#BlogTour! #Review – A Greek Affair by Linn.B.Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources

a greek affair full tour banner
With temperatures hitting the minuses today (ahem…..it sure feels like it!), I couldn’t be more excited if I tried as I head to Greece for my stop on the idyllic looking, ‘A Greek Affair’ by Linn.B.Halton! Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and of course thank you to the publisher, HarperImpulse for the ARC. Here is my review:

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More than just a holiday romance?

Her daughter, her job and divorcing her untrustworthy ex are Leah’s main priorities. She isn’t really bothered that her life might be missing a few things. But after winning a prestigious travel blogger award, she’s inundated with offers to review glamorous holiday destinations. Lying around drinking exotic cocktails and being paid for it! What could be better?

Perhaps a romantic trip to idyllic Greece to find the one man who might make Leah risk her heart again…

What does TWG think?

I have been sitting on this feeling from the moment I read it in the book, so bear with me whilst I just put this straight out there:

OMG LEAH’S EX IS AN ABSOLUTE END OF A BELL AND A COCKEREL OF THE BANKER WITH A W, VARIETY!!!!!!

-breathes-. Sorry. Who the heck does that?!?! Well, clearly he did but geez. I would say that I have no words but clearly I had a few above ha!!

I’m glad to have gotten that off my chest. So. Leah has tried her best to make a wonderful life for herself and her little girl, so much so, she ends up winning a travel blogger award! If Leah thought that she was busy before the win, she had no idea just how much has blog would blow up after the win. As weird as this sounds, I was so proud of her and what she had achieved whilst also bringing up her little girl herself. Yeah there were times where Leah felt like she couldn’t cope, but she kept going because she wasn’t going to be the second parent to walk out of her daughter’s life.

Like most, if not all, Linn.B.Halton’s novels, there is a man involved in this storyline, one which Leah ends up meeting unintentionally and finds that her world gets shaken up quicker than James Bond’s martini.

I adore Linn.B.Halton’s delectable storylines, and ‘A Greek Affair’ certainly was no different. Each of the characters were written from the heart, with so much care being taken as they were being created and their lives being built. I will admit that there was a character who left a sour taste in my mouth, aside from the god awful ex that is. Look, I was so happy for Leah, but there was something about the man who stole her heart which left me feeling nervous. Hopefully I don’t give anything away here, but the way he was so indecisive, needing to be convinced that Leah was the right way forward made me feel like he was being fake. You shouldn’t have to convince someone to be with you or make time for you. I wholeheartedly understand that he had his own personal issues, but he seemed to say one thing yet do something completely different, before changing his mind altogether.

Personally, I thought that the story was brilliantly written and I loved having such a strong, empowering woman as the main character. That said, I do think that the round-up, latter section of the novel wasn’t on par with the rest of the book due to the man in question. I actually think that ‘A Greek Affair’ could have come to a perfect conclusion whether he was there or not – his fakery annoyed me and I knew that Leah was far better than that.

Overall, ‘A Greek Affair’ left my heart cosy and my giggles exercised. A lovely, lovely, up-lifting novel, perfect for empowering readers everywhere.

Buy now!

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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
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About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’ Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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#BlogTour! #Review – #TheChestnutMan by Søren Sveistrup #SørenSveistrup @JennyPlatt90 @MichaelJBooks

Excuse my 1.5hr lateness, I have literally just finished reading it! I am very excited to be sharing my review of ‘The Chestnut Man’ by the writer of ‘The Killing’, Søren Sveistrup. Many thanks to Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

THE DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF THE KILLING

One blustery October morning in a quiet suburb of Copenhagen, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered in a playground and one of her hands is missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts. 

Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead – the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. 

The man who confessed to her murder is behind bars and the case is long since closed. 

Soon afterwards, another woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case, the murdered women and a killer who is spreading fear throughout the country. But what is it?

Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the murderer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

What does TWG think?

If you had said to me before I started blogging, that I would be reading a book about brutal killings, gruesome discoveries, and thrilling content which will make you hope that anything from your stomach stayed there, I would have burst out laughing. Seriously. I wouldn’t have wanted to read it, let alone enjoy it. It’s funny how things change though, isn’t it!! Fast forward nearly three years and I have read and enjoyed the exact book I said I wouldn’t read. Why? Because I like stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to books, and ‘The Chestnut Man’ certainly didn’t disappoint!

