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

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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.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Sky’s The Limit by Janie Millman (@ChezCastillon) @DomePress


Final blog tour for today ‘Sky’s the Limit’ by Janie Millman. Huge thanks to Dome Press for the blog tour and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:


Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again.

To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.

In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky these lead to France, to a beautiful chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a read which has the ability to transport you overseas quicker than you can walk upstairs and put on your pyjama’s, ‘Sky’s the Limit’ will definitely be your cup of tea. Now, I have to admit that I am not very well-travelled at all. Well, unless you count fictionally because in that case I am VERY well-travelled! The only places I have been to are England and Scotland, and seeing as I have lived in both of those countries, there is nothing like keeping it close to home, eh! Life recently as been extremely horrendous so the fact that I was able to jet off to Marrakesh and France without worrying about money, packing and what not, was a very welcome distraction, and one which kept my soul working overtime.

I think soul’s work, don’t they? Oh well, they do now! Janie Millman is a new author for me, but just as her book title states, the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ where this author is concerned, that’s for sure! Personally, I felt the elements of self discovery in the storyline the most poignant and the ones I was able to relate to completely. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Sky’s the Limit’ was jam-packed with romance, intensity, fresh starts, and complicated relationships, and whilst they were all executed incredibly well, I couldn’t help but use the escapism and self discovery as antidotes for my own selfish reasons.

Janie Millman is a beautiful storyteller who is able to transport her readers in the blink of an eye. I did find the storyline a little bit difficult to get into at first, but once I became accustom to Millman’s unique storytelling and enchanting characters, I soon found myself becoming part of the furniture where this story was concerned.

An entertaining, enchanting, and thought-provoking novel, an ideal read for anytime, anywhere, anyone.

Buy from Amazon

#BlogTour! #CharacterReview of ‘Ellie’ from #TheSecretsofVillaRosso by Linn.B.Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


I have something a little bit different for you all today, as I have already had the pleasure of reviewing ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’, I will be doing a character review of main character, Ellie, instead! Thank you to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and to both her and the author for allowing me to do something different for my tour stop today. Enjoy!


Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her
job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect
escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels
to the estate’s director Max Jackson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the
rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the
undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about
this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

Character review – Ellie

So, Ellie, a character who is bound to get readers talking for various reasons, but just how far can I delve into those reasons without giving anything away? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Ellie has been asked to go on a business trip to Italy, and of course she agreed. Who wouldn’t? What Ellie didn’t bargain for was a connection to local man, Max Jackson. Ellie is someone who doesn’t quite know her true worth, especially when she has a husband at home who seems to want to knock his wife’s confidence, instead of being the cheerleader she so desperately needs. Personally, I had everything crossed that Ellie would see sense where her husband was concerned, by telling him where to go so that she can live the life she unknowingly wants.

I loved how bubbly and warm-hearted Ellie’s personality was; it was really difficult not to fall under her spell! No wonder Max Jackson was awfully taken with her! Although to be fair to him, Ellie is an extremely determined woman, so I can’t exactly put all of the blame onto him. I don’t think that Ellie is one of the strongest characters Linn B Halton has written, but she is definitely one that will leave a mark for a lot of readers. I’m all for independence, so when Ellie chose to go to Italy, I felt a different side of her personality come alive. It’s just a shame that she hadn’t felt comfortable to dust the cobwebs from that particular side around her husband.

All in all, I thought that Ellie was a fun character to read about, but one who also showed signs of low self-esteem towards herself, and nervousness towards her future.

Buy ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’ – now!

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn – 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
Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); 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.

Social Media Links

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton and @LucyColemanAuth
Facebook: LinnBHaltonAuthor

#BlogTour! #Review – #ConfettiAndConfusion by Daisy James (@daisyjamesbooks) @canelo_co


I am so excited to be reviewing the next instalment in Daisy James’ new serial, ‘Confetti and Confusion’. Big thank you, as always, to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


The Paradise Cookery School is officially open!

