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The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Summer Seekers to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

THE SUMMER SEEKERS

Author: Sarah Morgan

ISBN: 9781335180926

Publication Date: 18 May 2021

Publisher: HQN Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    💙💙💙💙💙

Book Summary

Get swept into a summer of sunshine, soul-searching and shameless matchmaking with this delightfully bighearted road-trip adventure by USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan!

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

Liza is drowning in the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She’s not the world’s best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late to start over…

I Thought…

The Summer Seekers is my second novel by Sarah Morgan. This contemporary woman’s fiction read is full of fun, family, travel and soupçons of romance. The three main characters in this story are from different generations and are all trying to get the most from their lives in the best way they can.

The reader is introduced to the three protagonists, Kathleen, Liza and Martha. Octogenarian Kathleen has had a road trip on her wish list for years which will take her on Route 66 and on to California. But she gets up one night feeling thirsty after eating salty bacon and disturbs an intruder. She manages to defend herself with a skillet, but in the struggle, receives a blow to her own head. Liza, Kathleen’s daughter, has troubles of her own. She is finding it difficult juggling the demands of family life and is worried about the state of her marriage to Sean. Martha is an anxious twenty-four-year-old who was working at a coffee shop and is living with her parents and sister, Pippa. These three women are hoping for adventure as they share their emotional journeys.

The characters seemed to leap out at me from within the pages and I found I had something in common with all of them, so I could personally relate. The level of imagery was excellent and the author’s particular cocktail of drama, heartbreak and adventure was perfect, drawing me in from the opening pages. This is a really riveting story where the event-filled and emotionally driven narrative held me captive, making it difficult to move from my reading armchair. The Summer Seekers is a charming story that draws on the personalities of the quality protagonists and I’m sure it will appeal to many.

Thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books and the author, Sarah Morgan for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Author Bio: USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

Social Links:

Author Website ~Twitter~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub ~ Instagram: @SarahMorganwrites

Buy Links: 

Harlequin ~ Indiebound ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble  ~ Books-A-Million ~ Walmart ~ Google ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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Confessions from the Quilting Circle by Maisey Yates | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Confessions from the Quilting Circle by Maisey Yates today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of Confessions from the Quilting Circle to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

CONFESSIONS FROM THE QUILTING CIRCLE

Author: Maisey Yates

ISBN: 9781335775856

Publication Date: 4 May 2021

Publisher: HQN Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    💙💙💙💙💙

Book Summary

The Ashwood women don’t have much in common…except their ability to keep secrets.

When Lark Ashwood’s beloved grandmother dies, she and her sisters discover an unfinished quilt. Finishing it could be the reason Lark’s been looking for to stop running from the past, but is she ever going to be brave enough to share her biggest secret with the people she ought to be closest to?

Hannah can’t believe she’s back in Bear Creek, the tiny town she sacrificed everything to escape from. The plan? Help her sisters renovate her grandmother’s house and leave as fast as humanly possible. Until she comes face-to-face with a man from her past. But getting close to him again might mean confessing what really drove her away…

Stay-at-home mom Avery has built a perfect life, but at a cost. She’ll need all her family around her, and all her strength, to decide if the price of perfection is one she can afford to keep paying.

This summer, the Ashwood women must lean on each other like never before, if they are to stitch their family back together, one truth at a time…

I Thought…

Three sisters, Lark, Hannah, and Avery, along with their mother, Mary, are back in their hometown to claim their inheritance and sort through their gran, Adeline Dowell’s large house and her possessions after she passes away. In doing so, they discover that painful secrets have kept them apart as well as achieving their own happiness as individuals. Set in small-town Bear Creek, Oregon, they discover an unfinished quilt along with a diary written by their gran. Maisey Yates has beautifully developed her characters and it was a treat to watch the healing and repairing of the women’s lives at the same time that the quilt was being completed. The story also features two romances and life-changing decisions are needing to be made. Told via alternating viewpoints this compelling, multi-generational story was emotional and moving. I highly recommend Confessions from the Quilting Circle especially if you are fond of small-town stories that unearth an abundance of family history.

Confessions from the Quilting Circle is a satisfying and rewarding reading experience from beginning to end.

Thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books and the author, Maisey Yates for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Author Bio: New York Times Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @maiseyyates
Facebook:@MaiseyYates.Author 
Instagram: @maiseyyates
Goodreads

Buy Links: 

HarlequinIndiebound ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble  ~ Books-A-Million ~ Walmart ~ Google ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Bookstore on the Beach to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating       

The Bookstore on the Beach

by Brenda Novak

On Sale Date: April 6, 2021

9780778361053

Trade Paperback; $16.99 USD

448 pages

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    💙💙💙💙💙    

For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Kay Andrews, comes New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak’s newest standalone work of women’s fiction, a big, sweeping novel about family and the ties that bind and challenge us. In this novel, three generations of women from the same family share a house and work together at a bookstore in Colonial Beach over the course of a summer.

How do you start a new chapter when you haven’t closed the book on the last one?

Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers—she still has no idea where he went or why. After being happily married for twenty years, she can’t imagine moving forward without him, but for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.

Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort by working alongside her mother and aunt at their quaint bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a life change neither of them saw coming and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into Quinn Vanderbilt—the boy who stole her heart in high school—old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.

I Thought…

Nick Divac has been missing for more than 18 months, and his wife, Autumn has been valiantly trying to cope with the situation at their home in Tampa, Florida. The couple has two teenage children, daughter Taylor, age 17, and son Caden, 16. Nick was thought to be working on a mission for the FBI in the Ukraine but never returned from his assignment. When the official investigation ended, Autumn hired a private investigator, Mr Olynyk, based overseas, but even he could not supply any information about Nick’s location. Stressed out and looking for a change of scenery, Autumn and her children head to her mother, Mary Langford’s beach house in Sable Beach, Virginia for the summer, the place where Autumn grew up.

This family drama tells the stories of three women, the problems they face and the secrets they harbour. Aside from Autumn, Mary has to overcome a life-changing situation that has affected her outlook on life. Mary runs a bookshop, Beach Front Books, along with Autumn’s Aunt Laurie and they both have a 50/50 share. Taylor, too, has some serious issues of her own to deal with.

Brenda Novak’s character portrayal was exceptional although I had been excepting nothing less! Autumn reconnects with her first love, Quinn and has to make some hard decisions about her future. Meanwhile, Taylor is all at sea; the disappearance of her much-loved father left her feeling emotionally adrift and she committed a regrettable and undoable act. A new friend both helps and further complicates her inner turmoil.

The author masterfully weaves the characters experiences and backstories into a marvellous, heartwarming tale, delivered with aplomb. So many different themes and topics are explored and touched upon in this splendid tale of family and relationships, including grief, loss, and mental health issues but also of hope, optimism and choice.

The Bookstore on the Beach is a satisfying and rewarding reading experience from the beginning to its intense ending.

Thanks to NetGalley, MIRA and the author, Brenda Novak for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Brenda Novak, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has penned over sixty novels. She is a five-time nominee for the RITA Award and has won the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Bookbuyer’s Best, and many other awards. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised $2.5 million. For more about Brenda, please visit http://www.brendanovak.com.

Author Links:
Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Bookshop.org – IndieBound – Barnes & Noble – Books a Million – Amazon – Indigo – Book Depository – Walmart – Target

Until Next Time, 

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The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Path to Sunshine Cove by RaeAnne Thayne today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Path to Sunshine Cove to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

THE PATH TO SUNSHINE COVE 
Author: RaeAnne Thayne 
ISBN: 9781335665430
Publication Date: March 30, 2020
Publisher: HQN Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    💙💙💙💙💙    
                  

She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize—because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world—and her sister—to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached—to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate—and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it?

I Thought…

In this emotive second instalment in RaeAnne Thayne’s Cape Sanctuary series, the reader is afforded the delightful story of Jessica Clayton who finds out how important her home is to her. Jessica has her own very successful business; she runs Transitions, along with her business partner, a company that helps people to declutter their homes as they prepare to downsize. When a resident of Sanctuary Cove enlists her help she returns to her hometown where her younger sister, Rachel still lives. Jess and Rachel have not spoken for many years but now, Jess would maybe like to reconnect with Rachel and spend her free time with her and her family – husband Cody and Rachel and Cody’s three children, one of whom, Silas has recently been diagnosed with a life-changing condition.

