#BlogTour! #Review – Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts (@_caroroberts) @FictionPubTeam @emiliechambs #PuddingPantry

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Beyond excited to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for Caroline Roberts and ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’! Huge thanks to Emilie from Team Harper Fiction for the blog tour invite and ARC! Not only will I be reviewing the book today, I also have a recipe to share with you all too, so don’t forget to keep reading after the review!

Rachel's Pudding Pantry
Step inside Rachel’s farmhouse Pudding Pantry, a place where love,
laughter and scrumptious bakes bring everyone together.

Primrose Farm is Rachel’s very own slice of heaven. Come rain or shine there’s always a pot of tea brewing by the Aga, the delicious aroma of freshly baked puddings, and a chorus of happy memories drifting through the kitchen.

But the farm is in a spot of trouble. As the daffodils spring, Rachel must plant the seeds of
change if she wants to keep the farm afloat, and it’s all resting on a crazy plan. She’ll need one family cook book, her Mum Jill’s baking magic – and a reason to avoid her distractingly gorgeous neighbour, Tom . . .

Swapping their wellies for aprons, can Rachel and Jill bake their way into a brighter future?

The proof will be in the pudding!

What does TWG think?

I’m just going to cut a slice of cake and get straight to the point here. ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ is one of my favourite reads of 2019 so far! The storyline wasn’t overcooked, nor did it have a soggy bottom. Instead I was hooked by the tantalising relationships between the characters, the cumbersome issues that arose, the fantastic pairing of both sweet elements and sour elements. My taste buds were tickled, my stomach was growling like a caged lion, and my heart swelled with pride like a perfect soufflé. Yes, ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ is my idea of the perfect escapism, the perfectly baked Victoria sponge cake, and the melt in the mouth meringue. I adored the softness of Rachel’s personality alongside her fiery, mummabear nature. She was such a fun character to get to know, and her little girl, Maisy, had me laughing out loud multiple times. The phrase ‘out the mouth of babes’ is absolutely spot on where she is concerned!

Caroline Roberts’ delectable new novel isn’t just about how many sweet treats the characters can shove down their gusset. Yes, it may seem like it at times, but believe it or not, underneath the sweet and perfectly risen exterior lay a surprising and complex bunch of flavours. In simple terms, there is a lot more to this story than several servings of spotted dick! Rachel is a single mum. She would do anything for her little girl, so when Maisy’s father makes a random appearance, Rachel can’t help but feel slightly nervous about the situation.

Not only that, both Rachel and her mum, Jill, haven’t exactly had the easiest of years due to the incident with her father. I’ll try to not give too much away here, but I felt Rachel’s pain as something similar happened to me with my father two years ago. I was moved and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting a book like this to contain something so raw. I’m not complaining at all as it gave the book a very cleverly placed depth. I just found it a lot more emotional than I originally thought.

So, like I said before, there is A LOT more to ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ that meets the eye, and it really is one of a kind. I have read many books which have been set on a farm, but never have I ever read a book where the farm animals are characters in their own right! Can I have my own Pete, please?!

If you’re a fan of sweet things, both food wise and romance wise, ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ will be the perfect accompaniment to any bookshelf. Caroline Roberts has certainly channeled her inner Mary Berry where this storyline is concerned, and if I could award anyone with the covet Star Baker award, Jill would be the winner hands down!

Such a wonderful, enriching, little slice of heaven – ‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ is such a heart-warming, delectable, more-ish novel which I would eat….I mean, read, time and time again without getting bored.

‘Rachel’s Pudding Pantry’ will be published 18th April. Pre-order now from Amazon.

Recipe!

Irish Cream Cheesecake

Note from Caroline: This is one of my (and my friends’) all-time favourite cheesecakes – it’s very easy to make and involves no baking as such!

Serves 8-12

175g digestive biscuits
70g unsalted butter
275g full fat cream cheese
150ml double cream
Half a can of condensed milk (about 200g)
4 x 15ml spoons (tbsps.) Irish Cream liqueur
8-10 large chocolate chips/chocolate curls or chocolate coffee beans to decorate

Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin, or whizz in a food mixer until evenly crushed.
Melt the butter in a pan, add biscuits and stir through to mix well. Spoon into a deep 20cm/8 inch flan dish (one with a push-up base or clip side release would be ideal). Press into place with the back of a dessert spoon around the base and sides of the dish. Chill in the fridge whilst you do the next step.

Place cream cheese in a bowl, add the cream and condensed milk and beat until thick with an electric hand whisk. Slowly add the Irish Cream and beat again lightly to mix through.

Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Decorate with your chocolate garnish at equal spaces around the outer circle area, ideally one garnish per slice.

This makes a gorgeous dinner party dessert or why not slice up a treat with a cup of tea or coffee. Serve with friends!

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#BlogTour! #Review – Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas (@carol_thomas2) @RaRaResources

We have reached the end of the blog tour for ‘Maybe Baby’ by Carol Thomas, where I will be sharing a review for my stop on the tour. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Just when you thought you had it all worked out …

Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.

Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete after a romantic getaway.

But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises …

What does TWG think?

If you’ve read Carol Thomas’ previous novel, ‘The Purrfect Pet Sitter’, you might find that you’ll be recognising one or two of the characters in this book! That’s right, Lisa and her gang of furry friends are back! I do believe that this can be read as a standalone as the author explains any references to the previous book, so don’t worry too much if you haven’t read it yet.

Once again I found the storyline very hard to get into at first. There wasn’t the immediate hook that I would have hoped for, but seeing as the same thing happened with book one and I ended up really enjoying it, I decided to bide my time and hope that Lisa and Felicity were going to do more than a job along the prom.

And they did! After several chapters of being unsure, I was able to lose myself in the drama surrounding the not so mysterious woman who popped up in Lisa’s boyfriends flat, as well as the drama with Felicity’s knife tongue MIL, Sue. Plus, Felicity’s kids had me in hysterics – out the mouth of babes 100%. Brilliant.

The further into the book I got, the more I fell in sync with what was going on – there are a lot of surprises!

‘Maybe Baby’ does what it says on the tin, so to speak, and I adored watching that theme flourish throughout the book. Obviously I can’t say too much but the happiness and joy was evident, pouring out of the characters like a waterfall. I’m no softie yet even I found myself getting a little emosh!

A joyful, lighthearted and uber touching read – even my cheeks hurt from smiling so much!

Buy from Amazon UK

Buy from Amazon US

About the author.

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.

Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.

Visit Carol Thomas’ blog.

#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 – #NobodysWife by Laura Pearson (@LauraPAuthor) @AgoraBooksLDN

Next blog tour today is for Nobody’s Wife by Laura Pearson. Many thanks to Agora Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

‘Of the four of them, only three remained. And there was no going backwards from there.’

Emily and Josephine have always shared everything. They’re sisters, flatmates, and best friends. It’s the two of them against the world.

When Emily has the perfect wedding, and Josephine finds the perfect man, they know things will change forever. But nothing can prepare them for what, or who, one of them is willing to give up for love.

Four people. Three couples. Two sisters. One unforgiveable betrayal.

What does TWG think?

Let me just put this straight out there; ‘Nobody’s Wife’ is so emotionally charged, I thought I was going to an electric shock whenever I picked up the book!

Emily and her sister, Josephine, are as thick as thieves. They have the close bond a lot of family members would dream of, yet there always seemed to be the not so typical sibling rivalry, threatening to put a spanner in their relationship.

This novel is definitely a drama filled, emotionally charged read. I thought that the concept of ‘not knowing what you want until it’s too late’, and the issue of being afraid to be true to your own feelings, was an insightful and poignant piece of writing. A lot of people, in my opinion, will no doubt be able to relate to Emily’s situation, or the emotion the author conveys throughout the storyline. However, I struggled to find what was ‘it’, if you exclude Emily’s situation, which would be pretty difficult to do as the whole book is based around the choices of two people.

There were quite a few things in the book which made my jaw drop as they seemed to come out of nowhere. You’re going to have to trust me on that opinion as I don’t want to give too much away and the shocking scenes would definitely be considered a spoiler. I was quite surprised by my reaction as I couldn’t believe how the character involved brushed the event under the carpet, despite the fact that their action is probably what led to it happening anyway. I mean, they reacted, but was it out of guilt or genuine upset? Too close to call if I’m honest.

I am on the fence with ‘Nobody’s Wife’. I appreciated the complexity of each of the relationships, and I thought the delivery of forbidden fruit was portrayed very well. It worked, it really did, but for me personally, I felt like something else was meant to have happened. I just can’t quite put my finger on what that could have even. I just know that I needed a little more than just drama.

All in all, Laura Pearson is, undeniably, an atmospheric author who brings intense situations to life with extreme ease and realism. I enjoyed having to sit and think about the storyline, and I felt that the drama in the storyline makes for such a juicy read.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale (@EmilyHarvale) @RaRaResources

It’s a nice day for a, white wedding…

Actually, it isn’t which is fine because it isn’t snowing…yet. Although there is a wedding, and you’re all invited! I am so excited to be dusting off my wedding hat today for my stop on Emily Harvale’s latest blog tour. Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane’:

The Angel Bell is ringing for Mia and Jet’s Big Day – but will the Wedding of the Year go without a hitch?

