Saturday, 10 June 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway - The Summer House by Jenny Hale

Today I'm delighted to be taking part on the blog tour for Jenny Hale's Summer release! Not only am I here with a review but you also have the chance to win a copy of Jenny's latest page turner thanks to her publishers Bookouture! 

The bit on the back...
Some summers will stay with you forever...

Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.

Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.

Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets... secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.

Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?

There are some book releases from several authors that I look forward to every year. Jenny Hale is one of them. It's one of those scenarios where I hope I'm lucky enough to receive an advanced copy so I don't need to wait just quite as long, but know I'm going to pre-order my own copy anyway! Jenny's latest Summer novel is here and takes us straight back to the Outer Banks.

The Summer House is all about Callie and Luke. Callie is finally beginning to realise her dream of owning a B&B with her best friend Olivia. The story starts with the early stages of renovation and follows Callie through her summer with a few more bumps in the road than she predicted. Luke is the local celebrity and heartthrob. At first Callie tries to keep him at arms length all while Luke continues to woo her proving there is more to him than the gossip columns say. He proves himself throughout the story and is up there with the best of Jenny's book boyfriends.

While the main story throughout is the love story between Callie and Luke there is a little something else bubbling away in the background built into the history of Callie and Olivia's house. I enjoyed the parallel storylines and how parts of each complimented the other. I always find Jenny's books to be unputdownable but for the first time here I was gripped with tense excitement and suspense to see how the story was going to unfold. The storyline simmers along gently before coming to a full blown boil in the last half of the story! Jenny has more than demonstrated the strength of her writing and story development here and each of her characters come into their own light, rounding them out before the end of the story.

As usual Jenny has hit it out of the park in terms of describing the setting for her book. After I read this novel I headed straight to Google to search for images of the Outer Banks so I could carry on imagining myself there. I would LOVE to visit and that inspiration has come from reading Jenny's books. I feel like you can completely immerse yourself in the story, imagine yourself walking along the same streets, same shop fronts, same beaches with the characters and it's one of my favourite things about Jenny's books.

If you enjoy Nicholas Sparks novels I'm quite sure you will enjoy Jenny's.

So what are you waiting for?! Have a bash in the giveaway!

Head over to Jenny's website to find out more about her and her novels!

Thank you again to Bookouture for having me on this blog tour - make sure to check out the other stops!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Giveaway! The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox

If you're a regular visitor to the blog you will have noticed how quiet it's been around here for the last few months! *tumbleweed*

On Saturday I kicked off the official relaunch of Erin's Choice with a blog tour and throughout the next month I'll be hosting more blog tours, giveaways and reviewing some new and previous releases.

The first giveaway is a copy of The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox. I loved this book and you can read my review here. The giveaway is open internationally and is not endorsed by anyone but me!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Blog Tour: Author Ben Ludwig shares his advice for Aspiring Authors

June is the anniversary month of my blog and since I've been quiet for a while I decided to a re-launch this month. What better way to kick that off than with a blog tour and a guest post for aspiring authors!

I'd like to welcome Ben Ludwig to Erin's Choice! Ben's debut novel Ginny Moon is available to buy now.

The bit on the back...

The story of a lost girl searching for her forever home.

Everyone tells Ginny that she should feel happy….

After years in foster care, fourteen year old Ginny is finally with parents who will love her. Yet despite finding her forever family, she knows she will never stop crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.

Because something heart-breaking happened a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…

And now over to Ben for his advice for Aspiring Authors

I’m not usually one to give a lot of advice, because I don’t think everyone necessarily benefits from the same approach.  That said, if someone were to ask me what advice I would give to an inspiring writer who was extremely similar to myself, I’d say…

1. A lot of people will tell you to read widely, and that reading will make you a better writer.  While that’s not a bad idea, writing – and improving your writing – demands an immense amount of time, so much so that I don’t have a lot of time to read.  I think writers need to trust that their own voices more, and not worry about reading as much.

2. Writing fiction is very much like telling your friend about “that interesting thing that happened the other day.” It’s informal and fast, and if what you’re writing doesn’t make people lean forward and say, “And then what happened?”” then you’re probably not doing it right. 

