Wednesday 31 October 2018

Book Review - The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

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Amazon UK
Title: The Christmas Sisters
Author: Sarah Morgan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: HQ Showcase Event
Publisher: HQ 
Publication Date: 1st November 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, but who’s around it that matters most.

All Suzanne McBride wants for Christmas is her three daughters happy and at home. But when sisters Posy, Hannah and Beth return to their family home in the Scottish Highlands, old tensions and buried secrets start bubbling to the surface.

Suzanne is determined to create the perfect family Christmas, but the McBrides must all face the past and address some home truths before they can celebrate together . . .

This Christmas indulge in some me-time and enjoy this uplifting and heart-warming story from international bestseller Sarah Morgan. Full of romance, laughter and sisterly drama, The Christmas Sisters is the perfect book to curl up with this festive season.

I have no idea how she does it, but yet again Sarah Morgan is treating us to a simply marvellous story, all about sisters and family. 

For the Christmas sisters aren't really that close, a terrible accident in their past has shaped how all three ladies are today as well as their mother Suzanne.  With the viewpoint switching each chapter to a different one of our four leading ladies, we get to know Hannah, Beth, Posy and Suzanne really well, and probably even better than they know each other. 

Oldest sister, Hannah is the high flyer of the family, she is on and off planes regularly doing her job that involves numbers. As numbers are what she knows. She is reluctant to let anyone get close, so the fact she has been sort of seeing Adam for a while is taking some getting used to.  Hannah also tries to avoid Christmas where possible, and is never keen on returning home to Scotland for the season. 

Middle sister Beth, is married with two children who are completely adorable, and is having her own crisis at the moment.  While younger sister Posy, is more of the homebody, with a love of climbing and is part of the mountain rescue team.  Posy was the sister I felt most connected too, and I loved the outdoors scenes that she was involved in. 

Suzanne is determined to make Christmas perfect for all her girls, even if it means running herself ragged. What was really fascinating were her flash back scenes which gave all the vital background knowledge to the family , even if it took a fair bit of the book to convey all the information. 

This is a book all about repairing the bond between the girls, and really showing you where home is.  Thanks to Beth's children, there is also a certain magic about the season too, and there were lots of grins to be had.   And I loved Eric, who is living in Hannah;s room, but I will leave you to discover who or what Eric really is! 

The Christmas Sisters really is Sarah Morgan at her best, it is so hard to put down, it draws you in and just doesn't let you go. Every time I picked up the book, I just wanted to continue reading, until eventually I've finished it around 2am!   Such a warm book, full of heart, love, Christmas, snow, personal growth, and relationships - a true joy to read. 

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Book Review - It Started With Christmas by Jenny Hale - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK
Title: It Started With Christmas
Author: Jenny Hale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 29th October 2018 
Rating: 5 Stars

Holly McAdams loves spending the Christmas holidays at her family’s cozy cabin, with its little red door and twinkling lights, tucked in the snowy hills outside Nashville. But this year will be different. Someone unexpected is joining them…

After Holly and her beloved Nana struggle through a snow storm to reach the cabin, they discover gorgeous and wealthy Joseph Barnes, who has been renting the cabin for the last few weeks, is now snowed in. And it looks like he’ll be staying for the holidays.

Determined to make the best of the surprise situation, Holly tries to bring everyone together by baking delicious treats and decorating the cabin with plenty of festive sparkle. She finds herself growing close to handsome Joseph, who is unlike anyone she’s ever met before, even if Nana isn’t so keen on the dashing stranger with the mysterious past.

But charming and irresistible musician Rhett Burton is also back in town. Thrown into close proximity with the person who used to be her best friend and the man who broke her heart, Holly realizes it’s time to face her feelings and figure out what she really wants from her life. But to complicate things, both Joseph and Rhett have secrets to reveal…

Will Holly be able to find herself and the love she’s always dreamed of this Christmas?

Discover the joy of Christmas in this gorgeous novel, celebrating the importance of friendship, the magic of love, and finding happiness by being true to yourself. 

