Monday, 29 February 2016

The Woman who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson

Today I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for The Woman who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson who is one of my favourite Laugh out Loud authors.

Forget about having it all. Sometimes you just want to leave it all behind. 
 Audrey is often seized by the urge to walk out of her house without looking back – but she can’t possibly do that. She is a single parent. 
She is needed. 
She has a job, a home, responsibilities…and a slothful teenage son’s pants to pick up. 
 But no one likes being taken for granted – Audrey least of all – so the time has come for drastic action. 
And no one’s going to stand in her way…

From the opening chapter of The Woman Who Upped and Left there will be many mums with teenage boys who will be nodding their heads along with Audrey thinking they know exactly what she is going through! Personally I don’t have children but each of Fiona’s books still have me laughing away at the humour she creates from day to day relateable situations that families face and this book was no exception.

Audrey is a single parent and her son Morgan has reached the age of 18 and takes his mum for granted as he lazes around the house with his girlfriend being waited on hand and foot. Audrey is at her wits send with pants thrown around the house and no matter how much she has tried to encourage and help Morgan to get a job it falls on death ears. When an opportunity arises for Audrey to have a break in a swanky hotel and learn to cook French cuisine she decides it is about time she does something for herself but can Morgan cope with out his mum?

I have read every one of Fiona Gibson’s books and for anyone who loves Jane Costello you will love Fiona’s books too as they both have such a natural humour to their storylines. Morgan and his disastrous attempts at the laundry had me chuckling away! As much as I found myself laughing at Morgan I was also so infuriated by him and just wanted to grab him by the scruff of his neck and give him a good old shake because he was such a useless layabout and it is scary to think how many teenagers are like this now with no ambition or get up and go and although the author makes fun of this at first, she does also shed light on the effect it has on the family and that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.

The storyline has a rollercoaster romance too and all the way through I wasn’t quite sure who Audrey was going to end up with if anyone at all which really helped to keep my interest piqued all the way through. There are four male interests in the line-up but there was only one that I was routing for and he definitely wasn’t the disgraceful Stevie!

This was an enjoyable witty read that was uplifting and current. Mum on the Run still remains my favourite by this author but this was still a wonderful read that I would definitely recommend.

Paperback                 Kindle

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Kitty's Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

New home.
New life. 
New beginning. 

Love affairs can blossom in the most unlikely places . . . When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it's time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there's an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom... 

But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. 
Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? 
As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces?

When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems ...

The cover for Christie Barlow’s new book Kitty’s Countryside Dream is really eye-catching with its bright soft colours it had me wowed before I even started the first page and although you should never judge a book by its cover you sure can with this one as the cover complements the beautifully sweet storyline that is inside. I have previously started one of Christie's books before but I could't get into it so I was a little unsure how I would find this book but this book was right up my street!

Kitty has recently lost her mum and after so long being her mums carer she now doesn’t know what to do with her life but when she suddenly inherits Bluebell Lodge from a grandmother who she has long thought dead her life is about to have a purpose again. Kitty makes some wonderful new friends and gets a couple of hearts racing as she learns the ropes of running a chicken farm but Kitty is about to learn about more than just chickens!

The book starts off a light and cosy read as we are introduced to our main character Kitty who is a very good natured and friendly character. We know early on in the book that there is something amiss when we find out that Kitty had inherited the farm and yet had presumed that her grandmother had died years ago so I was curious as to what the mystery was going to be. There was a lovely group of warm and welcoming support characters from the handsome Joe to the excitable Jeannie and not forgetting the lovely Lucinda who made my mouth water throughout the book at the mention of all of her home made delicious treats. As the book progressed the storyline took on a deeper meaningful feel to it as we began to dig into the secrets of the past but yet not getting to heavy so it was still a wonderfully enjoyable read.

I found this book really enjoyable, the author has an engaging writing style that managed to draw me into the storyline and the lives of our character. The storyline flowed at a great pace and I raced through the book in no time soaking up the wonderful detailed descriptions and shaking my head at some of the frustrating points where I just wanted to shake Kitty because of how terribly wrong she got things!.

