#BlogTour! #Review – Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin (@HollyMAuthor) @Bookouture

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove - Blog Blitz
It’s time to get Christmassy with Holly Martin and her brand new festive treat; ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I enjoyed reading Holly’s book. Thanks so much to the author and Bookouture for having me involved in this blog blitz!

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Christmas has arrived at Hope Island, promising snowflakes, surprises and plenty of seasonal joy. So snuggle up and fall in love at Mistletoe Cove …

Growing up on Hope Island, Eden Lancaster always believed that if you wished hard enough for something, dreams really could come true. But Eden’s greatest wish is also her biggest secret: she has been completely in love with her childhood friend, the charming and attractive Dougie Harrison, for as long as she can remember. And he has no idea. 

When Dougie leaves his successful life in New York to return home to Hope Island for good, Eden can’t escape her feelings. Her heart is full of hope that her romantic dreams are finally, at long last, going to come true…

This Christmas could change everything. But can a lifelong friendship really turn into the perfect romance? And will Eden get the happily ever after she’s always wished for?

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove is like a warm hug on a cold winter’s day. The perfect treat this Christmas for fans of Debbie Johnson, Cathy Bramley and Miranda Dickinson.

What does TWG think?

I am absolutely delighted to be back in Hope Island alongside some truly wonderful and memorable characters, courtesy of author Holly Martin and the stars of this story. Having LOVED the authors previous novel; ‘Summer at Buttercup Beach’, where we were introduced to some of the characters who also reappear in this novel, I was so excited to find out what happened next with Dougie and Eden. Even though ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’ has characters who have featured in Holly Martin’s previous novel, it is still a standalone which means it can be read on its own with no issue. Although saying that, my advice would be to read ‘Summer at Buttercup Beach’ before you read this one, just so you get to read another f’awesome storyline!

As a child, Eden used to be all rainbows, fairies and wishing on her birthday cake but, as she got older, that all changed. Gone was the girl who found magic in everything. Gone was the girl who believed in fulfilling dreams and making wishes after being hurt so badly. Eden had only ever wanted for one particular thing, yet due to her dip in self-confidence, Eden believed that it would never, ever happen. It’s funny how the things we want the most, are quite often right underneath our noses….

The thing about Holly Martin’s novels is that no matter how long passes between each book release, Martin manages to real you back in with her snort worthy humour and hot under the collar antics. It’s as though the author sees all of her readers as long-lost friends, especially as I seemed to fall in love with the storyline and the characters almost straight away.

I’m sure a lot of people are going ‘it’s only September, why are you reading a Christmas book now?’. Usually I would be asking folk the same question, however thanks to Holly Martin, this year I’m not. Why? Because whilst reading ‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’, I forgot that it was only September, that it was only Autumn, and that Halloween still hadn’t been yet. I’m not saying that because I have a bad memory, I’m saying that because everything about this storyline screamed; ‘READ ME AND FORGET EVERYTHING ELSE. I’M GOING TO HUG YOU UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK’. Soooooooo of course I did what I was told! I forgot everything else and allowed myself to be hugged by such an enchanting and loveable storyline.

I loved how I was able to slot back into the characters lifestyles, even though the storyline was from a different point of view as opposed to the previous book with similar characters. I adore Holly Martin’s cosy and comforting writing style as she never fails to deliver with her outstanding and relatable storylines, alongside some proper unsexy laughing. Think of a pig snorting, a sea-lion clapping, and a human bent over gasping for air and you’ll get a rough idea as to how I laughed whilst reading this book.

Dontcha wish that you had a laugh like mine…..DONTCHA.

‘Christmas at Mistletoe Cove’ is as cosy as laying under a blanket with a hot cuppa tea; it truly is a hug in a book. Prepare to fall in love with Mistletoe Cove and Holly Martin’s heart-warming words. Prepare to feel sad when it comes to saying ‘bye’ to a lot of fabulous characters. But, most importantly, be prepared to love this book with all of your heart. If an Ice Queen can do it, you can too.

Festive, fabulous and f’awesome; Holly Martin has delivered a belter of a book yet again.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK 
 Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

 Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books.

 Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HollyMAuthor

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

Website: https://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com/my-books/

 

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#BlogTour! #Review – A Time To Change by Callie Langridge (@CLangridgewrite) @bombshellpub

BLOG TOUR
I am absolutely delighted to be one of the blogs hosting Callie Langridge today,  and her debut novel; ‘A Time To Change’, which was published by Bombshell Books on the 24th September. Usually I can write my thoughts about a book no bother, however this novel has left me tongue tied and possible incapable of making any sort of sense. So, if that ends up being the case, I apologise in advance and I hope you like my review regardless!

