#CoverReveal! The WindMill Cafe (Book 1) by Poppy Blake (@Poppyblakebooks) @HarperImpulse

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

I am a teeny bit late with this blog post as the main cover reveal was actually last night, but, because the cover is beautiful and I wanted to make sure everyone saw it more than once, I am posting it on my blog today!!

If you’re fed up with the dark and dreary weather, hoping that spring will be blossoming before your very own eyes – don’t fret as you will think that spring as sprung when you feast your eyes on Poppy Blake’s book cover!!

Here we go folks….

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The Windmill Cafe is open for business!

As Rosie Barnes serves glasses of tangy lemonade and ice-cold prosecco at her summer garden party, she couldn’t be happier. The Windmill Café, with its peppermint green sails is a roaring success and has given Rosie a chance to escape the heartbreak of her busy life in London.

But then disaster strikes when popstar Suki Richards is taken unexpectedly ill at the party. Now all eyes are on Rosie…have her famous raspberry cupcakes poisoned her most high-profile guest? Or is someone else trying to damage Suki’s chance of stardom?

If Rosie wants to save her picture-perfect life, and the reputation of her beloved Windmill Café, she’s going to have to get to the bottom of the mystery…and fast!

See what I mean?! Summer Breeze – The Windmill Cafe, Book 1, is due to be published on the 9th March and you can pre-order your copy now from Amazon UK.

I cannot wait to get stuck into this!!

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#Review – The Little Cafe in Copenhagen by @JulieCaplin (@JulesWake) @HarperImpulse

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Welcome to the little cafe in Copenhagen where the smell of cinnamon fills the air, the hot chocolate is as smooth as silk and romance is just around the corner…

Publicist Kate Sinclair’s life in London is everything she thought she wanted: success, glamour and a charming boyfriend. Until that boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a much sought-after promotion from her.Heartbroken and questioning everything, Kate needs to escape.

From candles and cosy nights in to romantic late-night walks through the beautiful cobbled streets of Copenhagen, Kate discovers how to live life ‘the Danish way’. Can the secrets of hygge and happiness lead her to her own happily-ever-after?

What does TWG think?

-sits swooning at the book cover-.

Oh, sorry. Will my swooning not count as a review? Fiiiiinnnneeeee!!

I’m sure you will agree with me that this cover is rather pretty, right? Thankfully, the story behind the cover is just as pretty, which makes Julie Caplin’s novel, in my eyes, the complete package.

People often say that the only person you can trust is yourself. Unfortunately for Kate Sinclair, I don’t think she got that memo and put her faith (and her thoughts) into the hands of her boyfriend. I know what you’re thinking, ‘he’s her boyfriend, she should be able to do that!’, and you would be right…to a point. But when said boyfriend decides to show his true colours at the expense of his girlfriend, is when it becomes clear that the only thing Kate should have put in her boyfriends hands was a note telling him to get to f…..

Well, in my opinion anyway! Maybe you might think differently when you read the book, but I’m #TeamKate all the way!

You’ve heard of ‘hygge’, yeah? The word which next to nobody can pronounce, yet everyone wants a piece of. Think cosy. Think simple. Think being present. Kate takes a trip to Copenhagen for work, to pretty much put the idea of ‘hygge’ on the map with a bunch of journalists who roll their eyes anytime the word is mentioned. It becomes pretty clear that Kate has her work cut out…

I’m just going to come right out and say it…..

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book!!!! What a heart-warming, eye-opening, and hilarious start to a brand new series from Julie Caplin. The entire storyline warmed my soul from the tips of my toes, to the tips of my hair. Reading this book was like receiving a hug which puts all of your broken pieces back together again. The characters were well thought out and memorable, each having their own special place within the storyline without seeming like they’re a spare part. The romance part wasn’t thrust in my face, and whilst I felt that it was a vital part of the storyline,  I was able to discover it slowly like a long-lost legendary tale.

Like always, I did have my favourite characters but because I want you to experience the magic of this book with your own two eyes, I won’t mention their particulars. However, I will say that the group of journalists who went to Copenhagen with Kate, are absolutely brilliant. Nudge nudge.