At just shy of 500 pages, ‘The Chestnut Man’ is quite a gutsy novel and, due to the intricate and detailed content throughout, the storyline does require a bit of brainpower and concentration. People usually associate chestnuts with Christmas time or as a snack in chocolate, whereas this author does not.

Chestnuts are heavily involved in this story (not just in the title), due to multiple killings where chestnuts are left at the scene of the crime in the form of a Chestnut man. Whilst it’s clear that no killing is a ‘usual’ killing, the fact that the sadistic ahem behind these killings enjoys amputating his victims, highlights the fact that they clearly aren’t textbook events. If there is such a thing, but I’m sure you know what I mean!

The details of the amputations are described very vividly early on in the book, as are the gruesome murders, both of which caused my face to contort in a very ugly manner. Usually said gruesome descriptions would have had me running for the hills, yet weirdly I couldn’t help but find myself gripping hold of the book even tighter. I was absolutely hooked. Who was ‘The Chestnut Man’? Why did he set his sights on particular people? Why were chestnuts even involved? Would Thulin and Hess ever reach the bottom of a case that just kept getting more and more complicated?

There are a lot of characters to keep tabs on in this book, and sometimes the too-ing and fro-ing between them all, as well as trying to remember who was who and who worked where, did end up making me a bit confused on more than one occasion. It took me a little while to slot all the characters into place in my mind, but once I did I found the storyline much smoother on that front.

I did struggle to gel with Thulin and Hess at times, but the fact that they were so different created fireworks in the story which were brilliant to read. I could understand their frustration though, as the case kept expanding quicker than they were solving it.

‘The Chestnut Man’ is a very in depth novel, but it is one that has been written in a way that made my jaw drop. The intensity through this book was out of this world, and the descriptions were brutal yet highly gripping. I couldn’t tear my eyes away even if I wanted to.

I had no idea what to expect from this book, however I have come away with a new author to watch and a storyline which I reckon I will be thinking about for a long time to come. Gruesomely thrilling – I’ll never look at a Chestnut in the same way ever again!!

‘The Chestnut Man’ will be published on the 10th January but is available to pre-order now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Extract from Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

Today I am delighted to be sharing an extract from ‘Love at the Northern Lights’ by Darcie Boleyn. Many thanks to Ellie and Canelo for asking me to be involved in the blog tour. Enjoy!

Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’

Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind – find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date – the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice…play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

Extract

In the airport cafe, Frankie tucked her suitcase under the table then wrapped her hands around the mug of coffee. She could see the entrance to the toilets from here and winced every time someone went in or came out, wondering if she’d see someone emerge carrying the tote bag of treats. The light was fading outside and she realized she had no idea what time it was or how long she’d been sitting there, lost in her thoughts.

Her bones ached and she wished she could curl up under the table and sleep. Instead, she picked up the almond croissant she’d purchased and ate it quickly, washing each mouthful down with coffee, aware that she needed to put something into her empty belly.

Soon, the croissant and coffee raised her blood sugar and the headache she’d blamed the tiara for began to fade. But there was still a question burning inside her: what was she going to do now?

‘What time’s your flight?’ The woman at the next table spoke into her mobile. ‘Uh… aha… right. Well, see you when we get there.’

She cut the call then looked at Frankie.

‘My brother.’ She waved the mobile. ‘He’s getting married in Cuba next week, so we’re heading out there early to take in some of the sights first.’

‘Cuba?’

‘Yes and I’m so excited. It’s my first holiday with my boyfriend too.’ Her eyes sparkled and her cheeks were rosy, presumably with the first flush of love.

‘That’s nice. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time.’

‘Thank you. Where are you going?’ The woman’s eyes flickered over Frankie’s tiara and she touched it self-consciously. It probably did look strange with her casual attire.

Frankie opened her mouth to answer, hoping something would spring to mind, but a tall sandy-haired man arrived at the woman’s table and she jumped up and hugged him, so Frankie was spared the embarrassment of admitting she had no idea. The couple gathered their bags then left the cafe arm in arm, leaving Frankie staring at the table they’d vacated. It must be wonderful to truly love someone. Sure, she’d enjoyed spending time with Rolo in the early days and they’d had some fun – in fact, she’d hoped it was love that she felt for him – but she’d never experienced a burning need to see him, to touch him and to be close to him. In reality, they’d been a lot more like polite acquaintances than lovers about to marry. Perhaps that had been because she’d known she didn’t really love him and had been holding back. And what had been holding her back? Not just a lack of love and desire but her need for independence. Her need to experience freedom, to know what it was like to be happy with who she was and what she was doing. Had she ever really had that sense of personal satisfaction?

