reviews, books, blog tour

Blog Tour: Just A Girl – Becky Monson*

What happens when the right girl and the right guy meet at the wrong time?

One thing that can be said about Quinn Pearson is that she has a knack for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Like, the worst time ever. Take her job for instance. One little slip of the tongue using the mother of all swear words while reporting the news, and suddenly she finds herself with over 18 million views on YouTube and her employment in jeopardy. If that wasn’t bad enough, when she meets the man of her dreams, she nearly chokes to death on a powdered sugar donut.

Thankfully for Quinn, the dashing Brit, Henry, finds her near death experience quite charming. But just when Quinn thinks her luck is going to change, she finds out her timing is all wrong again. Henry is off limits. Or is he?

Maybe it’s time for Quinn to quit settling for what life hands her. Perhaps it’s time for her to become more than just a girl.

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By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. An award-winning author, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and
wishes she had a British accent.

She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last… but it probably won’t.

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My thoughts:

This is a really fun, cute read, about falling in and out of love, finally standing up for yourself and friendship.

Quinn works in television, where she has to be put up with her sneering colleague, Moriarty, and a strangely familiar anonymous bully, until her new boss, Henry, says she doesn’t have to.

Problem is Quinn and Henry have been on a few dates, and now he’s her boss, and the station has a policy about dating. Quinn gets all in a flap, especially when the “Date Our Producer” segment goes ahead and she and Henry realise they’ve gone and fallen in love!

Luckily Quinn’s loyal, and occasionally very annoying (Thomas), friends are on hand to offer advice, alcohol, pizza and sympathy.

This is a really enjoyable, engaging and funny book and Quinn is a very real protagonist, she feels like she could be one of my friends!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Meet Me in the Treehouse – Kelly Tink*

In their secret tree house, nine-year-old Emma and her best friend Chris made a promise: ‘You and
me forever’.

It’s been five years since Emma left her hometown with her soon to be ex-husband and eight years since the tragedy that taught her and Chris that nothing lasts forever.
Now thirty, Emma is an unemployed nurse living back on her parents’ farm, her life in tatters. Chris,
however, is finally healing and making a success of his family’s country estate.
They step into their old friendship as if it were yesterday, but as Emma sets out to rebuild her life, will their past and Chris’s future throw her further off balance?
Or will she find the happiness she left behind by returning to the treehouse?

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Kelly Tink is a cancer nurse, writer and hopeless romantic, living in Cambridgeshire. She enjoys
exploring fun outdoor places with her husband and two sons, especially if it involves eating ice cream by the sea.
She’s an avid reader, loves a good film or TV series and drinks lots of tea. Meet Me in the Treehouse is Kelly’s debut novel.
It would mean the world to Kelly if you would consider taking a few moments to write a review.
These reviews let new readers know what you thought of Meet Me in the Treehouse. Thank you.

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My thoughts:

This was a sweet, warm and funny rom com, following the age old “can men and women ever just be friends?” (Yes, I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally many times).

However there are a few hiccups along the road between friends and true love, his fiancée, her failed marriage, and some more…

An excellent read for the colder evenings curled up on the sofa with a large mug of hot chocolate.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre – Robin Talley*

Read my review of Music From Another World here

Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Nina LaCour, this #ownvoices romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley has something for everyone: backstage rendezvous, deadly props, and a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to True Love.

Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything.

What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.

Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she definitely didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny, and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.

Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.

My thoughts:

I loved, loved, loved this book. Be still my theatre nerd, bisexual heart. Honestly, it’s freaking adorable. Funny, silly and very realistic to the stress of putting on a show.

If this book had been around when I was a teen theatre geek, it would have been my go-to read. I loved the characters, Melody and her friends are so charming and snarky and funny.

The relationship between Melody and Odile is sweet and romantic, their sneaking around less so, but we all make mistakes when we’re young.

The triumphant staging of Les Mis is a joy, when all the disasters of rehearsal (as any theatre kid knows, a terrible dress makes for a great run) finally come together, and if you can get through this book without breaking into One Day More, you’re dead inside (and as someone who is dead inside, I mean really dead inside).

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Village Vacancy – Julie Houston*

From the bestselling author of A Village Affair comes a laugh out loud new Westenbury tale…

As the Yorkshire village of Westenbury mourns the loss of one of their own, the women can’t help but contemplate who will fill the vacancy in one handsome widower’s life…

Grace Stevens has decided it’s time to move on without her husband. He’s off gallivanting around Devon in search of a new life, and good riddance. It’s time to go back to teaching, so Grace returns to Little Acorns and takes on an unruly class of pre-teens.

