#BlogTour! #Review – The French Adventure by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @BrookCottageBKS

French
Bit late to the party tonight, but it’s here now! I am super excited to be sharing my review of Lucy Coleman’s ‘The French Adventure’. Big thanks to BrookCottageBks for the blog tour invite, as well as the ARC. Here is my review:

The French Adventure
Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much-needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped out plan has gone out the window.

Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque B&Bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…

What does TWG think?

Right, I pride myself on being honest, so I need to lay my cards out on the table right here, right now. Personally, the beginning of this book grated on me, coming across as a bit too ‘Dear Diary’ for my liking. Now I’m not too sure whether that was the storyline, or whether it was the way the main character, Anna, came across, but it did make it a lot harder for me to completely gel with the storyline.

HOWEVER, at around the halfway mark, the authors writing style became more prominent, showcasing her true talent in all its glory. It was from that moment when I started to gel with the storyline and its characters, looking forward to what was coming up next. The ‘Dear Diary’ feeling had gone, and Anna came across as being more defined as a character. Please don’t think I’m being harsh by what I said above, I’m not at all. All of my comments in this review are solely based on my opinion and are in no way personally directed at the author…..and breathe!

When the storyline changed its location to France, I found myself becoming a lot more empathic to Anna and the situation she had found herself in. Of course I had a few choice words to say about the other ‘person’ in the equation, but I’ll let you find that out for yourself when you read it! I was so pleased to see her personality grow as the storyline went on, as it blossomed her confidence with made her seem a lot more likeable and a lot more ‘you know what, I see myself in her’.

Even though ‘The French Adventure’ does contain a romantic element, the story itself is a mixture of thought-provoking situations, dramatic scenes, and a good daffy of mystery. The romance didn’t overpower the gritty parts of the storyline, and the gritty parts didn’t overpower the romance. All in all, for me, I found the storyline to be rather well-balanced – I mean, it had everything you could want!

Despite not getting off to a good start with ‘The French Adventure’, I am so, SO glad that I listened to my gut an persevered with the book as I ended up thoroughly enjoying it, with my cheeks hurting due to a big beamer I had on my face. I loved how different the vibe of the story was, especially the uniqueness of the characters themselves and what the author got them doing. It wasn’t samey, it was completely refreshing.

Such a delightful, magnetic, enchanting and smile inducing read from the fabulously talented, Lucy Coleman. If you’re fed up with seeing snow every time you open the curtains in the morning, what better way to escape all of that than by going on ‘The French Adventure’ of a lifetime.

Buy now!

Excerpt.

The L Word
Two weeks today will be the first anniversary of our first real date. Being wined and
dined in a chic little French restaurant was a gigantic step forward; it signalled the
beginning of a new era in my relationship with Karl. Even though at least half of the
meal was spent talking about work, his intentions were clear – we were no longer
simply colleagues and romance was in the air.
Since then, Karl must have told me that he loves me more than a thousand times.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but I can assure you that’s not the case. He
usually manages to slip it into the conversation at least three times a day. The first
time he said the L word to me, it slid off his tongue so easily I could almost have
missed it. It wasn’t a staring into each other’s eyes moment of discovery, just a
casual ‘love you, babe’.
As the months rolled by, I pushed aside my growing fear that it was only a word to
him. Because it means so much more to me, I freeze whenever he tacks it onto a
sentence.
And, yes, I’m very aware that my air of disapproval does make me sound ungrateful
and undeserving. But it’s all about self-preservation, you see. I’ll never utter that
word again until I’m one hundred per cent certain that the man I’m saying it to
believes I’m their soul mate too – the perfect fit.
The last time I uttered the L word, was six years ago. It was to a guy I’d known since
childhood and the man I genuinely believed I would marry when the time was right.
He was handsome in a rugged way, fired up with ambition and exciting to be around.
Sadly, everyone we knew thought we were the perfect couple too, except the guy in
question, as it turned out…

About the author.

