Monday, 30 April 2018

Book Review - A Bicycle Made For Two by Mary Jayne Baker - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #96

Amazon UK
Title: A Bicycle Made For Two
Author: Mary Jayne Baker
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Mirror Books
Publication Date: 4th February 2018
Rating: 5 Stars


Chock-full of colourful characters, bawdy wit and a bit of love and passion for good measure. 

In a lost corner of the Yorkshire Dales, Lana Donati runs a medieval theme restaurant with her brother. As a distraction to help them get over losing the father they loved dearly, and as a tribute to his passion for the beautiful area they live in, Lana hatches a plan to boost business for everyone by having the Grand Départ route pass through their village. 

But this entails getting the small community to work together to convince the decision-makers that their beloved village is Tour material. Not an easy task when the people involved include Lana's shy, unlucky-in-love brother Tom, the man-eating WI chair Yolanda, bickering spouses Gerry and Sue, arrogant celebrity Harper Brady, and Lana's (attractive) arch-nemesis, former pro cyclist turned bike shop owner, Stewart McLean, whose offbeat ideas might just cost them everything. 

Well its not every day you get to start a book set in a medieval theme restaurant with the main character being a wench of a waitress. And that is just the start of this book's quirkiness and fun, with the rest of it coming from the campaign to bring the Grand Depart of the Tour De France, to Lona Donati's little village. 

The entire village helps in the fundraising and campaign to get their village recognised as something special even having to fight animal rights protestors, and come up will all manner of fun things to attract the attention of the decision makers. 

Yet quite early on I had a lump in my throat at the emotion in the story, and is related to Lana's motivations for bringing the Grand Depart to the village. 

For the past few years Lana and her brother Tom have not really had a chance for romance, and now things are changing.  I loved both of their stories, and their potential relationships.  

There are just so many laughs and smiles to be had in this book, and I found it an incredibly entertaining story from an author that I definitely need to keep reading more from.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Mirror Books for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

Thank you to everyone that picked this in a huge landslide vote last week, I agree with you all the cover really is gorgeous.  So what will be reviewed this time next week, check out the choices and make your decision! 

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #97


 
Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

0 Votes -  My Girlfriend's Perfect Ex-Boyfriend by Peter Jones
1 Votes - The Undercover Mother by Emma Robinson
11 Votes  -  A Bicycle Made For Two by Mary Jayne Baker

I have to say I feel sorry for the two losing books, as clearly no one knows anything about them, and thus clearly they need to be featured on more blogs to bring attention to them!  Really happy with the winning choice though, very much enjoyed A Bicycle Made For Two, so thank you. 

For the next few weeks we will be randomising from my review back log - until each book in the back log has been up for a vote once....as I keep falling further behind this may take a while,   Also hoping it means there are books more of you have heard of and thus will be more engaged with the vote!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...

And the books these numbers correspond to are...


So the 3 choices with my gut feeling responses are:


3 - The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom - Huge fan of the author, but having read the blurb at one point, not sure this is going to be as light hearted as her other books, but I could be wrong. 
5 - A Year of Taking Chances by Jennifer Bohnet  - Love this author too, and the cover for this book is gorgeous.  Really do need to read it
7 - Where The Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon - Also adore this author,  and have spare copies of this book so there could be a giveaway when I do read it! 

I've read many books by each of these authors, they are only sitting as unread books as I had others released around the same time that opened on my kindle before these!  I want to read them all so very excited to see how this week will pan out. 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using random.org to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Guest Post - Scepticism by Helen Parry Jones - Blog Tour