Hand on heart, I could not have wished for a more perfect start to a series. Julie Caplin’s story telling was enchanting and incredibly more-ish – no wonder there was a cafe in the story (not that I needed anymore convincing at that point, I hasten to add!).

They say that January is a dark month for people (excluding my birthday, obvs), and what better way to put a smile back on your face and the warmth back in your heart, than reading Julie Caplin’s new, majestic, and intensely beautiful read. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough and I cannot wait to read the other books in this series.

A fantastic, huggable, hilarious and addictive read – ‘The Cafe in Copenhagen’ will put the fire back in your belly before you’ve even reached the end. A true gem of a book without a doubt.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

‘The Cafe in Copenhagen’ will be published in e-book on the 1st February, with the paperback following on the 8th. You can pre-order both formats now from Amazon. I really suggest you go and do that!!

#Review – Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop by @JaneLinfoot @HarperImpulse

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Escape to Cornwall with this uplifting and feel good standalone novel from the bestselling author of The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea

There’s nothing more magical than a winter wonderland wedding but when photographer Holly North returns to the cosy village of St Aidan she’s determined to avoid romance and the festive season full stop. She’s doing one small favour for a friend’s wedding and then her plans involve diving under her duvet and avoiding any sign of Christmas cheer – and gorgeous but insufferable Rory Sanderson – for the rest of December!

That is until Christmas arrives at Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s enchanting and most adorable little wedding shop. The champagne is on ice while mistletoe hangs from every nook and Holly’s friends at the shop are determined she’ll live up to her festive name.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and romance is most definitely in the crisp winter air with promises, proposals and Christmas kisses aplenty…

What does TWG think?

There really is something incredibly magical about Jane Linfoot’s ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’ series, yet if you were to ask me to specify exactly what makes this series magic, I honestly don’t think that I could pinpoint just one thing. As this is the fourth book in the series, I was a bit concerned that we had reached the prime of the storyline and all of the characters involved, in the previous book. Thankfully, I was one hundred percent wrong as this is a series which just keeps on giving.

You probably would have thought that with a name like ‘Holly’, Holly would be full of the Christmas cheer, right? Wrong. As far as that character was concerned, Christmas could be cancelled and she wouldn’t care one bit. But, seeing as the festive season is extremely busy where weddings are concerned, Holly can’t hide away from the Christmas cheer for too long.

Jane Linfoot’s ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’ series, reminds me of a good film – one that you could re-watch time and time again without getting bored with each individual element. Just like each of the books in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book in the eyes of a different character as I was able to see a different side to each of the ladies who run the wedding shop, without feeling as though I was bias to their storyline if they were the main character.

Once again the storyline was jam-packed full of dramas, emotional situations, and enough heart-warming anecdotes to warm your heart faster than a coal fire. I loved the Christmas cheer which just seemed to ooze out of the pages, but most of all, I loved reading about the community spirit and the incredibly robust friendships. As daft as this sounds, a part of me became a little green around the gills as the author had written such amazing levels of friendships girls can only ever dream about. Well, if you’re a loner like me then yeah, you’ll be dreaming.

I really do hope that the series doesn’t end here! Another touching, majestic and beautifully written novel from the incredibly talented, Jane Linfoot.

Thanks HarperImpulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

TWG’s #TopBooksof2017! @Bookouture @TeamBATC @Headlinepg @HQDigitalUK @AvonBooksUK @ChoclitUK

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It’s that time of year again when most publishers, bloggers, readers, publicists, (you catch my drift) go through their ‘read’ books of the year, ready to compile a list of their most favourite books. A yearly ritual which sees ‘TBR’ piles growing even bigger, lists being compared, and readers finding new books they wouldn’t have dared to pick up until they read that particular list. A ritual where all the fabulous books us readers/bloggers have fallen in love with over the past year, get celebrated once again.

