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Saturday, 8 May 2021

The Backpacking Bride by Janice Horton Giveaway

 


It is time for another giveaway!

The very generous author Janice Horton is offering a SIGNED yes SIGNED copy of her latest book The Backpacking Bride.

Lorraine Anderson was meant to be making a Sunday roast, not swanning off to Thailand, backpack in hand! But when she finds her husband and her best friend in bed together there’s only one thing to do – grab her passport and never look back!

Now, with each mile travelled Lori sheds the woman she once was and finds the woman she was always meant to be. A woman of passion and spirit who deserves to explore the great unknown…and to indulge in the temptation she encounters along the way!


Janice is a keen traveller and this comes across in her writing, check out her website https://thebackpackinghousewife.com/ where there is a host of information on different destinations she has been to, travel tips as well as more info on her books.

Thank you so much to Janice for offering up this prize as she has been a constant support since the very start of Rea Book Reviews back in the Love A Happy Ending  days!

This giveaway is open to the UK only.

Good Luck



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Cally Taylor Giveaway

 


To celebrate my blogs 10 year blogversary I have a giveaway to share with you.

To be in with a chance of winning 
Hard Back copy of Her Last Holiday by Cally Taylor
Notebook
Chocolate 
Pen
bundle enter below!

This giveaway is open worldwide but if you are an overseas winner please be aware there are still delivery delays due to covid.



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Happy 10 Years to my little blog

 


Hello!

Today my little blog has reached a milestone and has been up and running for 
10 Years!

This week with this blogversary looming and as I was preparing for some giveaways for you all to celebrate the occasion it has made me look back on some wonderful memories that my little corner of the internet has allowed me to create.

From receiving my first ever box of books to review by Harper Collins after they saw my reviews on a site I shared my books on called Dooyoo ( I don't even think this is still around now?) wow that really felt like Christmas that day, this really kicked off my reviews and my relationship with various publishing houses began to blossom.

Being invited to author events which took me 3 years to pluck up the courage to attend! My first being one of my all time favourite authors Rowan Coleman and that feeling of meeting someone who has brought so much joy and entertainment is a feeling that never goes away each time you are privileged to meet them.




To winning Book Blogger of the year! 
This has to be one of the most emotional and memorable points of my blog. I have always been someone who fades into the background unnoticed ( and safe!) so when I was at work in a treatment and my phone started ping ping pinging a lot of extra pings from Julie Boon from Boons Bookcase and Laura Delve over at Laura Patricia Rose I was in complete and utter shock that people had took the time to vote for my little bookish ramblings and that moment is one of the best moments of my life and one I can not thank all my followers for enough.

From making so many book loving friends from author, bloggers and readers who over the last two years have been my absolute rocks and have pulled me through the most difficult time of my life after losing my husband in a tragic way and have actually managed to provide me with my little space of normality and for that I thank you so so so much.

My biggest thanks of all though has to go to Amanda Nason and Laura Delve because without these ladies support I would have given up on my little blog, as since taking a few months off after my loss I have fallen off of the publishers and authors lists and with so many bloggers around now it felt like my time to step away from the blog but these ladies have been a constant support and it is thanks to you that this milestone was reached today. 

I am back to reading trying to find the perfect little gems that I do not want my followers to miss and I am also now making bookmarks too and I am hoping to offer more bookish gift ideas too.


So to celebrate my 10 years blogging I will be running a few giveaways, they will all be up over the course of the day, on the blog and on my various social media platforms so be sure to be following on all of them so you do not miss out!


Once again Thank you so much for your continued support and good luck in the giveaways!

Friday, 7 May 2021

A Taste of Home by Heidi Swain

 



Our much loved author Heidi Swain is back with another Summery read that will get your green fingers twitching and your tastebuds tingling in her new novel A Taste of Home. 

I was so grateful to be asked to be a part of her book tour for this book because although I have loved each and every book by Heidi, none have ever quite got close to hitting her debut off of the top spot for me as The Cherry Tree Cafe but A Taste of Home has come mightily close so this book needs shouting about!


  



Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…

Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?


