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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, 

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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

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

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, 

Featured

Christmas from the Heart by Sheila Roberts | Blog Tour 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for Christmas from the Heart by Sheila Roberts today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of Christmas from the Heart to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Mira Books
ISBN 0778309614 (ISBN13: 9780778309611)
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: holiday, romance, contemporary fiction

Book Summary

USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts takes readers to the charming, snowbound town of Pine River in this irresistible holiday romance.

Sometimes you need to look beyond the big picture to see what really matters

Olivia Berg’s charity, Christmas from the Heart, has helped generations of families in need in Pine River, Washington, but this year might be the end of the road. Hightower Enterprises, one of their biggest donors since way back when Olivia’s grandmother ran the charity, has been taken over by Ebenezer Scrooge the Second, aka CFO Guy Hightower, and he’s declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart.

Guy is simply being practical. Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt, and when you don’t have money to spare, you don’t have money to share. You’d think even the pushy Olivia Berg could understand that.

With charitable donations dwindling, Olivia’s Christmas budget depends on Hightower’s contribution. She’s focused her whole life on helping this small town, even putting her love life on hold to support her mission.

When Guy’s Maserati breaks down at the edge of the Cascade foothills, he’s relieved to be rescued by a pretty young woman who drives him to the nearby town of Pine River. Until he realizes his rescuer is none other than Olivia Berg. What’s a Scrooge to do? Plug his nose and eat fruitcake and hope she doesn’t learn his true identity before he can get out of town. What could go wrong?

I Thought…

Are you looking for a fantastic Christmas novel to read this festive season? Well, look no further because this is it! What a lovely and exciting book this was and a perfect and refreshing change from my usual, favourite genres. I love a fun and wonderful Yuletide story to put me in a festive mood, and Sheila Roberts' new book, 'Christmas from the Heart' does just that. 

Olivia (Livi) Berg is head of a not-for-profit organisation called Christmas from the Heart. She works all year with only a token salary, trying to raise money to make the holidays a little merrier for the community of Pine River that are in dire straits. Livi counts on the large corporate donations, and one of the more generous companies is Hightower Enterprises, but this year they have opted not offer a contribution to Livi, as they have already given to other charities and nonprofits. Furthermore, Guy Hightower, the new CFO of his family's business, has declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart as Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt. After all, Guy is simply being practical. But this creates limitations on what Livi is able do for those in need this year, so Guy becomes something of an enemy. 

When Guy finds himself stranded in Pine River after his flashy Maserati breaks down, a cute young woman stops to help him — Livi — not realising it is Guy. For his part, Guy gives her a false name — Joe Ford, so as to not get under her skin. And then the fun begins!

This was a well-paced and very touching romance that had me hooked, even before I had reached the second page. I adored Sheila Roberts' luscious blend of a small-town community - Pine River, a generous-hearted young woman, a Scrooge-like Corporate rich fella, and a besotted country lad. Brimming with romance, conflict, jealousy, and my favourite — humour, and set in a small town where everyone has their noses in each other's business, I couldn't fail to enjoy this book!

Another hit by author Sheila Roberts, I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas from the Heart, and I know you will too. I eagerly wait to see what Sheila Roberts is going to be releasing next. 

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

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Meet the Author:

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).
Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Instagram

Buy Links : Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google 

Until Next Time, 

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Hanami and Hazakura by V. C. Buckley | Review Tour 

@vccbuckley @GoddessFish #Hanami

I am delighted to join the review tour for two books Hanami and Hazakura by V. C. Buckley today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the wonderful review copies!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organised by Goddess Fish Promotions. V. C. Buckley will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY.

About the Book

“I am no princess… I am Yakuza,”

SAKURA SHINTANI is the heir to the Dragon Clan—Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But can she keep this fact a secret from the annoying brats of Oniyuri Academy?

She must try to master her demons while trying not to hurt anyone. But having the face of an angel puts her on everyone’s radar… including the arrogant heir to Asia’s most powerful tycoon, KENJIN KIYOHARA. He senses the danger, but Sakura is too interesting to be left alone.

Excerpt

He snatched her backpack and swung it around his shoulder.

“Hey!” she protested, lunging for it.

Jin stepped aside, evading her grasp. He smiled to himself, taking long strides toward his car. He could hear her feet going after him.

Mr. Fujimaru was already by the car, holding the door open. His guards stood waiting like goons by the sidewalk.

