Friday, 29 April 2016

Review of The Hurricane by R J Prescott

The bit on the back…

A love that's worth keeping is worth fighting for . . .

Emily McCarthy is living in fear of a dark and dangerous past. A gifted mathematician, she is little more than a hollow, broken shell, trying desperately to make ends meet long enough to finish her degree.

Through an unlikely friendship with the aging, cantankerous owner of an old boxing gym, Em is thrown into the path of the most dangerous man that she has ever met.

Cormac "the Hurricane" O'Connell is cut, tattooed and dangerous. He is a lethal weapon with no safety and everyone is waiting for the mis-fire. He's never been knocked out before, but when he meet Em he falls, HARD. Unlike any other girl he's ever met, she doesn't want anything from him. Just being around her makes him want to be a better person.

They are polar opposites who were never meant to find each other, but some things are just worth the fight.

I bought this book because I’m going to RARE16 this year and this is an author, who will be at the event, that I’ve never read before. I loved the sound of the book, it put me in mind of Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, but ugh, I can’t help but feel disappointed with it.

The story is about Emily McCarthy and Cormac O’Connell. Two people who wouldn’t ordinarily mix in the same social circles but who grow closer through their mutual friend. Emily is closed off and reserved and making friends is difficult for her due to her fear of the past. Cormac is the obvious antidote to that fear due to his mere presence but Emily worries that won’t be enough when her past comes knocking.

I really liked the sound of this, especially Cormac. I thought he sounded great – “cut, tattooed and dangerous” – everyone loves a bad boy and Cormac seems to be the epitome of it. At first his quiet, watchful persona intrigued me and I quickly wanted Emily to give into his friendship. Throughout the book my affinity for him lessened as he became a bit too in touch with his emotions for me. The character I wanted him to portray was more of a bad boy and I just didn’t get enough of that from him. The way he treated Emily was nice but sometimes sickly sweet and didn’t marry up with his “lethal weapon” persona.

Throughout Emily had trust issues getting close to O’Connell but seemed to let Nikki in easily. I struggled a bit with the leaps Emily made from struggling to serve Danny in the café to working in his gym surrounded by imposing men, who all wanted to flirt with her. Really?

I didn’t enjoy reading the latter half of the book. The story moves quickly in the beginning but went from believable to rushed and a bit dubious toward the end. The progression of the story seemed too quick considering the lack of depth in the connection between any of the characters and because I had started to go off Cormac I wasn’t really invested in his and Emily’s story leading me to lose interest and skim over the last few chapters. I probably won’t be reading the next book in this series.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Review of The Chic Boutique on Baker Street by Rachel Dove

The bit on the back…

The perfect escape to the country…

Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of Westfield is the perfect place to make a fresh start.

Local vet Ben is the golden boy of West¬field, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.

When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?

Firstly thank you to Harlequin for the review title of this book and the opportunity to take part in the blog tour today. This is Rachel Dove’s debut novel and is all about Amanda and Ben.

Amanda is starting over in Ben’s home village of Westfield, after a traumatic exit from the big city life. The story follows Amanda as she settles in to her new life, which is the complete opposite of the life she has been trying to live in London. She has gone from one extreme to the other and this forms the main theme for the story. I felt a connection with Amanda instantly and was on her side from the very beginning.

The story of Ben and Amanda is at times frustrating. Both Amanda and Ben have been scorned in their previous lives and that makes them both reluctant to see what’s right in front of them. Even when you think they might be getting somewhere something sets their relationship back. There is a slow and steady build-up of romance throughout the book, and although the take a while to get there themselves, the chemistry between the characters is evident in abundance.

The village is full of very real characters. If you’ve ever lived in a village in your life you will definitely be able to identify with some of these characters, and if you haven’t then Rachel will paint you a very real image of village life for you. The village ladies play a big part in the story from supporting Amanda to trying to play Cupid for her and Ben. It’s sweet and honestly funny at times as they are often more akin to excited school girls than ladies of the age they are!

On reflection it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. The writing is accomplished and keeps you hooked throughout the story. I read this in two sittings because I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. It’s an easy and enjoyable read that you can just lose yourself in. The characters are excellently formed, bringing the story to life and the story itself is interesting, heart-warming and with a real message behind it about self-belief and following your dreams. Fans of Rachael Lucas, Rebecca Pugh and Sarah Morgan will enjoy this novel.