This beautiful, romantic story is set in a small town by the sea, a place vividly brought to life, so gorgeously described by RaeAnne Thayne. I could feel the sea breezes and easily picture the magnificent views. The author’s characterisation is first-class and I really liked Jess’s recently widowed client, Eleanor Whitaker who came across as kind and honest. Jess herself showed resilience and toughness of spirit.

I enjoyed the sub-plot of social media influencer Rachel and her struggling marriage to Cody. With empathy and heartfelt compassion, the author presented this tale of broken relationships and challenges repaired with hard work, effort and determination. The Path to Sunshine Cove can be fully appreciated as a standalone and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy contemporary romance.

Thanks to NetGalley, HQN Books and the author, RaeAnne Thayne for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Author Links:
Website  ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

BUY LINKS:

HarlequinIndiebound ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ Walmart

Until Next Time, 

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Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café by Jessica Redland | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café by Jessica Redland today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café
 
Cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate for some festive sparkle from bestseller Jessica Redland.

Everyone is getting into the festive spirit on Castle Street – snow is falling, fairy lights are glistening and Christmas shopping is underway.

But for Tara Porter, owner of thriving cafe, The Chocolate Pot, this is the most difficult time of the year. From the outside, Tara is a successful businesswoman and pillar of the community. Behind closed doors, she is lonely.

With a lifetime of secrets weighing on her shoulders, she has retreated from all friends, family and romance, and shut her real self away from the world. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. She’s learnt that the hard way.

But as the weight of her past becomes heavier and an unexpected new neighbour moves onto the street – threatening the future of her cafe – Tara begins to realise that maybe it’s time to finally let people back in and confront her history. It could just change her life forever…

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was originally released as Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

My Thoughts

Tara Porter is the owner the Chocolate Pot Café in Castle Street located in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough. I met her in another Whitsborough Bay book, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes. Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is complete in itself, and you don’t need to have read any of the others in the series to enjoy it.

The Chocolate Pot Café is always busy as it’s very popular and also does extremely well at Christmastime. However, Tara finds the festive period something of a struggle as it sees the return of painful memories – she split from her family on Christmas Day and married her ex husband, Garth Tewkesbury on New Year’s Eve. This year, the Café is the venue for wedding and engagement party, so Tara is going to be rushed off her feet, though she will spend Christmas day itself with her giant house rabbit, Hercules, for company. Adding to her difficulties and woes, Jed Ferguson, the former owner of the building that now houses her Café, is back in town…

I easily warmed to Tara who had a sad and harrowing past. She was reluctant to let people into her life as a result of previous hurts and humiliations, thus spending the last fourteen years practically living as a recluse with only Hercules for companionship, unwilling as she was to emotionally engage with others except whilst working in her Café.

I adored the charming setting of Castle Street in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, especially as I have lived near the area myself. Tara’s Chocolate Pot Café was one of a group of shops on the street and the proprietors of them all complemented this delightful story. Jessica Redland’s descriptions were perfect and I dreamt of walking down the cobbles and popping into the various shops located there.

The Christmas theme was extremely enchanting with it’s festive allure and the story’s overall tone was mostly snug and magical, bringing with it all that delicious chocolatey goodness and sweet, heady aromas. Along with the pleasing characters, dashes of a smouldering romance and an abundance of scrummy sounding treats, there were also some quite dark and shady parts, heart breaking incidents, and touching moments. All in all, Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is a lovely, heartwarming, as well as an emotional novel that I have no hesitation in recommending. I look forward to reading more from Jessica Redland.

Thank you to Jessica Redland, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Follow Jessica : Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | Bookbub Mailing list sign up 

Buy Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe

Amazon UK  

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes by Jessica Redland | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes by Jessica Redland today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes
 
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.

For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?

A heartwarming, short festive story of friendship and family from bestseller Jessica Redland. You can find out what happens to Carly next through exploring her best friend Tara’s story in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café.

This is a new and updated version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes which has been previously published.

My Thoughts

Although I haven’t yet read any of Jessica Redland’s other novels, including any from this Whitsborough Bay series, the attractive cover design of this one caught my eye and I thought the premise of the book sounded wonderful. Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes was a lovely story and I especially liked the protagonist, whom I found to be caring and efficient, if rather long-suffering, as well as being someone to whom I could really relate. Carly’s hapless and disorganised sister, Bethany, has been working alongside her in the cupcake bakery for four months and the contributions from Bethany were appreciated as she attempted to master the art of decorating sponge cakes.