In lament terms, we get to gush. Having read a total of 318 books in 2017, I knew my #TopBooks list wasn’t going to be small. Have you SEEN the books published this year!? 2017 has been an outstanding year for books. So many debut authors have shone with their debut novels, whilst other authors many already love have upped their game with yet another novel. I have managed to get my list down to a Top 40 otherwise we would have been here until next year going through them, but, in all honesty, I could have happily put most of those 318 books on this list!

In absolutely NO particular order, here are TWG’s #TopBooksof2017!

 

1. A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson
(You can read my review here)
2. The Legacy of Lucy Harte by Emma Heatherington
(You can read my review here)
3. Before You Go by Clare Swatman
(You can read my review here)
4. Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin
(You can read my review here)
5. The Quiet Man by James Carol
(You can read my review here)
6. The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Kennan
(You can read my review here)
7. The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle
(I am still due a full review for all parts of this book – watch this space!)
8. Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland
(You can read my review here)
9. The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton
(You can read my review here)
10. The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson.
(You can read my review here)

11. Blink by K.L.Slater
(You can read my review here)
12. A Time to Change by Callie Langridge
(You can read my review here)
13. The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan
(You can read my review here)
14. Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
15. Another Woman’s Husband by Gill Paul
(You can read my review here)
16. The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper
(You can read my review here)
17. I’m Still Standing (previously titled ‘Reach For the Stars) by Colleen Coleman
(You can read my review here)
18. 37 Hours by J.F.Kirwan
(You can read my review here)
19. If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton
(You can read my review here)
20. Til The Dust Settles by Pat Young
(You can read my review here)

21. The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher
(You can read my review here)
22. The Detriment by David Videcette
(You can read my review here)
23. The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans
(You can read my review here)
24. Skin Deep by Laura Wilkinson
(You can read my review here)
25. Trust Me by Angela Clarke
(You can read my review here)
26. Summer at the Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples
(You can read my review here)
27. Hot Mess by Lucy Vine
(You can read my review here)
28. It Started With a Tweet by Anna Bell
(You can read my review here)
29. A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman
(You can read my review here)
30. A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith by Linn.B.Halton
(You can read my review here)

31. Dying Breath by Helen Phifer
(You can read my review here)
32. Dying Day by Stephen Edgar
(You can read my review here)
33. Scream Blue Murder by Tony.J.Forder
(You can read my review here)
34. The Little Clock House series (book 1&2) by Eve Devon
(Reviews can be found here and here)
35. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell
(You can find my review here)
36. The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney
(You can find my review here)
37. The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
(You can read my review here)
38. How To Be Champion by Sarah Millican
(I still need to write my review for this book – watch this space!)
39. Bad Sister by Sam Carrington
(You can read my review here)
40. The Other Mother by Judith Baker
(You can read my review here)

Phew! I’m knackered now! If any of the above books tickle your fancy, all purchase links can be found on the review link below each title. So many incredible books written by such fantastic authors – it has been an absolute honour to have been given ARC’s of a majority of the above books. I would like to say a huge thank you to:

Simon&Shuster // ChocLitUK // Harper Impulse // PanMacMillan // Bookouture // Aria
Headline // Bombshell Books/Bloodhound Books // HQDigitalUK // Faber Books 
Accent Press // Avon // Orion // Orenda & Bonnier Zaffre

for giving me the opportunity to read all of the above books. I would also like to thank all of the authors above for writing such jaw dropping and emotional reads! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this year has been a fantastic year for books and I want to extend another thank you to every author and publisher behind each and every one of the 318 books I have read this year. Just like many readers, I use books to escape and without you writing/publishing those books, I truly don’t think that I would be able to cope.

Whilst 2017 has blown me away, 2018 is set to be another brilliant year for books as well – my number one novel to watch out for in 2018 is ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ by Sarah Vaughan which is due to be published on the 11th January 2018. I was very lucky to receive an ARC of this book before publication and you can read my review (as well as pre-order the book) by clicking here.

Did any of YOUR favourites pop up in my #TopBooksof2017? Let me know in the comments if any have, or whether you have decided to nab a few of these books for your own TBR piles!