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“I would rather love passionately for an hour than benignly for a lifetime.”

In a house full of history and secrets, the past will not stay where it belongs…

Lou has always loved Hill House, the derelict manor on the abandoned land near her home. As a child, the tragic history of its owners, the Mandevilles, inspired her dream to become a history teacher. But in her late twenties, and working in a shop to pay off student debts, life is passing her by.

That changes when a family disaster sends Lou’s life into a downward spiral and she seeks comfort in the ruined corridors of Hill House. The house transforms around her and Lou is transported back to Christmas 1913. Convinced she has been in an accident and is in a coma, Lou immerses herself in her Edwardian dream. With the Mandevilles oblivious to her true identity, Lou becomes their houseguest and befriends the eldest son, Captain Thomas Mandeville, a man she knows is destined to die in the First World War.

Lou feels more at home in the past than the present and when she realises the experience is real she sets out to do everything in her power to save her new friends.

Lou passes between 1913 and 2013, unearthing plots of murder and blackmail, which she must stop no matter the cost.

On her quest to save the Mandevilles by saving Thomas, Lou will face the hardest decision of her life. She will learn that love cannot be separated by a century.

What does TWG think?

I wish that there were enough adjectives in the Oxford dictionary to help me describe my thoughts about Callie Langridge’s debut novel. Now seeing as there are over 171k words currently in use in the Oxford dictionary, I am genuinely surprised that none of the adjectives seem to fit this book. Weird maybe, but it’s the truth. I could sit here and say that ‘A Time To Change’ is a ‘beautiful and enchanting read which is phenomenally written’ and, whilst that is the truth, it doesn’t seem complimentary enough. It doesn’t seem to fit the calibre of the storyline, even if it is the truth and I do mean it. Nothing I could write would ever seem enough for this storyline.

Why?

Because it took my breath away in a way I never thought was possible.
It took me under its spell, making everything else around me obsolete and worthless for the duration of the novel.
It filled my arms with copious amounts of goosebumps, whilst also pricking my eyes with unshed tears.
It broke my heart, then it fixed it again with good ol’ PVA glue before breaking it again in the most earth shattering and beautiful way.

Hell, if I can describe a heart-break as beautiful; Callie Langridge really and truly MUST have had me under her spell.

Like always I would love to sit here and have a conversation about the storyline, uncovering all the nooks and crannies, secrets and goodness knows what else – but I can’t because it wouldn’t be fair. For that reason alone, I’m not even going over the outline of the storyline again like I usually do. I just can’t, because this book needs to be read ‘blind’ as it were. You need to read this novel with your eyes open, heart protected, and the biggest box of tissues. If I chose to outline the storyline from my own personal view, it would be like me telling you how to the read the storyline in the same way as I had read it. You can’t.

I adored the unique angle for the storyline, so much so that it caught me off guard multiple times (don’t worry, I’m not complaining). Every single one of the characters were written with poise, grace, and incredible amounts of personality that even the not-so-nice characters came across a teeny bit nicer. Teeny bit….

I loved the historical feel that the author managed to create with her storyline and enchanting use of language. Everything just seemed to fit and when time frames needed to overlap, it was done with incredible precision, thus making the to-ing and fro-ing utterly seamless.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, that there is nothing about ‘A Time To Change’ which I dislike. From start to finish, Callie Langridge’s novel captured my heart, my soul; rendering me useless when it came to any form of adulting. The storyline isn’t all rainbows and moonbeams, yet even during the most tragic and heartbreaking parts of the storyline I felt as though I had something incredibly priceless in my hands; ‘A Time To Change’ itself.

I’m not going to lie, there did come a point in the storyline where the tears just fell out of my eyes and refused to evaporate, but you know what? As heartbreaking as that moment was, I wouldn’t change my reaction to it for the world.

‘A Time To Change’ is the most enchanting, heartbreakingly beautiful and soulful novel that I have read so far this year. Never have I ever read a book like it before, and never will I ever read a book like it again. Callie Langridge has an exceptional way with words as she manages to capture the true essence of each individual character, whilst also making the reader feel as though they’re the chosen ones.

A definite must read by an author to watch; ‘A Time To Change’ needs to be put under the spotlight by every single person. You need to feel the magic within ‘A Time To Change’ because, believe me, your world will feel a lot more nourished for doing so.

Stunning, absolutely stunning.

