Thursday, 31 December 2020

12 Days of Author's Favourite Feel Good Books - Day 6 - June Releases

      The Amazon Purchase links below is are Amazon Affiliate links.


Over the course of the 12 days of Christmas, we are going to be celebrating the feel good novels that were released each month of 2020. 

I know that 2020 has been a horrible year for many, a year unlike anything else we have ever experienced, but if like me you have found great solace in reading, and especially books that have made you completely escape reality and feel good for even a short time, then you may like these suggestions from various authors. 

These are their top Feel Good reads from 2020 and each day I'll look at a different month's releases, as it made sense at the time I came up with the idea!   So onwards, let's see what fabulous feel good books were released in June 2020. 


One Summer in Spain by Ian Wilfred

 - as 
recommended by Debbie Viggiano

I love Ian’s chatty style of writing. As travelling overseas was off the 2020 calendar, this charming tale of friendship and romance was perfect armchair travel.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - Ian Wilfred is such a support to authors and bloggers alike, that I'm delighted to be able to include this choice of yours Debbie. And look forward to the day where we can go back to Spain in real life! 


Wednesday, 30 December 2020

12 Days of Author's Favourite Feel Good Books - Day 5 - May Releases

     The Amazon Purchase links below is are Amazon Affiliate links.


Over the course of the 12 days of Christmas, we are going to be celebrating the feel good novels that were released each month of 2020. 

I know that 2020 has been a horrible year for many, a year unlike anything else we have ever experienced, but if like me you have found great solace in reading, and especially books that have made you completely escape reality and feel good for even a short time, then you may like these suggestions from various authors. 

These are their top Feel Good reads from 2020 and each day I'll look at a different month's releases, as it made sense at the time I came up with the idea!   So onwards, let's see what fabulous feel good books were released in May 2020. 


One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie
 - as 
recommended by Angela Britnell

This darkly funny, sexy, thought provoking book won’t be to everyone’s taste but I loved it. The book’s unique setting in Trinidad and twisted plot centered around the Palacio family of Venezuelan refugees was the perfect antidote to 2020 life!

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - I'm really glad you enjoyed it, sounds quite different which is always a good thing! 







Time Out by Emma Murray
 - as 
recommended by Judy Leigh

 It’s a fun read that strikes a chord with all parents and Saoirse’s character is a real hoot! 

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - Time Out sounds like a really fun read, thanks for the recommendation. 


Tuesday, 29 December 2020

12 Days of Author's Favourite Feel Good Books - Day 4 - April Releases

    The Amazon Purchase links below is are Amazon Affiliate links.


Over the course of the 12 days of Christmas, we are going to be celebrating the feel good novels that were released each month of 2020. 

I know that 2020 has been a horrible year for many, a year unlike anything else we have ever experienced, but if like me you have found great solace in reading, and especially books that have made you completely escape reality and feel good for even a short time, then you may like these suggestions from various authors. 

These are their top Feel Good reads from 2020 and each day I'll look at a different month's releases, as it made sense at the time I came up with the idea!   So onwards, let's see what fabulous feel good books were released in April 2020. 


The Wisdom of Joe Dispenza by Jason Ray
 - as 
recommended by Debbie Viggiano

A shock diagnosis had me reading Becoming Supernatural by the same author. Dr Joe delivers way more than ‘feel good’. If you need to heal, check him out.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - So glad that this helped you heal. 



Monday, 28 December 2020

12 Days of Author's Favourite Feel Good Books - Day 3 - March Releases

   The Amazon Purchase links below is are Amazon Affiliate links.


Over the course of the 12 days of Christmas, we are going to be celebrating the feel good novels that were released each month of 2020. 

I know that 2020 has been a horrible year for many, a year unlike anything else we have ever experienced, but if like me you have found great solace in reading, and especially books that have made you completely escape reality and feel good for even a short time, then you may like these suggestions from various authors. 

These are their top Feel Good reads from 2020 and each day I'll look at a different month's releases, as it made sense at the time I came up with the idea!   So onwards, let's see what fabulous feel good books were released in March 2020. 


We Are Animals by Tim Ewins
 - as 
recommended by Susan A King

A quirky tale of love lost and friendships found, it had me smiling from the first page to the last. The clever writing, intertwining plot, and menagerie of animals made for a sublime read.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - That sounds rather intriguing, and always good to have a menagerie of animals in a story! 






My One True North by Milly Johnson
 - as 
recommended by Debbie Viggiano

The story of widower Pete and widow Laurie is both tragic and uplifting. Milly is brilliant at delivering the perfect balance of emotion, humour and love. 

