Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review of Just One Kiss by Traci Hall @Indiesage PR @Entangled

JUST ONE KISS
by Traci Hall
Publication Date: January 11, 2021
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Contemporary, Romance

Free-spirited Grace Sheldon is used to living on a tight budget as a freelance photographer. But nothing short of a miracle could produce the thirty thousand dollars she owes on the house she’s inherited. Without steady employment, the bank refuses to give her a loan. Working a temp job won’t give her nearly enough, but she’ll take any little bit she can get until she figures out a solution. Her first day, though, she realizes this is no ordinary office—and her handsome new boss is no ordinary man.

After Sawyer Rivera’s well-planned career in Seattle officially imploded all he’s looking for is a small beach town where he can open a dog training facility and start a simple life. Except, his new office assistant is anything but. Grace is carefree, artsy, and doesn’t know a thing about dogs. The woman has pet chickens! She’s also funny, kind, and the best part of his day.

Grace is his complete opposite—and completely refreshing. But when her month of temp work is over, she could disappear from his life for good. Sawyer realizes he has just one chance to try to change their fate.


BUY LINKS
Amazon:https://amzn.to/3s1VGm4
iTunes:http://apple.co/35jYOjx
Kobo:http://bit.ly/3omNtXm
BN:http://bit.ly/3hPkuct
Amazon CA:https://amzn.to/3pYEXON
Amazon UK:https://amzn.to/38oZpCg
Amazon AUS: https://amzn.to/2Lv4dNL
Add to #Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Xgzcjf

GIVEAWAY

$20 Amazon Gift Card

rafflecopter

My thoughts:

If you are looking for a light and quick romance to help you get out of your reading slump, try Just One Kiss by Traci Hall. Based on the opposites-attract trope, it is a clean romance with unique characters. It also features rescue dogs, service dogs, an autistic child, and a few veterans with Post Tramautic Stress Disorder who are given a chance to feel useful and appreciated.

Grace Sheldon, a freelance photographer, who grew up in a communce with her free-spirited parents, inherits a lovely house overlooking a beautiful beach. Her grandmother would like this house to be a safety net for her children should they ever need a roof over their heads. The only problem is that there is also a substantial debt of unpaid taxes that Grace needs to pay. Otherwise, the bank is going to foreclose on the property. Grace has thirty days to come up with the money or lose the house of her dreams. She takes up a temp job of setting up an office for a new business in the town, although her paychecks aren’t going to come anywhere close to what she owes.

Sawyer Rivera is a celebrity dog trainer who needs to keep a low profile for a few months. His ex-girlfriend has been dragging his name in the press and he might lose all his contracts, unless she gets tired of spreading lies about him. Sawyer decides to go back to what he does the best and open a dog training camp. He also employs homeless veterans who have fallen on hard times and are in need of honest employment and a square meal. He even takes up a rescue dog without having met him (he is that confident in his training system). Lovable, but undoubtfully naughty Bert would melt anyone’s heart. Bert manages to break Grace’s expensive photo camera and this is our protagonists’ meet cute.

There is a spark, of course, and there is undeniable difference of lifestyle, financial situation, attitudes, and dispositions. Grace is independent and has been raised to feel suspicious of any kind of rules or authorites, while Sawyer, an ex-marine, believes in discipline and getting things done systematically.
Can Grace and Sawyer find things in common and let their differences bring the best in them? Can they appreciate how kind-hearted and generous both of them are ? and will Grace be able to save her grandmother’s home?

I enjoyed this romantic escape into sunshine, walks on the beach, training service dogs (I didn’t know that dogs can help people on the autism spectrum regulate their emotions), and a fair bit of drama. I guess I won’t spoil your enjoyment of the story if I say that there is a HEA (although I’d say a HFN would be more realistic given the timeframe). Traci Hall clearly knows how to write an entertaining and sweet romance.

Thank you to Netgalley, Entangled Publishing and Indiesage PR for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

AUTHOR INFO
 
With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.
 
 
AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
 
Website: www.tracihall.com
Newsletter: www.tracihall.com/about-traci-hall
Facebook: www.facebook.com/traciella
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tracihallauthor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/tracihallauthor
Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/traci-hall
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2MK5LnB
Amazon Profile: www.amazon.com/author/tracihall
EP: www.entangledpublishing.com/author/traci-hall

Thank you for reading the post! Have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend!

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review of Girl on the Ferris Wheel @Xpresso Book Tours

Book details:

Title: Girl on the Ferris Wheel
Authors: Julie Halpern, Len Vlahos
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: January 12th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

In Girl on the Ferris Wheel, Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos expertly tackle this quirky and poignant romance that explores what first love really means—and how it sometimes hurts like hell.

Tenth graders Eliana and Dmitri could not be more different. He’s an outgoing, self-confident drummer in a punk band called Unexpected Turbulence. Eliana is introspective and thoughtful, and a movie buff who is living with depression.

Dmitri quite literally falls for Eliana when he sees her in gym class and slams into a classmate. The pair then navigate the ins and outs of first love. Exciting, scary, unexpected, and so much more difficult than they ever imagined. They say opposites attract, but they soon realize that there is so much they just don’t understand about each other. It begs the question: How long can first love possibly last when you’re so different?

Goodreads

Purchase

Amazon  / B&N / iBooks

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading Len’s previous book Hard-Wired, so when I saw that he co-wrote another YA novel, I was very excited about this touching, realistic, and sweet story.

Girl on the Ferris Wheel gives us two alternating POVs. Dmitri and Eliana come from very different backgounds and have very different personalities. Quiet, insecure Eliana has four other siblings and a stay-at-home dad, whose DVD rental store went out of business, while Dmitri is a second generation American Greek with a close-knit family, trying to integrate into American life and at the same time keep their distinct culture. Dmitri is a drummer in a band and a movie buff. He is also friendly and outgoing, which helps him to navigate high school social life with a lot of confidence and ease.

One of the best things about this book is that it provides a realistic representation of what it’s like to live with clinical depression and what it’s like to love and support a person with it. Eliana was briefly hospitalised and when she came back to school she found hersef almost isolated as a lot of her friends decided it was too complicated and awkward to be around her. Eliana’s struggle with her depression is written in a heart-breakingly honest way. Her inner dialogue is fascinating, with some hilarious runaway comments on what is happening at the moment and some dark moments with repetitive self-depreciating thought patterns.

It was interesting to see both perspectives on Eliana and Dmitri’s relationship with all the excitement and ups and lows of figuring out the other side’s feelings and opinions. Depending on your own experience, you might find one of the characters more or less relatable, but they are definitely realistic and memorable, and both of them go through a lot of growth and development. There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters, including Eliana’s best friend Janina, Dmitri’s surprisingly perceptive younger brother Niki, and adorable grandmother Yia Yia.

The only thing that didn’t work for me was the abundance of Happy Potter references, although I appreciate that being able to get and relate to well-known references (or the opposite, some obscure movie quotes) is a way of establishing a connection, finding your own tribe, which is a part of teen life.

I would definitely recommend this book. First romantic relationships aren’t easy because we still need to learn the importance of communication, but they are also exciting and genuine- like this book.

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours, NetGalley and Feiwel and Friends for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

AUTHORS BIO:

Julie Halpern is the award-winning author of seven young adult novels, one novel for adults, and one picture book for young readers. In her imaginary spare time she enjoys traveling, making cosplay for her kids, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.

Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school in the mid ’80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies, a punk-pop four piece that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records. After the band broke up, he followed his other passion, books. He is the author of The Scar Boys, a William C. Morris Award finalist and a #1 Indie Next pick, and Scar Girl, the book’s sequel. Len lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons, where he owns the Tattered Cover Book Store.

GIVEAWAY (ends Jan 21st):
Tour-wide giveaway (US only)

  • Paperback copy of Girl on the Ferris wheel

rafflecopter

Thank you for reading the post! Have a great Thursday!

If you would like to see what other bloggers thought of the book, here is the full blog tour schedule:

January 11th
Brianna’s Books and Randomness  >> Review
Twirling Book Princess >> Excerpt
Rajiv’s Reviews  >> Review
Books Tea Healthy Me >> Review

January 12th
The Avid Reader >> Excerpt
What Irin Reads >> Review
The Phantom Paragrapher  >> Review
My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews  >> Review
The Book View >> Interview
Rockin’ Book Reviews >> Guest post

January 13th
Sadie’s Spotlight >> Excerpt
It Starts at Midnight >> Review
Movies, Shows, & Books  >> Excerpt
What Emma Did Next >> Review

January 14th
Adventures in Writing >>  Excerpt
Kait Plus Books >> Interview
Reading tonic >> Review
dinipandareads >> Review

January 15th
DEEKAY | Daily Dose of Reading >> Review
Books A-Brewin’ >> Guest post
What Is That Book >> Excerpt
Booky Cat >> Interview
Sushirainbow >> Review

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Spotlight #Lost in Translation by Audrey Davies @rararesources @Audrey Davies

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Lost in Translation, a dark romantic comedy written by fabulous Audrey Davies.

Lost In Translation

Charlotte Egerton and family are off to Switzerland, after husband Dom bags a big-time job promotion.

But Charlotte isn’t exactly yodelling with delight at the prospect. Not since a chance discovery cast a shadow over her ten-year marriage. And navigating twisty Swiss roads and getting to grips with French only adds to her woes…
Following a bumpy encounter with an arrogant German, Charlotte is far from convinced the expat life is for her.
With doubts about Dom — and concerns for her best friend, Ruth — plaguing her mind, will Charlotte embrace the Swiss way of life, or are some mountains just too hard to conquer?
Embark on a journey filled with laughter, tears and lessons in love. Sometimes you just have to seize the day…

Praise for Audrey Davis

‘Warm, witty and highly entertaining.’
‘The author never fails to provide humour and pathos in equal measure.’
‘The story-telling is rich, intelligent and rewarding.’


Purchase Links

UK US

Author Bio

Audrey Davis is a Scottish-born former journalist, now resident in Switzerland. Her newspaper career saw her cover events in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands, as well as working for a London-based movie magazine writing reviews and carrying out interviews.

She self-published her debut romantic comedy novel A Clean Sweep in June 2017, following an online Open University course in Writing Fiction.

Audrey followed up with a short, darker prequel A Clean Break before beginning work on a rom-com novella trilogy with a ghostly twist – The Haunting of Hattie Hastings. Again, reviews across the board were excellent, and it was combined into a standalone novel in November 2018. Her third novel, A Wish For Jinnie, was published in June.

Apart from writing, Audrey enjoys travel and spends a lot of time in Edinburgh. At least she did until recently…  She is an avid cook, watcher of scary movies and reluctant gym-goer.

Social Media Links
https://twitter.com/audbyname
https://www.facebook.com/audreydavisbooks/
https://www.instagram.com/cowieaudrey/
https://audreydavisauthor.com

Thank you for reading the post! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

If you wouldliketo see what other blogs thought of Audrey’s book, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Book Blitz #Stolen Hearts by M. O’Keefe @Xpresso Book tours

Book & Author Details:

Stolen Hearts
by Molly O’Keefe
Publication date: January 12th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

The flare of a cigarette, the sound of a stranger’s voice, and the handsome Irishman in the shadows–I wanted it all, but I wasn’t allowed to want.

