Monday, 25 April 2016

Wickham Hall by Cathy Bramley

Holly Swift has just landed the job of her dreams: events co-ordinator at Wickham Hall, the beautiful manor home that sits proudly at the heart of the village where she grew up. Not only does she get to organise for a living and work in stunning surroundings, but it will also put a bit of distance between Holly and her problems at home.

As Holly falls in love with the busy world of Wickham Hall - from family weddings to summer festivals, firework displays and Christmas grottos - she also finds a place in her heart for her friendly (if unusual) colleagues.

But life isn’t as easily organised as an event at Wickham Hall (and even those have their complications…). Can Holly learn to let go and live in the moment? After all, that’s when the magic happens…

Wickham Hall has been released in four parts as e-books but personally I am too impatient to wait for the next instalment so I waited to read as the full novel and I ended up devouring the book in one night ( yes I did say I was impatient!) 

Holly has been visiting Wickham Hall with her mother since she was a child, attending all of the big events held at the stately home. Holly loses her job and applies for a position as events coordinator at Wickham Hall and it is like a dream come true when she's offered the job.

She is thrown into the deep end when her first day arrives only to be told her boss wasn't coming to work for at least a week, the office is in chaos and Holly has to think on her feet and fast as major events are looming with still much to be organised.

Holly is an easy loveable character who is a determined planner and organiser, if you want a job doing and doing well get Holly onto it and she will not fail you! Her passion for her job and for Wickham Hall seeps through the pages. There are a host of wonderful friendly and equally passionate characters who work at Wickham Hall and it isn't long before Holly becomes one of the welcomed and trust team. I loved all of the characters in this book they all brought a little something different to the storyline.

The storyline centres around Holly's job and the events at the stately home but there are some other topics that are covered too from a struggle that Holly has at home with her mother and also the hope of Holly discovering the truth about her father who she has never met and this part of the book I thought was quite predictable only to have myself proved completely wrong!

There is a blossoming romance that faces the odd bump along the way but this develops around the storyline rather than taking over the main focus. The authors descriptions of the Wickham Hall and its stunning grounds really brought the place to life. We also get an insight into the amount of work that hopes on behind the scenes at such grand and historic places to try and drum up more ticket sales to keep everything running.

This was another flawless and quick paced read by author Cathy Bramley, with such engaging characters and an idylic setting this is a perfect uplifting Sunday read.

Paperback               Kindle

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Chocolate Lovers Wedding and #Giveaway

I am thrilled to be hosting this amazing giveaway along with the other wonderful bloggers on this tour, I am actually really envious as this is an amazing prize that is going to make a bookworms day!


I am a huge Carole Matthews fan and her Chocolate Lovers books are my favourite of hers so when my copy of The Chocolate Lovers Wedding arrived I abandoned my current read and wasted no time in revisiting Chocolate Heaven.

There are big changes for Lucy, Nadia, Autumn and Chantel in this book, some exciting changes, some more challenging and one absolutely devastating, this book will break your heart and try to piece it together again piece by piece.

Carole Matthews tackles two delicate issues in this book and she develops the emotions and thoughts that the characters have with such care and realism. After reading the whole series the characters feel so real and like our own group of friends now so it sure pulls at the heartstrings what the girls are facing.

There seemed to be a lot packed in to this book there was no safe place to put the book down. When Lucy had another one of her “ I have a plan” moments straight away I thought oh no this isn’t going to end well but as Lucy’s plans go she typically managed to bring great humour to the girls and the reader.

I still don’t feel ready to leave the ladies behind and I really hope that Carole Mathews feels the same and is locked away somewhere continuing the ladies adventures. I absolutely loved this book and it is one of the rare books that will be staying on my shelf as I can’t bare to share!

Paperback                Kindle

This is a Uk only giveaway. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

My Map of You by Isabelle Broom

Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother's death, she's become expert at keeping people at a distance - including her boyfriend, Rupert. 

But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart. 

But is the island where Holly really belongs? 

Or will her real life catch up with her first?

I have desperately been waiting for Isabelle Broom’s My Map of You to be released and having now just finished reading this atmospheric read I can say the story it holds inside is as beautiful as the cover.

