blog tour, books, reviews

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: The Snow Song – Sally Gardner*

Women imprisoned by superstition, chained by guilt.

Perched on a mountain in a land of ancient forests is a village, rife with secrets. Cut off from the outside world it is run by the elders, men to whom tradition is all.

Edith lives alone with her alcoholic father who is forcing her to marry the village butcher. But she is in love with a shepherd who promised to return to her.

As the village becomes isolated in a sea of snow, Edith loses her power of speech. And it is this enchantment that will have far-reaching consequences, not only for Edith but for the whole village.

My thoughts:

This is a beautiful, magical fairy tale set somewhere in snowy Northern Europe, I could see elements of East of the Sun and West of the Moon, as well as modern feminist retellings of other fairy tales in Edith and her story. Which is how Edith’s own stories work, weaving together the old and the new.

Edith is the only woman, who finds strength in the midst of terrible heartbreak, to stand against the butcher and his cruelty (he seems a Bluebeard figure, there’s no explanation as to what happened to his previous wife) in the small village where fear, tradition and the elders (all men) hold sway.

Edith’s bittersweet winter in the forest (where the East of the Sun… came through strongest for me) enables her to return to the village and start to put things right, with her father, for her friends.

Lyrical, moving and with the gentlest of hope for the future at its ending, this is a stunning new fairy tale for this winter and those to come.

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

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 Silent Stars Go By – Sally Nicholls*

Seventeen-year-old Margot Allan was a respectable vicar’s daughter and madly in love with her fiancé Harry. But when Harry was reported Missing in Action from the Western Front, and Margot realised she was expecting his child, there was only one solution she and her family could think of in order to keep that respectability. She gave up James, her baby son, to be adopted by her parents and brought up as her younger brother.
Now two years later the whole family is gathering at the vicarage for Christmas. It’s heartbreaking for Margot being so close to James but unable to tell him who he really is. But on top of that, Harry is also back in the village. Released from captivity in Germany and recuperated from illness, he’s come home and wants answers. Why has Margot seemingly broken off their engagement and not replied to his letters? Margot knows she owes him an explanation. But can she really tell him the truth about James?My thoughts:This is a lovely, bittersweet story of young love, war, family, hope and redemption. Having given her son James to be raised by her parents as theirs, Margot’s heart is breaking. Her fiancé Harry has somehow survived the war, despite being reported as missing, and now she must decide whether to tell him the truth about James.Margot returns home for Christmas, seeing James happily ensconced as the baby of the family and coming face to face with Harry for the first time.She wrestles with her decision, spends time with her siblings, parents and friends, trying to decide what the right thing to do is.This was a truly lovely book, the story was moving and a little heartbreaking, it was also educational – I didn’t know adoption was legal until the 1926 Adoption Act – and the thought of all those young women forced into giving away their babies before then were wronged.Although James is one of the lucky ones, his grandparents love him and treat him as they do the rest of their children, which makes Margot worry even more – will this destroy his happiness, if she and Harry married and took him with them?I was gifted a copy of this book by the publisher and if you’d like to see the special edition I received, I’ve shared it over on Instagram.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: One Kiss Before Christmas – Emma Jackson*

A romantic festive read from the author of A Mistletoe Miracle, guaranteed to warm your heart this Christmas!

Could it be the start of her happy ever after?
Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She’s still living in Brighton with her Nan — who could
give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable — her acting career has been reduced to playing one
of Santa’s elves, and not even the prospect of a friend’s winter wedding can cheer her up…

That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.
When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every other Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash’s neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.
If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash’s life, it’s Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas…

Feel-good and festive, this is the perfect romance to curl up with this winter!

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Author of the Best Selling A MISTLETOE MIRACLE and contender for the Joan Hessayon Award 2020, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. Her latest romantic
comedy, SUMMER IN THE CITY, was released in June 2020.

