#BlogTour! #Review – #Dark Game by Rachel Lynch (@r_lynchcrime) @canelo_co

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Oh my goodness, isn’t it cold?!

Of course it is, just look at the chilling read I have for you this evening!! I am thrilled to share my review of ‘Dark Game’ by Rachel Lynch as part of the blog tour. What a book!! Big thank you to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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After a scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home turf in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies.

Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get to the truth…

What does TWG think?

I have been waiting to read a book which not only contains crime, but is predominantly police procedural based – I’m sure you can guess how excited I was to read ‘Dark Game’! Rachel Lynch’s book really does live up to it’s not so bright title as yes, the storyline is exceptionally dark. If you’re easily offended, then I suggest not reading this book as the author has incorporated a lot of shocking events into a relatively small space and, whilst I was absolutely hooked from the get go, some readers may find the theme a bit too twisted.

Not me, obviously! That said, if you had mentioned this book to me a couple of years ago –  I would have raised my eyebrow at you and told you not to be so daft (I was a wuss!). Now when I get asked to read dark, crime books such as this one, I jump at the chance whilst also holding on tight as I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Kelly is determined to do her best in her new role in the Lake District. After working in the busy Met, Kelly is used to fast paced, tough criminal activity and, even though she has adjusted her mindset to accommodate the pace change, Kelly has no option but to give it her best shot. Oh, she certainly does that alright!!

Clearly I do not want to give anything away as that would be just pointless, so, all I will say is that this storyline is one that just keeps on giving, even when you think everything has slowed down. It hasn’t; the story is just taking a couple of second breather. Basically, keep your attention on the events in this book otherwise you literally will blink and miss something vital. I know I did….once or twice!

I did find some of the themes covered in ‘Dark Game’ exceptionally hard to read, but, it is what it is and unfortunately things like this happen in real life. Even though there were times where I thought to myself ‘what on Earth was that?!’, I refused to put the book down as I was enthralled by Kelly’s confident persona, as well as the gritty and chilling storyline. As far as I was concerned it was a winning combination – I fluffing loved this book (yes that sounds weird considering what it contains, but y’know!!).

‘Dark Game’ is dark, twisted, shocking, chilling, gritty, and exceptionally fast paced. I would love to give this book more than five stars, however, I am not magic by any means but at least the thought was there!

Absolutely brilliant and very, very cleverly written, ‘Dark Game’ will knock your socks off time and time again!

Buy now from Amazon

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#BlogTour! #Review – #IfIFall by Ella Harper (@Ella_Harper) @canelo_co

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Two years ago I read my first Ella Harper novel before I was even a blogger! Fast forward two years and I am now on the blog tour for one of my most favourite authors. It is an absolute honour to share my review of ‘If I Fall’ by Ella Harper, today, as part of the blog tour organised by publisher Canelo. Big thank you to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…

It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?

Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.

Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.

Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother

JJ’s past is catching up with him.

When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?

What does TWG think?

I really don’t think my review will do this book justice in the slightest, I really don’t. Whatever I write, really wouldn’t showcase the storyline in the way that it needs to be showcased. Seriously. I will try my very best to get my thoughts across but trust me on this; you NEED to read this book, like right now.

Four friends. Four different personalities. Four completely different lives. Fifteen years are a long time for someone who you once knew, to become someone you no longer know. These four friends really do highlight the saying of ‘nobody knows what happens behind closed doors’. Just because you’re a best friend to somebody, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know every single thing about them. What if they’re too ashamed to tell you their deepest, darkest secret? What if they’re holding something back because they have absolutely no idea how to deal with? What if they think their problem is theirs and theirs alone, despite knowing that their friends are there for them if needed?

Are they REALLY there for them?

Without going into too much detail; Connie, Jonas, JJ, and Layla have gone through so much together. Marriages. Births. Deaths. Health concerns. Family issues. You name it, they have probably given one another their shoulder to cry on. Yet, each of the four characters are going through such difficult times which they attempt to deal with on their own. Obviously, without telling you what happens in the book, you’re probably sitting there a bit confused as you have no idea what I am talking about. However, please do trust me (again) when I say that you need to read this book – everything will become much clearer.

If a heart was physically able to break multiple times in the space of 400 or so book pages, you’ll be able to see how much this book affected me. My heart genuinely felt like it was constantly breaking. Not for all of the characters though, there was character in particular which I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t muster up any empathy or sympathy towards. Yes, this character was going through a difficult time, but in all honesty, does that excuse actions which lead to devastating results? Personally, no. No it doesn’t.