3. Writing should start as a habit, but should become an obsession.  It takes a lot of time and effort to dig down deep into the heart of a story, to discover what it’s truly about.  You can’t do that by writing once in a while, or by writing in a relaxed, casual way.  The book I’m working on must always be a mystery, a thing that demands to be solved.  It has to demand more from me than discipline and effort.  It has to dominate my life in such a way that I’m always thinking about it, cutting corners to find time to work on it. 

4. A lot of success in writing has to do with luck, and so it might seem sort of random.  Something helpful I’ve learned is that although I can’t control how good things come to me, I can control how many times I give it a go.  I think of it like the Wheel of Fortune.  I can’t control where the wheel stops, but I can control how many times I spin it.  So keep on spinning! 

5. It surprised me to learn that writing is very much about relationships.  A relationship forms between you and the book, and when you send it off to an agent, between the agent and the book.  But relationships are difficult things.  What one agent loves, another might like.  Just as you might become best friends with one person and not another, one particular agent might love your book, while others can’t begin to fathom why you wrote it.  The good news (to me, anyway) was that you only need one agent to fall in love with your book.  So cast a wide net, when it’s time to seek an agent, and don’t be so upset when you’re turned down by one. How many people might you date before you find The One?  Would you be willing to spend a life time in your search?  Of course you would. The same ought to go for your book. Write the best book you can, and then search endlessly until you find someone to represent or publish it.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Blog Tour - The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox

The bit on the back...

Beneath the surface lies a terrible secret…

Hollywood, 1975: Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti, and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister, and learns that dark shadows haunt her new husband’s past…

Tuscany, Present day: Everyone in London is searching for Lucy Whittaker – so Lucy needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed.

Across the decades, Vivien and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian villa.
And if they are ever to truly escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets…

I'm delighted today to be taking part in the blog tour for Victoria Fox' new novel The Silent Fountain. I've been a fan of Victoria's over the last few years so I'm always excited to read something new from her.

BEWARE: This book will have you hooked!

Victoria's previous six novels, including Hollywood Sinners and Power Games are all glamorous, bonk-busting, summer chart toppers. The Silent Fountain is a new direction for Victoria with a much deeper, twisting story that draws you in and entrances you from the beginning.

The story is written with a dual narrative between Vivien and Lucy, two women far apart in years but with something intertwining their lives together. Readers are also treated to a time flip element to Vivien's story which lets you come to fully understand her character and back story.

From the start there is just something, hard to pin down exactly the feeling, but something that feels like suspense and excitement with an edge of fear and real tangibility. After reading the first fifteen or so chapters of the book I still couldn't get a sense of where the story was heading!

One thing that really struck me about the book, alongside the story, was the vivid detail and imagery employed throughout. I've been to Italy and can recall acutely the dusty, fragrant heat of the day and the cool clarity of the night time. The novel was like a step back to that holiday with a feeling that all senses were been tantalised throughout. Even the cover had my interest piqued!

This is sure to be one of the books you see at every poolside this Summer with heads of romance and suspense fans alike stuck inside! I am excited to see what's next!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Stars Over Castle Hill by Samantha Young - Cover Reveal


The bit on the back...

Joss and Braden Carmichael are blissfully married living in their townhouse on Dublin Street with their two beautiful children. It’s a life Joss never expected to have, and one she’s grateful for every day.

But… what if she never met Braden and Ellie Carmichael on that fateful day when she
was only twenty-two years old?

When Joss is asked to write a story about how her life might have turned out if a pivotal
moment in it never happened, she thinks of the day she met both Braden and Ellie
Carmichael. If she had never met them where might she have ended up? Joss believes no
matter where life may have taken her it would have inevitably led her to Braden. But what if she was thirty instead of twenty-two when they met? How would she have felt about risking her heart then? 
And even if she was older and wiser and ready to fall madly in love, what if too much had happened to Braden to make him the man that would risk his heart to save hers?

Will time be their enemy… or is it possible that two souls are meant for one another in
any reality?

