#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas Angels by Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) @HoZ_Books

Christmas Angels blog tour

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Christmas is the most harrowing time of year for the nurses of St Angelus Hospital.

A brilliant nurse secretly battling a fatal illness over Christmas… A starving baby boy abandoned in the freezing cold… A cruel, controlling mother, determined to block her daughter’s nursing career at all costs…

In the run up to Christmas, nurses Pammy and Beth are aiming to win the coveted national decorating competition for the St Angelus children’s ward, but drama after drama threatens to upset their plans.

Amid the hardship and poverty of 1950s Liverpool, only the humour and community spirit of nurses and patients will get the Angels through their toughest Christmas yet.

What does TWG think?

Christmas is a time for loved ones, sharing memories, as well as creating new ones. Unfortunately though, that isn’t always the case for everyone – as you will no doubt realise when you delve into ‘Christmas Angels’. With a storyline packed full to the brim with heartache, illnesses, abandonment, and extremely bitter family members, it’s a wonder how the author managed to turn all of those heartbreaking moments into the heart-warming, touching, poignant and memorable storyline that ‘Christmas Angels’ turned out to be. This is only my second novel by Nadine Dorries, but with such genuine warmth flying off the pages (aka the authors words), it feels as though I have been reading Dorries’ novels for a very long time.

Set in the 1950’s when the healthcare system was a lot different from today, ‘simple’ illnesses, by today’s standards, were a lot harder to treat meaning that people could be on the brink of losing a loved one. The nurses at St Angelus Hospital are working around the clock as they treat to treat all of the patients who come through their doors both physically, and emotionally. ‘Christmas Angels’ was set when the NHS was dipping its toe into the water and, contrary to popular belief, it’s a system which has come a long way in the last 60+ years and reading this book makes you appreciate the NHS that little bit more.

For me, the true highlight of this novel was the community spirit. As daft as this sounds, I am incredibly jealous of that as times have drastically changed and community spirit is severely lacking. I am so glad that authors like Nadine Dorries keep the community and fighting spirit alive in their novels. We really do need it.

I’m not going to lie, there storyline does contain a lot of heartache and emotional situations which for me, got a little bit too hard to digest at times because it chipped away at the ice around my heart until I had no more. I think I underestimated how emotional this novel was going to be so make sure you read this book with a huge box of tissues next to you.

Touching, moving and heartbreakingly beautiful, Nadine Dorries puts the spotlight on community spirit at Christmas time in the most humble and poignant manner, igniting the Christmassy spirit in readers everywhere – guaranteed.

Thanks HoZ.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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#BlogTour #Review – The Little Church by the Sea by Liz Taylorson @taylorson_liz @BooksManatee

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The tour bus stops with me, TWG, today as I host day TWO of Liz Taylorson’s blog tour for ‘The Little Church by the Sea’! Huge thanks to Manatee for the blog tour invite, as well as an ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Isolated and unwelcome in the picturesque seaside village of Rawscar, Reverend Cass Fordyce has lost her faith and her home. Christmas is coming, and she isn’t looking forward to it. Then she meets attractive local man Hal – twice divorced and with a reputation as a ladies’ man he’s everything that a celibate vicar like Cass should avoid… especially as Hal is hiding secrets of his own, including his past with the mysterious Anna.

Can Cass ever find her way in Rawscar? What secret does Hal have to hide? And is there ever such a thing as a truly fresh start?

What does TWG think?

I know that Cass Fordyce would be less than amused with what I am about to say, sorry! Honestly, this book reminded me of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ one hundred percent. Not only does Reverend Cass Fordyce have a less than holy mouth – just like the Vicar of Dibley, she also has quite a few identical personality traits. If I didn’t know otherwise, I would have assumed that I was reading a book of Geraldine Granger herself. Although, Cass Fordyce doesn’t really like to be compared to the popular vicar. No idea why though, she’s fabulous!

I have to say that I was a little bit concerned at first as I am not a religious person at all, and I knew that I would struggle if the storyline was completely religious. Nothing against religion or those who are religious. It’s just isn’t for me. The storyline does contain a lot of religious references, especially as the main character is a reverend. That said, the religious aspects weren’t written in a ‘force down throat’ manner which meant that I was able to enjoy the story without feeling as though I was going to be sent for a coffee with the devil. It really was done in good taste.