Full of Christmas charm and magic, this is such a heartwarming story that had me enchanted from the first few pages. 

I've no idea why but I always seem to be really attracted to books with a Nashville connection, so one set in a cozy cabin just outside Nashville was always going to be of interest, especially when the book is written by an author that I know write a fabulous Christmas book. 

I loved everything about this book, from the small town community where the cabin is, to seeing Nana really start enjoying life again, to Holly slowing realising what it is she wants to do with her life, and who she may want to be with.  Then there is Joe the man who shouldn't have been in the cabin had it not been for the snow, and wow is he hot, I loved the clear chemistry that there was between him and Holly no matter how much they deny it. 

In addition there is Rhett, who used to be her best friend and who is now declaring his undying love for her, all manner of southern foods that were made to sound very tasty, and just a lovely small town community feel. 

There are a couple of key themes explored, some in more depth than others, but all in a way that kept me reading as I needed to see how the storylines would progress. 

From the moment I started reading, I felt as though I was being hugged by polar bear - well it was a huge bear hug feeling, while also feeling as thought it wouldn't let me go.  Definitely a story that kept me smiling and has once again secured in my mind, that I tend to prefer Jenny Hale's Christmas books to her summer ones - although they are all great. 

With just a sprinkling of Christmas magic, this is a gorgeous story that I suspect you may enjoy as much as I did. 

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

Please do take a look at all the other blogs on this tour. 

Monday 29 October 2018

Book Review - Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland by Heidi Swain

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Amazon UK
Title: Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1st November 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

After calling off her engagement, Hayley, the Wynthorpe Hall housekeeper, wants nothing more than to return to her no-strings fun-loving self, avoiding any chance of future heartbreak. Little does she know, Wynbridge’s latest arrival is about to throw her plan entirely off course . . .

Moving into Wynthorpe Hall to escape the town’s gossip, Hayley finds herself immersed in the eccentric Connelly family’s festive activities as they plan to host their first ever Winter Wonderland. But Hayley isn’t the only new resident at the hall. Gabe, a friend of the Connelly’s son Jamie, has also taken up residence, moving into Gatekeeper’s Cottage, and he quickly makes an impression on Wynbridge’s reformed good-girl.

As preparations commence for the biggest event of the season, the pair find themselves drawn ever closer to one another, but unbeknownst to Hayley, Gabe, too, has a reason for turning his back on love, one that seems intent on keeping them apart.

Under the starry winter skies, will Gabe convince Hayley to open her heart again once more? And in doing so, will he convince himself?

It was a sheer joy to be back at Wynthorpe Hall amongst friends, from last years Christmas book.  And if I thought last years was amazing then this one may just be better. 

I was all for Angus' idea for a winter wonderland to be held at The Hall, and was enchanted with how the team pulled together to put on such a magnificent event.  

Gabe is the new woodsman, and its clear he has some baggage but I hadn't guessed just what he is hiding.  At some points I absolutely loved him but he was blowing so hot and cold that it was hard to full embrace him. 

Whereas Hayley I really enjoyed getting to know. She has so many layers to her personality and history, that you are continually learning new things about her, and how she would deal with situations.  I loved seeing her true personality shine through as the story continued, and she definitely has some personal growth too. 

Although this does feature a whole host of familiar characters, for fans of Heidi Swain, I do believe the book can be read as a standalone too.  There are enough references to past occurrences to give you a good idea of what happened, plus the main focus of this book are different people. 

There are a large number of characters to keep track of, but once you have worked out who is who, it feels as though you really are another part of the family at Wynthorpe Hall where everyone feels welcome.  

There is just something special about Heidi Swain's writing that keeps me reading, and going back to the book continually and at no points did I want to tear myself away from this really lovely book.  Whether you are a long time fan of the author, or new to her, this is definitely a festive feast of a book to read this season. 

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

Sunday 28 October 2018

Book Review - After The Rain by Jo Watson - #HolidayReading Book 28

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

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Amazon UK
Title:  After The Rain
Author: Jo Watson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 6th September 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Some opposites attract; some rip each other's clothes off.