Emma also writes historical and fantasy fiction as Emma S Jackson. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE was published
by DarkStroke in February 2020.You can find out news about Emma via her website, by signing up to her newsletter.

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My thoughts:

A lovely festive romance, complete with ice skating, elves and lots of chocolate.

Ash’s acting career has stalled and this Christmas she is once again playing Santa’s Helper, while struggling to get into the spirit. Until dashing French pastry chef Olivier comes to spend the festive season with his mum, right next door! Cue hearts and Hollywood montages.

Basically this is adorable, and also funny, with a grumpy Grandma, an over-affectionate dog, a lovely pair of gay best friends, a wedding, fairy lights galore and a Happily Ever After.

Perfect for reading under a blanket while the wind howls outside, just have the chocolate handy as this book makes you hungry!

*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: One More For Christmas – Sarah Morgan*

For sisters Samantha and Ella Mitchell, Christmas is their most precious time of the year—a time for togetherness, love and celebration. Most of all, it’s about making up for everything their childhood Christmases lacked. But this year, they’ll be buying presents for the most unexpected guest of all—their estranged mother. It’s been five years since they last saw each other. But when their mother calls out of the blue and promises that this Christmas will be different, Samantha and Ella cautiously agree to spend it all together…

Gayle Mitchell is at the top of her career, but her success has come at a price—her relationship with her daughters. She never seemed to say or do the right things. Her tough-love approach was designed to make them stronger, but instead managed to push them away…until a brush with her own mortality forces Gayle to make amends. As the snowflakes fall on their first family celebration in years, the Mitchell women must learn that sometimes facing up to the past is all you need to heal your heart…

My thoughts:

Sarah Morgan’s Christmas books are like a lovely hug, warm and friendly and they make you toasty inside. This is no different.

Families are complicated, difficult and Christmas can exacerbate all the things we hate about ourselves and our relatives.

Samantha and Ella have essentially no relationship to their work focused mother Gayle, but an accident brings them back together and soon they’re off to Scotland to spend Christmas in a remote manor house with the owners, a possible new experience for Samantha’s bespoke holiday company.

There’s a lot the three women need to talk about and a lot they need to deal with if they’re to rebuild their relationship, and being stuck in the snowy Highlands is perfect for long talks by the fire and healing.

This is a delightful book, enlivened by the presence of four year old Tab, reindeer and a spot of romance. Plus some delicious home cooked meals.

It really does have a cheering effect and makes the grey and miserable day melt away and leaves you feeling all cosy 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: 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.

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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: Promises at Indigo Bay – Ellyn Oaksmith*

Read my review of Summer at Orchard House.

Our life together meant more to me than he could possibly imagine. I just wanted another night. I thought I knew what was coming. A proposal. If only it had been that simple.
Things are finally working out for Stella Gallagher. Unlucky in love and faced with limited options in her small town, she was beginning to give up on romance altogether, until mysterious Italian Paolo Gentillo moved to Chelan…
Paolo is smart, kind, gorgeous and, most importantly, they’re completely obsessed with each other: Stella has finally found her match. Everything would be perfect, except there are things she hasn’t told Paolo—she doesn’t know how he’s going to feel about her when he finds out about her past…
So when Paolo proposes, Stella panics: it’s way too soon. She wants to be with him, but suddenly they’re talking about forever. He doesn’t even know the real her, she’s scared to face up to her secret, and she’s never felt so alone. Is the damage from her past going to threaten her chance at a perfect future?

A heart-warming story about learning to trust in yourself and the people you love, Promises at Indigo Bay will show you that it’s never too late to try for your happy ending. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Debbie Macomber.

Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of the Blue Hills Series, featuring the Alvarez family.

After graduating from Smith College and attaining her MFA from The American Film Institute, Ellyn began her writing career as an award-winning screenwriter in Hollywood. Her books explore the same themes as her screenplays: grit, humor, family and love.

Ellyn lives on one of Seattle’s many hills with her husband and spends as much time as possible on the water as part of a competitive rowing team.

