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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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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.

Deep Blue Sea by Tasmina Perry..

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Blurb:

Beneath the shimmering surface lies a dark secret…

Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes in London and the country, Diana’s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But nothing is as it seems…

When Julian dies suddenly and tragically, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again – her sister, Rachel.

A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, estranged from her family and driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal.

For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth – wherever it may lead…

Review:

First of all thank you to the lovely people at Headline for providing me with a copy of this book through Bookbridgr. This was the first time I read a Tasmina Perry book and I can’t say it will be my last.

The story revolves around the mystery surrounding the death of Diana’s beloved husband, Julian. Diana, unlike everyone else, questions the way in which he dies and doesn’t believe for a second that everything is what it seems. As such, she calls on her sister Rachel to help her. One sibling helping another in a situation like this is normal but it comes as a surprise to all when Rachel comes to her sister’s aid in the hopes of solving Julian’s mysterious death regardless of the fact that the two sisters haven’t to spoken to one another in years.

From the beginning I was reeled into the story very quickly. We are shown the two different lives lived by two sisters, who in the prologue seem to have the closest relationship, yet now in the present for some reason, are miles apart from one another – physically and mentally. The mystery surrounding their apparent feud immediately had me hooked, as I found myself continuously wondering what could be the cause of their relationship deteoriating to such an extent.

I’m not sure how much I liked either of the sisters at the beginning but I can say that I definitely warmed to both as the plot progressed. For me, the character that had the most growth was Diana. From being reserved to naïve to independent, she blossomed into someone who you could truly appreciate as a person and I loved that she did because a lot of the time my sympathies were with her.

Tasmina puts a lot of detail into the personalities of the two sisters and I was constantly learning new things about both as the story progressed. Of course one the main issues that keeps these two sisters together (and at times apart) is Julian. From flashbacks we learn more about Julian and the type of man he was and why to Diana he seemed perfect and why to Rachel, he was perhaps not so perfect. Then of course his death brings about suspicion as to who he really was as an individual. Was he the man that Diana fell in love with and married or was he the snob that Rachel believed him to be? So many questions were brought up in the novel and they did well to keep my interest in the story going.

The pace of the book was slow, at times, but it reflected the mood of the characters perfectly. Tasmina’s writing is clear and easy to understand. She goes into a lot of detail, in terms of places and her character personalities are quite in depth so I felt as if I had known the protagonists my whole life. Lots of twists and turns kept the plot of the novel intriguing and I certainly didn’t expect the ending as it was and for that I’m certainly glad!

Overall, if you are a romance and women’s literature/family saga fan then this book is perfect for you. There’s suspense, love and a whole lot of family dynamics that keeps the story going and makes it even more brilliant! This book has definitely raised my expectations and I hope that, as soon I as I get my hands on another Tasmina Perry book, it’s as good as this. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this book because you will not regret it!

Overall Rating: 9/10

If you would like to find out more about Tasmina and her books you can do so from her official website and follow her on twitter and facebook.

The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes..

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Today I’m hosting the second day of The Star Child Blog Tour stop. I’m incredibly excited about today as this is my first blog tour and it is brought to you by Neverland Blog Tours. On today’s stop I’ve reviewed the fantastic novel by Stephanie Keyes PLUS there’s an exclusive giveaway for all you bookworms at the end but before that let’s get to know a bit about the author herself and then we’ll move onto the book itself and my review. Stay tuned!

Stephanie Keyes Bio:steph10Steph's new logo

Stephanie Keyes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent years traveling and working as a Corporate Trainer before she made the decision to pen her first novel. As a teen, her family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.

Still a resident of the ‘Burgh, Steph is now Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible rockstar of a husband. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a speaker and teacher, as well as a featured author for Love a Happy Ending Lifestyle e-magazine. Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and The Star Catcher, all from by Inkspell Publishing. The Fallen Stars was a 2013 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. The Star Child has topped the Amazon best-seller list several times since its 2012 release.

Steph writes YA novels because she’s a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that Magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA novel.


