#BlogTour! #Review – The Daughters of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton (@RebeccaMascull) @ZaffreBooks

The Daughters of Ironbridge Blog Tour (1)
Blog tour two of the day is where TWG gets to step back in time with ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ by Mollie Walton. Bit ironic for Easter Sunday is it not! Thank you to Zaffre Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Anny Woodvine’s family has worked at the ironworks for as long as she can remember. The brightest child in her road and the first in her family to learn to read, Anny has big dreams. So, when she is asked to run messages for the King family, she grabs the opportunity with both hands.

Margaret King is surrounded by privilege and wealth. But behind closed doors, nothing is what it seems. When Anny arrives, Margaret finds her first ally and friend. Together they plan to change their lives.

But as disaster looms over the ironworks, Margaret and Anny find themselves surrounded by secrets and betrayal. Can they hold true to each other and overcome their fate? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?

What does TWG think?

Got to love a saga! ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ is such a special read. In no time at all, the author allowed me to lose myself in the lives of such three-dimensional, well thought out characters such as Anny and Margaret. Set in the mid 1800’s, Mollie Walton takes her readers on a journey back in time where society and class were completely different to they are now. Not only that, readers are given an insight into the ironworks, and just how much hard work it took for those who worked there.

Mollie Walton makes her characters come alive in such a seamless and flawless manner, at times making me feel as though I was sitting on the characters shoulders like a little parrot, following their every move.

I was moved by the community spirit and the strength of the friendship between Margaret and Anny, two very different people whose lives may have been bound by the strength of their friendship, yet their class couldn’t have been more chalk and cheese if it tried.

There is a lot of storyline to sink your teeth into, just like most saga’s, so if you’re into reading books which give you more than your moneys worth, and then some, ‘The Daughters of Ironbridge’ will no doubt tick several boxes.

I was so pleased to see that this is the first book in a trilogy – roll on more is what I say!

An in-depth, powerful and beautifully crafted novel from an author who puts ‘history’ in the word ‘historical’. Brilliant.

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl (@HannahPearl_1) @RaRaResources @RubyFiction

Late one tonight as my daughter lost her first tooth today! So brave! Anyway, I have a review of Hannah Pearl’s novel, ‘It’s My Birthday’ for my stop on the blog tour. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC.

It’s My Birthday

… I’ll cry if I want to.

Oh boy, another birthday …

Karen could be excused for crying on her birthday, especially as it’s the first one since her husband got on a plane to the States and never came back.

Then there’s the fact that her workmates were practically bribed to attend her birthday meal. But when a restaurant double booking leads to her sharing a table with single dad Elliot and his daughter, things start looking up.

As Karen gets to know Elliot she experiences feelings she thought she’d never have again. But is it enough? Or will the thing that destroyed Karen’s previous relationship also ruin things with Elliot?

What does TWG think?

If you haven’t already guessed, Hannah Pearl’s novel is about a birthday. Not just any birthday actually, a milestone 40th for Karen! Unfortunately Karen isn’t really feeling in the birthday spirit after recent happenings in her personal life, and you can’t really blame her to be honest. I mean, would you feel like getting down on the dance floor and stuffing your face with birthday cake if you found out that your husband was making a move stateside…permanently?

Forgive me for saying this, but I wasn’t a fan of the story at first as it felt a bit like a midlife whinge. Not that I’m saying that Karen should have gotten over her upset as quick as lightening, not at all. I just wasn’t feeling it, and I wanted to.

However, I wanted to find out what happened with Karen and whether her life turned back around, so I persevered. Oh my gosh, I’m glad that I did! The line about grey hair had me laughing out loud. The humour in this book is absolutely insane!! So witty! I actually lost count of how many times I giggled at the perfectly placed one liners. Karen is such a breath of fresh air once you get to know her, and I am so relieved that I gave her character a chance.

I enjoyed following her journey with Elliott and Sophie and, despite getting the giggles, I thought the author wrote the topics of parenthood, relationships and blended families, in such a sensitive yet relatable manner. Hannah Pearl didn’t hide away from the dark sides of those topics, nor did she tone down the positives. I respected the author a lot for the way she approached it and I truly believe that other readers will too.

