Friday 31 August 2018

Book Review - A Recipe For Disaster by Belinda Missen

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Title: A Recipe For Disaster 
Author: Belina Missen
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 7th August 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Life’s not always a piece of cake…
Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…

Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small country town, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.

But when a blast from the past arrives in the form of her estranged husband, international celebrity chef Oliver Murray, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble beneath her like overbaked meringue.

Is Oliver’s return all business or is it motivated by something more?

A Recipe for Disaster starts long after most love stories would have ended, proving it is never too late to offer someone a second slice of cake or a second chance.

Lucy and Oliver are married but have been separated for three years until he suddenly returns to her life in a big way. 

Lucy is a baker and Oliver a top chef and he wants her to work with him in his new restaurant - but they haven't exactly seen eye to eye for ages.  In fact most of the interactions between the pair are not exactly smooth conversations, and usually ends up with at least one angry person. 

What is for certain though is that Lucy is a fabulous baker, and the cakes and desserts she creates are impressive and she is generally quite a fiery character. 

However for a book that on paper features everything I love in a story, it just felt like something was missing but I can't put my finger on it that would have taken it from a good book to a fabulous one.  I just didn't seem to connect to any of the characters particularly well, which never helps. 

It was good to see a book set in a small town in Australia where even the nearest big city was a not that close which just shows how large the country really is.  

This is a will they, wont they story about Oliver and Lucy's relationship, and whether they can learn to work together or whether everything will end up in divorce.  It keeps you guessing until the end.  

This is a lovely debut novel from the author and I would certainly be interested in reading more from her in the future. 

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

Thursday 30 August 2018

Book Review - The Happiness List by Annie Lyons

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Title: The Happiness List
Author: Annie Lyons
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital 
Publication Date: 11th July 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Life is about to change forever…
Heather is finally back on Hope Street after running from the memories for so long. She hasn’t bumped into many neighbours yet but with her upcoming wedding to plan there’s plenty to keep her busy!

Fran is still trying to get used to a life without her husband by her side. It’s hard enough raising two children on her own – she doesn’t have time to even think about dating…

Pamela is fed up with being taken for granted by her grown-up children and grumbling husband. She’s ready to shake things up a little, but will her family even notice?

So when the three women hear about a ‘happiness course’ starting on Hope Street, surely it’s the perfect opportunity to let their hair down, laugh with new friends and maybe even change their lives in ways they never expected…

A wonderfully uplifting story with three rather distinct characters and their stories but with a common theme. 

Each chapter alternates between focusing on Fran, Heather and Pam who all for different reasons find themselves at the Hope Street Community Centre on a course to discover "happiness". 

Heather is sure she is happy as she is engaged and is working on wedding plans, but found herself at a loose end when Luke was working late again.  Fran on the other hand is realising she may need to start moving on, she was widowed two years ago and has two wonderful children to look after, and Charlie is a star.   Then there is Pam who is a bit older than the others, is regarded as a gossip on Hope Street but really does have a heart of gold, but needs to re-discover who she really is as her children are all adults now. 

I loved getting to know all three of these ladies and their friends, circumstances, and just how this Happiness course is going to work for them all. 

As the story progresses new friendships are made, there are journeys of self discovery and new hobbies, and lessons that the readers can take from it about their own happiness. 

This is a feel good summer read, that is a pleasure to read, and is another gem of a book from Annie Lyons. I just feel bad I didn't read it the second it arrived on my kindle many months ago as I was missing out! 

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

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Book Review - The Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant

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Title: The Summer Getaway
Author: Tilly Tennant
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 11th July 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Ashley Moon is all set for a dream holiday with her daughter in the glittering French Riviera. But nothing can prepare her for the shock of discovering who’s staying in the villa next door… 

Ashley got much more than a suntan on her first ever foreign holiday; one whirlwind romance and nine months later she had a daughter, Molly.

Too heartbroken and proud to ever contact the father, Ashley made a decision to go it alone and raise her daughter herself. Fifteen hard and lonely years later, she finally has the chance to take Molly on her first ever holiday; a gorgeous, all-expenses-paid trip to the charming French resort of St. Raphael.

It is the perfect setting for a week of quality time together; they plan to cycle through the sun-drenched vineyards, lounge by the glistening pool and practise their French on friendly locals. And just when Ashley thought things couldn’t get any better, comes the news of a handsome new occupant in the villa next door.

