Sunday, 30 December 2012

From Notting Hill to New York …. Actually by Ali McNamara


I have been sitting on the fence when it has come to Ali McNamara’s books. I remember reading From Notting Hill With Love….. Actually and I wasn’t over keen I found there was too many film references which to me felt like they took over the book but thinking back I think it could be because I am not a film buff a lot of the references were to films I had not read so in a way I didn’t understand the book. Then came Breakfast at Darcy’s which I loved and was one of my favourite books of 2011 so I was a little nervous about From Notting Hill to New York …. Actually.

Scarlett O'Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She's convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn't quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure - including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie's search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she's so in love with Sean . . .

I am not on the fence anymore! I am well and truly in Ali McNamara’s garden! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn’t have a very open mind when I started the book so it had a lot of work to do to change my mind. What really had me hooked in this book was that there was no way of predicting the big twist that lay ahead in this book. It wasn’t until around page 323 that I started to get a little feeling I knew what was about to happen! This gave the book an exciting feel to it.

The descriptive writing that is used around the hot spots of New York is fantastic it is quite clear that the author had taken out great first hand research and her experience is shown in the way she describes the places in the city, I actually feel as though I have seen a good part of New York!

To go along with this fantastic storyline is a great cast of characters all who help to make this an easy 5 star read. Scarlett is a fun, energetic character whose life feels like a constant rollercoaster! Her friend Oscar brings a great deal of laughs to the book he is going to be a character you don’t forget in a hurry!

My favourite part of the book is the treasure hunt I found myself trying to play along with the clues!

I am so glad my partner brought this for me for Christmas it just goes to show that your opinion can change drastically from book to book. I would definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to the next book by this author as I am sure there must be a follow on from this book. I will make sure I am front of the queue!


Kindle                       Paperback

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli Roland


I have just finished reading Talli Roland’s latest release The Pollyanna Plan. I couldn’t wait to get started with this one as I have enjoyed all of Talli’s previous books and this book has my favourite cover, it is one that would catch my attention from the shelves.

Thirty-something Emma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists, believing it's better to be realistic than delusional. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé in the same week, even Emma has difficulty keeping calm and carrying on. With her world spinning out of control and bolstered by a challenge from her best friend, Emma makes a radical decision. From here on in, she'll behave like Pollyanna: attempting to always see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea?


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and devoured this book in one sitting. Talli Roland manages to bring us a light and entertaining read but she also brings us a more delicate storyline involving Will. Having this more serious side showed a different side to the authors writing skills and has only made me love her work even more.

Both Emma and Will are both well-developed characters who are both in need of a little bit of positive mental attitude and as the book moves along you are hopeful that they will help each other pull themselves together and start living and enjoying life again.

It is unusual for me to prefer the male lead over the female because I usually find that authors tend to write same sex characters better, I assume because they can relate to them more but with this book Will was definitely my favourite character.

The Pollyanna Plan is by far my favourite book by this author. I will continue to look forward to her future releases.


I would also like to take this time to say a big congratulations to Talli on the birth of her baby xXx

Kindle

Friday, 28 December 2012

Once Upon a Christmas by Sarah Morgan


Sarah Morgan is an author I have only come across recently. After reading and enjoying Summer Kisses, when I heard she had also written a Christmas book I had to give it a go!

The structure of the book is the same as Summer Kisses where there are two stories in one book. Both are different storylines and feature different main characters, although previous supporting characters in the first story do re-appear in the second story.

Part one has to be my favourite. It has a festive feel to it unlike part 2 and the two main characters Bryony and Jack are both realistic and loveable characters. Bryony’s daughter has asked Father Christmas for a Daddy for Christmas and she is convinced that he will fulfil her Christmas wish as she has been extra specially good! But how does Bryony feel about letting another man into her life?

Although it is only a short story (which I am not usually a fan of) I was still engrossed in the storyline. Some of the storyline was rather predictable but it was a romantic, easy read and yet it wasn’t gushy which is what I typically expect from a Mills and Boon book.

