#Blogtour! #Review – Happily Ever After at the Dog and Duck by Jill Steeples (@jillesteeples) @Aria_Fiction

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I am both excited and devastated by this blog tour, as I cannot believe we have reached the final book in such a wonderful series! I am super honoured to be day two on the blog tour for ‘Happily Ever After at the Dog and Duck’ by Jill Steeples. Many thanks to Aria for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

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Life in Little Leyton is never quiet, and when handsome developer

Max and his bride-to-be Ellie, receive some sad news, he decides to whisk her away for a romantic break. The time away gives Ellie a new perspective, and she’s eager to get home to get on with planning their wedding.

But a devastating incident at the pub she runs, The Dog & Duck, puts everything in jeopardy. And, at their home Braithwaite Manor, tensions are heightened when Ellie’s future mother-in-law turns up with all her worldly belongings, much to Max’s sister Katy’s despair.

With Max preoccupied with problems at work, Ellie’s left literally holding the baby, while dealing with a seemingly endless list of dramas. And as Christmas approaches, Ellie begins to wonder if she’ll ever get her happily ever after…

What does TWG think?

If you’ve been following the ‘Dog & Duck’ series since the beginning, you’ll be well aware of the issues Little Leyton has had to face. Don’t panic if you’re new to the series though – I would highly recommend reading the books in order so that you can fully appreciate each book, even though the author does a grand job of writing them as standalone. Can ‘The Dog and Duck’ really have the happily ever after it deserves?

I was not mentally prepared for this series to end AT ALL. I wanted to start the book yet I knew that when I did, I would be closer to the series ending than ever before. Sniff. I have been with this series since the first book and I cannot believe how much the main character, Ellie, has grown since she first stepped foot in Little Leyton. I feel as though I have come to know all of the characters individually, becoming part of the village myself.

I am well aware that all good things must come to an end, but with such wonderful characters as Max, Ellie and all the folks in Little Leyton, I would be more than happy to continue following their journey for a very long time.

Once again Ellie is faced with enough stresses to make her hair go grey. Not only is she keeping something from her parents, she also ends up slap bang in the middle of the drama between her boyfriends mother and sister. Families eh, who’d have them? Even so, that isn’t all. The village of Little Leyton have their world knocked when a focal point of the village becomes an uncertainty, highlighting the fact that nobody knows what is around the corner. Money may be on their side, but time and weather clearly aren’t.

I couldn’t help wishing for Ellie to be cut some slack. I mean, how much rubbish can one person take? Yes, she is an incredibly strong character, and yes she has a very good support network, but even so, sometimes even the strongest people need a moment to let the tears fall.

Jill Steeples’ ‘Dog and Duck’ series has got to be one of my all-time serials I have ever read. There is just something so warming about all of the characters and situations within the book, that it never seemed to matter whether the sun shined or the rain fell, as long as the villagers had each other. I am so honoured to have been part of the characters journey indirectly by reading each book. It has been an absolute pleasure and, even though I am utterly devastated that the series has come to an end, I cannot fault ‘Happily Ever After at the Dog and Duck’ at all. What a perfect end to a perfect series.

What a finale, seriously. I smiled. I laughed. My eyes leaked. And my soul felt complete. This book warmed me up quicker than a hot water bottle, quicker than a winter duvet on a cold night, and even quicker than a shower on the highest setting. If you’ve ever read a book where you end up feeling calm and serene as though all of the puzzle pieces slotted into place, you’ll understand my feelings where this book is concerned because I felt exactly that.

A truly beautifully written, outstanding, humbling, addictive, cosy and heartwarming novel which made me feel as though I was part of Little Leyton and loved by everyone in it. Jill Steeples has done all of her characters proud throughout the series, but most importantly she has definitely done her readers proud by writing such a perfect ending to a perfect series.

‘The Dog and Duck’, it has been a pleasure. Jill Steeples, I have everything crossed that a new series will be coming soon as, after reading the final installment of this series, i have even more proof as to why you are one of my all time favourite authors.

Absolutely wonderful.

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jill lives with her husband, two children and an English Pointer named Amber in the Bedfordshire countryside. Her short stories have appeared in women’s magazines around the world aswell as in charity anthologies. When she’s not writing, Jill loves spending time with family and friends, reading, films, musical theatre, walking, baking and eating cakes, and drinking wine.

Follow Jill

Twitter handle: @jillesteeples

Any blogs/website: www.jillsteeples.co.uk

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Secrets We Keep by Kate Hewitt (@katehewitt1) @Bookouture


Today is the third and final day of the blog blitz for Kate Hewitt’s ‘The Secrets We Keep’. Big thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the blog blitz invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:


My whole body aches. I trawl memories of her, now so precious… my darling child. I can’t lose her…

When Tessa arrives at the little house by the lake with her two children, it is an escape. The rental house may be a bit small – but it’s theirs for the summer. A place to hide…

However, their isolation is disrupted by the family from the big house next door. Three children and their glamorous mother Rebecca – who seems determined to invite Tessa into their lives.