I really did enjoy reading ‘The Little Church by the Sea’ as it made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. I also loved how the Reverend showed us readers a different side to her personality – yes, Reverend’s do have lives outside of the church, who knew! I did find the romance parts a little unbelievable unfortunately – I reckon that those parts could have been extended a little bit so that it didn’t appear to be a rushed romance. Just my opinion.

However, the situation with Anna was a fantastic addition to the book and certainly made me sit up and take notice. Definitely a darker part to the book in comparison to the  other characters situations. Personally, it spiced things up and created a mysterious feel to the rest of the book.

Overall ‘The Little Church by the Sea’ was a laugh out loud, touching and poignant read about love, loss and finding your own happy ever after. Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, I was still able to appreciate the heart-felt storyline.

Thanks Manatee Books.

The Little Church by the Sea will be published on the 23rd November by Manatee Books. To pre-order your copy click here.

#BlogTour! #Review – A Winter’s Wish by Lynsey James @Lynsey1991 @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

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And last but not least is my review of Lynsey James’ ‘A Winter’s Wish’, which is set to be published on the 22nd November. Huge thanks to NeverlandBT for the blog tour invite, and thank you for the ARC also. Here is my review:

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Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list.

Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?
Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.
Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

What does TWG think?

Having LOVED Lynsey James’ previous book, ‘The Summer of Hopes and Dreams’, I was so excited to be able to re-visit Cleo and Scott. I was so looking forward to finding out what the pair had been up to in between books. Was Cleo finally happy? Had she reached a compromise with her demons?

Poor Cleo isn’t as happy as I thought she would have been. When we left her in the previous book, things seemed like they were starting to look up a bit for her, like she had finally gotten a break from all of the hard situations she had found herself in over the years. Before delving into ‘A Winter’s Wish’, I had everything crossed that I was going to fall in love with the book as much as I did the first. Unfortunately that wasn’t really the case.

Why? Because I felt that Cleo had come so far and grown up a lot in the first book, to then feeling that she had lost some of her maturity. Don’t get me wrong, Cleo’s heart was in the right place and I felt for her once again in regards to her own personal demons but when it came to light that Cleo was pregnant, that’s when I felt myself going a bit ‘hmmm’. Having had eating and confidence issues since the age of five, as well as finding it hard to come to terms with my body changing drastically, I found Cleo’s insight to be a little bit hard unbelievable. I do understand that writing a storyline involving pregnancy when you’ve not been pregnant yourself, can be extremely difficult – I’m not disputing that at all and I can tell that the author has worked extremely hard in regards to her research. But for me, the way that that part of the storyline was handled wasn’t my cup of tea and unfortunately it let the book down.

Aside from that, I did enjoy the majority of the storyline. ‘A Winter’s Wish’ really is a heart-warming, cosy read for romantics everywhere. Even though I couldn’t gel with a part of the book, I still found myself rooting for Cleo and Scott again and, as an unromantic person such as myself, even I was convinced by their love story. Lynsey James really has portrayed their love incredibly well and it actually made my heart soar.

A lovely and cosy second book in a series, Lynsey James has kept the romance level intact throughout both books by making her readers fall in love with Cleo and Scott all over again.

Thanks HQDigitalUK & NeverlandBT.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

Author bio:

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name
ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.
When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

Twitter // Facebook

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#Blitz! #Review Xmas at the Candied Apple Cafe @Katheringarbera @HarperImpulse @rararesources

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Feeling all Christmassy and as sweet as apple tonight as I share my review of Katherine Garbera’s ‘Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe’! Huge thanks to Harper Impulse for the ARC and Rachel from RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in this blog blitz. Here is my review:

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There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…

Santa is coming to New York!

Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth
Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!

Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year- old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.

If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

What does TWG think?

What a truly festive treat this is! I have never been to America, let alone going to America for the holidays, yet with Katherine Garbera’s stunning descriptions of New York, I felt like I was there amongst it all. Seriously magical!

Poor Mads and his little girl haven’t exactly the most wonderful year due to the death of Mads’ wife. Not only did Sofia lose her mum, she also lost her ability to believe. Honestly though, can you blame her? She’s lost her mum, the last thing she is going to believe in is Santa. However, I adored how Iona (their neighbour) tried to help them create new traditions at a time which harbours devastating memories.

I absolutely loved the Christmas element to this book, including the Candied Apple Cafe itself. The community spirit from the Iona’s colleagues and her customers just made my heart soar with joy. If I was met with people like that every time I walked into a shop, I would be one VERY happy lady.

