Tuesday 23 April 2024

Book Review - Love At First Knight by Megan Clawson

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Amazon UK

Title: Love at First Knight
Author: Megan Clawson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 25th April 2024
Rating: 4 Stars

A second royal rom com from the author who had readers falling hard for royal guards, coming Spring 2024.

She’s no damsel in distress, and he’s certainly not wearing shining armour. But one knight can change everything…

Daisy Hastings has always thought she was born in the wrong era. So when she bags a summer job at the Tower of London helping to run their Knight school, it feels like a step in the right direction.

Theodore ‘Teddy’ Fairfax is a loose cannon. A disgraced distant relative of the royal family, he’s tall, dark and now (begrudgingly) helping with the Tower of London’s summer programme – and there’s nowhere he’d like to be less.

When Teddy’s oath to be an obstruction almost gets Daisy fired, she declares war. But as the two cross swords, they start to discover they both need a little rescuing…

And that maybe, just maybe, love can bloom, even on a battlefield…

I was excited to see that Megan Clawson had a new book out, given how much I enjoyed her debut novel  And I totally enjoyed this new book too. 

However and this is purely me, even though I'm very geeky and I'm aware of LARPing, I've never had any desire to do any, nor live in the sort of fantasy world that Daisy seems to live in a lot of the time.  The action scenes for the LARPing were definitely interesting and full of action which I enjoyed, but for me there was a bit too much in the lead up of Daisy writing new stories for her LARPing group, and a lot of olde world type speech. 

Basically a tad too much history and fantasy elements in for me to give it a full five stars, but that is purely my taste! The rest of the book though, the actual story, the concept of a Knight school, and seeing Daisy develop as a character and a person in front of my eyes, was a joy to read. 

And Teddy, oh I loved him, even when he was causing trouble. There are soe very funny scenes involving him, during their time at Knight school. 

I also loved Bobble, Daisy's new flatmate, she's hilarious and a complete fresh of breath air.  Just a fun character, and a true friend in the making. 

Above all it's a story about people finding out where they belong in life, and discovering your true self. 

I really hope there will be a third book that features The Tower of London as even a part setting, as these have such a great feel to them.  

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

Monday 22 April 2024

Book Review - Enemies to Lovers by Portia MacIntosh - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: Enemies to Lovers
Author: Portia MacIntosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 4th January 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Lara and Sonny are sworn enemies.
As rival showbiz journalists, they are always out to get one-up on each other – whether being the first to scoop the latest celebrity gossip, or sabotaging a potential lead.

So when their bosses ask them to join forces and go undercover at an exclusive celebrity retreat, they can’t think of anything worse - except that they are going to need to pretend to be in couples therapy to blend in...

Being on a tropical island for work would be most people’s idea of heaven, but for Lara and Sonny it’s hell. Can a week of sun, sea and uncovering showbiz secrets together chip away at Lara and Sonny’s rivalry? And once they get home and the fake relationship is over, could a real one be left in its place?

Join top 10 bestseller Portia MacIntosh for a laugh-out-loud, enemies to lovers, fake relationship romantic comedy.

Portia MacIntosh has hit it out of the park with another totally hilarious story, that I loved every second of it. 

Every single bit of dialogue between Lara and Sonny is totally brilliant. 

Some of it is friendly banter, some of it may lead to them both potentially being sacked, and then when they are forced to be a fake couple at a couples retreat therapy resort things get really ramped up.

And just like Eden in the Couples Retreat film, the Eden in this book is lets say unconventional. In fact this book reminded me a lot of the film, but with its own spin on it. 

There are so many funny moments it would be hard to pick a favourite,  I just loved the Lara and Sonny dynamics, as well as the other people on this retreat too. 

Another complete fun book from one of my auto read favourite rom com authors I loved it! 

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

Friday 19 April 2024

Book Review - The Cottage on Strawberry Sands by Holly Martin - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: The Cottage on Strawberry Sands
Author: Holly Martin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied Copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 11th April 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Escape to the golden sands and glittering seas of Apple Hill Bay for a sizzling summer of love. From the bestselling author of Sunshine and Secrets at Blackberry Beach comes this gorgeously romantic tale.