But fate has other plans for Ashley. One look into her neighbour’s dark hazel eyes is all it takes to give her the shock of her life. Standing in front of her is Haydon, Molly’s long-lost father and the holiday fling she thought she’d never see again.

As the temperature on the Cote D’Azure steadily rises and Ashley and Haydon begin to spend more and more time together, will Ashley find the courage to tell him who she is – and more importantly, who Molly is?

Even when I wasn't reading this, thes story was playing on my mind - I just had to know what would happen next. 

This was such a fabulous story, incredibly summery and at the heart of it was the will she or won't she reveal to Haydon some important life changing information. 

For Ashley and Haydon had a one night stand in Ibiza 16 years ago, and lost contact and then Ashley realised she was pregnant.  Fast forward to the present day and Ashley and daughter Molly got  to St. Raphael for a weeks holiday and a great aunts 100th Birthday party .  It just so happen that on the same week Haydon and his daughter Ellie agree to a week away in the same resort, and in the neighbouring villa. 

What are the odds, of them being in the same place at the same time, recognising each other and having children that are getting on together. 

This is fabulous as various people work out the connection and others stay completely ignorant, and in amongst this there is a week in France including a big French family to get to know, a delicious sounding market, and some wonderful days involving the beach. 

This really was a perfect book to read during this summers heatwave or anywhere else  that is hot - from its stunning cover, to all of the contents this a joy to read and is Tilly Tennant back to her best.  

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

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Book Review - My Mamma Mia Summer by Annie Robertson

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Title:  My Mamma Mia Summer
Author: Annie Robertson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 12th July 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

One summer... One dream... 
One chance to make it happen.

Laurel hasn't taken a risk her whole life. Now as summer dawns, she's going to do something that nobody expects of her. Laurel turns to her ABBA albums and her favourite film, Mamma Mia! She grabs her passport, dons her dungarees, and jets off to Skopelos for her own Meryl-inspired adventure...

Laurel books into the faded but charming Villa Athena and befriends its eccentric owner. As she explores the island's famous sights, Laurel finds herself feeling strangely at home. So should she return to her life in London, or could this be where she truly belongs?

This summer dust off your passport, pack your best dancing shoes, and escape to Greece on your own Mamma Mia! adventure! The perfect summertime read for fans of Karen Swan, Holly Hepburn and Isabelle Broom.

As a massive fan of Mamma Mia (the show and the film), in addition to a lover of fiction where there is a Greek Holiday, I was instantly drawn to this summery looking book. 

Within the first few pages of the  book, I knew I had made the right decision.  I was drawn into the story practically from the first few pages, and loved every moment of the book since.  It is in fact a shame it had to end. 

Laurel and her grandmother Marnie, had always intended to visit Skopelos where Mamma Mia was filmed, but they kept putting it off until it was no longer possible, so when Laurel is forced to take holiday leave from work she decides to go to honour Marnie's memory. 

From the moment she steps onto the plane, we are treated to a whole host of wonderful characters, fabulous scenery more references to Mamma Mia than perhaps is health to put into a book, but all the more enjoyable for their presence.  

If anything I would say if you haven't seen the film some of the references and parallels that are drawn may go completely over your head, but for those that have, you will love every second of this as, I did. 

Laurel soon makes a host of new friends, and Athena at the Villa Athena is a marvellous character, the scenery on the island is spectacular, and as you would expect there is plenty of great food too. 

This is a perfect summer read, or a pick me up in winter when you are longing for sunnier weather.  Full of humour and emotion too, this is just an all around fabulous fun book to read.   

This is the first book I have read by Annie Robertson, and it certainly won't be the last. 

Make your mind up,  and spend some Money, Money, Money, on this book that will have you thanking Abba for the Music, while you spend time with Annie the Dancing Queen, and find out if Laurel really does have a dream! 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Orion for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.  

Monday 27 August 2018

Book Review - The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

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Title: The Book Ninja
Author: Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 9th August 2018
Rating:  4 Stars

**Could you find your perfect man by looking at his book shelf?** 

'Frankie, think about it. Literature is your life. You've been trawling Tinder looking for well-read intellectuals, but it's not working. Let's shake things up! Just use your favourite books to find a man.' 

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person. It’s not that she hasn’t tried – Frankie is the queen of online dating. But she has had enough.

