Thursday, 30 June 2016

Book News - The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

The bit on the back...

Take a trip to the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a very special little cookbook shop has just opened its doors…
In The Beginning…
Kitty Cartwright has always solved her problems in the kitchen. Her cookbooks are her life, and there isn’t an issue that Cooking with Aspic can’t fix. Her only wish is that she had a book entitled Rustling Up Dinner When Your Husband Has Left You.
Forty Years Later…
On Rosemary Lane, Della Cartwright has just opened a very special little bookshop. Not knowing what to do with the hundreds of cookbooks her mother left to her, she now wants to share their recipes with the world – and no amount of aspic will stand in her way.
But what will the local residents think of this strange new addition to their little village? One thing’s for sure: Della’s about to find out.

Release Date: 14th July
Publisher: Avon

Monday, 27 June 2016

Book News: Falling by Jane Green

The bit on the back...

Eight years ago, Emma Montague left behind the strict confines of her upper-crust English life - and rather dull boyfriend - and moved to New York City, where she immediately found success in the world of finance. But her soulless, cut-throat, all-consuming job has only led to another life she didn't want.
Answering an online ad, Emma finds a tiny beach cottage to rent in the small town of Westport, Connecticut. It needs work - lots of work. But it's the perfect project to satisfy Emma's passion for interior design and gardening, if her new landlord, Dominic, is agreeable to the small changes she yearns to make.
To Emma, Dominic is also something of a fixer-upper. A local handyman with a six-year-old son, he's a world away from the men she should be interested in, but he's comfortable in his own skin, confident, quiet and kind. Slowly, over a shared garden, time spent with his son and late-night conversations, Emma finds herself falling for Dominic.
From friends to lovers happens as naturally as the changing seasons. But laying down roots doesn't come easily when two lives as different as theirs merge into one. And Emma will realize that the seeds of happiness must be nurtured and cherished to grow into something strong enough to shelter all their hopes and dreams . . .

Release Date: 14th July

Publisher: Macmillan

Friday, 24 June 2016

Special Guest Post and Giveaway from Ollie Quain

Today my blog celebrates it's 3rd anniversary, coincidentally the same day I turn 26! To help me celebrate I have teamed up with Harlequin author Ollie Quain to bring you this special guest post on characterisation and UK giveaway where you can win yourself one of three copies of Ollie's latest novel!

Over to you Ollie!


Reviews of my first book, How to Lose Weight And Alienate People, were not too bad. Quite good-ish, actually. (Bar my favourite one on Amazon, that is. Three words. “DRIVEL. DRIVEL. DRIVEL.” Cheers!) A lot of authors say not to concern yourself with anyone else's opinion, but frankly, I think this is another lofty affectation (along with “waiting for the muse to strike”) that simply cannot be applied to writing as a job. In any profession you need to know what your customers want.

In the feedback for HTLWAAP, the main point of contention was my main character. Some readers found her endearingly irreverent. Others found her plain irritating. But thankfully, the majority of the latter seemed to enjoy her journey too. My latest novel, She Just Can't Help Herself, revolves around the stories of two women. I am sure both will divide readers again, but I want that. All fiction writers need their characters to feel like real people. Well, the real women who I like to read about in the press or in biographies, I am very rarely a fan of, more fascinated by... flaws and all. So that's how I try to depict my characters on the page.

Ultimately, there are no rules when creating a female lead. To approach writing a novel with an overly rigid approach to “her” personality will inhibit the way “she” reacts to the unfolding drama. Even if she is not a woman of extremes, she will still need to have nuances and traits that will appear in certain situations, which may even surprise you as the novel develops. That said, there are three elements which I always consider before I start writing, based on the way my favourite authors deal with the central protagonists in their own books.

Firstly – and probably the most important – is ensuring the reader can relate to the leading lady as a person, even if on introduction they have nothing in common with her life. David Nicholls (One Day, Us) is relentlessly good at this. The precise detail he employs to describe the tiniest of mannerisms or quirks has a hugely humanising effect. Add to this his ability to relay utterly convincing dialogue; which is never overplayed or trying to be clever. Which is clever in itself. So much so, each time I dip and out of his books, I always end up self flagellating over why I even bother to write/to breathe.
Secondly – and a progression of the above – is ensuring that the life of the central character becomes relatable quickly. In this area, Jilly Cooper will always reign supreme for me. I have read and re-read her books numerous times; especially her early series of Octavia, Imogen, Bella, Harriet and Emily which focus on a single female lead – I can't recommend them enough for a first time novelist. Then of course, there are the blockbusting behemoths that are Riders and Rivals, which are set respectively in the worlds of international show jumping and local TV. Not exactly the most populist areas, but the way her multiple central characters – especially the women – operate skillfully in these worlds, makes them readily familiar. Their knowledge of their surroundings and occupations is key to the reader's involvement.

