#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:

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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

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

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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!

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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

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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…

Giveaway!

If you live in the UK and fancy winning the beautiful prize below, all you need to do is…… –> Enter the giveaway!<—

Good luck!

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

#BlogTour! #Review – The Bed & Breakfast on the Beach @KFrenchBooks @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K

Kat French Blog Tour Banner
Today I have the pleasure of hosting Kat French and ‘The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach’, but it’s a little bittersweet as it’s also the end of the blog tour! All together now; AWWWWW!!! Not only have I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this novel for you, I get to share an extract from Kat French’s novel alongside my review today! Enjoy!

Kat French

A gorgeous summer read to escape with this summer!

A Greek island solves all life’s problems…doesn’t it?

Winnie, Stella and Frankie have been best friends forever.

When their lives unexpectedly unravel, they spontaneously decide to buy a gorgeous B&B on a remote Greek island. Drenched in hot sun, Villa Valentina is the perfect escape from reality. But when Winnie meets Jesse, their brooding neighbour, she finds that Greece is full of its own complications – not least how attractive he is…

Meanwhile, Frankie and Stella are discovering that Villa Valentina has its own secrets – starting with the large supply of gin in the cellar and the arrival of a famous rock band. A band with one very good-looking member who just might distract Frankie from thoughts of her husband…

Smart, sassy and sexy, this summer sizzler is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jane Costello.

What does TWG think?

Being set in Greece, I was half expecting Shirley Valentine to show her face on the Island! Although saying that, Stella reminded me of good ol’ Ms.Valentine, I could imagine her saying ‘well tickle my tits ’til Friday’! Don’t you agree?

I’m not sure what part of the novel I was sold on first; kick ass female characters, or a donkey named ‘ The Fonz‘. Could you get any more fab than that? Oh wait, the only thing that managed to score higher than the donkey was a certain Australian geezer, but I’ll leave that for you to read about yourself!

Ahhh, Frankie, Winnie and Stella; the three musketeers Greek style! I probably should have been shocked when I learnt how they managed to get the deeds for a B&B, but, I wasn’t. I actually laughed out loud. It was so bonkers! That’s what I adore about Kat French’s novels, she isn’t afraid to write about bonkers situations, sexual encounters, and kick ass female characters. The author holds absolutely nothing back and her care free, humorous attitude shines through this storyline like….oh I don’t know…Greek sunshine? Funny that!

Each of the three ladies have their own reasons for escaping to Villa Valentina, they’re using the Greek Island to their advantage with hope that their hearts are mended and their confidence levels re-built. I’m not going to go into detail about their backstories as it is a big part of the overall storyline and I wouldn’t like to give anything away.

Whilst the three best friends were united by one thing, their characters were incredibly different; Stella seemed to be a lot more blunt than the others, although I expected that she was using her bluntness to guard something. Frankie was the practical one of the group, managing to keep everything organised without a hair out-of-place. Lastly my favourite lady; Winnie, she was a complete mixture! One one hand she was fiery and incredibly honest, but on the other hand she came across as such an emotional person, with her heart shifting from her sleeve to her chest like a temporary tattoo. I adored her character as I warmed to her the quickest, she was SO much fun.

A Kat French wouldn’t be a Kat French book without a bit of ‘ooooo matron’ and kinky antics. Without giving anything away, Winnie found herself in a certain situation which was incredibly sensual, and severely hot. Oh how I would have loved to trade places with Winnie! That particular situation even taught me a thing or two! Very tasteful.

Frankie, Stella, and Winnie go on such a journey in ‘The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach’, it really was wonderful to see their personalities flourish, and their confidence soaring. Certain characters came out of their shell on the Greek island as well, much to the annoyance of others!

There really was nothing about this novel that I didn’t like! Even though the storyline is incredibly light and humorous, there were several hidden messages within the book which were beautifully incorporated into the overall storyline, earning more brownie points when I came across them.