Rebecca, however, is harbouring a dark secret. And when it becomes too much for her to bear, Tessa seems to be the only person she can turn to.

But as powerful bonds form between the two families, choices will be made that can never be undone.

And as the summer comes to an end, nothing can keep everyone safe. And one family will pay the ultimate price…

What does TWG think?

Oh bloomin’ ‘eck, how on Earth am I going to review this one?

‘The Secrets We Keep’ had me on the fence to begin with – it’s not that I didn’t like it, I just couldn’t gel with it. I couldn’t seem to figure out the truth behind Rebecca’s actions, Tessa’s emotions, and the children’s personalities. I know that that is the whole point of a story, but as the answers seemed to come very late on in the book, I knew that I wasn’t going to change my opinion until I was able to figure out where the storyline was headed in terms of the characters.

Now, before you ask why I didn’t give up on the book, ‘The Secrets We Keep’ had something about it. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what that was yet the idea of giving up on reading this book didn’t even cross my mind. Maybe it was because I was curious about the answers to the questions I had. Maybe I was intrigued by the path that the storyline could head down. As I say, there was just something about Kate Hewitt’s storyline which kept my hands firmly gripped on my e-reader, and my eyes firmly glued to Rebecca’s life.

I suppose I can feel slightly smug here and extremely pleased, as I am SO pleased that I gave ‘The Secrets We Keep’ the time it deserved to blossom fully. For a book which had me gathering splinters on my bottom from sitting on the fence for a while, my opinion couldn’t have changed much quicker if it had tried. Seriously. I finished this book with tears in my eyes, hope in my heart, and a loss that was so strong, I could hear something shattering deep within.

Yes, ‘The Secrets We Keep’ is a slow starter. Yes, the characters keep their cards very close to their chests for a good portion of the book. But oh my flipping goodness, just like one character in the book said; ‘once the tape is ripped…’, everything came spilling out. Basically this book, in my eyes, was like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Not just any butterfly either.  A ‘Marbled White’ – understated yet undeniably beautiful. Simple on the outside yet complex in its choices.

So, if you hadn’t guessed by now, I ended up falling head over heels with Kate Hewitt’s novel and everything it stood for. Rebecca was proof that it is okay not to be okay. She proved that the hardest choices in life are the ones which have the biggest rewards. She highlighted the importance of speaking out. For a character who came across as a highly strung, unsure, and emotional person, Rebecca ended up showing herself, and me, that there was a lot more to her than originally thought. As for Tessa, from the very beginning I yearned to take her in a hug. I yearned to kneel down in front of Katherine, look into her eyes and tell her that it’s okay to talk. I only hoped for the best for Tessa and her family, I really did. I just didn’t expect the conclusion for these characters at all, and weirdly it hurt.

‘The Secrets We Keep’ is a deeply emotional, raw, and devastating novel which shows the reality of what can often lay beneath a person’s smile, a person’s laugh. I could relate a lot to Rebecca unfortunately, and I think that is why I ended up being emotionally bound to the book and its characters. I will not be forgetting this book anytime soon, as it is one of the most poignant and life affirming novels I think I have read so far this year. It’s harrowing. It’s hard hitting. It’s emotionally draining, but it is beautiful, thought-provoking, insightful….and everything in between. One last thing I will add – keep the tissues handy, you’re going to need them.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Wedding Shop on Wexley St. by Rachel Dove (@writerdove) @HQDigitalUK @Brookcottagebks

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It gives me great pleasure to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘The Wedding Shop on Wexley St.’ by Rachel Dove! Many thanks to BrookCottageBooks for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:


Maria is ready to say ‘yes’ to the dress!

As owner of Happy Ever After, Maria Mallory is Westfield’s resident wedding planner,
spending her days making dreams come true for future brides.

Maria even has her own perfect day planned out too, she just needs to find the right man. So
when she falls in love with local celeb Darcy Burgess she can’t believe her luck – it was
finally her turn for her Happy Ever After. Or so she thought.

Jilted at the altar, Maria can’t believe that her fairytale ending hasn’t come true. She’s ready to
give up on love once and for all. But little does she know that once you stop looking for it,
love has a way of surprising you…

What does TWG think?

I may not be the marrying kind, but I can’t help loving books which revolve around wedding planners, bridal shops, wedding dresses etc. Weird, I know. ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ is even one of top programs that i’m most likely to binge watch!

Maria Mallory is the local wedding planner. A wedding planner who is about to say ‘I Do’ to the man of her dreams – who wouldn’t be excited about that? Getting married is all Maria has ever wanted but, unfortunately for her, her dream of becoming a ‘Mrs’ falls apart at the last hurdle. Men. Honestly. Darcy Burgess couldn’t be further from a ‘Mark Darcy’ if he tried!