So, what started off as an uncertain read, ended up being thoroughly enjoyed by me. ‘It’s My Birthday’ is a witty, humourous, and heart warming novel. Feel free to cry if you want to because it’s your birthday! But, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be crying with laughter!

Buy from Amazon UK

Buy from Amazon US

About the author.

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.

She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.

In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.

Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

#BlogTour! #Review – Spring Skies Over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett (@Sarahlou_writes) @RaRaResources @HQDigitalUK

Happy publication day, Sarah Bennett! It’s day one of the blog tour for ‘Spring Skies Over Bluebell Castle’ where I will be sharing my review with you all. Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to HQDigitalUK for the ARC. Here is my review:

She wasn’t looking for love…

When Lucie Kennington flees the bright lights of London for the quiet Derbyshire countryside, she’s shocked to discover that the heir to the Bluebell Castle estate is far from the wizened employer she expected.

In fact, Arthur Ludworth might just be the most handsome man Lucie’s ever laid eyes on – and a terrible distraction! So when she stumbles across a legendary painting feared lost for centuries, she can’t believe her luck – perhaps this is the hidden treasure to save Arthur and his family from ruin?

But it’s only a matter of time before Lucie’s past catches up with her and by then it’s too late, she’s falling for him…

What does TWG think?

Yay! A brand new series! There’s nothing like snuggling up with one of Sarah Bennett’s novels, especially when you know that its the start of a three part series. Exciting!

It took me a little while to get into the swing of things, I will admit. The storyline seemed to have a different vibe to it, one that I wouldn’t usually associate with a Sarah Bennett novel. Not saying that as a negative by the way, I just felt like the story wasn’t written in the authors usual writing style.

‘Spring Skies over Bluebell Castle’ tells the story of a Baronet, his wares, and a lady who attracted bad luck like a moth to a flame. I’m not even being dramatic, trust me. Poor Lucie wouldn’t know a bowt of good luck if it came to bite on the toosh, which is a shame. Shes a naive character, but I think that’s down to the way her life has panned out so far. It’s as though she is unsure about simply being, just in case things were too good to be true and her life crashed down around her. It’s a shame really.

You’re probably wondering what a Baronet has to do with Lucie, however I cannot divulge as that’s a spoiler and I am not a doorknob. That said, it is an unlikely friendship, yet one that just proves that a person has a lot more to them than what they have, or don’t have, in their bank account.

For me, the storyline was a little slow to begin with and I was eagerly awaiting the magic. Probably why I felt that the story was a different style for the author as I am usually hooked straight away. I’m not complaining too much though as I did end up falling head over heels with the characters and their flourishing journey. I was so pleased to see Lucie again confidence and believe in herself. I thought that that was a very important message to convey to readers, that and the fact that judging people by their amount of wares, lack of wares, or being in the wrong place at the wrong, isn’t acceptable and that people may find that they’re missing out on true friendships far too late.

‘Spring Skies over Bluebell Castle’ is a romantic, heartwarming novel with such strong messages hidden beneath the words of such colourful and magnetic characters. I am so looking forward to finding out what happens in book two! A lovely, lovely read.

Buy now!

About the author.

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.
Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.

When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove, Lavender Bay and the forthcoming Bluebell Castle trilogies, published by HQ Digital UK.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings by Donna Ashcroft (@donnashc) @Bookouture

Another Bookouture blog tour for TWG this afternoon! Thank you to the publisher for inviting me to take part in the tour for Donna Ashcroft’s new book, ‘The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings’, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

The Sunshine Hideaway, with its big bay windows and stunning view of Sunflower Island’s golden beaches, is the only place Madison Skylar has ever truly thought of as home. Could returning to the island be the second chance she needs?

