Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games…SORRY! Wrong one – #WelcomeToTheFamily @fab_fiction @HQStories #Review

Many thanks to HQ for the ARC of ‘The Family’ by Louise Jensen – I am excited to be kicking off the blog tour today.

ONCE YOU’RE IN, THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

What does TWG think?

You know when you’re caught up in a bad nightmare, feeling as though you cannot escape from the terror that’s pulsing through your veins due to your own subconscious? Imagine that but in book form…the telling of a similar thing mind, not YOUR actual nightmare or that would put you off reading it now wouldn’t it?

‘The Family’ is one of those types of reads which ends up getting right under your skin and, even though the storyline was brilliant at making me feel uncomfortable and quite nervous, it also had me at its beck and call. A bit like pringles – once you pop open the book, you literally cannot stop reading!

Laura has her daughters best interests at heart and would do ANYTHING to protect her, however I dont think she knew that her mummabear instincts would end up kicking in sooner than she thought. A fight for survival if you will.

The twisted nature of the storyline kept me hooked until the very last page. I felt that the uncertainty of the characters actions were brilliantly written and allowed the reader to carve their own picture in their minds about what might happen, and when. There were a lot of things in the book which left me reeling (in a good way), and I absolutely loved the sinister, secretive elements which left me in a total head funk!

Louise Jensen is an author who is outstanding at what she does, and is certainly one to watch in the genre she writes.

Such a compelling, addictive and sinister read – brilliant! Although, please don’t take offence when I say that I would rather not be welcomed into this family….if you don’t mind!

Buy now!

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Grab some paper, it’s time to get #WrappedUpForChristmas! @katlyn_duncan @HQDigitalUK @RaRaResources

I don’t think anyone is thinking about wrapping up their Christmas presents just yet, but if you are, what better book to get you in the mood than one titled ‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to HQ for the ARC. Here is my review:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but not for Angie Martinelli…

Having lost her boyfriend, job, and apartment all in the space of a week, Angie has no choice but to leave California and return to her family in New England.

Determined not to let life weigh her down, Angie finds work at the local mall where she worked as a teenager. After an embarrassing run-in with a handsome stranger, Nick, she’s convinced her luck is about to change.

But Nick has secrets of his own… and as the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Angie can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever find love.

What does TWG think?

Cute dog? CHECK.

Strong female lead? CHECK.

Ideal person to tickle the main characters fancy? CHECK.

Heartwarming and full of festive cheer? DOUBLE CHECK!

You know the TV channel that’s dedicated to Christmas movies? ‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’ needs to be put on there! It screamed ‘Hallmark’ movie to me after the first couple of chapters!

Angie has had to reboot her life after things went disastrously wrong. She would have preferred not to move back into her family home, but due to the lack of funds and employment, it was the only option Angie had. With her best friend, Reese, being close to popping, the thought of leaving home yet again filled Angie with dread. Could she really make a new life in the place that she was so desperate to leave?

The romantic elements to this story were absolutely spot on, if somewhat frustrating at times! I just wanted to bang the heads of Angie and her love interest! Seriously! Communication clearly wasnt their strong point at all. Despite that, I was rooting for both of their happiness and had everything crossed that they crossed find themselves on the paths that they needed to be on.

As for the festive cheer, Katlyn Duncan sprinkled it throughout the book like snowflakes. It wasn’t too much, nor was it too little, in fact it was just right.

I adored Reese’s character and ended up laughing out loud at her antics involving her stomach – oh I remember it well!

‘Wrapped Up For Christmas’ is a book version of the candy cane – significant, festive, and the ideal thing to get you feeling christmassy. I thoroughly enjoyed following Angie’s journey; it really is a cushty, snugfest of a Christmas treat.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @0neMoreChapter_ @RaRaresources

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Happy publication day to Zara Stoneley and ‘Four Christmases and a Secret’! I’m excited to be kicking off the blog tour today – thank you to Rachel for inviting me to take part, and of course to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Four Christmases and a Secret Cover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

What does TWG think?

