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#BlogTour! #Review – Evie’s Year of Taking Chances by @ChristieJBarlow @Bookouture

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns.
Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own.

Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother. 

Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past. 

As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken?

A romantic, funny and poignant story of living life to the full and finding love in the most unlikely of places. Fans of Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley will adore this book!

What does TWG think?

Er, why is Mrs Barlow JUST popping her TWG cherry?! I am disgusted with myself for not having Mrs B on my blog before now! Forgive me? Good! Thrilled to be a stop on Christie’s blog tour today with a review of her new release, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances. Enjoy!

Have you ever fallen in love with a book very early on in the storyline? I don’t mean ‘fallen in love’ as in you love the book, giggle, close the book, giggle and put it away. No. I mean falling head over heels in love with the front cover, the characters, the setting; all before you’ve gotten to the nitty gritty moments? Yes? Well, I have, and thanks to Christie Barlow, it was her book that made it happen.

First of all the main character, Evie, is a librarian which means that most of the storyline is set surrounded by books. Er hello, heaven! Second of all, Evie has such a warm personality and a huge heart, it was a bit difficult to do anything except LOVE her. I just wanted to hug her as she came across as such a fragile soul, and with her past in mind it’s no wonder why she is fragile. Evie’s birth mother gave her up soon after she was born, meaning that Evie was taken in and loved by a second mother, with no idea who or where her biological mother was.

There was something incredibly special about this entire novel, it felt as though the storyline was a game of pass the parcel and underneath each layer sat something rather beautiful. For me, Evie was the star of the show with her adopted mum a close second. Everywhere either of them went, they were able to light up the area or someone’s face by doing very little. Their personalities just gave off that vibe; people like that are like gold dust.

I’m struggling with my words here, apologies. I can’t find the right words for how this book made me feel, but I really am trying my best.

Reading Christie’s novel had me laughing like a hyena one moment, and then ugly crying the next. The humour that oozed from this book was incredible, so natural, unforced and extremely on point. Don’t get me wrong there were a couple of moments where my laughter was due to proper cringy moments (yet oh so fabulous!).

I really felt as though I got to see various different sides to Christie in terms of her writing ability. Within the space of a chapter she had created an emotional moment which also had a smidge of humour attached to it, as well as keeping the flow of the storyline intact and perfect. How many authors could be so diverse in one chapter, yet still keep the momentum? Absolutely incredible.

Now, I tried to be a brave girly whilst reading this novel. I had told myself that I wouldn’t cry as I was aware it had already made several people rather teary, so I gave myself a kick up the bottom and told myself to be brave. Ha ha ha…yeah I can see that worked well! Christie Barlow!!!! What did you do to me woman! I was blubbering like a baby yet I wasn’t the one going through everything like Evie was! Absolutely beautifully written and such poignancy in regards to such a sensitive subject; I had even more respect for the author after that.

I am in awe of ‘Evie’s Year of Taking Chances’ and Christie Barlow’s outstanding delivery of an emotionally charged, humorous storyline which became the home to a family of such warmth and depth. Every small detail, every emotion, every action and  every description were written flawlessly. I wasn’t just reading about characters going through heart breaking moments and walking the path of love, no; I was feeling every single emotion alongside those characters.

Reading ‘Evie’s Year of Taking Chances’ felt like being on the receiving end of a warm, safe embrace from an extremely good friend. Full of heart ache, true friendships, love, respect and enough books to last you…..several months; Christie Barlow has written such a beautiful and poignant novel which will keep your heart full from the first page, until the last, whilst highlighting the importance of believing in yourself.

Utterly spellbinding (even if it did take me ages to stop ugly crying!), Evie and her friends are now included in my list of most favourite books, EVER.
Christie Barlow, you are a fantastic, fantastic author.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author

Christie Barlow was born in Cheshire and had a successful career as a civil servant until she decided to trade it in for something more glamorous: ironing, mucking out chickens and horses and chasing a mad cocker spaniel while rearing four children. Christie wrote her debut novel, A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, as an example to her kids about realising their dreams.


Book Review · Uncategorized

A book review of Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin.

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin.
Published: 13th May 2016 by Bookouture.
Available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.
When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…
Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.
She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?’

 I would like to say a big thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to review Holly’s book!

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by disappointing comments about yourself? Yes? Not nice is it, can really knock your self esteem. Especially when all you’ve been trying to do is please other people. Does that sound familiar? For Miss Darcy Davenport, that was her life. She relied on underwater creatures to keep her going, oh, and the support of her brother. Darcy decides enough is enough and goes to create a new life for her and her dog, Ben, in White Cliff Bay. Within days of being in the Bay, Darcy has managed to befriend most of the locals…apart from one. Will that one local ruin her chance of a positive new start? Or will she manage to find her own special ‘treasure’ in the Bay?
Summer at Rose Island will be the perfect addition to your luggage when you go on holiday; sun, sea, sand…what more could a girl want? Within the first few lines of the book you’re transported into Darcy’s world and her love for the underwater creatures. If you had no interest in different species of fish, or shark, then after reading this book, you will want to enrol into university to study to become a marine biologist! Ahem, I did! Darcy decided to pack up her life and move to where her Aunt used to live, much to her parents disappointment. Although to be fair, anything Darcy did was a disappointment to them. I felt really sorry for Darcy because she just wanted to make her loved ones proud of her, even if that meant losing her happiness in the process. All of the characters in the story were very likeable (apart from Darcy’s parents), but my favourite has to be Darcy. She is such a loveable and humble person with such a bubbly personality which, for me, makes her very relatable.
I found Summer at Rose Island to be such a hilarious read, with many laugh out loud moments. The way everyone in the Bay united made me feel like I was around some good friends. Even though I was reading a book, and I wasn’t Darcy….or a shark. Does that make sense?! I hadn’t read Holly Martin’s other books before I read this one, so it was interesting to see what her style of writing was like, and her humour! Humour is definitely on point, and her style is so descriptive, I loved it. Holly’s description of the bay, the people, and even the situations, made the story. I felt like I wasn’t reading a book. I felt like I was seeing it all for myself, with my very own eyes. Incredible.
Throughout the story I tried to guess what was going to happen and thought it would be rather predictable, but I was always surprised by how the story went. In a good way obviously! Summer at Rose Island would be the perfect addition to your luggage this holiday season because it is full of romance, giggles and personality. It is a book that you can escape into and relax with, making it such a light-hearted and loveable read. If only my holiday this year was to Rose Island and White Cliff Bay…