Many people have had little experience of mediums, psychic clairvoyants or spiritual healers. So it must come of no surprise I’ve had to counter sceptics all my life. Some are just ignorant of my role in society, whereas others have a basic understanding of what I do, but nevertheless adopt a position of dogmatic disbelief and total un-acceptance. There are even those for whom, no matter how much proof you present, it is never enough. Their argument is you might have known the person, heard or read about them, ... and the one I love the most – you might have researched them. As if I dont have better things to do with my time than target specific individuals and research their intimate day-to-day activities. With that degree of investigative skill and financial commitment, I’d be better suited opening a professional detective agency!
There are sceptics who accuse me of ‘cold reading, a technique whereby one person attempts to determine details about another by analysing their body language and appearance. In my opinion, that type of skill is best left to the performing stage mentalists who try to mimic spiritual communication in an attempt to debunk it, and promote further scepticism. How can ‘cold reading’ be a useful skill to me when an increasing proportion of my work is executed by online-audio or telephone? Anybody with a modicum of sense would wonder if I practiced any type of trickery, how could have I successfully worked openly in the public eye as a professional therapist for over thirty years, especially these days with the freedom of expression on the internet? Why would I even want to devote my whole life to any type of deceit, exposing my whole family to disgrace? Actually, as an articulate and resourceful woman, I could have quite easily chosen another profession and excelled elsewhere if I wasnt so accomplished and totally committed to what I do.
When I have encountered scepticism, it has been from people who dont know me, not from my client base. Recognising how some people can harshly judge me, you can understand why I sometimes have to be very careful whom I tell about my extraordinary experiences to avoid being thought incredulous, a little batty, or at worst, an outright deceiver. In the 21st century, when diversity and idiosyncrasy is actively embraced, it is absurd that my unconventional natural ability is so vilified and censored.
As might be expected, there are people who say to me, “Oh! I don’t believe in it.” This attitude I find most challenging, as I usually respond by asking, “What is the – it – you don’t believe in? Are you saying you dont believe in an afterlife or are you saying you accept there is an afterlife, but you dont believe anyone can communicate with it?” These are two totally different stances and can open a chink for learning in the most closed minds.
Actually, I am not offended by genuine scepticism, as I believe healthy doubt can easily be dissolved when the truth is presented.
When confronting scepticism from the media, I find it quite unsettling as my accomplishments are never taken at face value and journalists are predictably confrontational at a very base level. Society would have so much to learn and benefit if only the media could move forward from this divisive stance. Fortunately, the freedom of the internet does mean there is considerably more information at peoples disposal, but even in this day and age, the mainstream media still has a very strong influence over public opinion and its perception of the truth.
However, over the years I have witnessed that no matter how much proof you give of a spiritual afterlife and the ability to communicate with it, people sometimes want something specific to be said, and nothing else will suffice. In such circumstances, the recipient may well become disappointed. I learned long ago it’s not my role to wantonly convert every sceptic to believe in the afterlife in the exact way they want it to be revealed. If your friends and family need to offer proof in a specific way for your clarity, it is their responsibility to provide the information in an acceptable format, not mine.
Also, I don’t pick up the gauntlet every time I am challenged, that would be a little too self-indulgent. On the contrary, I will only take the challenge when there is someone in genuine need and when requested by my guides in service to the spirit world.
Sceptic or otherwise, the truth is the truth, and my reality is truth to me. I cannot change who I am and how I was born just for public convenience or palatability. Would you?!
Follow along with the rest of the blog tour for Beyond Boundaries. 


Beyond Boundaries - A book of true inspiration!

Helen Parry Jones shares every aspect of her life with absolute honesty and in a refreshingly down-to-earth manner. Her story is a backdrop to enable her spiritual guide Sam, through daily tutoring from her earliest recollection, to offer wisdom and enlightenment in overcoming the abundance of life’s many difficult challenges, not only for Helen, but for the countless people she meets socially and provides treatment for professionally.
Helen reveals how, with Sam’s guidance, she develops a much higher level of consciousness, not only to communicate with another dimension beyond the boundaries of our existence, but whereby she can access the energy that surrounds and connects to our physical form to locate illness and malfunctions within the body with astounding accuracy.
An extraordinary life with an exceptional gift. The story of one woman’s power to heal.
Purchase from Amazon UK  

About the author: Living in Wales with her husband, Helen Parry Jones has been a professional spiritual healer and empathic medium for over thirty years. She has filled theatres and auditoriums across the country and has regularly appeared in national print and broadcast media including; The Daily Mail, Psychic News, RTÉ, BBC Radio 4 and Woman’s Way. Previous titles include, Hands of An Angel (published 2011 by Arrow) which was named The Daily Express’ book of the week.