Unfortunately, I do have a little irk with the romance part of the storyline. Now whilst I fully appreciate that sexual scenes in a book need to be kept respectful and not border on a blue movie style, I really do wish that certain words weren’t used during those intimate scenes as it made an otherwise hot under the collar scene, lean more towards a grimacing scene. Personally for me, I didn’t find it believable.

Apart from that, I think the Christmas element made the book stand out big time. My favourite character was Iona as she just oozed class, sass and had a heart of gold.

Such an enticing and magical read to curl up with this Christmas.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has
written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine
now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.

Social Media Links

Fb:www.facebook.com/katherinegarberaauthor
Twitter @katheringarbera
Instagramwww.instagram.com/katherinegarbera

Giveaway!!!

Giveaway – Win 5 x Signed Copies of Summer in Manhattan
5 lucky winners will win a copy of Summer in Manhattan, Katherine Garbera’s previous book for Harper Impulse.

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#Review – Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green by @EveDevon @HarperImpulse

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Welcome back to the village of Whispers Wood where Christmas magic is in the air…

After giving his heart last year only to have it given away the very next day, Jake Knightley is opting out of Christmas—permanently! But then a beautiful new village arrival sets mayhem in motion, upsetting all his carefully laid plans.

Emma Danes has said goodbye to Hollywood and will do anything to help make the clock house a success, even working closely with the tempting Mr Knightley.

Now, as snow starts to fall and romance starts to bloom, Emma and Jake may just find themselves repeating Whispers Wood history beneath the mistletoe…

What does TWG think?

Having absolutely adored the first book in this series, ‘The Little Clock House on the Green’, it felt like all my Christmases had come at once when I was asked to review Eve Devon’s latest treat. ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ picks up where we left off in the first book, however the focus isn’t solely on Kate and Daniel this time round. Don’t fret though, Kate and Daniel do appear quite a lot in this second book but they have agreed to take a backseat for two new main characters to find their feet.

Emma is an actress. Surrounding herself with the limelight of Hollywood is all she’s ever known (well, aside from working in a bar of course). Kate, her friend back in Whispers Wood, has offered her a once in a lifetime opportunity. Should Emma continue to battle it out in Hollywood for starring roles, or should she take life by the baubles and say yes to Kate?

The other main character is a rather complicated man who goes by the name of Jake. A man who has, unfortunately, lived out an exceptionally popular Christmas song. One day out of the blue, Jake’s personal life went ‘WHAM!’ in his face as his girlfriend at the time decided to have a change of heart. A year later and Jake is only beginning to find his feet as a singleton. Well, until the Hollywood actress appears and he’s left wondering whether this Christmas would be anything like ‘Last Christmas’ when he gave someone his heart, only to have it taken away again..

Eve Devon’s ‘Clock House’ series has got to be one of my all time favourite book serials I have ever read. There is just something so magical about being in Whispers Wood – I would be here all day if I even began to explain exactly what makes it magical, so please trust me on this fact!

Even though ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ manages to give enough background information for those who are beginning the series from book, I would still recommend reading these books in order so that you can appreciate the series one hundred percent.

I have to be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive starting this book as I loved the first book so much and I really wanted the second book to follow suit. I needn’t have worried though, from the very first chapter I was swept away by the magical Whispers Wood and everything it stood for. It was as though I had never been away! As well as the romantic elements to the storyline, this book also continued some truly laugh out loud moments – at one point I even had tears rolling down my cheeks I was laughing that much! The entire storyline was extremely well thought out, making every eventuality appear flawless.

I loved how we were able to see a different side to both Kate, and Daniel now that they had taken a step back. It was as though Kate had found herself and, after the previous book, it was so lovely to see things working out for her. Of course, Bea’s memory lived on in book two and it was still as emotional as the first book, I had tears in my eyes once again for a completely different reason.

‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ took my breath away and left me wanting even more. Closing the book after yet another visit to Whispers Wood left me feeling incredibly deflated as I just didn’t want to say goodbye. All of the characters in this book got under my skin one way or another (in a good way) and, as daft as this sounds, I feel as though they have become great friends (albeit fictional) as I have gotten to know them through their worst moments, and their best moments.

Eve Devon truly has captured the true essence of Whispers Wood in such a beautiful and seamless manner, warming my heart from the very first page until the very last. I laughed, I cried, but despite that, my heart was filled with so much joy thanks to this outstanding novel from the extremely talented, Eve Devon.