With the help of her best friend and colleague Cat, Frankie decides to embark on the ultimate dating experiment. Inspired by her surroundings at The Little Brunswick Bookshop where she works, Frankie places her hope in her favourite books to find her the perfect man… Secretly planting copies on trains, trams and buses, Frankie hopes to find the man of her dreams through a mutual love of good books. The only flaw to the plan? That she may never get her books back! 

But that turns out to be the least of her worries... In between crazy dates and writing them up on her blog, Frankie stumbles upon her perfect man. There's just one problem...Frankie is strictly a Jane Austen kind of woman and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Seriously, obsessively into it...

Can Frankie overcome her book snobbery for the man of her dreams? Or will she be left searching the trains for her modern-day Mr Darcy forever?

What a lovely book for book lovers - if you are a book worm you will without a doubt love this book.  

There are literary references all over, although Frankie is a bit of a book snob and will barely give Sunny a chance just because he likes YA books.   

Easily my favourite storyline is Frankie being a book ninja and leaving books  on trams all around Melbourne, with a note in them to try to get herself a date.  As a result of these book drops she sets up a blog and its these blog posts that are posted in full in the book that were amazing and need to be read for yourselves. 

Frankie also works in a bookshop with her best friend Cat.  Cat, Frankie and Sunny all seemed slightly nuts at times, and there are many laughs to be had.  Sunny is rather impulsive and I found myself warming to him really fast, especially with the antics of their first three encounters. 

This spoke to me on many levels, as someone interested in publishing, as a booklover, as a blogger, as well as a story of friendship and a fledgling romance. Add in some bonkers parents, assorted quirky dates with a whole array of people, and an unlikely friendship and you have a wonderful mix in this rather enchanting book. 

It is clear the authors are huge literary fans, and this is a rather accomplished debut - highly entertaining and generally a lot of fun. It is a book that I greatly enjoyed and I'd love to see what the authors do next. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.  

Sunday 26 August 2018

Book Review - What Holly's Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano - #HolidayReading Book 10

Book 10 of 28 read on my holiday to Cyprus in June 2018.

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Title: What Holly's Husband Did
Author: Debbie Viggiano
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 29th May 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy with a twist that will make you gasp!

Holly Hart has been married for fifteen blissful years to hubby Alex. Well… if you don't count last Christmas, when she accidentally found a load of sexy texts on Alex's phone. But every marriage has its ups and downs and Alex had a perfectly reasonable explanation… so why can't Holly forget what she saw? 

With the help of best friends Jeanie and Caro, as well as their handsome neighbour Jack, Holly resolves to settle her mind once and for all with a bit of sneaky detective work. So what if her husband isn't exactly Brad Pitt? He's hers, and if someone else is trying to steal him she wants to know who... But the truth is way more shocking than Holly ever anticipated. Can Holly, let alone her marriage, ever recover from what she discovers?

This is an incredibly amusing story about Holly who discovers some potentially incriminating texts on her husbands phone over Christmas and then spends the next year trying to work out who on earth they were actually from in spite of repeated denials. 

I found Holly slightly too neurotic for my liking, she was driving me mad and I couldn't understand why she was happy to stay in her relationship. 

The chats she has with her two best friends are generally very funny, and there are lots of fun moments in the book. 

It was her brother Simon that I loved the most with his overly camp ways and incredibly catty turn of phrase. He may have been a bit of a stereotype but I loved him for it!

Having read a few others from this author, I'm sorry to say I don't think its her best book, but it is still highly enjoyable and a good story. 

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

Saturday 25 August 2018

Book Review - Bad Twins by Rebecca Chance - #HolidayReading Book 9

Book 9 of 28 read on my holiday to Cyprus in June 2018.

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Title:  Bad Twins
Author: Rebecca Chance
Format reviewed: 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 26th July 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Never trust the face in the mirror . . .

It’s no surprise to anyone that Jeffrey Sachs, billionaire CEO of his own hotel chain, has a drop-dead gorgeous Estonian mistress. But stepping down to spend his retirement years with her? No one saw that coming – least of all his wife!

So now the prize of becoming Sachs CEO is up for grabs – and Jeffrey’s four children have until the day of his wedding to compete for the job.

The front runner is Conway, the older son and golden boy. But Charlotte, a glamorous social media star with an Instagram-perfect family, is hugely ambitious, fully prepared to scheme and backstab to get to the top. Then there’s the dark horse: Bella, her mild-mannered, hard-working twin sister. Or could Bart, the youngest child, a sexy, incorrigible playboy, somehow catapult himself into Daddy’s good books?