Check out the other stops on the tour using #ChicBoutique

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Book News - See How They Run by Tom Bale

The bit on the back...

How far would you go to save your family?

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie

This is no burglary gone wrong. 
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw. 
And they are prepared to kill to get to him. 

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding? 

One thing is clear – they already know too much. 

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time for breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only a choice: 


Release Date: 6th May

Publisher: Bookouture

Monday, 25 April 2016

Review of Big Rock by Lauren Blakely

The bit on the back…

It's not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It's definitely the SIZE of the boat too.

And I've got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big c&$k.

You might think I'm an as%*$le. I sound like one, don’t I? I'm hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse.

Guess what? You haven't heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind.

The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancée for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.

And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets.

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her.

What the hell have I gotten myself into with this…big rock?

The sole reason I downloaded this book is because I have taken a liking to the narrator on the audiobook version and I’m stuck in this stage where I like to read the book before I listen to it on Audible so I downloaded it and got started straight away. In all honestly the blurb of this book is a bit off putting and again to be honest Spencer is one of the most arrogant, cocky and obnoxiously in love with himself male characters I’ve ever met. Don’t let the blurb put you off though because underneath all of that the story is actually quite good, it’s well written and it’s one of my favourite storylines.

The whole story is told from Spencer’s POV. There may be some stereotyping going on but it’s pretty believable. Spencer winds up getting himself into a bit of a predicament which leads him to roping his best friend into their longstanding pretend fiancé game for a bit more of a fixed term than their usual one night.

The story is predictable. Right from the start it’s obvious what’s going to happen in the end of the book. It’s not an original storyline by any means but it is probably quite a unique take on it. Although Spencer is arrogance personified he does actually seem to be a genuinely good guy. Despite having a revolving bedroom door he treats women with respect, especially his best friend and business partner Charlotte. Charlotte is a lovely character, which might seem bland in description but that’s my honest opinion. She’s the light to Spencer’s dark, the reserved to his in your face persona. They played so well against each other that regardless of the short time frame that the story covers you can actually see the characters together for the long term.

This is a nice, easy read which requires very little thinking. It’s the perfect escape for an afternoon of funny, sexy reading. I’d recommend this for fans of Christina Lauren and I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Review of Make Me Forget by Beth Kery

The bit on the back…

Harper McFaddan has made her name as an investigative journalist by being both compassionate and fearless. After tragedy strikes her family, she moves to the shores of Lake Tahoe to find some peace. But when mysterious software mogul Jacob Latimer comes into her life, her thoughts turn from her own healing to an urgent need to get closer to him...

Jacob Latimer is the definition of a self-made man. The software entrepreneur built his corporation from nothing, but rumors abound about the shadiness of his rise to power and no one knows what secrets lurk in his past. Harper is the last person he should let into his life. As an investigative journalist, she's the one person who could expose his hidden origins. But Jacob knows things about Harper's past that make him irresistibly drawn to her. He wants nothing more than to make her his - and Jacob is a man who always gets what he wants...

Firstly thank you to Headline Eternal for the review copy of this title via Netgalley. This is the first part in Beth’s new 8 part Make Me serial. I loved The Affair and after I’d finished each installment I was desperate to read the next. I have a feeling I’m going to be the exact same with this until I read the final installment. I’d pre-ordered part two before I’d even finished part one.

This series is all about two main characters Harper and Jacob. At first the pair appeared to be strangers but as the beginning of the story unravels a little bit about the connection between the characters is revealed and all is not as it seems.

Harper and Jacob take turns with the narrative and it almost felt essential to have them both introducing the story. Jacob knows a lot more than he lets on in the first chapter but both characters are still pretty much a mystery with only a few snippets of the past that connects them, being revealed. Harper’s assessment of Jacob and the impact his mere presence has on her brings his character to life. He’s attractive, domineering, a man who gets what he wants and the way she describes how she feels by just being around him felt fiery and intense. I can’t wait to see where this is going to go because the chemistry between them is already on another level!

