#BlogTour! #Review of #PuzzleGirl by Rachael Featherstone (@WRITERachael) @AccentPress

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Love is a riddle waiting to be solved…

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctors surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.

Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

What does TWG think?

Ever since Accent Press started posting the book cover on social media (to tease me) at the end of last year, Puzzle Girl had put itself on my radar. There was just something rather unique and exciting about a multi-coloured, puzzle piece tree and I wasn’t going to rest until I had read the book. As always, I’m true to my word and my excitement about #PuzzleGirl began to grow every time Accent Press posted anything about the book. I’m sure you can guess the look on my face when I got approached to review the book for the blog tour!

Now, I’m not the cleverest person when it comes to completing puzzles, especially as Sudoku reminds me of trying to work out your BMI (awfully frustrating), but I was intrigued to see how puzzles were going to be made into a storyline. I thought that maybe I needed to go on a word search(sorry!) to find out, but I ended up having a few cross words with myself due to the constant brain teasers of the storyline! Sorry, I will stop now!

It all started by Cassy finding a puzzle book in a doctor’s surgery waiting room, working out and adapting a few clues (multiple times), whilst finding a mysterious replying puzzle man in the process. I can’t even get people I know talking to me, never mind a stranger responding to me via a puzzle book!! Cassy had a bee in her bonnet and was adamant that she would find out who her puzzle man was, however, the only way that she could do that was by finding multiple (bizarre) reasons to drop into the clinic to check the puzzle book. The bee in the bonnet became an obsession, and the obsession started taking over her life, her friendships and her work life. Thanks to a smidge of rivalry in the office, Cassy’s workplace was already taken over by a different kind of obsession…

At first, I found Cassy’s obsession with her puzzle man quite funny, especially as she was making herself look like an absolute fool every single time she made an excuse to go to the clinic. She let it rule every part of her life which made me feel like she had taken the whole excuse thing completely overboard, making it more about finding excuses as opposed to finding out who the mystery puzzle person was. Her rivalry with a work colleague was hilarious, even if I did think that she had created a completely different version of her rival in her head! Martin didn’t appear to be as big of an arrogant ogre as Cassy made him out to be, but her reactions to his antics were sometimes OVER dramatic that it was brilliant.

‘Puzzle Girl’ is the type of book that to believe it, you need to read it. There are so many unique, clever and utterly bonkers moments throughout the whole book which need to be ravished by your own imagination. There really is something truly hypnotizing about this book, I can’t even put my finger on exactly what it is but all I know is that it filled a large void. I have never, ever read a book like ‘Puzzle Girl’ and I have read  A LOT of books. Every character had a place in the book (even the grumpy receptionist!), not one of them gave off the vibe that they were just ‘there to fill up the storyline’. Obviously, some of the characters were more memorable than others, but they all brought something completely different to the overall feel of the book. For me, that added even more depth to an already puzzling storyline.

Seeing as I was so excited to read ‘Puzzle Girl’, I had everything crossed that my excitement wasn’t going to be short lived once I had begun reading it. I really had no need to worry as Rachael Featherstone’s book ticked each and every box for me, multiple times. Yes, some parts of the storyline, for me, were over exaggerated at points, but it didn’t ruin the book in any way. I just put those OTT situations down to Cassy’s individual personality. After all, she is definitely a unique cookie!

It’s hard to believe that ‘Puzzle Girl’ is Rachael Featherstone’s debut novel, as to read it you might think that she had a fair few novels under her belt. Instead, she just has puzzle pieces!

Puzzle Girl is a humorous, bonkers and unique story which shows that love can be found in the most unexpected places, as long as you have a bit of  two down and three across (not even a clue btw).
A fantastic, witty debut that resulted in me closing the book with a massive smile on my face. Absolutely loved it.

Thank you Accent Press!

Buy now from Amazon UK


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#Tour!#Review – White Lies & Wishes @CathyBramley @TransworldBooks @Beckyh1712 @penguinrandom

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Three days into week two of Cathy Bramley’s blog tour for her new book, White Lies & Wishes, and it’s MY turn to host! Being asked by Becky Hunter to be involved in this tour has got to be one of my biggest ‘pinch me’ moments so far. Cathy Bramley has won over millions of hearts with her previous releases; Conditional Love, Ivy Lane and most recently, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food; making her one of the top ‘go to’ authors within contemporary fiction right now.
Basically, I’m a HUGE fan of hers and I am truly honoured to help celebrate and promote such a talented and humble author, as well as her beautiful new book; White Lies & Wishes.
I hope you enjoy my review!