If you’re not getting ready for Christmas now….I want to know why! Surely Zara Stoneley’s new book has put you in the Christmas spirit in erm….September?! By the way, this cover is SO pretty!!! Simple yet extremely effective – I love it!

Now, I am a massive fan of Zara Stoneley’s books, so it absolutely pains me to say that I really struggled with 30-40% of this book. I thought the stepping stones to the story were there from the beginning, however I felt that the connection was very thin and the storyline didn’t have the same flawless, continuous vibe like many of her other books. I am well aware that there is a lot happening in the book, and often that can make things feel a little bit up in the air at times, that wasn’t the issue at all. In fact, I loved the randomness of Daisy’s character and the fact that she just dived head first into literally everything about her life. For me, it was the fact that there were snippets of events, issues, relationship drama etc, yet they seemed to lay there dormant and unconnected to the main storyline. That’s what I struggled with…..however….

wait for it……

Once I hit like 40% of the book, everything fell into place and I ended up falling head over heels in love with the book and what Zara Stoneley was trying to achieve. At the end of the book my cheeks were aching something chronic, and it turned out I was grinning like an absolute loon. I didn’t want Daisy’s story to end! I am so pleased that the jigsaw pieces came together eventually.

Daisy is such a bonkers character and I thought she was absolutely brilliant. She gave the book the element of surprise, the element of uniqueness, and ended up becoming a character I would love to meet again in another book. Honestly, she is hysterical and made ‘Four Christmases’ what it was. Well, her and Stanley….oh, and Uncle T. Oh my heart! Uncle T, what a legend! He reminded me of my Great Uncle Ted – a gentle giant who would do anything for anyone, yet also the type of person who would stand their ground if need be. I will hold my hands up and say that my eyes did leak a bit where he was concerned…..that’s all I’m saying on that matter though!

Back to Stanley. Another legend of the four legged variety! I love how Zara Stoneley always puts a doggy character in her books, and the way that she gives them such a memorable personality instead of being just a background ornament as it were. Stanley was as much of a character in the book as Daisy and Ollie were.

Daisy’s mum was a belter too – absolutely hilarious, cringeworthy and simply perfect! Even though there is a lot of hilarity in this book, there are also several discussions of topics on a deeper scale. That said, they are also written with a hint of hilarity….just to even things up a bit.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I couldn’t believe my reaction to the first part of it, but I am so glad that I trusted my judgement and Zara Stoneley’s writing as I ended up absolutely loving this book.

Zara Stoneley creates such hilarious, heartwarming storylines which are both memorable and unique; ‘Four Christmases and a Secret’ is no different. If you’re after a book which puts a unique spin on the festive season, bereavement and relationships, I would urge you to read this in a heartbeat. Another brilliant, brilliant book by an author who certainly knows her way around a pen and paper!

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of ‘The Wedding Date’.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.

Visit Zara’s Website.

I cannot believe I’m on the blog tour for THE @Cecelia_Ahern and #Postscript! Check out my review here! @HCinIreland @fictionpubteam #PSILoveYou

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I cannot believe that I am today’s stop on the blog tour for THE Cecelia Ahern! Wow, it is such an honour to be involved in the tour – thank you so much to FictionPubTeam for the blog tour invite, and for the utterly beautiful proof copy (I even ordered myself a signed copy from Waterstones!! Order your own signed copy here.). I have no idea whether I will be able to do this book justice, but here is my review of the sequel to PS.I Love You, Postscript:

Postscript
It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.
 
She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.
 
Reluctantly, Holly beings a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me. It’s been fifteen years since ‘PS.I Love You’ was originally published. Never in a million years did I think that fifteen years down the line, Cecelia Ahern would write a sequel to the book that became a number one bestseller in multiple countries, AND end up being made into a major film starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Harry Connick JR, and Kathy Bates…to name a few. I cannot even remember when I first sat down to read ‘Ps.I Love You’, however it is one of the few books that I have read more than twice.

