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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.


lynsey

 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

 

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Friction by Sandra Brown..

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Friction

Blurb:

A Texas Ranger with a tarnished badge…
An enemy hell-bent on revenge…
And the lady judge caught in the middle.

Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him doing deskwork and his five-year-old daughter Georgia in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act, met all the court imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

Holly, an ambitious and confident judge, temporarily occupies the bench of her recently deceased mentor. With an election upcoming, she must prove herself worthy of making her judgeship permanent. Every decision is high-stakes. Despite Crawford’s obvious love for his child and his commitment to being an ideal parent, Holly is wary of his checkered past. Her opinion of him is radically changed when a masked gunman barges into the courtroom during the custody hearing. Crawford reacts instinctually, saving Holly from a bullet.

But his heroism soon takes on the taint of recklessness. The cloud over him grows even darker after he uncovers a horrifying truth about the courtroom gunman and realizes that the unknown person behind the shooting remains at large . . .and a threat.

Catching the real culprit becomes a personal fight for Crawford. But pursuing the killer in his customary diehard fashion will jeopardize his chances of gaining custody of his daughter, and further compromise Judge Holly Spencer, who needs protection not only from an assassin, but from Crawford himself and the forbidden attraction between them.

Review:

I’ve been a long standing Sandra Brown fan and have read and enjoyed her books over the years. So it’s no surprise that whenever a new book comes out, I have to buy it immediately. I just recently finished Friction, which released on 18th August. Friction met and exceeded my expectations.

The story revolves around our hero, Texas Ranger Crawford Hunt who is trying to win custody of his 5 year old daughter from her grandparents. Four years ago, Crawford lost his wife in a road accident and in his grief, lost his way and began to drink and behave carelessly. Unable to look after his daughter or let go of his grief, he agrees to give temporary custody to his in-laws. Four years later, Crawford Hunt is no longer the same man who lost his wife. He’s cleaned up his act and has settled closer to where his daughter, Georgia lives, hoping to bring his daughter back home. The final decision rests on the shoulders of Judge Holly Spencer who has just taken over temporarily from her mentor. Wanting to ensure that she has a good chance of permanently taking over her mentor’s position, Holly has to make sure she makes the correct decision. Although Holly realises that Crawford loves and cares for his daughter deeply, she’s worried about whether or not he’d be able to fully look after her. During the final custody hearing Holly is about to give her decision when all hell breaks loose; a masked gunman barges into the courtroom and head’s straight for the judge.

Fortunately, Holly is saved by Crawford but what ensues is a cat and mouse race to find the real shooter and figure out his motives for carrying out the shooting. From start to finish, Sandra Brown takes the reader on a hellish journey where brutality knows no limits, threats are made and life-changing secrets and betrayals are revealed.

My favourite character was Georgia, she stole the show for me. Perhaps because of her innocence or her love for her father, Georgia completely stole my heart in whatever scenes she appeared in , especially the ones with Crawford. Throughout the novel, Georgia was the only proof readers needed, to know that Georgia should be by her father’s side. I liked Holly and Crawford, both as individuals and as a couple. Holly is a kind and caring person but she’s also an ambitious woman who believes in what she does and completes it to the best of her ability. Crawford is an enigma. As the story progresses, layers of his personality are slowly peeled off and revealed. At first I wasn’t sure whether or not he did deserve having Georgia’s custody, slowly but surely he won me over through his actions throughout the book and with the twist at the end, my heart was completely sold on him. He’s a great three dimensional character who you can’t help but feel sympathy for. He was given a difficult time by fate but he never stopped fighting for what would ultimately save his soul; having his daughter back in his life permanently.

The narrative is absolutely brilliant. The amount of twists and turns in this book had my head spinning and me grinning from ear to ear after a new clue was revealed and new secrets were confessed. Sandra has a superb way of engaging the reader and inviting them into her world of mayhem where nothing is as it seems. My suspect list was quite long but I do confess to figuring out who the culprit was. The only slight niggling issue I had was with the reason for why the culprit did what they set out to do. I wanted there to be a bit more of a scandal surrounding it. Perhaps that’s just me but the reasons for committing the crimes sounded weak to me. Nonetheless, it didn’t take away my enjoyment and overall I loved the book.

If you’re looking for a high octane romance thriller, then this book is for you. Friction is a classic Sandra Brown novel that will leave you feeling breathless and craving more from our fascinating cast of characters. Be prepared to be swept away into the mind blowing, chaotic drama that is Friction. Pick up your copy now, I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

Overall Rating: 10/10

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

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter – Goodreads

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