Holly has not had an ideal upbringing which has had an effect on her and her relationships as she can’t let anyone close including boyfriend Rupert. But Holly is about to have her life turned upside down when an unexpected letter arrives informing her that she has inherited a house on the Greek Island of Zakynthos from her Aunt, but as far as Holly is concerned she was the only member of her family still alive.

Holly was a character who really touched my heart and who I found a connection with early on in the book. Holly didn’t actually know who she was, she has spent so long being a chameleon trying to fit around people and she doesn’t let anyone in, she had to learn to be friends and learn to love, nothing came naturally and trust didn’t appear to come at all. As Holly spends more time in Zakynthos there was something comforting and calming about the Island that slowly managed to get Holly to take a step back and start to really figure out who she is and what she wants and I loved watching her character blossom.

The supporting characters were all really well developed, some I didn’t warm to such as Rupert others I loved just as much as Holly like our charming Aiden.

The Island of Zakynthos was so enchanting and inviting thanks to the authors skilled and detailed descriptions, I think the author needs to be on commission for this book as holidays to the Island are sure to take a rise once readers have had a taste of the Island through these pages, I for one was straight online having a look on Thomson! 

The author has obviously spent a lot of time researching the Islands little hideaways and quirks it was like a little guided tour alongside the storyline.

The storyline had me engrossed the whole way through with some unexpected surprises along the way to keep me on my toes. The Greek charm of the locals, the sizzling romance and the idyllic setting all come together to make this a truly perfect holiday read this Summer but be warned closing this book and leaving the characters and Zakynthos behind is like boarding that dreaded flight home!

I really enjoyed this book and Holly’s journey of self-discovery as well as my own discovery of the stunning Island of Zakynthos, this is the first book of the year that I have read that I want to scream at everyone to pop in their suitcases as this one is perfect holiday reading that will not disappoint. 

Paperback               Kindle

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back by Rebecca keeps him on his toes. 
They're a perfect match. Nothing can come between them. 

Or so they think. 

When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten. 
Can they recover from the night that changed everything?
 And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

Having just finished Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice’s debut novel I was eager to read their new release The Night that Changed Everything and this one is just as great as the debut if not a smidge better.

The plot is a new one for me which is why this book appealed to me so much as we always read girl meets boy and they live happily ever after romances but the duo tackle the flip side in a boy meets girl break up. We are introduced to our main characters Rebecca and Ben at the start of their relationship when they first meet and they seem like a perfect couple until a comment is made and everything changes for this loved up couple but can their love overcome this and bring the couple back together again or is the crack too big to repair?

I did feel sympathetic towards Ben because I don’t feel he was in the wrong but on the other hand I can see how hurt and awkward it must have been for Rebecca too. There were great supporting characters in this book too who I loved just as much as our main characters especially the handsome Jaime and the witty Jemma, the only character I didn’t like was Avril ( I know I won’t be in the minority here ) she really needed a fish slap!

Just like with the authors debut I would never have thought that this book was written by two authors as their voices complement each other so well they blend together even when the chapter is told from one characters pov and the other character is speaking in that chapter you wouldn’t know who it was writing which part.

There was a point in the book that was completely unexpected and which brought a lump to my throat but I don’t want to say more than that and ruin the impact of stumbling on this part of the book. I loved how the authors kept us guessing right up until the end how things would be left between Ben and Rebecca, one minute I was sure it would end one way and then in the next breathe my opinion changed.

I loved how realistic this storyline was there was no part of the book that was unbelievable or farfetched, seeing how break ups effect not only the couple but also the friendship groups around them and also going through the motions of one minute longing to get back together then feeling the time is right to move on only to then find yourself back wanting to be together.

Laura and Jimmy have delivered another enjoyable, witty and at times emotional read that didn’t disappoint.

Paperback               Kindle

I have a copy up for grabs, so if you want to be in with a chance on getting your hands on a copy enter the giveaway below. This is a copy that I have brought so it is open WORLDWIDE ( see T&Cs).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Best Thing that Never Happened to Me by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice

Everyone remembers their first love. 
Holly certainly remembers Alex. But she decided ten years ago that love wasn’t about mix tapes and seizing the moment – though she’s not exactly sure it’s about secret dates with your boss, either. 

