#BlogTour! #Review – Crikey a Bodyguard by Kathryn Freeman (@KathrynFreeman1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources

It’s my turn on Kathryn Freeman’s blog tour today, as I share my review of her new book, ‘Crikey a bodyguard’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to ChocLitUK for the ARC.

She’s got the brains, he’s got the muscle …

When Kelly Bridge’s parents insist on employing a bodyguard for her protection, she’s not happy. Okay, so maybe not every woman is on the cusp of developing a vaccine against a potential biological terrorist attack – but crikey, it’s not like she’s a celebrity!

Ben Jacobs flunked spectacularly out of school, so he knows his new client Dr Kelly Bridge spells trouble for him. But on a conference trip to Rome he finds things are worse than he thought. Not only is he falling for the brilliant scientist, he’s also become horribly aware she’s in grave danger. As they go on the run, dodging bullets and kidnappers, can he resist his feelings and keep her safe?

What does TWG think?

Oh my good God!!!! Now, I absolutely adore Kathryn Freeman’s novels, but once again she has totally outdone herself with this one!

Romance? CHECK

Passion? CHECK.

Drama? CHECK.

Suspense? CHECK.

Wow. I know that Kathryn Freeman injects romance into her storylines as though its oxygen, yet I still managed to underestimate her this time around. ‘Crikey a bodyguard’ isn’t your usual boy meets girl, they click, then they don’t, and then they live happily ever after. Not at all! This storyline contains a bit of violence, multiple kidnappings, danger, passionate escapades, and characters who were so 3D, it was as though I could touch them. Ahem, well, with a character like Ben, who wouldn’t?

This book made me laugh in a way only Kathryn Freeman knows how to do. I loved the intensity and drama mixed in with the passionate romance – it was unique and very cleverly done. Made a change from the usual journeys taken in a romance novel.

As I said at the start, Kathryn Freeman has completely outdone herself with the brilliance of this storyline and everything it stands for. I bloody loved losing myself in Blondie’s scientific (and often confusing) world, alongside Ben’s macho and naive world. Chalk and cheese big time, but it worked. It so worked.

Even though this is a tough one to call, I would say that ‘Crikey a Bodyguard’ is Kathryn’s best book yet. Such a fast paced, passionate, addictive storyline – I bloody, bloody loved it!

Buy now from Amazon UK

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.

Social Media Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Giveaway.

Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs (Open INT)

*Terms and ConditionsWorldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter now!

#BlogTour! #Promo – Coming Home to Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey (@scribbler_maxi) @RaRaResources

Happy publication day, Maxine Morrey! I am on two blog tours for this book this month! First up is a promo about the book and a fabulous giveaway for you all to enter. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite.

Home is where the heart is…

Holly doesn’t have time for a holiday this year. But when her job threatens to send her over the brink, her boss insists she take a sabbatical. So she packs her bags and escapes to her beloved grandmother Gigi’s house on Wishington Bay, which has sat empty since Gigi passed away.

But Holly’s dreams of a coastal escape take an unexpected turn. Holly didn’t expect to spend time with any man this summer – let alone an Aussie Adonis…but when she meets her next door neighbour Gabe and his little dog Bryan, it’s clear her quiet summer of strolling along the sand and wandering through the seaside village’s tiny streets on her own will come with a hefty dose of distraction.

With a summer to fill and Gigi’s wonderful and surprising house to sort through, Holly knew it would be a summer packed with old memories. She just didn’t expect to make so many new ones…

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US.

About the author.

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten.

As time went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a local history book on Brighton. However, novels are her first love.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her first romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read, sew and listen to podcasts. Being a fan of tea and cake, she can (should!) also be found doing something vaguely physical at the gym.