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My thoughts:

I loved Summer at Orchard House and was excited to read the newest Chelan novel – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Stella is the town’s hairdresser and salon owner, she has a wonderful Italian boyfriend, a house she loves and a supportive best friend and bonus family.

She isn’t close to her own parents and has a tragic history she keeps trying to forget. Then Paolo announces his visa is about to expire and they should get married.

This sends Stella into a tailspin – and Olivia suddenly isn’t such a great best friend anymore. Now she’s having to confront her past and deal with Paolo’s overbearing Italian mother.

I had an Italian best friend growing up and I know all about the Italian mamas and their sons – my friend had two brothers. I knew Stella was in for a rough ride, nothing comes between Italian women and their precious sons.

But Stella finds a deep well of inner strength and somehow manages not to be completely crushed by all the things she’s dealing with.

A really enjoyable read, and a delightful slice of escape as the rain pours down and the wind rattles the dodgy panes in my windows.

*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 Winter Garden – Heidi Swann*

Freya Fuller is estranged from her parents and has been following her childhood dream of becoming a gardener ever since.When an opportunity to design a winter garden opens up at a Victorian property in Nightingale Square, Freya jumps at the chance to make a fresh start.But while the majority of the residents are welcoming, local artist Finn seems determined to shut her out, and when Freya’s family make a surprise appearance, it seems that her new life is about to come crashing down . . .

My thoughts:

I am utterly useless with plants and can just about keep a cactus alive but I do enjoy a beautiful garden and I could easily picture the stunning one Freya creates in this delightful book.

Perfect for curling up and getting cosy with this winter, the love story between Freya and Finn, the lovely little Nell, the kind and welcoming locals, the healing of nature, the crafts and creations people make, it all adds up to a really pleasurable read.

*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: Tudor Christmas Tidings – Blythe Gifford, Jenni Fletcher & Amanda McCabe*

Make Merry at Court… with three Tudor Christmas stories!

In Christmas at Court Sir John Talbot and Lady Alice’s secret betrothal must wait until Henry Tudor
claims the throne.

Next in Secrets of the Queen’s Lady the lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves isunexpectedly reunited with a handsome—younger—diplomat at the palace’s festivities!

And in His Mistletoe Lady Catherine seeks help from a mysterious Spaniard to free her father in time for
Christmas!

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Jenni Fletcher is from the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels. She studied English at Cambridge University before doing a PhD on Edwardian literature & psychology at Hull. She has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards and won for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. In her spare time she loves baking and, of course, reading.

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After many years in public relations, advertising, and marketing, Blythe Gifford started writing seriously after a corporate layoff. Ten years and one layoff later, she became an overnight success when she sold to the Harlequin Historical line. Her books, set in the 14th to 17th centuries, typically incorporate real historical events and characters. The Chicago Tribune has called her work “the
perfect balance between history and romance.” Blythe lives and works along Chicago’s lakefront.

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Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as
the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not
her strongest subject…)

She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the
National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.

When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.
Amanda also writes as Laurel McKee for Grand Central Publishing, the Elizabethan Mystery Series as Amanda Carmack, and the Manor Cat Mystery Series as Eliza Casey.

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My thoughts:

These three novellas in one are set at different points during the Tudor period, skipping from the very beginning of Henry Tudor’s reign, to his son’s fourth marriage (Katherine Howard, beheaded) and finally to Mary I’s court at its height.

The one thing that never changes is love, monarchs (and religions) might but the desire to find someone to kiss under the mistletoe (a much more recent tradition though that is) remains.

Each story centres on a couple revolving round the court, and there’s plenty of intrigue, politics, family loyalty and other machinations to keep it interesting. In an age where few could marry for love, can you ever fall and be able to make your own choice?

Perfect for curling up and dipping into in the warmth of your centrally heated home, a far cry from the Yule logs of Tudor England.


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