Stormy-Rain and Marcus could not be more different: she's a free-spirited, rainbow-haired hippie; he wears a suit and over-shines his already too-shiny shoes. She believes in auras; he's governed by logic and doesn't believe in Fate. But Fate believes in them...

So what happens when their worlds collide - and they are forced to embark on an epic road trip to catch a plane to a wedding on the other side of the world?

The clock is ticking...and they're seriously ticking each other off. But Stormy and Marcus are about to discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Having read all of Jo Watson's books so far, I have always been intrigued by Stormy Rain who is one of the bigger friendship group, and has struck me as wacky!   Now in After The Rain I get to know her a whole lot better and she is quirky but so so loveable.  She has so many endearing qualities to her, which not everyone can see. 

And Marcus, is a lawyer and about as opposite from Stormy Rain as you can get, and he has promised that he will accompany Stormy to Prague for the wedding they both need to attend. Only Stormy is petrified of flying and things are never as simple as they should be. 

In fact I should warn you don't read the first 15% of this while you are on a plane,  I did and I'm a confident flier but even I was getting a bit worried partly as I hit turbulence at the same point as certain happenings in the early chapters. 

Simmering away beneath Stormy Rain and Marcus' hilarious banter is some explosive sexual chemistry and wow those were some fabulous scenes.  The sex in this book is fabulous and then there is the scene in the helicopter that is so clever.  

I love all the unexpected turns this trip took when one simple journey turned into something a lot different.   

This is another fabulous story from this author, who I am continually excited to hear about new books from! 

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

Saturday 27 October 2018

Book Review - Guess Who by Chris McGeorge - #HolidayReading Book 27

Book 27 of 28 read on my holiday to Cyprus in June 2018.

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Amazon UK
Title:  Guess Who
Author: Chris McGeorge
Format reviewed: 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018 
Rating: 5 Stars

A waitress. A cleaner. An actress. A lawyer. A student. Everyone is a suspect.

In a locked room - with no escape, and no idea how they got there.

In the bathtub, the body of a man they all knew. Someone murdered him. Someone in this room.

They have three hours to find out. Or they all die.

Imagine Agatha Christie had created an interactive Escape the Room game, and GUESS WHO would be the result. For fans of the DI Helen Grace series by MJ Arlidge, The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards, Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, and From the Dead by Mark Billingham.

Wow I had no idea how to work out who the murderer is or what the motive was, well until things became slightly more apparent later in the book but even then I was still getting shocks. 

This has to be the ultimate in locked door claustrophobic crime stories - no one knows why they are in the room, or how they got there, or initially what they may have in common, but if one of them can't solve the murder in 3 hours they will all be blown up. 

It is fast paced, its thrillings, its unpredictable and was a utterly gripping. I was completely drawn into the situation and I think I felt as tense as the various characters  in the room. 

I'm struggling to believe this is a debut novel as its so good. I am very eager to see what the author will write next. 

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

Friday 26 October 2018

Book Review - Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies

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Amazon UK
Title: Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill
Author: Emma Davies
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 26th October 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

One twinkling winter’s night, Ruby wakes her sleeping children and escapes for a new life in the countryside. It’s a choice that will change her life beyond all recognition…

Arriving at the cosy little rental cottage as the first snow begins to fall, Ruby doesn’t regret leaving her bully of a husband for a moment, but she does feel guilty about uprooting her kids so close to Christmas. She can only wish that one day soon her son Jem will forgive her.

It’s not long before the family are settled in and drinking hot chocolate by the fire, the flames kept roaring by a neighbouring woodsman called Angus. As big as a tree, but as gentle as a dormouse, all Ruby’s instincts tell her to be wary of letting this gorgeous stranger get too close. Is that the first tingle of festive magic Ruby can feel? Or might it even be hope?

As Christmas day approaches and a blizzard sparks a power cut across the entire village, Ruby must force herself to believe in Christmas miracles again. Was she right to put her trust in Angus? With only flickering candles to guide her through the darkness, will she ever find her way back to the light? 