They say there’s no place like home and for Roo Clarke this couldn’t be more true. Fourteen years ago she left the sparkling shores of Apple Hill Bay for America, leaving behind her childhood best friend Theo Lucas, and with him a piece of her heart. Nothing has felt right since then, and though she’s certain Theo has long since moved on from their hometown, Roo has high hopes that the exciting new job that’s brought her back here and the quirky beach hut she’ll make her own will fill her heart again.

But Theo hasn’t moved on, he’s right where Roo left him in Apple Hill Bay, and he’s even more gorgeous than Roo remembers. Fourteen years is a long time, but the secret crush she harboured as a teenager burns as intensely as if they’d never been apart. What if this is her chance to tell him how she really felt all those years ago? And what if he felt the same way? What if the lost years melted away, could they fall in love? Or could something unexpected ruin everything between them?

Step into the sunshine with this summer’s hottest love story, guaranteed to warm your heart and take your breath away. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jill Mansell and Sue Moorcroft.

It's always a joy to dive straight into a new Holly Martin novel, and this was absolutely no exception. I felt right at home between the pages within the first chapter, and it just grew from there. 

I've just re-read the blurb and realised that just about everything I'd love to mention in this review, would be potentially regarded as a spoiler, so this will be tricky. 

But I loved the connection between Roo and Theo, right from when Roo walks back into town and discovers Theo is still there, and it's clear there is unfinished business between them. And getting to know them both was wonderful. 

It was lovely to be back in Apple Hill Bay, and to meet up with some familiar faces from the previous book too. 

Animal lovers will love this book, as there is a clear theme of wildlife and rescuing, and also publishing to do with pets, but I aren't stay any more other than, I couldn't get enough of these storylines.  There is also a plot to do with workplace rumours and relationships.  

There are every now and then amusing emails from the office manager, who seems far more concerned with petty quibbles with things going on in the office, than it actually being a good place to work. 

This has all of Holly Martin's trademark warmth, romantic flare and generally feel good feeling about it. Whether like me you are a massive fan of this author, or brand new to her, this is easily a fabulous book, and will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling too! 

Everything I wanted it to be and more. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Book Review - The Second Chance Holiday Club by Kate Galley - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: The Second Chance Holiday Club
Author: Kate Galley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 1st December 2022
Rating: 4 Stars

The delightfully heartwarming and funny debut, perfect for fans of Judy Leigh, Hazel Prior and Maddie Please.

It's never too late to change the habits of a lifetime...

Evelyn Pringle isn't the sort to make rash decisions. Or any decisions, really – she's always left that sort of thing up to her husband. But he's been found dead, wearing his best suit, with a diamond ring in his pocket that doesn't fit her. When Evelyn finds a letter addressed to a woman on the Isle of Wight, she decides to deliver it. By hand.

So begins a very unusual holiday, and an adventure no one could have predicted – least of all Evelyn herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and a little effort on her part, Evelyn discovers that it's never too late to have a second chance at life and forge friendships that are well-worth living for.

It took me a while to completely warm to Evelyn, but once I did I really enjoyed this book. 

Especially once we discover just what a scumbag her husband really is, and not just for the reason we are initially led to believe. 

It's the reason why Evelyn against her normal personality books a short coach trip to the Isle of Wight over Christmas, in the hopes of getting some answers. 

However she isn't great at mixing with people, and there are two other ladies on this trip that seem determined to befriend her. 

Which turns into a rather unlikely alliance, and I was certainly surprised by the twist in Joy's story too. 

I really enjoyed this debut novel, and am intrigued to see what the author writes next. 

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

Thursday 18 April 2024

Book Review - Seeking Retribution by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Seeking Retribution
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 18th April 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

One night of fun, leads to serious consequences.

When Sara and her team investigate a missing person case, it soon becomes clear that things aren’t what they seemed at first glance.

With problems in her personal life, Sara is guilty of taking her eye off the ball. However, when a body is recovered from the river, and it's not the person they've been looking for, her attention is directed back to the case. After missing a vital clue Sara wonders if she and her team have overlooked anything else in what turns out to be a shocking murder inquiry.

Wow! Wow! Wow!