I found the first half of the book managed to keep me guessing about the events surrounding Kitty and Bluebell Lodge but smack bang on half way I had guessed what the mystery was which in one way was a shame but yet I still couldn’t put the book down as I was eager to see how it would be revealed.

I can see that fans of Cathy Bramley and Cathy Woodman would love this book as it had the cosy natural feel to it that I find in these authors books.

Paperback                Kindle

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

When Emma leaves her Cornish hometown of Talting for a summer in Devon, the last thing she dreams of is falling in love.

But sometimes the people who affect us the most come along when we least expect it.

As the summer comes to the end, will it herald the start of something that could last for ever?

You will very rarely see reviews for short stories on my blog because I hold my hands up and say I am not really a fan of them for the pure and simple fact that I am Greedy! I love a big storyline to pull me in and not let me go where as I find that short stories leave me feeling like someone has dangled a chocolate bar in my face and only let me lick it! 

I was sent a copy of The Summer I Met you by Victoria Walters along with her full length novel The Second Love of my Life which is due out in April and so because it was a prequel I decided I would give it a try.

I was surprised in only 65 pages the author has managed to introduce us to four engaging characters who I can not wait to meet again. Emma and John seem like very fun loving and spontaneous characters and Rose and Lucas seem like they have a strong relationship and are very protective over their friend Emma and really want to see her happy.  Not only has a holiday relationship quickly blossomed but you can already see a fabulous foursome friendship forming too. 

I can not wait to read The Second Love of my Life now to see how the relationship has progressed and how John is settling into his new life. I am look forward to returning to the Summery setting of Talting and I think The Summer I Met You is a good little teaser that will then leave you desperate to read the novel.


Monday, 22 February 2016

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart by Ilana Fox

1980s Soho is electric. For Eliza, the heady pull of its nightclubs and free-spirited people leads her into the life she has craved - all glamour, late nights and excitement. But it comes at a heavy cost. Cassie is fascinated by her family's history and the abandoned Beaufont Hall. Why won't her mother talk about it? Offered the chance to restore Beaufont to its former glory, Cassie jumps at the opportunity to learn more about her past. Separated by a generation, but linked by a forgotten diary, these two women have more in common than they know . . .

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart is the first book I have read by Ilana Fox and I didn’t know what to expect as the cover and the synopsis didn’t give much away but as soon as I had finished reading the Prologue I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the main storyline.

Cassie cannot face Beaufont Hall being sold since it has been in her family for generations but with the once grand house is rapidly deteriorating and with no money to bring it back to its former glory her mum is determined to sell but allows Cassie time to say her goodbyes to the home whilst tidying the place up, but Cassie uncovers diaries which she hopes will shed some light on the family she knows so little about and yet feels such a connection with.

Eliza is a free spirit and is living it up in Soho but it’s not long before she realises the partying and lifestyle she has comes at a price.

The chapters alternate between Cassie in the present day and Eliza back in the 1970’s and 80’s and each of the storylines are woven together perfectly and have a perfect balance. I am not typically a fan of dual time frame storylines as I always find one period holds my attention and I am eager to get back to that time but with this book I had equal interest in both time frames and it was great to see how London has changed over the years as well as how traditions have changed.

We get to know Eliza at the same time as Cassie does as we build a picture of her character through her diary entries. Cassie and Eliza were both wonderful characters with completely different personalities so they each brought something different to the storyline. I found I could relate to Cassie more, for me as she was a gentle caring character who was sensible and has a great respect for traditions, whereas Eliza was a carefree woman who enjoyed living day to day and enjoying the party life not knowing from one minute to the next what path she would take next.

I was so wrapped up in the storyline and when I had read about three quarters of the book something just suddenly clicked and I had an idea that something big was going to be revealed but I  hadn’t had any idea that a twist could lay ahead all the way through the book and although my interest had been held all the way through, when I reached this point I felt myself racing through the remaining pages just to see if what I believed was going to be revealed was right.