“Look,” she said, grabbing his elbow before he could duck into his car, “I don’t care if you rescued me. I am not going with you! I don’t even know you!”

Her words cut right through him.

She lunged for her bag again, but Jin threw it into the farthest corner of the back seat.

He looked at her tilting his head down, their height difference apparent. He thought about what she said.

She doesn’t know me? His forehead creased. Was he really that invisible to her? He felt like someone had just slapped him across the face. He took one long look at her before ducking into his car.

He was confused. Any girl would jump at the chance to be with him—she should have been honored and groveling at his feet for rescuing her! What was wrong with her?

He felt her slide into the seat next to him, her knees slightly touching the side of his thigh. But before he could think, she reached across him, leaning her upper body against his lap to grab her bag. Jin froze.

She straightened back up, clutching her bag to her chest. Her eyes met his with a piercing glare, and a wave of heat suddenly swept over him.

Jin looked away, landing his gaze on her reflection on the car door window. Even with an angry face, she still looked so beautiful.

Jin smiled, tilting his head to the side to get a better look. I should stop this, he told himself, but it was too late. She was too interesting to be left alone.

My Thoughts on Hanami

If your favoured reading material is a compelling tale with a good sprinkling of romance, love, humour, action, determination, positive attitude, imperfection, bitchiness, evil and relationships then Hanami by V. C. Buckley is a must-read for you as you will adore this book!

Right from the get-go there was so much happening in this wonderful tale of love and romance! I was totally taken with the two protagonists Sakura and Jin in this breath-taking and action-packed story. I loved stunning mafia princess Sakura for her amazing zest for life, her strength of character and her incredible poise, even in the face of extreme adversity. For his part, twenty-year-old Jin was incredibly sweet, terribly good-natured and a real romanticist.

Author, V. C. Buckley had really worked wonders with all of the characters in this fabulous story and I was very fond of most of them: Sakura’s Granddad, Mr Shintani; Nobu, one of Sakura’s personal guards; Jin’s friends,Vaughn and Jason; the downtrodden Scot and classmate, Yuna Lerwick; even the brilliantly named and nattily dressed teacher, Mrs Selfridge, to name only a few.

Even the less personable ones – particularly bitchy classmate Miyu and Sakura’s evil Uncle Ryuu – still had very good parts to play and did not dampen my enthusiasm for this fascinating tale.

Aside from the brilliant cast of characters, another selling point of Hanami was the awesome plot. It moved along at a really wicked pace and I loved the author’s general writing-style. There was no room for repetitiveness or boredom here!

The story was, for the post part, highly entertaining with plenty of humour and comedic moments. There were however, some serious issues as well, such as coping with with absent parents, dealing with awkward relationships and coping with class, race and wealth differences. There were some intensely violent scenes to contend with, too. I was completely drawn into this novel right from the start, relishing all of the absolutely priceless scenes and also the more shocking ones.

I was rooting all the way through, not just for Sakura herself, but for most of the other delightful characters also and V. C. Buckley rounded things off very masterfully which I fully appreciated. It was very hard to say goodbye to them and I found myself wishing many of them well for the future.

I recommend Hanami without a flicker of hesitation, so don’t miss out!

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

Hanami – Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

V.C. Buckley was born in an isolated government facility and shipped off to an Island in Southeast Asia where she grew up braving tropical thunderstorms and warding off evil villains. At sixteen she was discovered by an agent and jetted off all over the world. Her stories come from gritty moments of her childhood to the glitz of her travels. She now lives in Manila with her husband, two kids and an herb garden that has hijacked her balcony.

Website:https://www.vcbuckley.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/vcccbuckley
Twitter:https://www.twitter.com/vccbuckley
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/v.c.buckley

Goodreads Author Page:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17167092.V_C_Buckley
Goodreads Book Page:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36250218-hanami
Amazon Author Page:http://amzn.to/2FhqxCH Bookbub:https://www.bookbub.com/authors/v-c-buckley

Buy links:

My Thoughts on Hazakura

Hazakura opens with Sakura experiencing nightmares following her Uncle Ryuu’s attack on her and Ryuu himself remains in hospital fighting for his own life, trying to recover from his near-fatal injuries. But somebody stabs him, too. Who considers him that much of an enemy, even more than Sakura-san?