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Blurb.

What happens when what you wish for is only half the story…?

Flirtatious, straight-talking Jo Gold says she’s got no time for love; she’s determined to save her family’s failing footwear business.

New mother Sarah Hudson has cut short her maternity leave to return to work. She says she’ll do whatever it takes to make partner at the accountancy firm.

Bored, over-eating housewife Carrie Radley says she just wants to shift the pounds – she’d love to finally wear a bikini in public.

The unlikely trio meet by chance one winter’s day, and in a moment of ‘Carpe Diem’ madness, embark on a mission to make their wishes come true by September.

Easy. At least it would be, if they hadn’t been just the teensiest bit stingy with the truth…

With hidden issues, hidden talents, and hidden demons to overcome, new friends Jo, Carrie and Sarah must admit to what they really, really want, if they are ever to get their happy endings.

What does TWG think?

Three very unique women plus three bolshie wishes sounds quite straight forward, doesn’t it? After all, it’s ONLY one wish each that they are aiming to make a reality, how hard can it be? Well, considering the fact that Jo, Carrie and Sarah are virtually strangers and their wishes aren’t exactly black and white; they may be in for a bumpy ride before they get their happy endings!

To be honest, I’m sure Jo, Carrie and Sarah, are not the only ones who have made a positive ‘bucket list’, aiming to change something about their life that they haven’t had the confidence to do so before. I was going to say that it’s similar to a new years resolution, except that not many people keep theirs! The three ladies met at a time where making friendships would usually be the last thing on your mind. But for them, it seemed to be the ideal place to strike up a friendship, and put the world (well, their lives) to rights during their very first conversation! Some might say that it was a brave move on their part, or some might say that Cathy Bramley gets top marks for originality of friendship starting places. I say; BOTH!

I adored the unusual way the ladies met each other as it showed exactly how varied different lives can be. Not everyone meets at a bar or in a café; we have the chance to create friendships wherever we go and this scenario was no different. I struggled to associate with the main three characters to begin with as I didn’t warm to them as quickly as I had hoped. However, once the storyline grew and the characters let their guards down, I found that I was able to relate to them all in such very different ways. I actually can’t pick a favourite!

Describing what I enjoyed about Cathy Bramley’s new book is like having to choose a favourite pair of shoes; overwhelming and extremely difficult. I LOVED everything about this book; selecting a couple of positives to write about is really hard when there are so many (cough, the whole book, cough). The only way that I can sum up my thoughts of the book is by imagining a seedling; during the first chapter the seed was planted and the storyline began. As the storyline progressed, the seedling grew as did Jo, Carrie and Sarah. Every chapter saw the seedling gain strength, individuality and the want to weather the storm, and every chapter saw the storyline become something rather special.  So special in fact, I found myself smiling at the book multiple times as the warmth and love that was cushioned under Cathy Bramley’s words, jumped off the page and into my soul.

The seedling weathered quite a few storms, but it never lost hope, neither did the characters. Then, about three-quarters of the way into the novel my heart became full of pride and the seedling was no more. For me, three quarters of the way through the novel was a complete game changer. Cathy Bramley not only managed to fill my soul with warmth and love, she also filled my heart with hope, determination and a heart warming eye opener that left me stunned. The seedling blossomed into a beautiful flower; as beautiful as the storyline of White Lies & Wishes and the humbling message that it contains. If you feel as though your own life has a huge question marking hovering above it, get onto Amazon or pop into your local supermarket and buy this book. It won’t fix your life, but it most certainly will give you the laughter, hope and hunger to fulfill your own special dreams.

Cathy Bramley has once again written such an outstanding novel; I am in awe. A wonderful book that is full of true friendships, dreams and the desire to laugh. I think I may have just found one of my new favourite books. Wait, no, scrap that. I KNOW that I have found a new favourite book. Oh, and no, that isn’t a white lie.

White Lies & Wishes is available to buy now from Amazon.

#Tour! #Review – A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith by @LinnBHalton @Brookcottagebks @ChocLituk

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Linn.B.Halton returns to TWG with her newest novel; A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith, published by Choc Lit UK in 2016. Linn first appeared on TWG with her previous novel, you can find my review for that one here:  Blog Tour! ‘A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love’ by Linn B Halton (@LinnBHalton) @BrookCottagebks.
I hope you enjoy my review for this book! Keep your eye out for a fab giveaway further down the page too!

