Sunday, 27 March 2016

Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk. Her brother’s best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. He also happens to be the boy she spent her teen years pining after, and Paige is determined not repeat her past mistakes. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more Paige realises the one thing that was missing from her world all along: The perfect New York love story…

Sleepless in Manhattan is the latest release by Sarah Morgan and as ever it is another uplifting romantic read that swept me away. 

Paige and her two best friends Frankie and Eva lose their jobs, they are devastated and can't bare the thought of not working together anymore. With a push in the direction from their friend Jake they decide to go it alone and set up their own rival company but it won't be easy especially for Paige as she will be seeing a lot more of her secret crush.

There is a great friendship group of characters in this novel even Matt who is Paige's brother fits perfectly in the group even though personally I could see a little spark between him and another character in the group too so it does make me wonder if there will be a follow on to this book where this could develop! Paige is a determined character who is willing to take risks as long as she has written down the ins and outs as she is an serial organiser! 

I could relate to Paige as she faced taking the first daunting step in opening her own business, the exciting thrill of what could lay ahead but also that hesitant scary point where you could be making a big mistake but having supportive friends around her soon helped her to make a brave decision. This part of the book was realistic too showing the first stages of business getting off of the ground although I am sure we all wish we had a handsome contact like Jake to help.

The romance that weaves between the storyline has its ups and downs and although we can easily work out how it will end as Sarah Morgan always writes such happy and uplifting storylines, it was still great to see the rollercoaster the characters go on to get to the end point.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and Sarah Morgan fans will not be disappointed, the only thing that I missed with this book compared to the Puffin Island series and the Snow Crystal series was the setting, usually I find her books so atmospheric I could picture myself there but I didn't find Manhattan as vivid in this book.

This book gets another big thumbs up from me, Sarah Morgan never fails and always leaves me finishing her books with a sigh not wanting to leave her characters behind.

Kindle                    Paperback

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello

The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour. 
Lauren loves the hotel, for hidden inside its faded walls is the key to her most precious memories. So, along with her best friends, Cate and Emily, she signs up to a new dance class in its gorgeous ballroom. 
They aren’t going for the men, they’re going for a laugh – although a little romance wouldn’t hurt . . . 
But then a chain of events off the dance floor puts their friendship to the ultimate test, and makes Lauren question everything she holds dear.

I was so excited to receive an advance copy of Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by one of my all-time favourite authors Jane Costello. When anyone is looking for a fun, witty and down to earth read Jane Costello is the first author who comes to mind as her books have had me snorting out loud in public! Before I review the storyline I have to say that the cover of this book is my favourite yet of all of Jane’s books and is definitely one that would catch my eye on the shelves.

Lauren and her best friends Emily and Cate are single and looking for lurrrrve and what better way to meet a group of single men than the new salsa classes that are being held at the Moonlight Hotel a hotel that is close to Lauren’s heart. With shaking hips, fun and romance everything is going well until it is announced the classes are having to be moved because their much loved hotel has been brought buy a budget chain and is closing for extensive renovation. Lauren is heartbroken but can romance fit the pieces of her heart back together again?

You know a book is getting a full five star review when you settle down to read the first chapter of a book and the next thing you know you have a numb bum and have finished the book in one greedy setting! Jane Costello creates such exciting and good humoured characters who form such strong friendship circles that you just want to be a part of. Trouble and awkward situations seem to follow poor Lauren but each time she found herself in a spot of bother I was laughing away.

Romance plays a big part in this book for all three women but nothing is ever straight forward and there was actually one twist in this book that was really shocking I didn’t see it coming at all ( I love it when the wool is pulled over my eyes!)

The male characters were a great addition to this storyline, Joe was oozing sex appeal, he was charming and a pure gentleman who obviously knew how to wiggle those hips. Edwin, oh Edwin! He was such a little sweetie but he seemed more like a nerdy best friend than the love of anyone’s life but I loved him all the same.