Whilst Maria attempts to lick her wounds and work at the same time, ensuring that the wedding side of her business doesn’t fall flat on its face due to her being a jilted bride, Darcy seems to have come to his senses by removing himself from his mothers claws. Snigger.

Too little too late! What a dweeb!!!! Obviously I thought a lot stronger, I mean who wouldn’t? How can someone who claims to be madly in love with another person, then leave them hanging on what should have been one of the best days of their lives, only to then reappear when it suits them? A wombling cockerel, that’s who. A muffweed. A….you get the picture.

I loved how the story progressed, with Maria’s best friend, Cassie, being an absolute STAR of a character to read. Omg I haven’t laughed that much in ages! She honestly could not give a monkeys yet her heart was the size of a football pitch. People like that are extremely rare. Even Cassie got a piece of the action as well, even though the main portion of the storyline centred around Maria’s situation.

I also loved how relatable and real all of the characters were. Maria got herself into a sticky situation (pardon the pun), and whilst I feel that she should have been honest and put it out there at the beginning, I can see why she did what she did. To be honest, I don’t think anyone can judge Maria for what she did or what she didn’t do, as there were far worse decisions being made by some of the other characters in the book. Not naming any names…

Cassie’s character was incredibly relatable. She openly admitted that her outlook on relationships was rather dated, with her fear of commitment ruining things before they had even begun. I am so pleased that Rachel Dove chose to put Cassie at the centre…ish, of the storyline as I was able to see a completely different side to her.

‘The Wedding Shop on Wexley St’ surprised me on more than one level; I even found myself getting involved in the romance between the characters (I’m not the romantic type, honestly). I adored the humour that was laced throughout the storyline from start to finish, and I absolutely adored the vibe of the overall novel. Rachel Dove made her characters, especially Maria, incredibly strong, even when they found themselves sobbing their hearts out.

I thoroughly enjoyed every ruffle, every romantic notion, every laugh out loud situation, finding myself rather at home when Maria hugged the biscuit tin. I think I may have found myself in fictional form!

A huggable, humorous, relatable, heart-warming and thoughtful novel which will have you believing in anything romance, just as long as you have a biscuit tin. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Buy now!

Extract.

Two hours later, Maria found herself in Harrogate, squeezed into the red dress, heels pinching her
feet, wondering why the hell she wasn’t sat on Cass’s couch eating ice cream and crying. She said the
same to Cass as they walked on tottering heels to the nearest trendy bar, Ice, in the wine bar and
posh eatery part of Harrogate’s city centre, which, coincidentally, butted up against the legal quarter
of Harrogate, and no doubt the two sides kept each other in business quite well too. Walking into Ice
with Cassie, it was hard to ignore the stares that her friend attracted. Cassie Welburn was, let’s face
it, sex on a twenty nine year old stick. She was always tanned thanks to her meticulous salon
treatments, plucked and shaped to perfection, and tonight, as usual, was dressed to kill. Even
Maria’s daring red dress looked tame in light of Cassie’s black and silver dress, slashed to the thigh,
combined with sparkly silver heels that make Cassie even taller than her just under six foot frame.
Maria blushed and nudged Cass’s elbow with her own.
“People are staring Cass” Cassie shrugged.
“Let them stare, girl. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back” Maria belatedly realised that tonight, thanks
to that ridiculous article, the stares may indeed be for her and not her glamorous friend. She cringed
inwardly, and planted a smile on her face. She took her friend by the arm, and pushing her boobs
out and her chin up, she headed to the bar. “Let’s get smashed” she declared.

About the author.

I am a writer and teacher, living in West Yorkshire with my husband, our two sons, and our furry
pets.

In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my
entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback. The Flower Shop on
Foxley Street followed this in 2017 and both books hit the Amazon top 200. Chic Boutique got to
#2 in the rural life humour chart and is regularly in the top 100 of that chart.
I am the winner of the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year Award in 2016 and I have had work
published in the UK and overseas in various magazines.

My next book, The Long Walk Back, is out in January 2018 and I am currently writing the last
book in the Westfield series. My first book with Manatee Books, Nice Guys Finish Lonely, is out
in April 2018 in ebook and paperback. I love to write romantic fiction, both rom-com and harder
hitting women’s fiction.

I am also a post 16 teacher and am undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at Teesside
University.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove

Goodreads Author Page:
https://goo.gl/CPJkbr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writerdove/
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelDovewriter

Giveaway!

Prize – A signed spiral bound paperback of the book plus bookmarks

(open Internationally)

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot (@JaneLinfoot) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


It’s the final day on the blog tour for Jane Linfoot and ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’. Big thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the author for my very own special copy of the book! Here is my review:


It’s time to come home to Cornwall

With an exciting new life in Paris, Clemmie Hamilton isn’t looking forward to heading home to the
picturesque but sleepy village of St Aidan, Cornwall. However, when she discovers that the cosy
apartment by the sea, which her grandmother left to her, is under threat from neighbour and
property developer, Charlie Hobson, Clemmie realises she can’t abandon her home in its time of
need.

