#Review – The Summer of New Beginnings by Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe) @RNATweets #tuesnews

hjr1

They say trouble comes in threes…

Headstrong and organised, Mia is a single mum who wants to fix the world – but the one thing she can’t fix is her family. Responsible older brother Will has fled Primrose Bay, unable to forgive and forget after the ultimate betrayal. And Jasmine, no longer the wayward baby sister, is determined to prove to her brother and sister that she’s just as capable as they are.

Together in the bay after years apart and a separation spanning three continents, it doesn’t take long for the siblings to clash when Mia calls everyone together in a family crisis. And with jealousy and resentment simmering between them, as well as faces from the past and new loves, the family ties could end up being severed forever.

Sometimes we need to lose ourselves in order to find each other again…

What does TWG think?

I would like to start by saying a MASSIVE congratulations to Helen Rolfe as today is the publication day for her seventh novel, The Summer of New Beginnings! It feels like yesterday that I was helping Helen reveal the cover of her new book, and now it’s available for all of you to buy! Luckily for me, I got to read this a week or so ago, although I now wish I could read it for the first time again..

If anyone can turn around and say that they get on with EVERY single member of their family, then my name is Snow White. Seriously though, we all have skeletons in our closets when it comes to the relationships we have with members of our families, but no matter what, there are just some family members that we would always bend over backwards to help. Regardless of how much they have annoyed us. Am I right? Obviously a lot of circumstances are excluded! If you’ve cut ties with a family member due to something more serious than them pinching a bag of your cheese and onion crisps, then what I just said is completely irrelevant, you catch my drift though, right?

Will, Mia and Jasmine are what I call ‘typical siblings’, however their feuds and frosty relationships seemed to have lasted a lot longer than anticipated. Especially seeing as they can’t be in the same room together without re-creating their own version of Jeremy Kyle. Yes, their rows are THAT bad according to each other. The thing is, one sibling thinks one thing, another one thinks something completely different, and the third one is a mini Tasmanian devil. Lets just say that Will, Mia and Jasmine have led completely different lives over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the lack of communication. By communication I mean talking at a level that doesn’t require protective ear equipment.

Mia is the worrier of the family; as a single mum who had her daughter at a young age, Mia has spent so many years putting other people’s needs before her own and that has left her feeling lost. How can Mia calm down and be a bit selfish for once?

Will is the manly man. Having moved away when unsightly things hit the fan, Will has been living in his own bubble for more years than he cares to remember. What he doesn’t seem to realise though, is how his actions and bubble are hurting those around him. After all, he wouldn’t know that would he? Seeing as he refuses to acknowledge anything else but THAT….

Ahhhh Jasmine. No, not Princess Jasmine (although if she had half the chance, a flying carpet would be top of her ‘to buy’ list). Often as the youngest of the family, it is incredibly easy to get side lined and for family members to assume that, seeing as you’re young, you need siblings (well, one in particular), as a bodyguard. Assumptions…hmmm. I’ve always been told that if you assume, it makes an ass out of you and me. Who’d have thought it?

I think I pay WAYYY more attention to the individual characters than I should. It’s as though I dissect their personalities as the storyline unfolds. It’s a habit I’ll admit, but it’s one that won’t be changing any time soon! All three siblings had traits that annoyed the muffins out of me, I just wanted to shake them and help them see sense. Easy for an outsider to say that though, isn’t it? When Mia called her family back to the bay due to an out of character family crisis, I wasn’t prepared for the family war that had appeared. So many years had passed with each of them holding onto pent-up anger, misunderstandings and sheer stubbornness, that when they were all together in a confined space, everything came spilling out at lightening speed. Will and Jasmine were able to up sticks and move away from the Bay, but not Mia. Could she have gone if she really wanted to? I did wonder that, but as a single mum myself, waking up one morning and deciding that you’re going to start a life somewhere else, is severely outlandish.

I absolutely adored ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ as it was incredibly realistic and relatable. Many of us will read the storyline and nod our heads to circumstances that unfold within the book, due to the similarity of our own lives. I have read many of Helen Rolfe’s novels and whilst she always manages to leave me pleasantly satisfied upon completion of every novel, ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ hit home in a way that none of her previous novels have done before. Tackling a storyline which involves copious amounts of secrets, overlapping situations and bucketful’s of emotion, requires a lot of talent to be able to pull the storyline off, without losing any of the poignancy and overall concept. Helen Rolfe has that talent and she has pulled the storyline off with such ease and power; I truly am amazed at what she has managed to achieve with her new novel.

‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ is an outstanding portrayal of family life, as well as laying bare the secretive truths which often remain unknown behind close doors. This book is by far Helen Rolfe’s best book to date due to her refreshing, powerful and fantastically written storyline. It wasn’t all ‘he said, she said’ and arguments don’t get me wrong! No, it was also a book full of hope, trust and being aware of your own true feelings. When things get too much we often lash out at those who know us best, and that often includes us lashing out at ourselves. Thanks to the authors black and white tale of an imperfect lifestyle, ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ highlights the importance of taking a step back and….breathing.