Stepping in for a celebrity chef, Millie Harper is feeling the pressure to make the first ever
Paradise Cookery School classes a dazzling success and ensure that bride-to-be Imogen
and friends have an unforgettable experience.

Meanwhile, Millie is trying to play it cool around handsome estate manager Zach Barker. But
whenever he is near Millie cannot fail to notice the chemistry between them – until someone
from Zach’s past arrives and any potential romance seems out of the question.

When disaster strikes and the wedding is in jeopardy, Millie realises she may have to go
above and beyond to make sure the school is a success. Can Millie manage to create a day
that dreams are made of, and will she find a way to tell Zach how she feels?

What does TWG think?

Oh I am so glad that I got to catch up with Millie and Ella at ‘The Paradise Cookery School’! I absolutely adored the first book in the series, ‘Sunshine and Secrets’, so I couldn’t wait to head back to the Caribbean to find out what was in store for Millie this time around.

‘Confetti and Confusion may be the second book from ‘The Paradise Cookery School’ series, but I definitely do recommend that you read the books in order otherwise you may find that you’re missing out on the start of Millie’s journey and how she found herself in the Caribbean in the first place.

Despite this book being quite compact at around 160 pages, it certainly packs a punch! Millie isn’t sitting twiddling her thumbs or topping up her tan, in fact she is run off her feet as she takes a detour from the Paradise Cookery School owner, Claudia, best laid plans! I can guarantee that helping a bride-to-be wasn’t part of the plan at all, but because Millie has got a heart of gold, she can’t sit back and watch a wedding day go to ruins because of someone else.

Of course, whilst romance is prominent in this storyline due to Imogen’s upcoming wedding, Millie’s new friends are watching her closely to see if she finally plucks up the courage to let a certain man know just how she really feels. Well, it might help if she stopped falling over her feet, especially if HE gets to be her knight in shining every time, being none the wiser to Millie’s true feelings…

I will be devastated when this series finishes as it has got to be my most favourite serial that Daisy James has written to date. There is something very special about Millie, and Daisy James has done a fabulous job by bringing her true personality to life by mixing Millie with some rather colourful people, as well as taking her out of her comfort zone.

‘Confetti and Confusion’ made me giggle and left me grinning from ear to ear. What a truly fabulous, spirited, and huggable little read this is. I absolutely loved it and will be recommending this series until I am blue in the face. More please!!

Buy now from Amazon

Buy now from Kobo

About the author.

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing
stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her
summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She
loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of
afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

What a difference, a day makes – or in this case, the month of May! #MonthlyRoundUp #TopBook (@NoelleHarrison @bwpublishing)

The Writing Garnet's Book of the Month is......
It isn’t often that I do a monthly roundup, purely because I often forget. However, I felt the urge to do one for the month of May because I feel that I have to speak out about a few things, and what better way to do it than in a roundup post! #KillTwoBirdsWithOneStone

So, what happened in May?

The highlights!

– TWG was involved in 52 blog tours, the highest amount of blog tours in one month, ever!
– I met up with author, Mary-Jayne Baker, in Edinburgh for bookish chat.
– My TWG Facebook page  hit 1602 likes!
– I went over 5000 followers on Twitter, despite starting with around 100 or so when I started blogging two years ago.
– I found myself being quoted yet another book cover (thanks Bookouture!), as well as being quoted on Amazon itself!
– I received so many wonderful proof copies through the post, as well as being approved for other many awesome books on Netgalley. Big thank you to the publishers/publicists who have either sent me books or approved me. You’re all amazing!
– I have had many wonderful bookish chats with my fellow book buddies on social media – love you all!

There have been, I’m sure, many other highlights but it is quite difficult to remember them all when you make yourself do so! Like most things, there is always a downside:

The Lowlights.