Whilst reading ‘If I Fall’, I remember struggling to breath as I was so upset for one character. I wanted to scream ‘NOOOOO’ out loud because of another character. I found tears pricking my eyes alongside an urge to hug yet another one of the characters. I found myself blubbering because of the emotional journey the author took me on with every single one of her characters, what they dealt with, as well as the repercussions of every single of their actions. My heart broke because a younger character saw something that they will never be able to rid their mind of. My heart broke because their innocence was taken away from them far too early. A lot of the characters pasts struck a chord with me which made this even more of an emotional read.

Even though the storyline was full of heart-breaking situations, emotional tales and gut-wrenching events, ‘If I Fall’ absolutely blew me away with its extremely powerful storyline. I have absolutely no idea how the author managed to write such an emotive read, whilst also delivering it absolutely flawlessly.

Full of devastation, emotion, heart-warming moments, belief and strength, ‘If I Fall’ is definitely a top contender for a top book of 2018, whilst also jumping its way into my ‘most favourite books of all time’ list.

I absolutely cannot recommend this enough, but I would advise you to keep the tissues beside you just in case.

Such a beautifully heart-breaking novel, written with such poise, strength and power; If I Fall is a read which needs to be devoured by every single person. If you were to do one thing for me today, it would be to buy this book and read it, before the time comes when you need to ask yourself; ‘who would be there for me If I Fall?’.

Amazon UK // Kobo UK // GoogleBooks UK // Apple Books UK

Author Bio:

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.

#BlogTour! #Review – Dreaming of Florence by T.A.Williams (@TAWilliamsBooks) @canelo_co

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First up on the blog today is my review of T.A.Williams’ dreamy novel, ‘Dreaming of Florence’. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today – huge thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

What does TWG think?

I have never been to Italy before and, to be perfectly honest, I only have google images to see what the incredibly popular holiday destination looks like. However, after being transported to Italy via T.A.Williams’ delectable storytelling, I felt like I was taking steps around Italy with every turn of the page. Obviously I would love to see the country for myself, but, seeing as this author brought the country alive with his storyline, I would quite happily settle with books like this for the near future.

The phrase ‘falling head over heels’ where romance is concerned has never been more apt, especially seeing as Debbie Waterson managed to do that in front of a doctor. Well, she crashed into him when she was on her bike; same thing though, right?

I gelled with Debbie’s character from the get go. Her feistiness with a hint of naivety was a breath of fresh air as it made Debbie come across more likeable. Plus, she made me giggle a few times as well which always helps!

Debbie has always dreamt of going to Florence but, because of job and the lack of never-ending funds, Debbie had to put her dream on hold. As soon as a chance to fulfil her dream arises, Debbie is filled with nerves – what if the reality of Florence doesn’t match up with her dreams?

I really don’t want to give anything away, so please do excuse my vagueness! That said, Debbie’s adventure in this book makes excellent reading, as it highlights the importance of going after your dreams and living in the moment instead of just….being. Despite Debbie’s character starting off a little bit shy, it was great to see her come out of her shell when she realised the world was her oyster and other people needed her help.

‘Dreaming of Florence’, despite being fiction, gave me a well needed kick up the rear and made me realise that my dreams won’t come true unless I actually go and do something about them.

Once again T.A.Williams has brought beauty to readers doorsteps, courtesy of his delightful new book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Debbie’s journey and I am sure you will too.

Enchanting, heart-warming and beautifully written, ‘Dreaming of Florence’ is the book which will turn a blue January into a majestic January.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

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As I am sure you’re aware of by now, I am a HUGE fan of Darcie Boleyn’s novels, so of course I jumped at the chance of being part of her latest blog tour for her new release; ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’, which was published by Canelo on the 9th October. I am delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour alongside a truly good blogging friend of mine; Rae Reads. Make sure you check out her blog post as well. Today for my post I am honoured to be sharing my review with you all. Huge thanks to Ellie Pilcher for inviting me on this blog tour!

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A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.

As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?

What does TWG think?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that there has ever been a Darcie Boleyn novel that I ended up not liking. Don’t get me wrong, I have liked some storylines more than others, but I still loved them regardless. With that in the back of my mind, I of course had my fingers crossed that ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ would follow suit. The burning question is; did it?

If you’re already familiar with Darcie Boleyn’s novels, you’ll be well aware that this book sees us visit Conwenna Cove for the second time this year. Even though ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone with absolutely no issues. However, my advice would be to still buy the first book; ‘Summer at Conwenna Cove’ anyway as it is a fantastic book. Win win really, eh?