This is a book about family secrets and betrayal with a blossoming romance. The storyline at times was vibrant and glamorous and at other times traditional and heartbreaking making this a real emotive read. The author has such a wonderful writing style that slowly builds the storyline and then hits the reader with a dramatic revelation and she also creates such engaging characters. I cannot wait to get my hands on another book by this author.

Paperback                Kindle

Friday, 19 February 2016

The Silk Merchant's Daughter by Dinah Jefferies

Today we are joined by a much loved author of mine Dinah Jefferies as part of her blog tour for her new release The Silk Merchant's Daughter, I had some burning questions for Dinah to answer.

I have just finished reading The Silk Merchant's Daughter which is another stunning, atmospheric read Dinah which I greedily read in one sitting. Tell us a little about the research you took for this book.

Thank you. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I went to Vietnam, but before travelling there I read tons to decide exactly when and where to set the book: the history is complex and I needed to simplify it for the story to work. Uncovering the old French colonial world was challenging, particularly in Hanoi. Pollution, heavy traffic, and sprawling modern buildings have covered up the past and that meant I had to find old photos to inspire me. There were some truly gorgeous old French buildings but not as many as I’d expected and the best examples were on a fabulous tree lined street where the top Government ministers lived. It’s a communist country and unfortunately you aren’t allowed to stop the car anywhere in that street, so I only caught a glimpse of them. I did try to take photos through the window!

All the way through The Silk Merchant's Daughter I didn't know who to trust and couldn't predict and how it was going to end which I also found with your previous two books so you do manage to keep your readers in suspense, do you have a clear beginning middle and end to your storylines when you start writing?

You’d laugh if you knew the whole story behind this book. It began life as a three person viewpoint book, but I had to cut the first draft by 49,000 words because it was too unwieldy. Such an awful moment because that was almost half the book so I virtually had to start all over again, and in fact this book went through multiple changes. My next book, however, has a clear synopsis, with a clear start and a clear end. Not too sure about the middle yet, but it’s basically a book about destiny and the clash of cultures. I do know that.

The Tea Planter's Wife was such a great success hitting the number 1 Sunday Times Best Seller spot, did you find this put extra pressure on you for The Silk Merchant's Daughter?

You bet. It was a mad rush but luckily a large chunk of the manuscript was finished by the time Tea Planter did well. The hardest thing now is actually the time pressure to produce the next one!

You have taken your readers on such cultural journeys in the beautiful locations in your books, how much of the plot do you already have planned before you go out to these countries or does a lot of the plot come to you on your visits?

You know it’s different each time. For The Tea Planter’s Wife I already had the first draft completed and I only chose places to see in Sri Lanka that were already locations in the book. When I went to Vietnam I had the idea for the story but that was all and I had to rely on what inspired me while I was there.

You have just returned from a trip to India for research for your next book which other places are on your list to visit and can you give us a tiny teaser of what to expect from book 4?

I might go back to Sri Lanka, as I have a second story set in Ceylon at the back of my mind but beyond that I don’t know. Book 4 will be set in Rajasthan in 1930 when it was known as Rajputana. It will be an epic story about a recently widowed British woman and it will take place in a fictional Princely State. Fabulous forts and castles coming up! It’s a huge challenge and I don’t think many people realise how much research it takes to recreate a time and place that has long vanished. There are bound to mistakes and you just have to live with that and hope there aren’t too many. I do get letters from readers pointing out minor errors. I just sigh deeply because it’s too late to do anything about them. For me authenticity and atmosphere are crucial but I can’t guarantee 100% accuracy, though I really do my utmost.

To have a number one Sunday Times Best Selling book is an ultimate achievement, do you have any other personal goals for your writing career? maybe a film adaptation?

The goal really is always to produce the next book as well as I possibly can without going crazy! When I’m about to start a new book it completely consumes me but what happens after a book is completed is out of my hands. We all have different tastes and all like different books. You just hope people will buy it and that enough people will enjoy it. I was very lucky that Tea Planter was chosen by Richard & Judy as it gave the book massive visibility. A film would be lovely but they are terribly expensive to make, especially for the kind of books I write, but you never know.