Thirdly, your main character has to fluctuate and grow. John Niven's books (although, predominantly using a male point of view) are absolutely on point in this respect. The journey he maps out for his lead leaves you feeling as if you have gone somewhere too. Of course, growth does not necessarily imply a positive trajectory, there simply has to be progression. Niven's best-selling, Kill Your Friends, champions a character who starts out twisted and via sporadic moments of semi-self awareness ends the novel be-yond warped. As a reader you feel dirty, used and exhausted by the denouement... but in a fantastic way, because you are really feeling; surely the goal of picking up a book in the first place.

Managing to plot all of the above is hard, but once figured out will give the novel an easy flow and as a consequence so much easier to read. Although, unfortunately, it will never, ever, EVER make the next 423 PAGES easy to write. (Something that a certain someone who likes to leave a THREE WORD review might like to remember before he picks up his poisoned pen! Again.)

About Ollie

Ollie Quain is a London-based journalist who has worked for Ministry of Sound, the O2 and a number of fashion magazines. Her first novel, How to Lose Weight and Alienate People was published by Mira in 2014. Follow Ollie on Twitter @OllieQuain

Enter here for your chance to win a copy of She Just Can't Help Herself!

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Book News - Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara

The bit on the back...

The sun is shining in the quiet little seaside town of Sandybridge
Sandybridge is the perfect English seaside town: home to gift shops, tea rooms and a fabulous fish and chip shop. And it's home to Grace - although right now, she's not too happy about it.
Grace grew up in Sandybridge, helping her parents sort junk from vintage treasures, but she always longed to escape to a bigger world. And she made it, travelling the world for her job, falling in love and starting a family. So why is she back in the tiny seaside town she'd long left behind, hanging out with Charlie, the boy who became her best friend when they were teenagers?
It turns out that travelling the world may not have been exactly what Grace needed to do. Perhaps everything she wanted has always been at home - after all, they do say that's where the heart is...

Release Date: 14th July

Publisher: Sphere

Monday, 20 June 2016

Blog Tour Promo! Inseverable by Cecy Robson

Don't Miss the first in a Brand New Series!!

Carolina Beach #1
Cecy Robson
Releasing June 21st, 2016

How can you imagine forever with someone who's leaving everything behind?

Callahan, a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and he's suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina's Kiawah Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .

Trinity has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook inpursuit of her "hot" friends. She became used to being everyone's pal, until the day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed with one of her closest friends.

To move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.

Callahan doesn't want to get close to anyone-let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he's in Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels everything, it's hard not to feel something.

Neither expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable they'd become.

Buy Now

Cecy Robson is a new adult and contemporary author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels and upcoming Carolina Beach novels, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA®finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

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Don't forget to pick up the newest release in 
the O'Brien Family Series,  

Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Review of The One With the Engagement Party by Erin Lawless

The bit on the back...

Nora Dervan is ready for her Happy Ever After. With her darling Harry waiting at the altar, and all her family and friends around her. She is certain that her special day will not be forgotten/will be one to remember…

But with her four bridesmaids hiding more secrets, than bottles of champagne. Will her big day be remembered for all the right reasons?

Bea has barely gotten past the fact that her two best friends are dating, and now they’re engaged, whilst cupid’s arrow points in a forbidden direction for Cleo. She is so distracted by her off limits, hot new colleague that she has forgotten Daisy, who has been left dreading the singles table. There’s more romance in the cheesy pick- up lines than Sarah’s own marriage, which hasn’t turned out as she hoped it would be.

Firstly thank you to HarperImpulse for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. This is the first of Erin's stories I've read although not the first I've had on my kindle *hangs head in shame*. This is the first in Erin's new four part romantic comedy series about bride to be Nora and her four best friends and bridesmaids Bea, Cleo, Daisy and Sarah.