Oli Davenport has fantastic bedside manner when it comes to his patients, but if you’re not moo-ing, baa-ing, meow-ing, squeak-ing, woof-ing, or anything similar, Oli Davenport probably wouldn’t be getting a gold star for his customer service skills anytime soon. Just like visitor to Conwenna Cove, Grace, finds out. If there was a winner for the rudest person in the village, THEN Oli would receive his gold star, but seeing as he continues to rub humans up the wrong way, he has more chance of ending up alone. However, what a lot of the newbies don’t realise, Oli Davenport hasn’t exactly had a smooth ride over the past few years. Not only did he lose his wife to cancer, his two children also lost their mum. Only the really mean-spirited people wouldn’t soften at that….right?

Just like Darcie Boleyn’s previous novels, I was pulled into the storyline almost straight away. It didn’t take me too long to get re-acquainted with Conwenna Cove either, even though we were meeting new faces. Conwenna Cove has held a special place in my heart after reading the first instalment and, once again, the beautiful setting and loveable characters made Conwenna Cove become one of my all-time favourite settings in a book. Hats off to the author for being able to bring that sparkle with her into ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’, absolutely flawlessly.

I don’t want to give anything about the storyline away (of course), but please do trust me when I say that this book needs to be put on your TBR without fail. Not only does the storyline contain festivities and excitement, it also contains heart-warming moments and eye-opening situations whilst also highlighting the true meaning of family, friendships and of course; Christmas.

Beautiful beyond belief, touching and absolutely perfect; Darcie Boleyn has done it once again! Full of memorable characters, sparkling situations and an endless supply of magic; ‘Christmas at Conwenna Cove’ is the perfect addition to anyone’s bookshelf, any time of the year. I wish I could read this book for the first time, every time. Absolutely fantastic.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan (@poppydwriter) @canelo_co

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What perfect weather for wearing a woolly hat! Good to know our author is keeping herself nice and toasty whist visiting all the blogs on the blog tour, that’s for sure! Speaking of which – I have the pleasure of hosting Poppy Dolan and ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ as we go into day two of the tour! Huge thanks to Canelo for asking me to be involved in the blog tour – here is my review:

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Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause.
But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

A feel-good romantic comedy about learning what life is really all about, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.

What does TWG think?

TWG and knitting do not go hand in hand. I’m more likely to tie myself in a knot with the wool instead of knitting with it (and no, not in the kinky way either). I used to knit…a very long time ago, but I expected one of those Jean Greenhowe doll patterns to be completed a lot quicker than it actually was. Granted I was eight, but that’s not the point. As an avid reader, I have only read one other book which has knitting as its theme…surprisingly! As soon as I saw Poppy Dolan’s new novel I was rather eager to let myself loose into the knowledge of, er, purl stitch and such. Well, that and it looked so much fun.

To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t know what I was expecting ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ to entail (apart from the obvious), yet I was still rather surprised when the ‘drama’ bells rang within the storyline after several pages. I rubbed my hands together with glee thinking that I was in for a bumpy ride….and it was two broken wrists. TWO BROKEN WRISTS. I never knew knitting was such a dangerous sport! I jest….kinda. I will probably sound mean now, but as soon as the two broken wrists became part of the storyline in great detail, I couldn’t help but giggle. I could just imagine two arms stuck out like a snowman. Let me just say that if it happened to me, I wouldn’t be laughing, but it was just the way it was described in the storyline that made me chuckle.

Whilst I hoped I would laugh, I never expected to feel tears prick my eyes when the storyline went from jokey, to incredibly serious. Reader, it gave me all the feels and I’m not even joking. Two words – premature babies. That’s all I’m saying (it’s in the blurb so I won’t get told off). For me personally, the direction in which the storyline took after the emotional scene made the entire novel go up several notches. Instead of it just being about knitting and broken wrists; the storyline started to have meaning and incredible depth.

Now, as I admitted at the start of this novel – I am not a knitter. However, after reading about the woolly hats for premature babies, I have decided to re-learn how to knit and get some premature baby hats knitted for my local area. That whole situation hit home for many, many personal reasons and thanks to Poppy Dolan, I am actually going to give something back. Without the author’s important message in her storyline, I wouldn’t have been given the kick up the backside.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ as it was cleverly written and so unique. That said, I couldn’t really work out what the issue with Dee was later on in the book, I didn’t see an issue in her actions so I became a little confused by her brothers reactions. Maybe that’s just me I don’t know!