When twenty-three-year-old Madison arrives at The Sunshine Hideaway, she discovers the beautiful little guesthouse is falling into disrepair. With the help of old friends Amy and Connor, Madison throws herself into creating a gorgeous wellness retreat, introducing yoga sessions, adventure walks and ice-cream sundaes with a delicious twist. But will it be enough to save her childhood home?
Handsome and mysterious Connor has lived on Sunflower Island his whole life. He works hard as a builder, with his faithful dog Jaws by his side, but something is missing and he dreams of bigger things. As Connor helps to revamp The Sunshine Hideaway, this could be his opportunity to tell the woman he’s secretly been in love with for years how he really feels…
As spontaneous and fun-loving Madison settles into life on the close-knit island, sparks fly between her and shy Connor as they clash on the reinvention of the guesthouse. Are the they too different to make things work or will Madison and Connor finally find true love this year?

What does TWG think?

Despite having such a calming front cover, Donna Ashcroft’s novel, in my opinion, has quite a few characters that I would put in the ‘marmite’ folder. Madison, one of the main characters, has had the travel bug for years, but now she feels that it’s the right time to put down roots with her family on Sunflower Island. When the going gets tough, Madison is very quick to spread her wings and take flight, so, when she manages to stay in one place for more than a few days, her old friends just can’t hide their surprise.

I couldn’t blame the other main character, Connor, for thinking the worst in Madison if that’s all he has ever known her to do, however I did think he was a little hard on her at times. His reservations were totally justified, I get that, but Madison was trying to make an effort and sniping at her wasn’t going to make her want to stay. That said, that girl could certainly hold her own and I repeat what I said above, the characters are definitely marmite because one moment I felt defensive of Madison, then the next she was annoying me with her throwing the teddy out of the pram because something didn’t go how she wanted it to. Her heart is in the right place, please don’t think that I didn’t like her, because I did most of the time. She just really needed to grow up and, for someone who has had so much independence travelling the world, it surprised me just how low her maturity was.

‘The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings’ has such a heartwarming and romantic vibe to it, you’ll need to be made of stone not to be touched by the true friendships, evolving relationships, and delightful community spirit. I adored how the entire island came together to help one of their own, and I couldn’t help but be moved by the lengths they all went to to support one another. Why can’t everyone be like that!

The premise of the book gave me food for thought in terms of living your dreams, not settling for second best, and finding a place you can call home, and I thought that Donna Ashcroft wrote those elements from the heart as though it was her own little gift to her readers.

Even though I did enjoy the storyline and had a good giggle at the name of Connor’s dog, it wasn’t my favourite book the author has written. Nonetheless, the easy to read, calming nature of the book was very welcoming during a time I needed it the most.

A touching, light hearted read to put a smile on your face.

Buy now!

About the author.
Donna Ashcroft was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.
Donna wrote novels for over ten years before being published. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and was a joint winner of the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017.

Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her teenagers about who is doing the washing up.

#BlogTour! #Review – The House at Greenacres by Darcie Boleyn (@DarcieBoleyn) @canelo_co

It’s day two of Darcie Boleyn’s blog tour and I am super excited to be one of the tour stops today! Many thanks to Canelo for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

All roads lead home…

When Holly Dryden fled Penhallow Sands nearly a year ago she was determined to put the past – and Rich Turner – behind her. But now an unexpected loss and financial trouble has led her back to the family vineyard and it’s time to tell Rich the truth – he’s a father.

Surrounded by the memories of what they once shared Holly’s anger fades in the glow of Rich’s undeniable love for their son and the way he selflessly steps in to help the vineyard out of trouble. As Holly watches Rich flourish in his new role as father to baby Luke, she realises that though they can’t change the past, the future is still theirs to write…

What does TWG think?

Okay, that is it – I am now officially broody. Like seriously broody. Not what I was expecting to feel when I started reading ‘The House at Greenacres’, I’ll be honest!!!!

Holly doesn’t quite know what to do with herself does she? Shes gone back home for her beloved grandpa’s funeral, trying her best not to think about the last time she stepped foot in her childhood home. Of course the massive difference to a year ago is that she is now a mum and her grandpa isn’t around to meet the little fellow. That in itself gets the ice around the heart threatening to melt!