Wow talk about saving the best for last in a series - although really if the other parts hadn't been as great, then this wouldn't have been as amazing.  Talk about a perfect culmination for a series, at least I'm guessing there won't be another although I'd love to see the series run and run. 

For the entirety of the last quarter of the book, I was fighting tears almost constantly, predominately of joy and some of fear, which was rather awkward since I had saved the last bit to read in a restaurant with dinner!!  

It was just so good, and so romantic.  And I loved new character Ruby and her family, and the fledgling friendship with the local gentle giant Angus.  I would though have perhaps liked to have known a bit more of Ruby's background, but there were enough hints to give you a pretty good idea without it being too explicit. 

It was fabulous to catch up properly with Maddie, Trixie, Tom, Clara and all the series regulars. to see what they were all getting up to and to see plenty of familiar faces even just briefly.  Seeing Joy Acre all decorated for Christmas was so pretty, and  then there was a snowman competition which was really amusing. 

There are so many great moments in this book that I couldn't hope to mention them all. I'd suggest that you read this series in order, purely to get the full benefit of this book .  

I love every second of this book, and its definitely my favourite from Emma Davies. Such a joy to read, and I recommend it to anyone that loves Christmas books, this series, feel good fiction or just generally wants to be smiling while reading. 

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

Don't forget to look at all the other fabulous blogs on this blog tour:

Thursday 25 October 2018

Book Review - A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman

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Amazon UK
Title: A Little Christmas Charm
Author: Kathryn Freeman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Choc Lit
Publication Date: 16th October 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

A wonderful new uplifting Christmas story from Kathryn Freeman to put you in the festive mood. Highly recommended.

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

Linked to A Little Christmas Faith but can be read as a standalone.

It is always a delight to start a new Kathryn Freeman book, and this was no exception.  It was so romantic, with clear chemistry between the two leads and a story that developed and became so much more than it first appeared as it progressed. 

I warmed to Owen from the moment we met him, he is an incredibly charming man and he knows it, but hits useful for his job in sales.  However it is soon apparent he has a certain vulnerability to him too which just adds to his overall appeal. 

Whereas Gabby took a bit to grow on me, mainly because she doesn't seem to be a fan of Christmas. But as you discover her reasons why, and see how the grows throughout the book I found myself loving her more and more. 

With the way the book started, and the instant connection from the characters whether they were acknowledging it or not, I did worry that perhaps this was going to be a slightly different sort of book than I was expecting with many hot and heavy scenes, but what we actually get  is to hear more about the characters and their families. 

Easily all the best bits came in the second half of the book so I can't really tell you about them but rest assured you are in for a treat.  As the blurb says there is a connection to A Little Christmas Faith and I spent most of the book wondering if I was missing a link until I found it.  

Rest assured you don't need to have read A Little Christmas Faith in order to enjoy this one,  its there clearly for her fans, but if you weren't aware of it you wouldn't realise.  This is not a sequel in any normal sense of the word.  

What is is, is a wonderfully charming story, that had me hooked and I was devouring it,  It is a lovely addition to any Christmas book lover's kindle this festive season. 

Thank you to Choc Lit for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Book Review - A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley

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Amazon UK
Title: A Christmas Date
Author: Camilla Isley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied review copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 25th October 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

No one wants to be single at the holidays.

Even Little Miss Grinch, Nikki, a successful and independent woman, must face her bachelorette status at the most horrible time of the year.

December is her personal version of holly-jolly hell: a merry torture made of couples kissing at every corner, forced vacation days, and an inescapable family reunion.

And when her baby sister announces she’s engaged—to Paul, the man Nikki is secretly in love with—and that he’s spending the holidays with them, Christmas starts looking bluer than ever.

Nikki can’t possibly survive an entire week trapped home as the family’s spinster. But she has no time to meet men or to try the newest dating app, she’s too busy working as a video producer for an advertising agency. 

So what’s a girl to do? 

Nikki has the perfect solution: to hire a fake boyfriend.

Luckily, her job gives her access to an endless catalog of gorgeous actors to choose from.

