Thursday, 15 June 2017

Review | A Year and A Day ~ Isabelle Broom


A Year and A Day
Isabelle Broom
Penguin, Michael Joseph
November 2016
Rating 5/5


               

Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere
For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again . . .
For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault . . .
For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .
Three different women.

Three intertwining love stories.

One unforgettable, timeless city.


                 

A Year and A Day is a beautifully descriptive story of three girls who come together by chance in Prague who very quickly form a strong bond and friendship.

Megan is a photographer and has come on a trip with her school teacher best friend, Ollie, to take some images of Prague as he learns about the city for his pupils.
Very early on it's clear that both have feelings for each other but only Ollie is open to the idea of a relationship. Megan has been hurt in the past of which we learn the details as the story unfolds and is desperate to keep a hold of her feelings.

Hope, the oldest of the trio, has been treated to a romantic weekend away by her new man Charlie, but is missing her grown up daughter, Annette, who is still upset and barely talking to her mum over the fact that Hope has left her marriage and is making a new life for herself. The couple are incredibly loved up however Charlie's secret phone calls are making Hope question his motives and her true feelings towards him.

The final lady featured is the delicate Sophie who is travelling alone as she awaits her fiance Robin to join her in a few days time.
Sophie is very quiet but tales some wonderful stories of her travels and from when her and Robin first met.

I want to give you all the details as A Year and A Day really is a gem of a book to read, but the way the three sets of travellers are brought together and their experiences of things you wouldn't want to witness yourself, means that if I did, I would completely spoil the plot for you!

What I will say though, is A Year and A Day is a powerful story about love and loss in various ways, about friendships, hopes and dreams.
As with the author's first book, My Map of You, this one is deliciously descriptive - I felt like I was right there on the Charles Bridge with the characters, ear-wigging on their conversations!

This along with powerful story-lines and Isabelle's way with words to make you feel and think what the characters feel and think, makes her work a complete page turner and a must read author!


            


Monday, 12 June 2017

Review | Holiday in the Hamptons, From Manhattan With Love Book 5 ~ Sarah Morgan


Holiday in the Hamptons
From Manhattan With Love series, book 5.
Sarah Morgan
HQ
June 2017
Rating 5/5


            

The perfect summer escape…?
Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him – too gorgeous, and still too good for her – and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in The Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the perfect way to escape her past…
Their relationship might only have lasted a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss – if she’s run away to The Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…

            

Holiday in the Hamptons is the latest instalment in the From Manhattan With Love series by Sarah Morgan, with the focus this time being on Fliss. If you have been following the series then you will know from the previous novel - New York, Actually - that Fliss has suddenly been made aware that her ex-husband, Seth, is currently working in the city as a vet.

The beginning of Holiday In The Hamptons gives a little background history so can totally be read as a stand alone novel, however I personally feel that you would benefit reading in order.
Fliss starts with some comical avoidance moments as she really can't face seeing Seth, although she says it is from the way they broke up, as I reader I suspected that it was more due to the fact that there where lingering feelings lurking around.
When Fliss' Grandmother rings informing Fliss who is pretending to be Harriet, to inform them that she has had a fall and needs some care for a few weeks, Fliss begs Harry to let her go believing that this is just the escape from Seth she needs...

Only what she doesn't know is that Seth working in Manhattan was a temporary measure and he has already returned to his home in the Hamptons.

What follows is some more great comical moments as Fliss tries to portray the image that she is Harriet, along with a bumpy ride of discovery and truths about events in the past which are to know shape her future. Holiday In The Hamptons is a real roller coaster of emotions for both Fliss and Seth, and just when you think things are on the right path, something happens which puts barriers straight back up.

Holiday In the Hamptons is a wonderful story about love and discovery. Yes, there are lies and deciept but these are done through fear and panic and it was a joy to read and see Fliss go through the emotions and challenges of opening up not only to her Grandmother and Seth but to Harriet too where we see a slightly different side to Harry so I can't wait to read her story later in the year.