The highlight of Poppy Dolan’s novel (aside from the hats), was the 90’s references. I laughed out loud to several of the band names, even re-reading a previous page to see whether what I read was actually what I read! Absolutely brilliant.

All in all, ‘The Woolly Hat Knitting Club’ is a feel good novel which is guaranteed to make you giggle, whilst also preparing you for world dominance – knitting style. A perfect paced read from start to finish; Poppy Dolan has written a storyline with a heart of gold and never-ending hugs. The perfect pick me up book.

Thanks Canelo,

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Poppy Dolan is in her mid thirties and lives in Berkshire with her husband. She's a near- obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There’s More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She’s currently working on her fourth novel – it’s about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.

You can get in touch with Poppy on Twitter @poppydwriter and on Facebook at
PoppyDolanBooks. She doesn’t bite. Unless you are a dark chocolate digestive.

#BlogTour! #Review – #YouAreLoved by Jo Platt (@JoPlattTweets) @canelo_co

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Today I am honoured to be closing Jo Platt’s blog tour for her latest release, You Are Loved. Big thanks to Canelo for inviting me to be involved with the blog tour! I am delighted to share my review with you all today. Enjoy!

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Sometimes, life needs a rewrite…

Author Grace Waterhouse has hit rock bottom. Her ex-husband has just had a baby with his new partner and her latest novel is… well, the less said the better.

Desperate for distraction, Grace impulsively takes on a friend’s cleaning job, parachuting herself into a new social circle including an eccentric OAP, a heartbroken twenty-something and one James Brooke, an enigmatic lawyer with an unblinking stare.

Add to this mix an anxious literary agent, a hairdresser who doesn’t mince words and a newly repentant ex-husband, and Grace’s career break proves to be more breathless than breather.

They say that all you need is love – but what if that’s the one thing you haven’t got?

The heart-warming, funny and unputdownable new novel from bestseller Jo Platt is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Anna Bell and Joanna Bolouri.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever taken one look at your life and thought ‘screw you’?

Have you ever been stuck in mud so thick, that all you wanted to do is put on your comfy bra and hideous pjs (which hadn’t seen Persil since circa 1990) and camp out in your living room watching re-runs of ‘Men Behaving Badly’?

Have you ever wanted to re-write your life and start again?
(If only, eh!)

If you’ve said yes to all of the above and laughed at question number two, there is a high chance that ‘You Are Loved’ MIGHT just be the book for you. Sorry to disappoint you but there are no ‘Men Behaving Badly’ re-runs featured in this book. I know, I know – I’m devastated too. However, a bit of cringeworthy assumptions by our main character, Grace, is more than enough to make you forget about wanting to watch Gary and Tony’s antics over, and over, and over again. Trust me.

Grace Waterhouse has had her heart-broken, stomped on, and spat on by the man who she believed that she would be with until the end of time. I’m sure I don’t need to spell it out as for why, BUT, I weirdly admire Grace’s calmness later on down the line. Would I be like that? Hell no! Blunt scissors thankyouplease! Ironically, Grace puts the pen to paper about the very subject she is now a teensy bit bitter about. Look, I know some females are renowned at faking particular things, but let me tell you, emotions certainly isn’t one of them. Luckily for Grace, her best friend seems to know her better than she knows herself, and tells her to take a time out. And by golly, what a time out it is!

When books have tagline at the end of the blurb, I usually see them as a challenge. However, with Jo Platt’s ‘You Are Loved’ and her ‘unputdownable’ tag, I didn’t see it as a challenge at all. No. I saw it as a fact. Why? Because I couldn’t put it down that’s why! From the moment I opened my kindle to the first page, until the moment I closed my kindle on the last page, my eyes were fixated on one thing and one thing only; this book. Neil and Gavin (Grace’s best friends) had me in absolute hysterics – Gavin especially! Without giving too much away, Neil and Gavin weren’t the only hilarious and memorable characters from the book, and I loved them all!! Well, except one. But I believe I made my opinion on that particular situation pretty clear above? Oh, I didn’t? Grace’s ex-husband, Aiden, is an absolute cactus. Funnily enough, him being a cactus works well with the name of his new lady! Bet you’re absolutely gagging to find out what her name is now, aren’t you?

Whilst I snlaughed multiple times throughout the duration of ‘You Are Loved’, I did find that the whole Aiden situation dragged on a little bit. I really wanted Grace to kick him to the curb, instead of grabbing the carrot every time he dangled it. No! I don’t mean like that! Filth.