But Nikki will soon discover that keeping business and pleasure from mixing isn’t so easy, and that she might not be immune to a little mistletoe magic. Especially not when she picked out the perfect man as her Christmas date...

I had been a bit worried going into reading this that I had read something in theory similar sounding only a few months ago, and was worried I wouldn't find this particularly original as a result. 

Well I was completely wrong - ok the hiring of a fake date for whatever reason has been done before and the book even makes a point of referencing some films where that is the case in it - so although you are going into this with a fairly good idea of how it may all end up - the journey is still incredibly enjoyable. 

I absolutely loved this book and found myself whizzing through it.  The first thing that amused me about this book is the main character's name - Nikki Moore - as I have read some wonderful books by a real life Nikki Moore. No idea if it was sheer fluke, but I kept thinking of the other one every time the name was written in full! 

I loved the motivation for Nikki to hire her fake date, and the reasons she had for the criteria of what sort of man she was looking for.  I also fell for the man rather fast, he was gorgeous and had a really great vibe to him. 

The connection between Nikki and Diego was evident the whole time, and there are so many amusing moments in the book . 

This really is an enjoyable read, and another lovely book from an author that I enjoy more and more each time I read her.     

Thank you to Camilla Isley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Book Review - Palm Beach, Finland by Antti Tuomainen - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK
Title: Palm Beach, Finland
Author: Antti Tuomainen
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication Date: 18th October 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear … Sun Protection Factor 100

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.
With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives – chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.

I really had no idea what to make of this, other than it kept me interested and entertained me throughout. 

This was the first book I have read from this author, and he certainly had an interesting way of putting things. This is quite fast paced and the focus of each chapter is a different character, so it does take a bit of time to get to know all the different people involved.

From the start as readers we know who did it and the motivation, but what kept me reading was seeing just how many different people had a vested interest in working it out, and just how many different potential motives there were.  At times it was almost farcical. 

I enjoyed reading about all the various characters, we have Olivia, whose house had the dead man in it, the under cover police man Jan, a pair of bumbling friends who dream of getting out of the town to bigger and better things.  There is a man who is related to the dead man who I didn't really get to grips with but he had some a unique perspective on life. 

And then there was Leivo, the owner of Palm Beach, Finland who was arguably my favourite - listening to him describe his big plans for he new beach resort, that is going to be the biggest thing in Europe if not the world was frankly hilarious. He had fabulous ideas, big big plans, and at times seemed completely deluded, but it was incredibly amusing. 

There was practically a comedy of errors in this story, as all the characters were flawed in various ways and all very capable of making mistakes, and poor decisions, it was just some were more critical than others. 

Being a fan of anything featuring a holiday destination, and not having read anything before set in Finland are what attracted me at first to the book - but its not nor was it ever going to be a gentle chick lit summer read, but neither is it a heavy thriller with a huge body count.  If I was asked to describe it I would say its comic crime - not sure if that is a thing but its funny and had me smiling in places, and there were certainly criminals! 

I would certainly recommend it to those who prefer slightly lighter crime stories, those after a laugh, or just anyone wanting something slightly different to read. 

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

Please follow along with the rest of this amazing blog tour for Palm Beach Finland

Monday 22 October 2018

Book Review - The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant

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Amazon UK
Title: The Christmas Wish
Author: Tilly Tennant
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd October 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme. Jilted by her cheating fiancĂ©e Warren and mourning the death of her beloved grandmother she’s determined not to let life beat her and books a trip to Lapland, on a holiday that her grandmother had always dreamed of taking.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, love is the last thing on Esme’s mind but she can’t ignore a spark with Zach, a broodingly handsome actor, also nursing a broken heart. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something-will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent Zach’s own secret past is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?

I'm always a sucker for a book that involves a holiday,  and so a book with Christmas in the title and Lapland in the blurb by an author that I love was always going to be a must read for me. 

And I'm delighted to say it was everything I could have hoped for. The Amazon tag line for this book is completely correct, it truly is a heartwarming Christmas romance.    

