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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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Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder | Book Review and Mini Blog Blitz 

I am delighted to join the blog blitz for Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy, though I must offer my sincere apologies for this late post.

About the Book

 To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw’s life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn’t do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.

Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round ‘Superhuman’ for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.

As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?

A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.

Buy Beneath Cornish Skies from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

I wanted to read Beneath Cornish Skies as it belongs in a couple of genres that I dip into from time to time and also as it’s set in a place I’ve visited and would very much like to again.

Kate Ryder’s characterisation skills were evident and I loved her portrayal of our protagonist, Cassandra (Cassie) Shaw. Cassie’s spirit and determination really shone through and she was courageous in her decision to leave David Ashcroft, her inconsiderate, controlling, cheating and distant boyfriend of ten years, to pursue different goals and make the necessary changes in her life.

Cassie starts to settle into her new surroundings and it was lovely to read about her experiences as the new live-in nanny working for the Kinsmans. The storytelling by Kate Ryder was so polished and elegant and the plotline had a magical element to it that was sublime. I particularly liked the author’s descriptions of Foxcombe Manor with its air of tranquility. I was easily able to picture the surrounding area with images of the crashing waves, the deep blue sea complete with its shimmering shoreline, the sandy beach and breathing in the salty air. There were light sprinkles of romance between Cassie and Luke, the man in the woods and I was really rooting for them.

A terrific, spirit-raising and totally immersive story about self-discovery with shades of ghostliness and the supernatural, that I’m delighted to have read.

Thank you to Kate Ryder, Aria, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources 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

Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.

Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).

Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.

‘Secrets of the Mist’, a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book “Book of the Month”.

Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

 Keep up to date with Kate via her  websiteTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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Christmas at Moonshine Hollow by Angela Britnell | 5 Day Mini Blog Blitz and Book Review 

I am delighted to join the 5 Day Mini Blog Blitz for Christmas at Moonshine Hollow by Angela Britnell today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Christmas at Moonshine Hollow

Mistletoe and moonshine: a Christmas match made in heaven?
Moonshine Hollow’s famous ‘Lightning Flash’ might be an acquired taste, although the same could be said for moonshine distillery owner Cole Landon, what with his workaholic habits and ‘Scrooge’ tendencies when it comes to all things Christmassy.
But when Jenna Pendean from Cornwall pays a visit to Cole’s family-run distillery in Tennessee during the holiday season, will Cole’s cynicism about the existence of Christmas miracles be put to the test?

Buy Christmas at Moonshine Hollow: https://tinyurl.com/yyn5c56k

My Thoughts

This, my first book by Angela Britnell was a most rewarding experience! Jenna Pendean has travelled to Moonshine Hollow in Tennessee from Cornwall ostensibly for a holiday at Christmastime. The highlight of her visit is to be a family run distillery owned by the Landons, famous for a brew named Lightning Flash. Landon Hollow Distillery is run by Cole Landon IV who is well known for his hardworking ethos and scrooge-like tendencies. On a tour of the distillery Jenna meets Cole who’s acting as the tour guide during the busy festive period. This fabulous Yuletide story follows both Jenna and Cole.

The story has a very intriguing plotline as it hooked me in from the opening chapter. I really enjoyed reading about Jenna and her family and the situation arising from her Great Grandad, “Tucker” Richards’ lifetime with the Lightning Flash. The combination of an inquiring family and the allure of a small-town Christmas celebration created the perfect scenario for some stirring romance.

Cole was something of an acquired taste but he made this sterling tale all the more interesting in my view, and I warmed to him. I loved Cole and Jenna together, their spark and their banter, and right from the start the pair came across as a believable couple.

Christmas at Moonshine Hollow was a delicious cocktail of emotional romance and lighthearted Christmassy overtones. I immensely enjoyed this transatlantic romance, with everyone’s differing personalities and secrets. A quick read, there was a lot jammed into the pages with plenty of festive cheer, loads of sparkle and mistletoe if that’s your thing, though there was heartbreak, grief and forgiveness, too. A well deserved five stars!