A truly outstanding novel, ‘The Summer of New Beginnings’ is my favourite book of Helen Rolfe’s so far. Fantastic! A well deserved 5*; if I could give it more stars I would!

Thanks so much Helen.

You too can get your hands on a copy of Helen Rolfe’s new novel right now from Amazon UK

Advertisements

#Review of Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by @HJRolfe @RNATweets #tuesnews #RNA

hr1

Blurb.

Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.
Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.
When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

What does TWG think?

Have you ever fallen so in love with book that you feel a loss when it ends? Have you ever fallen so in love with a book that the entire thing just felt…right? I have. I was really excited to read Helen’s new book even before it was released (I will explain why shortly), so when I had the added bonus of falling in love with the storyline and the characters, I just knew I had to shout loud and proud about this one.

To Cleo, The Little Knitting Box is everything. It’s her safety net, her lifeline and the place where she can fill her heart with memories of her family as she works. Just as Cleo feels settled, something is about to threaten The Little Knitting Box’s livelihood..

One of the reasons why I was bouncing around like a lunatic before the book was released, was because Helen had created a character…with MY name! Oh yes folks, The Little Knitting Box has a character in it called Kaisha! Even though I knew my name would crop up, I still felt quite emotional seeing it in black and white. Absolutely surreal. I was already beginning to feel involved in Cleo’s life myself, then my character doppelgänger turned up and was also involved in Cleo’s life! Yes, the character has my name, but despite that, the way that she was written into the storyline with such feistiness and bolshiness, Kaisha quickly became one of my favourites.

As Helen was describing The Knitting Box interior with such attention to detail, I felt like I was walking around the shop myself. Every feature she described, I could see it. Every smell she described, I began to smell it. Everything. That may sound daft but it is true. Such beautiful descriptions of such memorable features; if this was an actual shop in my town, I would be living in it, mark my words!

The storyline goes between Cleo’s life, and Dylan’s life. Unfortunately, we meet Dylan at a very sad time in his life, and people around him seem to be using that to his advantage. His naivety was a little questionable at times, but it was a joy to see Dylan grow as a character throughout the book. By the end of the story, my opinion had changed as I had gotten to see a different side of him and get to know him much better. The only way that I can describe Dylan would be; ‘teddy bear’, you’ll see why in the story!

It’s not often I say this but I really would love to see this storyline carry on into another book. Whilst the ending wasn’t left unfinished, it still has been left with room to expand due to where the characters are in their lives at the end of the book. For me, the book just stopped. I wanted to know more and I am really hoping that Helen does make it into a series because it is such a beautiful book. Every single thing was…perfect. I felt like I was opening a present as I turned each page and read the magically words in front of me.

Christmas at The Little Knitting Box has gotten under my skin in ways I never thought were possible. I feel like have lost something due to finishing the book, crazy huh?
Helen Rolfe has written such a warm and cosy read, which will fill your heart with sheer joy from first page to the last. I ended the book feeling as though I had gained a lot of new friends, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will feel that too.

Beautiful, magical and incredibly moving; Christmas at The Little Knitting Box is a book that keeps on giving. Easily one of my favourite books, ever.

You too can buy a piece of Christmas magic from Amazon UK, enjoy!

TWG’s Don’t-Snooze-You’ll-Lose Deal Day With…. (@HJRolfe)

TWG's Don't-Snooze-You'll-Lose Deal Day with..... (2)

It feels like ages ago that I had a ‘TWG don’t snooze’ blog post! For that I apologise, but, for those that follow my blog regularly, you will notice that TWG has been a busy bee. But, today, I come bearing gifts…well, the gift of a gorgeous book cover and the details for you to purchase for under £1? That’s a gift, right?

tftBlurb.

Why do good girls fall for bad boys? 

Tamara leaves London and puts ten thousand miles between her and her ex. But as she vows to start over, she meets Jake – and life gets more complicated than she could ever have imagined. 

Jake is the direct competitor for the family business, and a man with a dark secret, and Tamara struggles to fight her attraction to him as she deals with secrets of her own and an ex who refuses to give up. 

Tamara is soon drawn in to the small community of Brewer Creek where she becomes the coordinator for an old fashioned Friendship Tree – a chart telling people who they can call on in times of trouble. And before long, she realises the Friendship Tree does a lot more than organise fundraising events and working bees; it has the power to unite an entire town. 

Should you ever try to run from your past?

-swoons at the book cover-. It’s B-E-A-uuuuutiful!!!! The book has just had a make-over and to celebrate that, Helen Rolfe has knocked the price down to a mere 99p! What better timing for a book deal, than….oh wait…can you keep a secret? Are you sure? Helen has a new book out soon, but shhhhhhh!!!!
If you wish to secretly, ahem, nosey at Helen’s upcoming book, or maybe even be tempted by a couple of her other books, you can do so HERE!