I needed a book hug and I knew the author I could go to who would give me a comforting uplifting storyline with familiarity and a community spirit would be Heidi Swain so I was counting on A Taste of Home to warm my heart.

Fliss has grown up surrounded by the love of the only family she has ever known on the Rossi’s family farm in Puglia, but after the death of her mum she is handed a letter from her revealing that her biological family are from a little town called Wynbridge in England and she urges her to go to meet them.

When she arrives at Fenview farm and meets her Grandfather she soon finds that both need her love, care and attention and with farming in her blood she is determined to get their families fruit farm thriving again.

We are taken back to the idyllic town of Wynbridge and visit the much loved Cherry Tree Café but if you are reading this review and haven’t read any of Heidi’s novels before don’t be put off if this will be your first visit to Wynbridge because this can easily be read as a standalone novel you will just find that the town and its community will get under your skin and you will soon be reaching for The Cherry Tree Café book too!

I do love books that have strong willed and determined women who are determined to start up businesses and I was really routing for Fliss to make a success with her ambitious plans after making such a big decision to step away from the family she has always known to make a new start in a new country with a family she has only just found out about.

Fliss wastes no time in attracting male attention and finds herself in a love triangle but it is clear that her heart lays with one man more so, no matter how much idle gossip tries to change her mind!

The community spirit that Heidi always manages to bring to each of her novels is plentiful in A Taste of Home and Fliss is taken under their wings finding great friends and business opportunities along the way to make her feel that her new roots in England are here to stay. There was plenty of mouth-watering treats that were being baked in this book which got my taste buds tingling!

I have loved all of Heidi Swain’s novels but The Cherry Tree Café has always been my absolute favourite with none of her other books coming close to my love of this book but I have to say that A Taste of Home is sitting pretty up there alongside it now as this one captured my heart just as much. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this feel good comforting storyline and I can’t wait to hopefully get a glimpse at the progress Fliss has made in future books set in Wynebridge.

 

Kindle                     Paperback

Thursday, 29 April 2021

The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary

 



Beth O’Leary blew me away with her debut novel The Flatshare as it was a completely new concept that was written in a unique way. She then released The Switch which was another wonderful read which didn’t disappoint so I was excited for her new release The Road Trip.

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend's wedding in rural Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie's ex, Dylan, who she's avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.


Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they've totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four-hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can't avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship...


Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly, is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

 

This was a modern witty read with a bumpy romance along the way. With each chapter alternating between Addie and Dylan’s points of view we begin to build a true picture of their romance and I could see the chemistry between them was intense and that they were meant to be together so I was wracking my mind trying to work out what had happened to put an end to their relationship but what was revealed was not something I had expected at all and it really touched my heart for them both.

Addie and Dylan were both friendly, caring and honest characters who were both from very different backgrounds. Dylan’s friend Marcus was a live wire and I certainly had an air of caution around him as much as he helped to provide some of the humour along the way.

The storyline is uplifting and full of energy flowing at a fast paced with no dull moments for your mind to wander which is surprising considering some of the issues that are touched upon in the storyline. The author has made both her lead characters so life like with both Addie and Dylan having flaws that they both take ownership of and this was quite refreshing to have and made it feel like a more realistic storyline even if it was a huge coincidence that they happened to have a crash on the way to the same place!

I loved The Road Trip just as much has her debut The Flatshare and after three flawless novels I think I can now safely say I am a Beth O’Leary fan and will definitely be pre-ordering her next novel as soon as we are able to do so as her books are definitely ones not to be missed.


Thursday, 22 April 2021

A Postcard from Paris by Alex Brown

 


I am beyond thrilled to be part of the blog tour for A Postcard From Paris as I am Alex Brown's BIGGEST fan! ( Yes I did give myself that number one spot!)
I have loved each and everyone of Alex's novels but this one is definitely up there with my favourite of hers so check out my review and see if this one needs to make its way onto your bookshelf.



Annie Lovell is keen to put the spark back into her life and when her elderly neighbour inherits an abandoned Parisian apartment she goes to Paris to discover more. Her curiosity takes an unexpected turn on discovering a bundle of secret diaries hidden within the walls, detailing the life of a young English woman, Beatrice Crawford, who volunteered in 1916 to nurse the soldiers in the fields of France.
 
