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BLOG TOUR: Wish Upon a Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn..

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Today my blog hosts the first review stop for the wonderful new novel by Darcie Boleyn, Wish Upon a Christmas Cake. There’s also a fab giveaway for all you lucky readers but before kick-starting the review, let’s find out more about our author and her debut novel.


Author Bio:

darcie

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.

More information about Darcie and her debut book can be found in the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Wish Upon a Christmas Cake can be purchased from the following places:

Amazon U.K.Amazon U.S.


Blurb:

The most wonderful time of the year?

Katie Warham has just one wish this year…to have the best Christmas ever!

If only she could lock herself away in a cloud of flour and sugar at her cosy little tearoom, Crumbtious Cakes, instead of spending the festive season trapped with her judgemental mother, crazy Aunt Gina and loved-up celebrity brother Carl…

But Katie never expected her ex-boyfriend, widower Sam – and his two adorable children – to turn up on her doorstep. She didn’t think that any man could tempt her under the mistletoe this year, but Sam might just prove the exception! And as the snow begins to fall and Katie puts the final touches to her famous Christmas cake, she begins to wonder, could her Christmas wish actually come true?

Review:

We’re hurtling towards that time of year where the festive novels are releasing and taking us on a fun-filled journey of love, family and friendship. Wish Upon a Christmas Cake is one such novel that gives us that in spades, and more.

The story revolves around our protagonist Katie, who like most people during this time of year, is really hoping to have at least one Christmas wish come true. Of course, you have to factor in that being a romance novel, happy endings are expected but the road to that dream being fulfilled is a slippery one for Katie as she turns and tumbles her way through her over-bearing mother, hilarious (in my eyes) Aunt and brother and the unexpected but most welcome surprise of seeing her ex-boyfriend again.

Katie is my favourite type of heroine; equal parts strength and vulnerability. She doesn’t let her vulnerability trample over her festive cheer and charges on with her life with a can-do, will-do attitude. It was a delight to get inside her head and see how everything in the past has had an impact on her future. Our hero Sam is just as wonderful and really brings out the best in Katie. The supporting characters add a great mix into this story and entertain you from start to finish, my favourite is definitely Katie’s brother Carl and seeing their bond flourish was one of the great highlights of this book.

The romance itself was perfect for a warm winter’s (or in this case autumn’s) night. I was pleasantly surprised by how sentimental the novel actually was. I had expected the romance to be warm but the emotional side of the story really tugs on the heart strings and is perfect for die-hard romance readers. Darcie does a brilliant job of interweaving the lives of both Katie and Sam and the Christmas season is just the added bonus in this festive romance.

Although there are a lot of Christmas romance novels now being released, I would definitely recommend readers to pick up Wish Upon a Christmas Cake as it gives you the perfect excuse to step into and enjoy the holiday season with a feel good romance novel. Darcie Boleyn’s debut novel is elegantly written and draws you in page after page and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Definitely pick up a copy this Christmas season!

Overall Rating: 8/10  


Giveaway: 

This giveaway could be the perfect gift for you or a friend. All you have to do is click on the following link to enter a draw to win a £20 Amazon giftcard!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305746/

Good luck and thank you for stopping by my blog today, be sure to check out all the other stops on this tour!

Tour banner Christmas for JENNY

BLOG TOUR: The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James..

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Today my blog hosts a review stop for the wonderful new novel by Lynsey James, The Broken Hearts Book Club. Before kick-starting the review, let’s find out more about our author and her latest novel.


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 Author Bio:

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left her job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

More information on Lynsey and her novels can be found in the following places:

Official WebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazon UKAmazon USGoodreads


Blurb:

Secrets never stay buried for long…

Lucy Harper has always been good at one thing: running from her past. But when her beloved Nana Lily passes away she has no choice except to return to the one place in the world she most wants to avoid…

Luna Bay hasn’t changed much in the eight years she has spent in London. The little Yorkshire village is still just as beautiful, but the new pub landlord is a gorgeous addition to the scenery!

Lucy only intended to stay for a day, yet when she discovers that Nana Lily has not only left her a cottage but also ‘The Broken Hearts Book Club’, Lucy is intrigued. Her Nana never have mentioned the club and Lucy can’t wait to get started, but walking into her first meeting she is more aware than ever that her past is finally catching up with her.

One way or another, Lucy must finally face the secrets she’s kept buried for so long – or spend the rest of her life on the run…

Review:

I usually don’t let book covers form my opinion on a book but from the very beginning I was hooked by this gorgeous cover and I knew instantly that I had to absolutely have a read of this book. I’m so glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed Lynsey’s novel.

This is my second James novel and  I was delighted by the way in which Lynsey created a warm and wonderful world that allowed me to escape for a few hours.