The first instalment follows the bride and bridesmaids as they make plans and scope out locations for the big day. It also features the engagement party that the title alludes too. Each of the five girls take turns with the narrative introducing you to them and their individual stories. You also get a bit of background on their feelings towards one another and the situation.

There is quite a lot of scene setting going on character-wise in the first novella in this series which I think is to be expected and although you might have to flick back a few pages to just double check who is who it's most definitely worth sticking with it. As well as the main story Erin has included some real life wedding related anecdotes throughout to add a little something else to the overall story.

Erin's writing is well paced and she's given each character their own unique voice. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of this series. I'm expecting lots of fun and drama to come in the lead up to the big day!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Review of One Hot Summer by Kat French

The bit on the back...

Being married to a celebrity isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when that celebrity has a very public affair with his co-star…

Alice McBride is determined that the one thing she won't lose in her marriage breakup is Borne Manor, her beloved home, but she gets more than she bargained for when she rents it out for the summer and a sexy cowboy comes to stay.

Country music star Robinson Duff has had his own share of heartbreak and needs somewhere quiet to hide out for the summer. Neither Alice nor Robinson are in any position for romance; the timing is terrible and they're both rebounding like out of control frisbees.

Can a holiday romance help mend their broken hearts. Or will it just make things even worse when the long hot summer comes to its inevitable end?

Firstly thank you to Avon for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. I have two of Kat's pervious books on my kindle however this is the first one I've gotten around to reading. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be a massive understatement because I bloody loved this! Twitter, as always, is a good source for book recommendations and the buzz surrounding this book was so on point it was ridiculous. If you're looking for a funny, sexy (and I mean hot sexy), romantic read for this summer then look no further. No. Actual. Further!

The story is all about two main characters Alice McBride and Robinson Duff. On the outside the characters couldn't appear more different from one another but as they get to know each other they realise that they have a lot more in common than they first thought, especially when it comes to heartbreak. Alice is desperate to hold on to her beloved home after the demise of her marriage and ends up renting it to rugged, handsome, any other synonym of good-looking that there is, Robinson Duff. The story follows their summer romance.

I have a thing for country music. Any guy who can sing with that signature country twang, play the guitar and rock a cowboy hat whilst doing so ranks highly in my estimation! Robinson Duff was no different. After some initial hesitation and dubiousness from both Alice and Robinson the pair embark on their hot and intense summer affair. They are so suited and both act as a break from reality for the other. I loved all of their scenes together, especially the dialogue between them because it's clear they have a real friendship blossoming underneath all the attraction between them.

Kat has created this great love story between Alice and Robinson, the very nature of their "only for the summer" romance filled the storyline with an increased passion and sense of angst at the prospect of summer ending. The motley band of characters surrounding Alice and Robinson were true to themselves throughout the entire story and they alone made for some laugh out loud moments.

After reading this Kat has firmly situated herself on my list of go to authors, I can't wait to start Undertaking Love and The Piano Man Project now! 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Blog Tour! Review of A Summer of Secrets by Alice Ross

The bit on the back...

One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…

Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.

Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?

Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a veryunexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…

Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?

One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!

Firstly thanks to Carina for the review copy of this title via NetGalley and to Neverland Book Tours for inviting me to kick off the blog tour for this great book today! Make sure you check out the rest of the tour on @NeverlandBT.

This is the second novel in Alice's Countryside Dreams series following on from An Autumn Affair - read the review here

This story follows four main characters, Portia, Jenny, Rich and Joe. Each character takes turns with the narrative which allows you to get to know their personalities, their quirks and all about their life and as the title suggests - their secrets. The narrative switching between characters also lets you see how they all fit into each others lives in the lovely village of Buttersley

Alice has created an interesting group of characters who keep you hooked right through the story.

Having lived in a village when I was younger I think Alice has captured the essence of village life perfectly. Rolling greens, local pubs and history from every angle. I love the setting of Buttersley and the promise of what is to come for Buttersley Manor itself.

If the title of this novel doesn't create intrigue from the get go then I don't know what will. A summer of SECRETS! I immediately started trying to work out what each characters secret could and would be and one of my favourite lines in the whole book just summed it right up for me - "Appearances can be deceptive". If you haven't already then check out both novels in this series as you won't be disappointed.