But what if the feelings never really went away? Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It’s a fresh start in a big city, and he’s almost certain that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Almost. 

How do you know if it was meant to be… or never meant to happen at all?

I have to hold my hands up and say I was hesitant to read The Best Thing that Never Happened to Me purely because I have only read 4 books that are written by a duo author team and I didn’t like any of them so I just feel that that structure just isn’t for me. So why am I reading it now I hear you shouting! I recently attended an event where Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice were interviewed and they seemed to have such great trust and respect for each other’s writing and they also had a great connection between them so I wanted to see if this come across in their book.

Holly and Alex was the best of friends at school but 10 years later their lives have gone in different directions, Holly is living in London and is in a clich├ęd relationship and Alex is about to make a big step and is making a move to London and a new job. Now their paths are about to cross for the first time since then but have their hidden feelings for each other fizzled out?

Each chapter alternates between Holly and Alex’s points of view and we get form a rounded picture of each character thanks to the glimpses of their past as well as the current day. The authors writing styles obviously complement each other as personally I wouldn’t have known that the book was written by two authors but I think what they have achieved is to have a strong male and female lead, perfecting the male and female quirks.

The storyline is one of those will they won’t they romances where at points you want nothing more than to see our characters reach a happy ending and at other points you just want to bash their heads together and make them open up about their feelings.

This is an uplifting read that has a little stream of humour running through mostly thanks to their friend Kev who is an out and out twat but underneath he actually has a heart in there somewhere!

I am so  pleased I decided to pick this book up because it was an enjoyable read with engaging characters. The authors obviously have something unique and work extremely well together, I can’t wait to read The Night that Changed Everything next.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele

All Riley Flynn wants is to meet someone who makes her happy. But attracting the right kind of man is not easy, and with her heart still hurting from her last break-up, Riley believes she’ll never find love again. 

A year ago, Sadie Stewart’s whole world was shattered when her husband, Ross, died. She has struggled to keep herself together for the sake of their young daughter, but with the anniversary of his death approaching, Sadie finds herself overwhelmed by grief. 

Sadie and Riley work at Chandlers shoe shop, in the charming town of Hedworth. But when Chandlers is threatened with closure, the friends are confronted with the loss of not only their jobs, but also their support network - the glue that holds them together when they are close to breaking. 

 As they put together a plan to save their beloved shop, Sadie realises that she might just be learning to live again. Could it be that new beginnings are just round the corner? 

The campaign also finds Riley unexpectedly crossing paths with charming photographer, Ethan.
Maybe her second chance at love is right under her feet …

I know we should never judge a book by its cover but when I saw the cover for The Second Chance Shoe Shop I just didn’t hesitate in downloading it and getting started straight away as this was a new storyline for me set in a shoe shop.

Riley is the manager at Chandler’s shoe shop and she is very passionate about her job. Working with great friends Dan and Sadie, their friendship circle is strong and supportive both inside and outside of work. Chandler’s isn’t making the money it used to and Riley is frustrated when owner Suzanne pushes them to try harder with the shop but refuses to listen to her ideas for turning the shop around.

This was an enjoyable light read that I read in one sitting. I really enjoy books that have a storyline set around a business so this book really appealed to me. The storyline was current with the use of social media and hash tags as well as flash mobs all featuring as marketing ploys which all brought a modern and realistic feel to the storyline.

The storyline covers a number of relationship problems and also shows the trouble that social media can cause highlighting the effect it can have on personal lives as well as your professional life too. But what the author has done incredibly well is to form such a strong bond between Riley, Dan and Sadie.

The author takes you through every emotion in this book from frustration, heartbreak, excitement and humour too especially watching poor Dan and his dating dilemmas. I really enjoyed this book it did lose its pace a little in the last third of the book but it wasn’t long before it picked up again. This book was the perfect light read for me to read on my hospital treatment day, nothing too challenging but a book that had me speeding through the pages.

Kindle                    Paperback

Monday, 11 April 2016

Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin

Today it is my stop on the Somewhere Inside of Happy blog tour where I will be sharing my review for this thought provoking read. Be sure to stop by the other blogs on the tour to see other reviews and more content too.