When it became public knowledge that a sequel was in the works, I literally could no contain my excitement! I mean, the first book broke my heart – how could Cecelia Ahern up the ante on that? Plus, with sequels, it’s often a worry that they can end up ruining the vibe of the serial – Postscript did not ruin anything. In fact, I would even go as far to say that it was even more incredible than its predecessor.

If you haven’t read ‘Ps.I Love You’, I would highly recommend reading it before you get stuck into ‘Postscript’ as a lot of things will not make sense if you just go into the second book blind.

So, to ‘Postscript’….

I was advised to keep tissues by my side whilst I read the book. I ignored the advice.
I was told that I would probably cry. I shrugged my shoulders and thought ‘no way’.
I was told to be prepared for an emotional read. Again, I ignored that.
Again, I was told to have a pack of tissues handy because I would be needing them. I didn’t think that I would need them…

I bloody needed them. I needed a gigantic pack of tissues and then some. I honestly thought that I would be able to read the entire book unscathed – how wrong was I! By the time I had 56 pages of the book left, I had sobbed my heart out FOUR TIMES, yet I had also burst out laughing several times too. Yes, ‘Postscript’ is an extremely emotional read. Yes, it’s devastating in parts, and yes, it smashed my heart into smithereens. However, it was also beautiful. Poignant. Powerful.

‘Postscript’ tells the story of Holly’s life after Gerry’s death seven years prior. To the outside world, Holly has moved on. To Holly, she feels guilty for living her life without Gerry by her side, even though she has no choice. When her sister, Ciara, asks for her help with her podcast, Holly can’t quite shift the sinking feeling in her gut. Part of her thinks that she shouldn’t delve into the emotions that have taken seven years to come to terms with, yet another part of her thinks that it would do her good to talk about Gerry’s death. Never in a million years did Holly ever think that Gerry’s actions would end up inspiring other people, yet they did. They ended up inspiring a group of strangers who begin to embark on their own journeys with different expiry dates; expiry dates that are currently unknown but they all have one thing in common – they want to leave a part of themselves for their loved ones…with Holly’s help.

Obviously I’m not going to go into detail about those journeys, Holly’s included, however I will say that all of the characters in this book had their own stories to tell which completely blew me away on various different levels. The poignancy behind their lives, who they loved, and what they wanted to achieve, was just so emotional and moving. It was so hard to just sit and watch certain things happening to people who didn’t deserve it. I wanted to reach inside of the book and make everything okay, but I couldn’t. Clearly. The thing is, even if I could have done something to make it all okay, it wouldn’t have been realistic. Thousands upon thousands of people go through things similar to the characters in this book, and thousands upon thousands of people wish they could become a superhero and make everything okay. The reality of that though, is that it isn’t reality and often that can be the hardest thing to accept.

As I said above, I sobbed my heart out a total of FIVE times by the end of the book. I was so overwhelmed by Cecelia Ahern’s beautiful words and the way in which she made every character have a voice. Ahern didn’t gloss over anything, pretending that life was all rosy and that everything would magically be fine. Instead, she told the story of life for what it was; a journey of existence. A journey of power. A journey of emotional. A journey of constant memories.

It doesn’t feel as though fifteen years have passed since Holly and Gerry entered our lives, especially as ‘Postscript’ just continues the story as though there has never been a break between books.

‘Postscript’ is the most humbling, empowering, beautifully written novel I have EVER read. Cecelia Ahern has a timeless beauty about her, with a writing style that goes beyond anything I have ever come across before.

There comes a point in your life where you read a book which fills your body with fizzy emotion, empowering knowledge, poignant hope, and the ability to witness life in all of its glory – ‘PostScript’, for me, is that book.

Buy now from Amazon.

#BlogTour #Review – #TheDayWeMeetAgain by Miranda Dickinson (@wurdsmyth) @HQStories #TeamSparkly

HUGE thank you to HQ for inviting me to take part in Miranda Dickinson’s new novel, ‘The Day We Meet Again’. It was such an honour to receive such a lovely ARC package in the post as well, thank you again to HQ, and of course thank you to Miranda Dickinson for allowing me to be a part of #TeamSparkly!