As an opener I can definitely say this had me hooked. Whenever I read anything of Beth’s I’m completely captivated by her writing. It’s clever, emotive and engaging and has me hooked right from the start. Beth has already created a longing in me to find out what’s going to happen to these characters after only 45 minutes to an hour of reading. I read it all in one sitting pretty much straight after I received the copy. I can’t wait to get into the rest of this series to see how the story will unfold around the characters and what obstacles they will face.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Review of Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody

The bit on the back…

It was meant to be the job opportunity of a life time.

It turned out to be so much more…

At the age of twenty five, Emma Lexington takes off to New York on a once in a life time twelve-month job exchange with the New York Warriors. Determined to make the most of the opportunity, she prepares herself for life in the big apple—fast paced, exciting and a whole lot of fun. What she hasn’t prepare for though, is meeting him.

The charming Will Jensen is in the prime of his playing career. As the star quarterback for the Warriors, his carefree, football centric life is thrown into disarray when he meets Emma, the beautiful, easy going Australian girl who joins the Warriors staff.

Unwilling to throw her professional reputation away on a fling with the playboy quarterback, Emma turns down Will’s advances, even though she can’t deny the attraction she feels for him. Their pull toward one another grows, but it takes a near disaster for Emma to finally give Will a chance.
Getting together might have been hard, but figuring out how to stay together will prove even more challenging as Emma must decide between conflicting loyalties.

Firstly thanks to Kim Carmody for approving me for a review copy of this title via NetGalley. This is the first in Kim’s Off Field series and is all about Emma Lexington and Will Jensen.

Although this is a sports romance novel there isn’t all that much about the sport itself which is good because to be perfectly honest my knowledge of NFL is pretty limited. Emma moves to NYC to work for the team Will plays for and after a case of mistaken identities they hit it off. I really liked the introduction between the characters because it shows something about each of them – Emma is not wooed by the celebrities she meets in her job and Will is not an egomaniacal jock.

Will is persistent in his pursuit of Emma and you have to admire him for that. He is tenacious and by all accounts, of every other woman who has encountered him, is pretty irresistible. It speaks a lot of Emma that she tries in vain to put her job first before indulging in some romance. When the characters do finally get together it is worth the wait because Will is a prince.

The title and it’s relation to the story is clever and the writing throughout is great for a debut. It keeps the story flowing during periods where there is not much in the way of progression. The story keeps you hooked throughout though and it’s easy to lose yourself in the character’s lives for a few hours.

I’d definitely recommend this for fans of Jacy Burton and Crista McHugh. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Promo - The Secrets of Castle Du Reve by Hannah Emery

The bit on the back...

In the quaint, seaside town of Silenshore a legacy of secrets is about to be revealed…
Growing up in the imposing Castle du Rêve during 1940s wartime, young Evelyn longs for a life outside the castle walls. She dreams of attending glamorous parties, gracing the silver screen and being swept off her feet by a dashing, debonair beau. But innocent Evelyn is unaware that her bid for freedom from the oppressive castle will change the course of more than just her life…
In the early Sixties, sweet, intelligent Victoria meets the man of her dreams! Yet the expression of their love comes with consequences. In the shadow of the mysterious castle, is their relationship doomed from the start?
In the present day, Isobel has just learned she’s pregnant. An unexpected challenge she can only hope she’s up to. Except living in the father of her child’s family home, beneath the eyes of the castle, all is not as it seems… Soon secrets that have been hidden for decades threaten to change the lives of Isobel’s new family irrevocably.
Three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets, scandal and deceit, as the legacy of Castle du Rêve is finally discovered…

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Monday, 18 April 2016

Review of Release Me by J Kenner

The bit on the back…

He was the one man I couldn't avoid. And the one man I couldn't resist.

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past - and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him - and us - for ever.

I downloaded this one Saturday after looking for a good read to get into over the weekend. It turned out that I read it in one sitting so it only lasted 3-4 hours but it did the trick. I’ve read one of the spin off Stark novels before but never any from the trilogy. This is the first book in the Start series and is all about Damien and narrator Nikki.

The story focuses on the meeting and resulting relationship between Damien and Nikki. At firs Nikki tries to resist Damien but his lure is all too great.