Follow Maxine Morrey

Website // Facebook

Giveaway to Win a Wishington Bay notebook, a Wishington Bay canvas shopper bag, and an e copy of the book. (Open to UK only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Inheritance by Anne Allen (@AnneAllen21) @RaRaResources

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Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Anne Allen and ‘The Inheritance’. I am delighted to be sharing my review for my stop on the tour, and thank you to Rachel for the ARC also.

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1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet. 

2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island. 

Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.

What does TWG think?

If you’re a fan of all things Guernsey then you’ll be pleased to know that ‘The Inheritance’ has 6 other brothers and sisters relating to the same topic! Yes, that’s right, this is book number 7 in the Guernsey series but it can be read on its own, so there is no to worry about whether you need to bulk read 6 novels before starting ‘The Inheritance’.

What a clever, multi-layered and complex story! Set during one of my most favourite periods in history, the Victoria era, ‘The Inheritance’ tells the story of Eugenie in diary form, as well as Eugenie’s very distant relative many, many years down the line, Tess. Both very different times, with both very different lifestyles, yet both stories were combined beautifully in a way that held my attention with bated breath.

Dual narratives always impress me as I cannot even begin to imagine just how technical the planning must be to ensure fluidity between the sections. Anne Allen has raised the bar sky high with her delivery of multiple narratives which include a lot of information both about the characters and the lives they led, and lead.

I did find that if I lost my focus on the storyline or stopped reading to go and do real life stuff, trying to pick back up where I left off was a task as I had lost the momentum. Putting it simply, you need to focus on the storyline 100%. ‘The Inheritance’ is such a complex storyline which requires your full attention and thought – ideal if you’re a fan of in-depth and heavy novels, but a bit confusing if you enjoy a simpler read.

Overall, I enjoyed the historic essence surrounding Eugenie’s past and the future she would never be aware of. I also loved learning more about Guernsey, a place I have yet to visit personally. ‘The Inheritance’ is an emotive, delicate yet atmospheric read which puts historic fiction on the map with a Big Bang. Beautifully written, Anne Allen really has done herself and her readers, very proud.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Giveaway to Win a copy of The Inheritance and a notebook (Open Internationally)

1st Prize – Signed copy of The Inheritance and notebook

2nd Prize – E-copy of The Inheritance and notebook 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble (@RachelBrimble) @RaRaResources @Aria_Fiction

A Rebel at Penningtons Full Banner
Third and final blog post of the day is for ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ by Rachel Brimble. Many thanks, once again to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Thank you all for joining me today and following my reviews!

A Rebel Cover
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. 
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.

When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. 
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.

Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me – this book had my name ALL over it!! Not literally of course, because I couldn’t deface a book, BUT, I am sure you know what I’m meaning! If i know that a storyline contains anything to do with the suffragette movement, you can bet your bottom dollar that i would be in my absolute element and loving every minute of it. And yes, that was certainly the case with ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’.

Rachel Brimble’s latest novel is the second book in the series, but do not let that worry you as this story can be read as a standalone without having to have read the previous book. that said, if you’re the sort of reader who just has to read books in order then you won’t be disappointed with either read. Of course, that is just my opinion!

Set in 1911 with the coronation of king-emperor George V looming, ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ tells the story of one young woman’s journey as she attempts to put women’s rights on the map. As we all know, the suffragettes didn’t exactly have the easiest of time where the vote was concerned, and they certainly put themselves in harm’s way for what they believed in. Now, with someone as, how shall i put this, blunt as Esther, her mouth struggled to connect with her brain. Put it this way – her heart was in the right place but her delivery left a lot to be desired.

I really enjoyed watching Esther’s journey with Lawrence as she tried her best to not let her head rule her heart. On one hand she needed Lawrence’s help to put women’s progression on the map, but then on the other hand she wanted him in her life on a much deeper level. Whether she could manage the two without causing too much disruption to anyone involved on either side, remained to be seen.