2017, it has been a bookish pleasure. I cannot WAIT to see what 2018 brings in terms of books!

#Review – Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage – Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @HarperImpulse

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Return to the charming little village of Langtry Meadows and cosy up by the fire with this gorgeous romance that will warm your heart…

As the lazy days of summer ebb away and the hedgerows fill with rich, plump blackberries, Lucy Jacobs couldn’t be happier. She’s feeling more and more at home in the small village of Langtry Meadows and has fallen in love with idyllic Jasmine cottage – not to mention gorgeous vet Charlie.

But just as Lucy is thinking about putting down roots like the blackberries that grow in her garden, Charlie’s ex returns and threatens to put a thorn in their perfect life…

What does TWG think?

So excited to be back in Langtry Meadows courtesy of Zara Stoneley! ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ is the second book in ‘The Little Village on the Green’ series and, despite having read the first book back in May, I was able to slot back into the storyline with no issues what so ever. This book can be read as a standalone to a point, however I would recommend that you read the first book in the series, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, so that you can fully appreciate the storyline and the characters of the second book. Plus, the first book is, in my opinion, Zara Stoneley’s best book yet. Win win don’t you think?

In the last book we left Lucy and Charlie with a huge question mark over their heads – would the authors newest book see the pair get a happy ending? Or will they have to endure yet another rocky road?

Above I said that the first book in the series was Zara Stoneley’s best book yet. I’m afraid I have to take that back. Why? Because folks, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ has now taken that accolade! I, hand on heart, cannot fault this book at all. My heart went out to little Maisie on multiple occasions! What a difficult situation for such a little person to be in! I really do think that Charlie handled the situation with such grace and dignity, despite the threats which followed from Maisie’s mother (not that she can really say a lot given what she went and done!). Whilst Charlie and Maisie’s situation made itself known within the storyline, it didn’t overpower the other characters in the book at all. In actual fact, it helped the other situations stand out.

I absolutely loved reading this book to find out what path Lucy’s life took, especially as she started her new job and we got to follow her daily life in the local school. Yes, I laughed out loud at several of the children’s one liners. Out the mouths of babes springs to mind!

The entire vibe of ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ felt relaxing, calming and extremely cosy. Most of the time I didn’t feel as though I was reading a fictional novel, instead I felt like I was merely catching up with a bunch of good friends after a while of no contact. Honestly, how can anyone complain at that?

Despite laughing and having aching cheeks from smiling so much, there was a part of the book which made a lump form in my throat. I had a word with myself about not crying, but seconds later it all became clear that I didn’t even listen to myself as the tears started to flow. I wasn’t emotional because of sadness – I was emotional because my heart felt so much love towards certain characters and the situation that they had to face, and were facing after so many years. You really have got to be made of stone to not find that emotional. Trust me on that!

I say this every single time, but Zara Stoneley really does write magic with her fingertips. I have never read books from the same author which make me feel as though I’m getting a hug every single time. I have never read a book which makes me feel multiple emotions all at once, whilst still feeling hugged.

Full of laughter, drama and heart-warming moments you’ll never tire of, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ is one of the most huggable, loveable, and enchanting book I have read this year. If I could bottle up the feelings I get whilst reading a Zara Stoneley novel, purely to save for later when I’m needing a pick me up, I would.

Zara Stoneley, once again, has written a book from her very own heart, straight to ours. Such a beautifully written, powerful and majestic read – perfect to read over, and over, and over again.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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

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

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

Santa is coming to New York!

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author Bio

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

Social Media Links

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

Giveaway!!!

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

Enter now!

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

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

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

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

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

What does TWG think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks HarperImpulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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

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Every time I’m on a tour for Linn.B.Halton I get SO excited! I love being able to share my thoughts on such Linn’s wonderful books, and this one is no exception. Here is my review of Linn.B.Halton’s festive treat – Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage.

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The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elana James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed.

Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?

What does TWG think?

SNIFF. SNIFF. SNIFF.