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - I'm sorry to say I still haven't read this book but yet class Milly Johnson as one of my favourite authors! Delighted you have picked it as a top feel good book, Debbie and I look forward to reading it as soon as I can! 




 

Sunday, 27 December 2020

12 Days of Author's Favourite Feel Good Books - Day 2 - February Releases

   The Amazon Purchase links below is are Amazon Affiliate links.


Over the course of the 12 days of Christmas, we are going to be celebrating the feel good novels that were released each month of 2020. 

I know that 2020 has been a horrible year for many, a year unlike anything else we have ever experienced, but if like me you have found great solace in reading, and especially books that have made you completely escape reality and feel good for even a short time, then you may like these suggestions from various authors. 

These are their top Feel Good reads from 2020 and each day I'll look at a different month's releases, as it made sense at the time I came up with the idea!   So onwards, let's see what fabulous feel good books were released in February 2020. 



The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

 - as recommended by Kitty Wilson

I'm going to recommend The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, published in February this year. 

It shows the power of positive human interaction and how small actions can mean so much. It is uplifting and rammed full of optimism, a book about community and support, friendship and love and I defy anyone not to pick it up and be both transported and delighted.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - Sounds like it's a fabulous book, and just what 2020 and beyond needs. 



Saving Missy by Beth Morrey
 - as recommended by Caroline James

I loved this book because it was ultimately so uplifting during a year of such gloom. The evolving relationships between a group of people is beautifully portrayed and I fell in love with the characters. When the book finished I wanted to start it all over again. A gem of a read.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - Well it's always a good sign wanting to re-read the book instantly.  It sounds lovely and just what we all need at the moment. 

Book Review - The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.


Title: The Villa of Dreams
Author: Lucy Coleman
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 1st December 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page. 

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true?

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Is it just me that can feel the warmth coming from the cover for The Villa of Dreams? Well that warmth is within the pages too I'm delighted to say, as the book is set in Lisbon and even though it isn't necessarily during the hot part of the year, just by being in Portugal I felt warmer! 

I loved just what Seren and her new team were trying to create, such an innovative vision for her new art gallery, to combine art, textiles and fashion in such a way to create a massive event that I would have loved to have been a part of. 

It is also clear quite early on that Seren has clear chemistry with Reid, but his situation is tricky and Seren can't ignore the connection, nor does she expect things to last.  I liked seeing how their connection deepens, as the book progresses, while being mindful of Portuguese customs and thoughts. 

I loved the occasional words of French and Portuguese spotted about the book, and what really gave this story a great sense of place, was how Lisbon was described. How Reid showed Seren some places and the way you could really picture it. 

There are of course plenty of secondary characters which with one rather obvious exception I tended to really enjoy, and seeing how their stories would progress. 

It's a really enjoyable story and with a stunning backdrop It's made me dream for the day where travel is possible again but until then I will continue to enjoy the armchair variety. 

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

Saturday, 26 December 2020

12 Days of Author's Favourite Feel Good Books - Day 1 - January Releases

  The Amazon Purchase links below is are Amazon Affiliate links.

Over the course of the next 12 Days, we are going to be celebrating the feel good novels that were released each month of 2020. 

I know that 2020 has been a horrible year for many, a year unlike anything else we have ever experienced, but if like me you have found great solace in reading, and especially books that have made you completely escape reality and feel good for even a short time, then you may like these suggestions from various authors. 

These are their top Feel Good reads from 2020 and each day I'll look at a different month's releases, as it made sense at the time I came up with the idea!   So onwards, let's see what fabulous feel good books were released in January 2020. 



Coming Home to Brightwater Bay by Holly Hepburn
 - as 
recommended by Miranda Dickinson

My feel good book is the Brightwater Bay series by Holly Hepburn, which published in four parts through 2020 (part 1 in January, part 2 in April, part 3 in July and part 4 in October). I loved this series because it whisked me away to gorgeous Orkney and was filled with warm-hearted, loveable characters that felt like friends every time I returned to the next part. It was so lovely to have more of the story to look forward to and being able to escape into it was such a joy this year.  

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - On 21st January 2021, all four parts of this are being released in one book called Coming Home to Brightwater Bay.  I'm really looking forward to reading it myself and my review will be on the blog tour on 28th Jan. 