This book gets a big thumbs up from me, it was addictive, witty and had a wonderful group of characters and a warning never to drink when you’re on antibiotics!

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Springtime at Cherry Tree Cottage by Cathy Woodman Blog Tour

Today it is my stop on the Springtime at Cherry Tree Cottage Blog Tour.
This is the 10th novel set in Talyton St George and I loved returning to this fabulous fictional village.

Cathy Woodman is joining us today to tell us about  Five of the Best Places to Visit in East Devon in the Spring

Hello Rea
Thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful blog.

I loved revisiting Talyton St George in my new book ‘Springtime at Cherry Tree Cottage’. As it has a springtime theme and is set in East Devon, I thought I’d introduce you to five of the best places to visit here at this time of year.

I’m also pleased to tell you that I’ve recently moved back to the ‘Talyton St George’ area in real life, so the other weekend I was eating ice cream on the beach at Sidmouth. I can thoroughly recommend the Salcombe salted caramel flavour! 


Sidmouth is a seaside town set below green hills and the red sandstone cliffs of the Jurassic coast, a World Heritage site. It is beautiful at any time of year, but in spring you can enjoy walking along the Esplanade where the row of fine Regency buildings looks out across the sea. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can walk the coastal path to Beer and Branscombe to the east. Connaught Gardens are well worth a visit to see the collection of temperate plants and bulbs that are in flower in the spring. And while you’re there, stop at the Clock Tower Café for an enormous slice of cake.       

The Donkey Sanctuary

If you are in Sidmouth, drop in to the Donkey Sanctuary where you can hug a donkey like Timmy, the one in the photo. It’s a working farm, so it’s important to dress up for the spring weather and wear suitable footwear. For more information, visit their website at

South West Coast Path - Budleigh Salterton to Otterton

The walk starts at the Limekiln car park at the mouth of the River Otter in Budleigh Salterton which has a pebble beach. You follow the estuary then continue along the river where you can see the signs of spring.

I based my description of the River Taly that runs through Talyton St George on the River Otter, so while you are there, looking at the scenery, I hope you will be able to imagine Flick and Robbie from ‘Springtime at Cherry Tree Cottage’ riding their horses along the riverbank.
I would recommend a stop at Otterton Mill, a water mill from the mid-19th century, where you can have lunch, buy fresh bread and buy works by local artists and craftspeople. It’s very popular so it can get busy.
Follow the link here to check parking and accessibility:

Killerton House

Killerton House is a National Trust property. It is an eighteenth century house with landscaped gardens surrounded by beautiful parkland. Inside, there is a historical fashion collection. It is particularly renowned for its collection of spring flowers, including cyclamen, celandine, bluebells, snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, camellias and magnolias.  

For more information on opening times and admission prices, see

Exmouth Beach

Exmouth is situated on the Exe estuary at the western limit of the Jurassic Coast. It has two miles of sandy beaches where you can walk and look for shells or paddle, when it’s warm enough! There are cafés, lawns and displays of spring blooms along the seafront.

In the Talyton St George series, the seaside town of Talymouth was inspired by my trips to Exmouth, and in ‘Springtime at Cherry Tree Cottage’, Flick visits Talysands which is loosely based on Dawlish Warren on the opposite side of the Exe estuary.     

When I visited Exmouth the other week, much of the beach had been washed or blown up onto the roads and pavements by one of the big storms and there was a team of people in the process of moving it all back again.

If you take your dog with, just check which areas of the beach they are allowed on and when as there are restrictions as spring turns into summer.
I hope you will enjoy some of the many attractions the area has to offer if you are passing through, or staying here on holiday.

Happy reading!
x Cathy

My Review

After years of training, horse-mad Flick has finally achieved her dream of becoming one of the few female blacksmiths in the country.

Her first job is in Talyton St George. The little cottage on the green where she is staying is idyllic, and it feels like the fresh start she needs. But she soon finds she is having to work overtime to prove her abilities to the not-so-welcoming locals. 