With her childhood friends encouraging her, Clemmie decides to turn the apartment into ‘The Little
Cornish Kitchen’ – a boutique pop up pudding club raising money for the repairs to the building in an
effort to stop Charlie once and for all. But when Charlie and his easy charm won’t seem to go away,
everything soon becomes even messier than the state of Clemmie’s Cornish kitchen…

What does TWG think?

As soon as I spotted the cover of Jane Linfoot’s latest novel on social media, I just knew that I had to curl up and read it! Look at it, isn’t it beautiful?! It has been a week or so since I last took a trip to Cornwall in my pyjama’s, and despite having been to several trips to Cornwall in the fictional sense already this year, I was weirdly missing the rather popular setting!

Having loved Jane Linfoot’s previous wedding series, I had very high hopes for ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’! I think I burst out laughing after just a few pages! One word – mermaids. Enough said. Obviously mermaids themselves aren’t hilarious, but the way in which Jane Linfoot incorporated the majestic sea creatures into her storyline was brilliant and very funny. See for yourself!

I did really enjoy this book, and I am so pleased that I was able to lose myself in another of Jane Linfoot’s addictive storylines. However, I found it very hard to relate to the main character and the storyline itself. I thought Clemmie’s personality was very fiery and made for such fun reading, but I couldn’t help feeling as though something was missing. For me, ‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ had Jane Linfoot’s trademark humour, her loveable way of writing, as well as her clever way of incorporating humour and depth into multiple situations – I just wished that I could get into it as quickly as I did her previous books.

I loved the fact that this author made my stomach rumble, despite sweet treats not being my go to thing, and I thought that her creation of multiple diverse characters was very well thought out.

‘The Little Cornish Kitchen’ is a very tantalising, colourful, and laugh out loud read which will make you feel like channeling your inner Mazza Bezza….or Paul Hollywood. Just make sure you don’t leave a path for a dog….just saying!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jane Linfoot is a best selling author, who lives in a muddy cottage, up a steep hill in
Derbyshire, with her family, their pets, and an astonishing number of spiders. Although she loves
seeing cow noses over the garden wall, she’s happy she can walk to a supermarket.
Jane grew up in North Yorkshire where she spent a lot of her childhood avoiding horizontal gales
blowing off the sea, and wrote her first book by accident, while working as an architect, and
renovating country houses. While she loves to write feelgood books that let readers escape, she’s
always surprised to hear her stories make people laugh, admits to (occasionally) crying as she writes,
and credits her characters for creating their own story lines.

Jane’s garden would be less brambly if she wasn’t on Facebook and Twitter so often. On days when
she wants to be really scared, she rides a tandem.

Her latest books include a series of stand alone novels, based around a seaside wedding shop in
Cornwall. Cupcakes and Confetti – The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, Sequins and Snowflakes –
Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop, and Bunting and Bouquets – Summer at the Little Wedding
Shop, and most recently, The Little Cornish Kitchen. These are all published by Harper Impulse, an
imprint of Harper Collins.

Follow Jane on Twitter @janelinfoot

Giveaway!

Prize – Win a signed copy of The Little Cornish Kitchen, Mermaid Notebook and Sugar
Unicorns (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received
within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of
the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Little Pink Taxi by Marie Laval (@MarieLaval1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources


What fantastic transport for this blog tour! I am so excited to be taking a ride in the ‘Little Pink Taxi’ as I kick off the blog tour for Marie Laval! Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to ChocLitUK for the copy. Here is my review:


Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature
style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is
more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.

Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business
doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new
acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire
existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.

On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was
somebody playing cupid …

What does TWG think?

Who wouldn’t be intrigued about a book with a pink car on the front?! I have to say that it was that car that made me want to read the book (I don’t read blurbs!). I have to say that at first, my opinion did echo Marc Peterson’s. I wasn’t sure whether Rosalie was a gimmick or not, however as the storyline progressed, I found myself warming to Rosalie’s life super quickly. Gone were my thoughts about the book being a gimmick – the storyline couldn’t be further from it if it tried!

Pardon my vagueness in this review, but seeing as ‘Little Pink Taxi’ is quite similar to a treasure trove, I want you to feel the same intense anticipation when you turn the pages, just like I did. There is a lot more to the story than just a pink taxi. In fact, the taxi is the true heart of the village and despite outsider, Marc Peterson’s, reservations on the little Scottish village, the castle he had just purchased, AND Rosalie’s business, he can’t help but be swept away by the community spirit. Well, not every villager is as welcoming as Rosalie and co are!

I’ve never been a believer in Caspar the ghost and friends, and despite this storyline having a few of Caspar’s distant relatives making themselves known, it didn’t put me off at all as it certainly gave the novel a unique bite. I ended up absolutely loving ‘Little Pink Taxi’ (no, not just because of the pink car!) as I was constantly surprised by character revelations, suspense, family secrets, romance, and oodles of determination. I felt as though it was my birthday every time I turned the page!