Ronan was danger and beauty, murder and mercy. To me, he was a mystery, but he was also the only man who ever knew me.

In that single stolen moment before I had to give my life to someone else, I imagined myself with him, the man with scars and bruises. The one who knew what hurting meant far more than I did at that time.

Instead I was given to another man, one who broke my soul right along with my bones.

Through it all, there was always that memory of the man in the shadows, the one who said–not in words–that I was strong, that I could endure, that I was more than just a princess in a ballgown.

Now Ronan is the only man who could keep me safe from two warring families that wanted my blood. The spark that started two years ago burned brighter with each touch, each glance, each kiss. He woke me from the nightmare, giving me life with soft touches and sharp words.

Two years ago, Ronan gave me strength, but he took something in return. I never gave him my heart, but hearts like mine are made to be stolen.

Goodreads

Purchase Links
Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

AUTHOR BIO:

M. O’Keefe is the darker, more dangerous pen name of bestselling author Molly O’Keefe. She is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Everything I Left Unsaid series and the upcoming Stolen Hearts. To find out more visit www.molly-okeefe.com

website / twitter / instagram / facebook / goodreads

GIVEAWAY (ends Jan 21st)
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • $20 Amazon gift card

rafflecopter

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review of Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this Mini Blog Blitz for Kate Ryder’s new novel Beneath Cornish Skies.

Beneath Cornish Skies

To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw‘s life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn’t do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.

Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round ‘Superhuman’ for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.

As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?

A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.

Purchase Link

My thoughts:

This was my first book written by Kate Ryder. The description sounded interesting, but I had no idea what a talented storyteller she is.

Beneath Cornish Skies is a beautifully-written novel of self-discovery in one of the most magical settings. The protagonist of the book, Cassandra Shaw, lost her parents in a car accident when she was just seventeen and spent the following ten years living with her supposedly charming, arrogant and bossy boyfriend David. Cassie feels trapped in this unfulfilling relationship, but appears to lack clear ideas what else she would like to do with her life. Once Cassandra discovers David’s infidelity, she confronts him about their future together. To her dismay, she realises his vision of it is very different to what she longs for, a family of her own.

Cassie answers an ad for a ‘Superhuman’ (an all-round helper at Foxcombe Manor) and accepts the job. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery and spellbinding local  legends and stories, Cassandra re-thinks her life choices that let her doubt her own self-worth. She also finds an unexpected soulmate, Luke Metcalf, a naturalist and a successful writer.

There is a touch of paranormal, but it is all an integral part of the setting and atmosphere of this evocative novel.

The writing is the best feature of this book. There is something magic about the way Kate Ryder carefully chooses her words to render Cassie’s complex feelings and  capture her fleeting impressions, insecurities and burgeoning hopes. For the first time in her life Cassie feels in control of her life choices wherever they may lead her. For the first time she acknowledges that there are many different ways of living and she needs to find her own.

If you are a fan of A Discovery of Witches and Jane Eyre, you are going to enjoy this enchanting story with its rich language and vivid imagery. Alternatively, if you find Cornwall a place where magic may well still be alive, this book is also for you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio

Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.

Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors.  In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).

Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.

‘Secrets of the Mist’, a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book “Book of the Month”.

Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

Social Media Links

Author website: http://www.kateryder.me
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateRyder_Books
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kateryder.author
Instagram: @kateryder_author

Thank you for reading the post! Have a wonderful Monday!

If you would like to know what other bloggers thought of Kate Ryder’s book, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review #New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @rararesources @Boldwood Books @Jessica Redland

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this uplifting book!

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow
Brand new from the top 10 bestselling author of New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow.

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

Escape back to wonderful Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting read full of love, hope and forgiveness.

Purchase Link

My thoughts:

New arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is the sequel to Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow. It is better read the books in order, but if you haven’t read the first one, don’t worry: Jessica provided a very helpful summary and list of recurring characters  at the beginning of the book and made me feel at home straightaway.

 Samantha/ Sammie finaly opens The Hedhog Hollow Rescue Center, and immediately has her work cut out for her with new patients brought in or left out on her doorstep. She is still recovering from her coma after her newly inherited farm was set on fire. It isn’t easy to juggle her full time teaching job with taking care of new arrivals at the hedgegog shelter, some of which are tiny new born hoglets. Luckily for her, her boyfriend Josh isn’t just understanding and supportive, he is also a veterinarian who is totally committed to animal rescue. What Sammie might not have realised before she opened the centre was that it would require her being there for her helpless patients all the time. This kind of work can also be heartbreaking as not all hedgehogs are going to survive. On top of all this,  a spate of threatening vandalism incidents puts Sammie under additional emotional strain she could really do without.

There is a lot of family drama in this book. Samantha and Josh’s relationship is getting stronger, but they both have a lot to learn about their respective families. Josh is trying to reconcile with his estranged father, while Sammie is getting a deeper insight in her own mother’s past. Not everything is what it seems at first sight. Sometimes children have a certain idea of what their parents’ marriage is like which is not entirely true.

Sammie is a wonderful character. She hates letting peope down and she is kind and considerate. Sammie has to ask herself some really hard questions to find out what she really wants from life. I love the way she often reframes her own negative experience to provide the most benevolent explanation and how she is ready to give anyone a second chance. I also really enjoyed meeting Fizz, a lovely secondary character who I hope is going to feature again in the next book.

What I liked the most about this book is all the information about hedgehogs and how to take care of them. This book is so much more than just romance (in fact, although present, it isn’t very prominent in this book). It is more about families, friendships, kindness, forgiveness and life in general.if this is something you like reading about, welcome to the world of Hedgehog Hollow!

Thank you to Rachel, Boldwood Books, NetGalley and Jessica Redland for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Author Bio

Jessica Redland is the bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Meida Links
instagram / twitter / facebook/ website / blog / bookbub / mailing list

Thank you for reading the post! Have a great Sunday!

If you would like to see what other bloggers thought of New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

Book Blitz: Eventually Evie by Cat Lavoie (January 4-8) @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Eventually Evie
by Cat Lavoie
Publication date: January 4th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Synopsis:

How are you supposed to get your life back on track when the Universe won’t stop messing with you?
After a series of personal and professional setbacks, interior designer Evie Glass has lost faith in herself and the world. The last thing she needs is her loud, boisterous family poking their noses in her business, so that’s why she avoids opening up about anything—especially her love life—during their weekly dinners. Thankfully, her bestie and next-door neighbor, Matilda, always has her back.

When Evie is asked to cat-sit Matilda’s beloved rescue, she’s not thrilled at the prospect. One well-meaning mistake later and a distraught Evie is rushing her furry charge to the ER where she meets and is instantly smitten with Fletcher West, a charming veterinarian who seems to return her interest. That is until they both realize they’ve met before—ten years ago when he was dating her temperamental cousin. Fletch’s break-up with Bee put him at the top of her family’s hit list and makes him the last person Evie should be dating.

In addition to navigating a secret romance with Fletch, Evie must also deal with a demanding new job, an eccentric client from her former life, and an ex who’s suddenly blowing up her phone. She convinces herself she’s got it all under control, but what happens when things start falling apart and Evie learns she’s not the only one keeping secrets?

One thing’s for sure…
Eventually Evie’s got to take a chance—on love, on life, and on herself.

Goodreads

Purchase

Amazon /B&N / iBooks / Kobo

AUTHOR BIO:

Cat Lavoie is a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada.
She loves writing fun and quirky romantic comedies and is the author of BREAKING THE RULES, ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN, PERI IN PROGRESS and MESSING WITH MATILDA.

A fan of all things feline, Cat loves cats and hopes to someday have a house full of them in order to officially become a crazy cat lady. (But one or two cats will do for now.)

If she isn’t reading or writing, Cat enjoys listening to podcasts (mostly comedy and true crime) and watching way too much TV. She fell in love with London many years ago and hopes to go back one day. Cat is currently at work on her next novel.

To connect with Cat and find out more about her books, visit CatLavoie.com and follow @CatLavoieBooks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  
Author links:
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieBooks
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/CatLavoieBooks
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/catlavoiebooks/
WEBSITE: https://www.catlavoie.com/

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • 2x $50 Amazon gift cards

rafflecopter

Featured

#Book Review #The Agent by Nancy Herkness

Synopsis:

Letting down her guard leaves a woman vulnerable to love—and to a menacing stalker—in a pulse-pounding novel by Nancy Herkness, award-winning author of The Hacker.

After fleeing her abusive ex, New Jersey salon owner Natalie Hart is reclaiming her life and self-esteem. Her fragile recovery doesn’t need a player like former FBI agent Tully Gibson, no matter how tempting a fling sounds. Then Natalie starts receiving anonymous notes, each more frightening and threatening than the last. To help track her stalker, Natalie knows whom to call. Their explosive chemistry together is an emotional hazard she’s willing to risk.

A high-powered security expert at KRG Consulting, Tully has intimacy issues of his own. The stirring hum of attraction he feels with his new client comes with boundaries. Tully’s job: just keep Natalie safe. But keeping his distance is getting harder. Whoever is playing games with Natalie wants to take things one deadly step further. The deeper Tully and Natalie are drawn into danger, the closer they become.

It’s time for Natalie and Tully to face their fears—of falling in love and of falling prey to a vengeful killer.

Publisher:  Montlake
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021

Goodreads

My thoughts:

This is the third book in the Consultants series that deals with the lives of three friends: Derek, Leland, and Tully.

The book begins with Alice and Derek’s wedding. Natalie Hart’s best friend would love to see her find a romantic partner she is as much in love with as she is with her brand new husband. Derek’s partner Tully seems to be a perfect choice, even if Natalie keeps saying she isn’t interested in getting involved with anyone. It has taken her a lot of time and effort to put behind the ugly reality of the psychological abuse her ex-husband put her through. Even though there is undeniable attraction, ‘the spark’, between her and Tully, she knows how to discourage any romantic advances wthout saying a word. However, Natalie has a problem and Tully might be the right person to discuss it with ( I have to say, I admire both Natalie’s independence and her common sense in asking for help when necessary). She has been getting anonymous e-mails with threatening messages. Tully takes the situation seriously and tried to discover who might want to hurt her. Is it her ex-husband Matt? Natalie has also been providing shelter to women trying to escape an abusive relationship/marriage… Perhaps, one of the husbands/boyfriends learnt what she has been doing and where she lives. As the threats continue to escalate, Tully and Natalie’s feelings seem to grow exponentially. They do need to confront their issues and their past if they want this relationship to work.

Nancy Herkness has a great writing style. It was very easy to follow the story and imagine the characters. I haven’t read the previous books in the series, but this one can definitely be read as a standalone. The structure of the book is solid as the events unfold in crescendo until the mystery is solved, the lives are saved, and the protagonists can enjoy their own rather unique happy end. If I could change anything about this book, I’d go for a bit less steam. To be fair, since the protagonists have been abstaining from romantic relationships for some time (for valid reasons), there is a lot of pent-up passion, still…if you are more of a fade-to-black reader, you might want to skip a bit.