I adored the charming setting of Castle Street in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, especially as I have lived near the area myself. The Christmas theme was extremely enchanting with it’s festive allure and the story’s overall tone was so snug and uplifting, bringing with it all that delicious homemade baking and the heady aromas of sugar, icing and cupcakes, not to mention the snow angels!

This was a beautifully written, heartwarming story of love, friendship, community spirit, dreams, second chances, and forgiveness. Dashes of sparkling romance and friction kept things fizzing and everything was wrapped up very nicely in the end.

A wonderful novella with a really strong Christmas feel, this is a book that I will certainly be recommending to friends and family.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Boldwood Books via Rachel’s Random Resources and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Follow Jessica : Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | Bookbub Mailing list sign up 

Buy Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes

Amazon UK  

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

 
Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!
 
Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?

My Thoughts…

Although I haven’t yet read the first book in Katie Ginger’s wonderful ‘Swallowtail Bay’ series the attractive cover design of this one caught my eye and I thought the premise of the book sounded fabulous. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay was a really lovely story and I especially liked the main character, event planner Hetty Colman, to whom I could really relate. She was rather amusing, feisty and confident and I loved the Summer theme with it’s festive charm and watching Hetty and John’s relationship bloom. It was such fun overseeing them plan the strawberry festival. I wanted to be right there alongside them, especially when it came to the food tasting. The story’s overall tone which was so snug and uplifting, bringing with it all those delicious foodie treats.

This was a beautifully written, humorous story of love, friendship, dreams, accepting help, and overcoming obstacles. A dash of sparkling friction kept things fizzing and everything was wrapped up very nicely in the end.

A wonderful read with a really strong sunshiny feel, this is a book that I will certainly be recommending to friends and family.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Rachel’s Random Resources and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and she really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay is her fifth novel. The first, Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay is available now. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and her stand-alone Christmas novel Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage was a US Amazon bestseller. When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive their two children, Ellie and Sam. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

Follow Katie: www.keginger.com | Facebook  | Twitter | Instagram

Buy Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon CA 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Summer Villa to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating  

THE SUMMER VILLA
Author: Melissa Hill
ISBN: 9780778359982
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: MIRA Books                                                                                                Genres: fiction, contemporary, women’s                                                                Rating: 5 stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

When a little white lie becomes the story of your life, what if the truth comes out?

For three women, it’s a life-changing trip: one finds the man of her dreams, another discovers inspiration amidst Italian food and culture, while a chance encounter with a handsome local ushers in the ultimate life change for the third. But most importantly, it’s the beginning of a deep and lasting friendship between all three.

Now years later, Kim Weston – entrepreneur and owner of internationally successful Italian food and lifestyle business, The Sweet Life – has bought and restored the tumble-down villa to its former glory – and plans to reopen Villa Dolce Vita as a wellness/cultural retreat – a fitting honor to the root of her business inspiration.

To celebrate the villa’s grand opening, she and her Italian business partners are throwing a huge three-day party; flying a group of family, business and media contacts to the Amalfi Coast to join in the celebrations. And most importantly, the (still) close friends who started the journey with her: Annie and husband Nate, whose love story began at the villa, and single mum Eva, whose son was the result of an ill-advised Italian fling.

But in the run up to the planned weekend in Italy, it becomes clear that not everyone is happy about the party, nor are they on board with such ambitious plans for the location. And, as Villa Dolce Vita’s grand relaunch draws closer, old memories and past secrets come to light, and the three old friends are forced to question if anything that happened on that first fateful trip to the villa is at all what it seemed.

I Thought…

The Summer Villa, an engagingly sweet summer escape, saw me relaxing in a pretty villa in Italy – it was certainly an enchanting read! I revelled in losing myself to Melissa Hill’s fabulous novel. The characters were amicable and convivial, though flawed, but still a real pleasure to get to know.

Three women, Kim, Annie and Colette, all fleeing from their problems at home, pitch up at a crumbling villa in Italy, called Dolce Vita. The women all form a close bond, and their lives are forever changed. Five years later, successful entrepreneur Kim decides to buy and restore the charming villa, and along with some business associates, is now planning a three-day grand opening. It will be a perfect opportunity for the three great friends to reunite and spend some time together enjoying themselves on the Amalfi coast. Naturally, everything does not go as planned – secrets are unearthed and old memories are dredged up, all resulting in oodles of melodrama.