Blurb:The Star Child book cover

The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?


Review:

When I first heard about Stephanie’s book, I was definitely intrigued especially when there was a lot of talk about Irish folklore. I love fantasy and when it’s mixed with Irish folklore then you know you’ll be in for a great ride. As such, I experienced a roller coaster of a ride with this fantastic book.

The Star Child is the first book in a trilogy and the story revolves around the protagnoist Kellen St. James. Kellen, on the surface seems like any ordinary 17 year old except the fact that he’s a child prodigy, he’s already seen the girl of his dreams – quite literally and oh did I mention he’s also the bearer of an old Celtic prophecy? If that doesn’t have your bookworm instincts buzzing then I’m not sure what would.

I loved how, at the beginning of the book, we were given an insight into Kellen’s character and family life before he goes off on his adventure. In particular, Kellen’s interactions with his Grandma (from his flashbacks) were so emotive that I found myself at times feeling a lot of sympathy for Kellen and already rooting for a happy ending for him. Also I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only reader to have been somewhat surprised by Kellen’s relationship with his father. I became so involved in their family dynamics that I found myself continuously wondering as to what could have caused Kellen’s father’s behaviour and of course the mystery surrounding Kellen’s beloved mother.

Another mystery that’s quickly brought into the story is Calienta. The object of Kellen’s dreams and who goes on to become his reality. I loved Calienta because of her simplicity and the way in which she treated those around her. As a result the romance that blossoms in the novel is so heart-warming that I couldn’t help but immerse myself in it.

The story itself is told from a male perspective and for me that’s definitely something new. I can’t remember the last time I read a fantasy novel from the male perspective but I have to say Stephanie has done an incredible job. Kellen is just so easily lovable and reading from his perspective definitely made this book a refreshing and unique read.

The pace of the book was at times a little fast for me and I did feel like a lot of things were perhaps happening too quickly but if the fate of the world rests on your shoulders then there really isn’t time to waste right? As such, it didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the book and I found myself fully engrossed until the end. Stephanie’s writing was clear and precise and very easy to follow. Her attention to detail was so great that I had no problem picturing everything in my head. There were a few things that were left unsolved but with that shocker of an ending I’m betting that these will be resolved in the upcoming books and for that I am certainly glad!

The Star Child was a great fantasy filled read which allowed me to travel to an unknown, extraordinary world where nothing is what it seems and not everyone is your benefactor. Fans of fantasy/romance and YA fantasy do not miss out on a fantastic novel that is guaranteed to take you on an enchanted journey that you will not be able to forget.

Overall Rating: 8/10


GIVEAWAY:

It’s time for that Giveaway! There are 3 fabulous prizes up for grabs and all you need to do is enter here:giveaway for the starchild

1st Prize – Book boyfriend bag
2nd Prize –The Star Catcher playlist on iTunes
3rd Prize – New swag pack
Good luck to all and don’t miss out on this fantastic  opportunity!

If you would like to find out more about the lovely Stephanie Keyes, you can do so in the following places:

Website  –  Facebook  –  Twitter  –  Pinterest  –  Goodreads

Thank you for stopping by today! Next up on the The Star Child blog tour is Reviewed the Book. Do make sure to stop by at the rest of the blog tour stops as well! Have a lovely week! 🙂

The Star Child Blog Tour  FINAL BANNER

 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes..

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Blurb:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Review:

I hope my review does this book some justice because I honestly believe that this is one book that has touched me like no other.

This was my first Jojo Moyes book and since then I’ve literally followed her books like an obsessive fan. The plot of this book revolves around the lives of the two protagonists Lou and Will.

Lou is a wonderful character that I immediately liked and was able to relate to on so many different levels. Moyes makes her very realistic and I felt that her simplicity and unselfishness is what made her so lovable. She’s very bright but does not have any stable direction in life, which is why after losing her job she applies to be a carer for a young man who has been left in a quadriplegic state. Fate works in mysterious ways and this job sets her on the path of Will Traynor, our second protagonist.

