completely unique. Evonne Wareham was able to take me on a roller coaster ride of journey, whilst still being able to make me go ‘awwwwww!!!!’ at the same time. Impressive!

A delightful, festive, addictive, and more-ish novel, which will bring suspense and romance together in the most unusual way. I thoroughly enjoyed this cosy treat.

Thanks ChocLitUK.

Amazon UK // Amazon US // Apple // Kobo // Google

About the author.

Evonne Wareham was born in Barry on the South Wales coast, but spent most of her working life in London. Now home again in Wales she is studying for a PhD in History and writing romance.

She was a finalist in two reality writing contests in the United States and had a great time, even if she didn’t win. When not studying or writing, she loves to travel, go to the theatre, walk on the beach and sleep. She has won and been nominated for awards for her romantic suspense novels on both sides of the Atlantic, and is now also writing romantic comedy with a light dusting of crime – which is a change of pace from writing the dark scary stuff. She is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, which means she gets to go to twice as many literary parties.

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#Tour! #Review – Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage by @LinnBHalton @HarperImpulse @Brookcottagebks

Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage Tour Banner
Every time I’m on a tour for Linn.B.Halton I get SO excited! I love being able to share my thoughts on such Linn’s wonderful books, and this one is no exception. Here is my review of Linn.B.Halton’s festive treat – Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage.

51WRQE5aPBL
The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elana James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.

Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?

What does TWG think?

SNIFF. SNIFF. SNIFF.

For those of you with children, you’ll understand how magical Christmas with young children can be, especially with those who believe in Santa. I’m sure a lot of parents can find the whole thing quite emotional when they see their children’s happy faces on Christmas morning, realising their ‘biggest wish of their life’ has come true by Santa bringing them ‘Pie Face’. Now, if you add a child who has lost one of her parents into the mix, the emotion within the storyline gets put on a totally new level. Coming from a person who has ‘Ice Queen’ as their nickname, even I melted at the contents of this novel. Seriously, you’ll have to be a person with no soul if you’re not at least a little bit moved by this book. Trust me.

Elana James’ life got turned upside down in the blink of an eye. In the aftermath of such unfortunate circumstances, Elana is left to bring up her little girl single-handedly, keep a roof over their heads (literally) with her career, as well as try to find the time to turn a DIY SOS disaster into a finally finished home. What Elana wasn’t prepared for was her new-found builder to be exceptionally easy on the eye and brilliant with her daughter. Surely it’s time to move on, right?

Elana’s situation caught me right in the feels. Although to be honest, if there wasn’t a child involved, I don’t think I would have been quite so emotional (I realise that makes me sound heartless but you’ll see what I mean when you read the book). I just couldn’t even begin to imagine what the James’ went through, especially now that Elana’s daughter is of an age where she wants answers. You can’t really blame her either. The whole debacle with the chimney left a golf ball sized lump in my throat for several hours after finishing this book. I mean….wow. Heart-wrenching yet totally relatable.

There were a couple of situations within Linn.B.Halton’s novel which shocked me at the time yet I couldn’t seem to work out why they were there. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t seem to stick out like a sore thumb, but I thought that the neighbourly situation was a little bit….random whilst also coming to an abrupt stop. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the novel at all, I just wondered why, that was all.

I loved the warmth of the storyline with the mixture of loveable characters. I loved how the Christmas spirit was laid bare to begin with, yet built each bauble at a time throughout the novel. As for Elana’s life – I loved how relatable, realistic and genuine her story was as it made me connect to the main character a lot quicker. She didn’t seem to hide her emotions or pretend to be something that she’s not. Instead, Elana was determined to make the best of a bad situation whilst also trying to do the right thing by her little girl, even though she thought every decision she made was the wrong one.

Linn.B.Halton has, once again, taken a heart-wrenching, real-life situation and turned it into a thought-provoking, touching and emotional read. I really have no idea how this author manages to produce such truly wonderful books, but she does. This authors writing skills and story telling abilities are second to none, which makes every single book I read of hers an absolutely treasure to read. Linn.B.Halton most definitely has a fan for life in TWG for as long as she continues to produce such enchanting novels such as this one, and her entire back catalogue.