No.

Not in her job. Not in her relationship. And certainly not in her home life, where even though her father had tried hard to fill the gap left by her mother, it had been there… a chasm of emptiness and sadness, a constant awareness that the woman who should have loved her more than anyone else had walked away from her and not cared whether she lived or died. It had also, unsurprisingly, been laced with a bitter anger.

Until she dealt with that, Frankie realized, she would never be able to move on and be happy.

She drained her coffee then opened her bag and pulled out her purse. She had a variety of credit cards and some cash, so she could easily book a flight. At the back of her purse, folded over, was something she carried with her. Always. She pulled it out and unfolded it, then pressed it flat on the table and gazed at the image of a snow-covered landscape. It was dark and the trees cast bushy shadows across the ground. It made Frankie shiver just imagining how cold it must be there. But above the snow, brightening the dark sky with swathes of luminous green, blue and purple, were the northern lights.

Every time Frankie had looked at this postcard over the years since she’d turned eighteen, something had tugged at her heart and made her yearn to see these lights in person. They were beautiful, mystical, magical. Even though she’d read about them and knew their true cause, Frankie still believed that there was magic in nature if it could create such beauty. And, of course, she wondered if her mother had seen these lights… if she had thought of her daughter as she watched the shimmering display.

Her mother had sent cards every year on birthdays and at Christmas when she was growing up. They had been pretty cards featuring beautiful paintings but the messages inside had been brief, almost impersonal, as if her mother had either not cared to write more or had been holding back. However, now that she thought about it and tried to rationalize it, perhaps her mother had cared if she was alive and well. She’d noted every changing of the year in her daughter’s life, hadn’t she? And yet… how much did sending a card really prove? Was her mother actually just assuaging her conscience and nothing more?

Frankie wanted to believe that it was more than just that but what proof did she have other than cards?

She turned the card over and ran her eyes over the familiar words, words she knew without needing to read them, but still, looking at them again helped her confirm that they were real and not a figment of her imagination.

[display postcard]

Dear Frances,

Happy 18th Birthday. I knew this day would come and yet, I cannot believe how the years have flown. Now that you are an adult, I feel able to give you my address. Please know that you are welcome to come and visit me anytime you wish. I would love to see you. However, I understand if you do not want to come. I will not contact you again unless I hear from you, because I don’t want to trouble you if you would prefer not to hear from me.

Yours truly,

Freya X

[/display]

The postcard had arrived in a sealed envelope, presumably to prevent Grandma from reading the message, and Freya’s address was printed in the top-right corner, leaving her to make the decision. She had not gone when she was eighteen, nor when she was twenty-one, nor when she turned twenty-nine. It had seemed better to leave things as they were, to build her own life and not rake up the past. She didn’t want to hurt her father or upset her grandmother, and knew that visiting her mother could well do both. Her grandmother was a stern, aloof woman, but she had always been around – she had not left Frankie behind – and because of that, Frankie owed her loyalty – although her behaviour earlier today had made Frankie question her grandmother’s motives. Her father had been a kind and caring parent, but he had a haunted quality about him, as if he’d never recovered from losing his wife. Frankie had felt protective of him, even though he had been the adult and she the child.

Buy now from Amazon.

About the author.

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

 

#BlogTour! #Review – A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas01) @headlinepg @bookish_becky @AnneCater

I have just this moment finished reading ‘A Winter Beneath the Stars’, hence the blog post now! However many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.

The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.

On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…

What does TWG think?

It was made clear from the onset that Halley had a story to tell. What that story entailed, however, was something the readers weren’t made aware of until later in the story. Now, there may be a few readers who would be able to read between the lines where Griff was concerned, but either way, the emotion behind Halley’s story is incredible strong, regardless of what point in the story it became clear for you personally.

As a courier, Halley’s job has taken her all over the world, embarking on adventures she would never have dreamed of before. Like the one in Sweden. After all, it’s not everyday you find yourself digging holes for the dogs now, is it?

I haven’t read many books set in Swedish Lapland, but I have to say that it was such a refreshing change. And no, I don’t mean because of the snow! It was just a unique experience following the journey of a reindeer herder – I can’t say I have ever felt the need to Google it before because, naively, I thought that there wouldn’t be much to it. Boy was I wrong, and wow what a lovely way of finding out about it. As daft as this sounds, I genuinely felt as though I was with Halley all the way, taking on the challenges with her, facing the fears which she had kept locked up for many years. Such a powerful experience for sure.