It Started With A Secret
 - as 
recommended by Debbie Viggiano

Everyone loves hearing about a secret, so the hook was in the title. Jill delivered a joyful bit of escapism set in beautiful Cornwall.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Note from Rachel - I'm inclined to agree, I also found it to be a fabulous five star book, and my review can be found here.  



Friday, 25 December 2020

Book Review - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson

Well I couldn't think of a more aptly titled Christmas book, for my Christmas day review this year.  I hope you all have as good a Christmas as you can, and that 2021 brings you everything you wish. 

I'm having a week off from new reviews, but from tomorrow is my 12 days of author's picks of their favourite feel good books of 2020! I hope you will enjoy their suggestions and 
I'll see you all in 2021 with some more hopefully fabulous books. 

Merry Christmas. 

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
Author: Milly Johnson
Format reviewed: Hardback
Source: EDPR
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 29th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

It’s nearly Christmas and it’s snowing, hard. Deep in the Yorkshire Moors nestles a tiny hamlet, with a pub at its heart. As the snow falls, the inn will become an unexpected haven for six people forced to seek shelter there…
 
Mary has been trying to get her boss Jack to notice her for four years, but he can only see the efficient PA she is at work. Will being holed up with him finally give her the chance she has been waiting for?
 
Bridge and Luke were meeting for five minutes to set their divorce in motion. But will getting trapped with each other reignite too many fond memories – and love?
 
Charlie and Robin were on their way to a luxury hotel in Scotland for a very special Christmas. But will the inn give them everything they were hoping to find – and much more besides?
 
A story of knowing when to hold on and when to let go, of pushing limits and acceptance, of friendship, love, laughter, mince pies and the magic of Christmas. 

Gorgeous, warm and full of heartfelt emotion, I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day is the perfect read this winter!

What a wonderful story.  I really don't know where to begin trying to do this justice.  In fact I think you should just go and read this book, especially if you love a Christmas book, or just about anything by Milly Johnson.  

You don't need the review, just take my word for it, this is Milly Johnson at her best and it has quite a different feel  from her previous Christmas novel, and well they are both fabulous. 

An inn in Figgy Hollow becomes a safe haven for 6 people in a ridiculously snowstorm that leaves them all a bit stranded.  Except Bridget had to break into it, the whole village seems to be abandoned, and although there is a note saying there is a Christmas day booking and its got a fully stocked kitchen, there is no sign of a landlord. 

There is a rather charming local radio station which loved playing classic Christmas music and had one person running it for what sounded like very few listeners. 

So its 6 people but 3 pairs of people.  Mary and Jack who are boss and PA,  Robin and Charlie who are a delightful married couple, and Bridge and Luke who were trying to get together before they got stranded to sign their divorce paperwork. 

Over the course of a few days of being snowed in, they become like a bit of a family and is was just such a cosy and loving time.  We really get to know their different personalities and Charlie and Robin are easily my favourite. 

Even more so once something they hadn't mentioned becomes known to the group, at which point the story took a more emotional turn.  There are all manner of ups and downs in this and was just a pleasure to read it. 

I spent the day curled up on the sofa, with this story and read it in three main bursts, it would have been one sitting but hardbacks are heavy, so needed to give my wrists a rest, but my mind was in Figgy Hollow whenever I wasn't reading. 

Incredibly enjoyable, with a whole lot going on, I loved every second of it. 

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

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Book Review - Snowed in at Snowflake B&B by Kellie Hailes

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Snowed in at Snowflake B&B
Author: Kellie Hailes
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion Dash
Publication Date: 9th November 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

All I want for Christmas...

Samantha Heatherington always loved Christmas at Snowflake B&B. Her cooking job over the festive season was always her favourite time of year. Until, thriller writer Reuben Richards buys the beautiful inn she always thought would one day be hers.

Grumpy and too-good-looking-for-his-own-good, Reuben has no experience running a B&B, let alone cooking and spends most of his time in his study hiding from the guests. Thankfully Sam isn't interested in love right now, let alone the one man who might lead to her losing the one place that has ever felt like home. It looks like it's going to be up to Sam to mix up a little bit of Christmas magic!

Can Sam save Snowflake B&B in time for Christmas and maybe even find love under the mistletoe?

Well this is a book that certainly has hidden depths. 

There is rather a lot of character development packed between these pages, and I loved seeing the dynamic between Samantha and Reuben. 

Both of them are rather complex but its the insight into Sam's mind, and her thought processes throughout that captured my attention.  In addition her ability to cook delicious sounding food, she talks a very rapid pace, almost continuously and I loved trying to keep up with her. 