Tully is undoubtfully written as an alpha male- strong, safe, protective, attentive. One of the things I liked about him was how he paid a lot of attention to Natalie’s reactions to his words and her body language. He also warns her that situations like this can provoke strong feelings without an outlet. I must say I kept thinking: the right thing in this situation would be to act professional and leave ‘dating’ until later when he could be sure that her judgment isn’t clouded by the adrenalin of ‘Fight or Flight’ Natalie’s dilemma also isn’t that clear-cut: on one hand, she is attracted to this powerful, confident, and decisive man, on the other hand, she has vowed to make sure her desisions are not going to be overruled by a man, however tempting it may be to let somebody else take responsibility. On one hand, we all want to be cared for, loved, and protected, on the other hand, we still need to remember it is our life and we choose how to live it.

Overall, I liked this romantic suspense/ thriller (it was fast-paced, and, well, there was plenty of action). Three and a half stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Featured

#Book Review #After the Night (Romance for All Seasons #1 ) by Sandra Marie

Synopsis:

She never thought she’d be the prince in the Cinderella story.

Cassidy Joanes met the man of her dreams during the annual Halloween office party. Only problem? He was wearing a mask, and she hasn’t a clue who he is—only that he can rock a Dread Pirate Roberts costume.

With only a few men in the office, she makes it her mission to find the man who swept her off her feet, only to be met with date after date of disappointment. And with a growing attraction to her boss, she’s not sure she can find her prince before she falls for someone else.

My thoughts:

Sweet in a lovely, nerdy way…what’s the right word for it? Adorkable?

Cassidy is known as Marvel Girl in her office. She is a billing assistant in an OBGYN clinic and there is always a superhero figurine on her computer, just for luck. Her boss/unlikely friend persuades her to attend the office Halloween party and even helps her to choose a costume. Buttercup. I don’t know about you, but there are lots of people who can’t imagine Christmas/New Year holidays without rewatching this timeless classic. Cassidy even puts in a pair of contact lenses, something she hasn’t done for ages. Shame she doesn’t know what happens to contact lenses if you keep them in solutions well their expiry date (if you’re squeamish, skip this part, nothing bad happens, but just the thought…)

She starts chatting to… yep, you’ve guessed it, Dread Pirate Roberts …and they click in the most unexpected and romantic way. He is funny, caring…well, you’ve seen the Princess Bride. He even helps her get out those horrible lenses. The downside of this undoubtfully kind and sadly necessary action is that Cassidy can’t see a thing without them. So when our nerdy Cinderella makes her escape, she still has no idea who she has been taking to. Of course, she needs to find him, and luckily she knows something about him that could really help her, a very particular kind of tattoo. Cassidy decides to date elegible men and try to figure out who her mysterious Westley is in real life.
Meanwhile, Pirate Roberts… a.k.a Dr Jon Bateman is convinced Cassidy doesn’t want to do anything with him because there are rules that prohibit office romance. Hold on, then why has she clearly gone on a dating spree?

There’s also a mystery of disappeared/ misplaced /siphoned off money. As Cassidy is from the billing department and certainly has serious work ethic, she won’t rest until she’s found the culprit.


Altogether, I really enjoyed this workplace romance. The characters were adorable. Sometimes office parties do serve their purpose of making the most unlikely match possible and bringing the timid and nerdy (with a heart of gold) together. Humour is a subjective thing, but this time it really worked for me.

Recommended to anyone who works hard, and has had to endure excruciatingly boring work conferences with the promise of having a bit of banter and a cup of coffee or two.

Featured

Spell the Month in Books: January 2021

This meme was originally created by Jana from Reviews From the Stacks, but I first saw it on Carla’s blog (Carla Loves to Read).

For this challenge, use the first letter of each book title to spell the current month (skipping articles such as A or The). You can either use titles from your tbr (Carla) or books that you have read/reviewed.

J – The Jane Austen Society by Nathalie Jenner

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A- (The) Absolution by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

The Absolution is the third installment in Queen of Icelandic crime fiction Yrsa Sigurdard�ttir’s series about the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.

The police find out about the crime the way everyone does: on Snapchat. The video shows a terrified young woman begging for forgiveness. When her body is found, it is marked with a number “2”.

Detective Huldar joins the investigation, bringing child psychologist Freyja on board to help question the murdered teenager’s friends. Soon, they uncover that Stella was far from the angel people claim, but who could have hated her enough to kill?

Then another teenager goes missing, more clips are sent to social media, and the body with a “3” is found. Freyja and Huldar can agree on two things at least: the truth is far from simple. The killer is not done yet. And is there an undiscovered body carrying the number “1” out there?

N –The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

At the age of twelve, Eve Black was the only member of her family to survive an encounter with serial attacker the Nothing Man. Now an adult, she is obsessed with identifying the man who destroyed her life.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle has just started reading The Nothing Man–the true-crime memoir Eve has written about her efforts to track down her family’s killer. As he turns each page, his rage grows. Because Jim’s not just interested in reading about the Nothing Man. He is the Nothing Man.

Jim soon beings to realize how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first …

U An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.

A Afterlife by Julia Alvarez



Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

R Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?

Y You are not Alone by Greer Hendricks

Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.

Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better. Shay would die for them to like her. She may have to.

Have you read these books? If yes, did you like them?

What book titles woud you use to spell January?

Featured

Book Blitz: Relic Bounty by Arwen Paris (Dec 30-Jan 3) @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Relic Bounty
by Arwen Paris
(Relic Legacy Series)
Publication date: December 30th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Kill the courier, retrieve the relic, collect the money.

Bounty hunter Janis Torzen finally has a chance to free himself from his indentured servitude to the mob. The brutal weather on planet Urrak is as unforgiving as the mob boss Janis Torzen works for, so of course a sudden sandstorm upsets his best laid plans. To make things worse, the courier, Everell, turns out to be a beautiful, smart-mouthed archeologist who has her own plans for the money. Unfortunately, powerful people will kill to possess the relic Everell carries—everyone from government officials to the social elite, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

Now on the run, Janis and Everell are forced to depend on each other to escape from Nadir Space Port. But when Everell and the relic are stolen from Janis, he must go back to the very man he’s trying to get away from and offer a deal with the devil. He’s got nothing to lose but his own life, so he bluffs the mob, willing to sacrifice his future to save the woman he’s fallen in love with—a woman he’s still not sure he can trust.

It’s a crazy plan, one so crazy it just might work. If he succeeds, it will pay out big for his wallet and his heart—if he doesn’t die trying. But with a bounty this high, it’s worth any risk…

Goodreads

Purchase
Amazon

AUTHOR BIO:

Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS released in 2017 and the second book in the series RIVAL in 2018. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she’s not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Idaho, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless – #F3Fanatic

Author links:
instagram / goodreads / facebook / twitter / website

GIVEAWAY

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
   $25 Amazon gift card

rafflecopter

Featured

#Book Review #Off Center by M.F.Lorson #Teen Tonic

Synopsis:

I knew exactly what I wanted out of my senior year.

A full ride to Northwestern University, the title of American High School Journalist of the year,
and a kiss, not just any kiss, but one from the boy I’ve been in love with since the sixth grade.

By October, my plan was fully in motion with liplock by Christmas Imminent. Imminent, that was, until Andie Mercantile moved to Marlowe Junction, swooping both my beat and my man.

Now, I’m stuck writing the sports column–a subject I know nothing about. My goals aren’t unobtainable, but they will take a lot more work. Just because a sports writer has never won journalist of the year before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. And as for the kissing part, I’m not counting myself out just yet.

After all, maybe learning a bit about competition is just what I need.

Off Center is the second book in the Varsity Girlfriends series.

My thoughts:

Off Center is the second book in a series of books dealing with five high school basketball team players. The other books (Courtside Crush, Rebound Boyfriend, and Game Plan) are written by other authors.

Lane Crawford is  determined to win the American High School Journalist of the Year Award which will surely help her get a scholarship to study in her dream college. She loves everything related to her school newspaper and writing articles. She’s also had a long-tem crush on Elliot Lambert, their new editor. There’s nothing more she would like than for her first ever kiss (yes, she is seventeen and has never been kissed) to be with this adorable nerd. She has plenty ideas which are bound to get his interest and make him want to spend more time together which is clearly the way to his heart.

Unfortunately, things go totally wrong during the first brainstorming session. Lane’s idea for an article on cheerleaders gets rejected. Even worse than that, Elliot clearly shows his interest in  Andie, the new girl who shot down Lane’s idea, and Lane somehow gets assigned the worst possible section – she is to cover the sports section, more specifically, the boys basketball team, notorious for their ‘lacklustre performance’. How on earth is she going to do that? The new girl might have unwittingly stolen the coveted news beat, but she is nothing if not helpful. Andie suggests writing a series of articles on the starting five, and Lane finds an unexpected ally as well. Hunter Mackey, a gentle giant whose job is to defend and protect, agrees to help Lane understand basketball and his team better.

As Lane continues writing her e-mails to her best friend Jillie, her feelings begin to change. Is it possible that Elliot is using her crush for his own purposes? or that she is falling for Mackey who always makes her feel listened to and seen like nobody else? Is she fair refusing to help Andie who wants to write an article on a topic so special to Lane that she thinks noone can do it justice? and how do you survive a Thanksgiving weekend with your Dad and his new family?

To say that I liked Lane is an understatement. I loved her honesty and her ability to look at her own actions and admit she was wrong. She is fiercely loyal to her amazing Mom, but is also kind and supportive of her little half-sister. She is also trying to deal with the fact that she misses her best friend so much and isn’t ready to make a new one. She is passionate about journalism and her newspaper assignments. The events are told from Lane’s point of view, so her character is the most developed, although there are many others: Andie, Lane’s family, the starting five, including Mackey, whose quiet strength and unassuming attitude make it very hard not to like him. Am I going to give the story away if I tell you that Lane does get her perfect kiss in the end and it happens on Christmas Eve?

Off Center is  a super quick read, perfect for anyone who likes clean, high school romance.

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review In pursuit of Happiness by Freya Kennedy @rararesources @Boldwood Books

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting to participate in the blog tour for ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ by Freya Kennedy. It was so lovely to return to the wonderfuly supportive community of Ivy Lane and see what was happening in the lives of its inhabitants. ‘In pursuit of Happiness’ can be read as a standalone, if you haven’t read ‘The Dreams and Hopes of Libby Quinn’, which was published in May 2020 (you can see my review here).

In Pursuit of Happiness
‘A lovely escape that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Just what’s needed at the moment’ No1 bestselling author Jane Fallon
The world is waiting…but just outside of your comfort zone.

Jo Campbell is perfectly content in a perfectly structured life.
Nothing ever changes in Jo’s life, and she likes it that way.
Or at least, she tells herself she does.

Most of the time, she manages to push down the tiny voice that tells her to chase her dream and maybe, just maybe, open her battered and bruised heart up to love.

But to chase her dreams she needs to take chances that are way out of her comfort zone and learn to not put other people’s happiness above her own.

Most of all she has to learn to trust her heart, which may just be the biggest challenge of all.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3iISOpc

My thoughts:


If I had to describe Freya Kennedy’s books in one word it would be heartwarming. In Pursuit of Happiness is set in Derry, Ireland, so, if you enjoyed Freya’s previous book Dreams and Hopes of Libby Quinn, you’ll be delighted to re-visit Ivy Lane and catch on what’s been happening in this lovely, supportive community.

