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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

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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

Vision in White by Nora Roberts..

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Blurb:

The first book in the Bride Quartet—following the lives and loves of four friends who run Vows, a wedding-planning company. Wedding photographer Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac’s type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends—and business partners—to see her way to her own happy ending.

Review:

I’m an old romantic at heart so when I first came across this book, I was ecstatic. From the blurb I knew that there would be lots of romance, girly talks, friendship and family aspects that I think is an absolute must in romance books.

I’m already a huge fan of Nora Roberts and I have previously loved her Chesapeake Series which were a delight to read. When Vision in White came out I was on cloud nine, literally. This is the first book in a series of four, and it tells the story of a group of childhood best friends (Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline) who now run their own wedding-planning company. Vision in White focuses on the story of Mackensie, and how she overcomes her fears of ‘a happily ever after’ and falls slowly but surely in love with Carter Maguire.

I liked Mac’s character because she was independent, fierce (when required to be) and incredibly loyal to her friends. She’s a photographer for the company and loves to make someone else’s wedding day special. I understood Mac’s fears of not believing in marriages herself because of her personal experience with bad parenting. Her mum is unstable and egoistical and her father has been absent since she was a little girl. This would therefore make anyone wary of marriage and long-term relationships.

However, this is where Carter comes into the picture. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a hero as much as I loved Carter. He’s nerdy, clumsy, intelligent, cute and incredibly charming. Oh did I mention he’s also an English teacher? For me, Carter is the complete opposite of what most heroes are portrayed as; he’s not got a six pack, not an alpha male, not a ‘bad boy’, he wears glasses and loves literature. Probably one of the most realistic interpretations of a hero, in a novel, till date. Kudos to Nora for that! It’s also for that reason why I think he’s so lovable, I could easily relate to him and he was definitely the star of this book.

I loved the family/friendship dynamics of the four friends and how they stick together through thick and thin. By the end of the book, I found myself wishing that this wedding-planning quartet were real and not just fictional characters. The story does at times drag on a bit and I found myself skipping some parts in order to get to Carter’s scenes more quickly. However, it doesn’t take away from the beauty of the writing and it is a typical Nora Roberts novel where you can be assured that whatever happens throughout the story, there will always be a happy ending.

I recommend this book to all romance fans and chick-lit fans because it’s an absolute joy to read. Also if you love this book, do read the others in the series: Bed of Roses (Emmaline’s story), Savour the Moment (Laurel’s story) and Happy Ever After (Parker’s story).

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley..

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Blurb:

Life is sweet for chocolate maker Chloe Lyon…In the picture-perfect Lancashire village of Sticklepond, Confectioner Chloe dispenses inspirational sweet treats containing a prediction for each customer. If only her own life was as easy to forecast – perhaps Chloe could have foreseen being jilted at the altar…But when a new Vicar arrives in the village, the rumour mill goes into overdrive. Not only is Raffy Sinclair the charismatic ex-front man of rock band ‘Mortal Ruin’, he’s also the Chloe’s first love and the man who broke her heart. Try as she might, Chloe can’t ignore this blast from her past. Could now be the time for her to make a wish – and dare to believe it can come true?
Review:

I have to say doesn’t the title just sound so scrumptious? If like me you’re a chocoholic, then rest assured, you’ll definitely love this book.

The plot of this book revolves around Chloe and how her past and present clashes with the hero of this book, Raffy Sinclair. There is of course, like any other romance book, a big secret between the two protagonists that readers will eventually come to find out near the end of book. I won’t give away any spoilers because believe you me, that little secret will change your interpretation of everything! However, not to worry, it will be for the best.

I absolutely loved the heroine, Chloe, from the get go. She’s an independent, charismatic and lovable woman. I found myself rooting for her till the end. It is for that reason I was initially quite hesitant about Raffy’s character. When he first appears in the book, he seems quite reserved but then again he was an ex singer of a rock band. He intrigued me because the reader never really knows what goes on inside his mind, and because of that there were times when I felt I couldn’t really connect with him but he does prove his worth in the end.

If you happen to love little idyllic villages where community life is just so beautiful then this book is for you. From over-bearing crazy family members, to nosy neighbours and picturesque settings, this book has it all. Ashley takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions and the book kept me engaged most of the time and although I did feel the novel dragged on a bit at certain times, it didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the story.

Ashley has delivered 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: 7/10