Lucy Coleman always knew that one day she would write, but first life took her on a
wonderful journey of self-discovery for which she is very grateful. Family life and two very diverse careers later she now spends most days glued to a keyboard, which she refers to as her personal quality time.

‘It’s only when you know who you are that you truly understand what makes you
happy – and writing about love, life and relationships makes me leap out of bed
every morning!’

If she isn’t online she’s either playing with the kids, whose imaginations seem to
know no bounds, or painting something. As a serial house mover together with her
lovely husband, there is always a new challenge to keep her occupied!
Lucy also writes under the name Linn B. Halton.

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

Competition!

Prize
To be in with a chance of winning the French coffee set pictured above, all you need to do is click the link below. Good luck!

Please note that the giveaway is UK only!

Enter now!

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#CoverReveal!! #OneSummerInRome by Samantha Tonge (@SamTongeWriter) @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
I do like a cover reveal, especially when the cover is as gorgeous as the one I am about to show you!! Samantha Tonge is back (well, in May), with a brand new book and I for one CANNOT wait.

Need a change of scenery?
Need to go somewhere where the temperature is a lot higher than the -1 we are relishing in just now?

If you answered ‘YES’ to the above questions, you’re in for a treat!! You ready?

Of course you are!!

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…

A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer.
Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.

Oh, doesn’t that cover bring an instant smile to your face? Such a summery, colourful cover.

‘One Summer in Rome’ is due to be published by HQDigital in May, but you can pre-order your copy of the book right now from Amazon

Bio

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

one summer never forget

#BlogTour! #Review – Dreaming of Florence by T.A.Williams (@TAWilliamsBooks) @canelo_co

Dreaming of Florence Blog Tour banner (4)
First up on the blog today is my review of T.A.Williams’ dreamy novel, ‘Dreaming of Florence’. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today – huge thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

TAW

When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

What does TWG think?

I have never been to Italy before and, to be perfectly honest, I only have google images to see what the incredibly popular holiday destination looks like. However, after being transported to Italy via T.A.Williams’ delectable storytelling, I felt like I was taking steps around Italy with every turn of the page. Obviously I would love to see the country for myself, but, seeing as this author brought the country alive with his storyline, I would quite happily settle with books like this for the near future.

The phrase ‘falling head over heels’ where romance is concerned has never been more apt, especially seeing as Debbie Waterson managed to do that in front of a doctor. Well, she crashed into him when she was on her bike; same thing though, right?

I gelled with Debbie’s character from the get go. Her feistiness with a hint of naivety was a breath of fresh air as it made Debbie come across more likeable. Plus, she made me giggle a few times as well which always helps!

Debbie has always dreamt of going to Florence but, because of job and the lack of never-ending funds, Debbie had to put her dream on hold. As soon as a chance to fulfil her dream arises, Debbie is filled with nerves – what if the reality of Florence doesn’t match up with her dreams?

I really don’t want to give anything away, so please do excuse my vagueness! That said, Debbie’s adventure in this book makes excellent reading, as it highlights the importance of going after your dreams and living in the moment instead of just….being. Despite Debbie’s character starting off a little bit shy, it was great to see her come out of her shell when she realised the world was her oyster and other people needed her help.

‘Dreaming of Florence’, despite being fiction, gave me a well needed kick up the rear and made me realise that my dreams won’t come true unless I actually go and do something about them.

Once again T.A.Williams has brought beauty to readers doorsteps, courtesy of his delightful new book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Debbie’s journey and I am sure you will too.

Enchanting, heart-warming and beautifully written, ‘Dreaming of Florence’ is the book which will turn a blue January into a majestic January.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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

51y3v3EC2CL._SY346_
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!!