Out of both books in the series, i will have to say that ‘A Rebel at Pennington’s’ has got to be my favourite book so far. I just loved the strength behind the storyline and how well the author had brought her characters to life, whilst also keeping history at the heart of her words.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the
UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

Giveaway – Win £15/$15 Amazon Gift Certificate (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received
within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson (@juliaibbotson) @RaRaResources #DrumbeatsTrilogy

Today is my third and final stop on The Drumbeats Trilogy blog tour, and what a ride it has been! Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of the third book in the trilogy, Finding Jess:

Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family and her job, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? And what, exactly, will she find?

Finding Jess is a passionate story of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

What does TWG think?

Is it weird that I now feel a little bereft that I have reached the end of the trilogy? I’ve literally watched Jess grow up over the space of three books, walked alongside her as she made multiple journeys which carved both her present and her future, as well as feeling an emotional connection towards her and the unfortunate events she became involved in.

Jess has come a long way since the beginning, and in the third instalment of the trilogy, she still finds herself battling with that character who I would not wee on if they were on fire. At times I wanted to shake her because they had no longer had a hold over her so why was she turning into a doormat? I guess confidence is one thing….or lack of, especially as it had been knocked. It was just hard watching her melt as though she was in the wrong. No. The only thing she was in the wrong about was not telling them to go and fornicate oneself!!!

Whilst it was brilliant that the author wanted to keep readers up to date with snippets from previous books, (I’m assuming it was mainly for readers who were reading the books out of order), I did feel a little bit cheated by the fact that there were quite large chunks of a previous storyline merely pasted into the new one. It did feel as though I was just rereading past storylines when I just wanted to read more of ‘Finding Jess’. Like I say, I can see why the author did it and I can’t fault her for that at all, I just think that there could have been smaller references to the two previous books as opposed to substantial blocks.

However, I really did enjoy the storyline of ‘Finding Jess’ – I couldn’t believe how invested I had become! I got so annoyed by certain things that it affected me when I wasn’t even reading. I mean, that just goes to show how powerful Julia Ibbotson’s writing is!

I loved the way that Jess came into her own and flourished as her own person, yet part of me couldn’t help wonder whether we might see a storyline coming from Katy’s viewpoint instead. She seemed like such a troubled individual who needed steering in the right direction – it would be very interesting to see how her personality flourishes, I must admit!

‘Finding Jess’ cements Jess’ journey to self discovery and learning the ability to try to love the skin that you’re in. Jess’ story highlighted the fact that not everyone will like you, love you, want to be around you, and that’s okay because as long as you’re proud of yourself, and as long as you love a part of yourself or are willing to try to love yourself, that is what matters the most.

This storyline, as well as Julia Ibbotson’s poignant narrative, took me on my own little journey. I am so thankful that I was able to get the chance to open my eyes to a path I never would have found otherwise. Jess’ story is one that I will remember for a very long time and, as long as Julia Ibbotson keeps producing novels, I will be reading her meaningful, heartfelt and enchanting words for a very long time to come.

Buy now

About the author.

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess(2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Acclaimed author of:

Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.

Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.

Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?

Also by Julia Ibbotson:

A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) timeslip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …

The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.

S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

 

Social Media Links

Facebook // Twitter // Website // Pinterest //Goodreads // RNA author page

Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Wicked Game by Jo Lambert (@JoLambertwriter) @RaRaResources

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Third and final blog tour for today! It’s day two of the ‘Wicked Game’ blog tour, and I have a review of the book to share with you all today. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Fashion designer Thérèse D’Alesandro has recently moved into Westhead Manor with daughter Felicia and stepson Marco. Joining forces with neighbour Ella Benedict, she is about to open a bridal boutique at Ella’s exclusive wedding venue Lawns at Little Court.
Managing his father’s European restaurant chain, Marco has both the looks and charm to guarantee him any woman. Any woman, that is, except the one he wants: Ella’s niece Charlotte. Marco knows he should walk away as not only is she the most exasperating female he has ever encountered she’s currently in a relationship with rock star Christian Rosetti. But the chemistry between them is undeniable and sensing trouble brewing between Charlotte and the egotistical singer he is prepared to wait.