What I preferred about Once Upon a Christmas compared to Summer Kisses is each story was wrapped up perfectly rather than coming to an abrupt and unexpected ending.

Part 2 of Once Upon a Christmas loses the festive feel but steps up the romance pace. Helen is nursing a broken heart but she is bot coping well as Oliver can see from the first time he lays eyes on her. Oliver is a handsome gentleman who goes out of his way to help Helen.

I did enjoy part 2 but not as much as part 1. You could see the ending mapped out from the first chapter. I wold love to see this author create a little suspense in her novels it is the only thing I feel she is missing from her writing.

The author’s stories remind me of Cathy Woodman’s books they give you enjoyable cosy village reads that are perfect for Winter reading. At the time of this review this book is currently only 99p on kindle so click the link below to grab it at this great price.


Paperback                 Kindle

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Kindle Treats

Well the big day has come and gone and I am sure many of you may have got a kindle for Christmas. I have had three friends round to help set their new Kindles up and all three asked the same books so what books can we download at fab prices so I thought it was time to do another Kindle treat for you all. Some of these books I have read and loved a whilst they are at this price they are a steal! Some of them I have yet to read but have downloaded the books today to my to be read pile so take a look and see if there is something for you.

( PRICE SHOWN IS AT TIME OF BLOG POST< PRICES FOR LIMITED TIME ONLY)

        99p                                £1.49                     99p                          99p



      99p                                  99p                       99p                        £1.99



     £1.99                            £1.49                       £1.99                     99p



      20p                              99p                               20p                            99p



   99p                              99p                           99p                             20p



I hope you find something here, I have downloaded The Greatest Love Story of All Time to start next.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Escape by Barbara Delinsky


I have had Escape by Barbara Delinsky on my to be read pile for a little while now. I have on a couple of occasions picked it up and read a few pages but I don’t think I was reading it at the right time so having picked it up this week I have whizzed through it in no time I am so glad I waited until now to read it.

Emily is a very down to earth understandable character. She has reached a point in her life where she feels her life needs to change direction, every avenue in her life be it her career or her relationship which seems to be taking a back seat, all seem to be dragging her down and she feels that she needs to get away from everything and so she walks away from her life to give her space to think about what she really wants to do with her life. Will she make the right choices and will her husband James still stand by her side after her unexpected disappearance?

I am sure we have all at some point in our life felt like taking a break from our current day to day life I have felt like this recently and I think this is why I fell into the storyline so quickly this time around because I could relate to the main character although I don’t think I would have the guts to just walk away from everything.

The author does create a little mystery in the book by only giving small details away at a time regarding Emily’s past and this keeps your interest in the book as well as wanting to know what Emily decides to do with her life.

There are a great cast of supporting characters a few of who have their own story that they bring to the book. There were many references to Coyotes in this book and although it seemed as though it brought a calming feel to Emily I didn't quite get what this had to do with the storyline but hey I am picking at loose ends here.

I would recommend this book especially at this time of year when we start to think of new years resolutions to make changes in our life this book will get the clogs going!

Paperback               Kindle

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Best Christmas Book 2012


This has got to be my best year yet for Christmas books!
So often when it comes to November and the festive covers hit the shelves it is hard to control my excitement and then inside is usually a lovely story but with no mention of Christmas.

This Year festivity has been flowing through all these wonderful books but now I have a problem...... How to pick the winning book !

It was so hard this year so much so this post was meant to be up 2 weeks ago but I couldn't decide between my final two.

I enjoyed all of the Christmas books this year but there were two that really stood out to me and they are 

With Love at Christmas by Carole Matthews
 A Winter Flame by Molly Johnson 

Both of these books are fantastically festive. Carole' s had a very warm cosycosy traditional Christmas feel to it and it was great to meet with the family again. Milly's had a very magical and exciting feel to it which brought the child out in me ! 