Jo Campbell loves her family and her job (she is a co-owner of the local pub), but ever since she was a child, Jo dreamt of becoming a writer and sharing her stories with the world. Her friend and future sister-in-law Libby risked everything and took a chance on a shabby place which she turned into a cosy bookshop. Perhaps the time has come for Jo to step out of her comfort zone and see if her first book is any good. Jo lets her friends read it …and surprise, surprise…they love it. In fact, Libby sendsa copy of it to a famous Scottish writer who is about to visit Derry and do a book signing event in Libby’s bookshop.

Things begin to happen on the personal front too. Harry Gallagher’s grandson Lorcan comes to visit his granddad. Lorcan is in need of a quiet place to reflect on his long-term relationship which has just ended, and Derry seems to be a great place. I think this might be the right place for me to stop telling you about the plot, otherwise I might spoil your enjoyment of the story. The events are quite straightforward and once you know more about Jo and Lorcan’s past, you will also understand their present and their dilemmas.

In Lorcan’s words Jo is ‘funny and talented’ and ‘can make a horrible day seem infinitely brighter’. Jo’s relationship with her six-year-old little sister Clara is really special. I also enjoyed reading about Jo’s parents, especially her Mum’s crotchet club, which is all about ‘caring and sharing’ (read ‘good-natured gossip’) The way they care for their foster chidren and now the youngest adopted one- Clara- their kindness, attention, stability and love which they never tire of giving- are all the reasons why their children grow up to be happy, independent, and caring people. There’s also everybody’s favourite shopkeeper Harry with his inexplicable aversion to kitchen rolls and dishwasher tablets. The book is full of charming, likeable characters that will make you smile.

A charming story with my favourite slow-burn romance which highlights the importance of realising our hopes and dreams, being kind and considerate, and paying attention to things that really matter in life.

Thank you to NetGalley, Rachel, and the publisher, Boldwood Books, for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio

Freya Kennedy lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and a mad dog called Izzy. She worked as a journalist for eighteen years before deciding to write full time. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her nieces and nephews, cleaning up after her children (a lot) and telling her dog that she loves her.

She has met Michael Buble and even kissed him. It was one of her best ever moments.

She believes in happy ever afters.

Freya Kennedy is a pen name for Claire Allan, who also writes psychological thrillers.

Social Media Links

http://www.claireallan.com/
https://twitter.com/ClaireAllan /
https://twitter.com/AuthorFreya
https://www.facebook.com/ClaireAllanAuthor
https://www.instagram.com/claireallan_author/
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/freya-kennedy
Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/FreyaKennedyNewsletter

Thank you for reading the post! Have a great Monday!

If you would like to see what other bloggers thought of Freya Kennedy’s In Pursuit of Happiness, here is the full blog tour schedule:

If you would like to read Hope and Dreams of Libby Quinn first, you can find more information about the book here.

Featured

#Book blitz #A Billionaire for Christmas @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

A Billionaire for Christmas : A Secret Billionaire Romantic Comedy Holiday Boxed Set
Publication date: December 4th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

For surviving 2020, you deserve A Billionaire for Christmas. Heck, you deserve SEVEN billionaires for Christmas.

It’s been a wild ride this year. So 7 of your favorite romance authors have teamed up to raise a glass of eggnog, sit in front of the fire, and give you 7 billionaire holiday romance novels to help you make it through this last month of the year with a hot billionaire by your side, in his Maserati, with his staff cleaning your house.

Thank you, romance authors.

And what’s in this little holiday present just for you, all tied up in a bow?

Infatuation by Willow Winters — “Maybe the chill that traveled down my spine when I first saw him was a warning. A warning that once he laid eyes on me, I was his to keep. A warning that this man would stop at nothing to have me. A warning I wasn’t given until it was too late.”

Sweet Liar by Laurelin Paige — He isn’t looking for love. She’s looking for lessons and is certain he’ll be the best teacher. If he agrees, can this Love Scrooge keep his heart?

A Very Dare Christmas by Carly Phillips — Ian Dare misses the alone time and intense sex life he and his wife shared before their children were born. What’s an alpha man to do? He kidnaps Riley for an erotic weekend away before the Christmas rush overwhelms them both. Riley Dare adores her husband and she’s excited to spend time with him minus distractions on a sexy retreat where anything goes … and spontaneity leads to future surprises. A complete stand-alone for people who haven’t yet read Dare to Love but a special treat for those who want to revisit their favorite couple.

Delight Me by J. Kenner — There’s one special gift Damien wants to give his wife Nikki and their daughters for Christmas… but with a crisis brewing and time running out, can he make it home in time for the holidays?

Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire by Julia Kent — When Shannon is called to the mall to work as a sexy Christmas elf, her billionaire boyfriend, Declan, gets roped into playing Santa. The mall mommies start tweeting pictures, and soon everyone is crashing the mall to have a seat on Santa’s lap. Ho ho… ahem.

Bossy Bride by JA Huss — Jesse Boston is the man of my dreams so I’m gonna marry him. I’m not real picky about how that happens but when my mother invites my childhood nemesis, KAREN, to plan our wedding AND be one of my bride’s maids? Uh—no. We’re going to elope to Vegas on Christmas Eve, get hitched in the most ridiculous way possible, and then fly home in time for dinner. We’ve got it all figured out. Nothing can go wrong.

Santa, Baby by Blair Babylon – Peyton Cabot hates his life: being a rock star, performing for screaming crowds, being interviewed for magazines’ hottest musician of the year articles, winning awards, and banking loads of money. Yeah, it sucks to be him. Especially when the one woman who really gets him won’t return his calls anymore. When he goes to see what’s up, he gets a Christmas surprise that really rings his sleigh bells.

(Maserati and house-cleaning staff not included.)

Goodreads

Purchase:
FREE for a limited time!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ac19jM

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • $25 gift card (winner’s choice)

rafflecopter

Featured

2021 Audiobook Challenge

This year I would like to join in this new challenge for me- Audiobook Challenge- hosted by Kimberly from Caffeinated Reviewer and Jen from That’s What I’m talking about.

Challenge Details

  • Runs January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021. You can join at any time.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2021 than you did in 2020.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweet about the challenge.
  • Updates plus a giveaway will be posted twice during the year. The first update will be July 2, 2021, and the last update will take place on December 30, 2021.

Achievement Levels

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multitasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+
  • Over-Achiever (Power Listener) 75+
  • The 100 Club (Audiobook Addict) 100+

I’m going for the second level of achievement (5-10 audiobooks). Partly because I love the alliteration in the name – Weekend Warrior, but also because that’s exactly what I’m doing- just getting the hang of it and trying to work out what this whole new world of audiobooks is about.

  • Do you like this format? If yes, do you prefer listening to reading print copies or e-books?
  • How many books do you listen to in a year? What are your favourite genres?
Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review #The Spark by Jules Wake @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Racel’s Random resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this lovely book. This was my first book by Jules Wake, but it definitely won’t be the last!

The Spark

Jess is falling for Sam.
Sam is falling for Jess.

But it seems life will do whatever it takes to make them fall apart.
When Jess and Sam lock eyes at a party, a spark ignites. The spark. But love at first sight isn’t like the movies, especially when Sam’s ex, Victoria, is determined to make their honeymoon period a living hell.
Is love at first sight enough?

Purchase Links
🇬🇧 amzn.to/36wkD0N
🌎 mybook.to/TheSparkJW

My thoughts:

Jess is a lovely girl. She considerate, and genuinely non-judgemental. She works with victims of domestic abuse at a refuge centre, so it is her deeply held conviction that women should be supportive of each other. Sam is a primary school teacher who works with autistic children. He’s also used to taking care of other people’s needs first. They are perfect for each other. They really are.

Sometimes it just happens that you meet a person who seems to have been made for you. But what if this soulmate of yours is already in a long-term relationship or even married? There are lines you just don’t cross, however intense your feelings are. If you are the single part of the equation, you quietly walk away. If you are the ‘taken’ part, you either forget about the spark or start questioning the relationship you are in. This is what Sam does and then…he breaks up with his long-term girlfriend. A month later he asks Jess out. Breakups are often messy. Friends and families often take sides and refuse to see the new girlfriend as anything else, but a fling, or even worse ‘the other woman’.

We see the events from Jess’s point of view and this is why I started this review by saying what a great person she is. Strong, independent, dignified, and emotionally mature. Jules Wake takes this situation and asks us explore What if ‘The Other Woman’ was the nicest person imaginable, while the ex …well, we get an exaggerated version of her behaviour, but let’s say, she is having trouble moving on.
I loved the sub-plot of Jess’s own family and their history. My heart was breaking when I read what she went through as a child. To what extent does our parents’ personal life, with its successes and mistakes influence us? Are we doomed to repeat them or do we choose how to live our lives and how to love freely?

This was a quick and entertaining read, despite all these heavy questions (and I haven’t even said anything about the social media and how they sometimes add oil to the bonfire of our past relationships). Recommended to anybody who likes looking at both sides and making their own opinion.

Thank you to NetgGalley, rachel and the publisher for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio –
Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her creative writing skills.
She writes best-selling warm-hearted romantic contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and was shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year 2019 with Notting Hill in the Snow.
Under her pen name Julie Caplin, she also writes the warm and witty Romantic Escapes series. 
Between them, the two Js have written sixteen novels, The Spark being the latest.
 
Social Media Links – @Juleswake Twitter
https://www.facebook.com/juleswakewrites/
Instagram: juleswakeauthor

Thank you for reading the post!

Featured

#Blog Blitz (December 15-19) #Ain’t she sweet by Whitney Dineen (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers#2) @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Ain’t She Sweet
by Whitney Dineen
(Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #2)
Publication date: December 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Synopsis:

Tara Heinz began her modeling career at the tender age of twelve. After spending fifteen years drooling over forbidden foods, she does the unthinkable. She enrolls in culinary school and becomes a pastry chef.

After a nasty breakup with her rock star boyfriend that leads to tabloid war, Tara takes a job at a rural lodge in Oregon to escape the spotlight she no longer desires.

James Cavanaugh is a farmer in Oregon. His days are spent building his business and his nights are spent sleeping, so he can get up at four in the morning.

Ruby Cavanaugh has plans for her son that involve her new pastry chef. Of course, neither James nor Tara know what’s going on until it’s too late.

Goodreads

Purchase Link
Amazon

AUTHOR BIO:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.
Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.
She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.
Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.
Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.
Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.
Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017
Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Website / Twitter  / Goodreads Instagram  / Facebook

GIVEAWAY  (ends December 28th)
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • 2x $25 Amazon gift cards

rafflecopter

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review #Find Me in the Snow by Pamela Q. Fernandes #Giveaway @IndieSagePR

Thank you to Nicole from IndieSagePR for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this fast-moving romantic thriller.

Synopsis

When Althea meets Morgan Hunter at Muldoon’s pub for the first time, she thinks he’s a handsome, ego tripping, prissy-pants executive. She quickly rebuffs him only to find him thundering at her in the operation theater, the very next day. He’s dogged in his censure of her, but not immune to her allure. Through a snowy December Morgan courts Althea and wins her heart but not her trust.

When she travels with him at his request for Christmas to his home in Finesse, a tumble in the snow leads to the discovery of Morgan’s missing ex-girlfriend. Dead. Morgan pushes Althea away and she doesn’t understand his reasons.

Althea returns to build the new rural clinic in Finesse. She discovers the truth about Morgan’s heritage, the murdered ex-girlfriend and the secrets about the Hunter clan.