In a game where the ultimate prize is power beyond your wildest dreams, you should never underestimate your competitors, even if they are family . . . and, it turns out, twins can be the most dangerous rivals of all . . .

Bad Twins by bestselling author Rebecca Chance explores vicious sibling rivalry in this gripping thriller.

I may have said this before and I am sure I will say it again, Rebecca Chance is the queen on the blockbuster, of the perfect poolside read and some incredibly impressive sex scenes too. 

Mix in some intrigue, a mass of sibling rivalry and not just the twins, a new trophy wife, and a competition to find out which of Charlotte, Bella, Conway and Bart will become the next CEO of Sachs and you have a glorious mix for an intriguing and unputdownable storyline. 

With the siblings all determined to win their dads approval and become the new CEO, expect to see back stabbing, and all manner of rivalries. 

I much preferred Bart and Bella to the other two and even towards the end found myself really warming towards Adrianna.

Even those characters I didn't like I still found myself intrigued by and curious to see their stories, and see just how everything would interconnect and unravel. 

From some smokin' hot scenes, some rather interesting fantasies, and some naughty behaviour at times I'm not sure if it was the Cypriot sun, or the heat in this book that was making need to take a dip in the pool.

I loved every second of this book, from the initial descriptions of Jeffrey Sachs which really set the tone for the book, to the pace and clever writing, Bad Twins is certainly one to remember. 

Don't forget to take this on holiday with you or keep your eyes out an airport, and it will certainly keep you thoroughly entertained. 

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

Friday 24 August 2018

Book Review - Last of the Summer Vines by Romy Sommer

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Title: Last of the Summer Vines
Author: Romy Sommer
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 29th June 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Love grows where you least expect to find it…

When ambitious workaholic Sarah Wells discovers she has inherited her estranged father’s vineyard near Montalcino in Tuscany, the last thing she wants is to take time away from her busy schedule to sort out a crumbling mess of a palazzo. But, of course, life never runs smoothly and when she makes a rare error, her bosses decide a holiday is just what she needs.

When Sarah arrives in Italy, she learns that she is not her father’s sole heir. In fact, she only has a partial stake in Castel Sant’ Angelo because of a loophole in Italian law. Her father has left the vineyard instead to his business partner, the gorgeous and infuriating Tommaso Di Biasi – and Tomasso doesn’t want to sell.

At first, Sarah wants the deal done as quickly as possible so she can get back to her life in London, but it seems Italy has other plans for her. Under the warmth of the Tuscan sun, with a glass or two of the local vino rosso, and brooding Tommaso challenging her all the way , Sarah starts to realise that that there might just be something to la dolce vita….

My only complaint about this book was that its has been far too long since Romy Sommer last released! But it was easily worth waiting for, as it is a fabulous book that is perfect for the heatwave we have been having. 

I have just spent an incredibly enjoyably period of time in the vineyards of Tuscany, learning all about different grape varieties, and wine blends that the Castel Sant'Angelo produces from Tomasso and Sarah. 

I can't work out if this book had me craving wine, or assorted bread and pastries, as it turns out Sarah is a pretty good baker, and its a way for her to pass the time while she is on an enforced prolonged holiday from work. 

There is certainly a great feel of Italy, Tuscany in particular as Sarah visits the surrounding villages. There is plenty of great food, huge Italian family gatherings, a couple of gorgeous men, and all manner of intrigue.  

I was fully transported and loved every moment I spent reading this lovely story. If you want a taste of Italy this summer, either jump on a plane, or open this book and allow your imagination to be transported. 

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

Thursday 23 August 2018

Book Review - One Thousand Stars and You by Isabelle Broom

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Title: One Thousand Stars and You
Author: Isabelle Broom
Format reviewed:Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher:  Penguin
Publication Date: 23rd August 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

One spark will light up both their lives

Alice is settling down. It might not be the adventurous life she once imagined, but more than anything she wants to make everyone happy - her steady boyfriend, her over-protective mother - even if it means a little part of her will always feel stifled.

Max is shaking things up. After a devastating injury, he is determined to prove himself. To find the man beyond the disability, to escape his smothering family and go on an adventure.

A trip to Sri Lanka is Alice's last hurrah - her chance to throw herself into the heat, chaos and colour of a place thousands of miles from home.

It's also the moment she meets Max.

Alice doesn't know it yet, but her whole life is about to change.