Every bride wants the perfect wedding and Mia Ward is no exception. But she is the only bride in Little Pondale and everyone in the village has ideas for her Big Day. Drowning in suggestions, Mia needs some help.

When she bumps into childhood friend, Breanna Wright on a shopping trip to London, Mia’s convinced it’s Fate. Breanna’s only ambition was to be a wedding planner with her own business, The Wright Wedding … so Mia doesn’t hesitate.

Breanna’s now got three months to plan a wedding where the sky’s the limit, budget-wise. She should be over the moon. Especially as she’ll get a chance to see old friends again, including her first love. There’s just one tiny hitch … Breanna doesn’t have a wedding-planning business.

She should tell Mia there has been a slight mistake, but as usual Breanna’s life isn’t running smoothly and she could really use a break. And when you’ve dreamt about planning weddings all your life, how difficult can it be?

Will this be the chance Breanna’s longed for? Or will Mia’s Dream Wedding be Breanna’s biggest disaster yet?

What does TWG think?

Love is in the air, do do do do doooooooo!!!

It wasn’t that long ago that we visited Mia, Jet, Ella, Gill, and the rest of the gang in Little Pondale, and now we are back for a wedding!! I do love a good wedding, do you?

This latest treat from Emily Harvale IS part of a series and can be read fine on its own. However like I say everytime, I highly recommend reading the books in order so that you can appreciate just how the characters got to where they are now.

If you have already dipped your little toe into the Little Pondale series, you’ll already know just how special these books are. If you haven’t, well, now is the time to start!!

‘A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane’ has got to be my most favourite book of the series. I mean, the fairytale vibe of the storyline and the magicalesque way the author brought the book together, just blew my mind. I actually could not stop smiling. Bree’s accident prone personality had me in hysterics because she was just so real. She didn’t pretend to be something she wasn’t. I guess she reminded me a little of Mia because of it.

As bad as this sounds considering I have been to my own mothers wedding, Mia and Jet’s wedding is definitely the best wedding I have ever been to. Everything about their day just screamed their personality. It was them to a T and it highlighted the power of their relationship, beautifully. I loved it.

I would LOVE to sit here and talk about Bree’s situation but because of spoilers, I can’t! Ahhhhhh!!!!! Let’s just say both love AND magic is in the air for that particular character. I actually felt quite emotional when something came to light and I have no idea why. Maybe it was because I believed in the beauty of the situation. Or maybe it was because I could see that the author believed in her characters. I don’t know. I just nearly blubbered, that’s all I am certain of!!

I have everything crossed that this isn’t the end of the series. I would be absolutely devastated if I couldn’t go and visit Mia and the gang every few months, and I totally think that there is another book just calling out for Bree’s involvement once again.

‘A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane’ is like Kiki Dee to Elton John, like Minnie Mouse to Mickey Mouse, like Chandler Bing to Joey Tribianni, like cookies to milk. It puts the word ‘perfect’ into the word ‘perfection’ – can you tell I loved it? I really did, it was such a beautiful, heart-warming novel that made me feel as though I was coming home.

Buy from Amazon UK

About the author.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

#BlogTour! #Review – My Best Friend’s Secret by Anna Mansell (@AnnaMansell) @Bookouture

I have just this minute finished Anna Mansell’s beautiful new book, so I apologise in advance if my ramblings aren’t as coherent as normal. Many thanks to Bookouture for asking me to take part in the blog tour today, and for the ARC. I am honoured to be able to share my review today.

Your best friend deserves the truth. But it will ruin her life. What would you do?

In summer, the small Cornish village of Gorran Haven fills with tourists, but in the colder months its pretty narrow streets are blissfully quiet, the bell on the village shop door rings only for locals, the beach is unspoilt, empty and safe.

It’s been over twenty years since four very different teenage girls sat on that beach, and swore to be best friends forever. Their lives went different ways after Emily left. But each remembered that promise. And none truly found friendship like it again.
Now, Emily’s back, with a secret she can’t face. She tries to hide away, take time to heal and make some difficult choices, but she runs into one of her old friends, and soon the four are reunited. Lolly, warm as ever, is a successful physiotherapist, married with kids. Yet smart, strong Amanda, who cherishes her teenage daughter, is alone and seemingly stuck in a dead-end job. And creative Jess is so much quieter than Emily remembers.
The bond is still there, and Emily realises their friendship might keep her together, but there are reasons why the women fell out of touch. Secrets that have lain dormant for decades start to surface, and then one of the women discovers a betrayal so big, it could turn each of their lives upside down.
It’s always those we’re closest to who have the power to tear us apart. Can friendship give Emily and her friends the strength to survive a devastating shock, or are some things unforgiveable?