Thanks Bombshell Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Callie was born and brought up in Berkshire. After a brief teenage spell in the depths of Lancashire, she moved back to London.

Having left school at 16, she studied drama before embarking on a career in marketing. This saw her work in music marketing in the heady days of Britpop in the nineties. She unleashed her creativity in the design of window displays and marketing campaigns for the leading music retailer. More recently she has followed her passion for social history and currently works in marketing for a national historical institution, promoting projects and running events.

On hitting her thirtieth birthday, she decided finally to take her A levels and gained A’s in English Literature and Language, and Film Studies – not bad when working full time! – and this spurred her on to take the first of many creative writing course. A few years later and she has had a number of short stories published and plays performed at theatres and venues across London.

Callie lives in London with her long-term partner and an ever-growing collection of antique curiosities.

Twitter: @CLangridgeWrite

Facebook: Callie Langridge  https://www.facebook.com/people/Callie-Langridge/100017408860162

 

#BlogTour! #Review – Reach for the Stars by Colleen Coleman (@collcolemanauth) @Bookouture

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Absolutely delighted to be kicking off Colleen Coleman’s blog tour for her brand new book, ‘Reach for the Stars’, and on publication day! Huge thanks to Kim Nash for giving me this honour. I am thrilled to be sharing my review with you all today:

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When Evelyn Dooley married her high-school sweetheart, James, she thought she was set for life. Now she’s twenty-eight, single, and fleeing to Dublin from her hometown to avoid the gossip surrounding their break-up. And all because of a test-your-relationship board game.

This was not in her five-year plan.

Then a chance encounter with gorgeous musician Danny leads to an unlikely friendship, and soon the pair are running music nights together in one of the oldest pubs in Dublin. For the first time Evelyn is following her dreams rather than someone else’s – and sparks are beginning to fly between her and Danny…

But when her savings run out and home beckons, Evelyn has to choose. The safe, comfortable life she left behind, or a new adventure with Danny? Will Evelyn flee back to the familiarity of her ex, or reach for the stars and take a leap into the unknown?

A laugh-out-loud, feel-good story of friendship, second chances, and romance, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Marian Keyes.

What does TWG think?

Having read, devoured, and loved Colleen Coleman’s debut novel, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, I really had no idea how the author was going to top that book going forward. But folks, she did and by golly did she do it well!!!

The thing I love about Colleen Coleman’s novels, is how she takes real life, relatable situations and turns them into storylines that will either make you nodding in agreement, or reaching for a second box of Kleenex. Some of you might be thinking ‘why would I cry at a situation I have already endured once or twice before?’ and, whilst that is a pretty valid question, my comeback to that would be ‘well, why wouldn’t you?’. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in situations we can’t seem to find our way out from, and then Colleen Coleman comes along with characters just like us, who go through situations just like us, allowing us to see a different way of coming out of that dark situation unscathed.

Evelyn’s life hasn’t exactly gone to plan and, instead of staying to shut down the gossips, she flees the nest to try to make a clean break. What Evelyn didn’t account for however, was meeting a musician who was more likely to tinkle her ivories (or ovaries) by allowing her to see her life as sweet, sweet music instead of what it was; a failed marriage.

Have you ever watched or read ‘Ps. I Love You’ by Cecelia Ahern? If you have, part of this storyline might remind you of the musician character from the movie. Well, unless it’s just me, obviously! As soon as ‘Danny’ was introduced into the storyline, I couldn’t help but think of the musician in the film played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. If you have read this book, please put me out of my misery and say you thought the same!

Anyway, back to this book (sorry!).

I couldn’t help but let the tears fall out of my eyes whilst I was reading ‘Reach for the Stars’. There was something incredibly magical about each individual character within the book, the ever so heart-warming storyline which made me think about my own life, and a question which made me open my eyes; stay safe or reach for the stars? I just love how the author manages to incorporate such meaningful and eye-opening messages into each of her storylines, making me think outside the box instead of going down the same old route.

‘Reach for the Stars’ is everything I hoped for, and more. I was quite unsure as to how Colleen Coleman was going to beat her previous novel as it gave me all the feels, but she did. Coleman has managed to raise the bar even higher with this heart-warming and extremely touching novel which will make you look at life in a completely different way. I really have no idea how the author does it, but she manages to make me laugh and cry, whilst also making me feel as though I can conquer the world in my sleep, all at the same time. Not only does it require a talented author to be able to do that, it also requires an author with a heart of gold. Colleen Coleman ticks both boxes and more.