#BlogTour! #Review – Stuck With You by Anna Premoli @Aria_fiction

STUCK WITH YOU
I am delighted to be kicking off Anna Premoli’s blog tour today for ‘Stuck With You’! Having nosed at the reviews before reading it myself, I have to say that I was genuinely surprised by what I read! Thanks to Aria Fiction for the ARC. Here is my review:

Stuck with you3
A smart, romantic comedy about how finding The One doesn’t always have to be love at first sight…

Lavinia Ferrari is in her fifth year at Bocconi University where she studies Economics when she is introduced to a new project that will guarantee her extra credits. She’s intrigued… but it means the class must team up with students from the Computer Engineering course. Lavinia has absolutely no interest in the project, and to top things off, she’s paired with Seb Marconi who is less than
enthusiastic.

When the work begins, her friends seem to be making great progress with their partners, but Lavinia isn’t having the same luck… Seb is making it quite clear that he’s not interested in the project, or Lavinia, fuelling her frustration.
She has no choice – they’re stuck in this, and besides, she won’t receive her extra credits unless they work together. Lavinia must come up with a way to convince the guy who drives her crazy to put the work in… but how?

From the author of LOVE TO HATE YOU, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY and UNTIL LOVE DO US PART.

What does TWG think?

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with ‘Stuck With You’ by Anna Premoli! Some of the reviews I had read before I began reading the book myself weren’t the greatest. However, I ensured I kept my mind open whilst forming my own opinion on the book. 

Set in Italy with students, ‘Stuck With You’ follows the story of an Italian economics student who has to step over into the dark side and pair up with a computer engineering student on a new project. It sounds pretty simple really doesn’t it? Unfortunately for Lavinia, the first day of her pairing didn’t exactly go to plan. Let’s just say that the guy she was paired up with refused to use his manners, meaning that Lavinia saw read. Not the greatest way to kick things off is it?

Now, seeing as Lavinia is the type of person who prefers to be liked, she wasn’t going to stand for Seb’s ignorance and rudeness – even if it did bug her to the point of getting in his face!

The romance part of the storyline, I have to say, was pretty predictable. It was lovely to see two people come together in a very unlikely way, don’t get me wrong, but I could see it a mile off. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not the most romantic person on the planet, but y’know.

Aside from that, the storyline kept me entertained whilst also being a well needed break from other heavier novels I have read previously. ‘Stuck With You’ wasn’t too overpowering which meant that I found it quite an easy read….and no not in a bad way. Okay, no, it didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t dislike it either. It was pleasant, nicely written and a refreshing change.

Thanks Aria.

Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Anna’s previous books, LOVE TO HATE YOU, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY and UNTIL LOVE DO US PART are out now: Amazon

#Tour! #Review – The Christmas Holiday.Maxine Morrey @Scribbler_Maxi @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

Tour BannerBuy now from Amazon UK

Book Cover
Fall in love this winter on a romantic trip around the world ending in a fairy-tale
winter wedding!

As winter comes to London, journalist Mia Walker is desperately hoping for her big break as a travel writer, dreaming of exotic locations and sun-soaked beaches. When she’s invited to write a romantic travel piece that ends in a huge winter wedding in Scotland, she jumps at the chance. The only trouble is, the photographer is renowned adventure-junkie Hunter Scott, who Mia last saw five years ago when she ended their engagement.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and Mia knows she’d be mad to say no – even if it does
mean spending weeks traveling round the world with the one man she never wanted to see again! But as the wedding approaches, and the magic of Christmas begins to take hold, Mia can’t help looking out for mistletoe – and wishing she hadn’t cancelled her own engagement after all…

What does TWG think?

Maxine Morrey has got to be one of my most favourite romantic comedy authors. Why? It’s quite simple really; this authors hilariously heart-warming writing style is enough to make me go weak at the knees. No joke. Having loved Morrey’s previous novel; ‘The Christmas Project’, I was beyond excited to read her latest offering; ‘The Christmas Holiday’. Of course I had high expectations, I’m not going to lie! After all, her previous novel did earn a coveted five stars…

Did ‘The Christmas Holiday’ match up to my expectations? Yes, yes and YES it did!