I have finally decided that the winning Christmas Book 2012 is ....

With Love at Christmas by Carole Matthews

Congratulations to Carole and if you haven't got your copy yet go and treat yourself or be sure to add it to your lilist to Santa ! I did say that I would be giving away a copy of the winning book but as it is Christmas I am going to be giving away a Christmas Book bundle to help get you in the festive mood! 

Because of the weight of the package this will be a UK giveaway only this time.


To be in with a chance of winning this book bundle enter below.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to all the authors and Publishers who sent me a copy of their books to review.

All That Mullarkey by Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is an author I have heard such great things about. Having been keeping an eye on some of her book reviews recently I decided to take the plunge and purchased All That Mullarkey for my new Kindle Fire I couldn't wait to try a book by this author to see if she was going to become one of my must have authors!


Revenge and love: it’s a thin line … The writing’s on the wall for Cleo and Gav. The bedroom wall, to be precise. And it says ‘This marriage is over.’

Wounded and furious, Cleo embarks on a night out with the girls, which turns into a glorious one night stand with… Justin, centrefold material and irrepressibly irresponsible. He loves a little wildness in a woman – and he’s in the right place at the right time to enjoy Cleo’s. But it’s Cleo who has to pick up the pieces – of a marriage based on a lie and the lasting repercussions of that night. Torn between laid-back Justin and control freak Gav, she’s a free spirit that life is trying to tie down. But the rewards are worth it!

Wow what a tense and unexpected start to a book! I took an instant dislike over the controlling Gav from the moment his marker pen touched that wall! I was urging Cleo to go and enjoy herself thinking she would sit there and wallow over this nasty message she had been left, but surprising she did go out and ummm, enjoyed herself a little more than I was thinking!

I loved Cleo's character although I couldn't relate to her (thankfully!) she does do things that I wouldn't do and things I couldn't understand like not running for the morning after pill HELLO!! That aside I still had to keep turning the pages to see what hole this woman was going to dig herself into next.

I loved Justin he was our hunk of the story I thought on first meeting he was going to be a Jack the Lad but he was my favourite character in the end. I did find the horrible story surrounding him a little predictable although there was a mysterious who did it scenario I did feel it was quite obvious but that could just be my Cluedo skills coming out!

I loved the authors writing style and the way she set the book in to two parts the first part had that tense Oh My God what is going to happen next feel to it where as the second part felt a little cosier as we see Cleo's life changing direction and her love for her child blossom.

I will be browsing through Sue Moorcrofts other books after reading this book it had me hooked.



Kindle                      Paperback

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas Gift ideas

I have been doing a little pretend shopping for you all. I have found a few gifts that are great for every book lover this Christmas. If your partner is one of these who thinks it is a good idea to get you something for the kitchen or a tool box then send him this way to get a couple of hints!

These would make great stocking fillers!

Keyrings                   Story Cubes          Kindle/book light     Morph Book Mark


Keeping your books tidy with these...


Book Ends...


These are unlikely to be on the High Street!


Book Cuff links      Personalise book mark  Bath Book Caddy


Christmas 2012 Must have books







If you really love someone and want to spoil them then one of these may put a smile on their faces!

Kindle 6"                Kindle Paperwhite   Kindle Fire HD


I hope these have given you a little idea of what to buy the bookworm in your life!
Keep your eyes peeled for a Christmas give away this week!


Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Green Ticket by Samantha March


I was both excited and nervous to read The Green Ticket by Samantha March , when I don’t have my nose in a book I am running my beauty salon and so my two main passions in life were coming together I was hoping that I was going to love this book.

College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.

While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself –– is growing up.  Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle?

Alex is a genuinely warm character who takes on a huge responsibility for a twenty year old by running a spa salon.  Throughout the book she has some difficult situations to deal with and I think she seemed very mature the way she dealt with the situations I had to keep reminding myself she was only twenty!