Will has been left in a quadriplegic state following a road accident, which occurred two years earlier. Unlike Lou, Will used to have a high-end active lifestyle and a successful career. However, after his accident he is left feeling demoralised, as he believes he has now lost everything. I couldn’t blame Will for being bitter and angry after what had happened to him but this is where Lou comes in. With a riot of colour she sets out to change Will’s perception and make him realise that there still are some things worth living for.

This is probably the first book I’ve read that centres so deeply around a physical impairment. What I loved though was that Jojo doesn’t just focus on the disability, rather gives us an insight into Will’s emotional journey as a whole. Will’s emotional journey and Lou’s loyalty towards making Will realise how beautiful his life really is, is what makes this story so special.

This book is very moving and made me realise just how important life really is and how easily we take so many things for granted. It made me appreciate the things I do have in life and has left a deep impact on my heart.

Me Before You is guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and fall in love all over again. Jojo Moyes has done an exceptional job with this story that needs to be heard by all. I cannot recommend this book enough; if you haven’t read it you are doing yourself a great injustice. It is a gem of a book and if like me you’re an emotional person, have that tissue box ready. A thought provoking and a memorable book that will stay with you for a very long time.

Overall Rating: 10/10

Please Forgive Me by Melissa Hill..

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Blurb:

Have you ever dreamed of running away? Of just leaving the past behind you?

Leonie has done just that. She’s moved to another country and got a new job, a new home, a brand new life. . .But when she discovers a box of unread love letters in the bottom of her wardrobe, all ending with the words ‘please forgive me’, she finds herself drawn to the mystery behind them.

Can the unravelling of another person’s story help Leonie deal with her own past and her own secrets? All she knows is that she has to try. Because if the couple behind the love letters had a happy ending, then perhaps she just might too.

Review:

I wouldn’t have actually read this book if it wasn’t for my sister, so first and foremost big thank you to her for introducing me to the fantastic Melissa Hill.

Melissa Hill writes an extraordinary tale of three parallel stories that interweave with one another, with the past and present clashing in such ways that I was compelled to read on and on into the night. It has to be said, this book didn’t allow me to sleep much but that’s predominately why I loved it so much.

The plot has so many twists and turns that I was kept fully engaged throughout the book. Hill gives us vibrant 3-dimensional characters, whom we can easily relate to. The main story revolves around the heroine of this novel, Leonie. A girl who’s fled from her native Dublin after a broken heart to a new city and a new life. Leonie finding a box of old unopened letters is when the story really starts to unfold and the reader is given a glimpse into the lives of two extraordinary lovers.

Initially, I did get confused at times because the story is told through past and present events, so I did find myself going back to the beginning sometimes to get a good handle on things. However, that doesn’t take away from the easy flow of the writing or from Melissa’s incredible imagination, which makes this book what it is.

What I loved most about this book was that Melissa talks in great detail about forgiveness. This story made me question if I were ever in a situation, like the characters in the book, would I forgive easily or not? What does it mean to fully forgive someone and how should one ask for forgiveness? I was so intrigued by Melissa’s interpretation of this concept and loved that she gives you two sides to a story.

Melissa Hill gives a realistic insight into three different – yet at times similar – love stories, all of which are set in different times and places. If you’re a romance fan, then this book is definitely for you, I can’t recommend this book enough. It will take you on an emotional journey that will have you rooting for each and every one of the characters within this book. It was absolutely impossible to put this book down and Melissa Hill has now become one of my all-time favourites.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

My bookish blog..

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Hi there!

someecard talking about characters

I love reading and I love discovering new books. I’ve decided to do something productive with my passion for reading by now reviewing books myself. My reviews will be honest and hopefully enjoyable! Fair warning though, my favourite genres are romance and crime/thriller fiction, so most likely my reviews will be based upon books of those genres. I already have a previous blog which is basically about me rambling on about random things but if you’re interested, here’s the link: simgillblog.wordpress.com 

I hope you enjoy my reviews and I look forward to hearing from you too! Watch this space for my first few reviews!

Thank you for visiting my blog!