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Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane | Book Review & Blog Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls

Nothing will stop the The Tobacco Girls, not even war…

BRISTOL 1940.

The Tobacco Girls cling together as they realise that the clouds of war are turning dark, the world is becoming more dangerous and their lives more unpredictable. 

Bridget Milligan’s big, happy family fragments when her siblings are evacuated to North Devon, then a letter from America further fills her with dismay.

Maisie Miles safe haven from both Eddie Bridgeman and her father is jeopardised and she is forced to move on, but where too this time? 

Phyllis Mason is struck down by tragedy and her life spirals downwards into despair until a new horizons beckons, but also perhaps great danger…

Regardless of the rationing, shortages and an ever-worsening situation, The Tobacco Girls all pull together and hope for better days to come.

Buy Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

Set in 1940s wartime Bristol with peeks at North Devon, the reader dips into the lives of three young women. This is the second book in the series and though I have yet to read the first, The Tobacco Girls, I still enjoyed this story a great deal. Lizzie Lane includes occasional reminders here and there as to what happened to the young women previously, so I didn’t feel particularly lost or at sea. The women are Bridget Milligan, Maisie Miles and Phyllis Mason, known as the Three Ms. Bridget and Maisie are working at the W. D. & H. O. Wills tobacco factory whilst Phyllis, recently married, is expecting a baby. Robert Harvey, Phyllis’s husband works away and Phyllis lives in his family’s home, with her domineering, unpleasant mother-in-law. Bridget is part of a large family and her six siblings are evacuated to North Devon. Bridget hopes every day that her American beau, Lyndon O’Neill remembers her and has written. Maisie who is the youngest of the Three Ms, works at the Llandoger Trow pub as well as the tobacco factory and for her, life is reasonably good, until she finds herself looking over her shoulder when her stepfather, Frank is released from prison.

In Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls, readers get to see the effects of the horrors of war such as food rationing, bombings and buildings crumbling, through the author’s terrifically evocative writing. There are dashes of delight scattered throughout the tale as well, in terms of treasured friendship, support and love. An atmospheric, heartwarming but also heartbreaking read with a tantalising ending, I now find myself desperate to catch up with book one as well as wondering what’s in store for the Three Ms in the third instalment.

Thank you to Lizzie Lane, Boldwood Books, 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

Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers.  She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories.  This has inspired her new saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls, the first part of which will be published in January 2021. Keep up to date with Lizzie via her Newsletter, TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Bookbub.

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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.

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The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

The Villa of Dreams

‘Beautifully written, comforting and utterly uplifting, Lucy Coleman’s stories are the perfect tonic when life is a little grey.’ Holly Martin

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page.

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true.

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Buy The Villa of Dreams from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

My first book by Lucy Coleman was warming, gratifying and highly entertaining, bringing absolutely no disappointments.

When Seren Maddison leaves drizzly Britain to move to sunny Lisbon in Portugal, she knows she has made the right decision and she has found her perfect place to settle. Following a work meeting with Reid Henderson, an artist, they click immediately but both are wary of becoming too involved because they have been hurt in previous relationships, and they have very different goals. Seren and Reid discover whether their time together is a happy summer holiday romance or some lessons in love.

With its realistic, brilliantly drawn characters this was such a lovely story and the perfect choice of novel as the weather has turned distinctly wintery already. Lucy Coleman’s tremendous writing and descriptions of Lisbon made me think I was there myself, in the pockets of Seren as she explored the heart of Almada. This author really knew how to set the scene, from the views to delicious sounding foods, art, architecture, and traditions, making The Villa of Dreams so great. I was totally swept along with the well- paced, delightful storyline. Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience for many and this came across very well. With a dominant theme of self-development and a will-they/won’t-they trope, The Villa of Dreams was a riveting, heartwarming read that really raised my spirits.

Romance readers who like to be transported to another country for some escapism will enjoy this one. Very highly recommended!

Thank you to Lucy Coleman, Boldwood Books, 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

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys. Keep up to date with Lucy via her  websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram and Bookbub.

 

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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.

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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

 

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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  

 

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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  

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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  

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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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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,