I found Seth a really good character - although nursing his own heartbreak he was patient and understanding with Fliss yet determined and strong too.
I loved Grams and her friends - they could do their own series alone but provided light relief to the darker plots of Fliss' past.

Another fab read from Sarah Morgan on what has been a wonderfully romantic series thus far.


         






Friday, 9 June 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review | Come Sundown ~ Nora Roberts


Come Sundown
Nora Roberts
Piatkus
June 2017

Rating 5/5


               

Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen... COME SUNDOWN
Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family's resort in Western Montana, there just aren't enough hours in the day - for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn't have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time...
But when a young woman's body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine's family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine's Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice's mysterious disappearance?
As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth - before the sun sets on their future together.


                

Despite having Nora Roberts recommended to me on various occaions, I've yet to have read one of her novels... until now.

I was offered the chance to read and review Nora's latest book, Come Sundown, as part of her blog tour, and wow - what a book to start with!

Come Sundown starts off with Alice Bodine, a young girl who ran away from home but has corrected her ways and is heading back to make peace with her family. When her truck breaks down she is offered a lift by a passerby going that way. Said  passerby is later known throughout the story by Alice as Sir. She is locked up in a basement and, well, lets just say isn't treated nicely or with much respect.

Moving on, the main focus of the book is set in the present day and around the Bodine/Longbow Ranch and Resort.

Bodine Longbow is head boss of the family business, she lives for her family and the success of the job which doesn't leave much time for love.
That is until Callen Skinner returns!

Cal was Bo's crush when they were younger but being her brothers best friend, she never went there and kept her feelings hidden.
Each of them have now grown up and Callen has returned from his working time away in Hollywood - the the attraction between the pair is very obvious!

Although Come Sundown heavily features Bo, Cal and the rest of the Bodine/Longbow clan and ranch as the main focus of the story, there are two murders and a cop with a grudge from years back lands Cal in the firing line as the prime suspect.

Throughout the book at the end of various chapters we are thrown back to Alice and Sir and when Alice eventually escapes the two worlds collide and the ranch is thrown in turmoil as it is more than 25 years since Alice was last seen by her family.

Come Sundown quite simply had me gripped - it was a complete page turner!

I will be honest though, the first chapter or two I found a bit difficult to get into - all of the Bodine/Longbow family members were introduced and it was a long list of characters to get to know, not only that but some of their names were repeated as it took a few pages to get ton know who was related to who and how!
Once I'd worked this out though the only other thing that I struggled with was the odd 'cowboy phrase' but this is just my personal opinion and to be honest, the story and book were so good I could put up with these!

Some of the story line was tough going at times - particularly the scenes with Alice and Sir but the way that Roberts wrote them meant that as much as I was not wanting to read, I was wanting to read on!

The present day characters were likeable and there was an incredible sense of family loyalty - both with blood and non-blood relatives. Once Alice had been found I thought that the story and narrative especially was brilliantly done and very well thought out with Alice almost reverting back to being a child.

Come Sundown is a gripping read that will have you hooked right from page one...

             



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Review | New York, Actually ~ From Manhattan With Love, 4 ~ Sarah Morgan


New York. Actually
From Manhattan With Love, Book 4
Sarah Morgan
HQ
January 2017
Rating: 5/5


               

Meet Molly
New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.
Meet Daniel
A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…
Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships…until they meet each other that is…

              
Whilst writing up my review for Sarah Morgan's latest novel, Holiday In the Hamptons, it suddenly occured to me that I had some how missed doing the review for the forth book in the From Manhattan With Love series - New York, Actually - so I apologise if this is a bit short but it's purely from memory.

I loved the first three books in this collection from Sarah Morgan - Sleepless in Manhattan, Sunset Over Central Park & Miracle on 5th Avenue where we got to know Paige, Frankie and Eva and was super excited to hear that Sarah was writing a further 3 books from the series.