The salon relationships between the colleagues felt very realistic and it felt as though the author had spent some time behind the scenes at a spa to see the way things work, this comes across well in the book. The description of the spa and treatments were very interesting and informative and really set the perfect scene. There are some wonderful friendships in this book and when the girls get together it brought a fun feel to the book. I did find parts of the book a little predictable but I loved reading Alex’s journey in her new career. I had warning alarms going of in my head from our first meeting with Kevin I was just waiting for things to kick off.

I was expecting there to be some stereotypical references in this book as there always are when it comes to our trade but the author showed the professional side of Beauty rather than the fake looking therapist painting pink polish. So in the end the book was a joy to read and I found myself relaxing into the storyline.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this book I look forward to reading more books by this author.  




Monday, 3 December 2012

The Secret Supper Club by Dana Bate


I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Secret Supper Club by Dana Bate other than I was sure it was going to make my taste buds dance and my tummy rumble!

Starter If twenty-six-year-old Hannah Sugarman had her way, she'd be whipping up carrot cakes and running her culinary empire. Instead, she spends her hours cooking up papers on the financial crisis. It doesn't help that no one in her life takes her passion seriously - not even her boyfriend. 

Main When her relationship implodes, Hannah decides to jump-start her life by hosting a secret supper club out of her landlord's flat. Her underground operation presents some problems. Running an unlicensed restaurant out of someone's home is not, technically speaking, legal.

Dessert As the success of Hannah's supper club grows, so do the number of secrets she is forced to keep. Can Hannah keep her pop-up restaurant underground? When mysterious guests turn up for dinner, can she handle the heat? Or will she have to step out of the kitchen? A charming romantic comedy, The Secret Supper Club is a story about finding yourself, fulfilling your dreams, and falling in love along the way.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book. The author creates a fun and loving character in Hannah, she did remind me a little of myself in the way that even though she is getting older and she has moved out from home she still feels she needs to please her parents and rise to their expectations but I think this just showed her lack of confidence as if she truly believed in the career path she wanted to take then she would have stood up to them but it is all parts like this which made her character feel more full bodied.

There are plenty of food lists, discussions and shopping trips in this book which means you have food constantly on the brain and if that isn’t enough for the food lovers out there then wait until you discover the recipes that are in the book too!

I found the book a little predictable but this didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the book. I loved Blake’s character he felt like a trustworthy gentleman where as Jacob came with a loud warning alert signal for me and so I had my guard up about him from the word go. My only little negative point to this book is although the ending was tied up nicely with no lose strings I did feel the last few chapters of the book felt a little rushed but overall this was an enjoyable tantalising read and I will be looking out for more books from this author in the future.

This book isn't officially out until the 6th December but I have seen it hiding in WHSmiths so keep your eyes peeled!!


Paperback               Kindle

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd


I have had Thursdays in the Park sitting on my kindle for a little while now and when It started getting called “granny-lit” I had to move this to the front of my To Be Read list to see what on earth this book could be about to be called a granny-lit I was just hoping that at 27 years of age I would be OK reading this!

PLOT
What do you do if you've been married to a man for half your life and out of nowhere he leaves your bed – permanently? When this happens to Jeanie, she's furious and hurt, and determined to confront George, her husband of thirty years. Is he in love with someone else? What did she do wrong? He won't tell her. 

The brightest day of her week is Thursday, the day Jeanie takes her granddaughter to the park. There, one day, she meets Ray and his grandson. Ray is kind, easy to talk to, and gorgeous – everything George isn't. She starts to live for Thursdays. But does she have the courage, in the teeth of opposition from all sides, to turn her life upside down for another shot at love?

I think the whole term “granny-lit” is going to be met with the same angry faces as “chick-lit” but please don’t let this term put you off because I actually really enjoyed this book. It made a change to have a main character who is approaching 60 as our typical heroines tend to be 25-35 years of age so this made for a nice change reading about the older generation. Jeanie is a very realistic character who leads a very normal life and she is in a marriage that has had its ups and downs and unfortunately like a lot of marriages Jeanie can feel her marriage slipping away. I love how realistic the whole of this book felt nothing seemed far-fetched it almost felt as though Jeanie was a friend sitting there telling you her story.