Melissa Hill has written a divine story that is bursting at the seams with vivid and exquisite descriptions of Italy and Villa Dolce Vita. All of the characters were adeptly developed and I often found myself wishing I could be there along with my new friends, Kim, Annie and Colette.

I thoroughly enjoy books with strong friendship themes so The Summer Villa was a perfect read for me. The author’s writing was just as I expected it would be, first-class, and the perfect pacing and compelling plot-line all added a touch of style to the novel.

With its exciting resolution, this is one story you won’t want to miss! Very highly recommended without any hesitation to anyone looking for their next great read.

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin - MIRA and the author, Melissa Hill for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

MELISSA HILL lives in south Dublin with her husband and daughter. A USA TODAY and international #1 bestseller, she is the author of 13 novels, including The Gift of a Charm and A Gift From Tiffany’s. The Gift of a Charm was a USA TODAY bestseller. Hailed “the queen of the big plot twist,” she combines all the warmth and humor of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page. Melissa also cowrites forensic thrillers with her husband, Kevin, under the pseudonym Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information, visit www.caseyhillbooks.com

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Amazon // IndieBound // Harlequin // Walmart // Target // Google

Until Next Time, 

Finding Frances by Kelly Vincent | Book Review Tour | Giveaway 

I am delighted to join the review tour for Finding Frances by Kelly Vincent today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for my stop and the review copy!

This post is part of a virtual review book tour organised by Goddess Fish Promotions, a Contemporary/ YA novel available now. 

Kelly Vincent will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Come back every day to interact with Kelly and to increase your chances of winning. Thanks for stopping by and lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

Retta Brooks thinks her life is on track after convincing her overprotective mom to stop home-schooling her and allow her go to Buckley High. She comes home from a night out with friends to find that her whole world has changed, and she has extremely hard decisions to make. Not to mention finding the answers to questions some people would rather she not know. Is she strong enough for what lies ahead?

Read an Excerpt…

I observed the room while I ate. There seemed to be a lot more talking than actual eating. And kids were moving around all over the place, table to table, chatting with different people.

Then I watched the cowboy from Media Studies— Jack—walking purposefully toward me. Was he going to talk to me?

“Hi,” he said when he stood before me.

“Hi.”

“Why don’t you come sit with us?”

My face warmed. Did he think I was pitiful for sitting all by myself? And did I want to sit with him and his friends? What if they were all country like him?

He laughed. “Don’t worry, everybody’s nice.”

Now I was embarrassed by my overly long silence. “Okay, that sounds cool.” Then I added, “Thanks.”

“We’re over in the east corner, by the fire exit.”

I stood up—the chair screeched again—and picked up my tray. We snaked around tables to get to the corner table. He sat down, and the only open chair was next to him, so I set the tray down and squeezed in between him and a girl with long, blonde hair. A different one from the girl in English. There were lots of blonde girls here. I faked a brave face just as Jack said, “Hey, guys, this is Retta.”

My Thoughts…

Kelly Vincent’s Finding Frances is a wonderfully insightful and intriguing coming-of-age story about a girl searching for her family’s history.

As the story opens, Retta Brooks is being home-schooled by her apparently obsessive and possessive mum, Jenny. Retta has managed to persuade her mum to send her to the local Comprehensive – Buckley High School. Although language geek Retta has not mixed with others, be they either children of a similar age or adults, nevertheless, she manages to find herself a few friends on her first day. What follows is a fascinating and exciting tale as the reader gets a glimpse into the life of a girl being allowed to grow-up surrounded by both friends and foes. But there is one massive problem – Jenny. Retta’s mum hasn’t always been totally honest with her, so Retta dives headlong into her mother’s past, desperate to seek the truth about her mum and consequently, herself. But what will those discoveries reveal, and to what end?

With its fair dolloping of typical teenage angst including; anxieties relating to acceptance; fitting-in; first love; and friendships, to name only a few, Kelly Vincent’s Finding Frances was a great read. The author’s characterisation was spot-on, regardless of whether the particular individual curried favour with me or not, as all had their relevant parts to play. Apart from Retta, who was clever, surprisingly outgoing and respectful, I also liked Jack for his perseverance and good-nature. I took rather a dislike to Retta’s Aunt Samantha virtually from her first emergence, as she appeared mistrustful and secretive, and I couldn’t quite shake off that feeling.

