Monday, 28 November 2011

High-Heels & Slippers! by Ella Slayne

I have just finished High Heels and Slippers by author Ella Slayne. This is Ella’s first novel which I have to say I was a little nervous about reading as I have has 6 debut books sent to me over the last month and each one I have struggled through the first few chapters and have had to stop. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be the case with High Heels and Slippers.

Firstly I have to say I love the title of the book and I think it shows the two sides to our main character Josie. She is great at her job and she seems to take pride in her work and also her appearance whilst she is there but just like me when Josie goes home it is time to kick of those formal shoes and get comfy and think about going to the gym to lose those few extra pounds and to get fit!

Josie is finding it hard to get over the affair with Bob who is married and also her boss. It’s not too long before her head is turned in a different direction by the help of the gorgeous Callum. Just when things start to look promising with Callum, Josie receives a Facebook message which means her going back to the U.K. I was expecting Josie at this time to feel a little bit torn as to what she should do but she seemed very much in control of her thoughts and emotions and knew what she had to do for the best.

I felt that Josie’s character had a similar feel to Becky from The Shopaholic series who is one of my favourite characters and I think that is because of her gentle but somewhat ditzy character traits, especially with the letters which she writes at the beginning of each chapter and her friendship with her best friend.

I would have liked to have read a little more about the relationship between Josie and Callum and for there to have been a little more depth to the storyline but in my opinion for a debut novel this was an enjoyable and entertaining read and an author I would look out for in the future.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

It's A Vets Life by Cathy Woodman

We currently have a Give Away running on our blog for you to win your own copy of Cathy Woodman’s new novel It’s a Vets Life, I have just finished reading my copy of this book and I thought I would put my review of this book straight up so you know what you have to look forward to if you are the lucky winner!

Long, irregular hours; occasional risk of injury; often smelly and dirty. Job satisfaction guaranteed.
This is the life Maz Harwood signed up to when she became a vet, and she has never regretted it. She now has a beautiful baby boy, George, and she will be marrying fellow vet, Alex Fox-Gifford, at Christmas.
But recently things have become difficult. Because between arranging the wedding, performing life-saving animal surgery, and taking care of George, there hasn't been much time left for poor Alex.
So Maz decides to take things into her own hands - with terrible consequences for all concerned.
As Christmas draws near, Maz realises that she's going to need more than a miracle for her and Alex to make it up the aisle and rekindle the love they had once shared.

My Opinion
This book was sent to me for our Christmas 2011 book competition. The cover of this book is still in keeping with the style of the previous three books by Cathy Woodman but it has got the Christmas touch which stands out among the shelves, with a snowy setting and the sparkly snow flakes on the cover it is in true fitting for this time of year.

I really enjoyed the previous two books and so when I heard there was a third instalment based in the lovely fictional village of Talyton St George I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

The first thing I will mention about this book is that it is not imperative that you read the previous books first as this is an easy read and you can pick the storyline up straight from the first chapter. When any points are mentioned about the previous books you are given enough detail so as you don’t lose your way in the story. Having said this I would still say that it is well worth picking up the previous two books as they are lovely reads and allow you to get to know the characters more.

What I have always loved about Cathy Woodmans style of writing is that each of her books are so believable it really does feel as though you are reading about a traditional devon village with normal everyday country folks typical day to day life. I found this book had the same feel to it and I found myself getting lost in the little village’s events. There was one chapter in the book which came as a big shock for me involving Maz’s father in-law to be which did put a little downer on the book for me as it really didn’t fit into this beautifully written series, I found it very unexpected and out of place. Having said this, the scenario I am talking about wasn’t drawn out to long so I soon found myself getting back to the comfortable feel of the book.

We get to see many of the characters from the previous books which gave a feeling familiarity to the book. I did find my feelings towards Alex’s character changed in this book.

I love the ending of this book where the Christmas feel comes into place and the story is wrapped up like a perfect little present, I am hoping now that the Talyton St George series has come to an end as I think this was a perfect finish to a wonderful set of three books. I will always look out for books by Cathy Woodman as she really has a unique style of writing which I cannot compare to any other author whose books I have read.