One person very much on her side though is Robbie Salterton. He’s a bit of a local celebrity – a handsome stunt rider who does charity work in his spare time – and he seems to be going out of his way to look out for Flick. But is he just being friendly or does he see Flick as something more? 

Despite swearing off men, Flick can’t help wanting to find out . . .

Cathy Woodman’s books are all set in the idyllic village of Talyton St George and every time she releases another book in the series I cannot wait to revisit the Village and the familiar characters. Cathy Woodman’s latest release is her 10th book set in Talyton St George and the cover of Springtime at Cherry Tree Cottage is just as inviting as the storyline it holds inside.

Flick is new to Talyton St George, a qualified blacksmith she is covering for the village’s Farrier Mel whilst he has surgery but his clients are not all thrilled with the thought of not only a new Farrier but a lady Farrier at that, Flick has a hard task of proving her skills and winning their trust. Luckily one of the clients the handsome Robbie is more than happy with Flick and with the pair of them both being horse mad they have a great connection but does he just see Flick as one of the lads?

I was so absorbed by this storyline that I couldn’t put it down and as I found myself flying through the pages enjoying my return to Talyton St George I then didn’t want to reach the end as I hate leaving the characters we meet in these books behind. Ten books have been set in this village and there is still a great appeal to the books and it is great that we get to see snippets of the characters from the previous books to see how they are doing too.

Flick was another hardworking and friendly character who I loved from the first chapter and she was determined to be self-sufficient and prove to herself as well as overs that she can do things alone and she can do things well too. Robbie was our typical charmer who, like most of the women in the village, can’t help but swoon over.

I still feel like Cathy Woodman’s books do not get the justice the recognition they deserve, she has such a wonderful flow to her writing and you can see how much knowledge and research she puts into her storylines. This book can easily be read as a standalone so if you have never read one of Cathy Woodman’s books then pick this one up and please shout about to friends and family as they are such wonderful books you are missing out on.

This is a charming and quaint read that is uplifting and entertaining, yes ok the romance side of the book is rather predictable but that really didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book. This book gets a big thumbs up from me and I cannot wait for the next trip to Talyton St George. 

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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson's world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave. 

What -- or who -- is causing the strange goings-on in Alex's home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help?

In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved -- with life-changing consequences for all involved.

I was sent a copy of Out of the Darkness by author Katy Hogan and after reading the synopsis I was eager to start this book as the spirit world is something that has always been an interest of mine. Katy Hogan gets the balance just right in this book talking about the messages from the other side with out it stepping over to the "magical" or "spooky ghostly" path which I often find in similar books which then makes the storyline lose its believable and emotional edge. 

The story begins by introducing us to one of main characters, Jessica who is struggling to come to terms with the death of her mother. Jessica meets a guy called Finn quite by chance and that one night changes her life completely and brings light into her darkness and it is because of this event that fate happens in bringing another of our two characters Alex and Hannah into Jessica's life. Little do the ladies know that their new friendship may not have been a coincidence.

Each of the characters are dealing with raw emotion but this book shows the importance of friendship and how strong it can be as they are there for each other as a constant support network to pull each other out the other side of their grief.

The storyline is sure to pull at your heart strings and I have to admit to having a lump in my throat at one particular part of this book. Don't feel like this book is going to have you wallowing all the way through though because although it deals with death, grieving and illness there is also a comforting and touching side to the book too. I loved how unpredictable the storyline was and also how fast paced the book was I read it in one sitting and there was never a slow or drawn out moment in the whole book which is why I found it so engaging.


Friday, 18 March 2016

Books and the City Spring Blogger Event

On Wednesday I was thrilled to be invited to 
The Books and the City Spring Blogger Event.