However when I got a copy of New York, Actually, I was a little apprehensive as to what was to come as I wasn't sure if a completely new set of characters would work for me due to resinating so much with the three girls previous mentioned.
And although the three main characters of the three new books are unfamiliar, we have had cameo's from two of them in the form of Harriet and Fliss - the dog walking twin sisters that Urban Genie work with. 

New York, Actually is the story of the twins' older brother Daniel - a divorce lawyer who is not only protective of the girls, he's also protective of his heart.
That is until he see's Molly out running with her dalmatian dog, Valentine.
Something in Molly intrigues Daniel and in his quest to grab her attention he goes to some lengths - including borrowing one of the dogs that the twins have in their care to walk, coincidentally along the same routes as Molly and Valentine!

Molly on the other hand has also had a tough time with her heart so has built up a protective wall around it and now advises others through an alias as an online relationship consultant.

Both Molly and Daniel are strong willed with their views on love but the more time they spend with each other and the closer they get, each start to question their feelings for the other.

New York, Actually is full of ups and downs as they each battle their feelings, a story of love, new beginnings and understanding, and with cameos from previous characters, there is nothing to be concerned about by picking up this gloriously romantic read.

           


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review | Summer at Conwenna Cove ~ Darcie Boleyn


Summer at Conwenna Cove
Darcie Boleyn
Canelo
May 2017
Rating: 5/5



          
Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate
means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s
home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better
off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs
he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible
for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fears aside and learn to love
again?

Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday
read about being brave enough to take a chance on love.

           

When I was asked if I would like to read and review Summer at Conwenna Cove as part of Darcie Boleyn's blog tour, I jumped at the chance.

I've loved Darcie's novels but her first, Wish Upon A Christmas Cake, had something magical about it that I felt her subsequent novels didn't quite have, albeit they were still very enjoyable to read.

Summer at Conwenna Cove however, was demolished in one sitting. Right from the opening page I was gripped into Eve's life and wanted to just keep on reading.

Eve is troubled with guilt over her choices she has made and the stress of a fast paced career as a head teacher is starting to take its toll on her health. With encouragement from her friend and colleague, Amanda, Eve makes the decision to have some time out. After contacting her Aunt Mary, who she has been neglecting for a while, she makes the trip to Cornwall for some well deserved R&R.
Aunt Mary is delighted to have Eve back at Conwenna Cove, but her lodger isn't so sure.

Jack has built Eve up in his head to be some stuck up city girl who can't be bpothered to make time for her aunt, however when Eve arrives he is thrown and surprised not only by hoe fragile Eve is but by the feelings she stirs in the depths of his soul and ones he thought had been locked away for good.
I adored Jack, maybe because I am biased of the Royal Marines anyway, but the way he came across as a gentle giant certainly makes him a contender for 'book boyfriend of the summer' - everyone needs a Jack haha!

It quickly becomes clear that there are feelings between Eve and Jack but both are nursing wounds and with Eve unsure where her future lies, they have to tread carefully.

Darcie's writing style flowed effortlessly, there was an enjoyable cast of characters, setting that make you want to jet off to Cornwall and a story line that was was a mixture of deep feelings and light hearted moments. 
I loved seeing Eve and Jack's relationship form, feeling characters fall in love as you read the words the author has written is one of the joys of romance books, but the supporting characters and their own stories were just as fab to read about.

For me, Summer at Conwenna Cove, had all the magic of Darcie's first story and I feel she is right back at the top of her game. Honestly, I could have read about Eve and Jack for a good few hours longer!


     


Darcie Boleyn


Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. 
She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending
is happy or not. 

Darcie is in possession of an overactive
imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her
childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet
found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far
away. 
She also has reservations about how she’d look in a
gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves
anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially
chocolate. 

Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in
the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can
usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.