Captivated by the romantic City of Light, Annie realises first appearances are not always as they seem. Following Beatrice’s journey from the Great War, through the Roaring Twenties and to a very different life in Nazi-occupied Paris, Annie must piece together the events from the past, if she is to fulfil the legacy that Beatrice left for her to find…


I really missed not having a book by Alex Brown to lose myself in in 2020 but I kept seeing her social media showing updates on her writing process and cover reveals which gave me something to look forward to for 2021. As much as I am not a fan of reading on my kindle I was so desperate to read A Postcard From Paris that I couldn’t wait for the paperback release and having now finished reading A Postcard from Paris I can tell you all, this was well worth the wait so I forgive her for not giving me a book last year!

Annie needs some excitement in her life and the perfect opportunity arises when her elderly friend Joanie inherits an apartment and boutique in Paris left to her by a Beatrice Archambeau but she doesn’t know who the lady is. Annie embarks on a mission to try and find out who Beatrice was and as she uncovers the diaries she kept during the war she begins to form a picture of the courageous woman, but what is the connection between Joanie and Beatrice?

This was such a heart warming and insightful read, certainly up there with my favourite novel by Alex Brown. The storyline is predominantly told from Annie’s point of view but we get a wonderful insight into the life Beatrice lead through her own words in her diaries and I for one am not great with dual time frames but with the past being unravelled to us in this way made it all the more engaging and I looked forward to the chapters where we would be taken back in time to see what a courageous woman Beatrice was and to gradually pick up little pieces of the puzzle to see how everything fit.

The part Beatrice played in the war was portrayed well and gave a small insight into the way they all lived in constant fear and secrecy to stay safe but with thanks to a few brave souls who put their own lives at risk to protect others some lives were spared.

The author describes in such detail the beauty of Paris, I longed to be sat outside Odette with Annie, Maggie and Kristen on the cobbled street under the red canopies eating freshly baked patisseries experiencing my own Parisian adventure!

I found I was equally invested in both Annie and Beatrice lives so I enjoyed moving back and forth between the characters watching them grow, with Annie building firm friendships and finally taking time to look around and find enjoyment in her life. The novel was such a positive and uplifting read full of bravery, friendships, new beginnings and a touch of romance too.

I am a huge Alex Brown fan and her fictitious village Tindledale is a favourite of mine so I was so thrilled to see Tindledale and a could of the old characters pop up and have a connection in this novel.

I highly recommend A Postcard From Paris with its mix of modern chic Parisian charm and heartwarming, heroic history.



Kindle                      Paperback

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

 



I am late to the party when it comes to reading The Foundling by Stacey Halls, I remember the book jacket popping up online and thinking what a beautiful intricate looking cover and I read many reviews praising the book so I am thrilled to have finally got around to reading it.

 

Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything . . .

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London's Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, Bess is astonished to be told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl - and why.

Less than a mile from Bess's lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend - an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital - persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

From the bestselling author of The Familiars comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds . . .

This is certainly one of these books you wonder why on earth you left it so long to read because it was an addictive and captivating read that held my attention the whole way through. The authors writing style is exquisite with subtle descriptions that brought the characters and their surroundings to life.

Historical fiction is not a genre I often opt for but this book which was set in 1754 in London really intrigued me and I didn’t realise that The Foundling hospital was real, it sparked my interest so much I found myself online looking up more information on it as I was so shocked that this place was actually real. The author has quite clearly taken a keen interest and undertook substantial research in the hospital this shows in her writing.

Bess was easy to warm to from the moment we are introduced to her and my heart instantly went out to her having to give her child away, I was eager to see her reclaim her baby Clara so when this wasn’t possible, I was heartbroken for her.

I love a book that questions my morals and values and this certainly does just that. I always feel like I am confident in knowing right from wrong but this is another storyline that blurs the lines between and has you doubting your views knowing that something is definitely illegal but actually you kind of agree is right and you can understand why they made the decision.

The ending all came together perfectly and left me with a warm fuzzy feeling. I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be picking up The Familiars next and will be looking forward to her next release Mrs England.

 

Paperback                  Kindle

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