Having a rare day off I had a mooch around London and I completely blame 
the lovely Sara Jade Virtue for my unexpected purchase of a Kikki K Organiser!
I had been looking at them online but kept talking myself out of buying one but when these little beauties where in my hands I couldn't resist.

Cheeky purchase in hand I made my way to the Simon and Schuster offices where the event was to be held and Sara Jade and the team at BATC had treated us to Fizz and nibbles and some deliciously good cupcakes that tasted so scrummy I wanted to pretend to use the loo during the talk just to gorge on them all! ( Yes I am a cake pig!)

Sara Jade welcomed us all and then handed over to Clare Hey who introduced us to the authors, Penny Parkes, Paige Toon, Holly Hepburn and Juliet Ashton.

Each of the authors read from their new books and they all had such a wonderful sense of humor and had us all laughing throughout the talk.

We were lucky enough to be given a goody bag with the authors books and some extra goodies so we all got the chance to have a quick chat with the ladies and get our books signed.

I tried not to fan girl too much whilst talking to each of the authors but I think I failed on that note!

I have been lucky enough to read These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton and it is a book you 
all must add to your To be read piles, and if it is already on there then bump it up!

After listening to the authors reading from their books I am now eager to start their books and jump into a world of sexy doctors, hot blacksmiths and troubled triplets!

Thank you so much to Sara Jade and the team at BATC for hosting such a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Erica James 20th Book Birthday

Today it is my stop on the blog tour celebrating Erica James' 20th Book Birthday.
I have not one but two reviews to share with you, firstly my review for Song of Skylark which is Erica's latest release and also a review for one of her previous books Summer at the Lake.
To top it off I am also hosting a giveaway that is open to the UK only too.

Lizzie has always had an unfortunate knack of attracting bad luck, but this time she's hit the jackpot. Losing her heart to her boss leads to her losing her job, and with no money in the bank, Lizzie finds herself forced to move back home with her parents. When she reluctantly takes another job, she meets Mrs Dallimore, a seemingly ordinary elderly woman with an astonishing past . . . Now in her nineties, Mrs Dallimore is also coming to terms with her situation. Old age is finally catching up with her. As she and Lizzie form the bond of unexpected friendship, Mrs Dallimore tells the story of a young girl who left America before the outbreak of World War Two and, in crossing an ocean, found herself embarking on a new life she couldn't have imagined. As Lizzie listens to Mrs Dallimore, she begins to realise that she's not the only person to attract bad luck, and that sometimes life has a way of surprising you . .

Bestselling author Erica James is an author whose books I was introduced to last year and after reading my first ever book by her I remember thinking how I had been missing out on her fabulous books all these years and so I greedily began buying more of her books. This year Erica is releasing her 20th book titled Song of the Skylark and the striking cover will be calling out to readers from the shelves.

The storyline follows young Lizzie who has had to return home to her parents with her tail between her legs having lost her job due to very idiotic and embarrassing situation. Her mum Tess is determined that Lizzie isn’t going to just sit around wallowing in self-pity and so she arranges for her to work as a volunteer at Woodside a residential home for the elderly which Lizzie is not looking forward too.

Clarissa is one of the residents at Woodside and she strikes up an unlikely friendship in Lizzie and she tells Lizzie the story of her life in the hope that Lizzie will then finally realise that everyone has bad luck at some point in their lives but you have to dust yourself of and keep going.

The book starts of at a slow pace as we are introduced to Lizzie and find out about her background and the reason she is back home with her parents and I did find my attention wasn’t gripped at the start, I found myself picking the book up and popping it back down often as it just felt like it was being drawn out to long but as soon as we began to embark on the journey down memory lane with Clarissa the book soon had me gripped and I was snatching the odd page at every moment I got.