What does TWG think?

Can someone fish out the lump from my throat please, like, pronto?!

Wow, wow, wow – what a wonderful bunch of characters Emily, Amanda, Lolly and Jess are! Amanda is the fiery, sassy type of personality who hides her heart behind her bravado. Emily is the peace keeper of the group who is afraid to take the stand out of her comfort zone, but she has to. Lolly is a lady who wants to be happy and loved, often settling for second best. And Jess, the one who is misunderstood because she doesn’t even understand herself and is afraid to admit that her life changed due to something out of her control.

Without giving too much away, I adored Emily because of the similarity between her and I. I can’t really say what that is, but the way in which she was portrayed in the book made me so emotional and has got to be the best described character in her situation, I think I have ever read. Finally an author has made it positive instead of turning it into a negative. I’ll let you think about what I could be meaning!

My heart went out to each of the ladies as they had their lives rocked by various different events. I thought the way in which they all came together when they needed someone the most, was so beautiful and made me quite sad that I don’t have that around me. Yes, I’m jealous of fictional characters. In all seriousness though, I adored their closeness and the way that they flourished as a group of friends. I mean really, there’s a lot of people who would run a mile if they came face to face with half of the stuff that those gals did!!

Anna Mansell never fails to deliver with witty humour, beautifully thought-provoking situations, and an overall storyline which makes the world a much better place. This author writes from the heart and makes her readers embark on a journey which not only makes them laugh, it gives them food for thought in regards to their own lives. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.

‘My Best Friend’s Secret’ is definitely a ride to hold onto with both hands as, from start to finish, the storyline engulfed my heart as I followed the journey of four of the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. This book isn’t just a eye-opening, shock inducing read which puts all of the skeletons in the closet, directly under the spotlight. It’s a novel which makes you look at the bigger picture, think about what you want from life, and help you believe that you do deserve to be happy, even when you have to endure a lot of pain beforehand.

Can someone hug me now? I loved this book and everything it stood for, and I loved just how much heart the author put into her storyline and the characters.

Buy now.

About the author.

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. She has written three novels, published by Bookouture, her fourth – HER BEST FRIEND’S SECRET – comes out on April 1st, 2019. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin (@HollyMAuthor)

Thank you to Holly Martin for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for her new novel, ‘The Summer of Chasing Dreams’, and for the ARC. It may be the final day of the tour, but I am super excited to be sharing my review with you all.

Eva is quite content with her life in London. In her job as a cover designer, she works at home, and often in her cosy pyjamas. She’s happy to stay in her safe little world and not explore much outside of it.

She is the opposite of her mum, a free spirit who craved finding adventure and thrills in all corners of the world. But on the day her mum’s will is finalised, Eva finds a list of all the dreams her mum wanted to achieve in her life. Things she never did because she fell pregnant with Eva.

Eva decides these dreams will not go unfulfilled – she is going to be brave and complete them for her mum. As Eva has no experience travelling the world, she hires a guide to go with her on this holiday.

Gorgeous but rude Thor Anderson is not the person she would choose to accompany her on this journey, but somehow she gets stuck with him. As they discover the world together Eva starts to think he might not be as bad as she first thought. She is swept away by Thor’s kindness and mischievous sense of humour. But will it be a simple holiday romance or could this wonderful adventure lead to so much more?

What does TWG think?

Wow – if you are wanting a book which puts ‘heart’ into the word ‘heartwarming’, then you have definitely come to the right place!

I can’t help but admit that when Thor came on the scene, I envisioned the character as an Avenger. Please say that I’m not the only one?! His character is definitely a marmite one and, whilst he didn’t knock me off my feet as quickly as the Avenger dude did, i found that I had a soft spot for him and his little quirks.

The story behind Eva’s journey around the world, is one that made me rather emotional. I had a rather large lump in my throat for a large portion of the storyline due to how much love and emotion was laced through Eva’s actions, and the lengths she wanted to go to for her mum.

‘The Summer of Chasing Dreams’ as a title could not be more apt and I felt that the author delivered the strength of those dreams with such heart and poignancy, as well as her trademark humour. This really is a touching novel, but it is also one which highlights the true beauty of romance and living your life before it’s too late

Another wonderful, beautifully written and humourous novel from Holly Martin – I adored it.

Buy now!

#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 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!