The plot of the novel revolves around our protagonist, Lucy Harper, who is returning home to Luna Bay, after a very long time to fulfill her late grandmother’s wishes. Lucy has been running from her past her whole life but when she arrives back home, her past finds a way of catching up with her. With lots of love, laughter and warmth, Lynsey unravels a story that brings you so much joy.

Although the initial premise is quite similar to a lot of romance novels, I really liked Lynsey’s take on it. She has a way with words that entrances the reader and forces them to keep reading on. Her writing is quite reminiscent of some popular American romance authors that I love and I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr.

The characters in this novel are all vibrant and relatable. Lucy makes for a charismatic protagonist who’s dealt with life as she thought best. I admired her and found her to be a wonderful character who blossoms as the story goes by. Having a strong protagonist is a plus but the supporting characters within the story are the perfect icing on the cake. Lynsey’s done a good job of creating a cast of characters that enlighten this tale of romance and intrigue.

I’ve been reading a lot of books where I’ve had to analyse every page in depth, so it was nice to break out of that to enjoy an easy read that allows you to relax and unwind. Although the ending is predictable I liked knowing that this was a no fuss, solid romance that would make me smile and that’s exactly what I got. Perfect for a cold rainy day and to curl up in front of the fire type book, that romance fans will enjoy. Lynsey writes wonderfully entertaining books and I very much look forward to her next.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, be sure to check out all the other stops on this tour!

Tour banner broken hearts for JIN

 

BLOG TOUR: Just The Way You Are by Lynsey James..

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Today is my stop on the Just The Way You Are Blog Tour, a delightful romance novel by Lynsey James. A lot to get through today so first up is a quick bio on our author, following a review and then an awesome opportunity to partake in a giveaway! Without further ado..


Author Bio:

lynsey

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

You can find out more about Lynsey and her novels in the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter


Blurb:

Dear Ava,

How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?

Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can’t remember the last time she had a second date. It’s a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.

Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she’s in love with someone else. Someone she’s never even met.

It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.

Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she’s determined to unmask Mr Writer…and find out once and for all if he’s Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!

Review:

Just The Way You Are is a promising debut novel by Lynsey James that takes you on a journey full of love, laughter and second chances.

The story revolves around our protagonist, Ava who has recently started receiving letters from a secret admirer. Now as this is a romance novel, these letters are anything but stalkerish or creepy. In fact, it’s actually a (somewhat) pleasant surprise for Ava, who received similar letters from her admirer back in university. Unfortunately, not everything ended the way Ava hoped and her heart was broken. As such she tried to put the letters and the writer out of her head, until history repeats itself. What follows is a story of finding out who exactly this mysterious writer is and even more important, will Ava have her heart broken a second time?

The premise of this book is definitely different and I love that Lynsey made the plot stand out with her funny and at time charming characters. They truly brought the story to life.

I liked Ava, she was an endearing character. I could definitely relate to her at certain points in the book; although her disastrous attempts at finding the writer had me laughing to no end, I also wore a sheepish grin on my face knowing that I probably would have made the same mistakes. The supporting characters brightened up the pages for me and kept me hooked from start to finish.

As a debut novel, I was certainly pleasantly surprised by Lynsey’s style of writing. Her writing engages the reader from the very beginning and to me that’s very important. Although predictable at times, I really enjoyed Lynsey’s narrative as she made it her own through her quirky writing style, and for me, that really made her voice stand out.

For someone who reads a lot of crime and suspense, it’s always nice to take a break and read a relaxing and enjoyable romance novel and Just The Way You Are does that perfectly for me. I do enjoy romance novels that are an easy, light read where I’m not bombarded with overly theatrical characters and drama filled plots that overwhelm you. Lynsey’s novel definitely gives you a respite from that, so if you’re like me then I would recommend you pick up a copy soon!

If you’re a fan of an easy summer romance read, then look no further because Just the Way You Are ticks all the right boxes! A promising debut by an author who has written a delightfully charming romance novel.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Just The Way You Are can be purchased from the following places:

Amazon UKGoodreadsAmazon US

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Click on the link below to enter an awesome giveaway! 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305733/

 

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis..

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Blurb:

What do you do when you run into the man who broke your heart?

Lily’s been back in Cedar Ridge for less than ten minutes when she bumps into Aidan, the former love of her life. So much for sneaking back into town unnoticed. And thanks to frizzy hair and armfuls of junk food, she’s turning his head for all the wrong reasons. No one knows why Lily is home after ten years, and she’s determined to stay no longer than the summer. But Cedar Ridge and Aidan have other ideas. As they set about persuading Lily to give them a second chance, she finds herself falling under the spell of the Colorado mountains … and the one man she could never forget.