She had a tendency to regularly through in friendly insults which were rather amusing given the amount of times her feet ended up in her mouth during the first meeting with Reuben. 

Reuben is an author with writers block who has taken over Snowflake B&B, despite not really wanting to interact with people, or having the first thing about how to run a B&B.  He's been let down in love in the past and is unsure what to do with the dynamo of Sam, who just showed up to help for that weekend, by arrangement of the previous owners. 

Then there are the guests, two couples, including Stefan who it is rather hard to like at first, but then shows glimpses of another side to him that I rather liked.  And Harry was just lovely. 

As its looking like they will be snowed in Sam comes up with various activities for them to do in and around the B&B, including ice-skating and decorating for Christmas.  The way the living room was decorated by Flo and Stefan was just really amusing. 

I was so absorbed by this story that I read it in two sittings, and it was such a pleasure to read. Another incredibly enjoyable book from Kellie Hailes. 

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


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Book Review - A Brambleberry Manor Christmas by Rosie Green

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: A Brambleberry Manor Christmas
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 23rd December 2020
Rating: 5 Stars


After the heart-breaking events of the previous festive season, Jenny Wilkes is dreading Christmas. The one bright spot is that her brand new business, 'Dining In', seems to be thriving. She's won a contract to cater for a week-long Christmas house party at Brambleberry Manor, culminating in the sparkling Cinderella Ball, and she's determined to do a first rate job. Meeting Noah, one of the guests, gives Jenny a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. But with a stroppy step-daughter determined to stand in the way of her happiness, will love really be able to conquer all?

It's another new and delightful addition to this series. Although this is book 14 the first thing I really want to say is that it can easily be read as a standalone.  The main character is Jenny and we've never met her before in any of the books so it feels fresh. 

She is though friends with Fen, and has agreed to cater a week long Christmas party at Brambleberry Manor, and Katya is also on the guest list but other than that there is only a rather brief cameo from the Duck Pond Cafe girls and it truly is a fresh feeling book.  Although Madison was being even more Madison that normal from the small appearance she made!! 

As I have come to expect from this series, that as light hearted it is on the surface, beneath it there are tougher threads running through it. 

We have Jenny who is trying to make her catering business work, while being Tavie's step mum, after Harvey died the year before. And it's not the easiest of relationships, although Tavie is rather lovely, but also a teenage girl! 

Then there is Flo who is Jenny's assistant, who may have more hidden depths to her than may first be apparent.  And then there is Noah who has an instant effect on Jenny, but is Noah really the object of Melanie's affections?

We are treated to a number of flashbacks early on to give us all the key background information about Jenny, but once the story was more in the present than past, I found it moved forward really well, and I was hooked and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. 

It's such an enjoyable series and this really is a fabulous addition to the series.

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

Book Review - The Winter Garden by Heidi Swain

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Amazon UK

Title: The Winter Garden
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1st October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Freya Fuller is estranged from her parents and has been following her childhood dream of becoming a gardener ever since. When an opportunity to design a winter garden opens up at a Victorian property in Nightingale Square, Freya jumps at the chance to make a fresh start. But while the majority of the residents are welcoming, local artist Finn seems determined to shut her out, and when Freya's family make a surprise appearance, it seems that her new life is about to come crashing down . . .

The Winter Garden is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley and Sarah Morgan.

How I love being drawn into Heidi Swain's world, this time we are back in Nightingale Square, but with plenty of references to her locations of Wynbridge and Wynmouth, so that you feel as though you are close to old friends from the other books. 

This though is a complete and utter standalone, and although Nightingale Square is a familiar setting to those that have read some of the author's books before, Freya is a whole new character and one that I was enthralled with almost instantly. 

She has a couple of tricky decisions to make early in the book which lead to her being brave and agreeing to take a new job in Norwich and to help make Luke's vision of a Winter Garden come to life. 

I loved all of Luke's ideas for the garden and also his Winterfest workshops, as a way of hopefully helping others like himself that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

Then there is Finn, who after a bit of a rocky start, is rather wonderful, and I would have happily taken him as my Christmas present this year!  He is very talented and like Freya has parents that just don't seem to understand him. 

In fact troublesome family is a theme in this book, as is the love of the great outdoors, how all sorts of activities that sounded lovely, and often quite cosy. 

This is just a really heartwarming winter's story, in the run up to Christmas, that is perfect to curl up by the fire with a warm drink and just lose yourself in the pages. It's full of Heidi Swain's fabulous writing style, believable characters and I fancied jumping into the book to be a part of it, it felt that realistic. 