1952, French Indochina. Since her mother's death, eighteen-year-old half-French, half-Vietnamese Nicole has been living in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Sylvie. When Sylvie is handed control of the family silk business, Nicole is given an abandoned silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter of Hanoi. But the area is teeming with militant rebels who want to end French rule, by any means possible. For the first time, Nicole is awakened to the corruption of colonial rule - and her own family's involvement shocks her to the core... Tran, a notorious Vietnamese insurgent, seems to offer the perfect escape from her troubles, while Mark, a charming American trader, is the man she's always dreamed of. But who can she trust in this world where no one is what they seem?

I am a huge fan of Dinah Jefferies and I loved both The Separation and The Tea Platers Wife, I still find myself constantly recommending these books to new clients who come into the salon. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of The Silk Merchant’s Daughter and when my copy arrived I was thrilled to see the cover still holds Dinah’s signature design.

I have to hold my hands up and say I was actually a little apprehensive about this book, history is a big weakness for me ( hang my head in shame) and when I read the synopsis and had a brief look through the book to see each part was divided up into different periods of the French Indochina war I was a little worried that I would get lost along the way with this storyline having no knowledge of this war but as my journey began with Nicole I soon felt myself being pulled into the storyline and I was swept away with her on her harrowing journey. I actually felt as though Dinah Jefferies was educating me along the way as it captured my attention.

It was so easy to connect with Nicole and I think that is because we go through the same thought process as her feeling trapped and not knowing who she could and couldn’t trust and where people’s loyalties lay. Nicole has grown up feeling like the black sheep of the family and not feeling the love and acceptance from her father and sister and to see her having to question her own family is a sorry state of affairs which really made my heart go out to her but she picks herself up and is determined to do what she thinks is the right thing. Her father gives Nicole the families old silk shop to run and it is here that she feels at ease and throws herself into work desperate to make a success of the business and show her worth.

There are a vast amount of characters in this book who have all been well drawn but other than Lisa the cook and O-Lan I found I was just suspicious of everyone and was waiting for them all to put a foot wrong! Right up until the last remaining chapters I was still unsure of many of the characters motives.

What I love about each of the author’s books is you can see the amount of research the author has taken and poured into her storylines which then help to make everything so believable and vivid in the readers mind. The author has such an exquisite writing style and a wealth of knowledge that shapes the storylines that I have come to love in her books. This storyline will have you embarking on a journey with Nicole as she has her heart captured, and discovers hidden family secrets which have shaped her relationship with family members and also been tested to the limit when she has to choose which dangerous path she should follow. This book did not disappoint and I can see this book easily joining The Tea Planters Wife in hitting that bestselling spot.

The Silk Merchant's Daughter is out on Kindle on the 25th February

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan

Happy Birthday, darling girl...

Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met. 

Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.

For Keeley, who's raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a secret she's been holding for thirty years.

And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she rarely goes. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all...

I have read and loved every one of Emma Hannigan’s books but having just finished reading her new release The Perfect Gift I have a new book on the top spot as this is by far her best book yet.

The storyline has two threads to it, the first follows Roisin and her adoptive family who are all having a difficult time in their lives and Roisin looks like she is about to lose her business and whilst emotions are running high her thoughts turn to her birth mother who died when she was a baby and the only thing she has is a birthday card sent to her each year on her birthday but she feels like a piece of her is missing and she wants answers. The second thread follows the reclusive and unsociable Nell who lives in the lighthouse away from everyone and everything, just the way she likes it until a young girl turns up on her doorstep with nowhere to go and something sparks in Nell to take her in. 

Both threads become entwined towards the last part of the book and I was in complete shock when the link was revealed and looking back now I can’t see how I missed it but it was a pleasant surprise to have the wool pulled over my eyes!

I love books that feature the creating and day to day running of a shop so this book was the perfect read for me. All the delicious mouth-watering treats that were available in Nourriture played havoc with my cravings.

This was a poignant read but I also found it quite uplifting too because although emotions are running high with all our characters as they find themselves in trying times they are all very supportive characters and are keen to help each other. I actually found Mouse a very refreshing character who was determined to turn her life around but also eager to draw Nell out of her comfort nest too.