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Blurb.

When destiny calls, you need to pick up …

On the surface, Kristi Danielson has it all. She’s lifestyle coach to the rich and famous, has a bestselling book to her name and is described by her fans as “the veritable Queen of how to lead a fulfilling life”. But the harsh truth is that Kristi has never practiced what she preaches. Her home life is a mess, her relationship with artist boyfriend, Tom, not much better – and now she has to
redeem herself before all is lost.

At her wit’s end, Kristi is driven to seek out the help of Patrick Blakeslee, a tarot card reader and psychic medium, in an attempt to make sense of the mounting panic she’s feeling. But Patrick’s visits have an unexpected effect on Kristi, leaving her with more questions than answers – and a life-changing decision to make.

What does TWG think?

Having LOVED Linn’s previous novel; A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love, I had really high hopes for ‘A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith’, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.

When we offer advice to others, the chances of us actually listening to our own advice is probably slim to none. We can help other people with their demons but as soon as our own demon comes knocking, we ignore our own advice and pretend the demon is really…chocolate (well I do, ahem). Luckily, it’s not just us readers that are like that! Take Kristi for example, a life coach who is at the top of her game when it comes to her career and offering life advice, yet when it comes to her OWN life and personal relationships, coaching herself isn’t top of her agenda.

I really, really wanted to fall in love with this book straight away; but for the first chapter or two, I couldn’t warm to it in a way I had hoped I would. I decided to put the book down to go and do something else for ten minutes, ensuring that I came back to the book fresh eyed. Well, that was the theory anyway. However after a mere few minutes, curiosity got the better of me and I found myself wondering what Kristi was up to, whether she was okay or whether Tom grown a pair yet. It turns out that I had warmed to the book and the storyline, it was just in a completely different way than before! From the moment the book was back in my hands, it stayed there until the words ‘The End’ appeared.

The issues that Kristi faced were exceptionally heart-warming and very relatable. In a matter of paragraphs she seemed to go from an icy character, to a character with a little naivety, and a lot of heart (see what I did there?). We were able to see a completely different side of her as a person, once she opened her eyes to her surroundings (and Tom). When the storyline introduced the psychic medium I really didn’t know what to think as I hadn’t really been in a position to think about, never had the need to. However, having never been involved with psychics in my own life, I couldn’t really form an opinion on the subject having never been in contact with it. That said, I loved absorbing the quirky topic and seeing how it fit in to Kristi’s life. Definitely opened my eyes to multiple possibilities, never say never!

As Linn has shown in the two novels that I have read of hers; her writing skill is one which oozes consistency and warmth. Despite the fact that Linn has written books about completely different situations, she still managed to hold my attention during the book and let her words do the talking without me feeling as though something was missing. A Little Luck, A Lot of Faith is definitely a book to curl up on the sofa with and just let Linn’s enchanting words pull you into the magic that is the story.

Linn.B.Halton is the type of author whose novels shout cosy and warm. I wish I could put my finger on exactly what it is that moves me about Linn and her novels, but I cannot put it into words. All I know is that if I need a hug or if I need to feel calm, I am confident to put my trust into Linn.B.Halton’s books to get just that.

If you haven’t read any of Linn.B.Halton’s books yet, you’re severely missing out.

Click this link to buy!

EXCERPT

I’m the middle child, sandwiched between my eldest brother, Luke, and the baby of the
family, Drew. My mother had three brothers and so, as the only two daughters in two
generations, we were always in the minority. That rather tends to shape the way you look at things and there are only two ways it can go. Either you are the one whose voice is seldom heard above the sea of testosterone around you, or you make yours the loudest voice of them all. You become the organiser; the one who leads – in short, my brothers accepted that I was in charge. Maybe it was because I had inherited the bossy gene, if such a thing exists. But, from a tender age, what I lacked in practical knowledge, I made up for with sheer common sense and the dubious ability to be believable.
I say dubious, because I learnt that I had the power to organise and control what went on
around me. I was a natural. What surprised me was the fact that people around me loved
being told what to do. They sought my advice, opening up to me and looking for guidance at every step of the way. As a teenager I felt I had a heady power and it gave me a sense of
confidence. At the time I didn’t understand that it was something to be treated with respect and a healthy dose of reality.