That aside, I enjoyed the whole ‘reinventing yourself’ part of the storyline, especially as the author managed to get such an important message across in amongst the hilarity and awkwardness. Sometimes we do need to take a step back from mundane situations, with it often being someone else who tells you that you’re sinking. Sometimes we need to do something out of the ordinary, regardless of what people might think and, to be honest, Grace did such a brilliant job.

All in all, ‘You Are Loved’ filled me with a lot of joy, a lot of giggles, and made my heart exceptionally fuzzy. Sometimes you just need a book like ‘You Are Loved’ to remind you of what is important and what isn’t. I really did enjoy this gem of a book (Aiden aside), and I am so looking forward to read what author, Jo Platt, releases next.

Thank you Canelo.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Love at the Italian Lake by @DarcieBoleyn @canelo_co

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FINALLLYYYYYYY!! It’s my turn to host a stop on Darcie Boleyn’s blog tour!! I am thrilled to be part of such a star studded blog tour! Huge thanks to Ellie for asking me to be involved!

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On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it only for summer? Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling author of 2017 smash-hit Summer at Conwenna Cove.

Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.

When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.

But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?

What does TWG think?

I feel like a worn out record where Darcie Boleyn’s books are concerned! Having read every single book that the author has published, I have never read one of her books that I didn’t like. Ever. Including her new book, and no, I’m not just saying that because I happen to share a name with one of the characters in this book! Squeal!

Once again, Darcie Boleyn captivates her readers with minimal effort, putting them under her literary spell just-like-that. Being knocked over by a Chris Hemsworth lookalike would be any hot-blooded woman’s ultimate fantasy (well, seeing as this blog post is pre-watershed…use your noggin). Unfortunately for our main character, Sophia, she didn’t take too kindly to being knocked off her feet. In all honesty, I don’t think I would either but I’m sure I wouldn’t take long to forgive a Chris Hemsworth lookalike…

Whilst the gentleman character was a welcome addition to the storyline, the real gem of the story in my eyes was Sophia’s Nonna. There are moments in life where we just need a hug…no sad attempt at empathy by people who haven’t a clue what they’re saying; just an old-fashioned hug by someone who can keep you safe in their arms. For Sophia, that safety net was her Nonna. What a beautiful, beautiful character. I absolutely loved her to pieces.

Poor Sophia has had a hard time of it lately, so jetting off to hotter than hot Italy, and living life outside of her comfort zone, is exactly what the doctor ordered. What Italy had in store for Sophia though, was a humorous and heart-warming surprise.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, so I’ll keep this brief. Honestly, I really have no idea how Darcie Boleyn does it, I really don’t.

Beautiful setting – CHECK.
Interesting main character – CHECK.
Loveable/intriguing additional characters – CHECK.
A Chris Hemsworth lookalike – CHECK.
A storyline to keep you hooked from the very first page – CHECK.

I mean, what more could you possibly want? ‘Love at the Italian Lake’ grabbed a hold of my heart and didn’t let go; even weeks after finishing the novel. I laughed. I smiled. I became teary. But most importantly, I loved. I loved every single word, every single page, every single situation that came up in this storyline.

In my eyes, a Darcie Boleyn novel is just like a Nonna hug for Sophia; homely, loving, flawless…and unbelievably perfect.

Spot on, once again.

Thanks Canelo.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Cocktails & Dreams by A.L.Michael (@almichael_) @Canelo_co @NeverlandBT

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It feels like a lifetime ago since A.L.Michael last appeared on TWG, a lot has happened since she has! You may remember the author’s previous book series, The House on Camden Square, which came to an end last year. However, A.L.Michael has returned with a new look, a new vibe, and a new path to move forward on.

I am delighted to be day two on the ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ blog tour – here is my review!

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A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out- loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk.

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person… 
Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the big time. Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams? 

See inside for a delicious cocktail recipe and book club questions!

What does TWG think?

Cocktails and Dreams…what a unique cover! To be perfectly honest, my first impression of the book wasn’t 100% due to the cover, it seemed too simple for the authors general style. Just my opinion. When I got into the storyline, I found the content to be nothing like the cover whatsoever.

Getting straight to the point; I bloomin’ loved this book! First of all, the majority of the storyline was set in a burlesque club, I mean, how unique can you get? Straight away I thought of Dita Von Teese, and the film ‘Burlesque’. Brilliant setting. Second of all, there is a kickass female protagonist who goes by the name of ‘Savvy’; if you need a new role model in your life, choose her. Period. Third of all, there is an emotional back story which ends up being deeper than the Bee-Gee’s popular tune, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. Not in a bad way either!