For those of you with children, you’ll understand how magical Christmas with young children can be, especially with those who believe in Santa. I’m sure a lot of parents can find the whole thing quite emotional when they see their children’s happy faces on Christmas morning, realising their ‘biggest wish of their life’ has come true by Santa bringing them ‘Pie Face’. Now, if you add a child who has lost one of her parents into the mix, the emotion within the storyline gets put on a totally new level. Coming from a person who has ‘Ice Queen’ as their nickname, even I melted at the contents of this novel. Seriously, you’ll have to be a person with no soul if you’re not at least a little bit moved by this book. Trust me.

Elana James’ life got turned upside down in the blink of an eye. In the aftermath of such unfortunate circumstances, Elana is left to bring up her little girl single-handedly, keep a roof over their heads (literally) with her career, as well as try to find the time to turn a DIY SOS disaster into a finally finished home. What Elana wasn’t prepared for was her new-found builder to be exceptionally easy on the eye and brilliant with her daughter. Surely it’s time to move on, right?

Elana’s situation caught me right in the feels. Although to be honest, if there wasn’t a child involved, I don’t think I would have been quite so emotional (I realise that makes me sound heartless but you’ll see what I mean when you read the book). I just couldn’t even begin to imagine what the James’ went through, especially now that Elana’s daughter is of an age where she wants answers. You can’t really blame her either. The whole debacle with the chimney left a golf ball sized lump in my throat for several hours after finishing this book. I mean….wow. Heart-wrenching yet totally relatable.

There were a couple of situations within Linn.B.Halton’s novel which shocked me at the time yet I couldn’t seem to work out why they were there. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t seem to stick out like a sore thumb, but I thought that the neighbourly situation was a little bit….random whilst also coming to an abrupt stop. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the novel at all, I just wondered why, that was all.

I loved the warmth of the storyline with the mixture of loveable characters. I loved how the Christmas spirit was laid bare to begin with, yet built each bauble at a time throughout the novel. As for Elana’s life – I loved how relatable, realistic and genuine her story was as it made me connect to the main character a lot quicker. She didn’t seem to hide her emotions or pretend to be something that she’s not. Instead, Elana was determined to make the best of a bad situation whilst also trying to do the right thing by her little girl, even though she thought every decision she made was the wrong one.

Linn.B.Halton has, once again, taken a heart-wrenching, real-life situation and turned it into a thought-provoking, touching and emotional read. I really have no idea how this author manages to produce such truly wonderful books, but she does. This authors writing skills and story telling abilities are second to none, which makes every single book I read of hers an absolutely treasure to read. Linn.B.Halton most definitely has a fan for life in TWG for as long as she continues to produce such enchanting novels such as this one, and her entire back catalogue.

‘Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage’ is such a cosy and touching novel, which is probably going to play havoc with your emotions until the very last page.

Turn off your phone, grab the box of Kleenex and curl up in bed with this absolutely beautiful read – you’ll be a fool not to.

Magical.

Thanks HarperImpulse/BrookCottageBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Extract.

‘Mum, can we light the log fire tonight?’ Maya looks up at me with eager eyes.
‘I think we should wait until the weekend, darling. There isn’t really time to appreciate
it on a school night, is there? Besides, I’m not even sure whether there are any logs
left in the store. I promise to get it sorted as soon as I can.’
It was Niall’s job, sorting the fire. He would have booked the chimney sweep in early
autumn and had the logs all ready and waiting, stacked neatly against the back wall
of the garage. Ironically, last year I was much more organised. I suppose it was one
of my coping mechanisms during those raw, early weeks and months. Keep going;
keep doing something – anything, so I didn’t have to listen to what was in my head.
But I feel bad. Maya will remember that this time last year we spent every evening
huddled together on the sofa in front of the fire, reading. Hour upon hour we escaped
into alternative worlds inspired by some wonderful authors. Roald Dahl’s Matilda, E.
B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, and Maya’s favourite, Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, a
story of tenderness and triumph.
It was the very worst of times, but I focused on getting us through it one day at a
time. My gut instinct, immediately after the accident, had been to sell the cottage just
to escape that prevailing sense that something was missing. Niall was no longer
here and it would never, ever be the same again. But soon realisation dawned that
Maya needed a sense of continuity; the memories trapped within these walls were a
lifeline for her, although a cruelly painful reminder for me. In a way she feels her dad
is still here and I can’t take that away from her.