People simply lapped-up what I told them and that, I suppose,

was the blessing that has become a curse. When people are unsure about what to do next they look around for someone strong to advise them. In their desperation they are grateful and comforted and the person delivering the advice? Well, it’s addictive and each little success elevates you in their eyes, as well as in your own. The truth is that I am supremely confident when it comes to organising other people’s lives. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I can inspire others and encourage them to develop their full potential. When it comes to my own life, it’s held together with the emotional equivalent of string and Blu-tack. Simply put, I’m a fraud. Money and fame go hand-in- hand and there isn’t a chat show worth mentioning that hasn’t featured me at some point in the last few years. My name constantly crops up around the world and even in countries like the US, Japan, and Sweden, it’s instantly recognisable. Grab Life and Run With It is in its fourth season in the UK and I’ve just signed a contract for a further six episodes. My fan club is full of hopeful people, eager to share each of their milestones on Twitter, as they follow my celebrated Twelve Steps to Finding YOU plan.

To the world it appears I have all of the trappings of success. The harsh reality is that I
spend my time trying to cover the tracks of a life that has no balance. All I have is my work –
there is nothing else.

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GIVEAWAY!!

CONTEST – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY – No Purchase necessary
Three signed copies of A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love paperbacks.

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To enter the giveaway click: HERE.

About the author.

Bristol-born Linn B Halton lives on the edge of the small market town of Cinderford, in the Forest of  Dean, in the UK.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, self-confessed chocaholic, and lover of strong coffee. For me, life is about family, friends, writing … and house renovation! Oh, and the occasional glass of White Grenache”
An Amazon UK Top 100 best-selling author with A Cottage in the Country in November 2015, Under The Stars also became a best-seller in November 2016. Linn’s novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Linn writes chick lit, women’s contemporary fiction and psychic romance for Choc Lit, Harper Impulse and Endeavour Press.

#Review! All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll(@carrollclaudia) @AvonBooksUK #Tuesnews

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Blurb.

A gorgeous story of chance meetings and unexpected friendships . . . because sometimes what you’ve always wished for isn’t necessarily what life has in store . . .

Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?

One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…

All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…

What does TWG think?

Planning your wedding is supposed to be an exciting experience isn’t it? Well, stressful too, but you would think that when your upcoming wedding was being spoken about, you would show more happiness as opposed to….nothing, right? I have watched many episodes of Say Yes To The Dress and Don’t tell the Bride to understand that anger or uncertainty, are two feelings that would only appear if your other half has annoyed you…and NOT because of someone asking you whether you’re excited to be getting married.

Meet Tess, a personal trainer who is planning her wedding to a man that is her polar opposite who thinks his reputation is far more important than anything else.
Meet Kate, a celebrity who is married to a man she thought would be her ‘one’, her ‘happily ever after’, funny how things can change isn’t it?

I revealed the cover of this book on my blog the other month, so when I realised that I was able to review it too, I became rather excited! I didn’t know what to expect at all but I rather looking forward to finding out.

As soon as the story begins it seems as though we’re gaining a puzzle piece because of the first scenario we come across. To what that puzzle piece represented, I didn’t know, yet, but it seemed as though that first puzzle piece was a vital piece of information for the story.

The storyline itself switches between Tess’ and Kate’s lives and how they got to where they are now, and more I read, the more puzzle pieces I collected. I gave up trying to work out where the storyline was heading as there was so much information and enjoyable situations, I didn’t want my mind to be taken away from the overall story. I wanted to enjoy it for what it was instead of trying to be Sherlock. Both Tess and Kate were brilliant characters to follow as their personalities were so very different yet they were still quite similar ladies. I found the storyline to be quite complex as there was a lot going on and I was taken on such an emotional journey, absolutely loved it.

‘All She Ever Wished For’ is such a powerful and poignant read, it truly opened my eyes to the bigger picture in general. I thoroughly enjoyed going with the flow with this book and letting myself enjoy every single moment of Claudia’s enchanting words. I couldn’t believe where the storyline headed as it was totally unexpected, that said, it made for an even better read.

Such a wonderful book that will have you siding with a heroine or two. I got lost in Claudia’s majestic storyline and was rather disappointed when the book had to end. I absolutely cannot wait to see what Claudia has up her sleeve for her next book!

Thank you to Avon for my ARC.

All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll, published by Avon Books UK, is available to buy now in both e-book and paperback from Amazon UK! The paperback is also available to buy in the wild as I spotted it in Tesco and Asda!