I just devoured this over the course of a day, not wanting to do anything in terms of real life until I had finished the book as I was so hooked on this right from the first chapter 

And in a very surprising change of pace, there is a lot less of DI Sara Ramsay and her team, and the main focus on the book was on the "bad guys".  Except what was going on was completely understandable and I had a lot of empathy for them, while not being quite as sympathetic to the victims. 

Which makes a change, or just means I've been reading too much crime recently. 

The title is completely apt and there is revenge and retribution being hunted for, after a night out goes wrong for one of the people that were out that evening.  And from there everything spirals. 

We still saw a fair bit of Sara and Carla, enough to catch up with their personal lives too, and to see just how they dealt with these latest cases, which I wouldn't have had a clue where to start. 

I was kept on my toes and was totally gripped by every single word of this book.  I think this may be one of my favourite books of this series so far, and they have all been great. 

I also can't believe we are up to book 23 of this series, it feels like only yesterday that I was eagerly starting it, and I already know I can't wait for the next book. 

Another brilliant story from the always amazing M. A. Comley. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Book Review - Welcome To The Cornish Country Hospital by Jo Bartlett - #HolidayReading Cruise

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Amazon UK

Title: Welcome to the Cornish Country Hospital
Author: Jo Bartlett
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 22nd November 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

A new start…

When Danni Carter moves to Cornwall from London, she hopes it will be the fresh start she so desperately needs. She’s nervous, but hopefully the change of scene will help her to finally forget her feelings for Lucas Newman, a man she can never be with, because he’s already engaged to Danni’s best friend, Esther.

An Impossible Dilemma…

But when Lucas and Esther decide to follow Danni to Cornwall, and both announce they will be working with her at the new St Piran’s hospital, Danni is thrown into turmoil again. She can’t lose Esther, but being near Lucas is getting harder to deal with. Will she have to give up her new life before it’s even started?

A chance to start again?

Throwing herself into work, Danni finds herself drawn to new patient, Connie Berrycloth, a woman Danni knows has dark secrets of her own. Secrets that are about to be revealed….

As the two women form a friendship, Danni begins to realise that letting go of her dreams might be the only way of holding on to the people she loves.

What a lovely start to a brand new series aet in the brand new hospital in St Piran, serving the three port areas that were so prominent in Jo Bartlett's previous series. 

And I'm delighted to say that Gwen is back, and is as fabulous as ever. 

We have two main characters who I grew to lover - Connie and Danni.  Danni is an A&E doctor at the hospital, who has a complicated relationship with her best friends.

And Connie who is agonising over decisions from the past, and where we start the book is involved in an awful accident. 

A friendship forms between the ladies as they provide support for each other's predicaments. 

I really loved Connie's story, where as Danni I liked, but found Lucas who was involved to be a big slimeball. 

A really enjoyable start to this series and I am looking forward to reading the next book already. 

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

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Book Review - Every Step You Take by M. A. Hunter

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Amazon UK

Title: Every Step You Take
Author: M. A. Hunter
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 28th March 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Run for your life...

This morning I woke up to flowers - they should be well wishes for my big race but I know they’re not.

They’re from him.

He shouldn’t be here. He shouldn’t even be in the country. Last I heard he was behind bars for all he did to me.

But he says he’s going to be at the marathon today, watching me.

I have 26 miles to figure out what he wants. Or if it’s even him. Or I could lose more than just the race.

What a wonderfully addictive psychological Thriller this was. It was tense and I changed my mind as to who the threats were coming from almost as often as Molly did.

Following Molly as she battles many things in order to try to meet the Olympics qualifying time,  after recovering from a horrific injury, is astonishing.

We get chapters for each mile of the marathon and I was cheering her on, while also enjoying the alternating chapters giving us the timeline for the London marathon run up and just what is leading to her paranoia come race day. 

I was hooked and was regretting not being able to read this in longer stints as I needed to know what would happen next.

Despite being in front of the World in the elite women's race, it felt rather claustrophobic during the story while everyone becomes a suspect.  

It's a unique concept and one I was definitely invested in.  I loved every step of this book. It's brilliant, 

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

Monday 15 April 2024

Book Review - Finding Happiness at Penvennan Cove by Linn B Halton - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: Finding Happiness at Penvennan Cove
Author: Linn B Halton
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 10th November 2022
Rating: 4 Stars

Escape to Cornwall with this beautiful page-turning novel set in Penvennan Cove – third book in the Cornish romance series by bestselling author Linn B. Halton!