About the author.

Bristol-born Linn lives in the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her
lovely husband and cat, Ziggy. She has been writing novels since 2009 and has
written short stories for a number of magazines. She is also known for her series of
‘Home by Design’ articles wearing her former interior designer hat.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of coffee. For me, life
is about family, friends, and writing. Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in
November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-selling novel in November
2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the
eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance:
Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, romantic comedy, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic
romance. Publishers include Harper Impulse, Choc Lit and Endeavour Press.

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

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow (@christiejbarlow) @HarperImpulse

Christie Barlow Blog Tour Poster
Oh my goodness – FINALLY it’s my turn to host Christie Barlow and ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’! On all of the other tour stops I have been sitting thinking to myself ‘the lucky beggars!’, whilst working out how I am actually going to word my blog post without continuously saying the same word. Trust me, it’s difficult. Now, I think I have managed to arrange my views into structured sentences, however, please don’t hold it against me if I do end up saying the same word over, and over, and over again…

christiebarlow
Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…

For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…

Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…

What does TWG think?

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!! What a prologue!!!! I have never, ever read such a captivating, intriguing, and more-ish prologue before…until now. I’m not even overreacting – it really is THAT good.

Having read Christie Barlow’s previous novel (Evie’s Year of Taking Chances) and personally dubbing it as my most favourite book that she has written, Christie Barlow had unknowingly set the bar for her new novel extremely high.

In ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’, we follow the life of Nell Andrews – a character whose life has had more emotional turbulence than an episode of Eastenders. It didn’t take me long to form a connection with Nell as I found her to be such a warming and genuine character, who was screaming out to be loved and understood.

A Christie Barlow novel wouldn’t be complete without a bit of eye-candy. Well helloooooo Mr.Guy! Whilst he certainly made his presence known, the storyline wasn’t governed by his flirtatious nature or the attraction between himself and Nell. Don’t get me wrong, Guy was a large part of the overall storyline, yet he wasn’t the main focus. In my opinion, the way in which Christie Barlow puts romance in the storyline as an addition to it as opposed to the main focus, is what makes her stand out as an author. Christie Barlow gives the main character a voice and a start to their journey before she introduces a love-match to the mix. I love reading chic-lit/romance novels but, seeing as I am the most unromantic person ever, having love stories eased into the storyline at a comfortable pace suits me down to the ground. I also LOVE how kick-ass Christie Barlow’s protagonists are! Such independent, self-aware, fiery characters who end up becoming one of my literary role models long before the end of the book.

Romance aside, ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ contains a lot more than a lovers happy ever after. Obviously I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll be as vague as I can, but, Nell Andrews has her heart set on a new life. As far as Nell is concerned, she’s done all of her homework, put pen to paper and created a plan – all without trying to think too much with her heart and less with her brain. As we all know with dreams, they can take a heck of a lot of blood, sweat and tears before showing signs of coming true, and unfortunately Nell learns that the hard way. Luckily for us readers though, Nell’s situation is enough to stop you in your tracks, leaving your mouth wide enough to catch flies. Did I see it coming? Did I heck! Did it leave my mouth open wide enough to catch flies? It was open wide, yes. As for the flies it was a close call!

If you could get paper cuts from a kindle, I should be covered in them now from changing the pages of this book rather quickly. I’d be lying if I said that I could put this book down. I would also be lying if I said that I wanted to put it down! Errrrrrrr no. I had to physically prise my kindle out of my own hands once the book had finished.

I loved the depth of this book as the author had managed to fill the storyline with so many entwining situations, yet merged them utterly seamlessly. Everything just flowed, and every single character had a right to be there (and no, I actually didn’t dislike any of the characters either!).