‘Reach for the Stars’ is an absolutely phenomenal read. From start to finish I was glued to Evelyn’s story and the chances she could take. I wanted her to be brave and reach for the stars. I wanted her to live her life for herself, and not for anybody else. Watching the character get to that point, however, made me crumble in the most beautiful way.

This book is everything I could have wished for in a storyline and, if I had to choose a book to live my life by; I would certainly have ‘Reach for the Stars’ as my life bible.

Touching, emotional, relatable, and absolutely beautiful, Colleen Coleman has done it yet again with this outstanding novel. Beautifully written and full of girl power, ‘Reach for the Stars’ is the book which everyone needs to read….now.

I truly cannot wait to see what the author comes up with next. If it’s anything like her previous novel and this novel, I am going to have to stock up on the Kleenex! Easiest five stars ever!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK 
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born. Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now, her first book was released in March 2017. 

 Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CollColemanAuth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colleencoleman101/


#BlogTour! #Review – The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby (@bysylvia_a) @NeverlandBT

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The Sinking Chef Cover
“Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much.
James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong? The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up
and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves? Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”

What does TWG think?

Sometimes I get the urge to read something completely different. You know, not my ‘usual’ type of book. Sometimes I just want to read without my brain having to decipher character motives within the storyline. Sometimes I just want to lay on the sofa and lose myself in a book; no fuss, no hidden agenda, just me, myself and the storyline. With a title such as ‘The Sinking Chef’, I had high hopes that Sylvia Ashby’s novel would be just the book to fit my reading criteria of that night.

I just wanted to read….

Ashley seems to be going from strength to strength with her Youtube channel, ‘The Sinking Chef’. The only downside to her achievement is how most of her day consists of finding things to do. Literally. One day she may search her house for something to do. Or on another day she might trawl online and venture into chat rooms dedicated for certain types of people. The beauty of Ashley’s personality is that you really have no idea what bonkers idea she will think of, or do next. Despite holding my head in my hands and thinking; ‘oh my god she didn’t just do that’, I found myself becoming more and more entranced by her overall, addictive personality. What a memorable character!

As for the storyline itself, I rather enjoyed the overall feel of the book, including the homely nature of the recipes (as weird as that sounds). I’m not going to lie, the storyline didn’t blow me away but, seeing as I just wanted to read a book that I was able to lose myself in, enjoy and just….read, ‘The Sinking Chef’ allowed me to do exactly that. The storyline wasn’t hard going, over bearing or too intense. Instead it was just right.

I loved Ashley’s character and I whole heartedly agree that she is the modern-day Bridget Jones. Personally, she made the book for me.

As I had never read a Sylvia Ashby novel before now, I was looking forward to trying a new author to see if I would end up with another ‘go to author’.
Verdict: reader, I now have another go to author!

Fun, flirty and pretty bonkers; The Sinking Chef is perfect for folk who just want to read without getting sucked into a tug of war with your own mind.

Thanks NeverlandBT.

AMAZON LINKS
The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US // Amazon UK // Amazon Australia // Amazon Canada

Author bio

Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT – she’s written it all! She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe – London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.

Website: http://www.sylvia-ashby.com/
Twitter: @bysylvia_a

The Sinking Chef giveaway

1st prize: £25 Amazon voucher and an eCopy of the book
2nd and 3rd prize: ecopy of the book

INTERNATIONAL

To enter the giveaway: click here! Good luck!

#BlogTour! #Review – One Day in December by Shari Low (@ShariLow) @Aria_Fiction

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By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a
devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed
forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a
lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he
loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling
husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…

What does TWG think?

One thing I love about Shari Low’s novels is how she creates characters with relatable circumstances. The author doesn’t seem to think of a character and create its life based on an outlandish notion that would never happen in a million years – even if it is fictional. No, she creates her character with real life people in mind and, in my opinion, that makes Shari Low more relatable as an author. I get that some people read novels to escape from real life issues, but sometimes you just want to read a novel with a relatable storyline, just to see how someone else will cope in a situation similar to your own.

‘One Day in December’ is about four completely different people who’s lives become entwined in the strangest of ways. Caro; her gut instinct fears that her childhood wasn’t as it seemed. Lila; an Instagram addict who has one thing on the top of her agenda – herself. Cammy; a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and just wants to do the right thing. Bernadette; a woman who has been living in fear and resentment for far too long.