I adored this book from the moment the ladies visited the Greek Island for a second time, until the very last page. So many funny and on point moments mixed in with many incredible characters, what’s not to love? If I could read Kat French’s novel for the first time, every time, it really would be a dream come true.
Another fantastic book from the incredible, Kat French. I highly recommend this summery, loveable, sizzle-fest of a book, 100%.

Thanks Avon.

Buy now from Amazon UK (E-book only – paperback to follow 13th July)

If my review hasn’t persuaded you to go and buy yourself a copy, maybe an extract from ‘The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach’ will sway you?

[Extract 13 from Chapter 5 pp. 65-67]

Jesse’s dusty black VW Golf was nothing like Rory’s beloved sports car back home, and Winnie decided she much preferred its simple unpretentiousness. The air-con was icebox cool, and that was a much more valuable prize out here than hand-stitched leather bucket seats or tinted glass. The low-slung red Alfa would have been an entirely unsuitable car for a baby; Winnie sometimes wondered if the idea of losing it had been one of the contributory factors to Rory’s infidelity. 

‘I have a couple of errands to run, so I’ll drop you at Carrefour and come back in an hour or so,’ Jesse said, turning left out of the lane onto the main road. 

Winnie nodded, taking in the scenery as it whipped past her window. Olive groves, mellow fields and always the still, glittering Mediterranean in view too.

‘This is the island’s only main road,’ Jesse said. ‘It follows the coast all the way around, and the lanes that lead off it all run in towards Skelidos town at the centre. It’s a blessedly simple layout, unlike the crazy one-way systems you’re no doubt used to back home.’

‘Sounds straightforward,’ Winnie murmured.

‘You’ll find that much about Skelidos is like that. Uncomplicated.’ Jesse indicated to turn off the main road, leaving the sparkling sea behind them. ‘It’s one of the big things that I love about the place.’

‘Can I ask how you came to live here?’ she asked, curious and unguarded. 

He flicked his dark eyes towards her over his sunglasses. ‘You can ask, but I’ll lie about the answer.’

Winnie held his gaze for a second before he looked back towards the quiet lane, and she saw there that although his answer had been delivered in an off-the-cuff tone, he wasn’t joking. God, he was a prickly fish. 

‘Just don’t answer at all then,’ she said. ‘Lies are one thing I’ve had more than my fill of.’

This time when he glanced her way he didn’t look flippant. ‘I’ll bear that in mind.’

They lapsed into silence for the rest of the ride, Jesse concentrating on the bumpy, dusty lane and Winnie taking the chance to see the more agricultural heart of the island away from the coast. 

‘Is it mostly olive farms on the island?’ 

Jesse nodded. ‘Olives. Cattle for dairy produce, and vegetables in season of course. I wasn’t exaggerating about the simple pace of life here. Farmland has stayed in the same families for generations and property rarely comes up for sale. You guys are about the only new people here in as long as I can recall.’

‘Wow,’ she said, taken aback. No wonder Corinna had been so eager to get a look at them. Life in England had been so entirely different; neighbours came and went and people did any number of things to make their living. Here there was an actual community, a sense of family and of history. Even in the short time she’d spent on Skelidos so far, Winnie was already starting to feel that it suited her bones more than the complicated, fractured society back home in the UK.

Home. It was a word that didn’t seem to apply to anywhere for Winnie right now. Her parents’ house would always be her childhood home, but living there again for even a short time had proved glaringly that it was no longer her home these days. Her home had been the house she’d bought with her husband and built into their love nest, but also the place where she’d discovered his infidelity, and so it was no longer somewhere that she held any keys or affection for. 

It was too soon to confidently refer to Skelidos as home either though. She hoped that one day it would be in her blood and her heart, but at the moment it felt more like they were visiting the island than emigrating to it. Perhaps it was because the others, Stella in particular, seemed to view this as an experiment, a short-term stopgap to get them all out of crisis points at home. They’d all been in need of something and Villa Valentina had practically fallen into their laps.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Orphan of India by Sharon Maas (@sharon_maas) @Bookouture

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A lost child. A childless couple. Can they save each other?

Living on the streets of Bombay, Jyothi has no-one to turn to after her mother is involved in a tragic accident.

