Saturday 30 November 2019

Book Review - I'll Be Home For Christmas by Abbey Clancy

Amazon UK
The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Title: I'll Be Home For Christmas
Author: Abbey Clancy
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Publication Date: 19th September 2019
Rating: 3 Stars

All she wants for Christmas…

Popstar Jessika Malone can’t believe her luck! Not only has she signed a major record deal and is topping the charts with her latest single, she’s just been offered the chance of a lifetime: a tour with gorgeous megastar Cooper Black…

It’s everything she’s ever dreamed of – except that it means travelling thousands of miles from her boyfriend, Daniel, just when he’s finally got down on one knee and popped the question!

Far from home and followed by the paparazzi, her relationship is tested more than Jessika ever imagined – will she make it home for Christmas before it’s too late?

I recall reading Abbey Clancy's first book around 3 years ago and really enjoying it, so when I spotted this one on Netgalley, and with Christmas in the title too, I knew I had to read it.   What I didn't realise, in part because I can't retain book details for 3 years when I read as many as I do in a year,  was that this is actually a sequel to Remember My Name, and in fact seems to be set not too long after the previous one finished. 

It was after the first 20% where odd bits sounded like something I'd read before where I finally re-checked the first books blurb and twigged, at which point I stopped feeling like I was going mad and was able to settle into the swing of the story.   That being said, still wondering why on earth Christmas is in the title, as it barely features at all.  This is not what I'd call a festive story at all which is ultimately disappointing given my love of them at this time of year. 

Once I got back into the swing of things I did enjoy the story,  although maybe its just because I'm a bit older now but at times Jessy really did get on my nerves.   

I enjoyed the writing style, there were moments that made me smile, the small amounts of sex were fabulous, but it was the storyline between JB and Neale that really made the book for me.  I loved both of these characters so so much, and seeing how great a friend Neale was to Jessy, and  omg that scene in the hot tub... that definitely was a standout! 

At times I was a bit unsure whether Jessy and Daniel would ever see a HEA or not, which at least kept me on my toes.  

Light hearted, entertaining novel and I suspect even though this didn't quite hit all the right spots for me I'd still be happy to read more from the author, just hope its not such a gap between releases! 

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

Friday 29 November 2019

Book Review - It Won't Be Christmas Without You by Beth Reekles

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: It Won't Be Christmas Without You
Author: Beth Reekles
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 30th August 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Eloise, a self-confessed Christmas obsessive, can’t wait for the big day. Devoted to her Michael BublĂ© playlist, she’s organising the school nativity play and even her gorgeous Grinch of a neighbour, James, can’t get her down.

Her workaholic twin sister, Cara, on the other hand, plans to work over the holiday – and figure out what secrets her seemingly-perfect boyfriend George might be keeping from her.

The sisters used to be close but since Cara moved to London, everything’s been different. Only, Eloise isn’t giving up just yet, and with a white Christmas on the cards, Cara can’t fail to be moved by the magic of the season … can she?

How on earth have I finished this book already? I swear I've only just started it, the writing was flowing so well and its so pleasurable to read, that I seemed to be reading large chunks of the book without really noticing, or spending much time doing so. 

I do love a fast to read book, and when it contains a story as delightful as this one you are onto a winner. 

The main question in this book is whether or not Eloise and twin sister Cara will actually be together on Christmas day.  We see the countdown to the day from both points of view.  Cara is a workaholic going for promotion in London .Eloise is a teacher in Doncaster, and it turns out their parents are going on a winter sun holiday this Christmas. 

Problem is Cara is exhibiting scrooge like tendencies, and some of the conversations between the twins could be painful.  She seems reluctant to commit to spending any part of the holidays with her sister, preferring to work instead.   

Whereas Eloise is struggling with things herself but slowly gets to know her neighbour who may not really be as grumpy as he appears. 

I loved Eloise's love of the season and the amount of references to Christmas films really did make me smile.  Both sister's Christmas office parties were really amusing, and generally this is a light hearted story that was a pleasure to read. 

I really did enjoy this a lot and I look forward to reading more of Beth Reekles' adult books, so long as she writes them.  

Thank you to Netgalley and One More Chapter for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday 28 November 2019

Book Review - Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK

Title: Four Christmases and a Secret
Author: Zara Stoneley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 27th September 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy, Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers. And Oliver Cartwright. Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is. Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas, however, Daisy is determined things will be different. There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers. No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share… and it could change Daisy's life forever…

Bridget Jones meets the Hallmark Channel in an irresistible romantic comedy you won’t want to miss this Christmas.