Friday, 27 April 2018

Book Review - Who Needs Men Anyway? by Victoria Cooke

Amazon UK
Title: Who Needs Men Anyway?
Author: Victoria Cooke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital 
Publication Date: 2nd April 2018
Rating: 4 Stars


Don’t get mad, get even…
Thirty-something Charlotte’s Emsworth’s life is a sickeningly perfect round of charity events, hot yoga, and romantic gestures for sexy lawyer husband James. But, patiently waiting to get pregnant, Charlotte is bored. And when she’s bored, she has a tendency to meddle…

First, it’s her personal trainer Megan’s cheating fiancé, then the gardener Sam’s wife’s ‘late nights at the office’. But soon the meddling, however well-intentioned, lands Charlotte in way over her head, and all the time spent ‘managing’ other people’s lives makes her blind to the cracks appearing in her own…

Getting even is one thing, but what about getting happy?

As this story progressed I grew to love it more and more.  Its not that I disliked the opening chapters more wondering why on earth I was reading about such a kind hearted admittedly but shallow character.  In fact Charlotte at the start of the book reminded me in a way of Cher from Clueless (which I may have rewatched a day or two before I started this so was on my mind!). 

It seemed like everything had to be about Charlotte, even her friends seemed to call her out on her meddling needs. But when Charlotte gets the shock of her life, it is how she reacts to that and how her friends going through similar situations react that really enticed me in properly. 

I loved seeing Charlotte grow  in the way she deals with life into a far more rounded character, and the assorted meddling she was doing was all well meaning, and with some great after effects. 

What one thing is for sure about the strong women in this book is that they are all convinced they would be better off without men in their lives.  

This is a really entertaining story that once I worked out where it was going, I realised I was loving more and more with each page.  Although The Holiday Cruise will remain my favourite of Victoria Cooke's books, this one is still a fabulous story and for non cruise obsessed people will probably be a firm favourite of the authors work. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 


Thursday, 26 April 2018

Book Review - White Lies by Lucy Dawson - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: White Lies
Author: Lucy Dawson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 20th April 2018
Rating: 5 Stars


When you have everything, you have everything to lose. Alexandra Inglis is a respected family doctor, trusted by her patients to keep their most intimate secrets. And if sometimes the boundaries between duty and desire blur… well, she's only human.

But when Alex oversteps a line with Jonathan, one of her patients, she knows she's gone too far. Jonathan is obsessive, and to get what he wants he will tear Alex's world apart - threatening not only her career but her marriage and family too. 

Soon Alex finds she's capable of doing almost anything to keep hold of her perfect life, as it begins to spin dangerously out of her control…

Once again Lucy Dawson has stolen around 3 and a half hours of my life, but replaced them with a compulsively addictive book that I couldn't tear myself away from, as I was utterly hooked on White Lies from the first chapter. 

I was completely drawn into Alex's version of events, up until we started getting other view points, at which point I twigged that I had absolutely no clue who was telling the truth and who as the title suggested was telling white lies. 

What I did know was I completely felt for Alex who at a base level makes one mistake that has a lasting impact, for her marriage, her family and other people too.  One moment of madness when completely and utterly drunk,  while on a girls weekend away, leads to all manner of consequences. 

There were times where I was doubting just about everyone but at the same time I just had to keep turning the pages to see what was going to happen next.  I was curious about everything the book even touches on relatively recently real world events that have been in the news. 

This is a book that makes you think about the patient / doctor relationship, and about how easy it could be for someone in a position of trust to make a mistake that could be perceived as abuse even if the don't realise it at the time. 