‘Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage’ is such a cosy and touching novel, which is probably going to play havoc with your emotions until the very last page.

Turn off your phone, grab the box of Kleenex and curl up in bed with this absolutely beautiful read – you’ll be a fool not to.

Magical.

Thanks HarperImpulse/BrookCottageBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Extract.

‘Mum, can we light the log fire tonight?’ Maya looks up at me with eager eyes.
‘I think we should wait until the weekend, darling. There isn’t really time to appreciate
it on a school night, is there? Besides, I’m not even sure whether there are any logs
left in the store. I promise to get it sorted as soon as I can.’
It was Niall’s job, sorting the fire. He would have booked the chimney sweep in early
autumn and had the logs all ready and waiting, stacked neatly against the back wall
of the garage. Ironically, last year I was much more organised. I suppose it was one
of my coping mechanisms during those raw, early weeks and months. Keep going;
keep doing something – anything, so I didn’t have to listen to what was in my head.
But I feel bad. Maya will remember that this time last year we spent every evening
huddled together on the sofa in front of the fire, reading. Hour upon hour we escaped
into alternative worlds inspired by some wonderful authors. Roald Dahl’s Matilda, E.
B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, and Maya’s favourite, Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, a
story of tenderness and triumph.
It was the very worst of times, but I focused on getting us through it one day at a
time. My gut instinct, immediately after the accident, had been to sell the cottage just
to escape that prevailing sense that something was missing. Niall was no longer
here and it would never, ever be the same again. But soon realisation dawned that
Maya needed a sense of continuity; the memories trapped within these walls were a
lifeline for her, although a cruelly painful reminder for me. In a way she feels her dad
is still here and I can’t take that away from her.

About the author.

Bristol-born Linn lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her
lovely husband and cat, Ziggy. She has been writing novels since 2009 and has
written short stories for a number of magazines. She is also known for her series of
‘Home by Design’ articles wearing her former interior designer hat.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life
is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in
November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-selling novel in November
2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the
eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance:
Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, romantic comedy, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic
romance. Publishers include Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

Facebook //Twitter // Goodreads Author Page //Website

Giveaway!!

Prize A pamper kitUK ONLY!

BAY TREE

To be in with a chance of winning the above prize, all you need to do is click the link below. Good luck!

Enter the giveaway now!

 

#BlogTour #Review – The Flower Shop on Foxley ST by @WriterDove @HQDigitalUK @brookcottagebks

TheFlowerShoponFoxletStBanner
TWG is thrilled to welcome Rachel Dove back to the blog today! It seems like ages ago when the lovely lady was popping her TWG cherry, but by golly hasn’t she come far in this last year!  Rachel Dove has been published by HQDigitalUK and her new book, ‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St’, is out to by right now! Don’t worry, all the important ‘to buy’ links will appear further down, but first I am super excited to share my review with you today:

FLOWER SHOP
A new love could be about to bloom for Lily in this bright, warm women’s fiction title that fans of Holly Hepburn and Cathy Bramley will love.

Lily Rose Baxter loves her little flower shop on Foxley Street and the freedom and
independence from her family that it represents.

Lily can’t help but feel that something is missing from her life…, but when mysterious
stranger Will Singer comes into her shop looking for the perfect bouquet of roses, all that
could be about to change.

What does TWG think?

If you hadn’t guessed already, Rachel Dove’s new book is set in a flower shop. A flower shop even people with hay fever can enjoy – how brilliant is that! Oh, and of course the main character is named after a flower….or two. I’m just grateful it wasn’t a modern-day ‘Hyacinth Bouquet’! Anywhoo, Lily is in her element tending to her stems every day, wrapping up delightful blooms for anyone who graces her shop alongside her best friend, Roger (who by the way, is an absolute hoot!).

Being a florist seems to run in Lily’s family, as the previous owners of the shop were her parents. What a small buttercup world we live in! Lily has always pondered through life in a world of her own, believing that she had everything she ever wanted. Including happiness. True happiness. Well, that was until local heart-throb, Will Singer, entered the building, making Lily bloom like a sunflower towards the sun. Things aren’t always as straight forward as they seem, are they….