Can she save the man she loved from going to prison?

Purchase Links

Amazon  /   Print  /  Smashwords Kobo 

 My thoughts:

I know my mum and my medical romance-crazy friends are going to love this gripping, twisty and fast-moving story when they get their own copies.

The story grabbed my attention straightaway. Dr Althea Paes is hard-working, humble, generous with her time and money, honest, professional- basically, she is your archetypal good girl who happens to be unlucky in love. Her cheating fiance left her just two days before the wedding and saddled her with tons of debt. Whatever she does and however hard she tries, it is never going to be good enough for her parents who will always prefer her brother to Althea. Perhaps, moving to New York from Portugal was good for her professional career, but definitely not so great for her personal life. Althea is too smart and too caring, and she doesn’t want a relationship with an expiry date.

When a goodlooking, well-dressed stranger offers to buy her a drink in a bar and would like to know if she works in St.Mary’s hospital, Althea is quick to refuse and challenge him. When it turns out that he is a member of her hospital’s executive board and a rich and powerful donor, the last thing Althea expects is Dr Morgan Hunter courting her, but that’s exactly what he does. Morgan knows he has to make her trust him, because she is one of a kind. He even asks her come and meet his family at Christmas. Little does she know what she is going to go against and how dramatic her discoveries are going to turn out.

This book has everything: medical drama (let’s face it- we, romance junkies, love our hospital TV shows), a feisty (read sarky) heroine, a crazy potential future mother-in-law (well, this just taps into every girl’s biggest fear), a couple of exes one could happily never hear about or from, a murder mystery, and a flawed male protagonist who appears to be strong and protective, but may need a bit of rescuing himself. You see why I just couldn’t put the book down until I got to its very satisfying, albeit totally traditional, ending?

There is a large cast of characters- friends, co-workers, patients, neighbours, exes, siblings, cousins-no man is an island and we all have our own networks that aren’t always easy to mesh whenever we start a new romantic relationship. My life is very different from Althea’s, but I quickly began rooting for her. Sometimes you just have to be tenacious and fight for your right to be happy and loved.

Recommended to all romantics who might have been disappointed in love once or twice, but never lost their sunny smile, or just anyone who enjoys reading about doctors falling in love and solving murder mysteries all in one book.

Thank you to IndieSage PR and the author for the review copy. Alll opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

About the Author

Pamela Q. Fernandes is a doctor, author, and medical writer. She hosts The Christian Circle Podcast and plays the piano. When she’s not writing or practicing medicine, she’s baking or traveling the world.

She started as an author with Seoul-Mates and since then has written many romances & other short stories. You can find out more about her https://www.pamelaqfernandes.com

website / facebook  / twitter / pinterest / bookbub / amazon

GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter

Featured

#Book Review #Blog Blitz #Christmas at the Marshmallow Cafe by C.P. Ward @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this magical Christmas read!

Christmas at the Marshmallow Café

When downtrodden checkout assistant Bonnie Green receives a letter from a mysterious uncle, she can hardly believe her eyes.

Gifted a hundred-year lease on a famous cafe situated in the middle of a mythical theme park, Bonnie sets off with her best friend Debbie on an adventure to a hidden valley in the Lake District where they will find new friendship, love, and happiness, all set against the magic of Christmas … and more marshmallows than they can possibly eat….

Purchase link

Only 99p/c until 20th December!

My thoughts:

Absolutely magical! One of those books that immediately puts you in a festive mood and makes you wish Christmas was all year round. I am quietly humming Jingle Bells, while I am writing this…just can’t help myself, sorry!


Fifty-year-old Bonnie is a checkout assistant at a supermarket. Her husband left her for another woman, her grown-up children don’t want to do anything with her, convinced that it was her fault, all her savings are gone together with her player of a husband…the only thing she has is a mortgage on her tiny house and an unusual best friend. Debbie is young enough to be her daughter, has a penchant for wearing black leather, looking like a Goth and falling in love with unsuitable guys. She is also kind, enthusiastic, and great with the Internet.


When Bonnie gets a letter from a solicitor informing her of her uncle Mervin’s death, Debbie is immediately transported to the only time she remembers meeting him. She was twelve and had just lost her father, who used to tell her marvellous stories about a wonderful place caled Christmas Land. Well, Bonnie gets a surprise of her life when she finds out that this place really exists and this is where her uncle Mervin’s shop is located. The shop which she has inherited. Only she can’t sell it as it is a 100-year lease, and it is in the Lake District which means she won’t be able to move there and keep her supermarket job…Luckily, Debbie doesn’t think that far, she simply suggests checking it out, a few days off aren’t going to hurt anyone and Bonnie needs to reconnect with her childhood memories.


What happens next is so full of adventure and wonderful discoveries, that I really don’t want to spoil the pleasure of reading this book. Like lots of other people I adore marshmallows, so finding out that they don’t always come straight from a packet, but can be home-made was such a treat! The location is beautiful and there is such a great cast of characters. The best thing for me is that Bonnie goes through an amazing transformation in this book and we all need a gentle reminder that life is wonderful and full of possibilities whatever our age or status is.


Wholeheartedly recommended. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with this joy of a book.

Thank you to Rachel and the author for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio

CP Ward is an author from Cornwall in the UK.

Social Media Links
https://www.facebook.com/groups/510678469409835

Thank you for reading this post! Have a great Monday and a wonderful week!

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review of Blood Brothers by Heather Atkinson @rararesources @Boldwood Books

Bloood brothers

When you’re running the streets, loyalty is everything…

Gangs rule the streets of the rough Gallowburn Estate in Glasgow, but the deepest rivalry of all is between Jamie Gray and his friends, known as the Blood Brothers, and their enemies, the Lawsons.
The two gangs clash frequently, but when a phone containing incriminating evidence disappears after a particularly brutal run-in, the stakes are higher than ever.

Jamie’s mother Jackie is as hard as nails and is not going to let anyone hurt her boy – even if she has to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. What she wants more than anything though, is to see Jamie turn his back on the street life. And when he meets spoilt rich-girl Allegra, who has a penchant for shoplifting, Jackie thinks she could be Jamie’s way out.

But with the Lawsons closing in, and everyone taking sides, there is only one way out for Jamie, and to triumph he must take out his biggest enemy…

If you love Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers, and Jessie Keane, you’ll love Heather Atkinson. Discover the bestselling author Heather Atkinson, her crackling plots, unforgettable characters and page-turning pace and you’ll never look back…

Purchase link

Amazon

My thoughts:
If you are a fan of gangland thrillers, you are going to enjoy this first instalment in Heather Atkinson’s new series, based on lives of four friends, four Blood Brothers from a fictional scheme/ housing estate on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Jamie Gray’s life has never been easy- he lives in one of the poorest areas imaginable. His Dad left their family when Jamie’s little brother was just two. Guess what, their close-knit family of three, Jamie, Charlie, and their awesome mother Jackie have actually been better off without the abusive alcoholic of their father. Jackie has instilled a great sense of loyalty in Jamie and a few other important values e.g. treating women with respect. Jamie’s also grateful for his best friends- Logan, Gary and Digger. They are well-known and feared locally, because their undisputed control of the northern part of their scheme has been won in violent fights. Their archenemies, the Lawsons, may give them hassle from time to time, but the Blood Brothers won’t let them take over what they see as their rightful territory. Well, Jackie keeps reminding Jamie that he shouldn’t be getting in al these fights, but secretly she knows the only way to survive on these streets is to hold your own. One day Jamie meets a well-dressed, feisty, clearly rich girl who likes shoplifting and dangerous driving and seems to be inexplicably attracted to him. Their love story is intense and full of dangerous twists and turns, because Allegra’s father is notoriously powerful Cameron Abernethy who does think himself above the law.

There is a lot of action and violence, something that I guess comes with the territory if you choose to read this genre. There is also young love, fierce loyalty and friendship. My favourite character is probably Jackie with her formidable weapon of a frying pan. Just proves that there is nothing that will stop a loving and dedicated mother from coming to rescue her cubs, and since this mother’s temper is a bit on a short side, beware: somebody is going to get seriously hurt.

Although this is my first book by Heather Atkinson, she has many loyal fans, who undoubtfully will be waiting impatiently to find out what happens with the rest of Blood Brothers- Gary, Digger, and Logan, who already proved to be unique characters in this book.

Thank you to NetGalley, Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood Books for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio
Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Her new gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow begins with Blood Brothers which will be published in December 2020.
 
Social Media Links

Facebook  / website  / twitter instagram bookbub

Thank you for reading this post ! Have a great Sunday!

If you would like to see what other bloggers thought of Blood Brothers, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review of Chroma by Oscar Wenman-Hyde @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting to participate in this blog tour.

Synopsis

When Riley watched Chroma, the latest movie by Armani Manora, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. Riley’s parents, Jean and Paul, are currently getting divorced, and they have managed to keep the situation hidden from Riley, until now. 

They were unaware of the effects this was having on Riley’s emotional and mental well-being, and as tensions rose at school and at home, he was visited by a voice in his bedroom. Before too long, he began a journey that was not only dangerous, but eye opening. 

Chroma explores the rapidly changing family dynamic throughout divorce, and how a child’s imagination can take them to unknown places. It is emotional, insightful and a moving story which not only teaches us how to be an adult, but how to be a child.

Purchase Links

UK / US

My thoughts:
Chroma by Oscar Wenman-Hyde is one of those books that is really difficult to classify in terms of genre or even target age category. It is an interesting mix of thriller, mystery, sci-fi, middle grade, (I’d still argue that the target age group is adults) and literary fiction, all blended into a very visual, cinematographic experience.

The protagonist of the book, eight-year-old Riley, knows that something has changed in his parents’ relationship and these changes are both scary and confusing. In fact, Jean and Paul are going through divorce, but would like to keep it secret from Riley. They need to work out how to move forward and build up a new life without sacrificing Riley’s emotional well-being and sense of security. Riley is a fan of Armani Manora’s sci-fi films and can’t wait to see his latest release Chroma. Exhausted Jean knows some of her parental choices might be debatable, including that of allowing Riley see films intended for much older audience. She intends to supervise watching the film and cover Riley’s eyes should any scenes become too scary or violent, but…she falls asleep and lets Chroma work its powers on her sensitive and imaginative child.

Surprisingly few books deal with the topic of divorce from the perspective of a child. Riley is propelled into this new reality and has to find a way to understand and cope with the changes. We also get Jean and Paul’s points of view, which make it even more evident that Riley (as any child in this kind of situation) has to operate with very little knowledge of what is going on and has to fill in the gaps by using his imagination. I really liked the title evocative of the purity and complexity of the protagonists’ emotions, but also reminding us that every family is different and every divorce is different and there are myriads of factors to take into account.

Would I go to see the film this book should definitely be made into? Of course! The topic, the characters and their feelings are all highly relatable. Even if you are one of those lucky people whose life hasn’t been touched by divorce, we all have the universal experience of childhood as the time of great discoveries and intense feelings.