 Meanwhile, Jin’s dad has made an important decision – he has decided that he would like to retire as he has turned seventy and intends to hand the family’s business empire over to Jin. Jin is alarmed at the proposal as he hasn’t even finished the Oniyuri Heirs program yet. His father also intends to remarry, much to Jin’s horror as he hates his father’s mistress – Pam.

While these events are unfolding, a young woman steps forward claiming to be Takara Shintani, Ryuu’s daughter, unbeknown to the rest of the Shintani clan. Takara thinks one of the Shintani clan killed Ryuu and she is going to make it her mission to find out who.

 Hazakura is another great story told in alternating chapters with Sakura and Jin as the protagonists. The couple remain united however, Sakura has very grave concerns that Jin’s background, upbringing and general lifestyle are so different to her own and many people seem to believe that he is her ultimate weakness. Will he be able to cope with a permanent relationship with the beautiful mafia princess?

 For me, Hazakura was equally as action-packed and thrilling as Hanami and I loved the fabulously crafted, artful and fulfilling ending that really had my mind working overtime. I highly recommend this book and its prequel without any shadow of doubt.

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

Hazakura – Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Giveaway!

V.C. Buckley will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN 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!

October 15: books are love
October 15: Our Town Book Reviews
October 22: Sharing Links and Wisdom (both books)
October 22: The Reading Addict
October 29: White Sky Project (both books)
October 29: Brianne’s Book Reviews (both books)
November 4: Iron Canuck Reviews and More (both books)
November 4: Fabulous and Brunette (both books)

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Trail of Secrets by Nora LeDuc | Review Tour 

@NoraLeDuc @GoddessFish #TrailofSecrets

I am delighted to join the review tour for Trail of Secrets by Nora LeDuc today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

About the Book

Who killed the vivacious, Emily McGuire and laid out her body at the water tower? Orderly, rule-follower Mia McGuire is the least likely person to answer this question. Mia’s life has taken a downward spiral with her sister Emily’s murder, the breakup with her boyfriend, and losing her editing position. But when the homicide investigation crawls, Mia can’t stand by doing nothing. She hires the problematic Lucas Davis to help her find the truth.

After suffering trauma from a shooting on the job,  Lucas Davis resigns from the local force. Once known as a daredevil in his small Florida town, he has become an embarrassment to his dad, the police chief. When Mia offers him investigative work, he quickly accepts the job to prove he still possesses the skills and guts to solve the case. Together, these two unlikely sleuths form an intimate bond and are determined to beat the odds. They set out to bring a terrifying killer to justice before he targets them next.

I Thought…

If your favoured reading material is a compelling tale with a good sprinkling of mystery, duplicity, manipulation, obsession, anger, hatred, violence and murder, then feel free to read Trail of Secrets by Nora LeDuc.

Mia McGuire’s younger sister Emily has been found dead but who killed the vivacious, fun-loving young woman? Amenable, sweet, and reliable Mia is the least likely person to answer this question. Mia’s life has taken a downward spiral since Emily’s murder as she struggles to cope with the breakup with her boyfriend and losing her editing job. But with the murder investigation moving at such a slow pace, Mia feels the need to chivvy things along. She hires the problematic but charming Lucas Davis to help her find out the truth.

Lucas has resigned from the local police force after suffering from trauma resulting from a shooting. He has become an embarrassment to his police chief dad so he accepts the investigative work offered to him by Mia, to prove he still possesses the grit, skills and nerve to solve the case. Together, the two unlikely sleuths form an intimate bond and work together to try to identify the perpetrator before they become the next victims.

The novel was told from the perspective of Mia and I was drawn into this novel by Nora LeDuc’s clever writing. I was never bored but instead, was lured deeper and deeper into this really engrossing tale.The author managed to turn whatever I was thinking completely upside down as I tried to guess the murderer’s identity. The plot and the storyline were both fascinating in themselves but the sizzling romance between Mia and Lucas really made this a special read for me. I fully appreciated the skill shown by the author in creating a perfect balance between the mystery and the spiciness and tenderness of the story.

Packed with nuance and superb twisty moments, I really didn’t know where the story would end up and the solution, when it came, was terrific and hugely satisfying. Trail of Secrets is a book that is certainly well worth reading.

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

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Nora grew up in rural New England where she currently lives with her family. She enjoys visiting and spending time with her friends, the Winettes, in Florida, where she continues to write. Trail of Secrets is her sixteenth book. Her next story is already in progress.