‘Little Pink Taxi’ is an intriguing, more-ish, loveable read which tugged at the heart-strings as many times as the power went out in Raventhorn castle (a lot, FYI!). I am so glad that I ignored my first impressions of the book as Marie Laval’s novel definitely turned out to be a one of a kind, fiery yet cosy read which I would read over again in a heartbeat.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as
a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about
romantic heroes. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance
The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical
Romance). She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her
native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and
all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

Social Media Links 
www.twitter.com/MarieLaval1
http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/

#BlogTour! #Review – The One That I Want by Lynne Shelby (@LynneB1) @AccentPress


Fourth and final blog post of the day is for Lynne Shelby and ‘The One That I Want’. Thank you to Accent Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for the ARC. Here is my review:


Lucy Ashford has returned home from university to her parents’ house with a broken heart, but her life is turned around by the unexpected arrival of her childhood
friend Cassie Clarke. Cassie, now a TV star, whisks Lucy away to London and helps her find a job in a prestigious theatrical agency.

Against her better judgement, Lucy falls for bad-boy film star Daniel Miller, and is swept up by his A-List lifestyle, discovering for herself the surreal nature of contemporary celebrity.
Success in love comes with success in work when she spots the talent of undiscovered actor Owen Somers, and they strike up a close friendship. It is only when Daniel betrays her, that Lucy realises her true feelings for Owen are not those of a friend…

What does TWG think?

Oh myyyyy, please, please, PLEASE say that I’m not the only one who started singing ‘You’re the one that I want, you’re the one I want, oooh ooooh ohhh, honey. The one that I want, you are the one I want, oooh oooh oohhhhhh’, after reading the title of this book?!? You cannot beat Grease, although according to my now five-year old, anything before 2013 when she was born is deemed ‘the black and white days’. Charming! I just adore Lynne Shelby’s cover, and of course the title is brilliant. So, with two out of two ticked off before I had even begun reading ‘The One That I Want’, I had high hopes for what was waiting for me behind the cover.

Personally, I thought that Lynne Shelby’s latest novel was a classic, and by that I mean that it ticked the boxes for its genre. Therefore, it’s a classic, and yes that is a good thing! I would be lying if I said that I didn’t find a portion of the storyline to be somewhat predictable, but due to the nature of romance novels, a little bit of predictability cannot be helped. Take a peak at Cinderella for example – do people sit there and say that wedding dresses who are inspired by the princess who just happens to lose a glass slipper, predictable? I’d say no. Long winded explanation I know, but even though I did find this book a little predictable, I welcomed that at the time because it turned my grey day into a sunny one. You just can’t complain at that now, can you?

I loved how down to earth Lucy appeared, especially with her grounded background and her relatable and realistic outlook on life. Of course as the storyline progresses and Lucy gets thrown into the big wide world of working, her path becomes a bit more jaded and she has to try and get her life back on the straight and narrow before its too late. Whilst that does sound easier said than done, when faced with upheaval and betrayal, us humans can set our minds to anything. Even Lucy.

I really did enjoy ‘The One That I Want’, as for me it lifted my spirits at a time where I needed them to be lifted more than ever. I also love Lynne Shelby’s cosy style of writing as she tells her stories to the place where it would be captured the most – her readers hearts.

An enchanting, romantic, and highly relatable read – I would be surprised if ‘The One That I Want’ didn’t manage to turn your frown upside down, even for a moment.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (@KathrynFreeman1) @ChocLitUK @RaRaResources


Squeal! Day two of the Kathryn Freeman’s blog tour and I couldn’t be more happier to welcome this FANTASTIC author back to TWG! For my stop today, I have the pleasure of reviewing Kathryn’s latest release, ‘Oh Crumbs’. Big thank you to RaraResources for the blog tour invite, and thank you to ChocLitUK for the ARC. Here is my review:


Sometimes life just takes the biscuit …

Abby Spencer knows she can come across as an airhead – she talks too much and is a bit of a klutz –
but there’s more to her than that. Though she sacrificed her career to help raise her sisters, a job
interview at biscuit company Crumbs could finally be her chance to shine. That’s until she hurries in
late wearing a shirt covered in rusk crumbs, courtesy of her baby nephew, and trips over her
handbag.

Managing director Douglas Faulkner isn’t sure what to make of Abby Spencer with her Bambi eyes,
tousled hair and ability to say more in the half-hour interview than he manages in a day. All he
knows is she’s a breath of fresh air and could bring a new lease of life to the stale corporate world of
Crumbs. To his life too, if he’d let her.

But Doug’s harbouring a secret. He’s not the man she thinks he is.

What does TWG think?

A book with biscuits in it, written by Kathryn Freeman? What more could anyone want? As a massive, massive fan of both Kathryn Freeman AND biscuits, I had a pretty good feeling about ‘Oh Crumbs’!