Review:

First of all a big thank you to Headline Eternal for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Jill Shalvis is one of my favourite romance novelists and I was ecstatic to hear about her new series, Cedar Ridge. The first book in the series, Second Chance Summer, does not disappoint for what looks to be another promising series for the author.

The story revolves around our female lead, Lily Danville, who has arrived back in Cedar Ridge, Colorado, her childhood home, after a decade away. After losing her job and self-esteem, Lily is hoping to re-evaluate her life and the decisions she’s made leading up to the loss of her job. Arriving back in town is guaranteed to create a stir amongst the well-meaning residents who knew Lily back when she was just a child. However, no one is as surprised as Aiden Kincaid, Lily’s former friend and crush. After an incident that broke apart Lily’s family she moved away from Cedar Ridge, never looking back to see everything she had left behind, including Aiden himself. Although initially wary of one another both Lily and Aiden set out on a journey to discover themselves and all that they lost years ago. What follows is a story of love, laughter and moments of absolute hilarity. Underneath it all is a journey of forgiveness that leads Lily to finding her own peace with the tragic incident that shattered so many lives.

The story is a typical Jill Shalvis triumph. What I absolutely love about her novels is the familiarity between the characters and the community they live in. The community spirit and the supporting characters in Second Chance Summer are a delight to read. My favourite has to be Mama Kincaid. The matriarch of the Kincaid family is the epitome of maternal warmth and she definitely doesn’t let her  boys boss her around no matter how old they are. Another personal favourite was Penny, who I instantly loved!

The main leads, Lily and Aiden were great characters and Lily, especially, developed so much as a character. Seeing her grow from someone who was unsure of herself and had the guilt of the world on her small shoulders to a woman who grew in confidence and began to love herself and free herself from the burdens of tragic circumstances was a pleasure. Lily is definitely one of the best characters I’ve read about from the already brilliant characters written by Jill.

I’m a sucker for a series set in beautiful fictional towns and Jill’s Lucky Harbor series is one of my all time favourites. I love the small details Jill scatters in this novel about the town and its beauty. Her descriptions enhanced my pleasure of reading and definitely made me want to go visit (and maybe stay) at Cedar Ridge.

This is definitely a solid start to an already promising series by Jill and I look forward to reading about our next hero’s story, Hudson. If you’re a fan of romance novels that make you smile from ear to ear, then this book is definitely for you. A delightful tale of love, forgiveness and redemption. Second Chance Summer will have you rooting for the characters until the very end and have you eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

Overall Rating: 8/10

More information about Jill and her books can be found in the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter

The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas..

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Blurb:

You can buy almost anything online these days. For Ruthie Collins, it was an Italian farmhouse.

Yet as she battles with a territorial goat and torrential rain just to get through the door of her new Italian home, the words of Ed, her ex, are ringing in her ears. She is daft, impetuous and irresponsible.

But Ruthie is determined to turn things around and live the dream.

First, though, she must win over her fiery neighbour, Marco Bellanouvo, and his tempestuous family…and then there’s the small matter of running an olive farm. As the seasons change and new roots are put down, olives and romance might just flourish in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

Review:

First of all thank you to Headline publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. This is my first Jo Thomas read and after finishing this book, I can happily say that it won’t be my last.

I love a book that can take me far away from reality for a good few hours and this book gave me that in spades. The story revolves around our protagonist, Ruthie who has accidentally purchased a house in Italy, through Ebay, of all things. As unbelievable as that sounds, it didn’t disrupt the narrative of the story and I quite enjoyed the idea of what could happen from Ruthie’s impulsive decisions. Plus, I sympathised with Ruthie and merely blamed her impulsive move on her ex, Ed. From there the story becomes increasingly entertaining as Ruthie realises that she’s not exactly welcomed into her new home. As well as that she seems to find herself in the middle of a family feud and if that wasn’t hard enough she has to deal with her neighbour, the hero, Marco Bellanouvo and his boisterous family.

I loved the supporting characters in this book, especially Marco’s family. All their colourful quirks added to the already charming story-line. Ruthie is a likable character. At first I really felt that she kept her potential bottled up. Her acceptance of everything and everyone was endearing but I wanted her to grow from that and become her own person. By the end of the book we do indeed see a growth in character, in large, thanks to Marco. Nonetheless, her spirit and willingness to jump into the deep end really brightened the novel for me.  In a lot of romance novels, we see the heroes being portrayed through this cliched formula that I get tired of real fast but Jo does something brilliant with Marco. She makes him real. As real as a guy can get and I loved that about him and how he acted and reacted around Ruthie.

Jo’s style of writing was also refreshingly brilliant. As someone who loves a means of escapism, it was a delight to read about such vivid descriptions of Italy. It was almost as if I was there and that really notched up the entertainment factor for me. The narrative flows from page to page and isn’t too heavy or filled with a lot of drama; perfect for a summer read.