Have you ever split up with an ex and told yourself that the last thing you would ever want to do, is to be in the same room as them or worse still – having to work with them? -raises hand- To be honest, I’m quite sure that there will be a lot of readers answering ‘yes’ to that question. But let’s see what your answer is to this one: with the same ex in mind, have you ever come face to face with them and felt a large pang of regret for letting that person slide out of your life? Yes, yes, you can stop laughing now. It IS a fair question though! Even the main character in this story felt like laughing when her conscience decided to tell her not to dislike the man! But is that regret merely just…regret? Or is it just a mistake waiting to happen if followed through with?

Once again it didn’t take me long to lose myself in Maxine Morrey’s storyline, and the main characters life; including her rather impressive work ethic. It was pretty clear when the strapping man walked into Mia’s work, that she was going to have some sort of history with him. Thankfully the surprise element was still included in the storyline, as we weren’t told at the beginning just HOW much history both characters had. All we knew was that Mia knew Hunter Scott, and Hunter Scott knew Mia. In regards to her job, Mia knew that her boss had given her the opportunity of a lifetime and regardless of any personal history with the photographer, she wasn’t going to let the ex love of her life, ruin her chances with the job assignment. Regardless of how much Hunter Scott wasn’t going to let sleeping dogs lie. Snore.

If you ever need a book to natter about with your friends, I beg of you to buy this one and demand a coffee morning with your good pals, purely so you can chat about Hunter Scott’s peachy backside. Oh, and the storyline…of course. I absolutely adored every single word, every single page, and every single element of Maxine Morrey’s – The Christmas Holiday. Not only did my heart get warmed by the romantic themes throughout the story, I also got to experience various different cultures when the setting of the book changed destination several times. Obviously my experiences were third hand, but due to the authors vivid writing style, I felt like I was able to experience each individual destination with all of the characters involved. There aren’t many books which you can say that about, is there?

I said this last time, but I’m not afraid to say it again – Maxine Morrey has exceeded my expectations by writing such a moreish and touching novel about love, regrets, and working out how to make the right decision for the moment that you’re in. The entire novel was extremely relatable due to its realistic situations and relatable scenarios. If the novel itself didn’t contain those features, I really don’t think the storyline would have worked as well, as it could quite easily be dubbed as ‘predictable’. Personally, ‘The Christmas Holiday’ is in no way predictable. Yes it was clear that the main characters would have some sort of connection at the beginning, but aside from that any predictability became hope.

‘The Christmas Holiday’ is such a heart warming, huggable, and delectable treat which is full of everything you could ever want from a book. Hilarity, strong characters and believeable storylines; Maxine Morrey’s latest novel ticked all of my boxes, and left me feeling like I was floating on air after I had finished reading.

Maxine Morrey certainly is an author to watch…and not just to see when her next book will be coming out! Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks NeverlandBT.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Author bio:

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her
first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of
book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has
written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a book on Brighton for a Local History
publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.

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

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be
found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking.

Twitter @Scribbler_Maxi
Instagram @scribbler_maxi
Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/MaxineMorreyAuthor
Pinterest ScribblerMaxi
Website http://www.scribblermaxi.co.uk

Giveaway time!

Giveaway
1 winner

Prizes:
Signed copy of The Christmas Project
The Christmas Holiday notebook
Galaxy chocolate bar
Chocolate penguins and snowballs
Elephant keyring
UK ONLY!

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Love at the Italian Lake by @DarcieBoleyn @canelo_co

Love at the Italian Lake Blog Tour Header
FINALLLYYYYYYY!! It’s my turn to host a stop on Darcie Boleyn’s blog tour!! I am thrilled to be part of such a star studded blog tour! Huge thanks to Ellie for asking me to be involved!

darcie
On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it only for summer? Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling author of 2017 smash-hit Summer at Conwenna Cove.

Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.

When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.

But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?

What does TWG think?