I found Clarissa’s story so captivating, she was such an admirable character who had faced so much devastation through her life but she never wallowed she always picked herself up and was ready for the next chapter of her life. Each time the storyline jumped backed to Lizzie I found myself eager to get back to Clarissa’s story to find out what happened next but I can see the relevance of having Lizzie’s storyline weaved in too as it gave a chance not only for Clarissa ( or Mrs Dallimore as Lizzie addressed her) to tell her story but also to teach Lizzie to not give in to her run of bad luck, it happens to us all and Clarissa had more than her fair share but you have a choice to get back up and try again because we only have one life and it isn’t going to stop and wait for you.

The author has created such an atmospheric read that will take you on a thought provoking and emotional journey along with our characters, not only Lizzie and Clarissa but all the supporting characters too from the charming Ellis and Artie, the wonderfully refreshing Effie and the adorable Nicholas, Thomas and Walter.

This is a book that I will stay with me because of the message it delivers. This is not a journey you will want to rush through, read and savour every chapter of this honorable characters life story that felt all too real. I think I would go as far as to say that this has been my favourite book by Erica James so far.

Lake Como - beautiful, enchanting, romantic... For Floriana, it is the place where the love of her life is getting married to another woman. And she's been invited to the wedding. For Esme, it is where, over sixty years ago, she fell in love for the first time. So often she's wondered what happened to the man who stole her heart - and changed the course of her life. Adam is in danger of burying himself entirely in his work after his girlfriend left him. Could a trip to Lake Como be the distraction he needs? Now it's time for each of them to understand that the past is not only another country, it can also cast haunting shadows over everyone's lives...

I have been working my way through Erica James’s novels after I read her book The Dandelion Years last year and was totally captivated by the storyline and her skilled writing style and now I cannot get enough of her books. Summer at the Lake sounded like the prefect read to bring a ray of light into this dull and wet day and it sure didn’t disappoint.

Tour guide Floriana has her mind on something else when she is involved in a hit and run, little did she know that this event would introduce her to two people Adam and Esme, who would become wonderful caring friends. Each of the characters have loved and lost and before long they are helping each other to mend their broken hearts.

The storyline is set in both Oxford and Lake Como but it is Lake Como that felt so inviting and whisked me away with the characters to a place I didn’t wish to return. We visit Lake Como both in the past and present as we hear Esme’s story of her younger years and then we revisit the same spots when an event leads our characters back to Lake Como together.

I loved each of our protagonists Floriana was a lively outgoing character, Esme was a wise, meddling woman and Adam was a pure gentleman with such a caring nature so they all brought something to their little friendship trio as well as to the storyline. Romance blossoms throughout the storyline and I was hoping for a perfect happy ending for all of these good natured characters.

The enchanting setting, the engaging characters and the heartbreak and romance all come together and make such a beautiful Summery read.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy of both Summer at the Lake and Song of Skylark
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Friday, 11 March 2016

Transworld Rising Star Event

On Wednesday I went out, not just out I went out out! 
It was an evening hosted by the wonderful team at Transworld celebrating 
their Rising Star Authors and what a wonderful night it was.

The Event was hosted at the swanky Jewel Bar in Piccadily.

Anna McPartlin was talking to us about her upcoming release Somewhere Inside of Happy which sounds like a book with a rollercoaster of emotions and this author has such a wicked sense of humour and is so engaging I could have listened to her all night long but then my cheeks would be on fire from laughing so much!

We were also joined by the duo writing team Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice. It was great to hear how they structure their books and work together, they have a large amount of trust for each other which seems to make the whole writing experience easier. I have only read a handful of books which are by two authors but I am looking forward to reading The Night that Changed Everything as it sounds like it is going to be a witty read.

After following Cathy Bramley for so long on Twitter it was lovely to finally get the chance to meet her. Her new book The Plumberry School of Comfort Food sounds like it is going to be a delicousy good and uplifting read and I can not wait to read it part one is available on the link below, but I will be waiting for the paperback as I am a greedy reader and like to devour it all in one sitting!