The majority of the book did flow well but towards the end it did feel as though it was being drawn out a bit and going around in circles but it wasn’t long before the storyline got on track again and then tied us up with a perfect ending. I also found the baby talk from Ellie was a little grating but I often find this when authors try to write a young character into a story.

The book covers a wide range of issues such as abuse, secrecy and affairs but one thing that it is not heavy on ( just in case you believe all you read in the media) is sex. Yes there are a couple of sex scenes but they are not graphic or distasteful, they are fitting in with the storyline and do not make you feel uncomfortable.

This is definitely worth reading especially at the current Kindle price of only 20p !


Kindle                      Paperback

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Scarlett Bailey brings a little touch of festivity to America!

This is great news for my American followers we have some beautiful new kindle covers for Scarlett Baileys books what do you think of them?




Monday, 26 November 2012

A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams


A Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams has to get top marks from me for the traditional festive cover, a snow covered setting with a family singing carols around the tree and yes a nice sprinkling of glitter in the title, oooooooo I am looking forward to this one!

PLOT

With four children, a Christmas cookbook to write, and her mum suffering from dementia, Cat Tinsall has plenty to juggle. When her eldest daughter, Mel, starts going off the rails, Cat has even more on her plate.

Pippa Holliday adores her family, although often finds her hands full. When Dan is involved in a terrible accident, Pippa’s world is suddenly turned upside down.

Balancing her job as a school teacher with twins and her step-son Steven isn’t easy for Marianne North. With her husband’s ex causing trouble, life is getting even trickier. As Cat, Pippa and Marianne help each other through a difficult year, they’re all hoping for a much brighter Christmas.

I adored all the storylines surrounding each of the characters and the author manages to bring all the characters together so that their stories come together and each of the characters support each other which shows the solidarity of the friendship between Pippa, Marianne and Kat. The relationship between these characters seemed so natural.

Many day to day challenges are focused on in this book from budget cuts and how they have an effect on families, to the challenging demands disabilities have on loved one’s. There is also another situation regarding Cat’s daughter Mel which I can not mention as it would be a spoiler alert, but the way the author manages to show us both Cat and Mel’s feelings on the matter was very realistic and well written.

Julia Williams does bring us a little festive read but she also managed to bring a tear to my eye on a couple occasions but particularly on page 264 so be aware.

I didn’t realise that A Merry Little Christmas was a sequel and personally I didn’t have a problem reading it as a stand alone boo, I did find it took a little while to get used to who was who which maybe had I read the first book I may have found it easier to tell the characters apart easier but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book anyway!

This is one of my favourite Christmas books this year and one I highly recommend I may even treat myself to Last Christmas if I have pennies left at the end of the month just to meet the characters again!

Book cover



Festive Feel


Review over all





Paperback              Kindle

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Mistletoe in Manhattan by Talli Roland


I am coming to the end of my Festive reads ( is this bad for November!) Next on my list was Mistletoe in Manhattan by Talli Roland, I have  read all of Talli’s previous books and loved all of them they are easy reads with loveable heroines so I was looking forward to starting this one.

Our Heroine this time is Holly West and she is a modern day girl but she lacks the festive spirit that her parents have. Holly’s parents run a Christmas Party Planning company and Holly works for them, when a call comes through offering a chance to organise a Christmas themed party for a celebrity Holly sees this as a big break and snaps up the job and gets ready to travel to Manhattan to start the planning alone. Will Holly’s efforts pay off?

Mistletoe in Manhattan is a great short read that will get you in the festive mood whilst travelling home from work on these cold dark evenings. I devoured this book in under 2 hours, it was an easy read that was fun and festive and delivers an important message not to forget what Christmas is really about. I am not a fan of short stories I can only actually think of one that I previously enjoyed, so I was glad that Talli managed to add to my little list!