I feel like a worn out record where Darcie Boleyn’s books are concerned! Having read every single book that the author has published, I have never read one of her books that I didn’t like. Ever. Including her new book, and no, I’m not just saying that because I happen to share a name with one of the characters in this book! Squeal!

Once again, Darcie Boleyn captivates her readers with minimal effort, putting them under her literary spell just-like-that. Being knocked over by a Chris Hemsworth lookalike would be any hot-blooded woman’s ultimate fantasy (well, seeing as this blog post is pre-watershed…use your noggin). Unfortunately for our main character, Sophia, she didn’t take too kindly to being knocked off her feet. In all honesty, I don’t think I would either but I’m sure I wouldn’t take long to forgive a Chris Hemsworth lookalike…

Whilst the gentleman character was a welcome addition to the storyline, the real gem of the story in my eyes was Sophia’s Nonna. There are moments in life where we just need a hug…no sad attempt at empathy by people who haven’t a clue what they’re saying; just an old-fashioned hug by someone who can keep you safe in their arms. For Sophia, that safety net was her Nonna. What a beautiful, beautiful character. I absolutely loved her to pieces.

Poor Sophia has had a hard time of it lately, so jetting off to hotter than hot Italy, and living life outside of her comfort zone, is exactly what the doctor ordered. What Italy had in store for Sophia though, was a humorous and heart-warming surprise.

Obviously I don’t wish to give anything away, so I’ll keep this brief. Honestly, I really have no idea how Darcie Boleyn does it, I really don’t.

Beautiful setting – CHECK.
Interesting main character – CHECK.
Loveable/intriguing additional characters – CHECK.
A Chris Hemsworth lookalike – CHECK.
A storyline to keep you hooked from the very first page – CHECK.

I mean, what more could you possibly want? ‘Love at the Italian Lake’ grabbed a hold of my heart and didn’t let go; even weeks after finishing the novel. I laughed. I smiled. I became teary. But most importantly, I loved. I loved every single word, every single page, every single situation that came up in this storyline.

In my eyes, a Darcie Boleyn novel is just like a Nonna hug for Sophia; homely, loving, flawless…and unbelievably perfect.

Spot on, once again.

Thanks Canelo.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Secrets of Villa Rosso by @LinnBHalton @BrookCottagebks

Secrets of Villa Rosso Tour Banner

Vill Rosso med
Escape to Italy for a summer romance to remember.

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 Johnson, 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.

What does TWG think?

Whenever Linn.B.Halton releases a new novel, it’s as though all of my Christmases have come at once. Yes, that’s every novel.

Expect this review to be short and sweet because, any review that I write, will not do the storyline justice at all. Even when I say that I absolutely adored ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’, that isn’t doing the book justice either. In all honesty, there aren’t enough words in the English language that can describe how much I adored this novel.

Ellie Maddison had to go to Italy at very short notice (shame!) to do with work. Whilst she is over the moon to have a change of scenery and time away just for herself, her husband back home isn’t happy that she is doing something for herself. Well, I thought that anyway! Arriving in Italy, Ellie felt an extremely strong connection to the country, the villa where she was staying and, weirdly enough, a strong sense of deja vu towards the estate’s director. Why does Ellie feel as though she knows the man already?

‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’ is such a majestic and thought-provoking read. I don’t know how the author manages to produce flawless storylines every single time, but she does. Although, I felt like we were seeing a different side to Linn.B.Halton’s story telling as the storyline itself came across a lot deeper than the authors previous novels, and not in a bad way either!

The Secrets of Villa Rosso aren’t my secrets to tell, they’re Linn.B.Halton’s, which is why you need to read this book for yourself and get lost in the Italian magic.

I loved this book from start to finish; every single is written beautifully which allowed me to be transported to Italy from the comfort of my own sofa. As for the main character, Ellie; she really is a diamond in the rough, yet she is one of my most favourite characters from all of the books I have read.

Enchanting, mesmerising and beautiful addictive; The Secrets of Villa Rosso really is a book to watch for 2017. If you haven’t read a Linn.B.Halton novel yet – you must, you’re missing out on some incredible literary craftsmanship.