Stars Over Castle Hill is an alternate reality novella of a romance that captured the
hearts of readers all over the world. Joss and Braden are back with a story that is
just as emotional, passionate and sexy as their first!

Haven’t read Joss & Braden’s story from the beginning? On Dublin Streetthe #1 international bestseller, from Berkley Romance

Follow Samantha Young:


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review of Girl 99 by Andy Jones

The bit on the back...

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.

Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.

Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

Firstly thank you to Lake Union for the review title of this copy via Netgalley. Girl 99 is the third novel that I've read by this author and I've enjoyed it equally as much as the other two. If you've read The Two of Us you'll recognise a few names mentioned throughout and one character in particular.

The story starts with Tom's girlfriend leaving him, which on first inspection is his own damn fault. After sharing his experience with best friend El, Tom embarks on a mission to take the notches on his bedpost up to 100. In the beginning Tom comes across as a bit of a sh*thead. He has little regard for the women he's sleeping with and the way he treats them isn't exactly wonderful. He's on what is a pretty selfish mission which all becomes foiled when he meets Verity. Verity doesn't seem as susceptible to Tom's charm as everyone else and for once Tom actually has a chance to get to know her before their friendship goes any further.

If you're looking for a romantic hero, Tom isn't it. What he is though is a very real character who has flaws and makes mistakes. Throughout the whole novel Tom is faced with dilemma - his family, his neighbour and of course the women he is rifling his way through. He knows he's not the best human being and all the way through I got a sense that he was trying to correct little parts of himself at a time.

Just because this story is about a man, written by a man, it definitely does not mean that this book is just for guys. While no doubt the seemingly honest depiction of what it's like to be a single lad will appeal to male readers, female readers will enjoy the story just as much. Andy's written the story in a way which actually makes Tom turn out pretty endearing by the end. You'll laugh out loud and maybe even shed a tear at some bits of it. Again I found El's story to be bittersweet and while Tom is out sleeping his way to 100 El's life is shortening in front of him.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Andy in the future and if you've not read The Two of Us then I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Mini Review of Dashing Through the Snow by M Leighton

The bit on the back…

Dilyn Hart hates Christmas, so when her boss (and ex-boyfriend) hands her an assignment to interview champion snowboarder and gorgeous playboy extraordinaire, Dash Grainger, on Christmas Eve, she takes it. There are several things she doesn’t plan for—a surly driver, a chalet in the middle of nowhere, a freak snowstorm—but the biggest surprise of all is Dash himself.
Dash Grainger lives for the high, and so far in his twenty-six years, he’s never met anyone or anything he loves more. Nothing has ever thrilled him as much as slick snow, cold air, and breakneck speed.

Until he meets Dilyn.

But one perfect night doesn’t mean clear, blue skies the next day. Some storms can’t be weathered.
Christmas might just be one of them.

I am a big fan of M Leighton’s and some of her books are in my frequently reread pile (especially the Bad Boys series), so when I saw this I couldn’t resist. It’s only 146 pages long so will only take you an hour or so to read and although it’s short it will give you a flavour of the author’s style and might tempt you to read something else of hers! Make sure you check out the reviews of her books throughout the blog.

The story sees reporter Dilyn and professional snowboarder Dash caught in a snow storm and what could be a more romantic setting than a beautiful chalet, a roaring fire, s’mores… well you know – nothing! Throw in a jealous ex-boyfriend some jumping to conclusions and you have this fabulously festive short story!

M Leighton is definitely an author I go back to time and time again and I think this little sample will set you up for the same.

Review of The Holiday Swap by Zara Stonely

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?

Firstly thank you to Harper Impulse for a review copy of this title via Netgalley. I’d never read anything by Zara before however I’d seen nothing but rave reviews on Twitter so I knew I was in for a treat.

This is a festive novel with a Spanish twist. Friends Flo and Daisy are both at turning points in their love lives and with they come up with a bit of a life swap to give each of them some space from their day to day lives. While Daisy jets off to Barcelona and decides to stick around for a while Flo returns to Daisy’s Cheshire home to look after all of her animals.

