#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

sharonmaas

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

One Summer in Tuscany blog tour poster

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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

 

 

#WeekendBlitz – The Little Kiosk by the Sea by Jennifer Bohnet (@jenniewriter) @NeverlandBT

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One summer they’ll never forget…

Meet Sabine, desperately fighting to save her little kiosk from closure whilst turning down her friend Owen’s proposals, time and time again.

Cue Harriet, returning to Dartmouth after thirty years, haunted by the scandal that drove her away and shocked by a legacy that threatens her relationship with her journalist daughter.

Enter Rachel, the mysterious newcomer who has an unexpected chemistry with a local widower, and who sets in motion a chain of events she could never have predicted…

One thing’s for sure, as the autumn tide turns, there’ll be more than one secret laid bare!

What does TWG think?

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the front cover of this book!! It’s so pretty!! I must admit, based on the cover alone, I thought Jennifer Bohnet’s book was going to be the sunshine on a rainy day, sand between your toes – type of read. But it wasn’t, not really! There is A LOT more to this novel that meets the eye. Each situation took me by surprise as I really wasn’t expecting them at all.

I was curious to see how the little kiosk tied into the storyline as I just assumed it would be the centre of attention. Whilst it did play an important part in the story, it seemed to be more of a background addition as opposed to a focal point. A bit like a meeting point. I loved how much Sabine adored the kiosk, it was cute!

There are a lot of overlapping situations in this book as villagers reappeared, some  made themselves more known than others, yet every character seemed to have a big question mark looming over their heads. At the start of the book, we obviously aren’t aware as to why they have that question mark, but as time goes on and the storyline begins to unfold, the reasons become clear and the overlap of situations becomes even more complicated.

Personally, there seemed to be quite a few characters with a lot of issues which took a while to become resolved. It was as though there was a constant conveyor belt of issues without anyone having a clue what to do with them. I couldn’t gel with that part of the storyline, however, when those situations started getting resolved in the last part of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For such a beautiful looking book, it does contain quite a few shockers, all of which were written with such a realistic feel. I could tell that the author had written those parts from her heart.

Overall, I loved how diverse the characters were, no two were the same and they all brought something different to the feel of the book. I genuinely can’t pick just one favourite. Whilst the pace of the novel seemed to stop and start, I enjoyed the storyline based on the fuzzy feeling it gave me. The Little Kiosk by the Sea made me smile, go ‘awwww!’, get angry, as well as cover my mouth in shock. It kept me entertained and was brilliant for laying on the sofa with, ignoring the outside world.

Thanks NeverlandBT.

Buy now

Author Bio:

I’m English but I’ve lived in France for the past 17 years. After 11 years down on the Cote d’Azur where Richard my husband was a guardian for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in Finistere, Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! When I’m not writing I love reading, cooking and having friends around for lunch – lunches that follow the French tradition of lasting for several hours. The Little Kiosk By The Sea is set in my absolute favourite place in England, Dartmouth South Devon, where we lived for several years before moving to France.

Website: http://www.jenniferbohnet.com/index.html

Amazon book page: http://goo.gl/UzPSMx

FACBOOK author page: goo.gl/6hsfZw

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@jenniewriter

#BlogTour! #Review – The Summer House by Jenny Hale (@jhaleauthor) @Bookouture

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Some summers will stay with you forever…

Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.

Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.

Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets… secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.

Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?

The Summer House is an absolutely gorgeous, heart-warming summer romance, about the importance of family, not keeping secrets, and learning how to open your heart.

What does TWG think?

As always, it’s such a pleasure to be on a Jenny Hale blog tour! Big thank you to the lovely, Kim, from Bookouture, for inviting me to take part in such a summery blog tour.

You all should know by now that I am a cover worshipper (that’s the polite way of saying it!), and yes, I do judge a book by its cover #sorrynotsorry. With that in mind, can I just take a moment to point out how STUNNING Jenny Hale’s book cover is?! It’s so open and breezy, it really made me get into the zone for her new book, The Summer House.

There’s nothing like seeing your dreams become reality, especially when those dreams harbour so many memories for more than one person. Callie and Olivia, have decided to follow their heart and live their dream via a beach house. Now, it’s not just ANY beach house, no, it’s a place that both ladies hold very dear to their hearts. A place where they spent their summers as children. A place which has been the heart of the community for many, many years; even when it had no-one living in it. Callie and Olivia have decided to resurrect the true essence of the beach house, by opening it up as a bed and breakfast. With the beach literally on their doorstep, it’s the perfect location to just…be.

Whilst all of that sounds incredible and plain sailing, it feels like I’m missing something doesn’t it? Oh, wait, I know. A man. No, I’m not missing a man, it just seems to be going so smoothly in my description of the storyline, and I just realised why. I hadn’t mentioned THE MAN, and, in books like these, there is always a man to distract ladies from the task in hand. No pun intended.

If I’m honest, I have never read a Jenny Hale novel which I didn’t like. Ever. There’s just something so comforting about picking up one of Hale’s novels, confidently knowing that you’re not going to be disappointed by what you read.
Thankfully, The Summer House was another one of those comforting reads. This storyline in particular though, was incredibly calm to begin with as each of the characters were finding their feet, the foundations of the plot were being laid, and pieces of the jigsaw puzzle were being scattered ready for piecing together along the way.