It’s pretty clear that the author has written this book from the heart and to be honest, I wouldn’t expect anything less from this author. I cannot wait to read Eve Devon’s next book as if it’s anything like the previous two, we will all be in for an absolute treat.

Heart-warming, joyous, magical and sheer perfection, ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ is THE book to read these Christmas without a doubt.
Absolutely outstanding!

P.S. Gertrude needs a story of her own…SHE is a belter of a character!!!!

Thanks HarperImpulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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

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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.

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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

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#Review – Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Carla Burgess (@MsBear123) @HQDigitalUK

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A fabulously festive romantic read, perfect to curl up with by the fire this Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the little flower shop…

Florist Rachel Jones might spend every day making beautiful bridal bouquets at her little flower shop, but her own love life is wilting as quickly as a bunch of dead roses.

Luckily, the arrival of handsome detective Anthony Bascombe, the new tenant upstairs is the perfect distraction! Although there’s a catch, Anthony isn’t looking for love – he’s looking for her ex-fiancé, Patrick…

But as the snow begins to fall and her little shop fills with mistletoe ready for Christmas, will Rachel manage to melt Anthony’s heart?

What does TWG think?

After falling in love with Carla Burgess’ debut novel, ‘Marry Me Tomorrow’, and quite ironically at that, I couldn’t help but be super excited to dive into her latest novel. So, after boiling the kettle for my nightly cup of tea, grabbing my Mickey Mouse blanket and curling up on the sofa, I ignored everyone by letting ‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe’ envelope me good and proper.

The thing about Carla Burgess’ novels is that she writes with such tenderness, it’s as though she’s writing a letter to an old friend. You can’t help but fall under the authors spell based on that alone.

Rachel Jones has taken over her parents florist. Well, by ‘taken over’ I mean more or less buying the premises and owning it sort of thing. For as long as she can remember, creating bouquets and floral delights have been as much part of her daily routine as cleaning her teeth. Although, for someone who lives and breathes the smell of roses day in day out, her own love life isn’t as fragrant.

I’m sorry to say that I thought the arrival of an eye-catching gentleman was incredibly predictable. However, what I didn’t expect was his true reason for arriving in the florist to begin with. Underhanded? A teeny bit, but he was only doing his job. I could see why Rachel was a bit miffed though considering the history with her ex. Let’s just say that the whole ‘Rachel and ex’ situation makes for popcorn worthy reading. Ignoring people as soon as I started reading this book was SUCH a good call!

I’m not going to lie – I absolutely loved this book! Yes it was a ‘boy meets girl’ scenario, but it had an edge to it that caught me off guard and made me think ‘ooooo, this could get interesting’. I am not the romantic type, yet I will quite happily read about fictional characters making eyes at each other over a bunch of begonia’s. Not being the romantic type myself, I have to then be convinced by a characters love, flirting, relationship effort and so on, for the entire duration of the novel. I have to believe it. If it’s not believable then to me, it’s not done it’s job. A Carla Burgess novel however, well, seeing as the author can transport me into the storyline itself, I have to then kick myself to remember that I am not Rachel Jones, I don’t have an ex called Patrick, and I am currently not flirting with a detective.

I am being completely honest when I tell you that in a minimum of a few pages, Carla Burgess can make me feel as though I am living her characters lives and feeling their emotions. In my eyes, you cannot get more believable than that. Although, I do wish I had kept the floristry craft after doing my stint as Rachel Jones, I mean come on! Parting gift?

I savoured every word, every expression, every emotion – the lot, whilst my head was buried in the beautiful realm of Carla Burgess’ storytelling. So much so, that when the book had ended, I went straight onto social media and asked the author whether there was going to be a sequel! Er helloooo, need my fix!

For a storyline to capture my ice-cold heart, it has to be something special. ‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe’ is something special and more. I felt as though the author was giving me a hug through her words whenever I turned the page, no joke. The story was cosy, heartfelt, magical and for me, it just oozed everything I needed to be able to fall in love with every single page.

Some people take baths to feel cosy, I pick up a Carla Burgess novel.

Beautiful, enchanting and highly addictive. I cannot WAIT until the next book, eeee!!!!