Maisie Bean is a fighter. A survivor. 
Seventeen years ago, she went on a first date that went so badly it was enough to put the girl off chips. The marriage that followed was hell but it gave her two children: funny, caring Jeremy and bullish but brilliant Valerie. 

Just as it seems everything might finally start going right, sixteen-year-old Jeremy goes missing. 

The police descend and a media storm swirls, over five days of searching that hurtle towards an inevitable, terrible conclusion. Maisie is facing another fight, and this time it’s the fight of her life. 
But she’s a survivor.
Whatever the odds, she’ll never give in.

Anna McPartlin is a new author to me but when I heard her at an event recently talking about her books and her writing she had such a wicked sense of humour and I was looking forward to reading her latest release to see if she has poured her Irish charm into her novel and safe to say she has!

This storyline had me hooked straight from the first chapter. We meet Maisie Bean who has rebuilt a life for her and her two children Jeremy and Valerie after an abusive relationship, now they are a close knit family not without their struggles as they look after Maisie’s mum Bridie who is a handful but son Jeremy is a big help and seems to be the apple of his Grandma’s eye. But the Bean family are about to face another challenge, the biggest one of all, Jeremey goes missing leaving no trace which is so out of character but Maisie refuses to give up hope she needs her boy to walk back through that door.

This was such a powerful, thought provoking read that was told in such a clever way as it delivers a message and shows a number of struggles that people face and the effect it has on their lives as well as the family and friends around them which tugs at the heart strings but the author manages to weave some humour around the storyline too, bringing the readers emotions back up again so that the book has an uplifting feel to it too.

I don’t want to give too much away about the storyline so I am only going to touch briefly on the fact that the author brings great awareness to both of the issues that Jeremy and Bridie have and she has delivered this in such an informative and heartfelt way which I hope will open some people’s eyes.

This was such a poignant read that is unpredictable and at one point near the end I actually gasped out loud as what happened was totally unexpected and utterly heartbreaking all at the same time. I found myself reading the last chapter and trying to put myself in Maisie’s shoes to see if my thoughts and actions would be the same but I think this is one of those occasions until you are faced with a situation head on you have no way of knowing how you would react but I take my hat off to her either way.

This is easily one of the best books that I have read this year and it has made quite an impression on me so this will not be a book I will forget about anytime soon. Having such engaging characters that you don’t want to leave behind and a storyline that is so current and deserves such praise makes this a book that needs to stay on my shelf and selfishly not share. I highly recommend this captivating read and I am now eager to read the authors previous book too.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Second Love of my Life by Victoria Walters

In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something. 

Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.

But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four. Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer...

Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?

I recently read The Summer I Met you by Victoria Walters which is the prequel to The Second Love of my Life, and although I am not typically a fan of short stories I loved that one and I couldn’t wait to meet Emma, John, Rose and Lucas again in the full length novel. I enjoyed the novella so much that I then dived straight into reading The Summer I met you without reading the synopsis so the start of the book was so shocking for me and I felt like Victoria Walters had broken my heart along with Rose’s in two.

Our protagonist is the delightful Rose who I just wanted to wrap up in cotton wool after the world she knows has crumbled down around her when her childhood sweetheart dies at such a young age and now Rose needs to move on with her life but how when the biggest part of her life has gone? Where will her life take her now and will her heart ever heal and find love again?

This was such an endearing read that had me captivated from the first chapter. What I love most about this book is the supportive friendship between Rose and Emma they have such a close relationship and they pull each other through such difficult times but also enjoy the good times together too. Their friendship is so realistic which helps bring these characters to life.

The storyline is sure to break your heart into a million pieces and then slowly put them together again but not without some more heartbreak along the way. The author manages to show the emotions and daily struggles that poor widowed Rose goes through and I was just longing for her to find happiness and get her life on a new path as she was such a loving character who deserves happiness.

With the storyline covering grief I thought it could be a real sad emotional read but the storyline also is full of hope and new beginnings so there is an uplifting feel too.

There were a couple of occasions in the book that had shocking revelations which I really didn’t see coming which only added to the enjoyment of the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it reminded me of the early books by Paige Toon and also fans of Giovanna Fletcher will love this book too. Victoria Walters is an author to watch out for this was a praiseworthy debut novel and one of my favourite books of the year so far.