Reading ‘One Day in December’, my eyes were pricked with tears after the first couple of pages as the emotion that came tumbling out of such few words, was enough to melt a bit of my Ice Queen exterior. The further into the storyline I read, the clearer certain situations seemed to become. However, what I didn’t expect was the high level of intensity that seemed to come out of nowhere. This wasn’t a story about relationships being broken. No. It was a story about how things are not always what they seem. It was a story about learning to find true happiness and not being afraid to take that first step.

Despite the fact that ‘One Day in December’ contained some quite serious topics, Shari Low still managed to incorporate her brilliant humour alongside that. Yes this book is emotional, and yes it does stop and make you think. But, seeing as Shari Low is known for writing deep and meaningful storylines which will forever be imprinted in your mind, I wouldn’t expect anything less from this brilliant author.

‘One Day in December’ made me chuckle, whilst also opening my eyes to how social media focused we can be (if you use filters, you’ll be nodding your head round about now!). Not only that, the storyline moved me so much and made me stop and think about my own life, especially as I was able to relate to Caro’s situation a teeny bit.

I adore Shari Low’s novels and once again the author did not disappoint. Moving, intense, eye-opening and incredibly heart-warming; ‘One Day in December’ will leave you reaching for the tissues and a big bar of chocolate, whilst also warming your heart at the same time.

Thanks Aria Fiction & Netgalley.

Buy: Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

About the author

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a
well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic
teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Follow Shari

Website: www.sharilow.com
Twitter: @ShariLow

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

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TDN_FRONT_RGB150dpiNice guys don’t kiss like that …

Do nice guys stand a chance?

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Brookcottagebooks and Netgalley.

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

About the author.

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

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

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

GIVEAWAY

A paperback copy of Before You (Open internationally)

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – Little White Lies and Butterflies by @SuzieTullett @Bombshellpub

BLOG BLITZ
Absolutely delighted to be one of the bloggers hosting day one of Suzie Tullett’s blog blitz! Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy from BombshellBooks for inviting me to take part today! Here is my review of Suzie Tullett’s novel, Little White Lies and Butterflies:

white lies final

Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.

Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.

So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…

Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?

Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy about finding your place in the world.

What does TWG think?

Having fallen head over heels in love with Suzie Tullett’s previous novel, ‘The Trouble With Words’, I could not wait to get stuck into her latest release, ‘Little White Lies and Butterflies’. The only problem with loving an authors previous novel so much, is that you automatically have high hopes for the next book. I’m not going to lie, it was certainly the case here! As far as I was concerned, ‘The Trouble With Words’ was Suzie Tullett’s best book by far and I really didn’t know how she was going to beat it.

For Lydia, being a career minded mum is a definite no-no. She doesn’t quite understand how females can go out to work AND be a mum at the same time. I mean, as far as Lydia is concerned, it’s either one or the other. Not both. Bearing in mind Lydia doesn’t even have a partner yet as no male seems to tick every box on her ‘perfect man’ checklist. Most women make a career which involves a month pay check, but, as you will soon come to realise, Lydia isn’t ‘most women’ and, after dedicating most of her life to finding that all important ‘perfect man’, she’s not going to let the small issue of ‘wrong coloured eyes’ to come between her and her Mr.Right. Obsessed? Perhaps!

Wowee, what a character Lydia is! I must admit that at first, I couldn’t stand her. I found her to be such a kook…and not in a good way!I fully appreciate that women choose to live their lives as they see fit, but I did find Lydia’s path to be absolutely bonkers – especially as she came across as quite a selfish woman in the way she spoke to her family members and so on. But that’s just me!

What made me sit up and take notice of ‘Little White Lies and Butterflies’ storyline, was how the author took Lydia completely out of her comfort zone by going travelling. Lydia is the type of character who knows what she wants, as well as having to know what will happen in her life. Going travelling however, was a genius move on the authors behalf as it showed Lydia in a completely different light which meant I got to see a side to Lydia I actually quite liked. Instead of the hoity toity side to Lydia which came across at the beginning, I got to see Lydia completely unrefined, and my goodness it was brilliant (well, apart from when she was looking down her nose at folk!).

I loved how the storyline engulfed more of the characters personalities the more of it I read, especially when the whole cooking fiasco came to light. I enjoyed reading more about Lydia’s mum and found her to be such a hilarious character. For me, she certainly brightened up the storyline.

There were times during the storyline where I laughed and couldn’t stop smiling, but then there were also moments where I wished the spotlight could have been taken away from Lydia for once. Her character seemed to take over the book a bit too much for my liking. I loved the authors descriptions of Greece, that’s for sure! I felt as though i was being transported to a modern-day ‘Shirley Valentine’ movie! Brilliant!