I really liked that half of this story was set in Barcelona. I’ve been fortunate enough to be there for a day at the end of a holiday and it’s somewhere I’d love to go back to. Living vicariously through Daisy was great and as Daisy was a Barcelona virgin it was easy to get swept up in that touristy feel.  If you’ve been to Barcelona before you will be able to imagine yourself back there and as Daisy becomes more acquainted with it she settles right in and right into a friendship with Flo’s handsome friend Javier. Javier is the antithesis of the boyfriend Daisy left behind while she set off to find herself and the connection between them both is immediate.

Flo on the other hand heads back to Cheshire where she grew up as a young girl. Taking over for Daisy at home means mucking in and looking after Daisy’s various animals but also coming into contact with her neighbour Hugo. At first I was a bit unsure of Hugo especially from Daisy’s point of view he was very arrogant and basically up his own arse. Flo, though, gets treated to a different side of Hugo and his character completely transforms in her company.

The story is well written and although it’s only set over a short period of time it didn’t feel rushed and it didn’t feel like any element of the progression was missing. Zara painted just as vivid a picture of Barcelona as she did of Cheshire and I could easily imagine myself in either place. I will definitely be reading more from Zara in the future.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Review of Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

The bit on the back…

Becca Fletcher has always hated Christmas but she has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch. Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.

Little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill, it’s a place full of friendship where broken hearts can heal, new love can blossom and where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

The first book I read of Debbie’s was Summer at the Comfort Café. I found the book to be really charming and moving and when I saw that there would be a wintery return to the café I knew I would want to read it. There is such a mix of characters in who all thrive because of the café and it was really heart-warming to read about. In this festive read we are back in Dorset only this time Becca, Laura’s sister, is our narrator.

Becca likes to portray this untouchable party girl/wild child image and it’s exactly how she wants her family to see her. In reality though, Becca is deeply unhappy and a little bit lost. Debbie doesn’t sugar coat Becca’s feelings which I appreciated because it made her much more reachable as a character. After the death of Laura’s husband Becca cleaned up her act, determined to be there for her family should they need to depend on her. I liked how much she put everyone else before her. She really struggles with a lot of things in life but tries her damnedest not to let that show and to only be the supportive aunt and sister.

Although the story is set at Christmas, if you’re only just picking up Summer at the Comfort Food Café you definitely don’t need to wait until the festive season to read this little gem. As well as reading Becca’s story it’s nice to catch up with everyone from the Summer novel and see how they’ve progressed in their new life. The Comfort Food Café stories will be ones that I will always be memorable for me. If you like Jenny Hale and Paige Toon you will enjoy Debbie’s writing.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Review of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Joanna Bolouri

The bit on the back…

Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends, an amazing car and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, batshit crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex . . . but he's nothing she can't handle.

Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it's going really well. So well, in fact, that Emily is hoping to take him home to meet her family. Finally she won't be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity from her younger married siblings.

But when Robert breaks up with her a week before the trip, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan, Emily is determined for Robert to meet the parents come hell or high water, even if it isn't the real Robert . . .

Firstly thank you to Quercus for a review copy of this title. I am obviously a little behind in reviewing this book seeing as we are now in February and I read the book in December *hides face in shame*, however I would happily reread it right now and would enjoy it just as much as when I first read it.

I read Joanna’s novel “The List” a couple of years ago and I knew then that she was going to be one of my must read authors. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year more than lived up to my expectations and will be a book I will definitely keep to reread in the future.

The story is all about Emily who thinks she more or less has her life sorted; job – tick, friends – tick, car – tick, flat – tick and of course amazing boyfriend – tick. That is until Robert tips her life upside down and puts a spanner in every single one of her going home at Christmas as the well rounded, successful daughter plans. Robert, quite frankly is a swine and even though he had a kind of Colin Firth-y thing going on I was actually glad when Emily and him split up!

Emily is a really down to earth and relatable character. She has many worries and issues that readers will be able to identify with and she has a really dry sense of humour that will have you laughing throughout the book. One little trait of Emily’s that lets her down in the beginning is that she is quite judgemental, particularly when it comes to her hot, younger, neighbour Evan. I really liked Evan though. He wound Emily up and got under her skin which was fun to read because he shook her up a little and gave as good as he got from Emily.