So, what DOES TWG think? It’s safe to say that ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ stole my heart and never gave it back. I fell in love with the setting. The characters. The overall feel of the book. Just…everything. Full of emotion, heart-warming moments, and envious friendships, ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ for me, ticked every single box and then some. It takes a really special author to be able to make you laugh and well up, both at the same time, yet Christie Barlow managed it yet again. I really have no idea how she does it, but she does.

I loved this book with all of my heart, and I truly feel that ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is Christie Barlow’s best book yet. Such a phenomenal and beautifully written novel.

‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ is full of joy, making memories, true friendships, and dreams – the perfect combination for a Christie Barlow novel. Once again the author has set the bar for her next novel extremely high, and once again I cannot WAIT to see what Christie Barlow comes up with next.

One of my most favourite authors of all time – without a doubt.

Huge thanks to the author and HarperImpulse.

Buy ‘The Cosy Canal Boat Dream’ on Amazon – NOW!

#Tour! #Review – The Big Dreams Beach Hotel – Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse

Big Dreams Blog Tour (1)
Thrilled to be one of the hosts on Lilly Bartlett’s publication day, today! Huge thanks to the author for personally inviting me to be a part of her blog tour. I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ with you to today. Enjoy!

Big Dreams Beach Hotel eBook UK

Wriggle your toes in the sand and feel the warm breeze on your face when you check into the hotel that’s full of dreams…

Three years after ditching her career in New York City, Rosie never thought she’d still be managing the quaint faded Victorian hotel in her seaside hometown.

What’s worse, the hotel’s new owners are turning it into a copy of their Florida properties. Flamingos and all. Cultures are clashing and the hotel’s residents stand in the way of the developers’ plans. The hotel is both their home and their family.

That’s going to make Rory’s job difficult when he arrives to enforce the changes. And Rosie isn’t exactly on his side, even though it’s the chance to finally restart her career. Rory might be charming, but he’s still there to evict her friends.

How can she follow her dreams if it means ending everyone else’s?

What does TWG think?

Even though I fell head over heels, madly in love with the cover of ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’, it took me a little while to fall in love with the storyline itself.

Rosie had her heart set of staying in the city that never sleeps. She wanted to be queen of the hill; number one if you will. She was adamant that if she could make it in New York, that she could make it anywhere. Annoying when life doesn’t go to plan, isn’t it?

‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ switches between Rosie’s past in New York, and her current life as a hotel manager in sunny Scarborough. Being back where it all started, wasn’t exactly part of Rosie’s five-year plan. But, then again, meeting a bloke named ‘Chuck’ in New York wasn’t part of the plan either, and look how that turned out! Well, you’ll look how that turned out when you read the book. #sorrynotsorry.

The only real irk I had with this book in my opinion, was how the lifestyle, time switches weren’t made clear enough. After a while I managed to work it out and caught the gist of it, but at first I was extremely confused and wondered where the hell the New York parts went!

Aside from that, I really did enjoy ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ as it had a completely different feel to the other hotel storylines already published. Take the hotel’s new owners for example; extremely bonkers and OTT, I had to keep reading to find out what lengths the owners were going to go, in order to make their mark on the Scarborough hotel. Without giving away too much, all I’m going to say is those parts are absolutely hilarious and, whilst I was brought up not to laugh at other people’s misfortunes – I just couldn’t help myself.

I didn’t know what to make of Rory at first, but I kept envisioning a ‘Clark Kent’ type of persona and I have no idea why. That’s not a bad thing by the way! I did find him a little…patronising though, but Rosie was written brilliantly and with such a kick ass attitude, I’m surprised she didn’t eat him alive!

Plenty of giggles, cringey moments, and real friendship; ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ is the perfect antidote for when antics in the real world are severely tragic – just like now.

Put the kettle on, grab a bar of chocolate (large size obviously), stick your phone on silent  and curl up with the enchanting, huggable, gigglefest from the brilliant, Lilly Bartlett.

Huge thanks to the author and Harper Impulse.

To buy your very own copy of ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’, click here!