‘Little White Lies and Butterflies’ is a light-hearted read with some truly wonderful, memorable characters. Sometimes we have no idea where we fit in life, but, after reading ‘Little White Lies and Butterflies’, you’ll know exactly where you fit – wherever your heart is.

Thanks Bombshell Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – #MariaInTheMoon by Louise Beech @Louisewriter @OrendaBooks

Maria in the Moon cover
A stunning, beautifully written dark drama by the critically acclaimed author of How To Be Braveand The Mountain in My Shoe.

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges… and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

What does TWG think?

Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to be part of Louise Beech’s blog tour for her new release, Maria in the Moon!

Reading a book that everyone has been raving about on social media, can sometimes be quite difficult because as a reader, it’s only natural to be extremely hopeful that the book will live up to the hype. As I hadn’t yet read any of Louise Beech’s previous novels, I began reading ‘Maria in the Moon’ with the hype in mind, as opposed to any personal expectations of the novel. I had no idea what the authors writing style would be like or anything. All I was aware of was how many people ended up being full of emotion after reading ‘Maria in the Moon’, and as I was afraid of being the only one to dislike the book, I started reading it with oodles amount of pressure. Not reallllyyyyy the best way to start a new book, I’ll be honest. But, seeing as I write my reviews from the heart; I need to be honest.

Set around the time of the real life Hull floods, Maria in the Moon’s storyline focuses on the devastation aftermath of the flood, including a raw insight into how lives were affected during that time. Catherine-Maria Hope lost her home due to the flood. She knew how it felt to see everything you’ve worked hard for, washed away in the blink of an eye. There’s one thing starting again materialistically, but there’s another thing trying to heal your emotional wounds because of it.

Personally, it took me an awfully long time to get into the storyline and gel with it. I couldn’t seem to find a connection with the main character; Catherine, yet she came across as such an emotionally charged character. Why wasn’t I connecting with the characters level of emotion? The more I found myself WANTING to gel with the book, the further I became from actually doing that. Frustrated? Extremely. Was I going to give up? Was I heck. This is exactly what happens when you put too much pressure on yourself to listen to other people’s views, before you’ve had chance to work out your own.

After putting the book down for a while and reading another book; I tried to rid my mind of said pressure whilst also trying to make sure that I re-started the book with more of an open mind. Once I stopped forcing myself to click with the storyline, the easier it became to read. It happened naturally. Whilst I had to admit defeat with several parts of the storyline, the real highlight of the book for me was Catherine-Maria and the emotional treasures that the storyline contained. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the overall storyline at all; it just didn’t flick my switch as much as the main character and the emotional values did. Learning about Catherine’s past made me crumble. I could see how her influential her past had been as she grew up, yet I could also see how guarded she had become because of it. It was as though she HAD to go through life protecting every inch of her mind and soul, in fear of becoming attached to something (or someone) that she might end up losing once again. I found that quite heart-wrenching if I’m honest.

The way that author, Louise Beech, engages her readers with her words, is exceptional. It was though each and every word was laced with magic. The kind of magic you have to open your heart to. The kind of magic you have to allow in, before you’re able to believe it. The way in which the author brought the Hull floods to the forefront of my mind was dark yet eye-opening. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what those people went through, yet thanks to ‘Maria in the Moon’, I had more of an insight due to the authors descriptive writing and the addition of the ‘Flood Crisis’ parts of the storyline.

I honestly described how much I struggled with the book at the beginning of this review, but what did I feel about the book overall? Well, let’s just say that I’m still trying to repair my ice queen exterior after Louise Beech made a severe dent in it, allowing moisture to escape. Did I gel with the overall storyline? No, I did not. Did I need to? Honestly, no, I don’t think that I did. Did I gel with the characters? YES! Yes, I did and, in my eyes, having such a strong, ballsy main character such as Catherine, is enough to carry the storyline without feeling as though you’re missing out on anything. I’m not saying I didn’t love the way in which the author wrote the overall storyline, because I did, it’s clear that the lady has an incredible talent – just to make that clear! ‘Maria in the Moon’ for me, wasn’t tear inducing emotional. It was emotional in the sense where you end up emotionally exhausted, heart-broken, powerless; all without shedding a tear. There has only ever been one other book which has emotionally destroyed me in this way before, but now I can safely say that it is now two books that have done this. In my eyes, being emotionally destroyed by a book in the way I described above, is far more heart-wrenching than tears. With tears you know that they will eventually dry up. Without tears, it’s harder (in a phenomenal way) as you have to wait for your mind to fix itself, and your heart to piece itself back together.