May was the month where I was trolled on social media not once, but twice in the matter of one week. Now, despite being told that other people have had similar and just to ignore, for me that isn’t easy and I’ll tell you why. From the age of five, I was horrifically bullied, tormented for the hair on my arms to how I spoke, being pushed into brick walls to then having a metal sellotape holder slammed down on my knuckles. I was even told that I was fat day in, day out, where I ended up battling with anorexia and bulimia. Whilst I would love to say that the bullied ended quickly, it didn’t. For some, comments on social media are like water off a ducks back. But for me, when they come across as personal attacks, similar circumstances or not, I find them to be a trigger. It isn’t nice because it then sets off my mental health which in turn sets off my chronic illnesses. Thankfully I have drawn a line under that, but I just wanted to speak about that.

Another lowlight in May involved the entire blogging community and the idea of ‘paid reviews’. I won’t get into it again, but I am sick and tired of hard working bloggers getting thrown under the bus by people who can waltz in without giving a damn about integrity or hard work. I don’t charge for my book reviews, and I don’t intend on doing so. I review because I love books and because I feel that I am forever in authors debts for writing books which allow me to escape my daily hell. And yes, it is often hell.

Again, another one which involved the entire book blogging community was when it became known that someone was selling ARCs/proof copies on Ebay. The fact that it says somewhere on the proof ‘not to be resold or used for quotation’, is neither here nor there…..clearly. Seriously, receiving proof copies from publishers/publicists is an honour and I feel privileged to be able to receive some amazing books through my letter box. Would I then go on to sell them on Ebay? Like fuck would I. Respect is earned, not given. Respect isn’t an entitlement, it’s a privilege.

The following lowlight is a personal one for me and one which I have ummed and ahhed about saying. Those who know me personally, or those who have read my previous posts, will know that I am rather lacking in the ‘healthy’ area, with illnesses such as fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, joint hypermobility syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, IBS, anxiety and depression, under my belt. It’s bad enough dealing with all of that, but now, after years of battling with doctors who told me it was ‘all in my head’ and being looked at like I had two heads, I am now being treated for CFS otherwise known as ME. I was also put on a new medication, one which isn’t going to become my bestie anytime soon that’s for sure (amitriptyline). Coming to terms with yet another illness at the ripe ‘old’ age of 28 is heart-breaking, and once again I’m left feeling like I am grieving a part of me now gone. Although to be fair, I’m surprised that there is anything left of ‘me’ to grieve but y’know! I want to say a personal thank you to a person who has been checking in with my every few days despite going through their own issues, and that big thank you is for Abbie Rutherford – your friendship means a lot to me, thank you for being there for me <3.

Enough of the lowlights, lets talk books!

With 52 blog tours in one month, I got through quite a lot of books in May such as:

#Review – The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton (@bookish_yogi) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano (@DebbieViggiano) @Bookouture

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Lead Me Home by CS Savage (@sarahsavage26) @BloodhoundBook

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @RaRaResources @HarperImpulse

#BlogTour! #Review – #SunshineandSweetPeas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @simonschusteruk

& many, many more.

It is such an honour to be involved in the blog tours/blog blitzes for incredible books, so thank you to the publishers who invite me to take part!

If I did have to choose just one book from May, it would have to be ‘The Gravity of Love’ by Noelle Harrison. That book blew my mind like nothing before, plus I managed to make the author AND the publishing team cry with my review. I loved everything about the book and everything it stood for, and I am sure that you will too. In case you missed my review the first time round, you can read it again here:

#BlogTour! #Review – The Gravity of Love by Noelle Harrison (@NoelleHarrison) @bwpublishing

The Writing Garnet is going from strength to strength and I can only thank you all for supporting me along my journey, sharing my blog posts/tweets, inviting me on tours, and involving me in a community that sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough to be in. It is such a joy to be able to share my love of books with you all, so thank you <3.

What’s coming up in June?

As it stands, I have 40 blog tours in my diary for this month already. I expect that to go up when I realise that I have included all of the tours by forgetting to write some of them down (it happens, but I do post them on time!). We are on the 5th June and I will have taken part in 11 blog tours by the end of today. Insane, but amazing. I don’t have many other bookish plans for June at the moment, well, apart from the usual, but I am looking forward to reading some fabulous books!