The whole evening was so relaxed, informative and enjoyable thanks to a much loved author of mine the talented Julie Cohen who hosted the evening asking burning questions to each of the authors about their books and the writing process. Julie's upcoming release has had a title change which is now Falling and it is a stunning read that you will not want to miss. I was a little star struck by Julie that when she asked where I was I launched my phone in the air! I always make such a wonderful impression! ( why am I still invited to these events?) 

At the end of the night the generous team let us take a copy of each book to then get signed by each of the authors which tied the evening off beautifully and I can not wait to get stuck in to these books.
A Big thank you to the authors for taking the time to talk to us and also to everyone at Transworld for hosting a memorable evening and for our books and good bag.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian. 

Kate has always loved Charlie - they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn't always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won't it…?

These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton is a storyline that grows with our main charters from the early years beginning at Kate’s 5th Birthday Party right up to her 40th and books like this really appeal to me as I feel like we really get to know the characters well as we watch their personalities grow as they face different life events. The focus of the storyline was the love between Kate and Charlie who were childhood sweethearts who separated in the early years but their lives have always been entwined and their love for each other never truly fizzled out but will true love find a way of reuniting the couple?

Although romance is at the core of this storyline there is also the strong bond between Kate and her cousin Becca who are more like best friends but are polar opposites of each other and I take my hat off to Kate with how much of Becca’s destruction she put up with. The early friendship group between Kate, Charlie, Julian and Becca was my favourite part of the book and where I really felt like we got to know our characters. Looking in on the foursome they really were a mismatch and even at this point I found myself wanting to bash Kate and Charlies head together as it was so obvious they still held a candle for each other and were so perfect for each other too.

I love how each chapter brings us to a new event in the characters’ lives from Birthdays to Weddings and funerals and even Divorce parties so you can tell there was a rollercoaster of emotions throughout this book! This was a clever way to move the story on through different points of their lives. The author managed to pull the wool over my eyes through this book too and when something Becca had done was revealed I was in total shock and wanted to scratch her eyes out!

This was a book that took you on a journey of romance and friendship with its emotional ups and downs that will have you laughing one minute and bringing a lump to your throat the next and I thoroughly enjoyed this modern vibrant read.

This wonderful read is currently at an unbelievable price, only 99p! (at time of posting)


Pre-order Paperback

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay

Laura loves her daughter more than anything in the world.

But nine-year-old daughter Autumn is being bullied. Laura feels helpless. 

When Autumn fails to return home from school one day, Laura goes looking for her. She finds a crowd of older children taunting her little girl. In the heat of the moment, Laura makes a terrible choice. 

A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter...

Bone by Bone is Sanjida Kay's first thriller and what a gripping and pacy read it is. The storyline follows nine year old Autumn who has not long been at her new school and she is being bullied and finally she confides in her mum Laura. Laura wants to do everything she can to protect her precious little girl and so when she goes looking for Autumn one day when she is late home from school and finds her surrounded by a group of children Laura approaches the group and makes a terrible mistake.

The book gets off to a dramatic start with the prologue which had me on alert already and as each chapter played out I found myself tense and eager to find out what events had occurred to lead up to the situation we read about in the prologue.

At times I felt so desperate for both Laura and Autumn and my heart really went out to them, the author really manages to portray how bullying effects both the victim and the parent and how suffocated and helpless it can make them feel. There were times where I felt frustrated with Laura with the way she dealt with things but this just helped to keep the tension running high.

The chapters alternated between both Laura and Autumns characters which I thought worked really well for this storyline as we get to see from both characters points of view especially seeing what Autumns thoughts were on the way her mum dealt with various parts of the bullying.

The author has such an easy flow to her writing I was surprised how quick I whizzed through this book but it was such a pacey and packed storyline there was no safe place to stop. My one little criticism would have to be I felt the ending was a little rushed and abrupt. This was a compelling read that shows a mothers desperation to protect her daughter and I will definitely be recommending this one to friends and family and I look forward to seeing what the authors delivers next.

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