Raw, poignant and beautifully delivered, Maria in the Moon will emotionally destroy you in a way that you never thought possible. Allow yourself to feel the storyline. Allow yourself time to digest the emotion. ‘Maria in the Moon’ deserves patience and love, just like Catherine-Maria.

Thanks Orenda Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Maria in the Moon - Blog Tour Poster

 

#Review – Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Charlotte Butterfield @CharlieJayneB @HarperImpulse

charlotteb
When Leila finds herself on the painful end of yet another disastrous break-up, no amount of Ben & Jerry’s and trashy rom-coms can cheer her up. And so – to the amusement of her friends and family – Leila takes a more drastic approach to dealing with heartbreak: she swears off sex for an entire year.

Luckily, she has plenty to keep her mind off men. Between starting a business with ice queen Lucy, straightening out her sister Tasha’s tangled love life, and running a blog read by thousands of single ladies, Leila is soon snowed under. But she can’t help finding a little time for irresistible architect Nick – Lucy’s funny and infuriatingly sexy brother.

After an unplanned encounter under the mistletoe, the Man Ban looks like it might be skidding to a halt. Has Leila found love when she least expected it?

What does TWG think?

I gotta be cool relax, get hip, get on my track’s, take a back seat, hitch-hike, take a long ride on my motor bike, until I’m readyyyyyyyyyy.
Crazy little thing called loveeeeeeee.

Please say that I’m not the only person who started singing that song as soon as they read the title of this book? What a belter song, and what a fandabbydozy book!

With Leila’s history regarding relationships, when it came to light that she was going to be ‘wearing’ a self-imposed chastity belt, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It was as though Russell Brand had that he was going to give up sex and his bad boy ways. I mean, can you imagine it? Not that I doubted Leila at all, don’t get me wrong. I was just a bit ‘reaaallllyyyyyyy?’. Obviously because of that whole situation, I became as hooked on the book as Cookie Monster is hooked on cookies – and I’m not even joking! It was like someone had superglued my hands to my kindle for the duration of the novel! Not that I was complaining of course.

Of course the whole blog idea was absolutely genius, completely taking the novel up several notches from ‘romantic comedy’ to ‘OHMYGAWDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD’. Despite being a total unromantic person, I LOVE reading romantic comedies and, seeing as Leila came across as a lot more feisty than some other protagonists in this particular genre, I felt that I was able to relate to her a lot more due to her realistic personality traits.

What I loved most about this novel was how the main characters love life didn’t take over the full storyline, meaning that other characters were able to cause more bother. I mean that in a nice way by the way, because the other characters in this novel DID cause a lot of bother! With some other romantic comedies I have read, I have found that the main character’s love life dominates the storyline and everything else, with all the other characters coming across as though they’re playing ‘extras’ in book as opposed to being memorable. In ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ however, that was not the case. Whilst Leila and her man ban does take control the storyline most of the time, characters like Leila’s brother and sister make themselves known in more ways than one. I do realise that I am being exceptionally vague in this review, but I don’t really want Harper Impulse to put me on the naughty step for giving out spoilers. Just trust me on this; you HAVE to read it.

Yes, I’ll admit, there was a character who drove me completely up the wall with her selfishness and basic vibe, so much so, I nearly came close to shouting at the book for her to ‘SHUUUUPPPPPPPPP’ (I’m from Essex, it works, believe me). Obviously she wouldn’t have heard, ahem, but it would have made me feel better! I would love to say that when other circumstances became even clearer as more of the storyline unfolded, my opinion of this character eased and I showed empathy towards her – but I’m sorry to say, I didn’t. I probably should have done. But, I didn’t. Again, seeing as I am being as vague as Louis Walsh’s sexual orientation, I’ll let you ponder that!

I thought Charlotte Butterfield’s novel was absolutely brilliant! My sides were sore from all the laughing! I’m not going to lie, I was afraid that the storyline was going to take the ‘predictable’ route at first, but as I got to know more of the characters and watch situations unfold, I knew that ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ was anything BUT predictable. It’s different. It’s fun. And, most importantly, it was such an easy read which meant that I was able to lose myself in the characters lives, as well as the authors fantastic way with words. What’s not to like about that?

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ had me hooked from the get go, made me cry with laughter, and made me feel exceptionally cosy whilst reading it. Charlotte Butterfield is a new author for me, but I can guarantee that this book will not be the last book that I read of hers.