Highly recommended, I loved it.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Buy now.

Amazon

KOBO

EXTRACT

It isn’t just the sunshine and the electric blue sky, but the musical calls of the countryside that reach out to me. A chorus of low-level sounds play like a soft melody in the background. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a re-run of a favourite film. I could stand here for a long time simply taking in the detail and with each sweep of my eyes noticing something new. Spinning around I look back at the villa, taking in the rustic beauty of the stonework and the pale orange-red hue of the sun-bleached roof tiles. This is, quite simply, unreal. It’s a little piece of heaven and, so far removed from my daily life that it’s hard to believe this is on the same planet. The
sheer scale of the landscape literally steals your breath away. I’m a mere speck, small and insignificant in the grand scheme nature is presenting to me. But rather bizarrely, it doesn’t feel alien in anyway at all. The vastness isn’t overwhelming, but strangely comforting.

I walk back to a cluster of wooden tables surrounding a small fountain and take a seat. As I dive into my bag to extract some sunglasses, I hear a polite cough and look up at the face staring down at me.
‘Mrs Maddison? I’m Max, Max Johnson. Welcome to Villa Rosso.’
I stand, automatically plastering a pleasant smile on my surprised face as recognition kicks in. I know this man, I mean, I’ve met him before. At least I think I have, but there’s nothing similar reflected back at me, only a warm smile. The sort of smile that radiates out from mysteriously deep, hazel eyes. We shake hands. He’s younger than I expected, probably in his early forties and tall. Six foot something that’s for sure, because I feel he’s towering over me.
‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin. Would you like me to fetch you a coffee so you can sit for a while and enjoy the view?’
Although I knew he was British, his tan and elegant demeanour lend an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. I would not have been at all surprised if he had been Italian. He’s hovering politely and I still haven’t answered him…

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VILLA ROSSO

#BlogTour! #Review – The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix (@debbierix) @bookouture

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The unforgettable stories of two women crossing centuries as past and present weave together in this beautifully moving summer read.

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

What does TWG think?

Being perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect with ‘The Silk Weaver’s Wife’ as, whilst I have heard of Debbie Rix, I had never read any of her novels before this one. To begin with, it took me a couple of chapters to warm up to the storyline as there was a lot of information to digest, and the pace was quite slow. When I reached halfway, I felt like bowing to the slow pace as it is such an important part of the overall novel structure, which is severely misunderstood.

Set during two different times, The Silk Weaver’s Wife explorers silk weaving in 1704, and 2017. In 1704 our main character is Anastasia, she has fallen in love yet her father seems to have different plans for her love life. It’s either his way, or the high way. Anastasia was forced into a lifestyle which compromised her safety, dignity, and independence. Reading Anastasia’s story was absolutely devastating. Whilst the character came across incredibly strong and independent, she was actually quite fearful and longed for her own life back. During the chapters of 1704, Debbie Rix takes us on a journey through time, an eye-opening one at that, especially when the storyline took us to different countries. Planes weren’t invented then, so how do you think the characters managed to get to those different countries? Imagine the length of time it must have taken them! I was in awe. I adore history. Debbie Rix has incorporated some wonderful historical facts alongside her fictional work – all of which blew me away.

During the chapters of 2017, the main character is Millie, a journalist who’s love life isn’t exactly above-board. That aside, Millie was given the opportunity to write a feature in Italy, exploring the history surrounding silk weaver’s as a whole. Well, she also got to explore a certain local Italian stallion….

I adored watching the past and present come together throughout the storyline, finding out the history behind the silk weaver’s, as well as seeing certain items from the past in the present chapters. Outstanding!

I absolutely LOVED this book! Yes, it was a little heavy in some parts but, due to the nature of the storyline, it just meant that I had to take my time over the storyline. Not really a hardship! Debbie Rix has blown me away with her enchanting and flawless writing style. Honestly, I have never read anything like it before.