There was a lovely splash of romance too which rounded this book of beautifully, yes it was a little predictable when it came to the romance side of the book but this really didn’t matter. The author covers a range of delicate issues in this book but she addresses each of them tenderly and which left me feeling so much compassion for the characters.

This was Emma Hannigan’s most touching read yet the last couple of chapters really brought a lump to my throat and although I didn’t want the book to end, the ending was beautifully wrapped up. I am sure this will be the authors bestselling book yet, I know I will be recommending this book to all my clients at work this week!

Available on Kindle 18th Feb and Paperback 28th July.

Monday, 15 February 2016

A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde.
I am thrilled to be a part of this tour as Katie has been a much loved author of mine for many years, so it was great to be able to have the chance to ask her some burning questions about her latest release.

Hello Katie, thank you for stopping by Rea Book Reviews on you blog tour for your fabulous new book A Summer at Sea. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and my favourite part in the book was when Emily, Alasdair and Kate went across to the sea lock and had a magical day there and it made me wonder how much of your own personal experiences have you put into this book?

 A lot of what I put in this book was based on a wonderful trip I made with my friend, writer Jo Thomas. She was researching oyster farming and we visited one set on a sea loch. As a family we have also visited Loch Tay for many years so picnics involving billy cans and fires are what I know and love. 

 When reading A Summer at Sea, Crinan was so beautifully described which made it so easy to picture, what was it about Crinan that made you want to write a book based there? 

 You’d have to visit Crinan to see how beautiful it is, but it has a perfect setting. There are views over the hills to distant Islands and it just seems the most romantic spot in the world. 

  In A Summer at Sea Emily takes time out from her career and has a dabble at a different career cooking on the Buffer, if you could take some time out of being our much loved author what career would you like to try? 

 I quite fancy doing something a bit different, call it a proper job – for a while. I think I’d like to be an artisan baker, or something involving food. I get quite excited by a pile of vegetables and a big sharp knife!

  When you finish writing your books do you find it easy to leave the characters behind or have there been any who are just eager to make it to another book?

 Sometimes my characters live on in my head. It is sad to leave them when you worked so hard on creating them. But then a new lot arrive and you love them just as much.

  Do you find much time to read and do you find it has any effect on your writing if you read whilst in the middle of writing a book?

 I always find time to read – it’s so important to me. I don’t usually find the books have an effect on my writing although recently, I have been reading The Diary of a Provincial Lady. It has a very particular writing style and I found that crept into my emails. I know I’ll always spot a change of style. One’s style is almost like handwriting, very individual.

She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she’s also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air. So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance. But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.

Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily. And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.

Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?

Katie Fforde is my go to author when I need an uplifting, sweet cosy read and that was exactly what I got with A Summer at Sea. Emily loves her job as a midwife but the negativity she receives from people's opinions of the safety of home births are beginning to take there toll and Emily needs a break so when her pregnant best friend Rebecca calls asking her for a big favour, to work as a cook for a couple of months on the steam boat come hotel that her and her husband run Emily saw this as a perfect opportunity to get away from work for a while and catch up with her friend but could the new lifestyle capture her heart?

One thing that Katie Fforde always brings to her books is a picturesque idyllic setting that becomes so vivid in the readers mind that you feel like you are transported there alongside the wonderful characters, I would pack my bags now to start my new life Crinan! I especially loved the trip Emily took over to the sea loch that sounded like an idyllic day out to me a place to escape.

There was a lovely splash of romance blossoming which we come to expect from this authors books and although it was a predictable romance it had its ups and downs along the way so our attention was still held.

The characters were all such warm and loveable characters, Kate was a charming little lady and her friendship with Emily was so endearing watching her open up and trust another woman around.  Emily was a kind hearted, hard working main character and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her on her journey.

Katie Fforde never disappoints, this book gets another big thumbs up for me Katie's fans are going to love sailing away in this book.

Hardback                Kindle

Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After by Jenny Colgan

Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly - dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages.
Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books... not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing...