Charlotte’s cousin Lucy has discovered Christian’s guilty secrets – ones he has been keeping safely hidden from everyone. Determined to cause mischief and at the same time settle her own score with the arrogant star, she sets in motion a chain of events which eventually brings Marco and Charlotte together.

Thérèse’s husband Gianlucca has invited the granddaughter of an old friend to stay as a house guest while he undergoes heart surgery. Rossana Caravello is due to inherit the one of Italy’s premier vineyards on her twenty first birthday in September. Aware this would make an excellent addition to her husband’s international business portfolio, Thérèse plots to push the young heiress and her stepson together. Rossana is already besotted with Marco, but if the plan is to have any chance of success first she needs to get rid of Charlotte…

Please note Wicked Game was previously published under the title The Other Side of Morning.

What does TWG think?

‘Wicked’ is a slight understatement for the goings on in this book, that’s for sure!! I don’t think I have come across such a vindictive group of characters before! Sorry, I’m not tarring them all with the same brush, just a few of them were borderline nasty! Geez!!!

I am impressed at the author’s ability to guarantee a reaction from her readers, I mean, I would be extremely surprised if anyone reading this ended up unfazed by the events in ‘Wicked Game’! I think I surprised myself by my own reaction to be honest!

‘Wicked Game’ has quite a lot of characters to keep tabs of, and there is a LOT of drama filling up every inch of the storyline. I did enjoy the overall, bigger picture of the story, most definitely. I thought that a couple of the characters, for example Charlotte, Matt and Lucy, were brilliantly thought out and I really enjoyed following their journeys as the story progressed. However, I did feel as though there was way too much sabotaging going on from all angles. Thérèse was the most vindictive in my opinion, and she just didn’t seem to give it a rest, even when Marco and his father stood up to her. She just wasn’t getting the hint. As for Marco, I couldn’t understand why he still put his belief in that awful woman, despite being reassured from the most important person in question. It was as though he was sabotaging himself sometimes!

I do like drama, and I do like grit. Who doesn’t, right? Personally this was too much for me and I just wanted to shout, ‘WILL YOU ALL BLOODY TALK TO EACH OTHER!!!’, loudly at the book! That’s really all it would have taken! I mean no disrespect at all as I clearly was invested in the characters and the story to form an opinion as detailed as this one. It was also very clear that the author is brilliant at writing detailed pieces and making them flow seamlessly, because that is what happened here.

I do think that Lucy was the hidden gem of the book and, whilst I didn’t dislike Charlotte at all, I felt that the conclusion, on her part, ended up making her appear weak and was far too easy. But that’s just me, maybe it’s because I am incredibly hard-nosed – who knows?!

I didn’t dislike ‘Wicked Game’ at all, I did enjoy the grit and I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author crafted her storyline with all of the intricate details – I just think that the storyline was fit to burst!

A rollercoaster ride of emotion, drama, and intense discoveries – ‘Wicked Game’ trumps ‘Sunset Beach’ T.V. programme any day!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Giveaway!!

Win £15 Amazon Voucher (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box
below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and
will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I
reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. 
Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only
and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information.
This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after
which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the
prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

About the author.

Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is the author of seven novels. The first five collectively known as the Little Court Series are saga/romances set in West Somerset. For book number six she ‘moved’ over the border into South Devon. Summer Moved On became the first of two linked contemporary romances. The second, Watercolours in the Rain was published in October 2016. In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her eighth novel, The Boys of Summer, set in North Cornwall will be published in 2019 under their Ruby imprint. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall. When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.

website // blog // Twitter // Facebook

#BlogTour! #Review – #AYearatCastleCourt by Holly Hepburn (@HollyH_author) @SimonschusterUK @TeamBATC

Finally my stop on the blog tour is here!!! I am super excited to be sharing my review today, of Holly Hepburn’s latest release, ‘A Year at Castle Court’. Huge thanks to Harriet from Simon & Schuster for the blog tour invite and the beautiful paperback. Here is my review:

Sadie is a single mum, nursing a broken heart. Her best friend from childhood, Cat, is burned out from working long hours as a chef in Paris. In need of a change, they decide to invest in their dream – running their own handmade biscuit shop in gorgeous Castle Court, a three-storey food court tucked away behind Chester’s bustling streets.
 