I could so easily see this working on a big screen, its such a heartwarming story, and I didn't have more than half an inkling as to the big secret. 

The story does indeed feature four Christmases , but yet I feel this could easily be read at any time of year, as not only do we feature Christmas, it also takes in the rest of the year too, and with the exception of the mega Christmas party each year, I didn't overly feel festive for the rest of the story. 

I really enjoyed seeing how Daisy develops as a person over the course of the book.  I loved the rivalry between her mum and Oliver's mum with their continual one up-manship.   And Stanley is a lovely character too, and is instrumental in Daisy slowly growing in confidence. 

Easily my favourite character was Uncle Terence, with his wonderful bookshop, ability to throw a marvellous party, all of his advice for Daisy, and well thinks I can't talk about, as they would be spoilers.   

There are two potential love interests in this book for Daisy, the one who has been under her nose the time, and a new colleague who I really didn't take to.  

Daisy although she doesn't realise it is just such a big hearted character, and loves book and animals, which makes her a fabulous person in my eyes.  She always tries to help others, while putting herself down. 

Although not my favourite book by the author, its still another excellent story and one worth reading (or maybe watching if my wish comes true and it gets turned into a film!).   

A really enjoyable novel, with some great characters. 

Thank you Netgalley and One More Chapter for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Book Review - A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: A Midwinter Promise
Author: Lulu Taylor
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 28th November 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

One family across two generations.
A marriage marred by trauma and infidelity.
Lives marked by death, divorce and a shattered family.
A dark secret at the heart of a tragedy.

Now the Pengelly family reunites around the sickbed of David, a beloved husband and father, to confront the emotions and the secrets that have divided them over the years.

Set around the beautiful wildness of Tawray, a house near the Cornish coast, A Midwinter Promise by bestselling author Lulu Taylor, is a dramatic story of loss, grief and the legacy of secrets. It is also a tale of reconciliation and renewal.

A Midwinter Promise is a book that has utterly consumed me, for the last however long I have been oblivious to my life, while I had to finished the book in one just the one more sitting, and that was from around 40% onwards.   And the second I hit part 2, well I knew my day was doomed until I had finished the book. 

Just wow, such fabulous writing, it really got under my skin as we get to see in dual time lines the history of the Pengelly family at Tawray, a bit Cornish house.

I was fascinated by Julia's story from childhood onwards, seeing how she changed, how her own mother affected her deeper than anyone realised, her marriage to David, friendship with Sally and her struggles with pregnancy.   

There are themes of mental health and demons and addiction even within these sections all written sensitively and in a way that you felt as though the author had really done some research.  I was completely and utterly gripped and had a few of my own theories. 

And then at the same time me meet Julia and David's now grown up children, and their families as David is on his sickbed. We learn about their relationship over the years with their stepmother and stepbrother,  and how it has affected them. 

I just found this a compulsive book to read, I needed more of it and I need it faster than I could read the words. I was utterly addicted as I read about this family across the years.  I perhaps was more enthralled by the Julia's story, but that may be because it was still having an effect on the present day family.    

I am starting to think that Lulu Taylor is becoming better and better with each book, and this was no exception.  Utterly gripping and left me practically speechless. 

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

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Book Review - The Nine Lives of Christmas by Florence McNicoll

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: The Nine Lives of Christmas
Author: Florence McNicoll
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Trapeze
Publication Date: 14th November 2019
Rating: 5 Stars


Can Battersea's loneliest cat find a home in time for Christmas?

It's Christmas at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Laura is desperate to find a home for Felicia, a spiky, bad-tempered moggy with a heart of gold. Her boyfriend, Rob, can't understand why she's spending so much time at work, but for Laura, the animals aren't just a job - they're her life. She needs a partner who understands that - doesn't she?

As the December snow falls, Laura encounters nine people, all of whom need a little love in their lives and find it in new pets. Everyone needs somebody to curl up with at Christmas, and when the handsome Aaron walks in, he takes not just Felicia, but Laura's heart too...

A heart-warming tale about loneliness, love, and the importance of furry friends - perfect to snuggle up with this Christmas.

In real life I am far more of a dog person than a cat person, but when it comes to fictional ones that don't bite or scratch, I'm all for a loveable cat too. 

And wow in this book we get to see the stories of 9 rather special cats looking for new homes at Battersea, their rehomer Laura and of the humans that adopt these cats. 