Just another gem of a read from this incredibly talented author. 

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

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Book Review - All I Want For Christmas by Joanna Bolouri

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK


Title: All I Want For Christmas
Author: Joanna Bolouri
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 1st October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

When Nick loses his job and is dumped by his glamorous but demanding girlfriend, he is forced to grudgingly accept work as a Santa at a local Christmas grotto. As his friends are getting married or promoted, Nick spends his days being terrorised by unfriendly elves and cried on by snotty, spoiled children.

Then he meets 4-year-old Alfie. All Alfie wants for Christmas is for his mum, Sarah, to be happy again. Moved by the boy's selfless wish, Nick arranges a date between Sarah and his best friend, Matt. But as Sarah and Alfie become part of all their lives, Nick realises that happiness for Sarah and Matt might mean heartbreak for himself.

A hilarious and heartwarming Christmas romance from the author of The List, perfect for fans of Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare, Sophie Cousens' This Time Next Year and Marian Keyes' Grown Ups.

I absolutely loved this book, its so funny, it's refreshing and I really wasn't completely sure for most of it whether it would end how I'd want it to. 

When we meet Nick is a recently dumped out of work lawyer who is begrudgingly taking on the role of Santa at a local shopping centre.  He's not completely sure he likes kids and his main elf is hilarious but doesn't seem that enamored by Nick! 

However from the second you meet Alfie, who is 4 and is the complete and utter star of the book, I was hooked, and Nick can't help but be affected when after having had loads of children come in and ask for the latest most expensive toys, when Alfie's only wish for Christmas is for his mum, Sarah, to be happy. 

Whose heart wouldn't melt at that point, and as Nick gets to know Sarah and Alfie, we get to see many different sides to Nick, but ultimately I ended up loving him a lot. 

This is a refreshing book on so many counts, I don't often read a book written by a woman whose only viewpoint is male, we get the story through Nick's eyes which I absolutely loved. And I've not read that many books where we have our lead playing Santa.  Let alone what happens after that first Christmas. 

There seems to be a whole lot packed into this festive treat of a book, and it once more shows what a talented writer, Joanna Bolouri is.  I couldn't have enjoyed this more if I tried, it was just such a pleasure to be able to sit and read. 

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

Monday, 21 December 2020

Book Review - Christmas at Fireside Cabins by Jenny Hale

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Amazon UK

Title: Christmas at Fireside Cabins
Author: Jenny Hale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 14th October 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

An uplifting, beautiful and totally heartwarming tale about the magic of family at Christmas, the importance of chasing your dreams, and the unbeatable feeling of falling in love under the mistletoe.

Christmas is always tough for Lila Evans. Instead of being with her loved ones, she’s all alone, and reminded of the heartbreaking time when she lost her father. It’s no wonder that, this year, Lila’s escaping Nashville. She’s in search of a home away from home––and the countryside retreat of Fireside Cabins sounds like the perfect place.

But it turns out that Pinewood Hills, tucked in the snow-topped Tennessee mountains, doesn’t offer her much of a small-town welcome. Stopping at the local coffee shop for a much-needed peppermint latte, the rugged, surly owner Theo Perry gives her an icy reception that even his piercing blue eyes can’t melt.

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid anyone in the quaint village, which means that Lila bumps into him everywhere… To her surprise, on the rare occasions he does smile, it feels like sunshine on a cold winter’s day––it feels like coming home. So Lila makes it her mission to warm up frosty Theo, even if that does feel like she’s hoping for a Christmas miracle.

With nothing––and no one––waiting for her back in Nashville, could Pinewood Hills give Lila the ultimate Christmas gift––the family she’s always longed for? And, with a dusting of festive magic, spiced cider and sugarplum pie, could this be the first holiday she’s not alone?

This without a doubt needs to be the next Jenny hale book turned into hallmark movie. 

It has the small time mountain setting, cosy cabins,  a fabulous heart warning storyline,  friends old and new and romantic leads one of which has a lot of secrets to uncover. 

Some of the Christmassy activities described i would have liked to jump into the pages to experience myself.  It all sounded so lovely. 

I really warmed to Lila quite early on and her personality shines through.  Just sees the best in everyone and wants to help where possible. 

And Rex is so cute, when they all first met him I couldn't believe his age,  he is an old soul on young shoulders.  Steals any scene he is in. 

Oh and Theo so hard to know what to make of him initially, but then he really does grow on you.

You couldn't have had a better seeing for this story if you tried and it us Jenny Hale at her very best.  I always love her festive books and you are in for a real treat with this one. 

