Friday, 20 October 2017

Blog Tour Review | Christmas at Hope Cottage ~ Lily Graham

Today is my spot on the blog tour for the latest novel from Lily Graham - Christmas at Hope Cottage and I'm delighted to be sharing my review with you.

Christmas at Hope Cottage
Lily Graham
October 2017
Rating 4/5

In the little village of Whistling, with its butterscotch cottages and rolling green hills, snow is beginning to fall. Christmas is coming, and Emma Halloway is on her way home.
Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she’s broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family’s cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn’t been back in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.
Sandro, doesn’t believe anyone should have to choose between love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find herself heartbroken once more?


Christmas at hope cottage is a lovely story about family and love, although there wasn't a huge amount of Christmas in it so could easily be classed as a wintery read - so grab a blanket, a mug of hot chocolate and settle down for a bit of magic! 

Emma has returned home to Hope Cottage so that her grandmother Evie can help her recover after a nasty accident.
Along with Evies sisters, Dot and Aggie, the three embark of nursing Emma back to health - easier said than done when your senses are in a complete muddle -
Things that should feel hot like a shower, feel painful and tingly, her vision is doubled and her taste buds are disengaged.

Over time we learn more about the Halloway family and their secret recipe book, one that is thought to have magic linked to it.
I don't want to give too much away about this as you really need to read the story to get a feel for the history and the way the recipes work, but what I will say is that things don't always work out as planned and this has caused a long feud between the Halloways, Allen's and Leas over the years.

This is all well and good except Emma's first love, Jack, Is an Allen and over the years his family have made things difficult for the pair.

Emma coming home encourages Jack to come to Hope Cottage and he tells her he was a fool to believe everything that was said and that he wasn't going to listen anymore.

Ofcourse nothing runs smoothly, especially with Jacks jealously coming into play around Sandro... the handsome Spanish lodger also at hope cottage! 

I enjoyed reading Christmas at hope cottage - this is the first book from lily Graham that I've read  - although I did find the first half a bit of a slow go, this is purely because the novel starts in the present day and we go back into the past a few times, this is is just a personal reading preference and nothing against the story, but I also felt that there could have been a little more spark or 'moments' between Emma  and Sandro which for me, would have made the ending slightly more believable.
Nevertheless I'm not put off and planning another book by Lilly soon!


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Blog Tour Review plus Giveaway | Christmas at Butterfly Cove ~ Sarah Bennett

I'm delighted to be sharing my review today as part of the blog tour - please ensure you read to the end and take part in the giveaway!

Christmas at Butterfly Cove
Butterfly Cove, Book 3
Sarah Bennett
HQ Digital
October 2017
Rating 4/5

When talented artist Nee Sutherland returns to Butterfly Cove for her sister’s wedding, it’s only a matter of time before she has to face her own bridegroom – Luke Spenser – the man she impulsively married, then left in the middle of the night.
Nee hasn’t picked up her paintbrushes in months, a part of her is broken. She knows Luke might never forgive her, leaving him was the biggest mistake of her life – but could coming home for Christmas be the best decision she’s ever made?
Maybe all she needs is a little Christmas miracle…


I absolutely loved the first two books in the Butterfly Cove series - Sunrise at Butterfly Cove and Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove, Click Here to read my reviews - so was eager to get stuck in Christmas at Butterfly Cove, the third and final book.

Primarily this novel focuses on Nee and Luke  - to recap, Nee is the youngest sister to Mia and Kiki and Luke is Aaron's brother, Aaron is best buddies with Daniel
Mia and Kiki are settled in Butterfly Cove with Daniel and Aaron respectively and of course Kiki's two children, Charlie and Matty.

Christmas at Butterfly Cove picks up with Mia and Kiki closing down the guest house and cafe for the winter months, Nee is still with them having arrived in the summer but is at a lost as to what to do with her life... whatever happened to her in New York has resulted in her no longer having the ability to pursue her art career and it certainly wasn't worth her running away from her newly wed husband in the middle of the night.

Luke on the other hand is angry with Nee despite still loving her, and when the girls' mother sadly passes away he turns up to be there for Nee, giving them both hope that they can salvage their marriage.
As Luke hatches a plan to convince Nee they are meant to be together, Christmas draws closer and the gang - along with the familiar and lovable sub characters  from the previous two stories - all return to Mia's home in Butterfly Cove.

Just when you think things are going well for Luke and Nee, something happens to push them apart once again keeping the reader interested as Christmas passes and New Year approaches.

What I love about Sarah's writing is her ability to centre the story around Luke and Nee yet bringing us right up to date with Mia/Daniel and Kiki/Aaron with snippets and small chapter sections of their lives - and boy, is there some news to catch up on.

As before, Charlie and Matty play great roles tugging on your heart strings, and Meddling Madeline is still being her usual caring, loving, but interfering old self which brings some light relief and humour to the book.

I shall be sad not to be returning back to Butterfly Cove - the idyllic location and easy to read style has made this a thoroughly enjoyable trilogy - however I'm already looking forward to Sarah's next book, Spring at Lavender Bay.