Monika and Jack Kingsley are desperate for a child of their own. On a trip to India, they fall in love with Jyothi and decide to adopt the orphan child.

The new family return to England, but Jyothi finds it difficult to adapt. As Monika and Jack’s relationship fractures, Jyothi is more alone than ever and music becomes her solace. But even when her extraordinary musical talent transforms into a promising career, Jyothi still doesn’t feel like she belongs. 

Then a turbulent love affair causes her to question everything. And Jyothi realises that before she can embrace her future, she must confront her past…

The Orphan of India is an utterly evocative and heart-wrenching novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Santa Montefiore and Diane Chamberlain.

What does TWG think?

The adoption process in the UK is complex enough, never mind going to India and adopting a child there. Put it this way, that part of the storyline opened my eyes to how vulnerable children overseas, especially in a third world country like India. Monika and Jack Kingsley, like many couples, would do anything for a child of their own. A child to protect. A child to love. On their visit to India, they meet orphan, Jyothi, a child who has been living on the streets with no family of her own. Until the Kingsley’s that is..

This is going to sound daft, but as a woman with an Indian name, I have always held a torch for the country, even though I have never been and I’m not Indian. Yet the way that Sharon Maas described Bombay made me feel as though I had been transported to the country, and that I was able to watch everything go past from the sidelines. I felt as though I was able to touch the atmosphere with my fingertips, smell the aroma of the different culture, as well as having my eyes opened due to the complex differences of Bombay and its inhabitants. Absolutely beautiful. I would do anything to feel those vibes again for the very first time.

When the Kingsley’s took Jyothi back to England, I felt that the overall vibe of the storyline changed. I felt sorry for Jyothi as she was struggling in a brand new country, with a new way of living, alongside new faces and different beliefs. A lot of us struggle with change, but relocating over 4500 miles to a completely new country, must be incredibly hard to adjust to. My heart went out to her, I must admit.

However, aside from Jyothi’s emotional state, I found her a little difficult to gel with. I perfectly understand that she has had a difficult life and so forth, but I think that her childhood had severely damaged her and it seemed as though it was going to take something almighty to come and change that. Therefore, the poor girl obviously was quite guarded and didn’t know whether she was coming or going.

Because the underlying topic of the storyline is incredibly complex, it does require patience and understanding to be able to full appreciate the dynamics of the situation, as well as the time frame that it was set in. Whilst I could understand and appreciate the overall gist of this novel, it was a little bit too intense and complicated for me to embrace fully. In no way is that the author’s fault; she has written it beautifully, and her use of language is enchanting. It’s just me.

If I were to review the book based on the overall vibe and the authors talent, I would, hand on heart, say that ‘The Orphan of India’ moved me to tears. It did. It’s beautiful, truly heart-warming. Even though I had a little hiccough with the storyline, I cannot wait to pick up another Sharon Maas novel and be transported to another beautiful place, due to her mesmerising words.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

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#BlogTour! #Review – One Summer in Tuscany by Domenica De Rosa @ellygriffiths @QuercusFiction

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Rivalries and romance in a Tuscan paradise. A relaxing writers’ retreat? If only! Perfect holiday reading from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. Previously published as SUMMER SCHOOL.

Patricia Wilson’s carefully composed ads for the writers’ retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo’s melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It’s make or break time for the Castello.

Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo’s vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.

As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing’s for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

What does TWG think?

Set in Italy, ‘One Summer in Tuscany’ is an ideal book to take with you on your holidays, lay on the sun lounger and just relax. With a not to strenuous storyline, this novel allows you to go with the flow without being too heavy, or too complicated.

Be prepared for a lot of characters to come your way though! Although, with a beautiful setting such as Italy, I don’t think the prospect of multiple characters will annoy you too much!

What I found endearing about ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, was the fact that it was set in a writers retreat, as well as Italy. I have only come across that particular setting once or twice before, so it made a nice change to be able to watch the storyline unfold in a writers retreat. For me, it gave the novel more of a unique feel. Not only that, the chef, Aldo, was able to make my mouth water with a minimal amount of effort! Out of the gutter…please.