Thank you to Angela Britnell, Choc Lit and Rachel’s Random Resources 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

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had over 30 novels published internationally and several short stories in women’s magazines.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, dark chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out www.angelabritnellromance.com or follow her on www.facebook.com/angelabritnell , www.twitter.com/angelabritnell and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery by Su Young Lee | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery by Su Young Lee today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery

Fluttering cherry blossoms, gorgeous kimonos and sweet and sorrowful love.

For cake-loving college girl Hana, Japan was the romantic destination of her dreams. With boyfriend Jin, she planned an exciting new life in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. But when she finally arrives after months of planning, Jin isn’t there. 

Hana is left broken-hearted on a rainy Tokyo street. Jin left no note. One day he just walked out of classes and disappeared. 

Hana begins her new life alone. Watching cherry blossoms fall into the Tokyo river. Working hard and delivering her lovely home-baked cakes by orange bicycle. Then she meets handsome young farmer Hikaru and glimpses a new way forward – in an alien place where she doesn’t know a soul.

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery is a sweet romance with a hint of magic realism. It’s a perfect book to carry with you and read on holiday or weekends.

My Thoughts

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery tells a lovely emotional story of love and life.

I adored Su Young Lee’s portrayal of Hana who, despite travelling to Tokyo to start a new life with the love of her life, Jin, and finding that he wasn’t there, was sunny, upbeat and nearly always positive. The plot was intriguing and the pacing was zippy and brisk. Hana searched for Jin but when she drew a blank she threw herself into her work, delivering her home-baked cakes by orange bicycle. She embarked on another journey, this time one of self-discovery and the reader was privy to her adventures as she met the locals, took language classes, and shared her love of baking. Everyone was keen to lend a hand and Hana harboured very little resentment towards Jin, even though he had let her down badly.

The time Hana spent at the guest house accommodation where she stayed and the shops and general locale all provided a wonderful backdrop for this sweet story. Working in a vegetable shop, Hana met the vegetable supplier’s son, Hikaru who was interested in organic farming. For me, though, the icing on the cake was definitely the mouthwatering and scrumptious sounding foodie references! There were so many that I kept on changing my mind as to which sounded the most appealing, but I eventually settled on the Toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles) and shrimp tempura. I also liked the sound of the warm bags of Taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes) filled with chocolate custard.

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery is not a standard romance, but it is offbeat, and magical and reading it was loads of fun!

Thank you to Su Young Lee and Rachel’s Random Resources 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

Su Young Lee is a Korean romance author who lived in Tokyo, Japan for 10 years and now lives in London, England with her husband and two lovely cats. 

Su works in academic publishing and loves baking, playing piano and working on her calligraphy.

Check her blog here. 
https://suyoungleesblog.wordpress.com

Buy: The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery

 Amazon US here / Amazon UK here

 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

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What If? by Shari Low | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What If? by Shari Low today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

What If?

The book that started it all! A classic retro romcom from #1 bestselling author Shari Low.

1999.
Carly Cooper is 30, single, and after coming close to saying ‘I Do’ to six different men, she’s wondering if she accidentally said ‘goodbye’ to Mr Right.

But there is a problem.

Her ex-boyfriends are scattered all over the world and Carly lives in 1999; an era before Facebook, Google, smartphones, 4G and Broadband, when it was impossible to track people down with a few clicks of a mouse.

On a mission to discover if she walked away from her ‘happy ever after’, Carly quits her job, her flat, her whole life and sets off on a quest to track down all the men she has ever loved.

Her Mr Right is out there, but can she find him?

And what if he’s moved on from the ex-girlfriend who said goodbye? A wonderful classic 20th-anniversary re-release.

My Thoughts

Carly Cooper is 3o, single, and is currently living in Richmond, London where she is earning a living as an Accounts Manager for a tissue paper product company, but she doesn’t like her job. She loves her nights out with the girls and thinks she has already met her ideal man, ‘the one’, having been engaged on five, nearly six, occasions. Now, Carly feels that one of the men that got away might have been perfect for her, but which one? However, there is another problem – the chaps are scattered across the world, thus, Carly gives up her job and embarks on a mission to track them all down…

I’m so pleased that I chose to read this new edition of Shari Low’s first novel What If? Set in the 90s, this romance was reminiscent of the days before the explosion of social media, smartphones, and Google. The first part of the book is mostly concerned with Carly’s romantic mishaps, told through flashbacks which I found highly entertaining. The second part followed Carly as she tracked down all of her exes to see if she ought to have left them. I loved Shari Low’s characterisation, particularly of Carly herself, who was confident, independent, witty, and outgoing. Her loyal, eccentric friends were a large feature of the story and I also liked that chapters included a reference to a song from the era.