Kerra Shaw's happiness should be complete when the love of her life moves into her cottage. But there is trouble in her beloved Penvennan Cove and Kerra knows she won't be able to enjoy her new start with Ross until she's put things right.

Two struggling businesses threaten to change the beach at Penvennan Cove forever. The Lark and Lantern, an inn at the heart of the community, is struggling and a corporate chain is trying to redevelop the site. Meanwhile, The Salvager's Yard nearby is becoming an eyesore that brings down the area.

Kerra knows she can find the perfect solution, but with her eyes on the community, will Kerra miss the tensions in her own life? Can Kerra find her own happy ending, or could putting others first cost her what she deserves most?

Was lovely to be back in Penvennan Cove, amongst all of my favourite characters from this series.  

I think I left it far too long though between reading the second and this third book in the series, as I definitely needed all the reminders that the author seeded in to bring me right back up to speed, and to a point they work. 

However there are so many characters in this series, that I do feel its best read as a trilogy, rather than a standalone. 

Really enjoyed all of the various storylines, as well as seeing resolutions for those that were still ongoing from the previous books. 

Kerra is a fabulous character, and I just love how is able to help transform the cove she loves so much, and help so so many of the locals too. 

There is a real community spirt in the town, and I loved so many of the various threads that ran through this book. 

It's a fabulous way to end a series of books, and I really wish the Cove was a real place that I could go an visit myself as it sounds so lovely. 

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

Friday 12 April 2024

Book Review - The Ski Trip by Sarah Clarke - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: The Ski Trip
Author: Sarah Clarke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 14th September 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

THE PERFECT TRIP

When four friends embark on a boys’ skiing holiday in the Alps, they anticipate a weekend of fun, drinking, and some healthy competition on the slopes. But their trip is cut short when one of them falls to his death.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT…

Tom’s widow, Zoe travels to France with her friend, Ivy to collect his body. While Zoe is consumed by grief, Ivy starts to question everything.

OR COLD-BLOODED MURDER?

The slope Tom fell from wasn’t dangerous, and tensions between the group were at breaking point in the days before his death.

But if Ivy’s suspicions are correct, Tom was killed by one of his closest friends. And they are still in the chalet…

Wow, what a conclusion, didn't see that coming at all. 

So much good stuff in the pages of this incredibly gripping book, that I was totally enthralled by. 

We have Ivy and Zoe, who have gone out to France, after Zoe's husband Tom dies on a boys ski trip. They are all old friends, but there is something about the accident that has Ivy asking many questions. 

We learn a lot about the groups mixed history, in addition to the ups and downs of Ivy's pasts with a few of them in particular. 

And the descriptions of the skiing were to die for!

I couldn't' get enough of this book, and just wanted to keep on reading, even past the end page. 

Was fabulous. 

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

Thursday 11 April 2024

Book Review - Clickbait by L.C. North - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura - #Blogtour

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Amazon UK

Title: Clickbait
Author: L. C. North
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 11th April 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

'We're not famous anymore. We're notorious.'

For over a decade, the Lancasters were celebrity royalty, with millions tuning in every week to watch their reality show, Living with the Lancasters.

But then an old video emerges of one of their legendary parties. Suddenly, they're in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons: witnesses swore they'd seen missing teenager Bradley Wilcox leaving the Lancaster family home on the night of the party, but the video tells a different story

Now true crime investigator and YouTuber Tom Isaac is on the case. He's determined to find out what really happened to Bradley - he just needs to read between the Lancasters' lies . . .

Because when the cameras are always rolling, it won't be long until someone cracks.

Wow once again L. C. North has written a captivating and rather twisty novel that I was hooked on. 

She has created the Lancaster family, who are clearly modelled on the Kardashians I would imagine I've never watched them) and they are a car crash of a family that I couldn't get enough of. 

The whole book doesn't have a typical narrative, rather told from pod casts, comments, you tube episodes, police transcripts and more. 

And I would have never guessed how everything would unravel and yet it all made sense. 

Was remarkably easy to follow and totally had me hooked, And you never know who to trust fully. 

The finale was perfection with many gasps from me, as everything came together.  

Just wonderful. 

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