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

Friday, 18 December 2020

Book Review - Justice At Christmas #3 by M. A. Comley

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Amazon UK

Title: Justice at Christmas #3
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 
Rating: 5 Stars

Homeless at Christmas..
.
Imagine that?

Seeking safety and a square meal at a soup kitchen results in devastation for a few of London's homeless.
Can Lorne and Pete solve this unspeakable crime before Christmas descends or will they have to forego their own celebrations to ensure justice is served?

This may be short but it sure does pack a hell of a punch.  From the absorbing opening chapter, to the emotional climax, this is fast paced, and its police work at its finest. 

This is a book that shines a light on homelessness and the impossible cycle the homeless live in, how unsafe it really is on the streets of London, and just how tough it is for them at Christmas. 

As always in these Justice series novellas, we are taken right back to the start of the series when Pete was still alive.. and seeing a teenage Charlie, when I'm also now loving the new series where Charlie is all grown up is kind of weird but so good to see! 

On top of Lorne's brilliant police skills, we really see her heart of gold at work in this book as they not only attempt to catch the killers, but she goes above and beyond for a survivor of the attack. 

For a novella that took me about an hour to devour, it is impressive just how much is packed in and its testament to the fabulous writing that had me tearing up right at the end, in relation to a character that is new to this book and not featured elsewhere in the series. 

If you are looking for a quick, well written piece of crime fiction set in London at Christmas then this would be my suggestion... or go for broke and read the other Justice at Christmas novellas too, they are all wonderful. 

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

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Book Review - If Every Day Was Christmas by Donna Ashcroft

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Amazon UK

Title: If Every Day Was Christmas
Author: Donna Ashcroft
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 9th October 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Snow is falling, fires are crackling merrily, and Lockton tradition has everyone hanging a promise they’re determined to keep this Christmas on the tree in the village square…

Meg Scott has promised to make a success of her first solo Christmas. She runs a year-round Christmas shop in the little Scottish village, and is a fan of all things mulled, sparkly and festive. So when her warring family shows up on her doorstep, ready to spread discord and tension, Meg is determined not to let them ruin her favourite time of the year.

Meanwhile, Christmas-hating Tom Riley-Clark has been called to the Highlands to help his old friend at The Apple Cross Inn. He’s ready to work hard and has no time for mince pies, tinsel or hanging a promise on the tree: the thought of every day being Christmas is his worst nightmare, and you wouldn’t catch him dead buying a bauble. So everyone is surprised when Christmas-loving Meg and grinch Tom start to get cozy under the mistletoe.

But Tom has a big secret about his past, and in a small town like Lockton it’s hard to keep anything hidden for long. Will everything fall apart when Meg discovers who he really is? The pair are about to learn the hard way that some promises are impossible to keep…

It’s time to curl up for an enchanting festive romance about learning to trust yourself, taking chances and not being afraid to fall in love. Perfect for fans of Nicola May, Debbie Macomber and Milly Johnson.

I was definitely drawn to this book by its title, and rather lovely cover. What I didn't realise until I was quite early on, but already hooked, was that I had a sneaking feeling this wasn't the first book set in Lockton. 

So quick glance on Amazon confirmed my suspicions, which definitely explained the references to things I'm sure happened in the previous book, which would be great reminders for those that read it, but just slightly weird to anyone like me that hasn't - as they felt like memory prompts rather than designed to fill in missing gaps. 

But that was only with regards Lockton and the other villagers, I had no such misgivings about Megan and Toms' story. 

Ok, so was a bit dubious about Tom initially but that's only because he makes it clear he doesn't like Christmas, whereas as I'm a huge fan of the season, I was instantly interested in Megan's story as she runs a Christmas all year shop and is full of spark and joy. 

Although I say joy, but really she'd rather spend Christmas alone, than deal with her family again, as her parents seem to get on only on Christmas day but not the rest of the year, and she doesn't seem to know her younger sister that well at all.   So it was rather fraught when the family descended on her for most of December. 

I really enjoyed getting to know Megan and Tom, and getting to the root of Tom's secrets. It is an easy story to lose yourself within, and I found it to be a rather quick read, that was really enjoyable. 

I enjoyed the village of Lockton, their Christmas Promise tree is rather special, and there are various animals popping up here and there, all of which I wanted as pets, including the most apt animals for this time of year! 

It's just a really lovely book with a great feel to it, and I really shouldn't' leave it as long before I read another book by Donna Ashcroft. 

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