What a lovely read this is! The characters were well thought out (even if one deserved a prick on the tooshmanoosh by a rose thorn), naming no names of course. The character makes themselves known so I’m sure it won’t take you long to figure out who I am on about! Look, I can’t help having strong opinions about characters in storylines, especially if they’re an absolute cockscomb like ‘theywhoshallremainnameless’ is. Can you tell they got on my nerves? Geeeeee whizz! I’m afraid to say that Lily’s response to said person earlier on the book, annoyed me as well because I felt like she was allowing herself to be a doormat, despite having reservations about this persons actions. I wanted her to stand up for herself, so I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t impressed with her for a little while.

It just goes to show that I enjoyed ‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St’ seeing as multiple characters made me react in various ways. If the storyline was pants, I wouldn’t think twice about the characters, nor would one of them still get my back up several days after reading it haha!

The storyline itself was such a funny read, making me laugh out loud on several occasions. Even when the story ventured down a more serious path, I didn’t feel as though the book lost its humour, or that it was overwhelmed by the toned down scenarios at that point in the story. Rachel Dove managed to keep the tension light, regardless of how stressed out one of the characters became. Personally, I enjoyed that little touch as it meant I was able to sit back, relax and just enjoy the book without feeling as though I had become an agony aunt to the characters without even knowing it.

Whilst ‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St.’ was such an enjoyable, light-hearted, and fun-filled novel, there were times where I felt that certain situations within the book ended up being a little predictable. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with romance being obvious or even predictable, but for me it was a teeny bit TOO obvious. It fit with the overall theme of the book, don’t get me wrong, and if it works then great. That’s just my opinion and its in no way a reflection on the authors overall writing.

Speaking of writing style; Rachel Dove wrote this novel as though she was sitting down with her reader having a cup of tea and a natter. It was as though the author was telling the story directly to the reader as opposed to using the main character as a buffer. I loved that, it added a lot of warmth to the overall feel of the book in my eyes.

‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St’ is definitely a treasure trove of a read; full of wonderful and memorable characters, alongside priceless antics and heartfelt moments. I am so pleased that this book is part of a series because I am so looking forward to getting stuck into another huggable novel by Rachel Dove. Predictability schmicdictabilty – this author get me entertained regardless. What’s not to love?

Thanks Brookcottagebks and Rachel Dove.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

EXTRACT

Will Singer looked every inch the thirty-two- year-old man he was. The bathroom mirror
rarely did anyone any favours, but this particular winter morning it appeared to be magically channelling the mirror from Snow White in terms of stark clarity and downright truth. Who’s the hottest man of them all? Certainly not you, dude.
He had badly needed a shave. People were starting to comment on it, but the clean-shaven Will was not a great improvement. At least his dark stubble had detracted from the huge Kardashian-sized luggage wedged under his eyes. Without his hairy mask, Will felt naked, unable to hide. Even worse was the fact that the lack of hair on his face left people free to roam over his other features, in particular the mop of hair sprouting from his head. He looked like Lionel Messi mixed with Mufasa the lion. It did well for them, but Will wasn’t sure it was such a great style for him. Any longer and he would have to buy an Alice band like Beckham. Start sporting a man bun. He was pretty sure the villagers had never seen a man bun. It might scare them enough to dust off the pitchforks and torches. He had a sudden vision of his uncle Archie dressed like Braveheart, rallying the twin set and mohair-clad villagers into action from atop a horse. ‘People of Westfield, we shall not lie down and die. The man bun must be
destroyed!’ He chuckled to himself at his own humour. He would have to tell Lily that joke later.

About the author.

I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses.
In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.

My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now.
In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback, and the follow up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831003.Rachel_Dove
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writerdove/
Blog: https://racheldoveauthor.wordpress.com/

Giveaway!!!!

1st Prize : Signed paperback copy of The Flower Shop on Foxley St. (open internationally)

2nd Prize: A Signed paperback copy of The Chic Boutique on Baker St. (open internationally)

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is Enter the giveaway now!

Good luck!!

#BlogTour! #Review – Lonely Hearts by Gwyn GB (@gwyngb) @brookcottagebks

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Lonely Hearts cover
Brings a whole new meaning to killing with kindness.