The story follows Emily back home for Christmas where Evan masquerades as perfect boyfriend Robert. As the holiday season passes the two become closer and Emily begins to see that she has pegged Evan all wrong.

I really enjoyed this festive read which can really be enjoyed at any time of the year. If you’re a fan of Mhairi Macfarlane and Lindsey Kelk you will enjoy Joanna’s books!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Review of The Vets at Hope Green - Sheila Norton

The bit on the back...

Working as a receptionist in a London vets, Sam is living far from her idea of a simple life. She’s always broke, rents a tiny flat and is constantly arguing with her boyfriend. But the worst part is that her career is going nowhere. She wants to be a vet, but the most contact time with the animals she has is a quick hello when she books in their next appointment.

Something’s got to give, so when her parents suggest visiting her Nana Peggy in a small quiet picturesque village, she agrees, thinking a bit of R&R could do her good.

But rest and relaxation may not be the order of the day. Poor Nana Peggy’s lovely dog Rufus is unwell, and Sam can’t help but grow fond of him. With the help of Joe the local vet, a charming yet strangely distant man, Sam sets out on looking after him, despite her London life trying to call her back…

This is the first installment in Sheila Norton's new four par series The Vets at Hope Green. The story is all about vet practice receptionist Sam who's at a bit of a crossroads in her life with relationship and work decisions hanging over her. Sam heads to her Nana's to get some good old country air into her lungs and to take a break from her city life.

I love the sound of Hope Green. I used to live in a little village myself and it all came rushing back - everyone knowing each other, the friendships and the wide open spaces. It's Sam's fantasy to one day return to the countryside - somewhere just like Hope Green - with a gaggle of children and pets but it seems her boyfriend has different opinions. Their frequent arguments drive Sam to take some time for herself to clear her head.

In the village Sam is reunited with her Nana Peggy who she is very close to and also with her Nana's dog Rufus. As Sam settles back in she reflects on everything that's not quite right in her life, trying to work through her options. I think Sam is a very relatable character, her career and relationship worries are easy to empathise with.

Sam is introduced to the seemingly very rude local vet, Joe. I can sense there's much more to come from him throughout the rest of the story and I can't wait to see how his character and story develops throughout! The next installment is out on the 16th of February.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Review of Four Letter Word by J. Daniels

The bit on the back…

Fate. Hate. Love. Lies.

Which four letter word will change their lives forever?

Sydney Paige was never so mortified to hear the words 'wrong number' in her life. She meant to tell off the guy who broke her best friend's heart, but unleashed her anger on a perfect stranger instead. And now her world is turned upside down by the captivating man who wants to keep her on the line.

Brian Savage is living a life he's quickly come to hate - until Sydney's wild rant has him hooked and hungry for more. Soon the sexy woman on the phone becomes the lover in his bed. But Brian has secrets, and the closer he lets Syd get, the harder it is to shield her from the devastating mistakes of his past . . .

This is the first book of J. Daniels' that I’d read however after I’d finished I downloaded the first two books from her Alabama Summer series and had checked when the second book in this series was due for release. I’ve since read those other three books!

This is the first book in J. Daniels' most recent series – Dirty Deeds. It’s all about main characters Sydney “Syd” Paige and Brian “Dash” Savage. I didn’t know what to expect from this as I bought the book based on the cover alone so I started without any preconceptions. The book starts off from Syd’s point of view and events quickly escalate into the first intense conversation between both characters. Sydney dials Brian’s number by mistake and as the blurb suggest unleashes hell on him. This comical start to their relationship sets the tone for the level of intensity you can expect throughout the book.

The pair continues to get to know each other without meeting in person and fleet in and out of each other’s lives while their proximity to one another remains disguised. The amount of times I wanted to scream at one of the characters that the other was right there, literally RIGHT THERE, is considerable however this added to the overall angsty tension throughout.

Both characters hold back secrets from one another however the extent of the secrets Brian keeps from Sydney is undoubtedly greater. As the narrative comes from both characters you are given an insight to each character and given the difference between the backstory of each character I think it worked really well. There are definitely parts of the book that I liked more than others – Brian’s side occupation for example was not my favourite part of this story!