Each story is different and goes to show just what benefits having a cat in your life can really have.  And this is certainly a book designed to tug at your heartstrings. I would have loved to reach into the pages and given Felicia and all the other cats a big cuddle. 

And as for Laura this is as much a story of self discovery for her, as she starts to connect to new people, and at the same time she can see what the reader can see about her relationship, and starts to do things about it. 

There was one visitor to Battersea who didn't leave with a cat, and given her opinions when discussing things with Laura, I couldn't believe the lengths she would go to to get a new Instagram accessory. 

I've previously read Christmas at Battersea, a few years ago and based on what I recall from that, I can easily tell just how accurate and well researched this novel was. The way they make Christmas special there for the animals really rang true to me, and I loved seeing everything from the point of view of the rehoming team. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this rather special novel, it was quick and easy to read, and packs a punch, and reminds everyone that a cat is more than just for Christmas, it really is for life.  And that cats really do hold a special place in the hearts of many. 

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

Monday 25 November 2019

Book Review - The Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: The Secret Santa
Author: Trish Harteniaux
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Publication Date: 31st October 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars

A lavish party.
An isolated mansion.
Two hosts who will do anything to protect their secrets.

When husband and wife Henry and Claudine organise their company's Christmas party in a remote mansion, they expect it to be a night to remember.

But the festive mood quickly turns sour when a sinister gift is unwrapped in the Secret Santa gift exchange.

As heavy snow traps the guests inside the mountainside lodge, it quickly becomes clear that one of the party is out for revenge.

It’s no longer just about enduring the evening. It’s about making sure you get out alive.

A lavish locked-room mystery with a seasonal edge, THE SECRET SANTA is packed with twists that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Wow I did not see that coming!! I could tell the whole book was building to something, but really wasn't sure how it would all come together and i didn't guess the actual outcome at all. 

I will freely admit this was an impulse request from Netgalley, I love Christmas books, and always curious about a clearly more sinister darker side of a festive story, so couldn't really resist it.   And it is definitely one of the smarted impulse decisions I have made. 

I've never know an office Secret Santa to be so sinister, OK, I've not known it to have this quality of gifts in it either, but this is Aspen - the playground for the rich and famous. 

And the main setting, the house in the mountains, on an incredibly snowy day, no phone signal, is just the best in terms of eerie settings for something disastrous to happen. 

The story is written in a multiple parts, and we have three viewpoints, power couple Henry and Claudine, and superstar singer who may be about to buy a house in Aspen, Zara.    We see just what this property means to all of them, and also all manner of key incidents in Henry and Claudine's past. 

I can't say I particularly warmed to either of them, but I did have a soft spot for Zara, but regardless due to the fabulous writing,  I was utterly hooked on this book.  It flowed so well, and I found that when I settled down to read, it the pages seemed to just go past so fast, and the percentage read meter went up rapidly. 

I was't really sure where the story was leading at times, and with the mention of a locked room mystery in the blurb, I was expecting that aspect to occur a lot earlier in the story and for the book to be teaming with detectives... but I was completely surprised instead by just how the scene was set and how it all seemed to work perfectly. 

This is the first book I've read by this author and I'm incredibly impressed and feel I will need to look out for more from them in the future. 

Thank you to Cornerstone on Netga for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Sunday 24 November 2019

Book Review - Alfie the Holiday Cat by Rachel Wells

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: Alfie The Holiday Cat
Author: Rachel Wells
Format reviewed: Hardback
Source: Avon sent it
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 16th November 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Alfie and George just can’t seem to keep out of trouble. So when they hear that their owners have got a new holiday home, they can’t wait to visit it and enjoy some new adventures.

But when they arrive, they don’t find the comfort they’re used to. Crumbling walls, peeling paint, dripping ceilings…this little Cornish cottage is clearly on its last legs.

Family and friends rally round to try and save the cottage – but it soon becomes clear that the locals don’t want them there at all. It’s up to Alfie and George to make sure their family is welcomed into the village – that’s if they can keep out of the way of the nastiest cat they’ve ever encountered…

I can't believe it has taken me so long to finally read a book in this series.  Alfie the Holiday Cat has been staring at me on my bookshelf for about 2 years since he arrived into my home, but its taken until now to sit down and meet him properly. 

And awww how adorable are Alfie and his kitten George, and the three families they look after.  I had to keep laughing at can only be described as puppy love from George, although I can assure you it was an unrequited crush on an old cat, and not a dog, that lead him to spend his time just wanting to catch a glimpse of Chanel! 