Meet Rachel. She loves animals and works at a dating agency bringing lonely people together – only somebody is watching her every move and she’s scared…

Neil didn’t see who killed him – but his murder brings DI Claire Falle on the case. What she uncovers leads her to discover that a serial killer is preying on the clients of the dating agency where Rachel works.

Can Claire work out the connection between all the deaths before Rachel becomes the next victim? And what is it in Rachel’s past that haunts her?

As DI Claire Falle investigates the lives of the dating agency staff and clients, she is pulled into a tangled web of loneliness and deceit which will have devastating consequences for someone.

What does TWG think?

New author – check.
Intriguing cover – check.
New book serial – check.

Not a bad start really, eh? Meet the new book serial from author Gwyn GB; a crime thriller set within a dating agency…believe it or not. We all know dating agencies as places to meet our potential new soulmate, and not a place where hearts are broken and no longer allowed to pump blood around bodies.

To be honest, I really didn’t know what to make of this novel to begin with. I mean, a dating agency and a crime thriller in one? I can’t say I have ever come across that before.  It did take me several chapters to warm to the theme of the storyline as there was so much information for me to digest and learn, before I was able to truly enjoy the book itself.

Firstly, there are quite a lot of characters involved in ‘Lonely Hearts’ which, in my opinion, is a mixture of both bad and good. Bad because I got confused as to who did what and when, and good because the ‘whodunnit’ nature of the book was more likely to be kept hidden longer than if the storyline contained fewer characters.

Once I felt that I was able to distinguish between each character and what their role was within the book, I was able to truly enjoy this unique storyline. I thought that DI Claire Falle was such a relatable character to have are the forefront of the storyline, even if she did come across as a novice a lot of the time, the fact she wasn’t afraid to tune into her own personal thoughts and feelings made me like her even more. She listened to her gut and was determined to follow through with what her gut was trying to tell her, even though people around her were less likely to jump on board the same idea.

Personally, I am so glad that this book is part of a series and that a second book will be released as that ending made me go ‘grrrrr!!!!’. I wasn’t ready for the book to come to and end, and when it did I felt as though I was left hanging. Whilst endings like that irk me ever so slightly, it has also made me more excited about the next instalment from author Gwyn GB. I’m just hoping it won’t take too long to materialise as I want to find out what happens next!!

Unique, addictive, positively gripping, and thoroughly entertaining; ‘Lonely Hearts’ is a shocking, rollercoaster read which will make you think twice about wearing your heart on your sleeve. I cannot wait for the second book in the series!!

Thanks Brookcottage Books!

Buy now!

About the author.

Gwyn GB is a writer living in Jersey, Channel Islands. A native of the UK she moved to the
island with her Jersey-born husband, geriatric dog, two boys and goldfish.
Gwyn is a former national and international newsreader for BBC TV and ITN in London and Jersey. She’s also freelanced for national newspapers and magazines in the UK, once had her own magazine publishing business and has a PR diploma. She is currently working in the digital industry while writing in her spare time.
Gwyn is also the author of ‘Islands’.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Instagram // Website

Giveaway!!

To be in with the chance of winning a signed paperback copy of ‘Lonely Hearts’ click on the link below to enter! Open internationally!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

#BlogTour! #Review – Too Damn Nice by @KathrynFreeman1 @BrookCottagebks @ChocLitUK

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TDN_FRONT_RGB150dpiNice guys don’t kiss like that …

Do nice guys stand a chance?

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles. Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and- coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

What does TWG think?

There is nothing more satisfying than starting a new book and finding out that you’re able to curl up on the sofa with it in sweet bliss after the first few pages. When I started reading Kathryn Freeman’s ‘Too Damn Nice’, I had had the day from hell. Majorly stressed. Majorly exhausted, and all I wanted to do was hide. So what did I do instead of hiding? I read ‘Too Damn Nice’. A few chapters in, I began to feel a lot calmer and a lot less stressed. How on Earth can a book be such an antidote?

Lizzie Donavue and Nick Templeton go way back. Having been her brothers best friend for many, many years; Nick has been able to watch Lizzie grow up over the years (without being stalkerish) and his heart seems to like what he sees. Unfortunately, life isn’t as plain sailing as ‘boy meets girl – fall in love – live happily ever after’. Of course we would be lying if we said we didn’t want it to happen that way! Instead, life took Lizzie to  the USA whilst Nick stayed in the UK. Two hearts breaking. Except…Lizzie hasn’t the foggiest that Nick is head over heels in love with her. Whoopsie.