Debbie Rix is an outstanding storyteller with such beautiful and iconic writing, which captured my heart and soul. The historical features in The Silk Weaver’s Wife, were written impeccably. The fictional parts of the storyline were written in such a mesmerising, and addictive manner; I was excited to change each page. Put the two parts together, and you have one memorable and alluring novel.

I believe I have found a new favourite author, and a new set of books to buy online. I need more of Debbie Rix on my bookshelf after this.

The Silk Weaver’s Wife is an authentic portrayal of silk weaving history meeting silk weaving present, whilst also being entwined with the authors distinctive and outstanding writing style. Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough, you must read this one!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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#BlogTour! #Review – Summer at the Little French Guesthouse by @helenpollard147 @Bookouture

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Summer sun, chilled, white wine, and a gorgeous fiancé. Nothing could upset pure bliss … Right?

Emmy Jamieson loves her new life in the gentle hills and sunflowers of the lush French countryside, managing La Cour des Roses, a beautiful, white stone guesthouse. With marriage to caramel-eyed Alain just round the corner, things couldn’t be more perfect.

The odd glass (gallon) of wine dulls the sound of Emmy’s mum in full motherzilla-of-the-bride mode, and the faint tinkling of alarm bells coming from Alain’s ex are definitely nothing to worry about. Guesthouse owner Rupert and a whole host of old and new friends are there to make sure nothing gets in the way of Emmy’s happiness.

But as Emmy gets close to the big day, a secret from the past throws everything decidedly off track. Will her idyllic French wedding go ahead as planned, or will Emmy run back home to England with a broken heart?

This summer, escape to the rolling vineyards of France for an utterly uplifting read. Fans of Jenny Colgan, Debbie Johnson and Nick Alexander will want to join Emmy for a pain au chocolatin the sun-drenched garden at La Cour des Roses.

What does TWG think?

I’m actually a little bit annoyed with myself as I didn’t realise that the ‘Little French Guesthouse’ series couldn’t really be read as standalone novels. Well, they can, nothing is stopping you from doing so, however, the full enjoyment wasn’t there for me because I hadn’t read the previous books. Bit gutted to say the least.

So, in my personal opinion, make sure that you have read the previous two novels in the series BEFORE you read this one. Trust me, the first quarter of the book will make so much sense if you do.

It took me a good 20 or so percent before I was able to gel with the storyline without feeling like I was missing something. But, after the rocky start, I became hooked on the storyline extremely quickly. Emmy is such a breath of fresh air when it comes to living life and grabbing the bull by the horns, especially as I from what I could work out, she hasn’t exactly had the smoothest of life journeys so far.

I loved how all the characters treat one another like family (if they’re not related, obviously), and how they all pull together in difficult situations. Without sounding daft, it really was such a beautiful thing to read, I was pretty envious I must admit.

Without giving too much away, there was one part of the storyline that made me extremely emotional. The whole situation completely caught me off guard, I think I spent that portion of the storyline with my hand over my mouth!

Helen Pollard certainly knows how to enchant her readers with her mesmerising, and eye-opening descriptions of La Cour des Roses and the French countryside. Such beautiful, beautiful writing which made me want to pack a suitcase, hop on a plane and fly to such a beautiful sounding destination. I wanted a piece of the serenity that Emmy had found. Honestly folks, granted I have never been to France, but I truly believe that the author has captured the true essence of beauty with her stunning words. At that point in the book, it no longer bothered me about my misunderstanding with this series, as Helen Pollard blew me away.

Full of heart-warming and emotional situations, care-free and spirited characters, and jaw-droppingly, beautiful surroundings; ‘Summer at the Little French Guesthouse’ needs to be devoured. How could you NOT want to read this book?

I’m off to go and buy books 1&2 in the series, and if I was you, go and buy this book. You’ll be a fool to miss out, just like I was.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Summer at the Little French Guesthouse - Blog Tour