If you’re after a light-hearted, relatable, and giggly read with so much storyline to sink your teeth into, you will absolutely adore this. Believe me!

Thank you Harper Impulse.

‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ by Charlotte Butterfield will be available to buy on the 7th September, but it is available to pre-order now from Amazon UK

#Review – The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake (@RosieBBooks) @LittleBrownUK #ARC

rosie blake
The perfect recipe for hygge this autumn: make a hot chocolate, draw the curtains, snuggle under a blanket and read your way to happiness!

It’s autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.

Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother’s shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?

Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

What does TWG think?

Having LOVED Rosie Blake’s previous novel; ‘How to Find Your (First) Husband’, I think I may have peed a little when she announced the release of her brand new book; ‘The Hygge Holiday’. Excited much? Errrrrr YAH! So excited in fact, I couldn’t wait until the 21st September to read it! #sorrynotsorry.

I’m sure a lot of you will recognise the term ‘hygge’. If you don’t, where on EARTH have you been hiding? I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the definition of ‘hygge’ was, but now I feel ready to hygge everything!

Clara has a different outlook to life than most people. Gone are the days where her mobile phone is glued to her body like a third arm, her priorities involve work, work and more work, and her own personal life is completely non-existent. Clara didn’t want to live like that anymore. She didn’t want to be stressed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Something had to give before she lost her mind, so she got rid of her job, her mobile phone, as well as 99.9% of the stresses in her life. How? You’ll have to read the book to find out, won’t you!

Almost straight away, I found myself snlaughing. You know when you want to say something but are unsure whether you should incase it raises a few eyebrows? Well put it this way, Rosie Blake couldn’t give a monkeys about whether her humour raised a few eyebrows! There was no holding back, no ‘ahhh I probably shouldn’t say that’. Instead, the author seemed to write lines which the readers would probably relate to, or laugh out loud at. Trust me, I did both.

As the storyline unfolded, Clara seemed to make herself more comfortable in the village with the changes that she made. Oh my goodness, what changes they were! If you ever need an excuse to say ‘hi’ to your inner child, this storyline is it. Clearly I don’t want to give anything away, but wow – there were moments where the storyline became magical and even made me more excited to turn the page (well, if that was possible!). Of course Clara’s involvement in the village wasn’t going to be all plain sailing, someone’s nose just HAD to be pushed out of joint. However, there was a moment imprinted in my mind which meant I could no longer make Joe seriously, or even be THAT annoyed with him. One word; BATH. I was genuinely surprised my neighbour didn’t knock on my door asking me to turn the volume down as I was laughing so loudly. I mean, how could you NOT laugh loudly?

For me, the part of the storyline which stood out most was the involvement of hygge, and how important it is to breath, be in the moment, ensuring that you take that all important time out of your schedule for yourself, whether it’s lounging in a bubble bath, or laying on the sofa reading. Rosie Blake and her wonderful characters made it sound SO simple and, to be honest, it probably is that simple. But, when you’re in the middle of a constantly busy lifestyle, the last thing you’re going to think of doing is watching a Nicholas Sparks dvd whilst wearing a face mask, and pj’s with holes in.

‘The Hygge Holiday’ is exactly what the book world has been needing, what with its unique vibe and hilarious anecdotes. Rosie Blake’s new novel is EXACTLY what you need to forget the horrific new reports, people’s political posts on social media, and the new eye-brow raising craze of sticking pom poms to your face. Yes, really. ‘The Hygge Holiday’ is hilarious, cosy, heart-warming, fulfilling; pretty much everything you would want from a book.

Personally, ‘The Hygge Holiday’ has got to be my most favourite book of Rosie Blake’s, as well as being her best book yet. I have never read a book like this before, and to be honest, I don’t want to because I don’t think any similar books would match up to the authors unbelievably story telling and her magical way with words.

An absolutely phenomenal tale from the incredibly talented, Rosie Blake. If I could read ‘The Hygge Holiday’ for the first time every time, I would welcome it with open arms. Be prepared to be moved in a way you never thought possible. Be prepared to have your mind opened further than you ever dreamed of. Be prepared to find your inner child and the magic that it brings. Be prepared to laugh out loud and fall in love with every single character in this book (well, except Roz but shhhhh). Be prepared to devour ‘The Hygge Holiday’ in one sitting. Be prepared to love this book, because yes, it truly is THAT fabulous. Five stars for sure.

Thanks so much Little Brown Books.

The Hygee Holiday by Rosie Blake, will be available to buy in e-book and paperback formats on the 21st September. You can however,  pre-order it now from Amazon UK.