I have to quickly admit though, at first I did find myself a little bit unsure about the book as it didn’t make me go ‘oooohhhhh’ straight away like previous books by Kathryn Freeman have. However, after making a cuppa to go with the biscuits my sub-conscience was going to snaff pretty soon, ‘Oh Crumbs’ took me under its wing like a packet of chocolate chip digestives (aka, TWG’s favourite biscuit). This book is, in my opinion, a little bit of a slow starter, but trust me when I say that it more than makes up for it as the story progresses.

To look at, Abby Spencer is a woman some males may call……typical, yet surprisingly enough, Abby makes their jaw drop in shock when she shows them that she is more than blonde hair and curves. Of course not everyone Abby comes across in the book believes her, and she finds herself in a bit of a pickle due to assumptions and anger which has been wrongly dumped on her. As a woman in her mid-twenties, Abby has had to grow up pretty fast due to the life shattering cards which life itself chose to deal her, and she realises that she needs to do something for her before she finds herself resenting her situation, even though it wasn’t anyone’s fault.

I ADORED Abby. I found her to be such a genuine, warm-hearted and fiery character, the uncertainty of knowing what would come out of her mouth filled me with excitement as I knew it was either going to make me laugh, or make me think ‘you go girl!’. I’m not as fabulous as Abby, ahem, but I couldn’t help but see a little bit of myself in the way that she carried herself. She is absolutely brilliant. I reckon a lot of readers will be able to relate to her not only due to her personality, but because of the way she has dealt with the challenges in her life.

Goodness me, Doug is a bit of a marmite character is he not?! He obviously has the looks (thanks to Kathryn Freeman’s wonderfully descriptive writing, I was able to create a rather vivid image in my mind!), yet he also has the arrogance to boot. Harsh? Possibly. Like Abby, Doug hasn’t had it easy, but it doesn’t excuse him for speaking and acting without thinking, hurting people in the process. Maybe he does that because it is all he has ever known? All I know is, is that Doug has a lot of pent-up anger and I hope he finds the release he so desperately needs. Well, he certainly released something alright -fans self-.

Kathryn Freeman has done it once again and I am OVER THE MOON that she has! This author writes the types of books I could quite happily read time and time again, and now she has added ‘Oh Crumbs’ to that selection. I know me and the biscuit book were unsure of each other to begin with, but Freeman pulled it out of the bag, kept the biscuits intact, and gave me a story which left me grinning from ear to ear. I would LOVE to see Abby and Doug back again as I reckon they have a lot more story to tell. Yes, I am majorly hinting for a sequel! Oooooh, maybe even a book with Doug’s mother as the character of the moment, I’m sure that she has a few more stories to tell! Either way, more please!!!

‘Oh Crumbs’, like Peter Kay once said about a certain type of biscuit, isn’t an ‘f-ing one dip’, nor is it a book which doesn’t fit. Instead, ‘Oh Crumbs’ is the creme de la creme, a book which, thanks to Peter Kay again, would probably say ‘DIP ME. AGAIN’. There was nothing I didn’t like about this book as I loved every single crumb the author wrote. I laughed out loud, became hot under the collar, felt empathy towards certain characters, felt anger towards another bunch of characters, and had my face ache due to smiling like a BN biscuit. ‘Oh Crumbs’ is such a heart-felt, laugh out loud, free-spirited, and romantic novel which will make the most judgemental of people, remove the metal rod from their youknowwhat. Another cracking read from an author who just gets better and better, every single time. What a delight.

Buy now from Amazon UK // Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is
a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card
(yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change
proves love isn't always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter

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#BlogTour! #Review – This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell (@JillMansell) @Headlinepg @AnneCater


It is an absolute honour to host Jill Mansell and her latest novel, ‘This Could Change Everything’, as part of the blog tour today. Jill has been one of my most favourite authors for such a while, I hope I do the book proud with my review. Big thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and a big thank you to publishers, Headline, for the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

One little mistake and nothing will ever be the same again!

On the one hand, if Essie hadn’t written that letter – the one that only her best friend was meant to see – then she’d still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding…

On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn’t accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn’t have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas…

And she wouldn’t have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn’t fall in love with…

What does TWG think?

I am just going to put this out here – ‘This Could Change Everything’ is my most favourite book of 2018 so far. What a phenomenally written, enchanting, and heart-warming read! Never in my life have I read anything like this before and, whilst I’m being perfectly honest, I really don’t think I will again for a while (well, until Jill Mansell publishes her next book!).

I have always been a reader who judges a book by its cover (sorry!), but on this occasion, the fact that it was a Jill Mansell novel was enough for me to think ‘OMG I NEED TO READ IT!’. The cover gives nothing away, with the title doing holding the weight of the storyline, and what a brilliant job it does. How could anyone not be intrigued by a title of, ‘This Could Change Everything’? WHAT could change everything? WHY would it change everything? And, more to the point, what exactly is ‘everything’? Thankfully after reading this outstanding book, I now have the answers to my questions. I may have started with copious amounts of curiosity, but now I feel as though my soul has been given a truly wonderful gift thanks to Jill Mansell’s storytelling.