If you’ve read Everything I Left Unsaid by M O’Keefe I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book, it has a similar storyline with very different characters.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Mini Review - The Reading Group: December by Della Parker

The bit on the back...

Grace knows that the holiday season is going to be different this year. No turkey, no tinsel, no gorgeously wrapped gifts under the tree . . . how on earth is she going to break it to her little boys that Christmas is effectively cancelled? And can she bear to tell anyone her embarrassing secret? Enter the Reading Group: Grace's life might have turned upside down but there's no problem they can't solve.

Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red!

This is a little freebie starter to Della Parker's new six part series The Reading Group. This 17 pager introduces you to all the main characters and gives a little bit of insight into their lives and friendships, particularly Grace and her struggles over the Christmas period.

This taster doesn't give too much away about what we can expect from the story as it goes on other than the friendship between each of the women. However, over the rest of the series you will get to know each of the women as they each take a turn in the spot light.

I would love to join a reading group so I'm looking forward to living vicariously through this series!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Review of Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

The bit on the back...

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness,” is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant―hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.
Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.
Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.
Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.
There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately―the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.
But to Olivia―Nicholas is worth it.
Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

As always with the announcement of a new release from Emma Chase I was excited to read this book. Moreover it’s the start of a series and if I’ve learned anything from her Legal Briefs series they just keep getting better the more you read. This book is all about main characters Olivia and Nicholas and is the first book in Emma’s Royally series.
Olivia is constantly struggling against the ever rising tide to keep her late mother’s coffee shop above water. She’s feisty and caring and is doing her upmost to make the best life for her sister. I felt sorry for Olivia throughout because she’s got a lot of expectation on her shoulders, from herself and her father. Then Nicholas walks is suave ass into her life and changes everything.
Nicholas and his upbringing are the antithesis of Olivia and hers. Where Oliva battles for every penny Nicholas comes from a life of unbridled privilege. Nick is in New York to retrieve his hell raising brother Henry and I’m already looking forward to reading Henry’s story. It definitely feels like he’s loosely based a Prince of our own.
Nicholas and Olivia share the narrative throughout the book which serves well because while both characters are so different their chemistry is so immediate that seeing both of their perspectives allows you to feel swept up without feeling like the story is moving too fast. Nick is often quite crass and at first really shows himself up. Olivia has more decorum than Nick at some points throughout. I loved that she was able to keep him on his toes and put him in his place when he needed it.
If you’ve enjoyed Emma’s books in the past or if you are fans of Christina Lauren’s series’ I am sure you will enjoy this. Royally Matched, the 2nd book in the series featuring Nicholas’ brother Prince Henry, is out in February.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Review of The Singalong Society for Singletons by Katey Lovell

The bit on the back...

Monique and Issy are teachers, housemates and lovers of musicals! Their Friday night routine consists of snacks, wine and the Frozen DVD. So when Monique’s boyfriend moves to America for a year and her sister Hope moves in because of her own relationship woes, Friday nights get a new name… ‘The Singalong Society for Singletons’!

It’s a chance to get together, sing along to their favourite tracks from the best-loved West End shows, and forget the worries of work, relationships and love (or lack of it). But when Issy shares the details of their little group further afield, they get some unexpected new members who might just change their opinions on singledom for good….

Firstly thank you to Harper Impulse for the review copy of this title via NetGalley. This is Katey's first full length novel following on from her Meet Cute series.

Monique, the main character and narrator throughout the story, lives with her friend and work colleague Issy. They both have loads in common from their careers to their love of musicals but they are also unique individuals in their own right with pasts and a history that unfolds the more you read of the story.

Hope, Monique's sister, makes the duo a trio when she moves in and together the three of them form The Singalong Society for Singletons. Along with their friend Connie the four friends explore new friendships, love and challenges. Connie takes a big leap of faith in herself and following her example the other three friends also embark on life changing decisions from small to big things.