About Alice Ross

Alice Ross used to work in the financial services industry where she wrote riveting, enthralling brochures about pensions and ISAs that everyone read avidly and no one ever put straight into the bin.

One day, when nobody was looking, she managed to escape. Dragging her personal chef (aka her husband) along with her, she headed to Spain, where she began writing witty, sexy, romps designed to amuse slightly more than pension brochures.

Missing Blighty (including the weather ­ but don't tell anyone), she returned five years later and now works part­time in the tourism industry.

When not writing, she can be found scratching out a tune on her violin, walking her dog in wellies two sizes too big (don't ask!), or standing on her head in a yoga pose.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Blog Tour - The Last Days of Summer by Sophie Pembroke

I'm excited to welcome Sophie Pembroke to the blog today and to take part in the blog tour for her brand new novel The Last Days of Summer!

The bit on the back...

Saskia has always loved Rosewood. It was her family home, her sanctuary and her memories of it are vividly alive even after two years of being absent. Never did she think she would be standing in the rose garden afraid to cross the threshold and own up to the past she had run away from.
So much about Rosewood hasn’t changed, everyone still dresses for dinner, sips cocktails on the terrace, her father cooks every delicious meal and her beloved grandfather still tells spellbinding stories. But the cold reception from her grandmother, Ellie’s complete avoidance of her and the judgmental gaze of Edward, her grandfather’s new assistant (who seems to know more than enough about her past), are all new to Kia.
All Kia needs to do is attend her grandparent’s Golden Wedding Party and make it to the train station without her secret coming out. What could possible go wrong in just one weekend?

Read on for a sneak peek inside The Rosewood Kitchen in Sophie's guest post!

The Rosewood Kitchen

Food is very important in The Last Days of Summer, and many important conversations and moments take place at the Rosewood dinner table. From Saskia’s dad, Tony, cooking everyone’s favourite meals to try and ease the tension in the house, to Ellie stress baking, to the catering tents at the Golden Wedding, food is everywhere in the book.

So I thought I’d share a sneak peek inside the kitchen at Rosewood, and share a couple of the family’s favourite recipes (and one bonus drink!).

Tony’s Chicken Provencal (with or without olives)
Serves 4

  • 1.      Heat a tbsp. of olive oil in a large, flat pan, and brown off 1.5kg of chicken pieces in batches. Transfer to a plate.
  • 2.      Add a little more oil to the pan, then gently fry two diced onions until golden brown. Add two finely chopped cloves of garlic and fry for another minute or two.
  • 3.      Add 250ml of white wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  • 4.      Pour in a carton of passata, add two roasted red peppers (cut into strips), 250ml of chicken stock and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and bring to a strong simmer.
  • 5.      Add the chicken pieces (and a handful of halved, pitted black olives, if you like) then reduce the heat. Cover, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thick and luscious.
  • 6.      Serve with thick pasta ribbons, or potatoes, or bread, or salad… or anything else you fancy!

Ellie’s Coffee and Walnut Cake

  • 1.      Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  • 2.      In a bowl, beat together 225g butter and 225g caster sugar together until pale and creamy
  • 3.      Add 4 eggs, beating well to mix between each egg.
  • 4.      Add 50ml of strong espresso and stir well.
  • 5.      Add 225g self-raising flour and 75g of chopped walnuts, folding in well.
  • 6.      Spoon the cake mixture into two lined and greased 20cm/8in cake tins, weighing to ensure they are even.
  • 7.      Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is golden-brown.
  • 8.      Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack.
  • 9.      While they’re cooling, make the buttercream icing by creaming together another 125g softened butter and 200g icing sugar together, until the mix is very, very light and fluffy
  • 10.  Add another 50ml of strong espresso and mix.
  • 11.  Sandwich the cakes together with half the buttercream, then top the cake with the rest. Decorate with 12 walnut halves, and serve with afternoon tea!

Nathaniel’s Perfect Gin and Tonic

  • 1.      Half fill a glass with ice
  • 2.      Add a measure of gin
  • 3.      Add a little more gin for good measure
  • 4.      Add tonic water (approx. twice as much tonic as gin)
  • 5.      Add a little more gin if it’s now too weak
  • 6.      Garnish with a slice of lime
  • 7.      Drink in the sun, on the terrace, with the family

The Last Days of Summer is out now from Carina UK.
Keep up with all the latest from Rosewood at

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Release Day Review: Summer At Oyster Bay by Jenny Hale

The bit on the back…

They say falling in love is easy. But what if you know it’ll break your heart?