Lots of love and books,

TWG x

#BlogTour! #Review – One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft (@SueMoorcroft) and an #Extract @AvonBooksUK

Blog Tour Banner-5
Another summery book for you all today, but this time we are going to Italia! Isn’t it ironic that I am reviewing books about summer, yet it is chucking it down with rain outside? Typical! I am delighted to be sharing my review, as well as an extract, of ‘One Summer in Italy’ by Sue Moorcroft. Big thank you to Avon Books for the tour invite, as well as the beautiful ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

What does TWG think?

Don’t be fooled by the stunning cover of this book, because there is a lot more to the storyline than blue seas and lemon tress! And no, that is not a bad thing!

Sue Moorcroft is brilliant at incorporating heart-warming and deeper situations, with the more care free and relaxed moments, and she has done it once again where ‘One Summer in Italy’ is concerned. Now, as I don’t read blurbs, I focus on the cover of a book and I have to be honest, I did think that this novel was going to be more of a light-hearted read. Whilst it did contain a light-hearted element, the book also contained a lot more than I gave the cover credit for. As the well known saying goes; ‘looks can be deceiving’ (no, that isn’t a bad thing!).

Sofia made a promise to her dying father. Well, to tell you the truth, she made several, with some seeming a lot more easier than others. With her fathers wishes in mind, Sofia heads to Italy to see if she can find the answers to questions that have remained unanswered for many years. What Sofia didn’t expect however, was to end up befriending a teenage girl who needed someone to guide her, and to end up finding out a secret that could change her new friends life, forever.

Sofia is the type of character that has the type of personality many readers would take a shine to, as she comes across a truly genuine and relatable character from the word go. I did feel for her when she found herself being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, so I wasn’t too impressed with Levi for putting her in that position. That said, Levi had been put in a ‘devil you do, devil you don’t’ situation himself, with both characters wanting the best for Amy for various different reasons.

I thought it was hilarious how Sofia pretty much gunned for Levi the moment she met him, and it showed a fiery side to her that I think I had underestimated her for. Thoroughly entertaining if I do say so myself!!

Sue Moorcroft is an author who never fails to deliver, and one who seems to get better and better with every book she produces. I have to say that Sofia has got to be one of my most favourite main characters that Sue Moorcroft has written so far, with Levi coming in a close second. The energy between the two of them was charged, but it was also unpredictable which I found exciting.

‘One Summer in Italy’ is definitely a story which has the ability to take you on a journey of self discovery, whilst also ensuring that you keep an open mind for anything you discover along the way. Sofia and Amy are proof that life isn’t all lemon trees and blue seas, yet they are also proof that, with determination and hard work, life can turn into the ‘blue skies and no goodbyes’ life that everyone dreams of. You just have to believe in yourself.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract

Nearer the town centre the residences petered out and the road became lined with shops
and eating places, until Via Virgilio widened into Piazza Roma. Here the buildings were three or even four storeys, painted in earthy tones from ivory to apricot and umber, creating shade for the people passing by or sitting on benches along the way. A giant cartwheel sat in the centre with an old water pump and a profusion of flowers.

The cobbles were laid in fan shapes, old and uneven enough to bear witness to a million
treading feet. One building of honey-coloured stone had a sweeping ornamental arch built into it and when Sofi a stopped gazing up at cornices, wrought iron and shutters long enough to walk through, she found herself in Piazza Santa Lucia, faced with the gracefully imposing building that was Santa Lucia church.

The Palladian front was rendered and painted palest lemon with white raised plasterwork surrounding the circular windows and forming mock columns and niches. Both of the huge carved wooden doors were closed but the door-within-a-door in the one on the left stood slightly open as if to reassure the parishioners that they could visit any time. The upper storey curved and narrowed until it met the triangular gable.