Thanks HQDigitalUK.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Tour #Review – Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse by Lilly Bartlett (@MicheleGormanUK)

Apologies for my late review, my daughter is poorly! Even though I am a day late I am super excited to be sharing my review of Lilly Bartlett’s latest novel, ‘Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse, with you all today! Huge thanks to Michelle Gorman for asking me to be involved in the tour, and for the ARC of her novel.

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Put your feet up and tuck into the mince pies, because you won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy this Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse!

Too bad the same can’t be said for single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie. When her beloved Aunt Kate ends up in hospital just before Christmas, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter rush to rural Wales to take over her B&B. A picky hotel reviewer and his mad family are coming to stay, and without the rating only he can give them, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood.

But Lottie can barely run her own life, let alone a hotel. How will she manage to turn the falling-down guesthouse into the luxurious wonderland the reviewer expects? And could the mysterious taxi driver, Danny, who agrees to help her, turn out to be the real gift this season?

As the snow sparkles on the trees and hot chocolate steams in your hand, snuggle into the delicious magic of Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse.

What does TWG think?

Sometimes you just need a book which can help you forget the issues of mundane life, right? A book which can get you in the festive mood earlier than usual, without overpowering you too much. A book which has the perfect amount of pages to make you feel as though you’re indulging in something rather special. Yes? All of the above is exactly why I enjoy reading Lilly Bartlett’s (aka Michelle Gorman) novels. They’re like Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream in book form and seriously, what’s not to like about that?

‘Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse’ made me smile, laugh out loud, as well as making me wonder how I was going to turn my house into Santa’s Grotto this year. Lilly Bartlett’s new book may be novella size but it certainly packs a punch with its small size.

Lottie’s Christmas plans have changed. Firstly her beloved aunt ends up in hospital, and secondly she bargains with her taxi driver to become her new-found chef in her aunt’s hotel, just in time for a reviewer to come and stay. Seeing as Lottie’s dolmio and pasta combination wouldn’t be winning any ratings any time soon and nor will the hotel’s decor, Lottie and Danny need to find a way to make it work. Apparently stepping back in time is the only option. Whether the reviewer agrees remains to be seen…

Even though a lot of the storyline was predictable and I saw coming a mile off, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the festive feel of Lilly Bartlett’s novella. There was something rather majestic about this book, and to be honest, I think a lot of that had to do with Lottie’s seven-year old daughter.

The way in which Lottie and Danny tackled their situation head on had me in hysterics. Yes I thought it was bonkers but you know what? It worked. It was lovely to see an issue near Christmas being sorted out in a light-hearted fashion, especially considering the real reason that they’re having to look after the hotel in the first place.

‘Christmas at the Falling-Down Guesthouse’ really was a pleasant and enjoyable read. Okay it didn’t blow me away one hundred percent, but due to the amount of love that each of the characters had in the book, it would have been difficult for me to not be carried away with the Christmas spirit and all of the joviality. I really do feel that Lottie has a lot more to give so I am crossing everything that the author decides to give Lottie a starring role in a full length novel.

By far one of the quickest ways to get you in the Christmas spirit, this novella has magic written all over it.

Thanks to the author.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Review – The Best Little Christmas Shop by Maxine Morrey (@Scribbler_Maxi) @HQDigitalUK

maxine

Home for the holidays…

Icing gingerbread men, arranging handmade toys and making up countless Christmas wreaths in her family’s cosy little Christmas shop isn’t usually globe-trotter Lexi’s idea of fun. But it’s all that’s keeping her mind off romance. And, with a broken engagement under her belt, she’s planning to stay well clear of that for the foreseeable future…until gorgeous single dad Cal Martin walks through the door!

Christmas takes on a whole new meaning as Lexi begins to see it through Cal’s adorable five-year-old son’s eyes. But, finding herself getting dangerously close to the mistletoe with Cal, Lexi knows she needs to back off. She’s sworn off love, and little George needs a stability she can’t provide. One day she’ll decide whether to settle down again – just not yet.

But the best little Christmas shop in this sleepy, snow-covered village has another surprise in store…

What does TWG think?

Hand on heart, I could read a Maxine Morrey novel every day of the week without getting bored. Selfishly I wish the author would produce 365 books in one year, but unless the author is an octopus and has book ideas coming out of her like a stampede of people on the Boxing Day sales, I may have to resign myself to the fact it will never happen. Sniff.