They soon discover that Castle Court has its own community – a little haven of delight against the stresses of the outside world. But not everyone welcomes the new business; the patisserie owner is less than pleased by what she sees as direct competition and Greg, who runs the fancy bistro that dominates one end of the courtyard, doesn’t think Sadie and Cathave the talent or business acumen to succeed. Luckily, there’s support in the form of the delectable Jaren, who owns the Dutch waffle house opposite Smart Cookies, and Swiss chocolate-shop owner, Elin. And if all else fails, the friends can drown their sorrows in Seb‘s cocktail bar on the third floor!

What does TWG think?

Oh my – if only Castle Court really existed!! Well, having said that I know I would be bankrupt and the size of a house, but at least I’ll be a content, bankrupt house!!

‘A Year at Castle Court’ follows the lives of Sadie and her best friend, Cat – two ladies who are trying to make their dream come alive with their delicious baked goodies. However, a perfectly baked biscuit isn’t everyone’s idea of happiness (I know, I reckon those types of people must be robots or something!!), and it doesn’t take long for things in Castle Court to get a little heated. Other businesses in the court feel as though their noses have been pushed out of joint, and they seem determined to make Sadie and Cat’s venture a bit of a burnt one.

I absolutely L-L-LOVED this book and every little thing about it! Firstly, I am the human version of Cookie Monster so the addition of biscuit heaven was definitely a plus. Secondly, Cat and Sadie are like chalk and cheese with their personalities, and I loved being able to follow their journeys both on a professional level as well as a personal one. Whilst I gelled with Cat from the onset, I couldn’t help but relate to Sadie a lot more due to her being a single mum, and my heart certainly went out to her when the storyline focused on her child’s father. That said, I couldn’t understand why she put up with it for so long and refused to listen to her heart. But that’s just me – everyone is different!

It was great to read about all different walks of life with each of the owners of the other businesses! Each character seemed to have their own journey to tell and I really enjoyed being able to get cosy and delve into their stories.

For me personally, ‘A Year at Castle Court’ ticked all of my boxes and more. The storyline was full of drama, yet was made level with the emotions behind Sadie and Cat’s heartbreak. Holly Hepburn writes from the heart in every sense of the word – she doesn’t half tell a story and expect her readers to make up the rest, no. She tells the full story in such a way that readers cannot help but get caught up in every little detail from the design on the biscuits, to the aroma of the other delicacies around the court.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to lose myself in Holly Hepburn’s entertaining and magnetic story telling – hands down one of my most favourite books this author has written.

Buy now!

I am running a giveaway to win a paperback copy of Holly Hepburn’s novel, over on my Facebook page The Writing Garnet. If you live in the UK (sorry folks) and wish to be in with the chance of winning, check out the pinned post Here!!! Giveaway closes on Saturday 12th January at 11.59pm.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood (@lwestwoodwriter) @aria_fiction @rararesources

I am delighted to be taking part in the one day blog blitz for Lauren Westwood and ‘Moonlight on the Thames’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright. 

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw… 

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist. 

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?

What does TWG think?

If there was such a thing as a ‘mic drop’ for books, then this would warrant it ten times over. What a powerful, powerful read this is.