Let me just get this out the way first – I have to admit that at the beginning of the book, my first thought was ‘here comes the predictable love storyline’. HOWEVER, that thought soon disappeared as quickly as it entered my head as Lizzie Donavue is in no way a modern day ‘Juliet’, and Nick isn’t really feeling the modern day ‘Romeo’. With two ballsy main characters and a a storyline with more twists than a game of Twister, it didn’t take long at all for ‘predictable love storyline’ to fly out of my head and never return. Don’t get me wrong, romance features quite heavily in ‘Too Damn Nice’, yet it wasn’t the predictable sort. Look just trust me on this, go and nab the book yourself and you’ll see what I mean!

Even though romance IS featured a lot in this novel, Kathryn Freeman has also managed to incorporate some rather emotional and serious topics into the overall storyline, thus making me go from ‘awwwwwwww!!!’ to ‘what the chocolate cupcake?!’ to ‘oh no -sniffs-‘. I’m not even exaggerating either. If you think that Kathryn Freeman’s latest novel is just ‘too damn nice’, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the ‘too damn brilliant’ storyline your eyes will devour. Promptly.

I felt as though I was on a constant rollercoaster of emotions and turbulent circumstances! One minute the storyline was going through the motions at a leisurely pace, watching the flowers bloom and the romance soar, and then the next minute the pace had fast forward to the fastest speed on a Sky+ box and everything was all happening at once! Was I complaining? Was I heck! It was brilliant!!!! So much to sink my teeth into, yet not TOO much to make my already stressed brain have a power cut.

The characters were three dimensional, each slotting into the storyline perfectly. The serious topic which the author wrote into the book is incredibly eye-opening and it should not be taken lightly. Put it this way, it might make you re-think certain things…
As for the emotional value of the novel; it wasn’t too mushy, but it was heartbreaking and I felt that the author did it justice. Considering the mood I was in beforehand, I was glad that the emotional circumstances didn’t take-over the entire storyline as such, it was more of a beautiful and welcomed addition to an already cosy read.

So, I began ‘Too Damn Nice’ in an absolutely horrific mood, and I ended ‘Too Damn Nice’ feeling as though I had just been given THE biggest hug, a bar of chocolate and was told ‘everything will be okay’. Seriously. I couldn’t have asked for a better book to read at that moment in time. Granted I would have also loved the bar of chocolate whilst I was reading it, but I can’t be too greedy…eh ChocLituk ;).

‘Too Damn Nice’ is such a huggable, loveable, beautifully written and highly addictive read, one I will be recommending for a very long time to come. I hadn’t read Kathryn Freeman’s novels before, but I am so pleased to have found an author who’s next novel is making me excited already….and I have absolutely no idea what it’s about or when it’s coming out.

Thanks Brookcottagebooks and Netgalley.

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US // Choc Lit

About the author.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to
buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads Author Page // Website

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of Before You (Open internationally)

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To enter: click here! Good luck!

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer Sundaes by Georgina Troy (@GeorginaTroy) @Brookcottagebks

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Wipe off your flip flops, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

When Sacha Collins, cafe owner and sundae-maker extraordinaire, meets Italian
archaeologist, Alessandro Salvatore in Rome, she’s grateful to him for being her tour guide. Now he’s turned up in the seaside village where she lives, known locally as, The Boardwalk by the Sea and is setting up a gelateria in direct competition to her retro Summer Sundaes Café.

She’s only been running her café for two years since taking over from her father. Until now the only other shops on the boardwalk have been a wool shop, an antique shop and a second-hand book shop. These have helped rather than hindered her custom. How will her creative sundaes made from fresh Jersey ice cream compete with his delicious Italian gelato?

Sacha is worried. Is there enough custom for both businesses to thrive? Who is behind the strange changes being made on the boardwalk? And when the oldest resident on the
boardwalk is threatened with eviction can Sacha and Alessandro come together and find a way of helping her?