Anywhooooo! Maxine Morrey is back with yet another toasty warm novel – the perfect excuse to ignore everyone in your household with. Not that I am speaking from experience or anything…

Lexi, just like her life, is a tad broken. She’s back in her family home working in the family business. Her own career put on the back burner for the immediate future. What happened? Lexi doesn’t like to talk about a situation which broke her heart, yet to move forward with her life, she needs to approach and put it to bed. Speaking of putting to bed…there’s a ‘new’ man in town. A man whose son was 0.5 seconds away from hearing some extremely colourful words. A man who has had his heart-broken in the past and only wants to do right by his son. A man who would find any excuse to frequent a shop…just because.

Lexi is my kinda gal. She is hilarious. Sassy. Beyonce type independent. And of course, feisty. She’s the type of person I want to be when I grow up! -ignores the fact that I’ll be 28 soon-.

I could tell almost straight away that Cal and Lexi were going to hit it off. Whether that was because she doted on Cal’s little boy, George, or whether she was actually attracted to the man himself, I’m still not entirely sure. Either way, there was certainly something in the air.

I loved how naive both of the main characters came across, despite being well into their adulthood and aware of certain meaningful feelings. Sometimes it was as though Cal and Lexi were in high school as love-sick teenagers! Of course I just wanted to bang their heads together and tell them to get on with it, but it was super cute watching their relationship blossom, especially with a child in the equation. Often people forget the child in new friendships and relationships, or rule single parents out completely as being ‘too much of a challenge’ or ‘damaged goods’. Lexi however, was the complete opposite. I could give the author a hug for the way that she has portrayed a single parent in this book, whilst also keeping the heart of the child at the forefront of any decision making, ensuring that little George was involved every single time. As daft as this sounds, it did make me a little bit emotional read it, I must admit.

Now, I absolutely flipping loved this book. I loved the surprises in the storyline regarding Lexi’s family. I loved Lexi’s family full stop! I felt like I was being wrapped up in a blanket the entire time I was reading ‘The Best Little Christmas Shop’. I was afraid that when I closed the book the cosiness would diminish and I would end up feeling cold*.

*Reader, it did.

Seeing as I pride myself on being honest and writing honest reviews every time, I feel like I would be going against that if I didn’t mention something which, in my eyes, disappointed me a smidge. Sigh. The ending. If there was another book following this one then I would have no problem at all with the ending as it piqued my interest and left me hanging. But, because there isn’t a sequel in the pipeline at the moment, the ending kept me hanging and made me feel like there was more to the storyline. Don’t get me wrong, the entire novel was beautifully written and it’s not a negative thing that I wanted a sequel to the book. I am just a bit disappointed at how it was left wide open with an abrupt finish. I really do hope that the author does write a sequel to this book as I feel that Lexi’s family have so much more to give and I want to follow their journey with them.

Aside from that, this book blew me away and, as you can tell, left me wanting more, more, MORE!!

To say that ‘The Best Little Christmas Shop’ was a magical read would be an understatement of the year. Being perfectly honest, the magic and warmth in this book ranked as high as good ol’ Santa Claus, and you can’t get anymore magical than that old dude!

Sometimes you can read a book which can make you feel loved from the tip of your toes, to the top of your head. Sometimes you can read a book which warms your heart like the biggest duvet. Sometimes you can read a book which leaves you feeling a sense of loss when the book comes to an end. Sometimes you can read a book that you would love to read for the first time, every time. Sometimes that ‘sometimes’ changes to every time, and that ‘every time’ would be my response to ‘would you recommend a Maxine Morrey novel?’.

Every.Single.Time.

Thanks HQDigitalUK.

The Best Little Christmas Shop is released TODAY and can be purchased now from Amazon UK.

#BlogBlitz #Review – A Cosy Candlelit Christmas by Tilly Tennant (@TillyTenWriter) @Bookouture

A Cosy Candlelit Christmas - Blog Blitz
So excited to be taking part in yet another blog blitz for one of my most favourite authors of all time, Tilly Tennant! Big thank you to Bookouture for inviting me on the tour as well as an ARC of the book. Here is my review:

A-Cosy-Candlelit-Christmas-Kindle
All singleton Isla wants for Christmas is to be left in peace, but a surprise trip to the Alps means there’s a chance for romance in every snowflake that falls…

It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make amends with the father who abandoned her.

She has absolutely no intention of forgiving him, but who could resist an all-expenses-paid trip to the French resort of St Martin-de-Belleville?