Looking for a little festive fun that will warm your wintry nights this Christmas then Mistletoe in Manhattan is the perfect little treat for you.

Festive Feel


Book Cover


Review over all





Kindle

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Vets in Love by Cathy Woodman


I absolutely adore Cathy Woodman’s books and I still feel she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.

Cathy has taken this book down a slightly different path this time with our main character Nikki being a GP rather than a vet which is what I think is what has brought the spark back from the first two books as I think Cathy had done all she can with vets as lead characters in Talyton st George, so having Nikki has brought a breath of fresh air to this book. Nikki is a down to earth, loveable character who loves to ride her horse Willow and takes part in horse events.

As love looks like it could be blossoming between Nikki and the handsome local vet Matt, problems begin to develop and Matt soon gives Nikki an ultimatum Him or riding, stuck between a rock and hard place what discussion will Nikki make?

We see a number of characters from the previous books return to make an appearance in this book which gave the book a cosy and familiar feeling but having said this they do not have important roles so you can easily read this book as a standalone book.

What I love about Cathy’s writing is it flows so effortlessly and at an even keel enveloping you into the storyline straight from the first chapter and carries you right the way through to a perfect ending without feeling rushed and also with no low points in the book which would make you want to skim through the pages when you lose interest.

These books are great for readers who love believable romance and stories set in cosy little villages, oh and a love of animals help but is not essential!

I highly recommend this book although not one to get you in the festive mood as the topic of Christmas is only briefly touched upon, this would still make a perfect Christmas gift.


Paperback                Kindle

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas is coming!!

With Christmas only weeks away we have a few things coming up most importantly

* Christmas Book 2012 Winner announced and a giveaway!

I will also be putting together a list of possible Christmas gifts ideal for us bookworms so you can send your other half over here for inspiration, I know what I have on my wish list (hint below!)



We have 2 more Christmas reviews coming up this week so keep your eyes peeled.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

You Had me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane


‘Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them.’ ‘You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?’ ‘I think you’ve missed the point, Rachel.’ Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away. They’d been partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on: Ben is married. Rachel is not. Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.



I first of all have to comment on Mhairi Mcfarlane’s writing skill which is very sharp and witty and it comes across so naturally. I think the humour is also helped by the book being set in my home country so I easily understood the great British banter and made this book even more entertaining.

Our main character Rachel is an intelligent, humorous down to earth character who soon feels as though she is a good friend and I found that the delicious Ben brings out the best in her character and this is where I had my laugh out loud moments with the interaction between the two best friends. There were quite a few supporting characters in this book from friends on both Ben and Rachel’s sides and also work colleagues but they were all enjoyable characters and played great parts in the book.

Although I have read many books with “the one who got away” topic this book definitely has a fresh feel to it and doesn’t feel similar to anything I have read before and I didn’t feel that the book was overly predictable in fact there was a number of unexpected twists that you stumble across whilst devouring the book. The book jumps back and forth between Rachel and Ben’s time at Uni together to 10 years on and this allows us to see the characters grown and develop whilst finding out what happened in their early years to then lead to 10 years with no contact.

This is a modern day love story that will have you gripped from their first meeting. You will be laughing out loud and also having your heart strings pulled all the way through this book.

You Had Me At Hello is available now on kindle and at an amazing 99p!! This will be the best 99p you have spent this year. If you have not converted to the world of Kindle yet then the paperback is due for release on the 6th December.



Kindle                      Paperback

Saturday, 10 November 2012

When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson


Miranda is back this year with another fantastic read When I Fall in Love, this lady continually brings us stunning covers containing beautiful storylines you have got to love her.

Elsie Maynard never expected to be starting again...