Despite the book starting at Christmas, and the slightly festive looking cover, almost the whole book takes place over the course of a summer, and as such could easily be read at any time of the year. In fact the title is thus rather clever as I assumed the holiday cat would be Christmas holidays, and not a summer holiday! 

It took me a chapter or two to get into the swing of things, as learning the dynamics of three families when you know you haven't read the previous books of the series, is always a large number of characters to get to know but once I had an idea about them, I was incredibly happy. 

This is such a fabulous book written through a cat's eyes. I loved how Alfie felt responsible for everything, how clever he really is and how in tune his humans seemed to be with him.  From Alfie's point of view we see this new holiday home and everything that is going on, even before the humans are aware just what lengths the locals are going to to drive them away. 

And watching Alfie and George get to grips with the beach, eating ice-cream, paddleboarding are some of the sweetest and funniest things i have read in ages. 

Heartwarming, full of love and laughter, this is an incredibly adorable book that has already got me craving to read more of this series.   I really did love it and read around the last 200 pages in one sitting, when I possibly should have been doing other things. 

A purrfectly wonderful story! 

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

Saturday 23 November 2019

Book Review - The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse - #HolidayReading Madeira

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: The Things I Know
Author: Amanda Prowse
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 11th June 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott loves living and working on the remote family farm and B&B. But she also wants more. To see the world. To own her own home. To fall madly in love.

But those are fairy tales, and if her life is a fairy tale, then she’s the ugly duckling. Her deformed lip, her crooked limbs and her weak heart have kept her from taking chances. But that’s about to change.

When Grayson Potts comes to stay, he’s unlike anyone Thomasina has ever met. He’s aloof, eccentric and exceptionally kind. He’s also totally unconcerned with the physical flaws that have always defined Thomasina.

The two form a bond that neither has had before. It’s possible that it could become something more, but Thomasina also wonders if it’s too good to be true. By putting her heart on the line, Thomasina may open herself to heartbreak. But she may also open herself to so much more.

Once again Amanda Prowse has written a book that has reached inside my heart and got me thinking about things in a different way. 

Seeing Thomasina's story first hand, her thoughts, her dreams, and how people treat her was eye opening, but it wasn't until the introduction of Grayson, who also has his own unique challenges,  that the book really came alive for me. 

Watching as these two characters grow in confidence, as their connection deepens,  seeing how they deal with their tricky family circumstances, as inspirational. 

For anyone going through any of the same things as Thomasina or Grayson, I'm sure this is a book that would provide comfort that you are not alone. 

I was completely absorbed into this story and their lives, and am astounded once again by just how warm, compassionate, and deep Amanada Prowse's range of writing is.   

I'm so glad I held onto this to read on holiday, as it meant I was able to read this uninterrupted over the course of an afternoon poolside.   Which really is the best way to read an Amanda Prowse story! 

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

Book Review - Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage by Rosie Green

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: Snowflakes Over Moondance Cottage
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 15th November 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

When Jess Rigby lost her dad, the family coped in different ways, alone in their grief. Now, her mum seems to be going off the rails and her sister, Isla, who moved to France, is now back and determined to get the old family home on the market. But the last thing Jess wants this Christmas is for renovations to start on the house. It's sure to stir up old memories she's desperate to forget. And to make things worse, Isla seems to have hired the most obnoxious builder in the world to do the work. Jess could ignore the fact that women seem to be putty in his hands. But what she finds harder to ignore is the frisson she gets every time she squeezes past him in the mess that is now their beloved family home! Soon, the house begins to give up its secrets, some of them shocking. Can the family finally start talking and find a way to move on from the past this Christmas?

Rosie Green is the author of the much-loved, best-selling novellas in the LITTLE DUCK POND CAFE series. This is her first full-length Christmas book.

I've been completely rocked by the amazingness of this ending to the book - I mean the rest of it is of course rather special too and I can't say anything else about the end section but wow it was worth it! 

At times this is can be a fairly emotional and with a lot more depth to the characters than you may anticipate from the festive cover and title.  Which just adds to the story's awesomeness. 

I was completely hooked on the Rigby family, all of whom are still reeling from events three years ago.  And we see how they all deal with their grief, while at the same time although not being present their dad is larger than life.  

There is a potential for new love, if only an ex wasn't in the way, and just nothing seems smooth sailing for any of the characters. They are all really relatable too and I enjoyed getting to know them all. 

And if you are wanting a sprinkling of Christmas magic well there is definitely some of that present. 