‘We’ll meet again at St Pancras station, a year from today. If we’re meant to be together, we’ll both be there. If we’re not, it was never meant to be . . .’

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

This is a story of what-ifs and maybes – and how one decision can change your life forever…

What does TWG think?

Hello modern day ‘You’ve Got Mail’! ‘The Day We Meet Again’ had Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan all over it!

This book is romantic with a capital R. From the get go we see two strangers connecting on a level other people would only ever dream about. Some think that love at first sight is a load of tosh, however Phoebe and Sam are not afraid to listen to what their hearts are telling them. Me personally? I don’t believe in falling in love straight after meeting someone, however I do think that its more than possible to connect with someone new when you’ve only just met them. But love at first sight? I’m not convinced.

Thankfully my opinion on that matter was null and void because the story was about Phoebe and Sam, not me. The premise of the book was such a brilliant escapism and showed readers that you can still live your life even though you have fallen in love. Your plans do not automatically freeze because you have a partner. Again, not everyone realises that though. Take a look at Phoebe and Sam’s friends for example; they were obviously concerned for their friends decision, yet it was incredibly easy for them to pass their doubts onto both Phoebe and Sam. Would the couple find their way back to each other in a years time?

What I love most about Miranda Dickinson’s writing, is the way she creates her characters from her heart, making their personalities jump off the page as though they’re a real life human, like you and me. Dickinson’s storylines are addictive, beautifully thought out, and full of such joy, hope and companionship.

My only irk about the book was the ending. Considering how in depth the rest of the book was, I felt that the ending didn’t fit in with the strength of the rest of the book. It was still cute, I’m not saying that there was anything wrong with it, I just found it a little flat in comparison to the rest of the book.

I loved the fact that I was able to lose myself in Phoebe and Sam’s journeys of self discovery – it was very difficult to not fall in love with such a touching and enriching storyline like ‘The Day We Meet Again’. Phoebe and Sam gave me hope, and ‘The Day We Meet Again’ is the love story of all love stories – the perfect read.

Buy now.

#Review – #ElevatorPitch by Linwood Barclay (@linwood_barclay) @HQStories

(Many thanks to HQStories for the ARC).

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . .

Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

What does TWG think?

I never, ever, EVER want to go in a lift again!!! Plus, how the fudge have I not read a Linwood Barclay novel before? I am disgusted with myself, and I want to apologise to my bank balance in advance for when I do binge buy sevral of his novels.

As I’m sure you can tell from the title, ‘Elevator Pitch’ is centred around elevators, or lifts as we call them in the UK. With that little snippet of information, you’re probably wondering why anyone would want to read a book about lifts, right? Understandable! But what if I told you that Linwood Barclay’s novel is a psychlogically twisted, fraught, and unique read that just happens to have elevator problems?

I say elevator problems like I’m describing a nuisance spot; they are indeed way more than being a little problematic, sometimes a teeny bit gruesome! I never knew just how lethal elevators and elevators shafts were!

Linwood Barclay is a force to be reckoned with. His talent at creating such a rollercoaster, chilling and intense read, seriously blew my mind. There were so many fingers pointing towards various characters, and I had marked the one I thought was ‘it’ early on, however I changed my mind multiple times throughout the book because of certain events, certain actions of the characters, and because of my own uncertainty. I wont say which particular character that was as I don’t wish to influence anyone if they haven’t read the book yet.

I really wasnt expecting ‘Elevator Pitch’ to conclude the way it did but oh my goodness, my heart was in my mouth! This book has given me a brand new author to stick on my to be read pile, and it’s a book that I will be shouting about big time!

Just a word of warning though; #takethestairs.

An insanely dark, spine tingling and bloody fantastic book. I honestly couldn’t have wished for anything more.

Buy now from Amazon

#Review – Not Ready To Adult Yet by Iain Stirling (@IainDoesJokes) @HarpercollinsUK @fictionpubteam

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(Many thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC via Netgalley).

