#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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#BlogTour! #Review – A Little Christmas Faith by @KathrynFreeman1 @Rararesources @ChocLitUK

A Little Christmas Faith Full Tour Banner
I am SO excited to be kicking off a brand new week with a review for one of my all-time favourite authors, Kathryn Freeman. Back with yet another outstanding novel in the name of ‘A Little Christmas Faith’, Kathryn Freeman has once again blew me away. I am delighted to be one of the stops on her blog tour today. Here is my review:

A LITTLE CHRISTMAS FAITH_FRONT_150dpi
Is it time to love Christmas again?

Faith Watkins loves Christmas, which is why she’s thrilled that her new hotel in the Lake District will be open in time for the festive season. And Faith has gone all out; huge Christmas tree, fairy lights, an entire family of decorative reindeer. Now all she needs are the guests … 

But what she didn’t bank on was her first paying customer being someone like Adam Hunter. Rugged, powerfully built and with a deep sadness in his eyes, Adam is a man that Faith is immediately drawn to – but unfortunately he also has an intense hatred of all things Christmassy.

As the countdown to the big day begins, Faith can’t seem to keep away from her mysterious guest, but still finds herself with more questions than answers: just what happened to Adam Hunter? And why does he hate Christmas?

What does TWG think?

I’m just going to get straight to the point with this review; there really is no other way to do it….

OHMYGOSH WHAT A BOOK!!!!

‘A Little Christmas Faith’ ticked every single box of mine. It has romance, albeit a very rushed one which did make me go a ‘hmmmm’ to begin with, but it’s there. If you’re a true romantic then you’ll be reading this book with heart shapes in your eyes like a lovesick puppy. But, if you’re like me (severely unromantic), then there is a chance that you’ll be going through the whole range of emojis’s before finally giving in and reaching the one with the heart-shaped eyes. For me to believe a romance between characters, I need to feel it. I need the author to write with such tender yet powerful words, enough to be able to get through the ice exterior around my heart. Being totally honest with you, it can take a lot. However for Kathryn Freeman, she is the type of author who can turn me from Queen Elsa into Cinderella as though it’s the most natural thing in the world. You’ve got to admit, that is pretty genius.

Not only does this book have romance, it also, in my eyes, contains enough laugh out loud moments to give Peter Kay’s upcoming tour a run for its money. I think I snlaughed several times. Wait, no. I KNOW I snlaughed several times. It’s great when a book can make you laugh, but by golly the author has got something if they can make you snlaugh. Obviously it won’t win an swipes on Tinder, but who cares when you’re snlaughing!!

Romance and humour – two perfect combinations, agreed? Well, ‘A Little Christmas Faith’ doesn’t just contain those two. Nope. It also contains a jaw dropping ‘oh where the Christmas pudding did that come from?!?’ moment. No joke. It’s not often I’m speechless yet a certain part of this storyline made me that way. I am in awe at how this author has managed to create a storyline with not one, not two, but three strong elements within her storyline which not only caught me off guard, they also made me stop and think. Of course when a storyline contains a multitude of thought-provoking themes, there is a higher chance of emotion being brought to the surface – Kathryn Freeman’s novel certainly has one of those types of storylines.

Personally, I find tearless emotion a lot stronger than emotion which allows the tears to fall. It’s a type of emotion which is often unexplainable due to the strength surrounding it. It’s like being surrounded by an emotional orb with the only explanation being: ‘read this book then you’ll know’. And you know what? ‘A Little Christmas Faith’ brought out that tearless emotion like a rollercoaster ride at a theme park. How could anyone even begin to explain that? Kathryn Freeman really is a literary goddess.

‘A Little Christmas Faith’ had everything I could have wanted within a book, and then some. A storyline so jam-packed that Faith Watkins’ Christmas trees would look like miniature figurines. A storyline which contained some of the most fiery, strong and memorable characters I have ever come across in a Christmas book. A storyline which is likely to put fiery in your belly, love in your heart, and a huge smile on your face.

Thanks so much ChocLitUK.

Buy now from Amazon.

Author bio.

I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

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