This book essentially has it all from moments of joy to sadness, love to family feuds and enough humour to keep you turning page after page. Perfect read for the summer to indulge in and it’ll guarantee to leave you feeling satisfied and wishing you were going on holiday! Perfect for chick-lit and romance readers!

Overall Rating: 8/10

You can find out more about Jo and her books from the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher.. 

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Blurb: 

Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she’s been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it’s really okay. She’s happy (ish).

So it’s not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn’t nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams… do they?

Review:

Where do I possibly start? There are a few romance books that leave me feeling all warm and giddy inside and recently I hadn’t felt like that in a long time until I read Dream a Little Dream. This is my first Giovanna Fletcher read and I know, I know I’m slightly late to the party but I’m so glad I jumped in with this book because it was an absolute joy to read.

The story revolves around our protagonist, Sarah and how she deals with the ups and downs of her life neither of which are made easy thanks to her ex-boyfriend and over-bearing mother. Sarah, like many of us, begins to dream of an individual who would be her ideal other half. Someone she can rely on, have fun with and someone who will make her happy. It’s all rainbows and sunshine until she actually meets the guy of her dreams, literally. From there the story is a roller-coaster of fun, warmth and some pretty memorable scenes. The humour in the novel adds to an already solid plot and enhances the entertainment level up a notch. I absolutely loved the idea for this book, I myself tend to remember quite a bit from my own dreams so it was pretty exciting seeing this new concept being portrayed in a novel.

My favourite character, without an ounce of doubt, was Sarah. Reading her perspective of things, places and people was at time endearing and hilarious. You can’t help but feel drawn to her and her engaging personality. As readers, we’re given a first hand account into her struggles and there were times when I really sympathised with her character. Throughout the novel she overcomes a lot of obstacles and as an individual, we see a real growth to her character. By the end of the novel, Sarah definitely became one of my favourite fictional characters. Brett was wonderful, I won’t spoil too much but I will say that you can never quite get enough of Brett in this novel. Giovanna really makes him a swoon worthy hero!

Another aspect that I found to be a pleasant surprise was Giovanna’s writing style. Her writing is so refreshingly good that it kept me turning page after page. You wouldn’t be able to tell whether or not this was her third novel or thirteenth, it was that good.

There are many moments of joy, laughter, happiness as well as some bittersweet episodes and as such this novel makes for a highly entertaining read. If you’re a fan of romance novels, then I would definitely recommend this book. Giovanna Fletcher is a natural storyteller, her voice shines throughout the narrative and puts this novel at the top with some of the best. As I said earlier, Dream a Little Dream left me feeling gloriously warm and giddy and 100% satisfied. I will definitely go back and read her previous two novels but for now I would recommend enjoying this wonderful summer read!

Overall Rating: 10/10

You can find out more about Giovanna and her books from the following places:

Official WebsiteTwitter

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley..

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Blurb:
Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancé Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

Review:
Trisha Ashley’s seventh novel and my second read of the author, Creature Comforts is a fantastic summer read with enough charm, warmth and fun to keep you entertained throughout.

The plot of the novel revolves around our protagonist, Izzy, who has just recently broken off her engagement and returned to her childhood home, the village of Halfhidden. I was pleasantly surprised when I read the blurb and saw that the novel would have a dose of suspense in addition to the romance and Ashley does not disappoint. The suspense is brilliantly interwoven into the plot and plays a key part in Izzy’s happy ending.

I absolutely adored Izzy and the supporting characters in the novel as they enhanced the entertainment factor in this story. Izzy is a very likable character, we see her grow so much as a person and I commended her attitude throughout the novel. As well as being easily relatable, she shows true bravery and strength in the way she deals with certain incidents that occur in the story. She doesn’t stop striving for her happiness and all her hard work does indeed pay off.

The suspense is only a small part of this novel, and the story itself is so much more than that. The romance is, in typical Trisha Ashley style, warm, engaging and absolutely gets you hooked from the start. Rufus is a fantastic, enigmatic hero that I’m pretty sure all romance readers are guaranteed to swoon over him. He’s the perfect balance to Izzy’s crazy life and brings a certain charm to the village life.

If you happen to love idyllic villages, where community life is the key then this book is for you. There’s something for everyone in this book from romance to suspense to moments of hilarity. This novel is a perfect for readers who love a story that takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and keeps you engaged and entertained throughout.

Trisha Ashley never fails to deliver and Creature Comforts is a wonderfully charming, at times funny, romantic story that I think all die-hard chick-lit and romance fans should definitely give a go!

Overall Rating: 9/10

If you would like to find out more about Trisha’s novels, you can do so on her official website. You can also follow Trisha on Facebook and Twitter.