Max doesn't know it yet, but he's the one who's going to change it.

Words are failing me, this was amazing, it was beautifully written, and it is without a doubt Isabelle Broom's best book. 

From the first pages I found myself enchanted by the story being told and just wanted to read it in one sitting but alas real life intervened.   

Alice and Max are both on holiday in Sri Lanka when their paths cross. There is an instant connection between them but Alice is in a long term relationship, and Max isn't looking for women.  In fact they are both trying to discover more about themselves after events in the past have re-defined their characters. 

It is a story of self discovery in one respect but also if like me you are a fan of travel, it is a glorious trip through Sri Lanka taking in many different aspects of the country. It is clear the author must have enjoyed her research for the country and everything is described so vividly. 

There is wildlife to be admired, sites to be explored, friendly owners of homestays to meet, there are the tuktuk journeys and other trips on public transport. There is the incredible descriptions of a sunrise from a stunning location and a whole lot more besides.   For a country I've never really thought about there is more than enough detail to really feel as though you were there - especially when as I did reading this during a heatwave - I could even feel the heat and humidity. 

I loved all the different characters in this, with the focus shifting occasionally from Alice to Max and getting to know him more intimately was great.   I don't want to say too much about either of them but will say they are well rounded, full of depth and both are incredibly easy to love.  

This is an absolutely stunning book that I can't do justice to, so will stop here and leave you with this. If you want a fabulous story to read, and possibly one of the best books of the year, then give this a try, and if you have read the author before stop thinking, and just purchase it and start reading. You will love this! 

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

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Book Review - Annie's Summer By The Sea by Liz Eeles

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Title: Annie's Summer by the Sea
Author: Liz Eeles
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 27th March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

When Annie Trebarwith unexpectedly inherits Tregavara House, her much-loved family home atop the cliffs of Salt Bay, she begins to wonder: with all the good friends and warm memories she’s made in the village, could it be her forever home? 

Luckily her gorgeous Poldark-lookalike boyfriend, Josh Pasco, has exactly the same idea. High on the Cornish cliffs he gets down on one knee, and Annie has everything she’s ever dreamed of.

But when a summer storm causes catastrophic damage to the beautiful but aging house, Annie and Josh are faced with tumbling tiles and a massive repair bill – and a roof that’s leaked straight onto her wedding gown…

Can the Salt Bay community save Annie’s house and her wedding – and give Annie the happy-ever-after she’s always wanted?

Well I spent the last 20% or so of this book on the verge of tears, then again I was almost in tears near the beginning too for other reasons.  This is a story that took me on a trip through the emotions, and was a joy to read. 

I suspect that this may be the last book of this series, and I would definitely recommend reading them all in order for everything to make the most sense.  It took me a short amount of time to get back into the swing of the overall series having been a while since I read book 2, but once I remembered I found myself really enjoying this book. 

I can't really comment on the plot as I don't want to give any spoilers to something key near the start of the book that triggers most of the rest of the story, but suffice to say this is jam packed with story lines, sub plots, all the characters you know and love from the series are there. 

There is a new run in with Toby, Annie's father Barry is starting to grow on me, I love Annie and Josh's relationship and everything to do with Tregavara House and Salt Bay. 

Its a fabulous location with great writing that drew me in, and I just was another great book from the author, that I can't really explain why I enjoyed it other than as a fan of the series, I enjoyed seeing the next steps for all of the characters. 

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

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Book Review - A Girl's Best Friend by Jules Wake

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Title:  A Girl's Best Friend
Author: Jules Wake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 16th April 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Welcome to your new cottage in the country - complete with grumpy vet, village gossip and a very muddy dog . . .

City girl Ella wants to take refuge in the country, lick her wounds and work out what she's going to do with the rest of her life. She certainly doesn't want to have a four-legged house guest or anything to do with village life. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Wilsgrave have other ideas.

Settling in to her godmother's house for a few months of R&R, Ella finds herself the reluctant babysitter of a badly behaved Labrador - and her plans of staying mainly indoors scuppered. But as she's forced into wellies and into the village's way of doing things, Ella meets people who make her think again about what she really wants out of life and love, starting with her new furry best friend . . .

Definitely a book for anyone who has ever owned a dog, or wanted to have their own dog, and possibly for those curious about the benefits of having a dog. 

For Tess, really is A Girl's Best Friend, Elle may have been looking after her reluctantly at first, but then she wasn't really sure about the village in which she is house sitting in either. However over the course of the story, Elle's thoughts about what she wants for life do start to change. 