 ...but eighteen months on from the biggest challenge of her life, she is doing just that –because she made a promise to the person who believed in her the most. Determined to step into her uncertain future, Elsie meets handsome Oliver Hogarth, who seems intent on winning her heart; she inadvertently founds a choir, and overcomes obstacles – most of which involve arrogant Torin Stewart. Then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the final item on ‘The List’ that she never dared complete. 

Can Elsie follow her heart and put her past to rest?

I loved our heroine in this book, Elsie has just had the toughest eighteen months of her life but she now has to take the steps to start building a new life. Out of all of the storylines Miranda has brought us this is the one that touched my heart the most. Elsie has an edge of vulnerability about her but after finding out what it is that has occurred in her life you actually think how well she is coping and you can’t help but hope that with each step she takes in building her new life she will start to mend her heartache and start to find happiness. She is a very selfless character and is instantly loveable.

I have to say this is one of the rare books where I loved each and individual character in this book from members of the Maynard family who really show the meaning of family support, to each member of Elsie’s new venture all who are very different from each other and bring a something different to the storyline.
I loved both Torin and Oliver who were our male characters and I never quite knew all the way through who if either of them Elsie would open her heart to. Miranda’s descriptive writing is back again giving us a mini tour of Paris which has made me rather excited about my trip there for New Year now.

It is quite clear that Miranda has brought her own personal interests in music and singing into this book and I think that is why the book flows so well because it was so natural for her to right about something that is a great interest to her. I was hoping that there would be a little hint of festivity in this book but unfortunately there wasn’t any, and yet I still thoroughly enjoyed this touching read.

A very emotional and moving read that I highly recommend.

Book Review over all



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Thursday, 8 November 2012

Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones

I am a big fan of Christmas so other than my favourite authors turning up on Christmas day to play silly games and eat my Christmas dinner surely the next best thing is when one of your favourite authors release a Christmassy book!

I was so delighted when Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones arrived on my doorstep as this is one writer who get s me in the holiday spirit with her writing so surely she can get me in the festive mood too!

Imagine waking up in a snow globe... That's how travel journalist Krista feels when she arrives in magical Quebec to report on Canada's glittering Winter Carnival. Over ten sub-zero days Krista's formerly frozen heart begins to melt as she discovers an enchanting world of ice palaces, husky dog-sledding and maple-syrup treats galore. And then she meets Jacques, a man as handsome and rugged as he is mysterious... The two share a secret that could bond them forever, but can they find a way to break through the protective layers around their hearts to warm up this winter wonderland? ...let the snow-spangled adventure begin.

Wow..... Although we don’t have the festive roast cooking or Santa popping down the chimney this book still brings the perfect backdrop, I am talking the cold chill with our friend snow, cute fluffy dogs pulling sledges..... oh I am in my element!
How does this author manage to wrap you up in the setting so much so that you feel like you have been to the location! Belinda Jones is back in full swing this year, she needs to be on commission because her beautiful and informative writing skill has sparked an interest in me to visit Quebec, now that is saying something for me because I only do Summer holidays!

The author also manages to give you a tour of Quebec and gives you a number of facts and many must see sights but all of this is weaved perfectly into a great storyline. I loved each and every character in this book, there were more than our fair share of tasty men to choose from. Our Heroine Krista took a little time to warm to but as the story progressed her character softened and became an enjoyable character to read and towards the end of the book when you find out her secret she becomes even more loveable. The ending was rather predictable to me but this didn't ruin it for me it was great to watch what you had a feeling was going to happen unfold. I am a hopeless romantic so this book was perfection for me with the gentle romance blossoming in this picturesque scene.

I am sure this book will be a hit this Christmas my one and only negative about this book is that I wasn't invited along to help with the research that Belinda clearly undertook for this book!



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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Belinda Jones Interview

We have another great Christmas book being released this week, Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones.

We have been lucky enough to catch up with Belinda to find out a little more about her new book and the adventure she undertook to help create this fantastic read.