This is really a tricky book to review as a lot of what I'd like to mention, I can't without revealing key things.  

Suffice to say this is a book that I adored reading, the author is as talented as always, with her fluent writing, great characters and a setting and back story too that I found utterly enticing. 

I really did just enjoy every single second of this book. 

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

Friday 22 November 2019

Book Review - Rewrite The Stars by Emma Heatherington

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: Rewrite The Stars
Author: Emma Heatherington
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 6th September 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

A stunning Christmas romance for fans of One Day in December and Jojo Moyes

From the moment they meet one December day there’s something between Charlotte Taylor and her brother’s best friend, Tom Farley. But Tom’s already taken and Charlie has to let him go…

It’s another five years before their paths cross again only a secret from the past forces Charlie to make a choice. She promises herself she’ll never look back…

The years pass and Charlie moves on with her life but she can never forget Tom. He’s always there whispering ‘What if?’.

Can Charlie leave the life she has built for one last chance with Tom?  Or is the one that got away not really the one at all…?

Beautifully written novel that has completely got under my skin and almost had me in tears on public transport! 

The book is so brilliant that pretty much anything I say wouldn't be able to do it justice.  

I'm trying to put into words what the story is about, but can't quite finish any sentence, so here are some rambling thoughts instead

 - How do you know who your true love is?  
- Should family loyalty and guilt towards your brother mean you give up on your true love?
 - Can you really be happy potentially living a lie, or will you learn what the true meaning of love is?
- Just how frustrating is that voice that says What If?
 - How well do you know someone no matter the connection you feel?

Well all of these questions and a whole lot more are certainly answered in this book.   

Charlotte's brother's story was the most touching of all and I really did have a lump in my throat a few times when we see what he is dealing with. 

This is a novel spanning many years, often in short-ish snippets as time progresses, which is a great way of seeing how life is going for our key characters.  

I absolutely love Emma Heatherington's writing style, it really gripped me and I was completely oblivious on my way to and from Birmingham on the train.  The book flowed so so well and I clearly felt a lot for all the characters. Someone more emotional than me probably would have had many tears at various key points. 

A truly wonderful book to warm your heart this winter, and keep your eye out for a Christmas Miracle too! 

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

Thursday 21 November 2019

Book Review - Single All The Way by Karen King

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: Single All The Way
Author: Karen King
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 28th October 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Single together for the first time, 34-year-old Meg and her warm-hearted, long-suffering mother Sally are cancelling Christmas, and running away to a tiny cottage on the Cornish coast. For Meg, it is the perfect place to heal, away from all the mistletoe, while for her mother it has a special, and secret, place in her heart – from a love story that seems a lifetime ago…

Meg and Sally find they’re getting to know themselves, and each other, better than ever before. But as they are unable to resist getting involved in the village Christmas celebrations, they encounter two handsome local strangers.

Sometimes, it’s being away from home that helps you realise where your heart is. What neither woman knows is that, by the time the new year rolls around, one woman will have fallen in love with her husband all over again, and one marriage will be over for good…

An escapist, romantic and heart-warming novel for fans of One Day in December and No One Cancels Christmas.

What a really enjoyable story. 

Before I get into anything just have to say I loved every mention of Laurel and Hardy, they weren't in it anywhere near enough for my liking, but I just wanted to cuddle both of them. Strangely I find you just don't get pet bunnies in the books that I read that often, so always good to have a cute animal present. 

Equally you don't often have bother mother and daughter announcing the break up of their respective marriages on the same day, in the run up to Christmas. Which made for a lovely fresh take on a book as the ladies went away to Cornwall, to deal with their heartbreak and see what life may have in store for them in the future. 

Both have their reasons for leaving their partners, and the perspective swaps between both Meg and Sally, and on occasion their husbands, to give a reader a well rounded view of the situation.  

Right up until towards the end I really wasn't quite sure how anything was going to turn out, there were potential red herrings thrown in for good measure, and I was very curious to see if either marriage would be savable. 

The friendships the women made in the little Cornish village were great to see, and I really liked next door neighbours Leo and Sam, and anything that involved balloon animals.   I do love a balloon animal, although how some of those designs were made is beyond me!! 

There are certainly some lovely Christmassy moments,  I loved the Christmas Fayre, the carolling, and seeing just what would happen on the day itself. 

This was though so much more than a festive story, its about relationships, its about whether you should just settle when you get to a certain age or whether there can be more to life, its about whether two people are enough in a family or whether children are a deal breaker.     So a lot of topics covered, all the while keeping you completely engrossed in the story. 