The plot and characters are very reminiscent of Fifty Shades. Having said that though the writing is much better and Nikki has much more to her than Anastasia Steele ever had. I enjoyed Fifty Shades but those facts are undeniable. Nikki is independent and strong willed. She is dead set on forging her own path and Damien’s very presence interferes with that. He’s domineering and sticks his nose in where Nikki doesn’t want it, which is just one of the similarities between him and Christian Grey. A penchant for spending money like it doesn’t mean anything is another.

The plot moves along quickly but doesn’t cover that much in the way of a period of time; I had to keep reminding myself of how little time had actually passed in relation to the feelings developing between the characters.  Although the main story is the progression of the relationship between Damien and Nikki there is an added element involving one of the other characters which adds some suspense to the whole story. I was absorbed by the story and kept turning and turning those pages.

I downloaded Claim Me, the second book in the series, straight after reading this.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Book News - The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

The bit on the back...

What magic is this?
You follow the hidden creek towards a long-forgotten house.
They call it Keepsake, a place full of wonder ... and danger. Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you've been waiting all your life to hear.
This house is Nina Parr's birthright. It holds the truth about her family - and a chance to put everything right at last.

Release Date: 19th May 2016
Publisher; Review

Book News: The Little French Guest House by Helen Pollard

The bit on the back...

Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the perfect holiday. Or can it?

When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife. 

Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîteswill help keep her mind off her misery. 

Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory. 

Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it? 

Release Date: 28th April 2016

Publisher: Bookouture

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Review of Holding The Line by Kierney Scott

The bit on the back…

It’s been four years since Armando Torres disappeared. He was DEA agent Beth Thomson’s best undercover recruit – and the best lover she ever had.

In the time since he left, she has forced herself to move on. So when news reaches her that Torres is dead, she isn’t expecting the wave of emotions that overwhelm her. It’s a gang hit, and there isn’t much of a body left to identify. But when she visits the morgue, her horror soon turns to disbelief at what she finds.

With notorious gang leader ‘El Escorpion’ still evading capture, her mother’s health deteriorating, and her daughter starting school – can Beth recreate the passion from her past, even when her whole world is changing?

Firstly, thank you to Carina for approving me for this title via NetGalley.

This is the second book in Kierney’s Firing Line trilogy and features main characters Beth Thomson and Armando Torres.

The book is set 4 years after the end of the first book at a pivotal turning point in Beth’s life. There is a lot that changes for Beth in this book and in the interest of not revealing too much it’s another rollercoaster of a book.

One of the things I enjoyed about Blurring The Line was the characterisation and I was pleased to see that it hadn’t changed fundamentally between the two books but the outlook of the characters had changed naturally with the four years in between. Beth’s daughter changes her persona and I love the way she looks out for her and how in love with her she is. It’s a contrast to the adrenaline filled and combustible situations Beth found herself in in the first book.

In this second book there is a lot of catching up, righting wrongs and to that end it didn’t feel like that much actually happened save for a few key issues being resolved, but it felt necessary to patch over the cracks the last four years have left in the character’s lives.

In a twist that I didn’t see coming Beth’s story is once again filled with danger, angst and adrenalin which looks as if it’s going to make for an interesting final installment.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Review of Off The Hook by Laura Drewry

The bit on the back…

Major league pitcher Liam O’Donnell knows his best days are probably behind him, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire and become a fishing guide. Still, after all the time he’s spent chasing his dreams, he owes it to his brothers to pull his weight around the lodge. The Buoys is their father’s legacy, and they can’t let some developer take it from them. The one snag Liam isn’t counting on is a blast from the past: his ex-wife.

The moment Kate Hadley steps out of the seaplane, she knows this assignment is going to be trickier than she thought. She has to persuade the owners to sell—and one of them is Liam O’Donnell. Ten years ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life when she married Liam during a fling in Vegas. Now he’s her only lifeline in the middle of nowhere. Kate’s trying to keep things cool, but Liam just reminds her of the scorching few nights they spent together—and tempts her to make new memories that are just as steamy as the old.

Firstly thank you to Loveswept for approving me for a review copy of this title via NetGalley. This is the first book of Laura’s that I’ve read and is the first in her new Off The Hook romance series. This first book is all about Kate Hadley and her ex-husband Liam O’Donnell.