You can find Nora on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook and her website: Noraleduc.com. She also contributes to the Romance Gems’ Blog every month.

Amazon buy link:

Giveaway!

Nora LeDuc will be awarding a $25 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!

October 7: Brianne’s Book Reviews
October 7: Sharing Links and Wisdom
October 14: Locks, Hooks and Books
October 14: Long and Short Reviews
October 21: Lost in a Book After a Day of Social Work
October 28: Fabulous and Brunette
October 28: writing is my oxygen

Until Next Time, 

Featured

The Fixer Upper by Maggie Mae Gallagher | Book Blast 

@magmaegallagher @GoddessFish #TheFixerUpper

I am delighted to join the book blast for The Fixer Upper by Maggie Mae Gallagher today! My thanks to Marianne & Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Mae Gallagher will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

About the Book

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?

I Thought…

A beguiling, delightful and bewitching tale of romance and new beginnings told with passion and zest.

Following on from her Great Aunt’s Evie’s passing and in a bid to escape her parents controlling ways, hoping to steer her life into a direction of her own choosing, Abby Callier has decided to temporarily relocate to her Great Aunt’s old Victorian house in Echo Springs, Colorado. There, she meets Nate Barnes, a charming and extremely sexy Sheriff and neighbour and they both feel an instant, dynamic attraction to one another. They also both think that their lives currently lack completeness or at least that certain something.

I loved down-to earth, straightforward, though flawed, Abby who tended to wear her heart on her sleeve. And kind, good-natured and amiable Nate, who was inclined to be more assured, orderly and methodical.

I really appreciated the author, Maggie Mae Gallagher’s easygoing style of writing. With its amusing dialogue there were many hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments, particularly when Nate’s Great Dane, Rufus was around.

The sizzle and desire between Abby and Nate kept things hot and spicy as I swiped through the pages on my e-reader and I finished The Fixer Upper in only a few hours!

A fantastic, sparkling, steamy read which was well worth the time invested and totally deserves my five stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Maggie Mae Gallagher via Bookfunnel at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
Visit her on social media here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MagMaeGallagher/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/magmaegallagher
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7846308.Maggie_Mae_Gallagher
Twitter: https://twitter.com/magmaegallagher
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/maggiegallagher
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-mae-gallagher

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Maggie Mae Gallagher!

The Mystic Series

REMEMBER ME: https://amzn.to/2GuwEpY
CASKET GIRL: https://amzn.to/2Dmw9MD

The Cantati Chronicles

RUPTURED: https://amzn.to/2GueJ2L
ANOINTED: https://amzn.to/2Gu0Xgm
ASCENDED: https://amzn.to/2VRGSpz

And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/

Amazon Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Fixer-Upper-Maggie-Mae-Gallagher-ebook/dp/B07STXM5LF/ref=sr_1_1

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fixer-upper-maggie-mae-gallagher/1132011648

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-fixer-upper-15

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Mae Gallagher will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N 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!

September 2:

1: Fabulous and Brunette

2: Christine Young

3: Books to Light Your Fire

4: fundinmental

5: Romance Novel Giveaways

6: Danita Minnis

7: All the Ups and Downs

8: JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

9: Sharing Links and Wisdom

10: Long and Short Reviews

September 3:

1: Literary Gold

2: Readeropolis

3: Lampshade Reader

4: Full Moon Dreaming

5: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

6: It’s Raining Books

September 4:

1: Harlie’s Books REVIEW

2: Our Town Book Reviews REVIEW

3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews

4: BooksChatter

5: FUONLYKNEW

6: The Avid Reader

7: Two Ends of the Pen

8: Hearts and Scribbles

9: T’s Stuff

September 5:

1: Iron Canuck

2: Linda Nightingale, Author…Musings

3: Straight From the Library

4: Welcome to My World of Dreams

September 6:

1: Brianne’s Book Reviews REVIEW

2: Locks, Hooks and Books

3: Dawn’s Reading Nook

4: Joanne Guidoccio

5: Let Me tell You a Story

6: Author Deborah A Bailey

Until Next Time, 

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves | Review

About the Book

‘The most riveting, rewarding, refreshing novel I’ve read in years’ – Barbara Delinsky, bestselling author

What if you had a second chance at first love?

Annika Rose likes being alone. She feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way. She just can’t read people. She prefers the quiet solitude of books or playing chess to being around others. Apart from Jonathan. She liked being around him, but she hasn’t seen him for ten years. Until now that is. And she’s not sure he’ll want to see her again after what happened all those years ago.