1) Tell us a little about your new book.
Sparkling snow. A ye olde fairytale kingdom in the midst of a Winter Carnival. Maple syrup pie. Hundreds of Husky dogs. And a man called Jacques.

2) What research did you have to do for this book?
I think the most significant 'research' was sleeping on a bed of ice at the Hotel de Glace! I really felt I had to have first-hand experience to write about it, especially since it's the opening scene in the book, but oh my! Never again! All through the night I kept checking my nose was still there and hadn't snapped off like an icicle. Compared to that, the rest of the research was a breeze, or rather a sub-zero lacerating wind. But I've always loved big fluffy hats and fleecy mittens so it was actually fun to be thigh-deep in snow. I basically spent a week in Quebec during their fabulous Winter Carnival and a couple of days prior in Montreal. Plus I've been going to Cirque du Soleil shows for the past ten years (one of the characters is an extremely bendy aerialist) so that came in handy!


3) What was your favourite book of yours to write and why?
Until now it was I LOVE CAPRI because the idea for that literally came to me in a dream and it was heavenly to keep re-visiting Capri, even if it was just in my imagination after the first visit. But now, it's definitely WINTER WONDERLAND. I fell head-over-heels in love with Quebec, it's such a magical place and I've never written a book so fast, the words were pouring out of me (and it can be such a tortuous extraction process!) so it really was a pleasure, even the passages that had me streaming with tears as I wrote them! Not that it's a sad book but one of the themes is particularly poignant!


4) What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
I'm still in the midst of reading The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. It's a brilliantly funny and fascinating exploration of the 'happiest' countries in the world from a former foreign correspondent, who spent most of his career reporting from the most miserable, desperate places! There's even a chapter on the UK! I recently went to hear this author talk at a book festival in Charlottesville, Virginia... I was a bit early so I stopped into this cafe for a chai latte and to read one more chapter (on Bhutan!) and this man approached me and said, 'How are you enjoying the book?' and I went into this gushy rave and then he said, 'I wrote that.' It's always been a dream of mine to see a stranger reading my book and it was such a kick to have that reversed in this way. His talk was hilarious and of course I got him to sign my copy! "Follow your bliss!" Good advice for one and all!


5) What I love about your writing is the descriptive writing of various locations abroad, is there anywhere you havn't been that you would like to go? 
Thank you! And yes, so many places! Madagascar and Galapagos for the animal life. After visiting Quebec, I'd love to see more of Canada, particularly the polar bears of Manitoba. And then St Petersburg, Russia. For the vodka!


6) Are you currently working on your next book and if so is there anything you can tease us with!
I am! In fact my deadline is January so I'd better get a bloomin' move on! It's a cake-themed caper around New England called THE TRAVELLING TEA SHOP. A group of British women (including Laurie who you will meet in WINTER WONDERLAND) take a scenic road trip across seven states to trade classic English recipes such as Battenburg and Victoria Sponge for American favourites such as New York Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake, Boston Creme Pie and Whoopie Pie! (Both pies are in fact cakes!) Three of the women are related and there's a bit of family drama going on there, not to mention the fact that they are taking this trip in a red London bus! There are some great stops along the way, including Manhattan, Cape Cod, the Von Trapp Lodge in Vermont and my personal favourite, Newport, Rhode Island which has strong ties with Downton Abbey! All will be revealed, including a host of yummy recipes, autumn 2013!



7) You are stuck on a desert Island what are your 3 must have items?
1. A frozen yoghurt machine dispensing some refreshingly zingy flavour like lime. 
2. My dog Bodie. Watching him romp at the beach is one of my greatest pleasures in life! He's even learning to swim - albeit with chin in the air and a slightly panicked look on his face. Plus he could dig us a nice sleeping hole. 
3. A notebook and pen so I can write about the experience! 


Thank you Belinda for taking the time to talk and to tease us!
My review of Winter Wonderland will be on the blog on Thursday.
There will also be a chance to win your own copy of Winter Wonderland!


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