For Emily Tate, returning to her charming childhood home Oyster Bay is like coming up for air after the fast pace of her city life. At the farm her grandfather built, surrounded by sister Rachel’s chatter, Gram’s buttermilk biscuits, and the soft, white sand, Emily is reminded of exactly who she is and what she holds most dear.

When Emily starts work at elegant Water’s Edge Inn, Charles Peterson, the handsome new owner, asks for her help. He wants to expand and needs Emily to teach him the local ways, so he can convince the planning commission. Emily vows to make him fall in love with her hometown, just the way it is.

At work, Charles is reserved and serious, yet once Emily has him kicking off his shoes in the sand and sailing across the glistening Chesapeake Bay, she sees another side to him, and their easy rapport feels like the start of something big.

But when it becomes clear Charles’s plans for the inn involve bulldozing Oyster Bay, Emily is heartbroken. Will she lose her home and Charles all at once, or can she save Oyster Bay, and give true love a chance?

Firstly thank you to Bookouture for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. Jenny’s books are always up there with my most anticipated reads for the year and this was no different. This is Jenny’s 3rd Summer novel after Love Me For Me and Summer By The Sea.

The story is all about Clearwater resident Emily Tate. Emily moves back to her childhood home to find that just when she needs some stability back in her life, everything looks as though it's changing.
One of the things I love about Jenny’s books is the vivid way she brings the setting to life. From the locals to the local cuisine Jenny thinks to include little bits of everything so that you can build a picture of exactly what it's like to live where her characters do. This story is no different and if I close my eyes I can still picture the house at Oyster Bay in Emily's coastal hometown Clearwater.

The story follows Emily as she returns home to Oyster Bay to take up a new job at Water's Edge Inn. Emily's trying to hold onto everything from her past that she holds dear and her new boss Charles, and the new owner of Water's Edge Inn, is making it hard for her. The closer Emily gets to Charlie the more difficult it is to separate her feelings for him from her feelings towards his vision for his new business.

Emily's family plays a big part in the story and Jenny has created some very authentic, down to earth characters to compliment Emily. You will definitely need your tissues for some of the more touching and poignant parts of this lovely, summer read. If you enjoy Paige Toon, Rachael Lucas and Rachel Dove you will enjoy Jenny's novels. Roll on Christmas!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Cover Reveal!! #TheHoliday Swap by Zara Stonely

Delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Zara Stonely's latest Harper Impulse title The Holiday!

The bit on the back...

Two women, two very different lives – one perfect solution to a Christmas holiday fraught with potential pitfalls.
The Holiday Swap.
Florence Cortes has the perfect life – an apartment in the trendiest district of Barcelona, a job she loves and a boyfriend who’s whisking her away on a romantic break to Paris to no doubt propose.
Only, he’s planning something far different, and Flo soon realises her life isn’t so perfect after all.

Home loving Daisy Fischer is perfectly happy in her idyllic home in the Cheshire countryside, with an on-off boyfriend who might be slightly dull but is totally dependable. Until he issues an ultimatum, and Daisy suddenly realises that there might be a whole different world out there that she’s missing out on.
Have Flo and Daisy come up with the perfect solution to escape festive heartbreak?
Can a snowbound Christmas in Cheshire – with aristocratic, handsome Hugo as her neighbour, a house full of animals and a leaking roof – help Flo mend her broken heart, and remind her of what she really wants in life?

Can a sunny break in beautiful Barcelona – with the dishy but brooding Javier, a never ending supply of cava, and a sea view to die for – prove to Daisy that playing safe isn’t always the answer?
Love actually does seem to be all around this Christmas – and in the places Flo and Daisy least expect to find it, but where will they be for New Year?

Review of Destination India (The Lonely Hearts Travel Club #2) by Katy Colins

The bit on the back...

Let yourself go…

Starting the Lonely hearts Travel Club was supposed to be the second chance that gave Georgia Green back her life. She thought it would be just like travelling, but the reality is far from rosy as she realises that starting a new business is definitely not a beach!

So when Georgia finds herself on an impromptu work trip to India she knows something’s got to give! Where has the girl gone who fought so hard to rebuild her life?