Annika Rose likes being alone. Except that, actually, she doesn’t like being alone at all.

The Girl He Used to Know is an uplifting novel full of surprising revelations that keep you turning the page. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Gail Honeyman, Jill Santopolo and Sliding Doors.

‘Tracey Garvis Graves has crafted an incredible story with a unique premise and characters… this book is beautiful.’ – Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us

‘I adore Tracey Garvis Graves’ work.’ – Sarah Pekkanen, best-selling co-author of The Wife Between Us

My Thoughts

Tracey Garvis Graves has totally astounded me with this evocative and emotional story. I haven’t read any of the other books by this author and so I had no real expectations other than the reviews I had seen and the plot synopsis. I was not prepared for the emotional suffering this book inflicted on my heart!

“The Girl He Used To Know” was one of the best love stories I have read for some time that had me enthralled from the start.

One of the things that made this book special was Annika Rose. As the main character, she was so easy to relate and warm to. I could completely identify with her social awkwardness and her many other issues – from being unsure of what those around her were thinking, to the constant need to scrutinise other people and copy their behaviour in an effort to fit in and be accepted as normal.

For his part, I loved Jonathan’s level of patience and understanding. He put others’ expectations aside even though he didn’t know how he could help Annika.

Tracey Garvis Graves created a set of characters with such complexity and depth, helping to make this love story quite special. There are so many books in this genre that, inevitably, comparisons will be drawn, however, this was a totally and fabulously unique story for me.

The book is told from the point of view of both Annika and Jonathan, going back and forth between their time in college and the present. As Annika and Jonathan alternately tell their respective stories, the reader gets to know more about the two of them and the events that caused their separation. The reader then comes to understand Annika’s problems, how she has been able to overcome them and how they have both developed as individuals.

Even though there were instances when this was a difficult read for me, I loved where Tracey Garvis Graves took her story, right through to its conclusion.

I know I have found another author to add to my ever-growing list of favourites. I thoroughly recommend this book as it is definitely worth a read.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Orion Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Little Book Café by Georgia Hill | Review

About The Book

Amy’s Story

Escape to the seaside for a new three-part series for fans of The Canal Boat Cafe and Willow Cottage

Amy, the manager of The Little Book Café, is a hopeless romantic who had her heart broken, but quietly refuses to give up on love.

With her friends Tash and Emma, not to mention their shared love of books and delicious cake from the café next door, Amy might just find the courage to fall for a real life romance this time…

Amy’s Story is the final instalment of The Little Book Café series so wrap up warm this Autumn and treasure this wonderful book.

My Thoughts

Author, Georgia Hill, has written another wonderful, sweet romance about life in Berecombe. Although I have not read the first two books in this series, I have read another of her fantastic books: ‘Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café’ so I was expecting great things from this one. The first book was ‘The Little Book Café: Tash’s Story’, followed by ‘The Little Book Café: Emma’s Story’.

This was an easy, light read so I did not feel disadvantaged in any way not having read books one and two first, though it would have been preferable to me if I had read them in their intended sequence. 

Any book, either set in a bookshop or a café, will be of special interest to me, as was this one, with the added touch of a lovely book cover!

“The Little Book Café” is a feel-good story of romance, friendship and community spirit, but also angst and upset, set in Berecombe, a quaint seaside town in Devon, England. Most of the drama takes place in the bookshop/cafe where Amy, the protagonist, is the manager.

Georgia Hill has drawn some very likeable characters in this novella. Amy is very endearing, trustworthy and dependable, although a little lacking in self-esteem and I adored the touches of humour that added some interest to the story.

Georgia Hill’s writing style is really engaging and it was a good read particularly for the interplay of the different characters – the close friends, the bossy mother, the famous author and the stream of local towns-folk. With plenty of ups and downs along the way, I loved it!

Although the conclusion of the story was no great surprise, it was still a very fulfilling ending to a wonderful book that regularly had me laughing-out-loud and was, all-in-all, a very worthwhile and well-balanced read. This book was a perfect accompaniment to a large slice of chocolate cake and a cup of tea!

Thanks to NetGalley, HarperImpulse and the author, Georgia Hill, for my free ARC of The Little Book Café in exchange for an honest review.

#NetGalley #TheLittleBookCafé

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Amazon links to the first two books in the series

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Happy Reading!