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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Blog Tour Review | Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin - Catherine Ferguson

Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin
Catherine Ferguson
October 2017
Rating 4/5


When Poppy’s boyfriend Harrison proposes the week before Christmas and gives her twelve days to decide, she doesn’t know what to do. With the festive season in full swing, it’s make or break time for the couple and the clock is ticking…
Meanwhile, Poppy’s best friend Erin is desperate for the pair of them to fulfil their dream of setting up a dinner party catering company – and when an opportunity arises at a luxury log fire cabin, the girls take their chance to impress. But they hadn’t bargained on the owner of the cabin being quite so attractive – or having quite such a sexy voice.
As the twelve days tick on, will Poppy realise that Harrison is the one for her? Or will it be love in the lodge when the new year comes?
Lose yourself this Christmas in the new novel from the brilliant Catherine Ferguson, perfect for cosying up with by the fire.


Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin was a great, light-hearted festive read.

The book tells Poppy's story - a waitress in a busy hotel restaurant but with a passion for cooking.
Poppy has, what seems to be, a loving, well providing boyfriend in Harrison and a fab best friend in Erin and it is Erin who pushes Poppy and convinces her to chase her dreams of becoming a home caterer for private dinner parties.

All seems good for Poppy but she's worried about her Mother's hording issues and missing one key man in her life - her biological Father, Al.

When mysterious man, Jed, leaves a message on Poppy's answer phone in error, she forms and unusal telephone friendship with him, so when Harrison jets off to Spain to spend Christmas with his Mother curisoity gets the better of Poppy and she seeks out Jed to put a face to the name and voice, totally not expecting to land herself a catering job for Jed and his family at the Log Fire Cabin giving Poppy the big break she needs.

The story is a nice, quaint one of following your dreams and making new friends - theres also festive food and menu's, decorations, twinkly lights and snow.

The plot, the characters and the setting for Christmas at the Log Fire Cabin all have the make up of a really great story - and don't get me wrong, I did enjoy reading the book but I was left wondering how Poppy & Al were doing, and where her relationship with Jed is getting along.
Personally for me, an epilogue of some description would have finished the story off and tied the loose ends together nicely.


Monday, 9 October 2017

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

Christmas at Conwenna Cove, 
Conwenna Cove #2
Darcie Boleyn
October 2017
Rating 5/5


When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.
It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.


Today I'm delighted to be kicking off the blog tour run by Canelo for the latest festive instalment from Darcie Boleyn - Christmas at Conwenna Cove. Although this is the second book in the Conwenna Cove series, it can be read as a total standalone novel , that said, if you read Summer at Conwenna Cove then there will be a few familiar faces making small cameo's.

Christmas at Conwenna Cove is a great, sweet read and perfect to curl up with this winter if you are after a delightfully romantic festive read.

We return to Conwenna Cove with Grace and Oli's story, Grace being in the area to help her parents settle in to their new home to see out their retirement years, and Oli is the local vet.
Grace and Oli meet quite early on into the story and although the attraction is obvious, both are wary and for good reasons too, I won't go into details too much as I dont want to ruin the bulk of the plot lines for you so lets just say they both have fragile hearts and over the course of the festive period,  we see Grace not only grow closer to Oli bit to his two young children, Amy and Tom, too.

Darcie Boleyn has perfectly captured the essence of Christmas - not only does she write giving a great description of Conwenna Cove in Winter, she has also managed to capture the emotions of the characters - I often felt my heart breaking and eyes watering at the same time as chuckling away at the optimism and enthusiasm of 5 year old Tom, who for me was my favourite sub character bringing light relief to the heavier story lines and, lets face it - a child's excitement is what makes Christmas, right?!

Christmas at Conwenna Cove left me feeling warm and fuzzy with its wonderful characters, beautiful settings and in depth story lines - a brilliant festive story.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review | Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles, The Driftwood Inn - Phillipa Ashley

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles ~ 
The Driftwood Inn
Little Cornish Isles, Book 1
Phillipa Ashley
September 2017
Rating 4/5


For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.
But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.
Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?
As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is the first book in a new trilogy from Phillipa Ashley, and is centred around Maisie Samson and her family pub, The Driftwood Inn.

Maisie has returned home to Gull Island, a gorgeous place in the heart of the Scilly Isles, where the tourist season is winding down for winter and everyone knows everyone who lives there.

Maisie is very much looking forward to Christmas and spending time with her parents after a bad festive season the previous year.
She hires Patrick McKinnon, a handsome Australian who she shared a kiss with a few weeks before after he told her a story about visiting Gull Island as a promise he made to a late friend.
Now some of what he told Maisie is true but there's something else about Patrick that leaves you wondering right up until the last 10% of the book!

I loved both Maisie and Patrick as characters - both strong in their own ways but both hiding things from their past's. They embark on a secret relationship but its not a smooth sailing.

With lots of little sub plots, Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is a cute wintery read that you will enjoy curling up to this year.
Although I found the story a little slow to get into, the descriptions of the Scilly Isles and surroundings of Gull Island kept me interested and when the story really kicked in, I thoroughly enjoyed it and very much looking forward to returning to this idyllic fictional resort for the next instalment where I hope we get to meet Maisie and Patrick again and see how they are progressing.