For a peaceful little boardwalk overlooking one of the quieter beaches on the island, there’s an awful lot going on and some of it is going to lead to big changes.

What does TWG think?

The weather is turning, the temperature is dropping, so what better book to read than a book which screams ‘warmth and happiness’! Author, Georgina Troy, has released the first book from her brand new series; ‘The Boardwalk by the Sea’ – Summer Sundaes, and what a summery treat it is!

Sacha has gone for a well needed break away to Rome where she is given a tour guide by her aunt. Unsure as to whether the Italian stallion is merely a tour guide or a potential love interest courtesy of her aunt’s not so subtle matchmaking, Sacha decides to go with the flow and let Alessandro show her the delectable sights of Rome. However, things aren’t always as they seem and in Alessandro’s case, he’s been holding onto some information which could either make or break his friendship with Sacha before it has even hit the ground running.

What I loved about ‘Summer Sundaes’ most was how the Boardwalk oozed magic, and how the residents of the Island were full of such wonderful community spirit. It seemed to me that no matter what happened to anyone on the Island, there was always someone there to keep heads above the water.

I had an inkling almost straight away that Alessandro wasn’t as forthcoming as he maybe should have been. Part of me thought that he came across a teeny bit sneaky but at that moment in time, I had no idea why. Obviously as the storyline unfolded, a lot of things became clearer and I was able to get into the characters psyche a little bit more; especially Sacha’s. Despite the main character coming across a bit guarded (and no wonder!), I loved how relatable and real she was. No doubt a lot of readers will be able to relate to Sacha’s character!

As for the rest of the storyline, there was only really one thing that irked me and, without giving too much away, I will try to explain! There is a situation in the book which comes to light due to the bombshell of two similar business on the same boardwalk, and that situation in question seemed to generate a lot of hype leading up to it. At the time, I genuinely thought that it was something devastating or really serious due to the amount of build-up. However, what came to light was something a lot more trivial than I what expected and what I was led to believe. Don’t get me wrong, the unfortunate circumstance worked well with the overall story, I just felt that the build-up to that was a lot more intense than it needed to be and I felt a bit subdued. However, I didn’t let that minor detail ruin my enjoyment of the book too much. I mean, there was so many interesting and charismatic characters to keep me occupied, I was able to put that little irk to the back of my mind and enjoy the rest of the book.

‘Summer Sundaes’ is such an easy-read (in a good way) and I ended up finishing the book a lot quicker than anticipated; much to my annoyance! In an ideal world, Georgina Troy’s new release would have an extension which meant that I could have read it for a bit longer! Unfortunately that would never be the case, so I will have to hope my patience behaves itself between now and the next book. I want to read it nowwwwww!!

‘Summer Sundaes’ is a beautiful, cosy, enriching, and addictive read which will leave you feeling extremely content by the end. Full of warm wishes, heart-warming moments, and enough love to fill a ‘Love O’meter’ on Valentines Day, your taste buds are guaranteed to be tantalised whilst your heart is full.

A lovely read for any time of the year, ‘Summer Sundaes’ by Georgina Troy would be an ideal addition to anyone’s kindle – without a doubt.

Thanks BrookCottageBooks!

Buy: Amazon.com // Amazon.co.uk

About the author.

Georgina Troy is the pseudonym of author Deborah Carr. Her first book, A Jersey Kiss was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance Category of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2016 (RoNAs) and finalist in the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers 2015.
Her WW1 historical romance, Broken Faces, written in her own name, Deborah Carr, was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition 2012. She lives on the island of Jersey with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs. Her books are published by Accent Press and Green Shutter Books. Georgina is a member of The Blonde Plotters. Georgina’s new series, The Boardwalk by the Sea, includes four standalone novels about friends, Sacha, Bella, Lexi and Jools. Each book is set in a different season. The girls live on or near a small seaside village known locally as The Boardwalk by the Sea and all of them make an appearance in the books throughout the series but each book will focus on one of the friends.

Summer Sundaes (book 1)
Autumn Antics (book 2) – due Spring 2018

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Competition!!

Prize: A character in Autumn Anomoly (book 2) named after someone the winner nominates, i.e themself/family member.

Enter now!