This is a lovely story about new beginnings, discovering yourself and dogs.  If I am sounding slightly dog obsessed then well they are at the centre of the story and the best characters too! 

I really enjoyed this book and found I was losing myself within its pages, to the extent I didn't even notice a cat siting on my windowsill, until I looked up (I don't own a cat so was rather shocked!).  

With laughs to be had, almost always with Tess at the heart of the funny bits, a dishy vet to get to know and assorted villages,t this really is a fun and entertaining story to read. 

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

Monday 20 August 2018

Book Review - The Oddest Little Chocolate Shop by Beth Good

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Title:  The Oddest Little Chocolate Shop
Author: Beth Good
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source:  Author supplied copy
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 1st August 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Treat yourself to something delicious . . .

'I love Beth Good's quirky style!' - bestselling author Katie Fforde

When Clementine discovers that Monsieur Ravel's beloved chocolaterie is about to close, she rushes to rescue it - without thinking through the consequences.

A lost Persian cat, a depressed but utterly gorgeous French chocolatier, an allergic shop assistant in search of true love, the oddest little chocolate shop Clementine has ever seen . . .

Can Clementine save them all, or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

A delicious, feel-good novella set in the world of chocolate-making from popular romantic comedy writer Beth Good.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love Beth Good's Oddest Little books - I have read a variety of them now and they never fail to bring a smile to my face, and give me an hour or two of pure escapism. 

And The Oddest Little Chocolate Shop is no exception - don't expect lots of delicious chocolate descriptions, as its really about the contents of the shop - in fact when we first meet the shop and the chocolatier, the sexy Dominic Ravel,  its empty! 

But that doesn't deter Clemmie from entering, meeting Monsieur Ravel and trying to work out what is going on, and who the white cat on the shops doorstep belongs too. 

With a cast of quirky characters, some sizzling chemistry, some chocolate, and a sibling relationship that would drive me a bit bonkers,  this is a lot of fun packed into a short space.  I just loved every second of it, could picture the shop and surroundings quite clearly and loved the dialogue too. 

Beth Good has mastered the art of telling a good amount of story into a small amount of pages, leaving you feeling as though it could have been a full story that you were reading, and not just a novella.   I am so eager to see her full length release later in the year. 

Thank you to Beth Good for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Book Review - Secrets at Meadowbrook Manor by Faith Bleasdale

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Title: Secrets at Meadowbrook Manor
Author: Faith Bleasdale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon 
Publication Date: 20th August 2018 
Rating: 5 Stars

Visit Meadowbrook this summer for sunshine, secrets and plenty of romance…
When Gemma Matthews is hired to transform Meadowbrook Manor into a boutique hotel, she can’t believe her luck.

She packs her bags and moves to Meadowbrook to start her dream job, but her life is quickly turned upside down. From dealing with the petty squabbles of the dramatic Singer
siblings to cleaning up donkey poo, Gemma soon realises she has her work cut out for her. Neverthless, she’s
determined to make the hotel a success, especially when she starts falling for the dangerously attractive Freddie Singer.

But Gemma has a secret she’s desperate to protect, and she knows the truth could jeopardise everything…

Such a delightful story, that was incredibly enjoyable and really transported me away from the heatwave and back into the lives of the Singer family. 

This could be read as a standalone as plenty of back story is included, but having read the first book, I will say this is a lovely sequel, and I was delighted to be back among familiar characters. 

We are introduced from the start to Gemma who has been hired to help the family convert Meadowbrook into a hotel - just one snag, all the siblings have greatly different visions for the place, and it takes a while for Gemma to get used to the infighting of the family, their fierce loyalty and general zaniness of all the local villagers too. 

I loved every moment of this story, it is written in such a warm loving way and I was really fond of all the characters - although I did have to wonder if the romance I was predicting would ever happen - as I could see it a mile off even if the characters couldn't 

This is s book that made me both laugh, smile and also in places feel rawer emotion, with Gemma's storyline with her nan.   As I got to know Gemma the more I tended to kiek he but I did wonder just what she was hiding from time to time. 

I am really hoping that this isn't the last we have seen of Meadowbrook and the Singers, I would love to be reunited with them again, especially with the developments in the epilogue! 

It is great to see Faith Bleasdale back to her best, and whatever she writes next I am looking forward to reading it.

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