Have you ever had a moment where your judgement has been clouded, you choose to do something which could backfire if it were to get into the wrong hands, yet you still do it anyway? Look, we are all human. I’d be more surprised if anyone sat there and shook their heads in answer to that questions. In the heat of the moment, a badly thought out decision is incredibly appealing. It’s not until logistics are added to it that things begin to look a bit less, how do I put this….exciting. Essie made a mistake like that, and now her ‘perfect’ life is threatening to fall apart around her. But is that honestly a bad thing? Was Essie just going with the flow because she wasn’t aware of her place in life? Or did she genuinely love her life the way that it was? Obviously, now that I have read the book I have my own thoughts on that. Don’t panic though, I won’t be divulging as there is a chance my opinions could be seen as a spoiler.

‘This Could Change Everything’ is such a multi-layered, three-dimensional, and emotional read – for once, I can’t even state who my favourite character is, nor can I state a character who I dislike as there was so many beautiful situations and characters to focus on, the less majestic ones didn’t stay in my mindset long enough to make too much of an impression. Well, there were definitely a couple of people who rubbed me up the wrong way and made my eyebrows shoot up to my hairline, but that’s neither here nor there ;).

You want to know something? I completely underestimated just how much I would fall in love with this book because for once, I allowed myself to surrender to the romanticism of a storyline and the romantic intentions of certain characters. I’ve always been the type of person who hides behind ‘I’m not a romantic person in the slightest’, because I get too embarrassed by lovey dovey feelings. However, Essie, Lucas, and Zillah, showed me that love can be shown in a multitude of formats, and it’s only embarrassing if you allow it to be. Take Zillah for example. A woman in her eighties who refused to let herself settle for second best where a man was concerned. Yes, she made many mistakes, and yes, she had to pay for them in the form of guilt, for many, many years. But now? Zillah shows just how beautiful love can be by embarking on a selfless journey which ends up filling other people’s hearts with utmost joy, all because she believes in love and happiness. Nothing embarrassing about that now, is there?

‘This Could Change Everything’ in its entirety, got under my skin on a level I have never experience before. I loved how the storyline started off calm, gradually building up to things the more characters Mansell introduced to her readers. Her storyline wasn’t just put together with her words in black and white, no. Jill Mansell wrote her story with such tender loving care, bringing her words to life with such magnetism, humour, and colourful characters. ‘This Could Change Everything’ is a book that is bang on the money, because it has certainly changed everything for me.

I love this book with all of my heart – it has everything I could want from a storyline, everything I didn’t realise I wanted, and everything in between. Jill Mansell is an outstanding author, but this is definitely her best book by far. I don’t often re-read books, but I will be re-reading this one time and time again. Out-flipping standing, powerful, and severely poignant – hello new favourite book!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers
including THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT, TO THE MOON AND BACK, YOU AND ME,
ALWAYS and MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME won the
RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding
achievement award.

Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU,
which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have
joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the NHS, after she read a magazine article that
inspired her to join a local creative writing class. Her first book was published in 1991 and
she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the few who still write their books by hand, like
a leftover from the dark ages. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Jill keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter – @JillMansell – and Facebook –
/OfficialJillMansell. You can also visit her website http://www.jillmansell.co.uk/.

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio by Phillipa Ashley (@PhillipaAshley) @AvonBooksUK


I have never been more excited to review a book with Cornish/Cornwall in the title before, until now! I am so excited to be today’s stop on Phillipa Ashley’s blog tour for ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’. Big thank you to Avon Books for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

Poppy has always loved Cornwall – the crisp sea air, the welcoming community. So when her boyfriend Dan suggests they leave their office jobs and take over the Starfish Studio on the Isles of Scilly, Poppy doesn’t need asking twice.

But things don’t go to plan when Dan dumps her, weeks before they’re due to move. Determined not to give up, Poppy accepts the help of local photographer Jake, her landlord’s grandson. But Jake is distracted by a loss from his past.

Can they turn the crumbling gallery into a success in time for tourist season? And will a summer on the little Cornish Isles mend just the studio – or Poppy’s heart too?

What does TWG think?

-swoons- Why am I only starting to read this series now?! I think I have been hiding under a rock or something, because I see no other explanation as to why I haven’t read any of the ‘Cornish Isles’ series! This is book three!! At least I do prove that you don’t have to read the books in order and that they can be read perfectly well as a standalone. Hell, I didn’t even realise that this was a series until I looked on Amazon!