The land of Bollywood, gorgeous beaches and the Taj Mahal might just hold the key to Georgia finding her stride again… Only she is about to find out that when in India the country calls the shots – not you. But Georgia’s not going down that easy!

This is the second book in Katy Colin's The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series. The series is inspired by her own story and travels. You can read more about Katy's story at her website -

The second instalment follows Georgia to India.

Toward the end of the first instalment - Destination Thailand - the inspiration behind the name of Georgia and Ben's new business was revealed and at the very end of the book the Lonely Hearts Travel Club was launched. Now in this second instalment we get to see how Georgia and Ben's company is doing and this forms the basis for the second story in the series.

The pair have flung themselves into the company and Georgia is continually spreading herself thinner and thinner in an attempt to be on top of everything. After missing one too many nights out with her friends, a reality check from her travelling  friend and a few bottles of bubbly later Georgia books an impromptu, and inconvenient, work trip to India.

Armed with some solo travelling experience and an alias, Georgia sets off and joins one of her very own tours in India. The story follows her time on the tour and just with Destination Thailand Georgia finds herself in some sticky situations. She almost always manages to extract herself from said situations and at times through there are some real laugh out loud moments. One of the great things about Georgia is how down to earth she is. She's relatable which makes it easy to feel a connection with her and her story.

At times I wondered where the story was going to go and right up until the end I was still guessing. Knowing that Georgia's story is inspired by Katy's own travels means that you get a real feel for the places Georgia visits and the stops on the tour through India. From the dust and overbearing heat to the peace and tranquility of the beach you get a real sense of how much of an awe-inspiring India can be. I'm looking forward to the next instalment - Destination Chile!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Review of Destination Thailand (The Lonely Hearts Travel Club #1) by Katy Colins

The bit on the back...

What if you had a second chance… to find yourself?

Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day wondering where it all went wrong.

Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by best friend Marie, it’s not long before travel-virgin Georgia’s packing her bags for a long-haul trip to Thailand.

Yet, Georgia’s big adventure doesn’t seem to be going to plan. From strange sights, smells and falling for every rookie traveller scam in the book, Georgia has never felt more alone.

But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of…

This is the first book in Katy Colin's Lonely Hearts Travel Club series following main character and almost bride to be Georgia Green on a journey of self discovery. The journey takes Georgia to Thailand in the first instalment of this series.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was living vicariously through Georgia and her solo travelling. Reading this series is about as close to backpacking as I will ever get as I'm just not cut out for it.

At the start of the story Georgia is a little hesitant about going off by herself but her disaster of a non-wedding and some encouragement from her best friend Marie is all it takes to convince her it's the right thing to do.

Georgia's time in Thailand gets off to a bit of a rocky start and at first she kind of loses herself. Soon enough she gets into the swing of things and taking her travel agent's advice she goes off on her own. When the trip becomes less of a trial, Georgia starts to relax and reflect on her situation and what she wants from her life post wedding disaster. The transformation in her character is marked and even when she goes home she's armed with some newfound gumption and inspiration to pull her life together and set it in the direction she wants it to take.

Throughout the story writing is spot on. Georgia is likeable, down to earth and her story is endearing.  Fans of Lindsey Kelk and Nicola Doherty will enjoy this read and I can only imagine if you've backpacked or travelled yourself this will bring back all your happy memories!

The series is inspired by Katy's own story and travels. You can read more about her story at her website - - and check out her solo travel tips here.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Review of Mister O by Lauren Blakely

 The bit on the back...

Just call me Mister O. Because YOUR pleasure is my super power.

Making a woman feel 'oh-god-that's-good' is the name of the game, and if a man can't get the job done, he should get out of the bedroom. I'm talking toe-curling, mind-blowing, sheet-grabbing ecstasy. Like I provide every time.

I suppose that makes me a superhero of pleasure, and my mission is to always deliver.

BUT then I'm thrown for a loop when a certain woman asks me to teach her everything about how to win a man. The only problem? She's my best friend's sister, but she's far too tempting to resist--especially when I learn that sweet, sexy Harper, has a dirty mind too and wants to put it to good use. What could possibly go wrong as I give the woman I've secretly wanted some no-strings-attached lessons in seduction?