I would definitely recommend you pick this book up. I am giving this book a 4 star rating, I would have given the full 5 star but It was a shame the only Christmas part to the book was in the last chapter and also because of the scenario involving Maz’s father in-law.
If you would like to enter our give away to win your own copy then click here!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Give away.

Could the jolly post man be knocking on your door with an early Christmas book!
I am currently reading Cathy Woodman's It's A Vets Life and am enjoying every page so far. For your chance to win your own copy of It's a Vets Life please fill out the form on the link below.

Give away closes Friday 2nd December.

Good Luck!!

give away form

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Where have I been Hiding!

Sorry the book reviews have slowed down in the last couple of weeks I have just opened a new salon so things have just taken over. I have a review scheduled for the 28th November as part of the Chick lit challenge. I am currently reading one of our Christmas entries (only two more to go!!) Cathy Woodman It's a Vets Life, I am half way through and really enjoying it. Any of you who have read her previous books will love this one. 

So I am back and will be carrying on with the reviews for you all and to kick things back off I will be starting a giveaway tomorrow on the blog for the chance for someone to get their hands on their own copy of Cathy Woodman It's a Vets Life!!!

Come Back Tomorrow!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Secret Of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

I loved Lucy Dillon’s Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts and Walking Back To Happiness. Both of these books have such a cosy feel to them and very believable storylines. Having enjoyed these books so much when I heard Dillon was releasing another book this year based in the same town as her previous two books I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

In The Secret of Happy Ever After we follow the lives of friends Anna and Michelle. Both are facing obstacles in their lives which they need the help of others to help them get around. Michelle is very career driven and decides to take on the shop next door to her own shop, but she has to keep the shop as a book shop for a year at least and who better than to take control of the shop than her friend Anna whose passion in life is working with books. The storyline includes the usual Lucy Dillon content with the dogs but the book also flows mainly around the topic of reading and books which for me and for main character Anna is a dream come true.

Although the book centres around both Anna and Michelle we pick up a lot about the characters around each of them so there is always something going on all the way through the book which keeps it flowing at an even pace all the way through.

Although we know both Anna and Michelle have something emotional that they are battling in their lives I felt more connection with Anna as we know straight from the off what it was that was a constant battle and a cause for upset for her so we really feel for her the whole way through the book. Whereas with Michelle we don’t find out what it is that is causing her heartache until the near end of the book so at some times her character came across as a little cold and hard until we find out what lies beneath.

It is obvious from when we first meet Michelle that she has skeletons in her closet and I think this is one of the first books I have read where I couldn’t guess what secret she was harbouring so I was very shocked when it was revealed towards the end as it was totally unexpected this managed to keep me intrigued all the way through this book. Due to the festive cover I was hoping there would be more of a festive feel to it but having said that I still really enjoyed this book and it is really one you can read any time of year.

There is such a lovely mix of characters in this book and this mixed with a believable storyline made for a beautiful read which I would pick up again and that I would also highly recommend.

An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. GUEST REVIEW

I have found that I just don't have enough time to read all the amazing books which have been released recently. One book I constantly keep hearing great things about is Milly Johnson An Autumn Crush. Because I have scheduled book reviews to go up I knew I wouldn't be able to review this book this side of Christmas so I have decided that once a month I am going to have a guest review on the blog. Our first guest is Kayla Staniland and she has agreed to give us her opinion on An Autumn Crush.

Over to you Kayla......

This is my first Milly Johnson read and i bought this book totally based on the cover. I loved the illustration and after reading the plot i decided to give this book a try and i am so glad that i did.

This book is set out lovely, We follow the journeys of Juliet, Floz,Juliet's twin brother Guy,Steve and the lovely Coco. Juliet is starting on a new venture after a horrible divorce that tore a close friendship apart, she with the help of her fabulous gay best friend Coco searches for a flatmate and after a few awful interviews she finally meets the lovely sweet Floz.Floz is everything that Juliet wants in a flatmate and a friend, She too has had disasturous past and is not unknown to have had heartbreak in her life. Juliet and Coco decide they are going to try some internet dating, but Floz is totally against the idea! This opens up a can of worms from Floz's past and takes the character of a very deep and dark journey.