Unpredictable and utterly compelling, White Lies is another absolutely fantastically crafted book from Lucy Dawson. All I can say is clear a day or a few hours depending on your typical reading speed, make sure you are comfortable, sit back and relax and let this story of human interest take over for the duration. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 



Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Book Review - A Home at Honeysuckle Farm by Christie Barlow

Amazon UK
Title:  A Home at Honeysuckle Farm
Author: Christie Barlow
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 6th April 2018
Rating: 5 Stars


A family secret

One shocking argument and ten-year-old Alice Parker’s world was turned upside down. Her peaceful life at Honeysuckle Farm in the quiet rural village of Brook Bridge swapped for the bustling metropolis of New York City. Alice’s life was changed forever…

A second chance

Now, thirteen years later, Alice’s American dream is over. With her life in tatters, there is only one place Alice wants to be… home at Honeysuckle Farm. So, when Alice learns her beloved Grandie is ill, she knows this is her last chance to heal the family rift.

A forever home?

But secrets still swirl in Brook Bridge, and Alice is no closer to discovering the truth. And for some reason her new friendship with local heartthrob Sam Reid seems to be making the locals tense.

Sick of the lies Alice knows it’s time to lay the past to rest once and for all. But could the truth ruin her hopes of ever calling Honeysuckle Farm home again?

Wow this is yet again proof of what I think I may have said before, Christie Barlow is getting better and better with every single book. This was superb, I was hooked instantly, desperate to know what the big secret was that meant that Alice and her mum moved suddenly to New York,13 years ago, and why Alice hadn't seen her beloved Grandie in that time. 

And when you do get to the reveal, lets just say I didn't see that coming, although it makes complete and utter sense.  Before that though there are many other secrets to  unravel, an emotional homecoming for Alice, and an offer that could lead to her changing her life for the better. 

Oh and lets not forget a simply gorgeous guy, if the rest of the small community can get past something that happened before Alice was even born. 

Although this is all about Honeysuckle Farm as a sense of home,  this is not a book set on a farm as such, more around Alice's love of dance and theatre, and with a chance to right some wrongs, and reboot her own life, I loved seeing what the author had in store for Alice next. 

At various times when I was reading this I felt as though I was on the verge of tears, and by the end I had shivers and goosebumps with the mosts wonderful finale.  I loved every second of this book, and just wish I could take a time machine to transport me back to the start of the book again, so that I can discover its greatness again for the first time! 

Thank you to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Book Review - The Purrfect Pet Sitter by Carol Thomas

Amazon UK
Title: The Purrfect Pet Sitter
Author: Carol Thomas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Ruby Fiction 
Publication Date: 24th April 2018
Rating: 4 Stars


Introducing Lisa Blake, the purrfect pet sitter! 
When Lisa Blake’s life in London falls apart, she returns to her hometown rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising as she has a rather unfortunate habit of (temporarily) losing dogs! 

But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Flick who she bumps into in an embarrassing encounter in a local supermarket. And her first love, Nathan Baker, who, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is. 

As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends Lisa must confront the hurt she has caused, discover the truth about her mysterious leather-clad admirer, and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.

Once I got into the groove of this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  This is a book about regaining old friendships, old flames re-appearing and how to move forward with your life.  

For a book about a pet sitter there seemed to be a disappointing amount of animals featured, with predominately just one dog that was key to the story, as is Lisa's friendship with Jack's owner Winnie, For Winnie is one of very few new friends that Lisa has made since returning to her childhood town. 

We also get to know Felicity with her four children, which added a nice bit of contrast to Lisa's rather more solo story, but it wasn't until their stories interlink that I really felt the book started to get going. At which point I enjoyed the various dynamics a lot more and there are some utterly hilarious scenes. 

The Purrfect Pet Sitter is a good story that I was really entertained by on a wet and windy bank holiday weekend. It took me on a lovely journey of personal growth and even features a couple of gorgeous men too.   

Thank you to Netgalley and Ruby Fiction for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Book Review - The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #95

Amazon UK
Title:  The Babysitter
Author: Sheryl Browne
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 8th March 2018
Rating: 4 Stars


You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?

Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?

As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.

But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …

Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?

From the start you know not to trust the Babysitter, the clue is in the title and the blurb, in fact from the prologue I was 99% positive I had worked out her identity and I would expect most people reading this to get that far in their predictions. 