Her father had been raised a Catholic; her mother had not. Sofia hadn’t been baptised or
even attended church very often, but she thought she’d be OK to enter as her shorts were
bermudas and her top wasn’t low-cut. Following Aurora’s directions, she made her way
around the outside of the church, where the walls were of unrendered stone, to a plain door. After hovering a moment, she knocked and entered a tall, cool, silent foyer that smelt of dust and incense. The door snapped to behind her, shutting out the sunlight.

#BlogTour! #Review – Dreaming of St Tropez by TA Williams (@TAWilliamsBooks) @Canelo_

Dreaming of St-Tropez
The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…

After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.

Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal. Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez.

The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…

Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the
process?

What does TWG think?

You know, I don’t think I have ever read a TA Williams’ novel that I ended up disliking. Reading this authors work is like a breath of fresh air every time a page is turned. He never disappoints, with his latest novel, ‘Dreaming of St Tropez‘ being no exception.

Whilst this particular storyline doesn’t set off fireworks with its pace, the story is full of such likeable and memorable characters. The dog included. I’ve always thought of St Tropez to be a rich persons holiday destination, with visitors being more likely to sip a martini rather than necking a bottle of blue WKD and showing of their blue tongues. However, TA Williams’ changed my opinion rather drastically by describing the destination itself in such a vivid manner – I now want to go and visit! To be honest, I said that about the authors previous book when he took us on a journey to Florence!

As always, TA Williams incorporates romance into his storylines at any given opportunity. Not that I’m complaining, obviously, as the author does it well. I did however, think that Jess’ romantic endeavours were a little too predictable, making my eyebrows raise instead of my heart fluttering. I have to admit here that I am not at all a romantic person, so I blame myself here haha.

With all that in mind, I really did enjoy reading ‘Dreaming of St Tropez‘ as I was able to lose myself in someone else’s daydream, believing for a few moments that life can truly be all about dogs…and yachts.

A relaxing, care free, and fun-filled novel which takes you on a journey you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

Buy now.

About the author.

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish
mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

 

#BlogBlitz! #Review – One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

One Summer In Rome PDP
Happy publication day, Samantha Tonge, and ‘One Summer in Rome’! I am delighted to be taking part in the publication day blitz for Samantha’s novel by sharing my review. Big thanks to Rachel for the tour invite, and HQDigitalUK for the ARC.

one summer final cover
To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a
one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.
Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the
utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love
with the bustling capital!

Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems
displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for
long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…

What does TWG think?

I took a lot away from ‘One Summer in Rome’, a lot more than I expected actually, and yes that is a good thing!

First of all, let me give this book cover a bit of loving’ – how gorgeous does that look by the way! I can almost feel the heat radiating from the sunshine. Now, I have never been to Italy and, whilst it has been a dream of mine to go, I feel as though I took a trip to the Italian capital thanks to Samantha Tonge and her latest offering.

Mary Smith hasn’t had an easy life. She’s been pushed from pillar to post for as long as she can remember, but due to the fact that her scars are still raw, Mary knows that she needs to do something drastic before her life runs away without her. Some people may get an image overhaul or enrol in further education to get into their dream career. Some, yes. Mary however, no. What does she go and do? Purchases a one way ticket to Rome to work in a family pizzeria business. Drastic? Perhaps. Ideal? Damn right! There’s nothing like changing your life by visiting a new country with everything crossed that you can make a new life over there. I thought she was brave although a little bonkers! Good on her though!

It didn’t take too long for the idyllic, Italian lifestyle Mary so badly craved, to take her under its wing. It also didn’t take long for Mary to realise that working in a family run business wasn’t all homely and cosy as she first thought. It was clear that several of her new colleagues had their own challenges that they had to battle on a daily basis and, whilst Mary knew that it wasn’t her business to pry, she couldn’t help but lend an ear to any member of her new Italian family. The only thing was, who was going to take it?

Whilst part of me thought that this book was going to be an easy-read (in a good way), it actually turned out to be an easy-read with such intense depth, I’m surprised the wind wasn’t blown out of my sails. No, that is not a negative, it’s a bloomin’ good thing! I never expected the storyline to have a serious side to it. Yes it caught me off guard, but because I was surprised by the path the storyline chose to take, I found that certain events shocked me in more of an emotional manner than just an ‘omg what?!’ manner.