‘Cocktails and Dreams’ isn’t just a book about alcohol. It isn’t just a book about dreams gone wrong. No. ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ is a book that just keeps on giving. Every single chapter brought something new to the whole book experience, some things expected, and some things not. All of that showed me that A.L.Michael’s book has more to it that meets the eye, and by golly what a book to come back with!

Savvy’s situation was quite a difficult one to read, so emotional yet her mother’s antics made me want to give her a ruddy good shake. I found the switching between intense moments and hilarious moments, incredibly refreshing and memorable. It was as though  we were given the best of both worlds, without feeling too suffocated by the characters lifestyles.

Whilst I loved the entire novel, I adored the spotlight on fulfilling dreams, and learning how to find the confidence to be able to put yourself first, whilst grabbing that dream by the lower region and showing it whose boss. At the end of the day, we are all humans as we always end up putting our dreams on the back burner because of life itself. Author, A.L.Michael, was obviously aware of that fact, which made the sentiment behind her character’s dreams go through the roof. I believed that Savvy could reach the stars. And now, after reading ‘Cocktails and Dreams’, I believe that I can also reach the stars.

A brilliant, heart-warming, beautifully written novel from the extremely talented, A.L.Michael. A must-read without a doubt.

Thanks Canelo/NeverlandBT.

Amazon // Kobo

Giveaway!!

This giveaway is to win a cocktail making giftset and an eCopy of the book. UK only!

Giveaway Prize
To enter the giveaway, click here. Good luck!

#BlogTour! #Review – Ask No Questions by Lisa Hartley (@rainedonparade) @canelo_co

Ask No Questions Blog Tour Graphic (6)
I am delighted to be closing Lisa Hartley’s blog tour for ‘Ask No Questions’, with my review! Big thanks to Faye Rogers and Canelo for inviting me on this tour!

Ask No Questions Cover

Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one

After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small
leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.

Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is
suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect – even close colleagues.

Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.

This isn’t an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.

The nerve-shredding new crime thriller from bestseller Lisa Hartley starts a
must-read new series. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza, it will keep you guessing until the very end.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever finished reading a book and thought to yourself; ‘Hallelujah!! This is just the book I’ve been waiting for!’? I have..

Now even though I read a lot of books, I still expect each and every storyline to be unique. However, recently it feels like a lot of the thrillers/psychological thrillers I’ve read, whilst being a good enough read, haven’t made me go ‘wow!’. Until now.

Caelan Small resigned from her job in the Met after a police operation went from bad, to worse, in a matter of minutes. As far as Caelan was concerned, she had left her job permanently. However as far as the Met were concerned, Caelan was about to be reinstated and thrown in the deep end. If Caelan thought the operation last time was a mess, she has no idea what is about to come her way…

‘Ask No Questions’ is THE book I have been waiting for! Not only was the storyline extremely fast paced, it was also full of suspense and intrigue as I tried to work out what the hell was going on. In the simplest of terms, ‘Ask No Questions’ is an absolute mind-funk of a novel which, ironically enough, made me want to ask questions constantly. When each situation began to unfold I tried to piece everything together, attempting to come up with a name as to who was involved. Just when I had a name and a motive in mind, the entire plot changed tactic and everything was up in the air. Nobody was safe. Nothing was certain. There were a lot of characters with a ‘do not trust’ sign stuck to their heads and, because I was invested in each character throughout the book, I became quite shocked when a character who I believed to be trustworthy, ended up being ‘one to watch’.

From the very first page, ‘Ask No Questions’ held me hostage. My level of excitement for the novel itself was through the roof, I was eager to turn to the next page to find out what was going to happen next. Who was going to come out from the woodwork. Who might end up dead.

I cannot even begin to explain how much I absolutely LOVED Lisa Hartley’s novel. All I can say (once again), is how ‘Ask No Questions’ became THE book I have been waiting for. THE storyline I wanted to sink my teeth into and never let go. Being shocked by every turn of events the moment I turned the page. Lisa Hartley has written a phenomenal, intense, spine tingling and addictive read, I am already beyond excited about the next book in the series. ‘Ask No Questions’ ticked every single box for me, and then some.

For once the tag line at the end of the blurb is bang on; this book really will keep you guessing, and you will absolutely love that it does.

Thanks Canelo!

Buy now from Amazon

#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..