Single All The Way is a really enjoyable, heart warming story set to a festive background that was a joy to read. 

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

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Book Review - The Wedding on Mistletoe Island by Sophie Pembroke

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: The Wedding on Mistletoe Island
Author: Sophie Pembroke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 31st October 2019 
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to Mistletoe Island, where dreams can come true...
The snow is falling and Fliss's friends have arrived to celebrate her wedding for a week at Holly Cottage. It's the perfect way to kick off her brand-new life, isn't it?

Except Ruth wishes she was anywhere other than a remote Scottish island, Caitlin is keeping a secret from her friends, Lara is suddenly facing her ex a decade after turning down his proposal and even the bride has something to hide...

But as the friends prepare for a week to remember, will Fliss's dream wedding go off without a hitch, or will the secrets they've been hiding change everything?

The perfect cosy Christmas romance to curl up with this holiday season about family, friendship and love. For fans of Jill Mansell, Sue Moorcroft and Heidi Swain.

It's been ages since I was last able to settle down to a new Sophie Pembroke book, and it was definitely worth the wait. This one was fabulous. 

It certainly has a fantastic setting of the remote Scottish Island of Mistletoe Island, which sounded incredibly picturesque, and there were some references to festive, but this is far more a Winter book set in the week before Christmas, than a full on festive feels sort of story. 

Equally its a book with romance, but it has so much more than that, specifically whether you can really be the same person you were 10 years ago. It looks at how when you have a long standing friendship group you end up cast in a role, and no matter how much you change as a person, the rest of the time, when you get together with that group, you revert back to your younger self. 

It is a theme and sentiment I could get on board with as I have often felt like I'm a different sort of person amongst different groups of people, and like Fliss I'm not entirely sure which one is the true me as such. 

10 years ago, Fliss and her 6 friends had a week away on Mistletoe Island after graduation and it changed the shape of the group forever.   Now they are all back ahead of Fliss's wedding to Ethan.  

Predominately we get chapters and sections focusing on three of the ladies in the group, Fliss, Lara and Ruth, and between them we get to know all of the friends, who are all easily separated once you know who they are, and as Ruth hasn't know them as long as the others, we see the group from her slightly distanced perspective too. 

Almost all of the group are hiding things from at least some of the others and its great fun to see what will be revealed.  

For extreme comic relief, or the feeling of wanting to throw things at someone, I'd introduce you to the mothers - who have taken over the wedding planning, and Fliss is struggling to stand up to them, 

There is a gentleness to the writing, its s style I really enjoy and I really got to grips with the story very quickly.  I was hooked and just thoroughly loving it   It was definitely a book that kept me on my toes and I really wasn't entirely sure who it would end up.   I would love to see a sequel, I want more from these friends! 

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

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Book Review - Eve's Christmas by Julie Butterfield

The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.
Amazon UK
Title: Eve's Christmas
Author: Julie Butterfield
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied Copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 31st October 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Working for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas. So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.
But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.

If there such a thing as a perfect Christmas?  Can you really replicate anything described in glossy magazines on how to have the best luxurious, Christmas experience, planned to the nth degree.  Where nothing can veer from the plan, and you even schedule in lounging around time, all the activities and menus for a full 12 days of Christmas? 

Unfortunately for Eve she discovers the hard way that things almost never go according to plan, especially when trying to impress your husband's best friend who you have always been just a bit wary of.    Let alone another unexpected guest,  surprise interactions with a colleague and a slight clumsiness with one of the elements! 

It took me a while to get into this story, as Eve's insistence on perfection, her planning and many attempts at each recipe drove me a bit mad. Especially with my skeptics hat on I had a feeling nothing would live up to her expectations. 

Once Abby arrived, things really lifted for me, and there is so much to like in this story.  in addition eldest daughter Alice is an walking fact machine about just how wasteful Christmas can be, how bad for the environment and it was really eye opening.  

It is clear all of what Alice says had been researched carefully, but at other times, she also seemed wise beyond her years and I loved how at times she really did support Eve.  

I could really picture the transformation from their normally cosy Christmas to something that wouldn't look out of place in centre spread,  

I think there is a message in this story about the excessive consumerism and one up manship that exists especially at Christmas. There is a fabulous feeling that often all you need for your perfect Christmas is just a bit of quality time with the family.  

Really enjoyable story from an author that I really do love. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...