Jenny Colgan is one of my top 5 authors and I look forward to diving into her fictional worlds with each book she releases. When I read the synopsis for her latest release The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After, I knew this was going to be an exciting read because it featured a book business!

Our heroine is the endearing Nina, she has worked in her local library for years but now with the current changes she is given a computer job but her heart and soul is in working with books. When she sees an opportunity to start her own business selling books on her very own book bus she takes the opportunity with both hands and embarks on a complete change of life.

There are going to be so many book lovers wishing they were Nina after reading this book. I was so envious of Nina not just because of her having her own book van business but even having the courage to just leave everything behind and make a completely new life for herself, this really had an effect on me and I wish I had the courage that her character had!

Nina has set up her new life in Kirrinfief in Scotland where the community spirit is still strong with everyone pulling together to help out and everyone knowing each other’s business which gives the book a cosy and welcoming feel. As we have come to expect from Jenny Colgan’s novels there is also a charming romance which although it was quite predictable what the outcome would be Nina’s love life it still had its ups and downs.

Nina also had a little helping hand from little Ainslee a teenager who seemed reluctant to come on to the bus but who actually had such a love for reading. When Ainslee’s little brother Ben kept turning up at the van looking very unkept Nina soon got the feeling that something was amiss with the two of them and Nina being the soft hearted character she is, takes it upon herself to try and find out what is going on and what she uncovers was not what I had been expecting and it covers a topic that is all too realistic now days and it is quite sad to think that people are still in this position but Jenny and her character Nina deal with this topic in a positive and careful way. I actually found I was more interested in Ainslee and Ben’s story than I was by Nina’s romance.

This was another uplifting and charming storyline, it didn’t quite match my love of The Beach Street or Cupcake books by Jenny, but it was still a wonderful read that had me hooked. I am pretty sure we can expect a follow on to this book and I would love to catch up with Nina to see how things have progressed for her and Ainslee.

Paperback                Kindle

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

When Amber Green, a shop assistant in an exclusive London boutique is plucked from obscurity and mistakenly offered a job working with Mona Armstrong, the infamous, jet-setting 'stylist to the stars', she hits the ground running, helping to style some of Hollywood's hottest (and craziest) starlets. As awards season spins into action Mona is in hot demand and Amber's life turned upside down. Suddenly she catching the attention of two very different suitors, TV producer Rob and Hollywood bad boy rising star Liam. How will Amber keep her head? And what the hell will everyone wear?

I wasn’t too sure if The Stylist was going to be my kind of read as I am not the world’s best when it comes to fashion and red carpet events but I was intrigued to see how Rosie Nixon has used her past experiences to help her write this eventful book and I am so glad I did as this was such a fabulous read.

Amber Green never dreamed when she turned up for work in Smith’s Boutique that she would have her life turned upside down by none other than stylist to the stars Mona Armstrong when she snaps up Amber to be her assistant after her previous assistant quit. Amber is thrown in the deep end of glitz and glam getting the celebrities ready for the awards of the season. Amber soon finds out that working for Mona isn’t the job of her dreams she had envisioned!

This book had such and energetic buzz about it and I haven’t felt like this since reading the early books in the Shopaholic series. The storyline is fast paced and eventful leaving no safe page to take a break.

Amber was such an engaging character who really was hard working and dedicated to the job at hand, nothing seemed to faze her where I would have crumbled in certain situations she was constantly looking for a solution and I take my hat off to her as she done a fabulous job. There were a vast amount of characters in this book and I loved each and every one of them as they all added to the glamorous and dramatic feel to the book.

You could see the authors knowledge of the behind the scenes of the awards events shine through and the talent the stylists have and attention to detail for each and every celebrity who is to walk down the iconic red carpet.

If you are one who loves a modern, glamorous and upbeat read that has celebrities draped in the finest of fashion with a pinch of romance and a sprinkling of humour then make this your next read you won’t be disappointed. If you are a fan or Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk then Rosie Nixon could be a great new author to try.

Hardback                 Kindle

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Redemption Song by Laura Wilkinson and I will be sharing my review for this book, be sure to stop by the other blogs taking part on the tour.