Kate’s been sent to rescue a failing family business to turn it around and make it a prospective development for her employer with her long term ambitions finally coming within reach. What Kate doesn’t know is that the family in question belongs to that of her ex-husband Liam.

I really enjoyed the storyline in this novel. I liked that the work to turn the business around was a mirror image of the work Kate and Liam put in on their relationship, going back over past mistakes and correcting them. I found it very easy to just lose myself in the story and imagine everything that was happening with the lodge and its revamp.

Throughout the characters reminisce about their brief relationship and revisit the original chemistry they had. It’s quite obvious where the story is going to go so it makes for easy reading. I was a bit disappointed in Kate that she felt she couldn’t confide in Liam and ended up doing the very same thing that caused them to split in the first instance. Lacking simple communication made for an obvious plot twist.

I would definitely read more for Laura Drewry based on this and I’ll be looking out for the rest of the series. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Book News - Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance. 

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals. 

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing… 

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day. 

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides. 

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Release Date: 13th May 2016

Publisher: Bookouture

Monday, 11 April 2016

Review of Room For Love by Sophie Pembroke

The bit on the back…

Can she make room for love?

When wedding planner Carrie Archer inherits the crumbling Avalon Inn where she spent her childhood summers, she knows she’ll do whatever it takes to make it home. With no money for renovations, that means finding investors if she ever hopes to turn the Avalon into a dream wedding venue.

But Carrie has been left more than the inn—she’s also inherited its occupants, including three senior citizens, a single-father chef with childcare issues, a panicky receptionist, and one very gorgeous gardener.

So when her cousin Ruth declares her intention to get married at the Avalon on Christmas Eve, Carrie finds herself juggling decorating with dance nights, budgeting with bridge games…and sabotage with seduction.

Firstly thank you to Carina for a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

I first read some of Sophie’s work at the start of the year, her two Harper Impulse titles, and knew after enjoying both of those that I wanted to read more from this author. I have had this on my TBR for some time but knew I had to start it pretty soon. Sophie did not disappoint.

This story focuses mainly on Carrie Archer as she goes back to the Inn she grew up in, this time as the owner. Her grandmother has left her the Inn and Carrie is determined to prove everyone from her dad to her boss wrong, that she can and will bring the Inn back to life and make it successful.

I believed her. I loved the premise of this book. It’s something you can really tune your imagination into because the story progression runs in tandem with the regeneration of the Inn and for me that was something I could envisage clearly and could easily imagine myself in Carrie’s shoes. Carrie’s determination and independence is a bit like cutting her nose off to spite her face at some times but it’s so deeply imbedded in her that she has to do this, that she has to be successful.

The cast of supporting characters, including the other main character and narrator Nate, round out the story, it flows well as the renovation of the hotel runs alongside the storyline of the first wedding Carrie expects to hold. Every turn seems to bring some other hurdle for Carrie to overcome, especially towards the end of the book where the most pressure is upon her.

The story between Carrie and Nate is secondary to the main theme and takes a back seat throughout. There is an old chemistry between them which is sweet but Carrie’s reluctance to allow anyone in hinders their chances in the beginning.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series which is called The A-Z of Love. Fans of Cathy Bramley, Hester Browne and Sophie Kinsella will enjoy this series.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Slimming World Sunday on Erin's Choice: Week 4

I have worked so hard this week I am so hoping for a loss on Tuesday! I've been especially dedicated the last couple of days doing and accountability challenge with a friend. 

Any time I've started SW before I've never really got into the exercise side of it but this time I've got my eyes set on Body Magic Platinum! I've already achieved bronze and I'm midway through getting my silver award. This week I've been walking and following Josie Gibson's exercise DVD. I'm hoping that this will not only boost my weightloss but that it will also boost the change I see in my shape. 

Yesterday I had a massive NSV. I was sitting infront of the mirror about to put my make up on for the day when I realised I had CHEEK BONES!! Actual cheek bones that were prominent without the art ofconture. I actually had placed to conture! I also bought the next size down in jeans so I'm ready to keep my head down until my holidays! 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Book News - Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Debbie Johnson, author of the birthday that changed everything is back this May with a brand new novel...

The bit on the back...