Review! ‘We Were On A Break’ by Lindsey Kelk (@LindseyKelk) @HarperCollinsUK

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Blurb.

Is it a break? Or is it a blip?

‘You’ve just had a holiday,’ I pointed out, trying not to yawn. ‘Wasn’t that enough of a break?’
‘I don’t mean that kind of break.’

There’s nothing worse than the last day of holiday. Oh wait, there is. When what should have been a proposal turns into a break, Liv and Adam find themselves on opposite sides of the life they had mapped out.

Friends and family all think they’re crazy; Liv throws herself into work – animals are so much simpler than humans – and Adam tries to get himself out of the hole he’s dug.

But as the short break becomes a chasm, can they find a way back to each other? Most importantly, do they want to?

What does TWG think?

Please say that I’m not the only one that thought of Friends when I read the title of the book? Good ol’ Ross and Rachel saga has had a 21st century facelift, and has now become the Liv and Adam saga, courtesy of Lindsey Kelk!
Best friend + best friend married to partners brother = straightforward, yes? Ha ha ha, apparently not! Secrets are meant to be kept secret…especially when they’re about…oh I don’t know…a PROPOSAL?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to talk seeing as I can’t always keep presents that I have bought a secret…from the person that I’m giving them to. BUT! In my defence, I have never blabbed about a proposal. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been told about one. Anyway!

You go on holiday with your partner, aware of the fact a proposal is likely, only to come back from your holiday as the other half of Ross and Rachel. WELCOME HOME! Who does that?! Rhetorical question, you’ll find out for yourself!
I’m sure you’re aware by now that Lindsey’s book is far from being drama free, but oh em GEE, it’s a drama filled, tooty frootie, fantastic book to sink your teeth into! The drama becomes your friend with this book, well, it became mine. One of the main characters found themselves on the naughty step within the first chapter or so. I won’t say which character it was as I don’t want to give too much away. But let me tell you, as their punishment they had to prove themselves to me by the end of the book!

The whole storyline is fantastically written, with bucketful’s of Lindsey Kelk’s trademark humour throughout. Lindsey’s humour turns a humiliating situation, (well several), into situations to be remembered for the right reasons instead of the bad. Even the one liners stand out more than Joey Essex’s tan! If you want to get a good tummy workout, read this book, you’ll forever be doubled over laughing. Absolutely brilliant.

I loved the diversity of the character’s personalities, especially as a couple of them were definitely marmite characters. I do like marmite but I’m still undecided whether they would get my vote or not.

Whilst I was reading the book, I felt as though I was involved in something more than just words on a screen (Kindle). It felt like I was part of somebody’s personal life, enjoying the laughs, and feeling the rollercoaster of emotions slap me in the face. ‘We Were On A Break’ is more than just a 21st century Ross and Rachel saga, it truly showcases Lindsey’s exceptional writing skills and her ability to make her readers feel like her friends.

Even though the chances of a sore tummy and your neighbours thinking that you have turned into a banshee through laughing, are high, the hilarity factor doesn’t undermine the fact that this is such an impressionable story. Instead, the hilarity gives the soul bearing depth of the story a piggy back over to the swings. In simple terms, everything flows, everything works, and everything is absolutely brilliant.

I cannot fault ‘We Were On A Break’ at all, except that it ended, obviously. Lindsey Kelk, I bow down to thee you literary, lipstick, author genius!

I received a complimentary copy of the book in return for my honest views.

We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk, published by HarperCollinsUK, will be available for you to get your mitts on from the 6th October 2016!
To pre-order your copy click: HERE HERE HERE

#Review – The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan (@MsEmmaHannigan) @HachetteIRE @headlinepg

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Blurb.

Happy Birthday, darling girl…

Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met.

Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.

For Keeley, who’s raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a secret she’s been holding for thirty years.

And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she rarely goes. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all…

What does TWG think?

Wow, how the monkeys do I begin a review for this one?! I bought this book back in May based on the cover alone, and I was also lucky enough to get a paperback copy from the publisher (thank you). I didn’t read the blurb of the book until AFTER I had read it, and I am glad that I did it that way because knowing nothing about the book increased the power of emotion. Plus, I hadn’t read any other books of Emma’s so I wanted to find everything out for myself. Yes, I am daft, the cover is beautiful though!