If you are as career minded as Nicola, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find yourself wrapped up in clients as opposed to being wrapped up in, erm, presents. Once upon a tome, Nicola loved Christmas but then life happened and an unfortunate incident left her wishing the festive season away before it had even begun. Can you blame her? No you can’t, not once it becomes clear why she dislikes Christmas, however her outlook to begin with was incredibly narrow minded. I was going to say that her reactions were borderline offensive, but she genuinely didn’t realise that people’s lives weren’t as rosy as hers because, well, she was too involved in her own self made issues.

Dmitri is a flawed and highly complex man whose journey was a touching one to watch flourish. Just like Nicola, he has his own demons to fight and the scars to go with them and, whether it’s right or wrong, he had become bitter and uncertain.

Watching Nicola’s and Dmitri’s journeys come to life was both heartwarming and quite emotional. Lauren Westwood has created characters with such beautiful souls, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with their story and everything it stood for. Westwood is such a stunning and magnetic storyteller, her words do more than just jump off the page, they ensure that the reader is looking at every inch of the bigger picture to highlight the importance of thinking of others. Especially at Christmas.

Yes, this book is festive, has glistening lights and carols by the bucket load, but ‘Moonlight on the Thames’ is more than the joys of Christmas; it’s about the sadness of Christmas, the festive reflections, the ability to trust again, seeing life through somebody else’s eyes. Making the moment count. You know? It’s about the things which cannot be bought, just taught and learnt.

‘Moonlight on the Thames’ blew me away and left my soul cosy by the fire. Lauren Westwood is a phenomenal author and this book definitely showcases her beautiful way with words – I adored it.

Buy now!

About the author.

 Lauren Westwood writes romantic women’s fiction, and is also an award-winning children’s writer. Originally from California, she now lives in England in a pernickety old house built in 1602, with her partner and three daughters. facebook: @Lwestwoodbooks; twitter: @lwestwoodwriter; web: http://www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com; instagram: @lwestwoodwriter; Goodreads: Lauren Westwood

Giveaway!

 Win 2 x Signed copies of Moonlight On The Thames (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas by C.P.Ward (@imgladifoundyo1) @rararesources

Another Christmas book for you all this evening, as I kick off the blog tour for it! I am so excited to be sharing my review of C.P.Ward’s ‘I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas’. Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:



Maggie Coates is frustrated. Her longterm boyfriend, Dirk, recently moved to London to take a job she fears puts him out of her league. Despite the assurances of her best friend Renee, Maggie is convinced Dirk is slowly drifting away. All Maggie wants is to get married and settle down, but maybe Dirk has other ideas.

Convinced by Renee to make one last throw of the dice, Maggie books a romantic holiday for two in the quaint Scottish village of Hollydell. But will Dirk show up?

And if he doesn’t, what if there is a perfect man waiting for her among the Christmas magic of Hollydell’s snow-laden streets? What if Henry, the humble reindeer farmer with the kind smile, turns out to be the man of Maggie’s dreams?

What does TWG think?

If this doesn’t get you singing Christmas songs at the top of your voice, then I don’t know what will!! Why oh why is this C.P.Ward’s first and only Christmas book?!?! I am literally BEGGING for another one next year. Seriously.

Maggie’s boyfriend is an absolute CACTUS! As far as she is concerned, they’re still in a relationship, even though he always seems to find an excuse to not pick up the phone or make an effort to meet her. After multiple heart to hearts with her best friend, Renee, Maggie decides to whisk Mr Cactus away to Hollydell. I say ‘whisk’…he said he would follow her up there. But the thought was there nonetheless.

I did feel for Maggie as she clearly wanted to keep her relationship going despite the bright warning signs overhead – the poor thing couldn’t help but worry as she didn’t want to be let down. Who can blame her?

Wow….Hollydell. The only way I can describe it is – you know the Christmas movies on TV? You know the ones which are shown on a dedicated Christmas channel on Sky? Well, Hollydell reminded me of one of those movies where the magic was rife, the romance was beautifully done yet addictively cheesy, and the Christmas spirit was so over the top that you would have been a fool not to join in. I’m sure you know the ones I’m on about as they’re shown every single year, and every single year we all cosy up watching them, losing ourselves in the magic that is Christmas.