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.
For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.
But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.
Her new job at the cafe, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.
For her, the Comfort Food Cafe doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

Release Date: 1st May

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Review of Storm by Nina Levine

The bit on the back…

Madison Cole’s family is the Storm Motorcycle Club. Her father is the President and her brother is the VP. She grew up surrounded by bikers, crime and violence. Two years ago she walked away from her family and the world they live in. Her soul was shattered, her heart was broken and she had an addiction she couldn't shake. She picked up the pieces and put herself back together. Now her family wants her back. The club is being threatened and they send a club member to return her home to safety; the one person that could destroy everything she has worked so hard to build.

Jason Reilly has sacrificed a lot for the motorcycle club he calls family. Two years ago he made the biggest sacrifice of all; he gave up the woman he loved for them. Now he is being sent to bring her back and he is conflicted. He thought he was over her but discovers their connection is as strong as ever. Their love was all-consuming, passionate and fiery. It was also their undoing and he doesn't know if either of them is strong enough to battle the demons that ripped them apart, to find love again.

Madison and Jason are brought back together by a force out of their control; one that pushes them to a breaking point. Can they overcome their past and discover a love worth fighting for or will the harsh reality of their world finally and completely break them both?

This came up on Facebook on a sponsored post. At the time I was I the middle of the final season of Sons of Anarchy so this was right up my street and let me fill the gap that the end of Sons brought. It was free at the time of purchase.

The story is all about Madison, the daughter of Storm MC’s president. Brought back to the club after a couple of years of freedom Madison is reluctant especially when she finds out its her ex Jason who is sent to fetch her.

Madison puts up quite a fight in the beginning but folds like a deck of cards and in a move I wasn’t expecting basically quite her new life to take up her old one again. Jason and Madison have an obvious chemistry and also have obvious unresolved romantic issues. I was kind of rooting for them at the start of the book because I knew that chemistry would be explosive if they got back together. 
At times though it seems as though Jason treated Madison as a little kid in the way he acted. Some of that I think stemmed from the whole MC club ethos but other parts of it seemed like misunderstanding of the person Madison had turned into.

The story itself is fast paced, a bit like an episode of Sons, where all of the proverbial seems to hit the fan all at once. If it’s not one thing it’s another and although Jason is always trying to protect Madison she doesn’t see things his way making for some interesting arguments between them.

About half way through I had already decided I was going to buy more from the series so I’d bought a compendium of books 1-4. The next book is about Madison’s brother and Storm MC’s VP Scott and I’m already looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Review of Forever This Time by Maggie McGinnis

The bit on the back…


Boston therapist Josie Kendrew is really good at mending everyone else's broken heart-just not her own. When she rushes home to Echo Lake after her father's stroke, Josie finds herself face-to-face with too many painful memories from the past, including the loss of her "little sister" and Ethan Miller, the boy she left behind. Ethan is now all man-and he has done wonders as CEO of Snowflake Village, the Kendrew family's Christmas-themed amusement park, which charms year-round visitors from all around New England. Suddenly, Echo Lake holds more than ghosts from the past. It also holds the possibility of a second chance at love...


Ethan's been picking up the pieces of the Kendrews' shattered family for as long as he can remember. But doing good isn't the same as being happy-and Ethan can't deny that the sweet, smart girl he once adored has become a gorgeous woman he cannot resist. For both Josie and Ethan, it's a time of love and promise, and of finding the dreams they thought they had lost...

Firstly thank you to St Martin’s for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. This is the first full length novel in Maggie McGinnis’ Echo Lake series. Forever this time is all about Josie and Ethan. Once close, the pair grew apart when Josie left for Boston. Ten years later family draws her back to Echo Lake and straight back within close proximity of her ex, Ethan. I’ve been looking forward to starting this since I read Snowflake Wishes which is an Echo Lake novella.

There is a convincing depth to both characters and as they both take turns with the narrative you get to know them and their version of events in their own right. Returning to Echo Lake isn’t easy for Josie with both the history it holds and the dose of resentment she receives on her return from Ethan and Molly. Both characters have evolved from the people they once knew and they continue to evolve throughout the book as they both have a better understanding of what pushed them apart.

I loved the idea of a Christmas theme park and how invested everyone in the town is in it. Josie’s own relationship with the park is rocky at best but she is undeniably fitted to the park and life in Echo Lake even if she tries to persuade herself otherwise. The story is poignant and as you discover exactly what drove Josie to leave you will definitely need the tissues at the ready.