Thank you  to Rachel and the author for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio –

Oscar Wenman-Hyde is a writer living in Gloucester, UK. Born and raised in the quiet towns of North Devon, Oscar would spend the majority of his time as a child writing and directing short films with his brother and neighbours. From here, Oscar’s passion led him to explore all aspects of his creativity, by graduating with a BA Hons in Songwriting at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. He now finds joy in all mediums of writing and although he has worked and trained in many areas, he is always inspired by film and remains grounded in storytelling.
Social Media Links –

Thank you for reading the post! If you would like to find out what other bloggers thought of Chroma, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Book Blitz (Dec 7-13) #The Collectors by Greg Jolley @ Xpresso Book tours

Book & Author Details:

The Collectors
by Greg Jolley
Publication date: December 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller

Synopsis:

Pierce Danser’s soon-to-be ex-wife, the glamorous actress Pauline Place, has disappeared. She’s been kidnapped by a very dangerous man, intent on adding her to his bizarre and twisted collection.

But Pierce is determined to find and rescue her, no matter the obstacles, even if it means the loss of his own life. The clock is ticking, his resources are slim, and he’s up against a sick man with a twisted, cruel vision.

Goodreads

Pre-order:

Amazon B&N   /  iBooks  /  Kobo  /  Google Play

AUTHOR BIO:

Greg Jolley (also published under Gregory French) earned a master of art in writing from the University of San Francisco. He is the author of sixteen novels and one collection about the fictional, film industry-based Danser family. He currently lives in the Very Small town of Ormond Beach, Florida

Author links:
https://thedansers.com/
https://www.facebook.com/greg.jolley.581
https://www.instagram.com/gfjolle/
https://twitter.com/Gfjolle
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8261931.Greg_Jolley

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • 5x $15 Amazon gift cards

rafflecopter

Featured

#Book Review #Take it Back (Zara Kaleel #1) by Kia Abdullah

Synopsis:

From author Kia Abdullah, Take It Back is a harrowing and twisting courtroom thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned.

One victim.
Four accused.
Who is telling the truth?

Zara Kaleel, one of London’s brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie’s best friend doesn’t believe her.

But Zara does–and she is determined to fight for Jodie–to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.

Published December 8th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press (first published August 8th 2019)

Goodreads

*****

My thoughts:
Content triggers: sexual assault, racism, misogyny, parental neglect, bullying.

I won’t lie- this was not an easy read. I had to put the book down several times, because I needed a short break to cope with my feelings. And then I’d be drawn back into this compelling story.

Zara Kaleel, Zara the Brave, a brilliant barrister, left her high-flying job that gave her every kind of imaginable privilege to work as a legal advisor in a voluntary organisation that helps victims of sexual assault. Zara, who never stopped battling her own demons, knows how difficult the process of getting justice for her sixteen-year-old client will be. Jodie accuses four Muslim boys from good, hard-working families of sexually assaulting her and Zara believes the girl with all her heart. Zara knows what she is going to go against: people who believe that nobody would want to have sexual relations with Jodie, who has severe facial deformities, as if rape is not about using violence to gain power and humiliate the victim, people who will see her going against those who already have to fight discrimination and disadvantage, people who will use this drama and tragedy for their own selfish aims. Even Jodie’s mother and her best friend don’t believe the girl and think she made up the story to get attention. Even Zara’s family accuses her of dragging their good name through tabloids in a rebellious attempt to defy tradition.

Kia Abdullah lets us see the families of the defendants and their lives, Jodie and her daily struggle to keep up believing that there will be better times ahead for her, Jodie’s alcoholic mother, Zara’s volatile relationship with her own family, based on her past and her uncertain present. Some parts of the narrative are so vivid they will always stay with me: Zara fleeing her abusive husband to escape her arranged marriage, her mother talking about the sacrifice first generation immigrant women made by putting up with blatant sexism and discrimination to make sure their children had freedom to live their lives differently, the mother of one of the boys saying that she isn’t blind to her son’s faults, but will always protect him no matter what.

Take it back is such a great title. Countless times we hear Jodie think how much she regrets going to the police, how much she would like to take it all back. It also refers to justice and the control over your own life that has been taken away from you that only justice can give back. This is why Zara believes in it, even when her own life seems to be on the verge of spinning out of control.

A powerful story, well-crafted and executed in a masterful way, Take it Back will make you listen, empathise, question, doubt and feel a whole range of emotions. Don’t miss out on this thought-provoking book.

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Featured

#Book Review #Shadow Sands (Kate Marshall#2) by Robert Bryndza

Synopsis:

The internationally bestselling author of Nine Elms and The Girl in the Ice is back with a nail-biting new Kate Marshall case, a woman with a dark secret and a powerful sense of justice.

When Kate Marshall finds the bloated body of a young man floating in the Shadow Sands reservoir, the authorities label it a tragic accident.

But the details don’t add up: why was the victim there, in the middle of the night? If he was such a strong swimmer, how did he drown?

Kate is certain there is more to this case than meets the eye. As she and her research assistant Tristan Harper dig deeper, they discover a bloody trail that points towards an active serial killer hiding in plain sight. People have been silently disappearing for years, and when another woman is taken, Kate and Tristan have a matter of days to save her from meeting the same fate.

My thoughts:

This is my first book by Robert Bryndza and I loved his writing style. I already have a copy of Nine Elms waiting for me in my local bookshop. While I really don’t mind spoilers, I have to admire the author’s skill in giving just enough background information to get me hooked on the series and not revealing any crucial details about Kate Marshall’s previous case.

Shadow Sands starts with a bang. A young man is swimming for his life, trying to get away from a killer boat. The story picks up two days later and Kate and her teenage son Jake find a dead body deep down in a man-made water reservoir called Shadow Sands. Understandably, Jake is shocked, while Kate has to give details of their gruesome discovery to the local DCI Henry Ko. Although I didn’t know her background, which was revealed later, I was struck by how professional she sounded. Kate Marshall, a university lecturer and a former police officer, may be struggling with her own demons, not least of which are hoding to her sobriety and dealing with her guilt over not being there for Jack during his childhood, but she is a tenacious investigator. Although the young man’s death is pronounced to have been an accidental drowning, Kate is suspicious of the haste with which the case was closed. There are other things that don’t add up such as Simon being a very strong, Olympic level swimmer.


Meanwhile , Kate’s assistant Tristan is asked out on a cinema date by a beautiful visiting university lecturer, Magdalena Rossi. Magdalena’s research focuses on strange disappearances around the area of Shadow Sands. Magdalena herself never makes it to her date with Tristan. Her yellow scooter is found next to a water drain. She might have been dragged by a flash flood and ended up falling into the sea…But what if she is alive and has been abducted? Can Kate and Tristan solve the puzzle of Simon’s case and find Magdalena before it is too late?

There were many things I liked about this novel. The plot is tight, and while there are a lot of characters (something that usually confuses me), they all serve to show how deep the roots of the evil described in the book were. There are several twists, and it isn’t easy to work out the identity of the killer. Magdalena’s storyline was full of vivid details and kept me on the edge of my seat. As if there was any doubt that this book neatly falls into the thriller category!
At first, I was a bit unsure about Kate Marshall’s life story- there are so many books with detectives or private investigators battling addictions. Well, although it would be nice to meet a well-adjusted, successful, happily married detective for once, and Kate can’t be called any of these, she is a well-developed, strong character, and I would like to read more books featuring her. Tristan is also extremely likeable and it was great to get to know his family background and get a glimpse of his private life.


The pace was excellent with a great sequence of dramatic scenes and quieter investigative work that is the foundation of any successful police procedural. Roberta Bryndza’s writing style draws you in straightaway and makes you read compulsively until you reach the end.
I’ll be looking forward to reading the first book and all subsequent ones as well. Recommended to all lovers of police procedurals who enjoy gripping plots and great detective work.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for the review copy. all opinions ar my own and were not influenced in any way.

Image by Ingo Jakubke from Pixabay

Featured

#Book Blitz # The Christmas Spirit by Alexandrea Weis @Xpresso Book tours

Book & Author Details:

The Christmas Spirit
by Alexandrea Weis
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

SOMETIMES IT TAKES ONE BROKEN HEART TO HEAL ANOTHER.

Courtney Winston is a writer on a deadline. Eager to finish her book and get over a recent break-up, she ditches Christmas with her family and retreats to a secluded cabin in the mountains.

Appliances rarely work, and cell service is spotty, but Courtney senses there is more to her rustic rental—something dark and haunting.

Then Peter, the attractive Stone Mountain Lodge owner, and a meddling cook, Mrs. Finn, keep coming around, shattering her peace and offering advice on how to fix her heavy heart.

Courtney grows closer to Peter, but Mrs. Finn warns her of his troubled past. Undaunted, Courtney sets out to win him over. But being with the brooding stranger may end up costing her more than she ever imagined.

Goodreads

Purchase
Amazon

AUTHOR BIO:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.

Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. www.AlexandreaWeis.com

Author links:
http://alexandreaweis.com/
https://www.instagram.com/alexandreaweis/
http://alexandreaweis.com/subscribe/
https://www.facebook.com/authoralexandreaweis/
https://twitter.com/alexandreaweis
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211671.Alexandrea_Weis

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • Signed copy of The Christmas Spirit

rafflecopter

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book review #Stolen Kiss with Her Billionaire Boss by Susan Meier @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for inviting me to participate in this Mini Blog Blitz!

Stolen Kiss with her Billionaire Boss

Christmas has arrived…

And she’s spending it with her boss!

New Yorker Erin is intrigued when Hugo Harrington asks for her help on a hotel renovation in London, just weeks before Christmas! But Erin soon discovers how personal this project is to her brooding boss. Watching him wrestle with the memories of his past uncovers a side to Hugo she’s never seen. And then a stolen snowbound kiss changes everything…

Purchase Links
B&N  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK

My thoughts:

 This is a classical Christmas romance with all the elements you would expect: an independent, but also caring female protagonist, a determined (some might even say ruthless) businessman who spent years chasing business deals and in the process deprived himself of family warmth, past secrets, complicated family dynamics, siblings to re-unite with, passionate kisses and many others.

At seventeen Hugo Harrington left his family (or rather was kicked out by his stepfather). He had to forge his own path and did rather well for himself. He never stopped longing for his siblings Jay and Sally and his mother, although she did take the stepfather’s side. Now years later, the Harrington family lost their hotel and Hugo bought it for a song. It is a special place for him and he throws himself into renovating the Harrington Park hotel for its grand opening on Christmas Day. Jay and Sally are helping him, but there’s still a lot of mistrust

Hugo hires his loyal subcontractor Erin Hunter to help him organise the event. He knows she is shrewd and has a great eye for detail. He knows that Erin is a widow, but now he also discovers that she lives with her three-year-old son Noah and her mother. Hugo offers to pay for their plane tickets and accommodation in London, so that Erin can dedicate herself to the project. There is attraction on both sides, but neither of the protagonists knows much about each other’s past. Erin reads a tabloid article on Hugo with a very biased and unfair version of the events. Hugo…well, he knows that Erin is a special woman who deserves to be treated with respect, and this means she isn’t a woman for one night of passion, she is a woman to have a serious relationship with, something he doesn’t see himself committing to. But one snowy night, the roads are closed and Hugo and Erin have to stay in the hotel overnight…

There is a lot of focus on family and family responsibilities in this romance. There are also the usual misunderstandings and past secrets. Erin has been hurt by her husband not being entirely truthful with her, so she genuinely believes in the importance of honesty and communication. I could relate to her desire to be independent and put her son’s needs first. Hugo was a bit more difficult for me to understand, especially when he tries to behave as an older brother and then gets distracted by other things in his life. The whole issue of bringing Erin to London might be a bit far-fetched, but I guess it serves as an illustration of his character – he likes getting his way and once he decided that the job has to be done in a certain way, there’s no talking him out of his decision.