Blog: https://darcieboleyn.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/darcieboleyn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/public/Darcie-Boleyn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darcieboleynauthor/


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review | Spring at Blueberry Bay ~ Holly Martin


Spring at Blueberry Bay
Holly Martin
Bookouture
April 2017
Rating 5/5


             

Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner…


Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman. 

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?

A gorgeously romantic and heartwarming story to completely lose yourself in. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jane Costello and Miranda Dickinson. 


             

If I could get away with simply putting "Holly Martin is bloody marvellous" as a review, then I would  - but I don't think that will cut it, haha!

Holly has a wonderful knack of engaging the reader from the opening chapter, giving locations that are picture perfect and characters you instantly love.

I'm positive that Holly's writing and story lines keep getting better and better too - grabbing yourself a copy of Spring at Blueberry Bay will certainly leave you wanting more and is one that definately doesn't disapoint!

Spring at Blueberry Bay is the new book in Holly's latest series about three siblings, and this one is the turn of Bella who has always believed she is unloveable due to her childhood and has therefore built up walls of steel around her heart, so the last thing she expects is to have an instant attraction with Issac.

Issac comes into the story immediately, only doesn't make his real identity known until Bella arrives at his company for a job interview.
Landing the role as Events Manager at Issac's company, he and Bella try to keep a professional relationship but there are lots of heated moments as they start to fall for each other.

Spring at Blueberry Bay has some hilarious, laugh out laugh moments - one of my favourites being the telephone conference - but there were lots of tender and more serious moments, with ups and downs giving a great page turning balance to the book. Ultimately it is a truly romantic story that you can't help but grin at as your reading!

As I find with a lot of Holly's books, the supporting characters played key roles, the bond between Bella and her siblings Eden and Rome was just lovely - I'm very much looking forward to their stories in the coming months.

Spring at Blueberry Bay is gloriously romantic - escapism at its best!

            


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Review | The Last Piece of my Heart ~ Paige Toon


The Last Piece of my Heart
Paige Toon
May 2017
Simon & Schuster
Rating 5/5


               

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it's the small pieces that make up the bigger picture... Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition...

Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole's grieving husband, Charlie...


               

Ive been a massive Paige Toon fan since I first read Thirteen Weddings - which is where I was first introduced to Bridget ( although I believe she can also be found in The Longest Holiday), and I was super excited when I heard that Paige's latest book, The Last Piece of my Heart, would be focused on Bridget and her story - and this book certainly did not disappoint!

Paige has a brilliant way of writing that makes you instantly fall for the characters, as soon as I heart Bridget's occupation as a travel blogger, I was immediately gripped and slightly jealous!!

The Last Piece of my Heart starts off with Bridget in Australia where she bumps in to Elliot, her first love and the first person to steal a piece of her heart. Bridget has this cool idea of wanting to write her own novel about all the ex-boyfriends shes had who have stolen bits of her heart, and plans, to ask them for it back so that she has a complete and whole again heart, ready for her life with Elliot.

However, now back in the UK, Bridget is struggling to get a publishing deal for her book idea when her agent offers her a job as a ghost writer for a sequel to a best selling novel by author Nicki Dupre.
Sadly Nicki passed away before putting pen to paper for book 2, and after reading a copy of the first book, Bridget travels to picturesque Cornwall to meet with Nicki's widow and young daughter - Charlie and April respectively.

Getting the job, Bridget moves to Cornwall for the summer and not only spends the next few weeks sorting out the endless notes that Nicki has made but by also getting closer and closer to Charlie and further away from Elliot - I honestly love books where you can feel the characters falling for each other and this one is no exception - particularly the chapters set in Thailand where the pages literally oozed chemistry!

The Last Piece of my Heart is a wonderful story about love and loss, discovery and adventure. 
Its heartfelt and honest and was, quite simply, a joy to read.

One of the clever highlights for this book, is that effectively you are getting two stories for the price of one - theres Bridget and Charlie's story but there is also clips of Nicki's book and sequel along the way so you get to know that one too.