If ‘The Friendship Tree’ makes you want to plant your own tree, or read a few, then all you have to do is head onto Amazon UK, and you’ll have your own friendship tree in a matter of seconds!

‘The Friendship Tree’ is on offer at 99p for A LIMITED TIME ONLY! By limited time, I really do mean that. It is looking likely that the deal will be no more as of early next week, so you literally have a few days to make use of the book deal before you lose, from snoozing!

As always, if you have read any of Helen’s other novels, please do leave a review over on Amazon and Goodreads. It doesn’t have to be the length of War and Peace, as long as it is constructive, I can’t imagine the author docking marks on the length! Reviews are vital for authors as it helps their books be seen and supported. After all, reviews to authors are like the GBBO to BBC One; necessary.

Helen’s Social Links:

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter
https://twitter.com/HJRolfe
www.helenjrolfe.com

Review – ‘Handle Me With Care’ by Helen J Rolfe (@HJRolfe) @FabrianBooks @RNAtweets #RNA

hjrBlurb.

Maddie Kershaw doesn’t think so. She lost the love of her life in the 9/11 attacks, and since then has hopped from one casual fling to the next. But when she delivers an erotic cake to a one-hundredth birthday party by mistake, she meets Evan and starts to believe in second chances … until she realises there’s a risk of getting hurt all over again.

Evan Quinn is serially single, yet when he meets Maddie he feels an instant connection, so much so that he confesses on their first date that he may have testicular cancer. Was it a mistake to be so honest? He wants Maddie more than he has ever wanted any other woman. But he doesn’t want her pity.

With the odds stacked against them both, finding love won’t be easy. But beneath the Australian sun, a Happy Ever After could be worth fighting for.

What does TWG think?

Ahhh, such a heart-warming example of ‘lust at first sight’; locking eyes with a handsome fellow as you’re making a delivery to your clients, feeling THE connection to a complete stranger. -swoons-.  The feeling of lust continues as all you can think about is the man you just met whilst delivering a cake, an erotic cake, to a 100th birthday party (accidentally). Now THAT is a story to tell the grandkids when they’re older. Not you obviously, Maddie. The thing is, Maddie’s heart has been under lock and key for many years and she is afraid to let another man have the key. Will Maddie ever let herself be loved by another man, again? Will the erotic cake be the key to her happiness? Or will Maddie’s fear of getting hurt, happen all over again?

-hangs head in shame- Helen, please forgive me! You were the very first author to follow me on Twitter, yet this book has been sitting on my Kindle for a couple of months, un-read. Sniff. But, it most certainly was worth the wait!

The erotic cake saga had me in hysterics! I could just imagine seeing all of the 100-year-old ladies (or thereabouts) with huge smiles on their faces. The whole saga was such a refreshing way to start a chick flick, completely different to anything that I have read before. It just worked, plus for me, it set the bar high for the rest of the book.

Maddie has definitely had her fair share of heartbreak and due to a lack of communication, the heartbreak is still as raw now, as it was back then. Her confidence is knocked and she believes that she isn’t worth loving again. But is that because she won’t let herself be loved? Maddie’s future was ‘mapped’ out, she was excited and looking forward to it. Then one day, the rug got pulled from under her, and many others. Lives would never be the same again…

My heart went out to Maddie, it was such a shame to see the burden that she was carrying on her shoulders, still present after all those years. I just wanted to give her a big hug. As soon as Evan came into the picture, his character brought a whole new dimension to the book. Not only was he Australian and rather dashing, (thanks to Helen’s description), he was also such an intense character to get to know.

After reading the first few chapters, the storyline went up a few notches in terms of emotion and intensity, and I wasn’t quite prepared for my reaction to it. By this point in the story, I had gelled with both main characters and felt really involved in their lives as well as the main storyline, so when either of them received news of any sort, I reacted. I was in shock with Evan’s news and I must say, I did get rather miffed with Maddie’s reaction to it (see, I do get involved!!).

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Handle Me With Care’. Whilst the storyline was full of raw emotions and the fear of the unknown, it was also full of hilarious one liners, dry humour and underlined the fact that laughter is the best medicine for some people.

Helen Rolfe has written such an emotional rollercoaster of a story which highlights the importance of self-awareness and self discovery. ‘Handle Me With Care’ is a refreshingly different take on a chick flick that will also have you becoming best buds with Andrex tissue.

Unless you’re made of stone and allergic to Andrex tissue, there is a high chance that you will cry whilst reading ‘Handle Me With Care’. Not only that, you will probably google erotic cakes and become proud of the person that YOU are; purely for being you. Please do remember ‘if in doubt, check it out’.

‘Handle Me With Care’ by Helen J Rolfe, published by Fabrian Books, is available to buy now from Amazon UK.