Overall, I can see a lot of romance readers enjoy this family story set at Christmas in one of the most romantic locations- London. There are two other books in the Harrington Park Hotel series, although Stolen Kiss with her Billionaire Boss can be read as a standalone. If you would like to know more about Jay and Sally’s stories, you can find them in ‘Christmas reunion in Paris’ and ‘Their Royal baby Gift’.

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources and the publisher (Harlequin/Mills and Boon) for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio

Susan Meier is a lover of a great story and a fabulous turn of phrase. What better home for her than Mills and Boon where stories touch the heart? She found her bliss when Harlequin published her first book and hasn’t looked back. A mom of three and wife to the best guy on the planet, she loves reading almost as much as writing, and thanks the heavens for the internet and YouTube which have made research so much fun.

Facebook / website

Thank you for reading this review! If you would like to see what other bloggers thought of Stolen Kiss with her Billionaire Boss, here you can find the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Book blitz # O Night Divine: A Holiday Collection (Nov 30-Dec 4) @Xpresso Book tours

Book & Author Details:

O Night Divine: A Holiday Collection of Spirited Christmas Tales
Publication date: December 17th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance

Synopsis:

A MASTERPIECE OF HOLIDAY STORYTELLING…

Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales!

Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.

The candles are guttered, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.

A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…

The clock on the wall chimes midnight.

Now, the magic happens.

From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.

USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens’-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.

Goodreads

Pre-order

Amazon  / B&N  / iBooks  / Kobo

This collection includes:
Kathryn Le Veque
Caroline Lee
Chasity Bowlin
Collette Cameron
Hildie McQueen
Maggi Andersen
Mary Lancaster
Meara Platt
Violetta Rand
Alexa Aston
Anna Markland
Anna St. Claire
Aubrey Wynne
Charlotte Wren
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Elizabeth Johns
Elizabeth Keysian
Emily E K Murdoch
Emily Royal
Gabrielle Carr
Lynne Connolly
Maeve Greyson
Whitney Blake

From Dragonblade to you, we wish you a very happy holiday season!

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • a $100 Amazon card and hard copy of Charles Dickens Christmas stories

rafflecopter

Featured

#Blog Tour #Book Review of This Year Maybe by Liz Hinds @rararesources @Liz Hinds

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this fabulous RRL-com (romantic/real-life). This a sequel to This Time Next Year, although both of these wonderfully entertaining books can be read as standalones.

Synopsis:

This Year Maybe

Alison and David have been engaged for so long that even Alison’s mother has given up asking when, but it’s second time around for both of them and they’re not in any particular hurry.
That said, Alison is beginning to wonder if living with her has put David off the idea of marriage so when he suggests they set a date she is delighted. But that date is six months’ away and a lot can happen in six months – especially if you’re Alison!

‘My son’s been arrested, Great-aunt Millie’s fallen in love, my best friend suspects her husband of having an affair, and I still need to lose weight. How on earth can I think about getting married?’

Purchase Links

US / UK

My thoughts:

This was so much fun! I absolutely adored Alison, her family (both immediate and extended), and, of course, her besties Bev and Pippa. Thank you to Liz Hinds for giving me these wonderful laugh-out-loud moments.

Alison and David have been engaged for quite a long time. When they finally decide to tie the knot and Alison goes round telling people the great news, everybody is delighted for them and Alison can’t help herself but invite more and more guests to the wedding. It is supposed to take place in six months’ time, on Midsummer’s Day- that’s plenty of time, isn’t it? especially since Alison’s best friends super organised and ever so practical Pippa and unusually creative Bev help her out. Actually, everybody does and that includes Alison’s slightly overbearing mother, her vicar Pete, and even the woman her ex-husband left her for!

There’s never a dull moment with Alison, whether she is trying to buy a replacement for her kettle or book a wedding date for her ninety-year-old great aunt. Life throws her a few curveballs, which I don’t want to give away for fear of spoiling your enjoyment of the book, but her loyal and patient fiance David is always there by her side and, if this is not romantic, then I don’t know what is. Alison’s heart is in the right place and this is how she goes through life: thinking (and perhaps overthinking it) about doing the right thing, forgiving and overlooking other people’s faults (who doesn’t have them?), and being grateful for the good things she has in life. The book has a wonderful cast of characters, and all of them, are well-written and memorable.

If I could sum this book up in three adjectives they would be: hilarious, optimistic, and uplifting. This is one of those books that puts a smile on your face and we all need a bit of sunshine in these uncertain times.

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for the free review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio

I’m a golden-retriever-loving granny, who enjoys walking by the sea or in the woods, who eats too much chocolate, and who gets over-excited when the Welsh team plays rugby.
I have self-published two novels, This Time Last Year, and The Dog-walking Club, but I’m also an experienced freelance writer and author of several non-fiction books published by Hodder & Stoughton, Scripture Union and Kevin Mayhew.

Facebook – LizHindsAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LizHindsAuthor
Website – http://lizhinds.online

Thank you for reading the post. If you would like to know what other bloggers thought of This Year Maybe, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Blog Tour#Book Review of Murder at the Gorge by Frances Evesham @rararesources @Frances Evesham @Boldwood Books

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this latest instalment in the Exham-on- Sea series of mysteries.

Murder at the Gorge

A joke? A prank? Or something more sinister?

When the Exham-on-Sea residents are targeted by anonymous emails containing apparently harmless nursery rhymes, no one knows whether to laugh or shudder until an unexplained death touches the town.

Libby Forest, baker, chocolatier and Exham’s very own resident private investigator, alongside her partner Max Ramshore, set out to solve the puzzle before more people die. But when Max’s ex-wife arrives on the scene, ahead of Max and Libby’s long-awaited nuptials, things go from bad to worse.

With the town and their relationship under threat, Max and Libby need the help of the Exham History Society if they’re going to find the nursery rhyme killer in time.

Murder at the Gorge is the seventh in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries set at the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.

If you love Agatha Christie-style mysteries, cosy crime, clever dogs and cake, then you’ll love these intriguing whodunnits.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3cnJN1F

My thoughts:

I’m really glad to have discovered this lovely series of mysteries. While it can certainly be read as a standalone ( I really admire the way Frances Evesham put all the background knowledge to make a newcomer feel completely at home in Exham-on-Sea), I am going to go back and read the first six books.
Libby Forest and Max Ramshore are preparing for their wedding, while two seemingly unconnected things happen. Max’s ex-wife, a blast from the past, calls him and asks for his help. She has been getting strange e-mails. It appears somebody has been stalking her. On his way back home, Max also finds a dead body of Carys Evans. it does seem that Exham-on-Sea has an unusually high murder rate, but who am I to complain, being a life-long reader of mysteries? In the meanwhile, Libby discovers that the village has been inundated with poison-pen e-mails. Since Carys was the first resident to have received one, the villagers feel threatened and ask Libby to investigate.

I loved both Libby and Max, and their mature relationship, based on mutual love and trust. Since this was the first time I’ve read a book from this series, i was also happy to meet other villagers and learn about their distinct personalities and life stories. While it was exciting to follow the investigations, for me, the most interesting aspect of this book was immersing myself in this fictional world. The pace was just right- it never dragged, but there was enough time for the development of the story.

Overall, it was a quick and enjoyable read with great protagonists. I also liked the way the old theme of poison pen letters was re-invented to fit our modern world. Some things (envy, greed, gossip, gullibility to name just a few) do not seem to have changed that much over the course of human history. On the plus side, other things, such as love, respect, friendship, desire to help the others, and, of course, human curiousity are also going strong. Hope Francis Evesham continues to add more stories to her lovely series.

Thank you to Rachel, NetGalley and Boldwood Books for the free review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Author Bio

Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. In her spare time, she collects poison recipes and other ways of dispatching her unfortunate victims. She likes to cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other, her head full of murder―fictional only.

Social Media Links –
http://facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer
http://twitter.com/FrancesEvesham
http://instagram.com/francesevesham
http://bookbub.com/authors/frances-evesham
Newsletter sign up: https://bit.ly/FrancesEveshamNewsletter

Thank you for reading the post. If you would like to see what other tour participants thought of Murder at the Gorge, here is the full blog tour schedule:

Featured

#Audiobook Review #Be My Reason by Brooklyn Taylor( Narrated by Avery Reid, Matthew Maddux) @Spectrum Audio

Description:

Wyatt Galloway has a lot of things going for him in his life, but a woman is not one of them. He is focused on his career as a sheriff, setting his goals high for promotion. He has zero intention of falling in love with a woman; that is until he meets Breigh. Sweetness and beauty are not something he normally falls for, but she has him weak in the knees despite his resistance.

Having had her heart broken, Breigh‘s sworn off men and wants to concentrate on being happy. Career-driven and busy, she doesn’t bother with a social life and has given up finding the fairy tale that she’d hoped for. Until she is in the right place at the wrong time.
Wyatt and Breigh: two people wanting love but insistent on not looking for it until they meet each other.
Will either of them let it in? Is it worth fighting for when someone tries to take it away? Can a person you fall for truly be the reason or just a season?

Genres:  Christian, Clean Romance, Women’s Fiction
EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9798627194400
PRICE $17.46 (USD)
DURATION 7 Hours, 11 Minutes, 57 Seconds

Available from: Spectrum Audiobooks

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this clean and wholesome romance. The protagonists repeated numerous times that everything happens in your life for a reason and perhaps this audiobook was exactly what I needed in these curious and uncertain times.

Deputy Sheriff Wyat Galloway is the strong and protective type of man who likes to notice and take care of the small things. He is hard-working, honest and thoughtful. One drawback: he isn’t looking for a girlfriend as he is concentrating on his career and making his dream of becoming a ranger come true. Wyatt comes from a wealthy family from Houston, Texas, but he would have known little love and affection were it not for his aunt Rhonda. His mother Virginia isn’t a maternal type, and the less is said about his father and his brother Cash, the better. When Wyatt told his parents about his career aspirations, his father cut all his links with his son. Everything Wyatt owns in his life he has earned through his hard work.

Sweet Breigh Foster hasn’t had much luck with her family either. Her mother died giving birth to her and Breigh’s father used losing his wife as an excuse for drinking and neglecting his daughter. luckily, Breigh has a wonderful grandmother who has taken good care of her and taught her all the right things in life. One of them is that God has a plan for everyone and all the people who come in our life come for a reason. Sometimes it is just for a season, sometimes it is for life. Breigh’s previous romantic relationship didn’t work out, so she decided to focus on work instead.

Wyatt and Breigh have so much in common, and yet, they both need to learn to trust each other and their own feelings. I couldn’t help, but admire Breigh’s choice of career- I won’t give it away, but she found her own way of helping people at the moment when they need support and reassurance. She is also a great friend who always puts her friends needs first. She also had to make some hard choices in this book, which required a lot of emotional maturity. Breigh and Wyatt’s relationship develops slowly and steadily over the course of the book, although I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there is a fade-to-black scene where the characters take their relationship to the next level.

