#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 – #SecondChanceCafe – Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse

The Second Chance Cafe blog tour graphic
New week, new blog tour, and what a blog tour it is! Just look at all those fabulous names! It was such an honour to receive the e-mail asking me to be involved in the blog tour, for one of THE most talked about books so far this year. Thank you Michele Gorman! I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square’ by Lilly Bartlett. Enjoy!

Second Chance Cafe UK small

One chance isn’t always enough…

Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.

She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.

This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who’s in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?

What does TWG think?

‘The Second Chance Cafe’ is book two from the ‘Carlton Square’ series. Whilst this book can be read as a standalone to a point, I would recommend reading the first book (The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square) beforehand, to give yourself a bit of a head start character wise. That’s exactly what I did and I must admit, I am glad that I started with book one before reading this one, as I was able to enjoy the whole storyline without worrying that I wouldn’t be able to follow the characters lives. Not only that, book one is amazing (review to come this week), so it’s a bit of a win-win situation really!

Emma Billings wants to make a difference. She’s well aware that a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to receive a second chance in life, due to assumption after assumption, judgements after judgements. Emma knows what it’s like to be near the bottom of the ladder so to speak, so if she can make a difference, she sure as hell is going to try.

That, and a load of information that you’ll only find out once you have read the book, is how The Second Chance Cafe was born. Unfortunately, not everyone is enthusiastic about Emma’s charitable idea. Judgemental much?

I am truly surprised that I managed to finish this novel in one piece! I cannot even begin to count how many times I snorted like a pig, squealed like a hyena, and created a waterfall in my own house; all by laughing! I’m sexy and I know it….

I LOVED how the vibe of the storyline was just so relaxed. Obviously, there were a few jumped up characters who were looking to cause trouble, but even with those characters the author still managed to make me chuckle with her sarcastic, yet realistic, humour.

On several occasions my heart went out to Emma. Her man needed a mighty good shake!! Yes, vague once again, so go and buy the book! I’m sorry, but Daniel did annoy me once or twice, but there we go!

In my opinion, The Second Chance Cafe is the ideal book to lose yourself in. My only slight irk was that I wished Emma’s backbone made an entrance a lot sooner. Whilst she is such a fantastic character to read about, and has such a different life in comparison to book one, I felt as though she had lost a bit of her sparkle. But that’s just me.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to ‘The Second Chance Cafe’. I loved seeing certain characters come out of their shells and grow into their personalities. I thought the humour was on point. Whilst many of the characters had me in hysterics, it was lovely to come across characters who, whilst happy to laugh, just wanted to be loved. If the vibe of this novel can be bottled, I bags first dibs. There is something rather special about the Carlton Square series, I am rather looking forward to what else appears.

Thanks Harper Impulse and Michele Gorman.

Lilly Bartlett Bio

Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.

Time for a Weekly Wrap Up!

Weekly Wrap Up!

If you have been hiding under a rock this week or you were washing your hair, then you have missed all this lovely lot! Time for The Writing Garnet’s debut Weekly Wrap Up!

This week has seen the lovable Maya Berger talk about her Luna Tree in her guest post:
An insight into Maya Berger’s ‘Luna Tree – The Baby Project’.

I managed to have a natter with the lovely Evie who features in ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ by A.L.Michael. Managed to grab and exclusive from her aswell. A.L.Michael can’t say no to me, obvs ;).  Such fun!
*NOT TO BE MISSED*. Evie from ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ by A.L.Michael stops by for a chat, and an EXCLUSIVE!

Now, it seems that I have two posts this week that have been fighting for top spot in terms of views. Goodbye Ruby Tuesday and…..Darcie Boleyn’s book Something Old, Something New!
So much for a bank holiday weekend, we went on tour with Darcie and Annie, and decided that moonwalking was the in thing. Or rather I did, alone, completely alone. Whilst watching Annie admire a lolly stick…..
The Blog Tour bus has stopped right here with ‘Something Old, Something New’ with Darcie! (and Annie!)

This week has also seen the release Lily Graham’s Summer Escape novel and I decided to sit down with Lily and talk about The Magic Faraway Tree, as you do. Oh, and the book obviously….
TWG speaks to Lily Graham on the publication day for Summer Escape. OUT NOW!!

Oh there is more! Samantha Tonge decided she fancied a bit of Poldark for breakfast. No, wait, Poldark’s breakfast? Ahem. Ah, Samantha decided to reveal Poldark’s breakfast! No, still not right? How many innuendo’s can one fit in a paragraph…..
Pfftt fine, Samantha Tonge had a reveal of her gorgeous new cover for ‘Breakfast at Poldarks’. Can see where I went wrong….
**COVER REVEAL** It’s time for ‘Breakfast at Poldarks’ with Samantha Tonge!

And if all of that wasn’t enough fun for you, we went on tour AGAIN courtesy of a lovely Bear(@batbtweets). ‘I wish I could remember you’ by L.J.Epps.
Book Tour of ‘I Wish I Could Remember You’ by L.J.Epps.

Books received:
I’m only going to write the physical books as I may have, ever so slightly, lost track of the kindle ones…I haven’t been buying more, I swear. Pinocchio what are you doing here?!?

My lovely book post this week was: ‘We’ve come to take you home’ by Susan Gander and ‘Now and then friends’ by Kate Hewitt.

I also bought a physical book: ‘The Girls’ by Lisa Jewell.

The number of books that I have read this week has only been three, I think!

Next week sees more book reviews, book tours, Q&A’s and giggles! Enjoy your week!