Fans of Sheila Roberts and Nicole Michaels will enjoy this moving and romantic read. I’m now looking forward to reading the second novel in the series Heart Like Mine which is all about Ethan and Josie’s friend Josh.

Book News - Cupcakes and Confetti (The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea Book 1) by Jane Linfoot

Jane Linfoot, author of The Right Side of Mr Wrong, is back this month with her new novel Cupcakes & Confetti which is the first in her brand new series The Little Wedding Shop By The Sea.

The bit on the back...

Brides by the Sea, the cutest little wedding shop in all of Cornwall, has it all, including cake baker Poppy who lives upstairs. But wedding planning is not the piece of cake Poppy thought it would be, and when her best friend Cate’s wedding planner walks out, Poppy has to tie up the loose ends so her bestie can tie the knot.
Double-booked venues, ‘rustic’ locations and gorgeous but grumpy farmer Rafe have this wedding pro feeling like she could be Cate’s ‘something blue.’
Will the wedding, the shop and the cake all come crashing down on her? Or will Poppy pull it off to give Cate – and herself – the happy ever afters they deserve?

Release Date: 28th April
Publisher: Harper Impulse

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Troubles of Being a Book Blogger...

I’ve been blogging for about 2 and a half years now and I’ve felt a bit disconnected from it in the last year if I’m honest. I love the social side of blogging, the friends I’ve made on Twitter and of course I love reading, but the actual ins and outs of being a book blogger have been starting to put a strain on my enjoyment of it. Without having a massive moan about poor Erin here are some of what I see as the troubles of a book blogger…


The dreaded To Be Read list. Does anyone else dread looking at theirs or is that just me? Please tell me that it’s not! Actually, at the minute I’m finding mine a little bit daunting so like a good little ostrich I have my head firmly and constantly buried in the sand. Avoidance is key. I have so many books to read both for review and of my own that I don’t think there will ever be a day where I have to go and buy a book out of necessity. 

I would love to be able to give up my day job and spend every waking hour ignoring everyone with my nose firmly stuck in a book but alas the bank doesn’t accept book marks as mortgage payment and so working life calls. Just now I have absolutely no idea what the total number of books on my TBR is but I do know that my NetGalley list alone has over 160 books on it…woe is well and truly me.

Finding time to read

As I just mentioned I have a full time day job and I’m also not the anti-social hermit I sometimes wish I was. In the last year alone I’ve probably made less time for reading than I ever have before since moving in with my boyfriend and a new found love of binge watching Sons of Anarchy and Suits. Having 24/7 access to my PC since moving in also meant I could indulge in another of my favourite hobbies – playing The Sims. So you see I don’t really have all that much time to read. After I come in from work and by the time I finally sit down I’m usually knackered and just want to switch off in front of the TV leaving reading to half an hour before bed or weekend mornings.

I feel like I’ve started to separate reading into “occupational” and “for fun”. Under the category of “occupational” falls all the review titles I have and under “for fun” are all the books I’ve bought for myself. On weekends I usually give in to the want to read something I’ve bought for myself and return to my “for review” books during the week.

I used to read up to 5 books a week and now I’m lucky if I read 5 chapters a week…hence the size of my TBR.

Give up or give it another go

If I’m reading a book that I’ve bought I have absolutely no qualms about packing it in if I’m just not feeling it. I don’t want to waste time when I’m reading for enjoyment. I find it harder to give up with books that are for review, and feel especially terrible when I’ve signed up for a blog tour. I don’t like to disappoint authors but sometimes, with the best will in the world, it’s just not working – doesn’t make it feel any better though!

Writing Reviews

Just as much of a concern as my lack of time to read is my lack of time, and more recently lack of willingness, to actually sit down and spend time writing a review. I keep a list on my phone, so it’s always with me for reference, and stick a nice emoji next to the title when I’ve written the review. I strive to review everything I’ve read but sometimes it’s just not possible to get to them. At the minute I have a back log of reviews and if finding a lack of time to read is a problem finding time to sit with my laptop and write seems impossible some weeks.