I thought the narrators did a great job- I never wanted to skip anything or listen at a faster rate. There is a lot of inherent repetition in the book content itself ( the characters value hard work, they respect and appreciate the role the elderly played in their life, they are looking for somebody special in their life, ‘the reason’), so even the easily distracted listener I tend to be could follow the narration easily. I absolutely adored Avery Reid in all the entirety of Breigh’s interactions with other characters in the book and I thought Matthew Maddux did a great job of bringing his strong and silent character of Wyatt to life.

Thank you to NetGalley and Spectrum Audiobooks for the DRC of this audiobook. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Featured

#Blog Tour #The Cornish Key to Happiness by Laura Briggs #Publication Day Push @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this Publication day Push and Happy Book Birthday to The Cornish Key to Happiness ( A Little Hotel in Cornwall Book8)!

Synopsis:

The Cornish Key to Happiness

Past secrets return to complicate Maisie’s future with the charming Sidney Daniels in the final installment of the Cornish romance series.

Picking up where book seven left off, Maisie’s plans to celebrate her book’s thrilling news remain on hold after Sidney has vanished from Port Hewer overnight, following a brush with his secret past. His departure leaves Maisie with a head full of questions and a heart torn in two, made even worse by the rumors flying about him through the town. Where and why has he gone? Will he ever come back again? And—foremost in Maisie’s mind—was the heartache from his younger days somehow to blame for his sudden and mysterious flight?

But when Dean convinces her that Sidney may be facing a choice that could ruin his life, Maisie must set out to find him, once again leaving behind the Cornish seaside haven of Port Hewer she’s come to think of as home, and leaving behind the answer to a secret she’s been longing to know since the beginning. Not knowing when or if she’ll return, she’s taking the biggest risk with her heart so far…and the truth she discovers waiting for her at the end of her journey will make her wonder if things can ever possibly be the same as they were before.

Questions are answered, secrets are spilled, and the biggest reveal of the series is finally unveiled as A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL reaches its exciting conclusion.


Purchase Link – https://smarturl.it/cornishroad

My thoughts:

This is the eighth (final) instalment in Maisie Clark’s story- I can’t believe that finally we have  to say goodbye to this lovely character, ‘aspiring novelist and unlikely heroine’. This time all the loose ends get tied in and all the mysteries Maisie has been trying hard to solve will be explained. Is this the end of a great romantic adventure or just the beginning of a new life for the characters we’ve been following and rooting for?

The book starts from the cliffhanger we were left on in Book7 where Sidney left  following a mysterious woman connected to his past. It has of course become the talk of the village, but what hurts Maisie most of all is the uncertainty. Dean begs her to go after Sidney and try to save him from being roped into making choices that would ruin his life and Maisie doesn’t hesitate. She really can’t begin to imagine what she is going to find as Sidney’s past is nothing like what she expects.

The last book focused on fictional worlds and the process of writing, while this one deals more with the romantic side of the story. Do we ever really know the people we love? or do we just see one side of them, a role they choose to play? Is Maisie right in thinking that her knowledge of Sidney is deeper than anybody else’s because she is not blinded by his past.

The ending was truly satisfying and I am happy to report that we do find out who  Alistaire Davies is and it is the person I suspected it was all way through! A great finish to a lovely series that kept us entertained for long time. To new series and new stories Laura Briggs has in store for us!

Thank you to Rachel, the author and the publisher for the gifted review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

About Laura Briggs

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Facebook / Twitter

Thank you very much for stopping by and reading the post. Once again, Happy Book Birthday to The Cornish Key to Happiness and Happy Bookish Wednesday to all of us!

Featured

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? October 19th, 2020

It’s Monday! What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, a place to share and discuss what we’ve read in the past week and what we’re in the middle of or are planning to read this week.

What I read last week

Last week I participated in two great Christmas-themed blog tours:

You Make it Feel Like Christmas by Louise Marley:

and The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop by Liz Davies, a sweet and touching story of two slightly eccentric octogenarians Hattie and Alfred:

I also started reading Above All Else by Dana Alison Levy, recommended by a wonderful blogger I like books best . You can read her fabulous review of the book here.

From the book blurb:

Rose Keller and Tate Russo have been climbing for years, training in harsh weather and traveling all over the world. The goal that kept them going: summiting Mount Everest, the highest point on earth. Accompanied by Tate’s dad, the two will finally make the ultimate climb at the end of their senior year. But neither Rose nor Tate are fully in the game—not only is there a simmering romance between them, but Rose can’t get her mind off her mother’s illness, while Tate constantly fails to live up to his ambitious father’s standards.

Everyone on their expedition has something to prove, it seems. And not everyone is making the best decisions while short on oxygen and physically and mentally exhausted. The farther up the mountain they go, the more their climbing plans unravel and the more isolated each team member becomes. Rose and Tate will have to dig deep within themselves to determine what—or who—they value above all else.

What I am planning to read this week:

Last week I planned to read two thrillers, both parts of long-running series with strong female leads:


Hopefully, this week I will read at least one of them, as I know they are bound to be absolutely gripping. Alternatively, I have an audiobook which is supposed to be a sweet, clean and wholesome romantic story, Be My Reason by Brooklyn Taylor.

How did your last week go and what are you reading this week?

Featured

#Book Review #Blog tour #Publication day push # The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop by Liz Davies @rararesources

Happy Book Birthday to The Ticklemore Toy Shop by Liz Davis! I hope you’ll join me in this Publication day celebration of this wonderful story.

The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop

You’re never too old to fall in love…

There is a disturbance in the force and octogenarian Hattie Jenkins can feel it in her water. Still active and spritely, she guesses that the miserable-looking gentleman sitting morosely in the café where she works, might be the reason.

Widowed Alfred Miller has recently moved in with his daughter because she is worried that he’s becoming too frail and forgetful to look after himself. And he’s not in the least bit happy about it, especially since his home is soon be cleared and sold.
But when he enlists Hattie’s help to save some of his precious belongings, he doesn’t realise that Hattie’s mission is to save more than a few sticks of furniture. She’s on a mission to save him, too.

Purchase Links
UK /  US

My thoughts:

Loved this touching, feel-good family story! It wasn’t what I had expected at all and all the better for it.
Achingly realistic, moving, thought-provoking, it was also entertaining and optimistic.

Eighty year old Hattie Jenkins might be considered quite eccentric by the inhabitants of Ticklemore, a little viiilage with the butcher, baker, candlemaker, and three cafes to provide numerous tourists with their cakes and tea. Luckily for her, Hattie has a job- she is a waitress in Bookylicious, a bookshop/cafe, and this is where she meets Alfred (don’t call him Alfie, he does mind this childish equivalent of his name, although people have recently taken to calling him this, as if the elderly don’t have any right to their full names). Hattie knows in her heart there is something wrong about this old gentleman, some kind of loneliness or sadness emanating from him. He is a bit grumpy as well, or rather not used to people taking interest in him. Alfred lost his beloved wife Dorothy to cancer two years ago and now his well-intentioned, but slightly overbearing daughter Sara decided he should move in with her, and it isn’t working out very well for both of them. Alfred realises his behaviour and the way he talks to Sara resembles more a rebellious teenager than a loving parent, but he would like her to trust him a bit more, and, above all, he would like to feel useful. For years Alfred has been making wooden toys in his garden shed/secret workshop. Unimpressed Sara wants to get rid of all the old furniture, clothes and various objects Dorothy and Alfred had lovingly chosen and acquired over the course of their long and happy life together.

When Alfred asks Hattie to help him find a storage unit in a vain attempt to save something from his old life, Hattie is happy to oblige, and when she sees his wonderful collection of hand-made, carved of wood toys, she knows these toys can’t be just thrown away, they need to find a way to children’s homes and children’s hearts. Hattie might not be as young as she used to be, but when she sets her heart on doing something, she is absolutely unstoppable. Her friend Nell suggests that there might be enough toys in Alfred’s collection to open a toy shop, and once the idea is planted in Hettie’s mind…all she needs is a bit of support from her community.

This book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions- it was full of fun scenes (just wait till you read about Hattie’s fashion choices) and loving details that just broke my heart (Dorothy’s apron still hanging from the kitchen chair). Above all, it made me think about different life stages and how we all need to feel capable, independent, loved, and appreciated. We do need more diverse protagonists in our reads and this book does a great job of showing how whether you are young, middle-aged, or elderly, we all need each other and have a lot to learn from one another.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough- I hope you pick it, get yourself a cuppa (of whatever hot beverage tickles your fancy), get immersed in the lives of Hettie, Alfred and other inhabitants of Ticklemore and get another proof that life is wonderful at any age.
Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this publication day celebration and, of course, to Liz Davies for her fabulous book.

About the author

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

website / Facebook / twitter

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Featured

#First Lines Friday # October 16th, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

I’m sure many people are going to recognise these first lines:

There is a pirate in the basement. (The pirate is a metaphor but also still a person.)

(The basement could rightly be considered a dungeon.)

The pirate was placed here for numerous acts of a piratey nature considered criminal enough for punishment by those non-pirates who decide such things.

Someone said throw away the key, but the key rests on a tarnished ring on a hook that hangs on the wall nearby. (Close enough to see from behind the bars. Freedom kept in sight but out of reach, left as a reminder to the prisoner. No one remembers that now on the key side of the bar. The careful psychological design forgotten, distilled into habit and convenience.)

(The pirate realizes this but withholds comment.)

Do you recognise the book?

It is The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

From the book blurb:

Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

  • Have you read The Starless Sea or is it on your tbr?
  • If yes, did you like it? What made you pick it? Do you read a lot of fantasy and magical realism books?

#Book Blitz #Happily Ever After @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Happily Ever After: A Contemporary Romance Boxed Set
Publication date: January 12th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

These heroes and heroines are lost without each other … but obstacles stand in their way.

Inside the pages of this steamy, limited edition boxed set created for you by your favorite romance authors, you’ll find sexy, funny, heartwarming, and red hot romance reads, where characters navigate their love through all the twists, turns, and ups and downs required to reach a happily ever after.

Which passionate romance will be your favorite? The enemies turned to trusted lovers or the rock stars who know exactly what they want? Best friends who wish they could be more, forbidden love, or second chance at forever?

No matter what you love – enemies to lovers, second chance romance, a forbidden tale, vacation fling, opposites attract, comedy, or contemporary romance – every story in this limited edition boxed will deliver the satisfying end you crave.

One-click now to discover your new favorite ending with twenty-one happily ever afters guaranteed.

Fans of Abbi Glines, Jill Shalvis, and Lauren Landish will swoon for Happily Ever After.

Authors included in this set are:
Piper Rayne, Erin Lee, Mandy Melanson & Elle Ryan, Sophia Henry, Lena Bourne, Selene Drake, Joanne Dannon & Faith Summers, Mallory Fox, Kathryn C. Kelly, Dakota Davies, Evie Wilde, D. R. Love, Mckenna James, Debra Elise, Heather Wynter, Mary E Thompson, Ann C. Orlandi & Riley James, Marie Skye, Olivia Marie, Maria Ann Green, and Aria Rae Blossom

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53499558-happily-ever-after

Purchase:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3q17Z0m

GIVEAWAY (ends Jan 21st)

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

$100 Amazon gift card

rafflecopter

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started