My Review

Saffron was involved in a horrendous accident which changed her life, she was studying medicine and living in London but after the accident she fled back to live with her mum but she soon becomes suffocated by the small town, but when Joe arrives on the scene things start to look up. As the couple grow close they both still have barriers up and it isn’t long before Joe’s past catches up with him and is set to ruin everything.

The relationship that blossomed between Saffron and Joe did feel genuine and progressed in a believable manor and I was longing for the two of them to lower their guards and have their happy ever after as you could see how right they were for each other.

I loved Joe and he was actually my favourite character in this book, he was a grafter and a true gentleman but we know early on that he has a skeleton in his closet and although I had my suspicions I am pleased to say that it was still a shock when everything was revealed. Saffron was a little harder to warm to but I believe a lot of this was because she had become a cold character after keeping her own secret locked away which had made her draw in on herself but her character mellowed more towards the second half of the book.

The prologue in this book got off to a promising, quick and dramatic start which grabbed my attention very quickly but I actually think this may have affected my enjoyment on the rest of the book as it made me very alert and inquisitive but then, although the remainder of the book was a pleasant read, it flowed at a very slow pace and was a very gentle read but it never quite felt like it got going. The last part of the book did pick up again especially when Joe’s secret background came to bite him on the bum.

I did enjoy this book but I just felt like the prologue set the wrong pace for this book. The author has great strength in her character building and also in keeping the subtle suspense factor and I would be interested to read more upcoming books by this author.

Paperback              Kindle

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Faithful Couple Blog Tour

Today it is my stop on The Faithful Couple blog tour, be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour.

Neil and Adam, two young men on the cusp of adulthood, meet one golden summer in California and, despite their different backgrounds, soon become best friends.
 Buton a camping trip in Yosemite they lead each other into wrongdoing that, years later, both will desperately regret. 
 Their connection holds through love affairs, fatherhood, the wild successes and unforeseen failures of booming London, as power and guilt ebb between them. 
 Then the truth of that long-ago night emerges. 
 What happens when you discover that the friendship you can't live without was always built on a lie?

The lovely team at Abacus have offered a copy of The Faithful Couple for a giveaway. 
This giveaway is open to Europe only ( publishers wishes)
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh

There’s no place like home… 
Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister… 

Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?

Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!

A Home in Sunset Bay is Rebecca Pugh’s second novel, I brought her first novel Return to Bluebell Hill last year but typically my review books have got in the way so it is still nestled on my kindle but after now finishing A Home in Sunset Bay I am eager to make time to read her debut.

The storyline is set in the idyllic summery setting of Sunset Bay which Rebecca brings to life with her beautiful, skilled descriptive writing. Mia runs the buzzing Doly’s Diner which she inherited from her Grandma and it seems like all work no play for Mia as she throws herself into work each day. 

Laurie has reached a point in her life where she doesn’t know where to turn as everything begins to crumble around her, she just needs time away to clear her head and where better to go than the comfort of Sunset Bay to see her sister Mia. But will Mia be there with open arms to comfort her?

For those who are unaware Rebecca Pugh is also a book blogger, I have followed her reviews for some time now and reading her reviews themselves sometimes feel like reading a book as she has such skill in descriptive writing and bringing things to life and that is exactly what she has perfected in this book. The author not only brings alive the perfect surroundings and the delicious food and milkshakes that are on offer but she also brings the characters alive by showing the emotion and characteristics of both Mia and Laurie. The storyline doesn’t get lost in the descriptions which can often happen, the author managed to get the balance just right.

We have a lovely splash of blossoming romance in this book which brought an uplifting feel to the storyline but we also see the difficulties that families face and also the love and strong bond between sisters. My one little niggle and frustration ( and I have to be careful here as I do not want to give a spoiler away) was that Laurie for the majority of the second half of the book really didn’t want to return to her old life and I was getting frustrated and just wanted to rattle her and say “ don’t blooming well go then there is nothing there for you”!

I really did enjoy my trip to Sunset Bay and I think fans of Heidi Swain and Fiona Valpy would love this authors writing style. I am excited to see how Rebecca Pugh’s storytelling develops in her next book.