If Holly thought that she was going to come back to the village on the down low, she had another thing coming. The reasons as to why Holly left soon become clear, and one of the main reasons ends up standing in front of her far sooner than she thought. Maybe I am just too harsh, but I wouldn’t have been so lenient on the person is question. I know Holly was thinking of Luke’s best interests, but if the person in question flew the nest at the first sight of a storm, what makes them think that a child won’t bring other stresses to light?

Okay I am being harsh. Rich has had an upsetting time, and so has his parents. I just couldn’t get over his idiocy at times. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

I adored the community spirit throughout this book! As for the dogs, AWWWWWW!!!!! The fact that Darcie Boleyn always has a whippet/greyhound in her storylines is amazing and I always look out for that little detail whenever I read a book of hers. It may not be an important detail to some, but it’s the little touches like that which make Darcie Boleyn’s stories feel as though you’re catching up with friends, each and every time.

‘The House at Greenacres’ is a story which definitely makes you look at the bigger picture, as well as highlighting just how important communication is. Holly is living proof that things can be ironed out if things were spoken about and discussed. So simple, yet one of the hardest things to put into practice.

Darcie Boleyn and the characters of ‘The House at Greenacres’, made me feel as though I was coming home. The warmth behind the authors words was incredibly power, and it blew me away just how much belief the author puts into her characters to make them come alive and tell the best story that they can tell. A huggable, emotive and humourous book which makes you think, ‘I want to be like Holly’s gran when I grow up’.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – A Vintage Summer by Cathy Bramley (@CathyBramley) @AnneCater @TransworldBooks

I am SO excited to be hosting today’s stop on the ‘A Vintage Summer’ blog tour. Hugest of thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review of Cathy Bramley’s latest novel:

London has not been kind to Lottie Allbright. Realising it’s time to cut and run, she packs up and moves back home – but finds her family in disarray. In need of a new place to stay, Lottie takes up the offer of a live-in job managing a local vineyard. There’s a lot to learn – she didn’t even know grapes could grow so far north!

Butterworth Wines in the rolling Derbyshire hills has always been run on love and passion but a tragic death has left everyone at a loss. Widowed Betsy is trying to keep the place afloat but is harbouring a debilitating secret. Meanwhile her handsome but interfering grandson, Jensen, is trying to convince her to sell up and move into a home.

Lottie’s determined to save Butterworth Wines, but with all this and an unpredictable English summer to deal with, it’ll be a challenge.

And that’s before she discovers something that will turn her summer – and her world – upside down . . .

What does TWG think?

Nevermind bottling wine, the warmth and brilliance of this novel needs to be bottled!

Oh my gosh, ‘A Vintage Summer’ is everything I could have hoped for and more. Whilst a large part of the storyline does focus on grapes, wine and the Butterworth family vineyard, there are quite a few in depth and emotional situations in amongst all of that.

Lottie has lost her way a life bit and, despite feeling as though she had found ‘the one’, Lottie realised that she needed to make a drastic change before it was too late. Without delving into too much detail, Lottie is well rid did the change she had to make and I was SO glad to see her break free before things got a lot worse. I know that not everyone in similar situations can do what Lottie did, and that doesn’t make you any less strong. As they say, you can’t understand a situation unless you have been through it yourself.

When Lottie’s life perked up a little, it was such a joy to watch her flourish and live the life that she so badly craved. It didn’t take her long to settle into her new job in the vineyard, making a new set of wonderful friends along the way.

Betsy is an absolute LEGEND! She reminded me so much of my great grandmother, Waddy, it was unreal. This characters outlook on life was, whilst emotional at times, hilarious and one of a kind. Again, Betsy’s personality would sell millions if it was bottled!!

There are a lot of colourful and energetic characters throughout ‘A Vintage Summer’, some of which I favoured more than others (well, there was only one I really disliked). Actuslly to hell with it, aside from that one cactus, I loved them all. They were all so different yet all so wonderful.

For me personally, the thing which affected me the most was when the topic of single parentage came up. It’s not often that I read a book where single mothers are mentioned in a positive and empowering manner – I just wanted to hug Cathy Bramley for what she wrote. I am a single mum and I got quite emotional as I was reading this book – thank you Cathy Bramley for showing single mums in a positive light. Thank you for showing the world that we are capable at raising children on our own. Thank you for not being like everyone else and looking down on us because we raise our children with one parent and not two.