Dante is such an inspirational character. To be honest, they all are. Each character had their own story to tell due to what they had been through or were currently going through, and I found that the difference in dynamic between each of the characters was absolutely fantastic to read. It just worked one hundred percent. I am in awe at how many hurdles Samantha Tonge managed to create for her characters, whilst also describing each character’s situation with such sensitivity, realism, and empathy. I am sure it took a lot of research to nail so many different situations, but it certainly paid off that’s for sure!

If I were to write about each individual thing that resonated with me, I would be here a while and get my wrists slapped for spoilers. A lot of ‘One Summer in Rome’ warmed my heart, made me feel emotional, whilst also managing to breathe a new life in me that I thought was long gone. One part in particular made me feel like breaking down. Not because I was sad or anything, but because the talk about ‘being your own hero’ resonated with me on multiple levels and allowed me to feel like I had been given my own special pair of wings to be a hero. Yes, mine and the characters situations are completely different, but I couldn’t help but put the ‘be your own hero’ under lock and key in my heart.

‘One Summer in Rome’ took me on a trip of a lifetime, rocked my emotions like a boat on choppy seas, whilst also filling my heart with heroic and special love like never before. Samantha Tonge has written a truly inspirational, memorable, energising, and beautiful read which I will hold very dear for a long, long time.

I really do feel that this author has outdone herself with her latest novel. Whilst Samantha Tonge does state that you need to be your own hero, I can safely say that, thanks to her timeless literary skills and huggable way of writing, she is now my hero for making me feel like I can be a hero.

Buy now!

About the author.

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who
thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing
cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short
stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting
Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook
award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won
the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.

Links

Twitter // Facebook // Website

#BlogTour! #Review – Beneath an Indian Sky by Renita D’Silva (@RenitaDSilva) @Bookouture

Beneath an Indian Sky - Blog Tour
Second and last blog tour for the day is for Renita D’Silva and ‘Beneath an Indian Sky’. Big thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book.

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An unforgettable and heart-wrenching story of love, betrayal and family secrets. In colonial India a young woman finds herself faced with an impossible choice, the consequences of which will echo through the generations…

1928. In British-ruled India, headstrong Sita longs to choose her own path, but her only destiny is a good marriage. After a chance meeting with a Crown Prince leads to a match, her family’s status seems secured and she moves into the palace, where peacocks fill the gardens and tapestries adorn the walls. But royal life is far from simple, and her failure to provide an heir makes her position fragile. Soon Sita is on the brink of losing everything, and the only way to save herself could mean betraying her oldest friend…

2000. When Priya’s marriage ends in heartbreak, she flees home to India and the palace where her grandmother, Sita, once reigned as Queen. But as grandmother and granddaughter grow closer, Priya has questions. Why is Sita so reluctant to accept that her royal status ended with Independence? And who is the mysterious woman who waits patiently at the palace gates day after day? Soon Priya uncovers a secret Sita has kept for years – and which will change the shape of her life forever…

What does TWG think?

I have had one of those weeks where I have just wanted to get away from everything. I’m sure we have all had that feeling at least once in our lifetimes, but, seeing as running away wasn’t exactly feasible, I had to find a book that was able to transport me as far away as possible. Thankfully Renita D’Silva was on hand with ‘Beneath an Indian Sky’! I think India is a pretty good distance away from Scotland, don’t you?

Switching between two different times (the past, and the present), Renita D’Silva has written a story which not only was able to transport me to India, it also had the ability to transport me to a very realistic 1928. Now, I say realistic like I was actually there – I wasn’t born in 1928 but due to the beautiful descriptions and the vivid imagery which D’Silva’s writing brought to life in my mind, it truly felt as though I was standing in the middle of a palace in 1928.