Jo Thomas is brilliant at telling stories – not only does she set the scene beautifully, she writes with such grace which allows her characters to flourish at their full potential, even when they emotions are being put under the spotlight.

‘A Winter Beneath the Stars’ is such a poignant and heartwarming novel, I didn’t know whether to laugh alongside the characters, or join them as they shed tears. Such a wonderfully written and eye-opening read – Jo Thomas has covered me in goosebumps once again. I loved it.

Buy 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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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 – Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell (@angelabritnell) @choclituk @rararesources

First up on the blog this evening is my review for Angela Britnell’s ‘Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat’. Huge thanks, as always, to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas? 
When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer.

But what she didn’t bank on was meeting Tom Chambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Fee finally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life – and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas?

What does TWG think?

What a lovely little book this is! I actually found it quite comforting which, even after reading parts of the storyline that were highly emotive, I felt quite comforted by the characters and their lives.

Fee Winter is needing a bit of respite. Her life has been travelling down the fast lane for goodness knows how long, and her health is suffering as a result of that. One thing I loved most about Fee was her feisty naivety. She wasn’t a person who had spent a lot of time taking part in family traditions or being looked after daily by loved ones, so watching her in that situation showed how inexperienced she was which was a shame, yet also endearing.

I could tell a mile off what was going to pan out for Fee in the romantic sense, but watching it unfold was something different altogether. Some might say that it was a perfect match!

I will admit that Tom Chambers charm worked wonders from a reader point of view, even though there were times when I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and tell him to stop being such an arrogant doofus. That said, Tom didn’t exactly have a plain sailing past behind him and it was very powerful to watch his heart flourish.

Can I just say….oh Mee Maw – what a woman!!! My family had our own version of her! Heck, don’t most families? She had to be my most favourite character alongside little LuLu – Angela Britnell certainly puts her heart and soul into her characters, that’s for sure!!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat’ and, even though the title shows hints of festivities, the storyline isn’t a glitter dump of baubles and everything else. It’s subtly done which is ideal as that means this book can be read all throughout the year.

A lovely, comforting, uplifting novel – an absolute pleasure to read.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

 

Social Media Links – 

www.facebook.com/angelabritnell

www.twitter.com/angelabritnell

www.angelabritnellromance.com

https://www.instagram.com/angelagolleybritnell/

#BlogTour! #Review – #AlaskanHoliday by Debbie Macomber (@debbiemacomber) @arrowpublishing @Rachel90Kennedy

I am so very sorry for the delay in getting this blog post up. It was meant to be part of the blog tour but for the last two weeks I have had, and still have, issues with my internet. I’m trying to clear the backlog of blog tour posts as quickly as I can, so do bear with me.

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review of Debbie Macomber’s, ‘Alaskan Holiday’. Many thanks to Rachel Kennedy for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

An uplifting tale of finding unexpected love in the Alaskan wilderness from bestselling author, Debbie Macomber.

Before beginning her new job as sous chef at one of Seattle’s finest restaurants, Josie Stewart takes on a six-month position cooking at a lodge in an Alaskan lake town. It’s only temporary–or so she thinks, as she becomes a valued part of the local community, falling in love with the people who call the Klutina Lake home.

But one man, in particular, stands out among the rest of Josie’s new friends: an intriguing swordsmith whose very existence forces her to question whether her heart wants to return to Washington at all.

What does TWG think?

How have I not read a Debbie Macomber novel before? Well, until this one obviously! I think I even have several of her books on my shelves! After reading ‘Alaskan Holiday’, I am uberly ashamed with myself for not delving into the realms of Debbie Macomber’s mind before now. Seriously.

Set in Alaska (yes, state the obvious I know!), Josie has found herself becoming part of the community as she reaches the end of her temporary job cooking in the local lodge. Not only has she won the hearts of the community with her scrumptious plates of food, she has also won the heart of the local swordsmith, Palmer. Unfortunately for him, Josie has a life waiting for her back in Seattle as she plans to embark on the cooking career of her dreams. At what price though?

I thought Jack, Palmer’s friend was like a big kid in a sweet shop! Yes his personality was a little bit brash at times, but his heart was in the right place and I felt that he kept Palmer on the straight and narrow in a weird and wonderful way. It was pretty clear that Palmer had fallen head over heels in love with the local cook – was there any reason to be so arrogant about it though? I’ve heard that love can do weird things to people, granted, however Palmer seemed to take it to a whole new level!