Whilst I am all for a calm storyline, I do enjoy a bit of bite. Something to sink my teeth into. Something to keep my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained by ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, I just needed a bit more…oomph to the overall storyline. I felt that the characters were well written and realistically developed. The setting was beautifully described, I just wanted to pack my suitcase and go live there. THAT’s how realistically written it was. The storyline was full of bounce in terms of happiness, without anything majorly traumatic.

Overall, it was a lovely, lovely read. I just wish it had that little bit extra. I cannot fault the author on the feel of the book though, that’s for sure!

Thanks Quercus.

Buy now from Amazon UK (Paperback follows 29th June)

#BlogTour! #Review – Under a Tuscan Sky by @KarenAldous_ @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

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Escape to Tuscany this summer with Karen Aldous’s brilliantly uplifting read. Perfect for fans of Erica James and Cathy Kelly.

A summer she’ll never forget… 

When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.

Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…

And when handsome antiques dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!

What does TWG think?


I really need to give Olivia Montague a big round of applause! GIRL POWER!! Nothing like a sassy, confident, independent woman to get a storyline going, right? I genuinely thought to myself ‘wowza, she could teach me a thing or two!’. I admired the characters flair 100%, as it was great to see a character taking charge of their own life. 

The way that Olivia was portrayed at the start was youthful, she was described as such a bubbly sort of person with such a young sounding ideology. I honestly thought she was in her late twenties/early thirties! Some of her choices were a bit questionable, I’ll admit. So, when I found out that Olivia was a lot older than she came across as; my whole opinion of her changed. Olivia’s personality didn’t seem consistent to the age that she was given. Don’t get me wrong, I know that age is irrelevant as it’s only a number, but for me, Olivia was being portrayed as one character, yet acting like someone different. I hoped that in the latter part of the storyline, Olivia would have grown into her personality and become a teeny bit more consistent.

Did she? YES! I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the novel as the storyline had warmed up, inconsistencies seemed to have disappeared, and things start becoming beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, me and Olivia weren’t bosom buddies and I couldn’t quite warm to her, yet her antics made me laugh.

I have never been to Tuscany, yet after reading Karen Aldous’ descriptions, I felt as though I was right there, soaking up the sunshine and gazing at the spectacular views. If I’m honest, the authors portrayal of Tuscany and the surrounding areas, were my favourite parts of the book. It was as though I had been put under a spell, such a surreal feeling.

As for Olivia’s love life, it seems to be the main focus of the story (apart from Tuscany itself, naturally). She dumped one boyfriend because there was no spark, but then she meets an OTT Italian, Alberto, who wants to give her anything and everything…right there and then. If a guy came onto me like that in a plane, two seconds after meeting him, I would have gone ‘uhhhhh BUHBYE’, yet Olivia was completely infatuated! Her reaction to Alberto, was quite surprising I’m not going to lie, but I couldn’t help but giggle. I would have loved to get inside her head and find out what on Earth goes through it! As the story progresses, Olivia meets guy number three. I really liked Hugh! He came across as such a gentleman, I just wanted to give him a big cuddle and a slice of battenburg cake, whilst letting him talk to me about his family history! Sooooo cute!

Despite my opinion of Olivia, her antics kept me thoroughly entertained, and somewhat agog, throughout the entire novel. I cannot fault the author on her enchanting writing style, and beautiful descriptions. I could tell that those moments were written from the heart.

Under a Tuscan Sky is ideal for a summer holiday read as it isn’t too heavy, too complex, nor does it require much sussing out. Instead it’s a lighthearted, romantic novel, which is set in such a mesmerising and beautiful country.

Thanks HQ Digital/NeverlandBT.

Buy: Amazon

About Karen Aldous:
Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the USA would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in ‘Karen’s World’. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives – but struggle to control them! And, of course there’s always a gorgeous hunk or two!

Website: http://www.karenaldous.co.uk/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karenAldous_

Giveaway (UK Only) 

1st prize: £10 Amazon voucher, eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook

2nd & 3rd prize: eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook

Under a Tuscan Sky Giveaway Notebooks