As a lover of musicals I really enjoyed this element of the story. This is central to the overall story and I cannot think of another like it. The musicals from each Society meeting reflect something that is going on with the characters in that chapter and while the main focus is the development of the characters and their own individual stories throughout the link with the musical adds lightness to the overall story.

Katey has delivered a polished book which is original with fresh and honest characters that all readers will be able to identify with.  The writing is well structured and feels as though great care has been taken over it. Katey is on her way to establishing her place in this bookish world!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Review of All I Want for Christmas by Jenny Hale

The bit on the back…

Christmas comes once a year . . . But true love comes once in a lifetime.

Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.

But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.
Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.

They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.

Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?

I’m a little late in posting this however, other than being set at Christmas the story itself is timeless and can be read all year round! I am a massive fan of Jenny’s so of course I was excited to read her latest Christmas offering. This story is all about Leah and her daughter Sadie.

Leah is a single mother and is working hard to make sure her daughter Sadie doesn't go without anything. Their relationship is very special and the have a really close bond with one another. Leah has the support of her two best friends throughout the novel and this theme of friendship is one of the most noted throughout the book.

David and Leah have known each other since children and although the book is set over a short period of time this history serves as a strong foundation for the new direction their relationship is going in. Leah has a kindness that shone throughout and it's not hard to see how carefully she nurtures her friendships.

The story follows Leah and David as they try to sort out their differing opinions over what should happen with the estate and at times I really could have reached into the book and given David a good shake! Leah had a very close connection with her Nan and this can be felt throughout with all of the ties to family Christmas and the plantation.

One thing I love about Jenny's books is the setting. I can always imagine them so clearly thanks to her vivid and detailed description of the surroundings. I would love to visit Virginia one day to experience it for myself! If you've never read any of Jenny's books, or if you're already a fan you are sure to enjoy this book!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Review of Beautiful by Christina Lauren

The bit on the back...


After walking in on her boyfriend shagging another girl in their place, Pippa Bay Cox ditches London for the States to go on a drunken road trip with Ruby Miller and some of her Beautiful friends.

Scaling the career ladder is the default way to deal with heartbreak—and to just deal—for Jensen Bergstrom. Absolutely buried by his drive and workload, he rarely takes time for himself. But when his sister Hanna convinces him to join the gang on a two-week wine tour, he has a rare moment of cutting loose. Of course, it’s only once he’s committed that he realizes the strange girl he met briefly on the plane is coming along, too. She might be too much for him…or he might realize his life has become too small and needs her to make it bigger, crazier.

With this circle of friends there’s always something going on: from Chloe and Sara’s unexpected personality swaps to Will’s new domestic side to Bennett’s text message barrage and George’s own happily-ever-after. In short, their adventures in love, friendship, and hilarity are nothing short of Beautiful.

When one of your favourite authors, which is actually two super duper authors, announce that they're bringing out a 5th book in one of your favourite series naturally you're going to be muchos excited about it. That's about how I felt when I found out about Beautiful. This is the fifth and final full length addition to the Beautiful series and what a great way to end it. This story brings all of the central characters together as well as focusing on two previously peripheral characters giving them the limelight to tell their story.

Both characters, Jensen and Pippa, have featured earlier in the series. Jensen is Will Sumner's best friend and his wife's older brother. Jensen is responsible for bringing Will and Hanna together so for that sir, we salute you (Beautiful Player is one of my all time favourite books). Pippa is best friends with Ruby from the 4th book.

The book starts off with Pippa and Jensen meeting randomly and unbeknownst to each other which sets the tone for the novel. Slightly daft British girl meets perfectly handsome American guy. This chance encounter is followed by a two week stint touring the east coast after the pair are awkwardly re-united at a birthday party.

If you haven't read any of Christina Lauren's books then firstly, where have you actually been? And secondly what can you expect? Well every book I've read has been packed with chemistry, sizzling tension, great characters and truly brilliant scenes. This book is no exception whatsoever. Pippa and Jensen's friendship to relationship is built on this one chance encounter and a lot of chance encounters ensue. The place they find themselves in lends itself to the overall humour in the book and Pippa certainly knows how to make the best of an awkward conversation. She also knows how to bring the best out in Jensen without either of them realising.