This was a nostalgic, delightful, and funny story that saw a younger Carly fall in and out of love with a succession of young fellows. Her experiences involved a lot of boozing, and her searches took her from Glasgow to Hong Kong, and others in-between.

A sequel is coming in early 2021 called What Now? and I am very much looking forward to being with Carly again.

Thank you to Shari Low, 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

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

Follow Shari :

Newsletter sign up:  http://bit.ly/ShariLowNewsletter

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharilowbooks/

Website – http://www.sharilow.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sharilowbooks/

Twitter @ https://twitter.com/sharilow

Buy What If?

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, 

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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, 

Featured

A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of A Love Hate Thing to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

Hardback, 464 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Inkyard Press
ISBN 133501604X (ISBN13: 9781335016041)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Contemporary                             Ages 13 And Up

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Book Summary

A fantastic enemies to lovers romance about an It girl whose world is upended when a boy from the past moves into her house after tragedy strikes. For fans of Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, Mary H. K. Choi and Samira Ahmed. Wattpad author Whitney D. Grandison’s traditional publishing debut.

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the total feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a former childhood friend, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.

Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

I Thought…

Whitney D. Grandison writes very enjoyably about friendship and love in this coming of age story.

After recovering from being shot, seventeen-year-old Tyson Trice finds himself living with the well-off Smith family – Maxine (Max) and Parker their daughter, Nandy and adopted Thai son, Jordy. Having spent most of his life, so far, surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, Trice, as he likes to be known, doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Meanwhile privileged Nandy has spent most of her young life concerned about her image and status in her hometown of the Pacific Hills, California. Having just discovered that her parents are bringing a juvenile delinquent into the family home Nandy fears for her summer holiday plans, as well as her well-cultivated, golden girl reputation. With the two of them living under the same roof, will the house be big enough for all their hate and love?

A Love Hate Thing is told from the alternative viewpoints of Nandy and Trice, an approach that generally works very well for me in this type of story. I anticipated having some problems identifying with both of the main characters, not being a part of the intended audience or target group, although I was surprised to find that this wasn’t the case.

It was fascinating to learn about Trice and Nandy’s former close friendship when they were both aged nine. Both Nandy and Trice face real prejudices as they get to know each other again. I found that protagonist Trice’s viewpoints in particular, were a revelation both in the trauma of his past and the way he believes himself to be undeserving of better things. Whitney D. Grandison’s portrayal of loyal and intelligent Trice being catapulted into Nandy’s world of the über-rich is engrossing and poignant, especially as image and conventionality in Pacific Hills are everything. Trice’s strength and gentleness is arresting as is the need to hide his ingrained grief with impassiveness and a hard exterior.

I gradually grew to enjoy the character of Nandy. Although she displays class prejudice towards Trice in the beginning, I understood where her opinions stemmed from. Her friendliness, kindness, and welcoming nature gradually shone through. I really relished reading about Nandy’s diverse and congenial group of friends which was a very strong element of the novel for me.

Nandy and Trice each struggled with their vulnerabilities and it was interesting to watch them let down their guards as the story progressed. A Love Hate Thing is a gritty character driven story about the potential for change. It is about love, acceptance, friendship, loyalty, trust, and second chances. It also takes a good look at the problems society has with race and social status.

From the first chapter till the last, I found myself connecting with this compelling story. From Nandy and Trice’s personal development to their relationship with one another, I felt as though I knew them personally.

Read A Love Hate Thing if you are partial to a good coming-of-age story full to the brim with interesting characters, strong on bittersweet and sugarcoated friendships and plenty of angst.

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin-Inkyard Press and the author, Whitney D. Grandison for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers. Connect with Whitney on Instagram or Twitter.

Buy Links: HarlequinAmazonBarnes & NobleIndie BoundKoboBooks-a-MillionGoogle Play

Until Next Time,