Writing reviews is not a straightforward bashing out of words, obviously, and sometimes it can take me ten minutes to write a review and other times it can take me up to an hour. It depends on how I feel about the book, how distracted I am when I’m sitting with my laptop, how much I’ve got to say about the book and that in itself is another dilemma how much is enough and does it matter if you gush like mental because you just love the book so god damn much?

Standing Out

This has always been a concern of mine. Right when I started blogging I was very unsure about whether I would ever get anywhere with it, whether it would be for me and who would ever read my blog?! I’m sure everyone must have the same doubts when they start out so I know I’m not alone but it’s still pretty daunting to begin with. The book blogger arena is pretty saturated and making sure you stand out is hard. Having a constant Twitter presence and keeping up with absolutely everything going on in the book world is absolutely impossible but everyone is out to try their best.

I think I sometimes forget about that and put more pressure on myself than is necessary. I like my little blog, what I’ve achieved, and I LOVE that I’ve made so many friends on Twitter. That side of blogging is one of my favourite things about it and is always what keeps me going when I think I might give up.

Are you a book blogger who can relate to any of this? I am not intending to offend anyone or have a moan with this post, rather give an honest account of how I feel about blogging right now. I do still love it though, most nights.

Erin x

Monday, 4 April 2016

Review of Rough by Skye Warren

The bit on the back…

I’m a cautionary tale. A statistic. A victim. A single teenage mother from the poor part of town. Most of the time I’m too busy working and struggling to care what people think. Survival doesn’t come easy.

I have a dark secret, a pressure valve, a rare moment just for myself. On these nights I visit a club. There I find men who give me what I need. Men who aren’t afraid to take what they want.
Men like Colin.

But he takes more than a few stolen hours. He demands more than my body. He wants my heart and soul—my happily ever after. I never thought I’d be Cinderella. I never thought a man that rough could be my prince.

This is one of those books that pop up on those annoying “spend money, spend money” sponsored facebook posts. The first book was free at the time of purchase so I relented and downloaded it.
The story is all about main character Allie who’s a single mother to the daughter she had as a result of sexual assault. Allie is damaged, that much is made very clear in her strange and dangerous views on the opposite sex and sexual encounters.

It’s implied that she strives to do what’s right for her daughter and the author makes a point of pointing this out on more than one occasion yet she puts herself in situations that could ultimately lead to her leaving her daughter motherless. Something didn’t add up there for me. I know she’s “broken” and needs this outlet but surely she must have known she was jeopardising her daughter’s future going against everything else she does for her.

Colin is introduced one such potential dangerous situation. As it turns out Colin doesn’t pander to Allie’s needs and instead there is a supposed connection between the characters. To be honest I wasn’t convinced. I wasn’t particularly convinced that there was enough chemistry between the characters to warrant a connection. Colin plays the role of knight in shining armour but this is another display of Allie making potentially dangerous decisions. How much does she actually know about this man?

To say I was unsatisfied with the characters and story progression would hit the nail on the head. I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series based on this first book. It was only 162 pages long and the other two are of similar length. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

COVER REVEAL! Perfume and Promises by Ellen Faith

I'm excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Ellen Faith's new novel!

The bit on the back...
Chloe Richards is a small town girl with a big heart. At least, that’s what the local folk of Rosehip Village think. But when her parents turn up on her doorstep asking for help, her secret past is about to be revealed.
Being the daughter of Hollywood royalty was never going to be easy, but at 19, Chloe Richards managed to leave that life behind along with the scandals that almost destroyed her. A fresh start was all she needed, and a fresh start was what she got in Rosehip. Girlfriend of a local bookshop owner, best friends with fiercely loyal café owner and owner of a perfume business herself, Chloe has a happy life. But her parents are about to turn her perfect life on its head. Again.
What do you do when you’re torn between loyalty and protecting yourself? Should you trust your heart when your head is telling you not to?


About the Author

Ellen lives in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, England with her husband where she spends most of her time with her nose in her laptop, a book or plate of food.

Legal secretary and daydreamer by day, writer and serial tweeter by night, Ellen finally decided to put all the magic in her head to some use one day and put finger to laptop where The Story of Us was born and became her debut novel. Four novels later, the daydreams are still going strong, thankfully!

She loves to travel and enjoys taking her readers on a journey to escape with her, in whatever country or village she decides on next.