No one will know, even if we send a few naughty texts. Okay, a few hundred. Or if the zipper on her dress gets stuck. Not on that! Or if she gives me those get-over-here-and-take-me-eyes on the train in front of her whole family.

The trouble is the more nights I spend with her in bed, the more days I want to spend with her out of bed. And for the first time ever, I'm not only thinking about how to make a woman cry out in pleasure -- I'm thinking about how to keep her in my arms for a long time to come.
Looks like the real Adventures of Mister O have only just begun....

The first book I read of Lauren’s was Big Rock which comes before Mister O. Mister O features Big Rock main character Spencer’s sister and his best friend Nick.

Nick is the geeky version of Spencer but other than his love of comics, Harry Potter and his glasses they are very similar. He loves women and makes no attempt to hide the fact. When Spencer’s sister Harper asks him for relationship advice all of Nick’s Christmases have come at once.

As Nick and Harper have friends for a long time they have a natural chemistry and it is easy to see that they would make a great couple, even though Nick is reluctant because of his friendship with Spencer. Together they are explosive and Nick loves to please Harper and to explore her sexuality with her. The story is told entirely from Nick’s POV, just as Big Rock was told entirely from Spencer’s POV which sets these stories apart from anything else at the minute. I love the male POV because it feels like a sneaky peek when you’re reading it and Lauren gives Nick a believable voice in the story.

I think you can guess from pretty early on what’s going to happen with the characters and although I kept waiting for the inevitable conversation Nick was going to have with Spencer I was pleasantly surprised how the story panned out.

This is a classic friends to lovers storyline which is one of my favourites to read. If you’re looking for more books with this storyline I can recommend Samantha Young’s Before Jamaica Lane and Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Player.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Blog Tour: Destination India by Katy Colins

The bit on the back...

Let go and join Georgia Green for her next big adventure in Bollywood... Georgia Green is off once again! This time round she is about to board a plane to India – alone. 

What challenges will face her? 

Georgia had backpacked solo to Thailand and survived, what could possibly go wrong? 

But she is about to find out that this Bollywood adventure holds an entirely new set of challenges, in India the country calls the shots – not you...

Today I'm thrilled to take part in the blog tour for Katy Colin's new release Destination India. This is the 2nd book in The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series inspired by Katy's own travels. Read on to read Katy's tips for Overcoming Solo Travel Jitters!

It can feel overwhelming saying goodbye to your friends and family at the airport as you head off into the unknown with a heavy bulky backpack on your shoulders, a rough idea of your route and a long haul flight to get through. Leaving to go travelling by yourself is the most incredible feeling in the world but with this freedom and excitement sometimes comes waves of trepidation and doubt. I’ve been there.

Arriving into a foreign land miles away from home can be really daunting. The first day is always the hardest, especially when staying in a new strange bed feeling jetlagged and disorientated trying to ignore the fears creeping into your mind that this was a stupid and way-too-hard idea.

But worry not my adventurous friend, feeling a little anxious when you are far from home is totally normal. Here’s how you can fight those demons in your tired mind, as trust me these feelings WILL pass:

Get a good night’s sleep – From the long, sweaty and uncomfortable day of traveling, the joys of picking up your bag in one piece from the airport and then navigating your way to your accommodation is only just the start of the trip but already feels like you’ve been on an emotional roller coaster! Add in the unusual sights, smells and sounds to your tired mind and it’s no wonder you may start to doubt your brave/crazy decision. But try to get a good night’s kip as everything always looks better in the morning.

Allow yourself time to find your feet – Just because you’ve finally made it to the place you’ve been dreaming about seeing for god knows how long it doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your to do list in one day. Slow it down, take it at your own pace and maybe join a free walking tour to get your bearings as you come up with a plan of action.

Fake it till you make it – Walk with your head held high, act confident and brave and no-one will ever know the difference. You’re doing something that many dream about but few actually do. You are awesome.

Just do it – Don’t lock yourself in your room hoping these worries will disappear. Freshen up, put on some uplifting music and take a deep breath before you step outside. You’ve got this.

To think you are doing this travel lark all on your own can be both exhausting and exhilarating but the things you learn about yourself and the way you grow in confidence as your trip progresses is SO worth the panic and self-doubt at the beginning. Trust me.

Make sure you check out the rest of the tour stops and follow along on Twitter using #DestinationIndia, you can also follow Katy on Twitter @NotWedordead