Although Thirteen Weddings will always hold a special place on my bookcase as the first book read by a new author often do, however I can honestly say that The Last Piece of my Heart is a serious contender for that top spot!


               



Sunday, 19 March 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review and Guest Post | Puzzle Girl ~ Rachael Featherstone

I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Rachael Feathstone's debut novel, Puzzle Girl, with not only a review below but Rachael has also kindly taken the time to provide us with an insight to her reading and writing space,


Puzzle Girl
Rachael Featherstone
Accent Press
March 2017
Rating 4/5


              

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 doctor s 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  together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

             

Puzzle Girl is one of them books that comes along and completely takes you by surprise.
The novel starts with an intriguing prologue that sets the story perfectly before really getting in to its groove in the first few chapters.

Cassy has everything planned out and is dedicated to her job, pushing for a promotion she sets out against her competition, Martin. 
Only on the day of her presentation she ends up in the local medical centre where she finds a puzzle book whilst waiting. With all the puzzles filled out, Cassy starts her own leaving some cryptic clues, only to discover that it has been answered and correctly when she goes for a check up.
This starts a mission for her to find 'Puzzle-Man' but faces consequences along the way.

As Cassy's search becomes and obsession she starts to lose sight of what is really important in her life, not forgetting the crazy things she starts to do to beat Martin. It was great to read about a main character eventually realising her mistakes and seeing her turn her life around.

There where some great sub plots within the story, I loved Cassy's best friend Dan who is more like a brother to her. He was straight talking but had his own issues going on that Cassy failed to spot - even when he moved in with her!
The other sub plot was with Cassy's ex, Seph, and her colleague's boyfriend Joey.. I wont say anymore other than I had my suspicions quite early on and I was right! 

One of the things I enjoyed the most about reading Puzzle Girl was the mix up of crosswords, emails and texts that where sporadically placed at the beginning and end of chapters... it gave a fresh look to reading by keeping it interesting.

Overall, Puzzle Girl was a great debut book. It was fast paced, fun and clever with a good cast of characters. The only thing for me that let the book own was that there was no epilogue - if your a follower of my blog and reviews then you will know this is something I enjoy reading as like to see what happens to the characters - or maybe I'm just nosy haha!

         

Guest Post

My Book Corner - Rachael Featherstone

Tell us about your book corner/ writing space
It is probably true of both my “book corner” and my writing space that they are everywhere throughout my house. There are books in every room, we have two large bookcases – one in the hallway and one on the landing and then we have a whole wall of bookcases in our joint study. I love being surrounded by books and I think that is why I can write in any room in the house – it is very inspiring to be surrounded by words. When I’m writing a first draft I tend to mainly write at the dining room table.

Do you have a favourite shelf/collection of books? Or favourite part of your Book Corner?
In the bookcase on the landing I have a shelf which has all my favourite romantic comedy novels and women’s fiction. Sophie Kinsella, Dorothy Koomson, Elizabeth Noble and Cecelia Ahern. These are book I could read again and again.

Do you have any reading/writing habits?
I write in long bursts. Twelve hour plus days in which I can write up to 7,000 words. Then typically the next day, will be a rest day. I like to write a first draft on my laptop and then I print it out and edit by hand. When it comes to reading, it happens in bursts too. Partly because I don’t tend to read whilst I am writing a book so when I am in between drafts I binge read.

How do you keep apart, track and control your TBR to read books?
Very badly and I’m open to advice! I buy a lot of books that I had no intention of buying on random trips to the bookshop. I also buy a lot of kindle books based on recommendations I see on Twitter. So when it comes to deciding which book to read first I never know where to start. I usually select one at random that takes my fancy on that particular day.

Can you provide links to your social media handles please?

Twitter: @WRITERachael

You can also find that characters from my debut novel Puzzle Girl on Twitter too.
Puzzle-girl: @_puzzle_girl
Puzzle-man: @puzzle_man_.