Paperback               Kindle

The wonderful team over at Headline have kindly offered 2 copies of this fabulous book 
for a giveaway which is open to UK residents only. 
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Missing by C.L Taylor

You love your family.
They make you feel safe.
You trust them.
But should you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She's not the only one. There isn't a single member of Billy's family that doesn't feel guilty.

But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn't until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance. A mother's instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

I loved both The Accident and The Lie by C.L Taylor and when I heard Cally talking briefly last year about The Missing she grabbed my attention with the little snippet she gave us and I have been so impatient waiting for the release.

The Wilkinson family are distraught after 15 year old Billy goes missing one night leaving no clues as to where he has gone. The family have every possible scenario going around in their minds but the main question is he dead or alive. As mum Claire refuses to give up hope she is determined to find a clue as to where her son is and what has happened to him but before long she uncovers secrets that have been hidden from her from those she trusts.

I only meant to open the book and read the first page which is a habit of mine but when I read the first page before long I found myself on page 8 and although I felt guilty stopping my current read this book demanded my full attention. Our main character is Claire and although I don't have children myself I could feel her desperation through the pages, she needed answers just as much as she wanted her son Billy to walk straight back through the door. We follow Claire's events through the book but we also get snippets of conversation told through instant message which builds a vague picture of an unsettling relationship/friendship which the relevance of these messages is cleared up later in the book.

Cally Taylor was very clever pulling the wool over my eyes, at various points in the book I was adamant I knew who was involved but then before long I soon become suspicious of another character which threw a spanner in the works, I actually think I had accused everyone in my mind at some point other than Claire herself! The ending was unpredictable which rounded this book off perfectly.

I was gripped by this storyline, it had a quick pace and a great element of suspense with a family of characters who have their faults but are a typical family. This storyline did have a different feel to it compared with the previous books, I didn't find this storyline as tense and gritty but that didn't effect my enjoyment of the storyline it just showed a different side to the authors writing style. C.L Taylor has done it again and delivered another compelling read.

Paperback               Kindle

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Who's That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right? Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister. When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

I have read all of Mhairi McFarlane’s previous books and really enjoyed them so when I was offered the chance to read and review her new release Who’s That Girl I didn’t hesitate and when it arrived I was shocked at the mammoth size of it!

After a shocking incident at her colleague’s Wedding involving Edie and the Groom, it soon becomes clear that Edie needs to lay low and her boss gives her the opportunity to return to her childhood town and work on a new project ghost-writing actor Elliot Owen’s autobiography. Returning home opens up old wounds that even a hot actor can’t help heal.

I don’t know if it was the daunting 535 pages of this book that I struggled with in the beginning of this book or if it was a case of the wrong book at the wrong time but I read the first chapter and was gripped but then I really struggled to carry on with the book and actually gave up twice but I have enjoyed the authors previous books so much so I was determined to pick it up again and I am so glad I did because as the storyline past the first few chapters I then found myself warming to Edie and looking forward to seeing how things panned out for her.

Edie was a sweet soul who is far from malicious, she was surrounded my toxic people especially Louis who I wasn’t keen on from the first chapter so it was great for her to return to her roots and find herself and reunite with genuine friends too. Her sister is shocking but the relationship between Edie and her sister actually brought some humour to the storyline.

Elliot Owen is our gorgeous heart throb, we get to see him in action at work but we also get to see him out of the lime light and really get to know him and how fame effects his day to day life and also we find out a secret that he has been hiding that looks like it is going to be leaked and the effect this could have not just on him but people close to him too.

I really enjoyed getting to know Edie and Elliot, both live very different lives and yet they have such a great respect and understanding of each other. When I reached the end of the book I thought someone had pulled a page out but no! Mhairi has left the storyline open at the end, yes you can guess a part of but not really know what the true outcome would be ( sorry trying not to give anything away here!).

This was another enjoyable, light and uplifting read by Mhairi McFarlane that also tackles some emotional and heartfelt topics too in such a gentle but detailed way. I am so pleased I picked this book up again, Mhairi McFarlane fans are sure to enjoy Who’s That Girl.

Hardback                Kindle