I got quite choked up writing that, do excuse me.

Ahem.

‘A Vintage Summer’ made me as happy as Winnie the Pooh with a new jar of honey. I thought the storyline was just so beautiful and so beautifully written. I could feel just how much the author believed in her characters by the words alone. I am hoping Lottie and Jensen come back in another book because I am now left with multiple questions regarding their lives!

An outstanding, touching, emotive read which made fireworks explode in my heart. Definitely Cathy Bramley’s best book yet. I loved it!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Your Secret’s Safe With Me by Rosie Travers (@rosietravers) @RaRaResources

Next up on TWG today is the start of a brand new blog tour! I am delighted to be kicking off Rosie Travers blog tour for ‘Your Secret’s Safe With Me’ with a review. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Career girl Becca Gates’ organised life is thrown into chaos when her mother, romantic novelist Pearl, announces her surprise engagement to Jack, a man she has only just met.

Worse news follows when Pearl tells Becca she intends to leave London, quit writing, and retire to her new fiancé’s idyllic waterside home on the south coast. Becca is determined to prevent Pearl from making a disastrous mistake, but when she at arrives at Rivermede, more shocks await when she stumbles upon a familiar yet unwelcome face from her past.

As Pearl embraces her new life amongst the local sailing fraternity, Becca receives a grim warning that all is not as calm as it seems at picturesque Rivermede, and if she wants to keep her family safe, she should keep them away.

But why should Becca trust the man who has betrayed her before, the man who broke her heart, the man who thinks he knows all her secrets?

What does TWG think?

Isn’t that cover GORGEOUS?! Oh it’s super pretty! Having said that, don’t judge the book by the cover here, and I don’t mean that negatively. I mean, just look at the pretty yet subtle colours, the softness of the overall cover – you would expect the story to be as soft as the cover, right? Wrong!!! I genuinely thought that Rosie Travers’ novel was going to be completely different to what it actually was, but boy did I enjoy it!

Becca has been living in her mums shadow for as long as she can remember. If Pearl says to jump, Becca will ask how high, so when Pearl drops a bombshell, Becca can’t help but think that her mum is having one of her ‘moments’. That is until Becca goes to visit Pearl’s new life and the pieces begin to fit together.

For the age that Becca actually is, she comes across as someone much, much younger as I felt that she was a bit immature at times. I fully appreciate that her life has to change because of Pearl’s wishes, but if she wasn’t happy about the situations she found herself in, why go along for the ride and then simply moan about it afterwards?

I’m not saying that I disliked Becca, because I did like her and thought that she was a vital puzzle piece in the overall storyline – she just irked me at times, just like some of the other characters in the book.

I said at the start of this review that the book cover is softer than the actual storyline, and I still stand by that because the further into the storyline I read, the more surprised I became by the events that were unfolding. ‘Your Secret’s Safe With Me’ has the soft romance and uplifting outlook on life, yet it also has the fractured family dynamics and intense uncertainty regarding both the past, and the future.

I loved how the author incorporated some quite in depth themes into the storyline such as marriage woes, single parenting, dark secrets, and health. Such a mixture of content in one place and i just loved how it all came together in the end.

Rosie Travers is such a magnetic author who blew me away with her delivery of grit, as well as both likeable and dislikeable characters. ‘Your Secret’s Safe With Me’ is such an unexpected gem of a book, and I am absolutely gutted that it came to an end.

Buy now!

About the author.

Rosie Travers grew up in Southampton on the south coast of England and loved escaping into a good book at a very early age. After many years juggling motherhood and a variety of jobs in local government she moved to Southern California in 2009. With time on her hands she started a blog about the perils of ex-pat life which rekindled a teenage desire to become a writer. Now permanently settled back in the UK, Rosie takes inspiration from the towns and landscape of her native south coast and enjoys writing heart-warming stories sprinkled with mystery, tragedy, comedy and romance. Rosie’s debut novel, The Theatre of Dreams, was published by Crooked Cats Books in August 2018. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Social Media Links

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#BlogTour! #Review – Part Three of Wildflower Park: Oopsy Daisy by Bella Osborne (@osborne_bella) @AvonbooksUK

Today is one of those days on TWG as I take part in six blog tours! First up is a review of the third part in Bella Osborne’s ‘Wildflower Park’ series, ‘Oopsy Daisy’. Huge thanks to Avon Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

Life’s not always a walk in the park…

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?

Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

What does TWG think?

Oh I am LOVING this series so far! I can’t believe that we have reached part three already, with only one installment left before the entire book is published as one!

So, Sophie is still struggling with her man child of a husband, and Anna is debating whether she wants to date a guy who is merely….nice, or a guy who shares her enthusiasm when the cat uses his new cat flap for the first time. Couple goals, clearly, even though they aren’t a couple but between you and me, I totally think Anna and cat flap man should be together. I’m not saying the names for a reason here, purely because I don’t wish to influence readers with their opinion on the guys in Anna’s life…unless you read the book in context!

Once again Bella’s relaxed writing vibe and humour had me snorting with laughter! Without giving too much away here…again, I will admit that when Anna went to visit her friend, Bert, I could feel a lump forming in my throat due to the kindness she showed him. I could just picture what he looked like sitting there and, whilst it also broke my heart, it warmed it as well and left me with a rather big (albeit emotional) smile on my face.

As for Sophie, she is a brilliant (if a teeny bit whingy) character who does not give a fluff. Her outlook on life is a bit jaded at times but her humour is out of this world.

I cannot wait to find out how the book concludes, but I’m a little bit sad that Anna and Sophie’s story will come to an end. I throughly enjoyed ‘Oopsy Daisy’, and I wholeheartedly think that you will too (just make sure you read the parts in order). Loved it!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Escape to the Little French Cafe by Karen Clarke (@KarenClarke123) @Bookouture

thumbnail_Escape to the Little French Café - Blog Tour
Second Bookouture blog tour of the day is for Karen Clarke and ‘Escape to the Little French Cafe’. Many thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

thumbnail_Escape-to-the-Little-French-Cafe-Kindle
On the beautiful French coast lies the Café Belle Vie, a peaceful haven offering a warm welcome and delicious pains au chocolat – and where Natalie’s quiet life is about to be turned upside down…

When thirty-one-year-old Natalie Bright’s boyfriend dumps her and immediately gets engaged to his ex-girlfriend, she escapes her heartbreak and moves to the charming village of Chamillon on the Île de Ré.

She’s determined to build a new life there: writing about farmer’s markets for a local magazine, exploring the local vineyards on her bike, and taking advantage of the sunshine. And in the Café Belle Vie she finds a bustling community – including new best friend Charlie – and a near-constant supply of cakes.

All in all, things are looking pretty good.

So when a blast from the past – her teenage crush Jay Merino – suddenly turns up in Chamillon, Natalie’s thrown. She’s sworn off men ever since she moved to France, but she and Jay have a connection that stretches back years.

But could taking a chance on an old flame complete her new life – or ruin everything she’s worked so hard for?

What does TWG think?

Oh bonjour mon ami!!! I felt as though I was on French soil whilst I was reading this!

I am a massive fan of Karen Clarke’s novels as they always deliver on the cosiness factor! I did feel as though the storyline was a little bit different to the authors usual writing style, however I still enjoyed following Natalie’s journey as the story progressed.

At times I forgot just how old Natalie was as, despite being in her thirties, she came across as such a naive and younger minded character. Not that that is a bad thing of course, because it isn’t! I just thought that she was a bit of a lost soul who wanted to finally have their happy ending.

I adored the humour that was throughout the entire book, including Natalie’s reaction to one of the characters dog! Oh I did laugh!! All of the giggles seemed so natural and unforced, it really did up the pleasure element for me, for sure.

Romance is the big theme in ‘Escape to the Little French Cafe’, if you hadn’t guessed that already…being set in France and everything! I’m not a big slushy, romance type of person  but you know what, I absolutely bloomin’ LOVED reading this Cinderella-esque, Snow White type of storyline which made me want to order a wedding hat…even though there wasn’t a wedding. I believed in true love where Natalie’s journey was concerned, and that’s all down to Karen Clarke’s delectable storytelling.