Personally, I felt that the romance part of the storyline was a teensy bit predictable. Don’t get me wrong, the author still executed it in a lovely way as it still was a joy to read about, I just felt like it could have been a little more unique.

The Summer House has the type of storyline that seems calm before the storm. Literally. There was the odd bump in road in terms of family secrets, but as soon as the storyline had unfolded to its full potential – wowza, Jenny Hale flourished. The pace increased dramatically (as did my heart rate). The level of uncertainty was severely gripping and quite emotional to read. The romance aspect seemed to show itself in a completely different light, and I loved it. I probably shouldn’t say this given the nature of the events that unfolded, but, for me, those parts of the novel were my absolute favourite. The author showed a different side to her writing ability, which completely blew me away and gave the storyline incredible depth.

I truly loved this sunshine on a rainy day type novel; Jenny Hale has outdone herself once again by creating raw, emotional and extremely thought-provoking situations, all of which were surrounded by the serenity of the beach house.

Reading The Summer House felt like I had come home, I wish I could explain why, but it just did. This book made me realise the importance of listening to your heart, trusting your instincts, staying true to yourself and your beliefs, but most importantly, moving heaven and Earth for those you love. Jenny Hale has incorporated such deep and meaningful messages into such a relaxing, yet deep, storyline.

If Jenny Hale bottled the intense emotions of her book and sold it, I would buy it in no time. Everyone needs a book like this on their shelves. Wait, no, everyone needs THIS book on their shelves. Trust me.

Thank you Bookouture.

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2oLUh2h 
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2nGL4qy

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About the author
 

When she graduated college, one of Jenny’s friends said “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day”. Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to her.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t. Whilst she didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children and hundreds of thousands of words later, Jenny finished her first novel – Coming Home for Christmas – which became an instant bestseller.

www.itsjennyhale.com

#Review! The Summerhouse by the Sea by Jenny Oliver (@JenOliverBooks) @HQStories #summerread

Jenny Oliver

A brand new summery story about returning to your past and finding a new beginning from bestselling author Jenny Oliver!

Every Summer has its own story…

For Ava Fisher, the backdrop to all her sun-drenched memories – from her first taste of chocolate-dipped churros to her very first kiss – is her grandmother’s Summerhouse in the sleepy Spanish seaside town of Mariposa.

Returning for one last summer, Ava throws herself into a project her grandmother would be proud of. Café Estrella – once the heart of the sleepy seaside village – now feels more ramshackle than rustic. Just like Ava, it seems it has lost its sparkle.

Away from the exhausting juggle of London life, Ava realises somehow her life has stopped being…happy. But being back at the Summerhouse by the sea could be the new beginning she didn’t even realise she needed…

What does TWG think?

Oh my god that cover!!! From the moment it first appeared on social media, I knew straight away that I had to read it. Not only did the title intrigue me because of the summerhouse (new one on me), the beautiful colours on the cover really stood out. Do you remember the extremely popular nineties fizzy drink, Panda Pop? The top half of the front cover reminded me of the pink one, strawberries and cream I think, whereas the second half of the cover reminded me of the fruit salad 1p chew sweets. I really am a cover snob, aren’t I?

Mooooooving on!

‘The Summerhouse by the Sea’ is written from two different perspectives; Ava Fisher’s and her brother Rory. Ava came across as more of the ‘heart on sleeve’ character, whereas Rory comes across as militant and cold.

The book starts off with some rather bad news; Ava and Rory’s grandmother had died and they need to attend her funeral back in sunny Spain. Stepping onto Spanish soil brings back a lot of emotional memories for Ava and her childhood. What she didn’t quite expect though, was how unsettled she became whenever she thought of her life back in London. Ava realised that she had a decision to make…and she knew fine well that her brother wouldn’t like it.

I must admit, when I first opened the book and came face to face with the emotion, I had to keep checking that I was still reading the same book. For some reason I expected the storyline to ooze joy from the start, so when it turned out differently, I was quite surprised. After all, the cover looks rather happy, doesn’t it?

As I mentioned above, the storyline is written from both Ava and Rory’s points of view, each characters story being told in separate chapters. For me, I could not gel with Rory at all. He seemed to have a cast iron guard up, maybe protecting himself from any type of emotion both good and bad – who knows. I just found him to be incredibly arrogant, I willed for my opinion to change by the end of the novel!

As for Ava, I found her personality much more welcoming, even if she did seem a bit ‘lost’. A lot of the time it seemed as though she was doing mundane things because it was, and has been, her routine for so many years, as though she was afraid of doing anything differently.

The more the storyline unfolded, the more I fell in love with the story. Without giving too much away, there was a point in the storyline where I felt like the characters stresses were lifted; it was such a beautiful and calming moment. Daft eh? My most favourite part of the whole book, was feeling the sense of unity jump off the page and into my soul, thanks to Ava going with her heart and Rory realising that the memories in Spain are there to be….remembered.