‘Alaskan Holiday’ didn’t blow my mind as such, yet I adored the whole premise of the book and felt that the storyline was perfectly in sync with the characters and the paths which they had each chosen. I loved how the story wasn’t heavy which meant that I was able to zoom through it in one sitting.

‘Alaskan Holiday’ is the ideal escapist read for any time of the year. Even though it may be set in a place that is absolutely freezing, the level of romance throughout the entire novel is enough to keep anyone warm. This definitely won’t be the last Debbie Macomber read of mine, that’s for sure!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Palm Beach, Finland by Antti Tuomainen (@antti_tuomainen) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

First Palm Beach BT Poster
Apologies for the late post, but day two of the blog tour is here and I am delighted to be sharing my review of Antti Tuomainen’s new novel, ‘Palm Beach, Finland’. Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

PALM BEACH PROOF COVER AW
Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear … Sun Protection Factor 100

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.

With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives – chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.

What does TWG think?

Seeing as Antti Tuomainen’s previous novel, ‘The Man Who Died’, found itself in my ‘Top Books of 2017’ list, I had high hopes for his latest novel, ‘Palm Beach, Finland’.

So, the burning question is; did it live up to my expectations?

Short answer: yessssssss, I think.

Long answer: I have no idea what to make of this book! I can’t put my finger on what made it for me, but it did live up to my expectations in its own unique and brilliant way. Just like the authors previous book, I found myself wondering ‘whaaaaa?’ many times throughout the story, yet I ended up becoming even more intrigued the more of the book I read. Now, I am still unsure as to whether that is intrigue as in the ‘dun dun dunnnn’ sense, or whether it was because of how utterly bonkers (in a good way) it was.

The setting was described beautifully, which was a massive thumbs up for me as I have never been to Finland, and the storyline contained multiple criminals and a lot of criminal activity. That said, it wasn’t done in a taxing manner, nor did it scare the flamingos out of me either – it was just a perfect balance of people getting above their station, along with multiple characters who didn’t know their backsides from their elbows, making me giggle along the way.

Even though this book is written with the truth at the start, I was excited about connecting the dots to said event, wondering which character fell into the path along the way and why. The to-ing and fro-ing between the characters was very cleverly written, as was entire vibe of the novel.

Like I said before, I really don’t know what to make of this book, but rest assured, it isn’t anything negative. I adore Tuomainen’s unique writing style which combines criminal activity with comedic activity, a combination I never knew was possible until I read this author. I may always find myself thinking ‘what the heck?!’ every time I read his novels, but I promise you it is definitely thought with a smile on my face as I sped through the pages not wanting this book to end.

Buy now!

About the author.

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary
debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was
published two years later. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of
Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.

#BlogTour! #Review – Costa Del Churros by Isabella May (@IsabellaMayBKS) @RaRaResources


I am delighted to be popping on my dancing shoes for today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘Costa Del Churros’ by Isabella May. Many thanks, as always, to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


The rain in Spain doesn’t mainly fall on the plain…

Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more than the sweetness of churros with
chocolate dipping sauce to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.

Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town’s flamboyant flamenco teacher! But can she
really be the answer to their prayers?

One thing’s for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same again.

What does TWG think?

Every time I see this cover on social media, my stomach lets out a hugely embarrassing growl. I have never had churros before. I mean, I’ve wanted to, who wouldn’t? Please say that I’m not the only one who gets rather hungry after seeing this cover…please?

Strictly Come Dancing may be about to kick off this weekend here in the UK, but Carmen Maria is fox trotting her way to teach people how to flamenco (see what I did there?). However, the four ladies who end up taking Carmen’s class, end up getting more than they bargained for as their friendship becomes united thanks to the art of dance.

At first, my opinion of ‘Costa Del Churros’ was awfully jaded as I struggled to find the link between the four characters the storyline focuses on. The four ladies couldn’t have been more chalk and cheese if they had tried and, whilst I wanted to like them, I couldn’t gel with them for quite a while.

That said, the more I learnt about them and their situation, the more empathetic I became. What started off as quite a slow burner, ended up becoming a novel which kept me thoroughly entertained. Isabella May’s humour is brilliantly entwined throughout the storyline from start to finish, giving her readers excellent one liners to feast on as they dream of the churros on the cover.