For me the story came alive the second Esme decided that she was definitely going to Lapland, and her personal development and self awareness improving while on the weeks holiday were fabulous to see.  What she doesn't realise but the reader are clearly aware of is that she needs to leave Warren and the toxic relationship she is in, but she seems to struggle big time with a decision that seems so easy to anyone on the outside of what she was going through. 

Esme ends up in a group of four while travelling and Hortense is a real tonic, she  has such a fabulous personality that you can't help but like her.  Brian is also travelling alone but whether he is over the break up with his wife,  it is hard to tell. Although he was part of the group, he seemed quieter and more in the background. 

And then there is Zach, who is gorgeous, but clearly hiding something.  He seems to swing between being quite happy, to utter moodiness, 

I loved pretty much every second they spent in Lapland, and the descriptions were fabulous. I felt as though I was there alongside Esme and her new friends, and its made me even more determined to eventually one year brave the thought of a holiday somewhere cold!  

There were also some tricky subjects covered incredibly sensitively which added to the books appeal, and although even with Lapland, I didn't feel the book was overly festive, I would say its a fantastic book for any point over the winter. 

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

Sunday 21 October 2018

Book Review - A Grand Old Time by Judy Leigh - #HolidayReading Book 26

Book 26 of 28 read on my holiday to Cyprus in June 2018.

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Amazon UK
Title:  A Grand Old Time
Author: Judy Leigh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 3rd April 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

It’s never too late to have the time of your life . . .
Heartwarming, hilarious and joyful – the perfect read for anyone who loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man Called Ove, Ruth Jones and Jojo Moyes.

Evie Gallagher is regretting her hasty move into a care home. She may be seventy-five and recently widowed, but she’s absolutely not dead yet. And so, one morning, Evie walks out of Sheldon Lodge and sets off on a Great Adventure across Europe.

But not everyone thinks Great Adventures are appropriate for women of Evie’s age, least of all her son Brendan and his wife Maura, who follow a trail of puzzling text messages to bring her home.

When they finally catch up with her, there are shocks in store . . . because while Brendan may have given up on life and love, Evie certainly has not.

This book is a lot of fun, and is one that I really enjoyed reading. 

Evie who is 75 has decided that living in a care home isn't really for her, and decides to leave without telling anyone. After a stroke of luck she ends up taking a fabulous road trip through France and meeting loads of great people. 

Her son Brendan whose marriage seems a bit rocky, decides he needs to set off in pursuit of his mum.  So we have a book with two separate road trips going on, which takes in a lot of small villages in France and gives a great idea of the various places. 

Their two experiences are wildly different, and as much as I loved Evie's story, I just didn't take to Brendan and his wife Maura.  He seemed like a real mummy's boy and just dissatisfied with everything and I really wasn't sure what to make of Maura.  Evie on the other hand is a fabulous character, full of life and her imagination is wild! 

I loved Evies assorted antics and overall thought this was a very entertaining story and definitely an author to keep an eye on for future releases. 

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

Saturday 20 October 2018

Book Review - A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry - #HolidayReading Book 25

Book 25 of 28 read on my holiday to Cyprus in June 2018.

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Amazon UK
Title: A Family Recipe
Author: Veronica Henry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 17th May 2018 
Rating: 5 Stars

What's the secret ingredient to your happiness?
Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent - a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga - seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.

But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother's recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura's jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . . .

Wow what a fascinating and enthralling story, I was hooked from the beginning, and given chapter 1 was set during WW2 and I'm not a history fan, that is saying something. 

In fact I was very interested in the occasional wartime chapter which was telling the story of Jilly and Ivy as young women. 

The present day storyline featured Laura, her husband Dom, grown up children Willow and Jas and her grandma Kanga. 

At the heart of both past and present stories is the house, its garden and the family recipes that have passed through the generations. 

The book has fabulous writing, interesting storytelling, and a knack for transporting you between the pages so that you forget your real life exists. 

Even when I wasn't reading this my mind was still on the story, it really got under my skin, and with the various perspectives gave a good look at all the key characters and their motivations. 

A top notch read from an always talented and one of my favourite authors, Veronica Henry,

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