Guy is Juliet's twin brother and is not a stranger to tougher times, When he meets Floz he falls head over heels but makes a bad impression that sticks and he has to work very hard to put things right. Steve is Guy's best friend since being small and is totally smitten with Juliet and has been for as long as he can remember, Juliet however doesnt make any secret in the fact she thinks Steve is a total idiot and cant even tolerate his company!!

I loved the way that Milly entwined all the characters together, Each character is strong and i felt the more i read about each of them the more i wanted to know. I felt that this book was so well written in the fact that each characters story was in enough depth that when reading it you didnt feel it skimmed over details, and it became really addictive really quickly. The male characters are written really well and it was so easy to read from a male characters perspective in the book!.I also found that because the chapters where short i could dip in and out of the book and it was so easy to pick up and escape into.

This book was utterly brilliant it made me laugh out loud and even in the last few chapters it made me a little teary. I would definatly read more books by Milly and would say if you are a fan of chic lit and are looking for a book to curl up with this autumn then this is definatly a must read!!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Home For Christmas by Cally Taylor

Before I give you my review for Cally Taylor's new book I would like to say congratulations to Cally on the birth of her new bundle of joy ( Christmas has obviously come early for you!). Because Cally is a new mum it she hasn't got the time she would like to promote her book so we are all going to give her a hand in getting her book known! We would like you all to comment below and answer the following question ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS......

My Review
I have previously read a book by Cally Taylor, Heaven Can Wait and I remember it being an enjoyable easy read. I have just finished reading her new novel Home for Christmas as part of my Best Christmas Book 2011.
In this book our main character is Beth who I found to be a very loveable and caring character who seems to have had nothing but disasters when it comes to finding the love of her Life. If it isn’t bad enough that she has yet to find a man who tells her he loves her, the rest of her world comes crashing down when the handsome Matt arrives at her workplace Picturebox, trying to get his mucky paws on the cinema resulting in her losing her much loved job.
The story is told in first person point of view and swaps between Beth and Matt. This style of writing was great for this book as we really got to know each of the leading characters and how they both felt about certain situations. I found Home for Christmas an easy read the same as Taylor’s previous book. I did miss the magical feel that was in her previous book there was a point early on in the book where I thought that the magical part was coming but it was actually real so the book wasn’t what I was expecting but I still enjoyed it none the less.
There were many times in this book when I found myself chuckling away with the bare bum part being the one which comes to mind as this would be something that would happen to me!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book my only little disappointment was the lack of Christmas content, it was an enjoyable read but not one to get you in the Christmas spirit.
This is definitely worth picking up and I will be keeping an eye out for future novels by Cally Taylor.

You can keep up with Cally Taylor over on her website
You can also follow her on twitter @callytaylor

It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson.

After what seems like a life time of waiting I finally got my little hands on a copy of Miranda Dickinson’s It Started With A Kiss ( Thank you Miranda!!) For those of you who follow this blog you will remember we had Miranda over for an interview about her up and coming book, if you missed it here is your chance to check it out.
I have enjoyed Miranda’s previous two novels and so when I was looking for Christmas themed books for our Christmas Competition I came across the stunning cover of It Started With A Kiss and I couldn’t wait to get started.

As the singer in a wedding band, Romily Parker has seen her fair share of happy endings, even though her own love life isn't quite as simple.
On the last Saturday before Christmas, (shortly after disastrously declaring her love for best friend Charlie), Romily has a brief encounter with a handsome stranger whose heart-stopping kiss changes everything.
Determined to find him again, Romily embarks on a yearlong quest, helped (and sometimes hindered) by enthusiastic Uncle Dudley, cake-making Auntie Mags and flamboyant Wren. Will she find the man of her dreams? Or could true love be closer than she thinks?

My Opinion
The first thing which stands out for me in this book is the descriptive writing that Miranda Dickinson uses to set the scene straight from the start of the book. I felt as though I was there in the Christmas market with Romily which helps the storyline feel more real.