As she deals with disasters in – and out of – the classroom including an accidental dalliance with her most troublesome pupil’s dad, helping track down a drug ring and keeping up with her closest girlfriends, Grace begins to wonder more and more about the sparkle in David’s eyes and the sparking chemistry between them.

Could Grace be the one to fill this village vacancy?

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Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller.

She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo
and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

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My thoughts:

I’ve read one other of this author’s books and they’re really fun reads so I was very excited about being on this blog tour and not disappointed in the slightest.

Centering on the residents of a Yorkshire village (my Grandad’s from Yorkshire and I can hear the accent in my head when I read, which is lovely) and all their busy lives, at first A Village Vacancy doesn’t seem like a hugely serious book, but underneath the comings and goings of this group of women and their families are the darker moments.

County lines drug dealing is a big concern at the moment, with young people and children drawn into drugs and couriering by dangerous gangs, often without any of the adults in their lives having a clue what’s going on.

As is the case here, the children of the residents are struggling with parents separating, school bullies, and the other emotional trauma that comes with growing up, and this can make them vulnerable.

But Julie’s book is hugely redemptive and there is hope at the end for these fragile children and their parents.

There’s also lots of other storylines to enjoy too, from Grace’s love life, to David moving on after his wife’s death, and the wonderful friendships between Harriet, Grace, Juno, Izzy and Juno’s sisters. There’s also a horse called Harry Trotter, some dogs, peacock chicks, chickens and other assorted creatures to enjoy (including lots of children!).

I loved Grace, and her adorable daughter Petroniella (as someone with a mouthful of a name I winced in sympathy – parents stop punishing your kids with names no can spell or pronounce!) and also Juno and her two, Tilda and Gabe, the first year of secondary school can be monstrous.

I’m off to order all the other books set in this village about these characters and curl up on the sofa under my reading blanket.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Missing Piece – Catherine Miller*

Broken Heart Syndrome: A sudden and acute form of heart failure, brought on by emotional or physical distress.
After years of studying cardiac medicine, thirty-one-year-old Keisha knows the heart inside out. She knows the average heartrate for each age group, she can name every valve, and she can tell you exactly how much blood it pumps daily.
The one thing she doesn’t know is how to fall in love. And nor does she want to. The secret her tattoo covers is a reminder that the best way to protect a heart is to never let it feel in the first place…
Seventy-nine-year-old Clive is Subject Five in Keisha’s latest research project. He’s been in love since he was seventeen, ever since he met Nancy at a tea dance. But last night, his beloved wife was killed. Suddenly, he has no one to waltz with. He has woken up in hospital, a widower diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome.
These strangers, brought together by a broken heart, must face up to the truth of their pasts. Can Clive teach his new friend that until you’ve loved, you haven’t lived? And can Keisha help him see that it’s never too late for a second chance?

For anyone who has ever felt the pang of heartbreak and feared you might never heal again, this beautiful tale teaches us how to dust ourselves off and seek happiness again. Fans of Jojo Moyes, Josie Silver and Rosie Walsh will love this moving and uplifting story.

Amazon: https://bit.ly/33XtC9B

When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with Carina UK. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016.

Catherine was a NHS physiotherapist, but for health reasons she retired early from this career. As she loved her physiotherapy job, she decided if she couldn’t do that she would pursue her writing dream. It took a few years and a couple of babies, but in 2015 she won the Katie Fforde bursary, was a finalist in the London Book Fair Write Stuff Competition and highly commended in Woman magazine’s writing competition. Since then she’s had four novels published.

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My thoughts:

This was a lovely story about lost love, remembering the past, and falling in love.

Clive has fragmented memories of something happening but they don’t quite add up, so Keisha and George try to help him find out what really happened, along the way there’s a speed dating event, some time on the allotment and drinking beetroot juice (yuk!).

This was a genuinely lovely and warm book and I really enjoyed it, another sweet reading treat for the colder days and nights.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Ticklemore Christmas Toy Shop – Liz Davies*

You’re never too old to fall in love…

There is a disturbance in the force and octogenarian Hattie Jenkins can feel it in her water. Still active and spritely, she guesses that the miserable-looking gentleman sitting morosely in the café where she works, might be the reason.

Widowed Alfred Miller has recently moved in with his daughter because she is worried that he’s becoming too frail and forgetful to look after himself. And he’s not in the least bit happy about it, especially since his home is soon be cleared and sold.