With the storyline also being set in the year 2000 and despite there being a rather large gap between the two years, D’Silva has flawlessly merged both into one overall gritty tale which enabled me to completely lose myself in the authors words and everything the story represented.

Renita D’Silva certainly hasn’t left any stone unturned with this book, that’s for sure. Sita’s life moved me to tears and for the life of me, I cannot put into words why that was. I just know that I have never been moved by one characters story in that way before, and for that reason alone, ‘Beneath an Indian Sky’ will forever have a special place in my heart.

A moving, gritty, realistic and untouchable novel from the outstanding Renita D’Silva.

Buy now!

About the author: 
 
Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’,’The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’, ‘A Mother’s Secret’, ‘A Daughter’s Courage’, ‘Beneath An Indian Sky’.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/RenitaDSilvaBooks

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/RenitaDSilva

Website: http://renitadsilva.com/

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer in San Remo by Evonne Wareham (@EvonneWareham) @BrookCottageBKS @ChocLitUK

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What perfect timing to be able to lose yourself in a summery read, just when the snow is about to hit! I am delighted to welcome Evonne Wareham back to TWG as I review ‘Summer in San Remo’. Thank you, as always, to the publisher for a copy of the book, as well as BrookCottageBooks for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

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Anything could happen when you spend summer in San Remo …

Running her busy concierge service usually keeps Cassie Travers fully occupied. But when a new client offers her the strangest commission she’s ever handled she suddenly finds herself on the cusp of an Italian adventure, with a man she thought she would never see again.

Jake McQuire has returned from the States to his family-run detective agency. When old flame Cassie appears in need of help with her mysterious client, who better than Jake to step in?

Events take the pair across Europe to a luxurious villa on the Italian Riviera. There, Cassie finds that the mystery she pursues pales into insignificance, when compared to another discovery made along the way …

What does TWG think?

There are days when life decides to throw you a big, stinking curveball, making your mood plummet quicker than your favourite sports team losing their game. There are also days when you’re able to pick up a book and lose yourself in the storyline, completely tuning out to everything outside of the fictional world you now inhabit. ‘Summer in San Remo’ is one of those books.

Just like many people, I use books to escape my daily hell. Not only was I able to escape said hell with Evonne Wareham’s novel, my mind was able to stop over thinking everything. How magic is that? I’m not even being dramatic!

Cassie Travers runs her own business doing ‘odd jobs’ for clients who either can’t find the time to do them, or they have no idea where to even begin. Her work load changes direction when a unique job comes in, causing Cassie to call for extra help outside of her business. Unfortunately, that was where Cassie’s past came back to bite her on the behind. That said, I think her past LITERALLY wanted to bite her on her behind…

I thought ‘Summer in San Remo’ was such a fun book to read, mixing a fast paced storyline with oodles of cracking one liners, touching situations, and a storyline which threatened to give me a sun tan from the pages alone. Oh if only!! Whilst the cover of this book highlights the summery feel, there really was a lot more to this book that meets the eye, a lot of which is found out over the course of the novel. What I’m trying to say is, if you’re unsure of this book due to the simplistic cover, still pick it up and give it a go – you will not be disappointed.

The perfect antidote for anyone in a foul mood, ‘Summer in San Remo’ is the book that will give you the respite your mind needs. Full of summer lovin’, picturesque setting, tons of drama, and characters who are incredibly fun, with a storyline that you’re able to lose yourself in. What more could you want?

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US // Apple // Kobo // Google // Nook

About the author.

Evonne Wareham was born in Barry on the South Wales coast, but spent most of her working life in London. Now home again in Wales she is studying for a PhD in History and writing romance.

She was a finalist in two reality writing contests in the United States and had a great time, even if she didn’t win. When not studying or writing, she loves to travel, go to the theatre, walk on the beach and sleep. She has won and been nominated for awards for her romantic suspense novels on both sides of the Atlantic, but Summer in San Remo is something different – a romantic comedy with a light dusting of crime – which is a change of pace from writing the dark scary stuff. She is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, which means she gets to go to twice as many literary parties.

Author links: Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Blog // Website