I found ‘The Perfect Gift’ to be quite a complex read to start with as I was learning about the characters ‘now’, as well as the circumstances of the past. Luckily, I wasn’t too confused as the past and the present entwined beautifully and kept me on my toes throughout the whole book. When the storyline went back in time, so to speak, I kept trying to work out where it fit in with the present circumstances but I just couldn’t work it out! I was keeping my eye out for any ‘clues’, but just when I thought I had worked it all out, the storyline took another turn and I was back to square one. I’m not complaining at all as it made my curiosity soar and kept the book in my hands.

Emma Hannigan has cleverly, and carefully, entwined multiple lives and personal stories into one complete storyline; perfectly. Each and every character stood on their own two feet and I didn’t feel as though any of them got lost along the way. However, some of the characters pleased me more than others, ahem, that’s a nicer way of saying that I wasn’t overly keen on one or two attitudes. I do enjoy it when I find a character within a book that grates me as it makes the book even more interesting. I don’t want to read a book with every character being ‘nice’, so the variation in personalities was very welcome.

As I read further into the book, a lot of situations were starting to add up. Well, I thought they were, at one point ‘it’ was right under my nose but my lightbulb didn’t switch on. But oh my, oh my, oh my, my lightbulb did switch on eventually and I can definitely say that the light wasn’t a dim one! I sat on the edge of the sofa, head in my hands, sobbing my heart out at what I had read. The intense emotions that jumped out of the pages at me, took me by surprise. Such, wow, sorry, I’m tearing up now…

Being a mother myself, the storyline shook me to my core in a way that I hadn’t felt before. Not in a bad way I must add, but in an exceptionally, powerful and deep way. I am in awe of the way Emma wrote about such a sensitive situation with such feeling; I felt as though I was reading someone’s life story, not a book.

It was raw. It was emotional. It was intense. It was mind-blowing. It was utterly amazing. I cannot seem to find the right words to express how much ‘The Perfect Gift’ blew me away, but it truly did. Emma Hannigan has written such a heart-warming tale about love, loss and truth. Never mind the perfect gift for Roisin, this was ‘The Perfect Gift’ for me. Breathtakingly beautiful.

The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan is available to buy now from Amazon UK.

Blog Tour! A New York Love Story by Cassie Rocca (@cassierocca)@Aria_Fiction #Review #Extract

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Brand new week and a brand new blog tour! What a way to kick off the week with a trip to New York and one or two Christmas Tree. After all, it’s only -calculates- 90 days until Christmas, surely a nod to Christmas is allowed, now? (TWG may or may not have had several nods to the festive season already. Cough.)

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Giving a present is not always easy. Clover O’Brian knows that only too well: her job consists of helping people in the arduous task of choosing unusual gifts. Christmas is coming, New York is buzzing, and Clover, who has always loved the festive period, savours the atmosphere.

Cade Harrison already has everything in life. A Hollywood actor, he is handsome, rich, famous and popular. Success, however, has its downsides; having just emerged from a disastrous relationship with an actress, he feels a need to hide away in an area unfrequented by stars, in an apartment lent him by a friend, far from prying eyes – especially those of tabloid reporters. But as chance will have it, the apartment in question is right opposite the one occupied by Clover, who until now has seen Hollywood actors only on the big screen. Two quite different lives meet by chance, at the most exhilarating time of year…

What does TWG think?

What a job! Can you imagine being a personal shopper for people, helping them find gifts for their loved ones? Having to find out loads of information about the people the client wishes to buy for, finding unusual gifts, what’s not to like? I mean, you’re being paid to shop, win win really! It’s lucky that Clover O’Brian enjoys her job really,  considering that she gets all walks of life expecting her to find the right gifts for people she doesn’t know. Actually, come to think of it, it sounds like quite a difficult job! It’s hard enough buying things for people you do know, let alone for complete strangers! Add a top Hollywood actor to the mix and you have eye-candy with an unlimited budget. Simple really..if the press don’t see.

I didn’t know what to make of ‘A New York Love Story’ to begin with, it took me a couple of chapters to gel with the storyline and the characters. I found Clover, at first, a bit like marmite. She came across as a lost soul with a sharp tongue and extremely defensive, I tried to work out why she was like that. Although, as soon as her family popped up in the story, it soon became clear why defense seemed her go to mechanism.

Once I was able to sink my teeth into the storyline and more characters popped up in different ways, I found myself loving being in New York, especially seeing as I have never been there! The way that Cassie Rocca described the city made me feel as though I was sitting on the street kerb, watching everything unfold. I have no idea how close her descriptions were to the real city, but as far as I’m concerned, Cassie’s description is what New York looks like!