Comedian Iain Stirling is best known as the brilliantly funny voice of the BAFTA-award winning smash hit Love Island. Despite his many accolades, and his mum telling him he s her special little soldier every day, Iain still struggles with everyday adult life. What a textbook millennial.

Looking back at his journey to adulthood, Iain explores why millennials are the way they are and whether that makes us self-obsessed, work-shy, mollycoddled, egomaniacs; or just a misunderstood generation with a crippling fear of failure.

Millennials have been celebrated and scorned; they re the envy, fascination and disgrace of the world. But is there more to this #selfie and avocado-obsessed generation that can t grow up than meets the eye?

Throughout life millennials have been taught that they are perfect and should live a perfect life. They ve been told, whatever happens, don t mess up. And then they enter the real world. And failure quickly rears its ugly head. A head millennials weren t warned about and definitely aren t ready for.

Iain knows a lot about messing up. And he s ready to share.

Funny, provocative and full of his trademark razor-sharp wit, this is Iain s guide to what life is really like for millennials and how they can navigate it better.

What does TWG think?

Tonightttttt……..

Sorry, forgot for a second there that I’m not the Love Island voiceover man, Iain Stirling is! I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Iain in Glasgow last year to get my book signed, and I have to say that, after hearing his voice a lot without seeing him talk due to Love Island, his voice really doesn’t match the person! For a time I genuinely thought that someone was dubbing his voice and that he was doing a Britney by lip-syncing speaking!

I jest.

Or do I?

Iain Stirling is known for several things; his comedy, his Love Island voiceover….and the dodgy pictures on Google from his time as a CBBC presenter. Honestly, google it if you don’t believe me!

I was really looking forward to reading ‘Not Ready To Adult Yet’ because of how relatable the title was. How many of us wake up in the morning and are all like, ‘F off, I don’t want to be an adult, not today, not ever’? It happens, we’re human. This book is incredibly relatable, and incredibly funny. If you wanted a recap of life in the early nineties when Saturday morning T.V. was the absolute BOMB, or if you wanted to get into the mindset of a millennial, you would be in your element with this read, that’s for sure.

Not only that, HE EVEN GETS HIS MUM INVOLVED!! I thought his conversation with Mummy Stirling was so bloomin’ funny! So down to earth and it was clear to see where he got that side of his personality from. Even though this book does talk a lot about the dark side of social media, peer pressure, and the impending doom of adulthood itself, Iain also delves into his own personal life as he looks back on the challenges he faced whilst growing up, as well as the hurdles he had to jump when first starting out as a comedian. Eye-opening for sure, especially when you learn that he told an 8 year old where to go! It makes my sticking my middle finger up at a kid, extremely tame!

I’m not a politics person. I don’t understand it, even though it is incredibly important. So, I will hold my hands up and say that I found the parts regarding politics incredibly sluggish and I felt that they didn’t really belong alongside the hilarity of Stirling’s life. Just my opinion, obviously.

All in all, ‘Not Ready To Adult Yet’ is a honest, eye-opening, and snort inducing read about the things nobody else dares to talk about. The honesty of Iain Stirling is both commendable and ‘HE SAID WHAT?!’ – a brilliant combination from such a down to Earth man. Seriously, you get what it says on the tin with him!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce (@Writer_Jenn) @HQDigitalUK

Happy publication day, Jennifer Joyce! What a better way to kick off a new month than with a new book! I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘The Accidental Life Swap’ with a review – many thanks to HQ for the blog tour invite and ARC.

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Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…

Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!

So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?

What does TWG think?

I agree with the first sentence of the blurb wholeheartedly; Rebecca IS a pushover big time! I know some people dislike confrontation. I also know that some people don’t have the confidence to stand up for themselves when they’re treated like dirt. Rebecca, on the other hand, is a mixture of the two and then some. She certainly doesn’t have any confidence in herself or her abilities, nor does she have the strength to tell her boss where to go. I understand telling your boss to go and choke on a lolly is frowned upon, however so is treating your members of staff like slaves. As far as I was aware, slavery was abolished in 1833 in the UK!