But when he enlists Hattie’s help to save some of his precious belongings, he doesn’t realise that Hattie’s mission is to save more than a few sticks of furniture. She’s on a mission to save him, too.

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Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

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My thoughts:

This was a lovely, warm, feelgood story, definitely one for the festive season, all snuggled up in the house while the winter freezes outside.

Proving love is for every age are Alfred and Hattie, neither are young but don’t count them out yet. Hattie works in the café and that’s where she meets Alfred, a widower recently come to live with his daughter and her husband.

He’s lonely and a bit lost, but meeting Hattie helps give him a new lease of life and together they set up a special shop to sell Alfred’s handmade toys and raise money for charity.

The community rallies around them to help get it going and Alfred’s sadness lifts.

Like a warm mug of hot chocolate or a good hug, this book is just the right amount of sweet and cheering. Put it on your Advent reading list.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: All About Us – Tom Ellen*

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

All About Us is a captivating novel of heartbreak and loss, friendship and hope – and how the choices we make throughout our lives will shape our destiny.

My thoughts:

This was lovely, a sweet, sad, ultimately redemptive, heart warming story about love and how relationships and people change over time.

Ben is at a crossroads in his life and the chance to go back and relive moments from his past allows him to better understand what he wants from his present and future.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Tea Room on the Bay – Rachel Burton*

It’s time for Ellie to return home and rediscover the past she left behind…

After a tough break-up, Ellie returns to the only place she’s ever really felt at home – the coastal town of Sanderson Bay. A year later, she’s living her dream, brewing delicious artisan teas and selling them at her very own café. And when the mysterious and brooding Ben walks into her tearoom, Ellie finally dares to dream of true love.

But then her ex shows up in the Bay, and just as Ellie discovers some tragic truths about her family’s past, she learns Ben might be hiding an unwelcome secret of his
own…

Can Ellie let go of her past and brave a future with Ben?

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Rachel has a degree in Classics and another in English Literature, and fell into a career in law by mistake. She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats.

She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram or follow her blog. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and
how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

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My thoughts:

A lovely heart-warming Christmas story set in the seaside town of Sanderson Bay, where Ellie runs a teashop, selling the perfect blends she designs herself.

When Ben enters her life, she’s thrown, having run to the Bay after heartbreak, she’s not looking for anyone new, but there’s something about Ben and his own return to the Bay that Ellie can’t ignore.

This book was really charming and sweet, perfect for curling up under a blanket with a treat and a pot of your favourite tea (I like a chai spice mix).

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Love Songs for Sceptics – Christina Pishiris*

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’. It didn’t go down well.

When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on.

Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever . . .

But as obstacles continue to get in her way – Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding, and an obnoxious publicist determined to run Zoë – Zoë begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.

What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, your first love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be? What if, instead Zoë and Simon are forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite getting the steps right . . .

Love Songs for Sceptics is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lucy Vine and Lindsey Kelk.

Christina Pishiris was born in London to Greek Cypriot parents, who used to bribe her to go to family weddings by promising that George Michael might be there.

To deal with the inevitable disappointment, she began scribbling stories on napkins and has been writing ever since. She started her career as a journalist, specialising in the TV industry, before going freelance.

Since meeting her film-maker husband she’s also moved into production, working on music documentaries.

Her hobbies include compiling cheesy 80s playlists, coveting the neighbour’s cat and writing protest letters to Guerlain after they discontinued her favourite perfume.

My thoughts:

This was lovely, I’ve been feeling a bit rubbish lately and this book was a balm. A funny, wry tale of first loves, friendship, musicians and Greek food.

The food had me licking my lips at the thought (I love Greek food), the characters and plot had me laughing and nodding my head in sympathy as Zoë tries to find love, first with her childhood pal, then with her nemesis, PR to the difficult pop stars, Nick.

Meanwhile her brother and his lovely fiancée are planning their Greek wedding, and Zoë is needed to teach the bride and her pals Greek dancing, and play the ukulele!

This is such a fun book and could easily be a great TV show or film, it’s got everything you need! Definitely one for to curl up on the sofa under a blanket and enjoy.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: What If? – Shari Low*

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.

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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.

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My thoughts:

This was a really fun read, following Carly as she travels around the world looking for her exes to check they weren’t The One.

With her loyal team of girlfriends, some creaking credit cards and great brothers in tow, she criss crosses the oceans from New York to Singapore, Hong Kong to Amsterdam looking for the men she loved and left. Finding them teaches her things about herself, and finding some really great new friends along the way.

This book might be twenty odd years old but it still feels fresh and relatable even when just hopping on a plane is so far from reality right now.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.