There she meets smooth-talking Justin and nerdy glaciologist Sebastian; two very different men, with two very different agendas. Torn between her head and her heart, Isla finds herself utterly lost in a winter wonderland of her own feelings.

Surrounded by twinkling candles and roaring log-fires, Isla’s resolve finally begins to melt. But will she learn how to reconnect, not only with a whole new family, but with herself and her heart?

A gorgeously heart-warming festive read to help spark a little romance in those long winter nights. Perfect for fans of Jane Linfoot, Debbie Johnson and Jenny Colgan.

What does TWG think?

You know what would be easier? Me copying and pasting* all the compliments I write for Tilly Tennant in each review, into this one! It’s as though I am a worn out record by saying the same sort of stuff!
(*Please note that I would never do that. It would be easier, but I wouldn’t. Just to clarify!)

I had the pleasure of ignoring everybody by indulging in yet another Tilly Tennant novel. A Tilly Tennant novel to me is like chocolate chip cookies to Cookie Monster, although I wouldn’t say no to several of those whilst reading Tilly’s novel, that’s for sure!

I’m just going to come straight out and say it. I feel I owe it to the author to be open and honest…

OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH I LOVEEEEEEED IT! I have absolutely NO idea how this author does it, but she knocks it out of the park every.single.time! Just when I thought she had done good with a previous novel, the author then brings out a book which lands itself in the ‘Tilly Tennant’s Best Book Yet’ section. Seriously. It’s not even the odd book…it’s EVERY SINGLE BOOK which the author reduces me to a gabbling, stalkerish type reviewer who pining after the authors words once again!

Most of Isla’s life has been with her mother, that really is all she has even known. Until the day her estranged father makes contact that is. Personally, I thought Isla was incredibly brave for doing what she did despite knowing full well what the repercussions could have been not only for her, but everyone else involved. Just like Isla, my father abandoned us at a young age and I spent many years angry with someone who I hadn’t heard their side of the story from. A mother, just like Glory, who had their own version of events and refused to let anything else become an option. If I had the chance would I do what Isla did? Yes, I would. Unfortunately I won’t ever get that chance, but I am so glad that Isla listened with her own heart for once, instead of going along with what her mother wanted.

The way Isla comes across in a lot of the storyline is guarded and emotionally broken. Whether she would openly admit to that is a whole other ball game. Of course she is going to be guarded, so for that I appreciated how realistic the author made her character’s feelings come across throughout the storyline. I felt as though I wasn’t reading about a fictional character – I felt as though I was reading a book about a real life person and their true story. Hats off to Tilly Tennant for being able to dissect such a raw and emotional topic, in such a heart-felt and poignant manner. Fantastic.

As for Justin. Well. If I ever were to find myself in a snowball fight with him, I would ensure my snowball contained a surprise. What a pleb! As soon as he came on the scene I disliked him straight away. People say I am judgemental. I say that I am a good judge of character!

I fell in love with every single thing within ‘A Cosy Candlelit Christmas’ from the setting to the main characters, to the humour to the hotel, to the romance to the thought-provoking message. Everything. Because I could relate to Isla a lot, this novel did make me feel quite emotional and hit me in a completely different way to any of Tilly Tennant’s other novels. Daft eh? Don’t worry though, despite my emotional undertone, I did laugh a heck of a lot. That is another thing I love about this authors writing; she never fails to make me feel.

In my eyes, ‘A Cosy Candlelit Christmas’ is Tilly Tennant’s best book to date. She really has outdone herself with her character building, setting descriptions and overall plot. Once again I was able to let myself fall into Tilly’s ingenious and magical words (a bit like when Joey from Friends steps into the map…ish), knowing that I will forever be cushioned by such an enchanting and heart-warming novel. Hand on heart, I could read a Tilly Tennant novel every single day and not get bored with the magic which lies under every cover.

Spell-binding, beautifully written and 100% memorable – Tilly Tennant has blown me away. If I were given the chance to disappear into a fictional life for a day, I would pick one of Tilly Tennant’s novels, that’s for sure.

A hug in a book from start to finish, I could not recommend ‘A Cosy Candlelit Christmas’ more if I tried.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her tenth Tilly Tennant novel. She also writes as Sharon Sant, where she explores the darker side of life, and Poppy Galbraith, where things get a little crazier. Find out more about Tilly and how to join her mailing list for news and exclusives at www.tillytennant.com

 Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tillytennant6000/

Website: www.tillytennant.com