The book starts off at such a fast pace and throws us straight into a gripping storyline. By the end of the first chapter I loved the character of Romily she is so easy to connect to and you find your heart going out to her.
This book has a real mixture of content including Christmas, romance, music and suspense which means there is something for everyone in this book. I really couldn’t predict what I thought the ending was going to be in this book and this is what made it such a page turner.

This book is a must for those Christmas stockings!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Strings Attached by Mandy Baggot

I have just finished reading Mandy Baggot’s latest book release, Strings Attached. I have read all of Mandy Baggot’s previous books and I can really see each time I read another one of her books she is truly growing as an author.

Caterer George Fraser has a mission. She’s going to prove everyone wrong. Ambitious owner of catering firm Finger Food and black sheep of her family, she’s determined to succeed in business where she’s so far failed in her personal life. Asked to cater for gorgeous rock star Quinn Blake’s after-show party her life suddenly takes a turn for the dramatic.

Magnetically drawn together, George and Quinn embark on a relationship that no one must know about. But is Quinn everything he seems or is there more to his star life than he’s telling her?

Things hot up when George is invited to the wedding of the millennium and her integrity very soon becomes compromised. With celebrity obsessed colleague Marisa in the mix and her beloved Adam spending more time in her life can George keep her secrets and hold on to her ambition, or will love finally get in the way?

My Opinion
I am always very honest in my book reviews and any of you who have read my previous reviews on Mandy Baggot’s books will know I always seem to be surprised how much I enjoy them as I never liked the front cover of the books. Well this time I am giving Mandy Baggot a big sloppy kiss as this time she has given her book the cover it deserves! I have also been told that Mandy Baggot’s previous novels have had the covers updated and I have had a sneaky peek and they all look great.

The chemistry Baggot creates between our two main characters George and Quinn is quite intense which makes this book a real page turner. Both of the main characters were easy to connect to right from the start of the book. We get the best of both worlds with our two main characters the normal girl next door and the celebrity who is living the high life.

I loved the twist in this book which I for one didn’t see coming. I have enjoyed Mandy Baggot’s previous books but this book has a completely different feel to it. The characters are developed more and the storyline feels like it flows better in this book. I read this book in a day I found it hard to put down and I ended up a shrivelled prune in the bath whilst reading the last few chapters!
Mandy Baggot has hit the nail on the head with this book and I would definitely recommend this book, this is officially my favourite Mandy Baggot book.

We are Lucky enough to have Mandy Baggot over on our blog today. Sit back and relax Mandy whilst I make your toes look as eye-catching as your book cover! I have a few questions for you!

At times I had to remind myself that George was a fictional character as she seemed to down to earth. Did you base her character on anyone you know?

George’s main traits are her strength and her inner determination to succeed. I think we all have a bit of that in ourselves. Hopefully readers will empathise with these powerful elements to her character but also understand her vulnerability. She’s a tough cookie but she has a soft centre.

What gave you the idea to start a twitter page for Quinn?

Quinn is one of my favourite male characters I have written. He’s sexy, he’s strong, he’s alluring but he also has that slight air of mystery about him. What’s he really thinking? Does he mean what he says? The Twitter page was formed to a) promote the book, b) to bring the character to life, c) to get readers involved and have them fall in love with Quinn prior to reading his story. Creating the Twitter page has won praise from Tesco Books and Waterstones – they thought it was innovative and unique.

Strings Attached is my favourite book of yours and reading your books has been like watching you grow as an author. What was your favourite book to write and why?

Ooo that’s a toughy. That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! I think probably Strings Attached. There are lots of different elements to the story, some really great characters and twists and turns. It actually only took me four months to write the story but it took over a year to hone it to perfection. I’ve never worked harder on a book, the editing, the promotion, the interviews, the cover – I’ve enjoyed every aspect but it has been full on! I just hope the readers love it!

What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was The One Before the One by Katy Regan. I enjoyed this; it was chick-lit and a great writing style.

If you were stuck on a desert Island what would be the 2 items you would take with you?
Eeek!! Laptop (there would be free Wifi right?), Jack Bauer – because if anyone is going to get us off the island then it’s him!

Thank you Mandy for taking the time to come and chat to us over at reabookreview. We wish your book every success.