If you fancy a novel which can make you laugh, reach for the wedding confetti, AND put on ten stone just by thinking of cakes and other treats, ‘Escape to the Little French Cafe’ would be right up your ‘rue’. Such an uplifting, cosy novel which will make your heart leap with joy…or, if you’re like me, it’ll make the ice around your heart melt!

Buy now!

About the author.

Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon. 

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’ 

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

 

Author Social Media Links

 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/karenclarke123

WEBSITE: https://www.karenclarkewriter.com

Happy birthday, The Writing Garnet! #TWGTurnsThree #TheWritingGarnet #BlogBirthday #ThankYou

Happy 3rd birthday The Writing Garnet! #TWGTurnsThree
Happy birthday TWG,
Happy birthday TWG,
Happy birthday to TWGGGGGG,
Happy birthday TWG!!

I cannot believe my little blog turns THREE today! Never in a million years did I think, three years ago, that I would be sitting here celebrating my blogs third birthday. I started TWG one night because I wanted to say thank you to the authors who continue to allow me to escape by reading their books, and because I adore books!

I am completely overwhelmed (yes, still) by the response to my blog and I would like to thank each and every one of you for supporting me, being my friend, cheerleading the good things, and being there through the bad. I have met such wonderful people through blogging and the book community, and yes, there have been times where I have thought to myself ‘is it worth it?’ in amongst the blogger bashing and what not. I’m only human. But, I adore my books and my blog too much to disappear now. Sorry – you’re stuck with me!

So, the last 12 months have been insane! I have found myself being quoted on the FRONT cover of a book, quoted in paperbacks and e-books, and found myself in multiple acknowledgements. Thank you to the authors, publishers and publicists for making that happen!

I have had the pleasure of meeting authors and bloggers at various book events, with the most recent one being the Orenda Roadshow in Edinburgh. I am a very anxious person but I am so proud of myself for taking myself out of my comfort zone to meet up with some truly wonderful people. Thank you, Karen!

Last November TWG won an award, making the blog a multi-award WINNING blog! Now I didn’t blog about it at the time because I was at the receiving end of a few not so nice things, which meant that I chose to hide away. In hindsight I totally regret doing that – why shouldn’t I be proud?! I was amazed to win Media/Blog Star of the Year at the RNA (Romantics Novelist Association) Industry Awards, and I won a glass award with my name on it. I cried. I was in complete shock. I never expected to win as I was up against two of the biggest names in the blogging community, so when Mandy Baggot facetimed me with the news I just couldn’t believe it. Thank you to everyone at the RNA for nominating me, making your winner and for being utterly fabulous. Thank you to Sue Heath for picking up my award on my behalf. I still look at the award on the window sill and think that they’ve made a mistake. Such an honour!

What else has happened in the last 12 months? Well, TWG became a fully fledged published writer, courtesy of the online Honeymoon Book Club and Brides Magazine (again, pinch me!). You can check it out here!

Blogging aside, the last year has been a rollercoaster for me and my health. I have had bad news after bad news, scan after scan….and I have still got a long road ahead of me as I push for diagnosis’ for more things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware ‘it could be worse’, but contrary to popular belief – I don’t post ALL of my health things on Facebook! I am very self-conscious by the fact that I am losing my mobility even more thanks to more muscle wastage in my legs, but because I am such a stubborn ass, limping is my thang. It gets me down, which is exactly why I turned to blogging. Of course, back then, I was nowhere near as poorly as what I am now, which is why you’ll probably find me with my nose in multiple books at one time!

So yes, TWG has now turned three and once again I want to thank you all for helping me make TWG what it is. Without you reading my posts, sharing them, commenting, liking my Facebook page, giving me book recommendations and so on, there would be a high chance of me sitting here talking to myself. Thank you for believing in me!

It’s crazy to think that next year when the blog turns four, I would have just turned 30!

Here’s to another year of fabulous books, fabulous book events, and just being ourselves – Happy birthday TWG!!