I really enjoyed this but I'm equally sad that it's the last book in the series. Catching up with the other characters in the series added a little something extra to this book. I especially loved seeing Will and Hanna again because Will has got to be one of the hands down, never to be improved upon, most gorgeous ever book boyfriends to ever grace the pages. I love this series and will definitely go back to it time and time again.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Button Maker's Daughter Blog Tour

Today I'm joined by author of The Button Maker's Daughter Merry Allingham. Merryn's sharing with us the inspiration behind the story! 

It was a single image that lodged in my mind and set me writing. I’d made a memorable visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, near the southernmost tip of England. Over the past few years, the gardens had gradually been rescued from complete desolation and were still being restored. In their heyday in the late Victorian/Edwardian eras, their several owners had spent an immense amount of time, money and effort in creating a veritable paradise. But in 1914, war came to England and everything changed. 

On one particular day that summer, every gardener on the estate had downed tools together and walked side by side to Redruth, to enlist at the local recruiting centre. Most of those men, if not all, were to perish in the mud of Flanders. The Day Book, which should have listed every job done, carried only the date that day and poignantlywas never used again. With the loss of so many, it proved impossible to maintain the gardens and they slowly succumbed to the ravages of nature until they were rediscovered, ‘a sleeping beauty’, some thirty years ago. 

The image of those men, honourable and courageous, walking together to enlist in what they saw as a just cause, stayed in my mind, and I knew I had to record that moment in a novel. My fictional estate, Summerhayes, is nestled in the Sussex countryside, rather than Cornwall but like Heligan, it faces the threat of a war that looms ever closerIt also faces threats nearer to home. 

The daughter of the house, Elizabeth, is at odds with a society based on rigid gender and class divisions, that in The Buttonmaker’s Daughter burst into open conflict. She has struggled unsuccessfully to become a professional artist and now is forced to fight against her family’s choice of husband. Her adolescent brother, William, already a disappointment to his father, must confront his true sexuality. And a long-running feud with the Summers’ neighbours, fuelled by money and jealousy, intensifies to breaking point. As the sweltering heat builds to a storm, Elizabeth, her family and household, face danger on all sides. The summer of 1914 will change everything for them, as indeed it did for so many.

About Merryn

Merryn spent her childhood moving around as a soldier’s daughter, and the desire to travel stayed with her into adulthood when working for an airline introduced her to a vast range of people and adventures around the world. Later settling down in Sussex to raise a family, Merryn earned a PhD from the University of Sussex and for many years taught university literature until turning to her own writing. She has published six Regency period novels under the name Isabelle Goddard, and The Button Maker’s Daughter is the 5th title under Merryn Allingham. 

Follow Merryn on Twitter @MerrynWrites 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Review of The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon

The bit on the back...

Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with…

This is Paige's latest novel. I've read every single one of her books and have yet to not love one of them. I can remember the first book I read - Chasing Daisy - and now when I look back I think that was the first time I ever fell in love with a book boyfriend. Of course at that point I hadn't read Johnny be Good and lets just get it clear that Johnny Jefferson is up there with the all time book boyfriends! This story is all about triplets Pheobe, Eiza and Rose and the golden boy next door - Angus.

For the first time Paige brings you the narrative from more than one character which works perfectly because of the three very different girls and again the very different relationships each one of them has with Angus. Paige introduces each of the sisters and as they tell the story from their point of view you get to know what makes them unique but also what ties them together.

Paige is the golden girl and has first dibs on Angus. Rose and Eliza constantly clash and where Rose is safe, Eliza is a wild child. Paige takes you through their young adulthood into meeting Angus and into adulthood. At times, and without giving too much away, the story is heartbreaking - and not always in the most obvious way.

As usual you can expect a lot of laughs, romance, tears and tender moments throughout Paige's latest book, you can also expect the usual cameo of one of Paige's other characters and ahh, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for them! I really enjoyed the story, reading about each sister and recognising elements of the relationships they had with each other. As with all of Paige's other books I will undoubtedly be reading this again at some point, check out the rest of Paige's back collection to make sure you've not missed any!