You can follow Mandy Baggot on twitter @mandybaggot and you can also follow the gorgeous Quinn @quinnblakemusic

Order your copy

Friday, 4 November 2011

Chosen by Denise Grover Swank

This year I have taken part in the Chicklit plus tour. One of the great benefits of being part of the tour is the authors I have been introduced to. One author in particular has stuck out tto me since taking part on the tour and that was Denise Grover Swank. Earlier in the year I read and reviewed her book Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes, this would not have been the type of book I would have picked up but after reading it I am eagerly awaiting a sequel! So when I was approached for another book tour for Denise again I jumped at the chance. This time the book in question is Chosen which again is not the kind of book I would usually opt for but after reading Denise’s previous book I was eager to give it a try.

Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has.

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his pay check and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late.

My Opinion
Chosen is centred around three main characters, Emma, Jake and Will. Each of the characters are developed so well which made the characters feel more real. Although Emma has been running for years to protect her son Jake she doesn’t take on the damsel in distress roll she embraces the challenge head on doing anything in her power to help protect her son. I loved the character of Emma she was easy to connect to. I also love Will although it is quite clear from the start that he has an ulterior motive you cannot help but warm to his character as he seems like he is such a nice guy who has just fallen onto the wrong path.
Now time for the character of Jake! Jake can only be summed up in one word and that is creepy. It was hard to see his character as a 5 year old boy. Because of his phsycic abilities he seems to sound very wise and old before his time. I still found his character intriguing but that was my main difficulty with the book is seeing this boy as a child.

The reason I jumped at the chance to read Chosen is because of the element of suspense Denise managed to create in her previous book. She is back with a bang in Chosen I actually feel that the suspense factor is greater in this book at times I felt like I was gripping my kindle so tight anticipating what was going to happen next.
I was on the edge of my seat reading this action packed novel when it suddenly came to an end. I think because the storyline is so intense and flows at such a fast pace you did not see the ending coming and it has clearly been left open for a sequel.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes paranormal, action packed read. I know I for one will be eagerly awaiting a follow up to this book.
If you have a kindle this is at an unbelievable price at the moment by clicking the link below.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Highland Storms by Christina Courtenay

I was approached by Choc Lit to read and review Christina Courtenay’s Highland Storms. I have been a little bit hesitant in reading this book as it is a sequel to her previous novel Trade Winds, which I am yet to read, with this in mind I was unsure if I would be able to fall in to the storyline with out reading the first book.

Who can you trust? Betrayed by his brother and his childhood love, Brice Kinross needs a fresh start. So he welcomes the opportunity to leave Sweden for the Scottish Highlands to take over the family estate. But there's trouble afoot at Rosyth in 1754 and Brice finds himself unwelcome. The estate's in ruin and money is disappearing. He discovers an ally in Marsaili Buchanan, the beautiful redheaded housekeeper, but can he trust her? Marsaili is determined to build a good life. She works hard at being a housekeeper and harder still at avoiding men who want to take advantage of her. But she's irresistibly drawn to the new clan chief, even though he's made it plain he doesn't want to be shackled to anyone. And the young laird has more than romance on his mind. His investigations are stirring up an enemy. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what he wants including Marsaili even if that means destroying Brice's life forever ... Sequel to Trade Winds. Trade Winds was short listed for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011.

My Opinion
The first thing I will say about this book is you do not need to read the first book to understand the storyline in Highland Storms although having said that after reading this book I now would like to go back and read Trade Winds.

We have a beautiful mix of characters in this book from the typical beautiful, feisty, redhead who turns all the men’s heads to the villain of the story, Seton who plays the perfect bad man and my favourite of all Brice who is our heroic figure, a charming, gentleman with a cheeky streak! I loved reading about the chemistry between Brice and Marsaili gently growing throughout the book, I found myself wondering right up to the end of this book if they would finally get together or if the villain Seton would get his slimy way that he was used to.

The book held my interest from the first page right to the very last page and I think that was because of the amount of content in this book it seemed like there was always something going on from discovering hidden tunnels, false arrests and abductions, also at one point Liath the hound a rescuer!

If you like Historical Romances then this book is defiantly the one for you. Thank you to Choc-Lit for sending me a review copy.