Even though the title of the book has ‘love story’ in it, I wasn’t expecting the book to have the true love story element. Part of me thought that it would be lightly touched upon, so I was pleasantly surprised when the topic of love took over the book. I tried to remain impartial to the characters and not choose a side, but I did, I admit it. I seem to get even more involved in storylines lately, and a love story is no different!

There was a lot of drama in ‘A New York Love Story’ which always kept my interest and allowed the love element to be an addition to the story, rather than the main focus. I liked that, very cleverly done.

‘A New York Love Story’ kept my interest all the way though (after I gelled with it), reached my emotions and made me want to curl up with a hot cuppa and watch someone put up my Christmas tree. Thanks to Cassie Rocca and ‘A New York Love Story’, I will make sure I have lights everywhere this Christmas as you need to light up your life somehow.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me a complimentary copy in return for my honest views.

A New York Love Story by Cassie Rocca, published by Aria Fiction, will be released on the 1st October 2016 and is available to pre-order now from Amazon UK.

Extract.

“Then, next time you’re looking for peace and privacy go to a desert or wear a mask! You can’t force people not to notice you…” Clover sighed. “However, if it helps, this neighborhood is inhabited mostly by kids and middle aged people. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a hysterical woman at your door asking you to autograph her butt!” She noticed he was deeply embarrassed by her reference to the episode that all the tabloids had gleefully reported, and her animosity somehow weakened. 
“I’ve always wondered how you can keep an autograph on your skin intact. I guess you must avoid washing that part of the body: a kind of disturbing idea, don’t you think?”
“In that specific case, the autograph was immediately transformed into a tattoo.” He was trying to restrain an ironic smile, while turning towards home.

“Oh god! Are people really willing to go that far?” Clover laughed with incredulity. She was following him and was satisfied to have found something to embarrass the Prince of Hollywood with. This was the nickname that the gossip magazines had given him. “Now I understand your desire to stay away from people. It can’t be easy to have to sign a bottom every time you go out for groceries!”

“It’s not something that happens to me every day,” Cade replied and kept walking. “And anyway, these are displays of affection from my fans. I can’t complain: I owe my success to them.” Clover had doubts about the sincerity of this. It seemed as if he were acting in a screenplay, as though he’d been instructed to answer these kinds of questions in a diplomatic way.

“If this is how you feel, then you would enjoy meeting a client of mine, she’s really sweet. She has the biggest butt you can imagine! I think she would probably like to have her right butt cheek autographed by you, if you would sacrifice yourself in the name of love for a great fan of yours…”
“Very funny.”
“It could become a new trend, actually a full time job for you: the buttocks autograph artist. I’m sure it would be a big success in Hollywood.” When they reached the gate of his villa, Cade Harrison looked at her, said: “If you have finished with your bullshit, I will say goodbye…”
“Oh! Already? Don’t you want to sign my butt too? Maybe you would like to make a dedication on my back… if I remember correctly, I read somewhere that you did that too.”
“If you have an ice pick, I can start right now.”

aria

Blog Tour! Review – ‘Mistakes We Make’ by Jenny Harper (@harper_jenny) @BrookCottagebks

jh

Today it is TWG’s stop on the Brook Cottage Book blog tour for Jenny Harper and the ‘Mistakes We Make’! Time to get comfortable as TWG brings you a review, extract AND a giveaway! Enjoy!

jh1Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
5th book in the Heartlands series (can be read as a standalone)
Release Date: 28 July 2016
Publisher: Accent Press

Blurb.

Sometimes you have to dig deep to discover what you really need.

Marketing events manager Molly Keir doesn’t realise how much she still cares for her ex until she meets him with another woman. Her answer is to seize the chance of a glittering job in London – even though this will mean leaving behind her aging father and pregnant best friend Lexie Gordon.

Adam Blair is in the wrong job. Pressured by his father to join the family law firm, the stress of work helped break his marriage. Now Molly is moving to London, and he knows he needs to move on – but events soon overtake his best intentions.

A year ago, Caitlyn Murray quit her well-paid job to avoid becoming a whistle-blower. Now she is stuck at home with her overworked mother and four needy step-siblings. Tempted by the offer of a good wage, she returns to her old firm – where her nightmare comes back to haunt her.

Molly and Adam seem to have gone too far to recover the love they once had, and when Caitlyn finds the courage to speak out, she brings all their worlds tumbling down.

What does TWG think?