The plot was evenly paced – quick enough and easy to follow, but never allowing for boredom or tedium to take root, holding my interest perfectly. Kelly Vincent’s writing was elegant and mature, not always seen in the YA genre. The ending was unexpected though fulfilling, and it befitted the story.

Overall, Finding Frances is a delightful novel and I recommend it with confidence, so please don’t miss out!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Goddess Fish Promotions at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Kelly Vincent wrangles data weekdays and spends the rest of her time playing with words. She grew up in Oklahoma but has moved around quite a bit, with Glasgow, Scotland being her favorite stop. She now lives near Seattle with three cats who definitely help her write her stories. She’s also working toward the Red Earth Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Oklahoma City University.

Author Links: Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Website | Instagram

Book links:

Giveaway!

Kelly Vincent will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

March 9: Andi’s Young Adult Books
March 9: Enchanting Reviews
March 16: Lost in a Book After a Day of Social Work
March 16: The Avid Reader
March 23: Fabulous and Brunette
March 23: Brianne’s Book Reviews
March 30: Harlie’s Books
March 30: Phoebe’s Rainbow World

Until Next Time, 

Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson | Book Review Tour | Giveaway 

@rararesources @JoJackson589

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

This post is part of a blog book tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources, a 244 page contemporary literary novel available now. 

Giveaway to win signed copies of Beyond the Margin and Too Loud a Silence by Jo Jackson. (UK only)

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win signed copies of Beyond the Margin and Too Loud a Silence by Jo Jackson (UK only). Thanks for stopping by and lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

 
Is living on the edge of society a choice? Or is choice a luxury of the fortunate?
 
Joe, fighting drug addiction, runs until the sea halts his progress. His is a faltering search for meaningful relationships.
 
‘Let luck be a friend’, Nuala is told but it had never felt that way. Abandoned at five years old survival means learning not to care. Her only hope is to take control of her own destiny.
 
The intertwining of their lives makes a compelling story of darkness and light, trauma, loss and second chances.

My Thoughts…

Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson was a truly exceptional read.

The story follows the journeys of Michael Joseph (Joe) McCurdy and Nuala who live their lives generally shunned and misunderstood by society – one through choice, and the other because of circumstance.

The story is told via alternating chapters narrated by the two main characters, Joe and Nuala. The author writes with wonderful clarity. I loved the descriptions of the places, nature, countryside, coast, animals and lifestyle where the main characters lived, particularly in the case of Nuala, during her time at the farm cottage in rural Ireland, in the first part of the story.

Both Nuala and Joe were vividly and sensitively portrayed, and all of the characters were varied and real, each with their own recognisable personality.

Although there was tragedy, grief, loss and death aplenty, this was balanced by events which were somewhat more uplifting. I adored the arrival of collie puppy Clemmie in Joe’s life, and for Nuala, for whom reading was a pleasure, there was the beginnings of a heartwarming bond between her English schoolteacher, Mrs Leafe.

Beyond the Margin was definitely a page-turner, desperate as I was to learn the fates of Nuala and her father. This could easily have been a deeply depressing novel but within this story there was also hope and redemption. Jo Jackson created characters who I could not help but care about.

Elegantly and maturely written, I would recommend Beyond the Margin to anyone looking for a good read about families. A fulfilling cocktail of raw, punchy, and captivating delight!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel, at my request, from Rachel’s Random Resources and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Jo Jackson reads books and writes them too. Having worked with some of the most vulnerable people in society she has a unique voice apparent in her second novel Beyond the Margin. She was a nurse, midwife and family psychotherapist and now lives in rural Shropshire with her husband. She loves travelling and walking as well as gardening, philosophy and art. Her first novel Too Loud a Silence is set in Egypt where Jo lived for a few years with her husband and three children. Events there were the inspiration for her book which she describes as ‘a story she had to write’.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads |

Purchase/Book Links: Amazon US * Amazon UK * Jo Jackson * Goodreads *

Giveaway!

Giveaway to win signed copies of Beyond the Margin and Too Loud a Silence by Jo Jackson. (UK only)

Click below to enter and good luck!

*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time,