I absolutely devoured ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’ in a few hours, how could I not when the story was so enchanting, enticing and beautifully written? The moment Poppy stepped over the threshold into the Starfish Studio, it was like love at first sight. Not only did the beauty of the studio and its contents blow Poppy away, she was rather taken with the artist himself Several years later, Poppy finds herself stepping over the threshold of the studio again to start her new life. Whilst part of Poppy was hoping her new life would begin smoothly, she couldn’t have been prepared for what lie waiting for her. Her ex-boyfriend, Dan, might think that she wouldn’t be able to cope, but Poppy is made of strong stuff, a lot stronger than what people give her credit for…

Oh my goodness me, I’m just going to lay my cards straight on the table; I love, love, LOVED this book! What a beautiful, beautiful story which seemed to capture my heart and soul from the moment Poppy got off the boat. There was something so magical about her character and, even without knowing too much about her, I just knew that she was going to go up in my estimations the more of the story I read.

As for Jake, oh Jake…he’s a bit of a shattered soul bless him, I couldn’t help but laugh at his relationship with Leo! I am being vague on purpose as I don’t wish to give anything away, but please do trust me when I say that this is a story that needs to be given as much love as it will give its readers.

I was blown away by how free-spirited the story made me feel, hugging me from the inside out with every turn of the page. ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’ may come across as being Poppy and Jake orientated, but in actual fact that couldn’t be further from the truth as the author gives multiple characters their individual times in the spotlight. I really did love that as I was able to find out more about certain characters and how they became who they are today.

As I have already said, I love ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio’, and I would read it all over again in a heartbeat! Such a heartfelt, touching, poignant, and mesmerising novel which will stay in my heart for a very, very long time.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Summer at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett (@Sarahlou_writes) @HQDigitalUK

Summer_Blogtour
Apologies for the lateness, but I am incredibly honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for one of my most favourite authors ever, Sarah Bennett! Many thanks to HQDigitalUK for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:

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Love happens when you least expect it…

When Eliza Barnes said ‘I do’ to her husband all those years ago, she thought that they’d be together forever. Instead, he’s flown to Abu Dhabi to start a new life, and she’s returning to the little seaside town of Lavender Bay.

It’s finally time to chase the dreams she’s put on hold for so long, whipping up luxury bath products and organic soaps using local ingredients. Of course, she didn’t expect to meet local farmer, Jack Gilbert, or for him to be quite so gorgeous!

So when her husband turns up, she knows she must decide between the man she knows everything about and the man who makes her heart race in ways she’d never imagined – before it’s too late…

What does TWG think?

 You are in for a treat with ‘Summer at Lavender Bay’! It may be book two in the ‘Lavender Bay’ series, but it can easily be read as a standalone no problem. Of course, you know what I am going to say – I would highly recommend reading the first book as well.

Eliza is at the heart of this book as she finds herself picking up the pieces to a life she thought was certain, when she realises that her heart was no longer where she thought it was. (Metaphorically speaking, obviously…!!) Personally, I am surprised Eliza didn’t come to her senses soon enough. I mean, what on Earth! Everything about her situation made my blood boil not because of what she had done, but because of her husband. Well, she could have told him to do one way before then, but hindsight is a truly wonderful thing! At least she came back fighting!

If you have read the first book in the series, ‘Spring at Lavender Bay’, you’ll see some old friends popping up as Eliza’s story progresses. Don’t fret if you haven’t though, Sarah Bennett has written these books so that everyone can enjoy them in any way that they see fit.

For me, Eliza was such a breath of fresh and, seeing as she lived in the bay, it didn’t take her very long to slot back into life at home. Not only does Eliza manage to get back up again, she also finds herself making a new friend. He’s rather furry though, I wonder if she noticed ;).

What I love most about Sarah Bennett’s novels is how enchanting and magnetic they always seem to be. I don’t ever pick up one of this authors novels and go, ‘nahhhh, she didn’t write it from the heart’, because it is very clear that she does, and that is what I find really endearing. Yes, Sarah Bennett may give her characters emotional hurdles to jump over, and yes, she may have a theme running throughout her novel that could make tears fall from your eyes without realising it. But you know what? I love it because it shows that the author is real and relatable, allowing her readers to truly connect with characters like Eliza, or like Jack, a man whose situation made a lump form in my throat quicker than you can say ‘give me the cake’.

Never mind fairytale princesses such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, give me Eliza any day of the week. ‘Summer at Lavender Bay’ is a fairytale after my own heart. A book which not only tells a story, it creates a vision. A vision where the imagery of the beautiful words written, come to life making Sarah Bennett’s characters to become more than just fiction.

I absolutely adored every single page of this book, and my only disappointment is that it was in no way long enough. I have said this once before, but I am more than happy to say it again; Sarah Bennett has the literary talent of a literary angel, making my life just that bit happier every time I read one of her books. Is ‘Summer at Lavender Bay’ her best book yet? Honestly? Yes it is, and I know I say that about every book that she writes, but she just keeps getting better and better with every new book. Just look at Eliza – she may have started out being low like Cinderella, but it didn’t take her too long to find her special shoe (or in Eliza’s case, special oil) to allow her to fly her wings like she was meant to have done all along.

Flipping brilliant without a doubt.

Buy now!