Jenny Harper has been one of my ‘must read’ authors for a while, but I had never gotten round to finally picking up one of her books. When the opportunity arose with the chance to read Jenny’s latest book, ‘Mistakes We Make’, I just had to say yes. The only ‘downfall’ to that opportunity, is the fact that my bank balance will have a few, (cough), Jenny Harper sized dents in it when I go and buy the other four books in the Heartland Series. Oh no, whatever will TWG do -dramatically sighs-!!

‘Mistakes We Make’ follows the lives of three main characters; Molly, Adam and Caitlyn, and my word what turbulent lives all of them have! The beauty of the character switching meant that my attention was constantly focused, and I was always on edge whilst waiting for the next big thing to happen within the story. Usually that style does confuse me, it doesn’t take much mind, but I really do feel that it worked exceptionally well in Jenny’s book.

‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’, seems to be the underlying theme for a couple of the characters due to the choices they made in the past. Those particular choices have paved each of their paths in the present, and it is completely down to themselves to work out what is worth it, and what isn’t. How many lives could be disrupted though? How many mistakes will they make this time?
(P.S, yes, the quote is from song lyrics. Think tax…a yellow one.)

What a story! Not only is there one lot of drama happening, there is two other characters drama happening at the same time, and golly it makes for a brilliant read! I was pretty much hooked from the get go! I don’t mean drama as in Kardashian drama or cat fight drama, instead it is the sort that makes you sit up and focus. Drama that you feel obligated to be involved in, whether it is emotional drama or life itself drama.

‘Mistakes We Make’ sees Molly fighting against her own heart, Adam fighting against his chosen path, and Caitlyn fighting against doing what’s right. When the story delves deeper into Molly’s history, I did feel as though I was playing ‘I like her, I like her not’. I couldn’t seem to reach a solid decision about whether I liked her, disliked her, or whether it was just her choices that I disliked. I can safely say that there were many times where I thought that all three of them needed to put their big girl pants on!

The strength behind the storyline is evident pretty much from the onset and I absolutely LOVED reading a book with towns that I know of, and have visited, as I live near them! For me, that cemented the realistic factor of the book as I was able to visualise the areas that the characters went to. Very special. There were a few situations in the book that had me rather shocked, but Jenny wrote about every dark and emotional situation with sensitivity, realism and gave them even more of an edge. To be able to write about events that could potentially bring the shock factor to the reader, with such honesty and focus, really added warmth to the book in a way I never knew was possible.

‘Mistakes We Make’ is a rollercoaster ride of a story that will have you engrossed and involved in a multitude of ways. With an exceptionally strong storyline and memorable characters, ‘Mistakes We Make’ is a definite must read and will leave you wanting more. Intense and emotional, this book certainly packs punch. I can honestly say that it definitely wasn’t a mistake to read!

‘Mistakes We Make’ by Jenny Harper, published by Accent Press, is available to buy now from AMAZON UK//AMAZON US.

Extract.

Molly Keir rummaged in her handbag and extracted her glasses.

‘Yum, this looks amazing. Scallops, black pudding, Gravadlax, sole paupiettes. Wow. I didn’t realise how ravenous I was till I started reading!’

Lexie whispered, ‘Molly.’

‘Mmm? What do you think about beef?’

‘Molly.’

Molly looked up at the note of urgency. ‘What?’

Lexie’s face had turned an odd shade, and her brown eyes had a panicky look about them. She was staring over Molly’s shoulder at the doorway.

Molly shoved her glasses back onto the top of her head and swung round. A woman was walking into the room. She was Asian – Indian perhaps? – and classically beautiful. Her hair fell in thick, shiny tresses halfway down her back, her eyes were dark as treacle and dramatically outlined in black. She was wearing scarlet. Afterwards, that was what Molly remembered most – the stunning silky dress, hugging a perfect figure.

For now, the dress and the woman faded improbably into the background because there was a man behind her. Not just any man – Adam Blair.

Molly’s husband.

Giveaway! If you fancy a chance at winning a copy of ‘Mistakes We Make’, click —>http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4be03017188/?
Good luck!!

About Jenny Harper.

I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I’ve written and co-authored a number of books on Scotland, a history of childbirth, a children’s novel and a romantic novel, all published some years ago. I’ve now turned my attention to writing the kind of novels I like to read – well written and with some depth, but not literary or too demanding. I like to tackle issues, but also to incorporate the complicated emotional challenges of day-to-day living.

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