And yet despite being sure you know what the reveal will be, due to the various perspective the book is written from, and the specifics of the story, I found myself drawn into this rather twisted tale, which contained more horrors than I initially anticipating. 

We get chapters from Melissa and Mark's perspectives and its amazing how they seemed to be seeing various incidents differently and then there were chapters from the Babysitters point of view, in theory meaning the reader was one step ahead of Mark and his family, but in reality, there are still shocks to be had. 

There was just something that seemed to keep the book on my mind constantly until I gave in and sat down to finish it.  It is a story about knowing who you can really trust, whether people really are what they seem, and of some really sloppy police work with one of the most dislikeable colleagues of Mark's that I've met. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for this book this week including Snoops who deserves an honorable mention, as you don't often get dogs voting for their favourite books!  This was definitely a book I needed to read so I thank you all for that and look forward to seeing what wins this week. 

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #96


 
Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

3 Votes - Annie's Summer by the Sea by Liz Eeles
6 Votes - The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
15 Votes  -  The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne

Given the weather this week I was very surprised the the spring/summer looking books didn't get more votes, but not to worry I was delighted to finally read The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne, which had me open eyed in disbelief at some of the events as they unfurled.  

For the next few weeks we will be randomising from my review back log - until each book in the back log has been up for a vote once....as I keep falling further behind this may take a while,   Also hoping it means there are books more of you have heard of and thus will be more engaged with the vote!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...


And the books these numbers correspond to are...

So the 3 choices with my gut feeling responses are:



3 - My Girlfriend's Perfect Ex-Boyfriend by Peter Jones -  I know this book had great reviews on the blog tour, and I love his writing from previous releases. 
5 - The Undercover Mother by Emma Robinson - There was something as it was announced that made me download it from Netgalley and not just the publisher. I haven't been paying attention to it though,so comments generally are very welcome! 
7 - A Bicycle Made For Two by Mary Jayne Baker - Love this authors sense of humour and have been meaning to read this book since I got it. 

Three fabulously fun sounding books, I know I will be happy with all of the options I just wish I knew how to pick books so that I didn't have such readable sounding things in my backlog!  Clearly far too many great releases at the moment.  I look forward to the outcome. 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using random.org to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Book Review - The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley

Amazon UK
Title: The Wedding Date
Author: Zara Stoneley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 20th April 2018
Rating: 4 Stars


One ex.
One wedding.
One little white lie.

When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…

1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)

So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.

Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.

But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!

As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…

This is a lovely and enjoyable story,  that I think would make a great film. However that may be because I years ago watched a film with the same basic premise and in fact same title, ao although I enjoyed the journey and writing, I wasn't overly surprised about the overall story arc. 

Ok there are differences between the film and the book as you would hope being completely different but there was that sense of familiarity with the thoughts that Sam was having throughout. 

Putting all that to one side, this is a book filled with amusing moments, and I think I fell in love with Jake almost instantly. I do love a book with eye candy, and he is more than just a gorgeous actor willing to be a fake boyfriend. 

He is hiding the true reason he is willing to go along with the the charade of being Sam's boyfriend and a date for a week long wedding in Scotland.  I loved how he slipped into the role perfectly and seemed a natural at the various activities on offer, while also absolutely hating on sight Sam's ex-boyfriend who is the best man. 

I really enjoyed the character of Sam too and completely understood her need to go to these lengths, showing just what a good friend she is.   

And of course this wouldn't be a Zara Stoneley book if there weren't horses and dogs involved somewhere, and the two dogs featured are fabulous.  Tank is exactly that and Harry is a larger than life dog who may be very keen on human food, despite the regime he may be apparently on.   The scene involving horses too was great 

Despite my initial thoughts this is easily a book I would recommend to others, it really has everything I look for in a romantic comedy - romance, comedy, gorgeous man, some fabulous scenes, an ex worth hating, funny parents and animals.  This is pure enjoyable escapism and I did really enjoy the whole book. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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