I felt like a big kid reading this book. There’s reindeer, snow, Christmas songs, festive feasts, snowmen, Christmas lights. Everything! I couldn’t get over how much detail the author put into his storyline, making the characters and Hollydell come alive in the blink of an eye. I adored how everyone came together whether they knew each other or not, helping them when things were tough or they had had a few too many mulled wines. You know, usual stuff.

I lost myself in this book and I would lose myself in it again in a heartbeat. Why C.P.Ward hasn’t written a Christmas book before now, I don’t know, but I really do hope that he continues to do them for adults….and maybe even children.

Never mind ‘I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas’, I’m Glad I Found this book this christmas!!! Such a beautiful, majestic, enchanting read which made me want to Rock Around the Christmas Tree on a not so Silent Night, singing Jingle Bells at the top of my voice. Hell, if Christmas was just like it was in this book, I would even go as far to say that ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. I adored this book!!

Purchase Links 

Buy from Amazon US

UK – Buy from Amazon UK

Author Bio

CP Ward is a writer from the UK who currently lives and works in Japan. This is his first Christmas book.

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Website

 

Giveaway – Win 10 x e-copies for I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas (Open Internationally)

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman (@kathrynfreeman1) @rararesources @choclituk

Hurrah for being able to read fast! If you aren’t aware by now, I adore Kathryn Freeman’s novels and this one was no different. I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘A Little Christmas Charm’ as part of the blog tour today, many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?


Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

What does TWG think?

That’s it, I’m done!!!! I think I’ve found ‘The One’! I’m not even joking! Okay, there is a teeny tiny problem though – he is two dimensional and, erm, not real. Well, he was certainly real in my mind!! Is it me or is it hot in here?!?!

If you have read this book already, you’ll know exactly what I’m on about. However, if this is still on your TBR pile (it should be), stop shaking your head at me and just trust me! Owen Cooper is going to be sending a lot of readers in their own boat of dreams!!!

And helloooooooooo, I felt like I was reading a book about myself! Gabby is me! Pfft, aside from the Mr Cooper obvious, but aside from that I related to that character SO much! Poor Gabby has trust issues due to her mother – her childhood was a never ending reel of disappointment which has unfortunately led to problems in her adulthood. Hardly surprising really though (you’ll see what I mean when you read it). It was such a shame to see Gabby so broken, yet her emotions were things I saw a lot of in myself. That was pretty hard going, I shan’t lie.

Owen Cooper hasn’t had it easy either, and it was nice to read a book with a male character that wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerable side. ‘A Little Christmas Charm’ might have the ladies swooning, but there is a lot to the book which I thought even male readers will be able to relate to and enjoy.

I loved how the author brought ‘dysfunctional families’ into the spotlight! Not every household has a mum, dad and children. Families come in all different shapes and sizes what with step families, half siblings, adopted families, and even the families that are made up of people you love rather than people who share the same DNA. It’s a shame that people think families should be a certain way, so I adored what Kathryn Freeman did with her characters in this story, that’s for sure!!

Watching Gabby flourish was definitely a highlight for me (again, aside from the obvious!!), and I felt that the entire storyline worked from the humour to the choice of Christmas decorations, to the choice of confectionary and drunken one liners. Seriously – this book had everything I could have wanted and I was absolutely gutted when it came to an end!

‘A Little Christmas Charm’ isn’t just full of a LITTLE charm, it’s full of so much charm, poor Santa would need another sleigh to carry it all. A hot under the collar, laugh out loud, uplifting, heartwarming, and utterly amazing book – I will be recommending this book until I am blue in the face! Make sure you ask Santa for this one – I absolutely loved it!!

Buy now!

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.

Social Media Links 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!!