I didn’t like Vanessa at all, and I am sure you have already guessed that. However, I really did enjoy ‘The Accidental Life Swap’. Mistaken identity aside, I loved getting to know all of the animals in the sanctuary next door to Vanessa’s holiday home, and I felt like a proud mum watching Rebecca flourish in the little village she never knew existed. Whilst getting lumbered with overseeing her boss’s house renovation wasn’t exactly what Rebecca had planned, the way she got stuck into it and became ‘one of them’ so to speak, was both hilarious and heartwarming. Don’t get me wrong, I was silently wishing that she would own up to the case of mistaken identity as I knew fine well that it was going to blow up in her face, but clearly she didn’t get my psychic message!!

‘The Accidental Life Swap’ is full of such colourful characters, both humans AND animals! I snorted at the personalities of the chickens, and I thought Franny, the donkey, was absolutely brilliant. It is clear that the author has put a lot of heart into her storyline and her characters journeys and, whilst I enjoyed finding out what made the builders tick, I thought the game nights were a brilliant addition to the ‘finding yourself’ type of vibe that the book gave off.

For me, ‘The Accidental Life Swap’ has a mixture of everything, and it was such a joy to be amongst a group of genuinely funny, relatable, and memorable characters such as the ones you’ll get to meet in this book. A job well done Ms.Joyce, a job well done indeed!!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Sunshine Over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett (@sarahlou_writes) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

Massive congratulations to Sarah Bennett on the publication of her latest release, ‘Sunshine Over Bluebell Castle’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

The summer she will never forget…

Time’s running out for Iggy Ludworth to restore the wild gardens of Camland Castle in time for the Summer Fete, so she ropes in hotshot gardener Will Talbot…

But she regrets her decision as soon as he sets foot in the historic grounds – not only is Will arrogant and bossy, he’s totally gorgeous!

And very soon, sparks are flying amongst the bluebells. Yet with summer nearly over, will their summer fling convince Will and Iggy to go the distance?

What does TWG think?

It feels like yonks since we last caught up with the lord of the castle and his family! ‘Sunshine Over Bluebell Castle’ is book two in the ‘Bluebell Castle’ series, and personally I would advise that you read the books in order so that you’re able to get a real feel for Arthur, Tristian and Iggy’s life. If you’re feeling a bit rebellious, I guess reading the books out of order would be ‘ok’ for some readers, however I do think that you will be missing out on too much character history if you do. Each to their own of course!

Forgive me for saying this, but I wasn’t really taken with the book at first as Iggy really grated on me! She came across as such a marmite character who had such potential, but she wasn’t offering that positive side to her personality very often. Iggy seemed to think that everyone was out to get her, didn’t think that she was capable to do things because shes a woman….I don’t recall anyone saying that to her! However, when a certain relative of Iggy’s came on the scene, it became shockingly clear as to why she is the way that she is.

Believe it or not, I did warm up to Iggy the more I got to know her, especially when Will came to town. He brought out the positive side of her personality and i thought it was such a shame that Iggy has very little faith in herself. She is a good egg, really.

Romance is in the air and in every nook and cranny of the castle, what on Earth was the housekeeper putting in their food!! I felt quite emotional watching the main characters flourish after their recent heartache as discussed in book one. It can’t have been at all easy for the siblings yet they’re doing themselves proud…..most of the time.