‘The Summerhouse by the Sea’ really is a sunny, heart-warming, and thought-provoking read which focuses on the emotional value of memories, loved ones, and the present. Jenny Oliver really has written the perfect summery novel, her words are full of poignancy, emotion and love, it would be quite difficult NOT to fall in love with this storyline.

Pack this novel in your case for your summer holiday! Or, if you’re going to be rocking the stay-cation this year; grab a towel, lay it down in your garden alongside a colourful drink (and this book). Then, lay down and let your mind take you on a trip to sunny Spain, courtesy of the extraordinary, Jenny Oliver. I really did enjoy this book (even if Rory still needs to get in my good books)!

Thanks HQStories.

The Summerhouse by the Sea by Jenny Oliver, is available to buy now from Amazon UK

#CoverReveal! The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées by Rebecca Raisin @jaxandwillsmum

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Wooooooo!! Second cover reveal of the week and it’s for one of my most favourite authors EVER! It has been ages since this lovely lady last appeared on TWG. But, thanks to her brand new book, that is about to change.

You may have heard of this author….

May…..

Unsure though….

Right, I’m going to show you just incase you recognise her name…

You ready for this?

The Little Perfume Shop cover

TA-DAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Yes ladies and gents, the f-awesoome, Rebecca Raisin, is BACK with book number three from ‘The Little Paris Collection’. -shimmies-. I wish I had legs like the, er, collection of pixels on the front cover, so I could wear that skirt!
In all seriousness, how stunning is that cover?! To tickle your fancy a little bit more, here is a bit more information about this book, alongside the all important publication details:

What is French for falling in love?
When Del leaves small town America to compete in a perfume competition in Paris, she thinks it is just the next step on her five-year-plan. It’s an exciting opportunity. What started out as just a dream for Del and her twin sister is nearly in her grasp. If she wins this competition, they are on their way to opening their very own perfume boutique!
Arriving in Paris, watching the sun glinting off the Seine and wandering the Champs-Elysees, Del discovers the most perfect perfumery she’s ever seen. Yet, as the competition dawns Del realises that whilst she might have had the best nose in her small village, her competitors seem to know more than she could ever have dreamed. This competition isn’t going to be easy…
Del has the romance of Paris to sweep her away from her worries, but as the competition heats up, so does her desire for that which she cannot have! If only the dashing owner Sébastien didn’t smell so seductive, look so handsome and make her heart flutter like it never has before. They say love smells as sweet as a red rose in bloom, but Del would tell anyone that true love can’t be bottled – it’s beautiful and unique to everyone…even herself. With everything on the line for her future, can Del really let a little attraction get in the way of securing her dreams?

Other books in the series:

1. The Little Bookshop on the Seine

2. The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower

3. The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées

The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées is set to be published on the 8th September 2017. It can be pre-ordered right now from: Amazon UK

(Thanks to Helena from LoveReadRomance for all the book details – won’t let me tag).
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#BlogTour! #Review – A Daughter’s Courage by Renita D’Silva (@renitadsilva) @Bookouture

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How much would you sacrifice to save your family?

1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee plantation owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her. 

Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantation’s edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family… 

Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kayva flees from bustling Mumbai to her hometown. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, and with it letters detailing its tragic history – desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri. 

As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucy’s painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life? 

What does TWG think?

What I love most about Renita D’Silva’s novels is how she is able to pick the reader up from wherever they are reading, place them gently in another country as part of the storyline; making them feel as though they are witnessing every thing with their own eyes.

In ‘A Daughter’s Courage’, we are transported to 1929 India where the cultural differences shine brighter than ever before, and the main character finds herself feeling lonely than ever before. However, due to her own actions, she has to figure out how to fix the mess that she is now in.
As well as being set in 1929, ‘A Daughter’s Courage’ is also set in the present day with brand new characters, and the storyline switches between the past and present.

In all honesty, I struggled to keep up with everything that was happening in the book. So many characters with such heartbreaking lives, in situations out of their control (well, some of), switching between two different time periods, as well as including history and religion. I found it hard to keep up. Now, I’m holding my hands up and saying that it was down to me and not the authors work. I was really frustrated with myself, even though I was able to follow the majority of the story, but still.

Saying that, the way in which Renita D’Silva has written the overall storyline was enough to keep my hooked. The authors writing is so detailed and beautifully executed, whether I was able to keep up with all of the events didn’t seem to matter too much as I was under D’Silva’s literary spell.

‘A Daughter’s Courage’ hones in on the differences between various cultures and their religions, and how they can affect an individuals day to day life, as well as their futures.

Renita D’Silva has written such a powerful, emotive, and colourful tale which speaks straight to your heart. With a deep and meaningful story, A Daughter’s Courage will forever be etched in your memory due to the outstanding and beautiful delivery by author, Renita D’Silva.

Buy now

About the author

 Renita grew up in a picturesque coastal village in the South of India, the oldest of three children. Her father got her first story books when she was six and she fell in love with the world of stories. Even now she prefers that world, by far, to this.

www.renitadsilva.com

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

https://twitter.com/renitadsilva

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