I do like a multiple viewpoint novel, but despite my earlier reservations, I found that the characters worked incredibly well together. I was just a little disappointed by the fact that I couldn’t gel with them as quickly as I would have liked.

A light-hearted, witty novel which brings the Spanish sunshine to you in only a way that Isabella May can.

Buy now!

Giveaway!

To be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Isabella’s previous novel, ‘The Cocktail Bar’, all you need to do is click the link below. Good luck!

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 now!

About the author.

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively
inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new
cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be
found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s
magazine, The Glass House Girls – http://www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to
subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince
(The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her
imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from
the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

Social Media Links

http://www.isabellamayauthor.com
Twitter – @ IsabellaMayBks
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/

#BlogTour! #Review -Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas (@jo_thomas1) @AnneCater @HeadlinePG @Bookish_Becky @DavidHHeadley

jothomas
I am so very excited to be today’s stop on the blog tour for ‘Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard’ by Jo Thomas. Big thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

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It’s time for Beti Winter to dance to her own beat.

After three failed engagements Beti is in desperate need of a fresh start. What better place than the sun-drenched hills of southern Spain?

But it’s not all sangria and siestas. Beti finds work on an old Andalucian cherry farm where there are cherries to be picked, trees to be watered and her fiery boss, Antonio, to win over.

As the sun toasts her skin, Beti finds herself warming to the Spanish way of life. Embracing the art of flamenco, she discovers there is much to learn from the dance of passion. She just has to let loose and listen to the rhythm of her heart.

What does TWG think?

I started this book this morning (I know, cutting it fine), but fast forward 4 hours and I was sitting with the closed (and finished) book on my lap feeling as though I had been given a new lease of life.

Beti’s uncle and cousin have honed in on her for years, taking the Mickey out everything she has done (or not done) in her life so far. They seem to think that having three engagements, two of which ended up being failed, is something to laugh about. Even though, deep down, Beti knows that she shouldn’t take their comments to heart, she can’t help but feel her confidence getting chipped away with every knifey comment they send her way. Beti has had enough of living without enjoyment, and she ends up persuading her fiancé, Will, to uproot to Spain where her dream of owning a bar waits for her. Unfortunately, luck isn’t on Beti’s side and things don’t go to plan.

Oh my, what a gorgeous book this is! I did start and finish this book this morning, I was being totally serious with that comment! I couldn’t put the book down, and to be honest, I didn’t actually want it to leave my hands. I felt so sorry for Beti, but I was absolutely livid with Will. What sort of person does that?! I think he got off lightly, I really do. I know that Beti was determined to make her dream a reality and didn’t want to live in the past and, whilst that is certainly commendable, I couldn’t help but feel that Will didn’t get what he deserved at all. Maybe it’s because I am quite a fiery person that made me think he needed to pay for what he had done.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of cherries AT ALL, yet after reading Jo Thomas’ latest novel, I felt like I wanted to pick one up and eat it. How strange! I think the cherry farm got under my skin in more ways than one, as did other wonderful things in the little Spanish village.

Jo Thomas has such a beautiful way with words – I was blown away by her vivid descriptions, her tantalising way of bringing smells and food items to life, as well as her phenomenal characters. I can often be quite guarded when it comes to some characters, yet Beti, Miguel, Antonio, and Frank (to name a few) made ‘Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard’ such a rich, indulgent, life affirming novel which had me dusting off my own dreams in no time.

I know people say that it is quite easy to follow your dreams if you really want them, but Jo Thomas certainly proves that everyone is different, with some people struggling with their confidence to sit there and say ‘I will own my dreams’. Take a look at Beti. She went through personal heartbreak and professional hard graft, both which ended up taking a bit of time, all to reach her dreams without settling for less. There are people who cannot make their dreams become a reality because they don’t have the resources that some other people do, nor do they have the luck of others. Or maybe their face might not fit. I am one of those people, so finding a character like Beti which I ended up relating to, made me feel far less alone. That probably sounds incredibly daft, but Beti’s face didn’t fit. She didn’t know where she belonged. She knew what she wanted from her life, yet she couldn’t quite grasp it.

‘Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard’ put a massive smile on my face, fire in my belly, and hope in my heart during a time where I couldn’t have needed it more. I absolutely loved reading every page of this book, as well as learning a bit more about Spain.

A beautifully written, heart-felt, poignant, fiery and outstanding novel which will be staying in my heart for a very, very long time, guaranteed.

Buy now!

About the author.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC
Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo
won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was
a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon
Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale
of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.