What I love most about Sarah Bennett’s storytelling, is the way she captures the essence of her characters. She creates them like they’re real human beings instead of fictional characters, which allows the readers to relate to their emotions and their lives as though they’re right in front of them. I loved the cosy, feel good factor of this book, and I loved how each of the siblings started off as caterpillars, yet by the end of the book they had turned into beautiful, empathetic butterflies who weren’t afraid to spread their wings. Sarah Bennett has written a story which is guaranteed to make you feel untouchable, ready to conquer the world. I really, really enjoyed it.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Secret Cove in Croatia by Julie Caplin (@JulieCaplin) @JulesWake @0neMoreChapter_ @RaRaResources

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Happy publication day, Julie Caplin, and ‘The Secret Cove in Croatia’! My second RaRaResources blog tour of the days is for this beautiful, beautiful book – thank you so much for having me on kicking off the blog tour, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

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Sail away to beautiful Croatia for summer sun, sparkling turquoise seas and a holiday romance that’s forever…

When no-nonsense, down-to-earth Maddie Wilcox is offered the chance to work on a luxury yacht for the summer, she can’t say no. Yes she’ll be waiting on the posh guests… But island-hopping around the Adriatic sea will more than make up for it –especially when Nick, her best friend Nina’s brother, is one of them.Sparks fly when they meet on board and Maddie can’t believe self-entitled jerk Nick is really related to Nina.But in a secret, picture-perfect cove, away from the real world, Maddie and Nick discover they might have more in common than they realise…

What does TWG think?

‘Sail away with meeeee……’

If only!!!! I have never been to Croatia before – can someone take me, like now? Oh Julie Caplin, what have you done to me?! I am someone who rolls my eyes at PDA’s and romance itself. I am also someone who adores reading romance despite not being a fan of the actual thing myself. Again, I am also someone who now wants to go to Croatia so I can meet my own Nick! Swoon!!!!! He can keep the shorts though, soz!!!

Maddie is THE best character ever!!! What a breath of fresh air she is. I absolutely loved her and her bluntness. She certainly wasn’t taking any prisoners, that’s for sure! Did I see myself in her? Damn right I did, maybe that’s why I gelled with her personality because I could relate to her personally.

The absolute star of the storyline was the message the author had hidden in between her words; be yourself, don’t go out of your way to be anyone else except you. How many of us have been amongst a group of people and found ourselves changing our mannerisms, adjusting our likes and dislikes, just to make other people like us? How many of us have pretended to be something we’re not, just because a crush prefers us a certain way? Of course – we have all been there and done that! Instead of leaving a situation because it doesn’t fit YOUR needs, you end up changing yourself because you don’t fit THEIR needs, but at the end of the day, what’s more important? Your happiness, or theirs?

Such an easy thing to say, but one of the most hardest things to put into practice. As an outsider looking in, Nick’s situation with Tara was the elephant in the room. People could see what Tara was like, however the only person who struggled to see what she was capable of, was Nick himself. Why could that be? I’ll tell you – it was because he was so close to the situation, he ended up being blindsided by the attention. It wasn’t until someone, aka Maddie, took the time to tell him how it was. Could she have done that out of jealousy because Tara disliked her? Possibly, in fact almost definitely! That said, Maddie’s personality wasn’t that way inclined and, whilst she didn’t want to get involved in someone else love life, she wanted Nick to be happy. Thankfully Tara didn’t help herself at all……

Maddie is very open about her lack of confidence, and that resonated with me big time as, just like her, I am lacking in confidence and I don’t fit in. And yes, I have done what everyone else has done and adapted my personality to suit others but you know what? Why should I? Why should you?

Julie Caplin really opened my eyes with this book. Not only that, she had me in hysterics and racing through the pages as though someone had offered me a lifetime supply of books! The setting was beautifully described and got under my skin big time. I loved it more so because of how Croatia seems to be such an underrated holiday destination. Makes a nice change to be somewhere different in a book as opposed to always being in the same old settings.

I wish I could bottle up the warm and hopeful feeling the book gave me just so that whenever I feel like I don’t fit in, I can dip deep into my heart to remind myself the importance of being true to the skin I was born in.

Julie Caplin is one of the most beautiful story tellers I think I have ever read, and she has outdone herself with ‘The Secret Cove in Croatia’. Hand on heart, one of my all-time favourite reads ever, Maddie and Croatia will be staying locked up in my heart for a very, very long time to come. A truly spellbinding, emotive novel which ticked every single box I never even knew existed.

Buy now.