Monday, 31 August 2020

Book Review - Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace by Julie Stock

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Title: Starting Over at the Vineyard in Alsace
Author: Julie Stock
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author Supplied Copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 14th July 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

t’s springtime at The Vineyard in Alsace, a new season and a new beginning

After being abandoned by her partner when she falls pregnant, Lottie Schell goes home to live on The Vineyard in Alsace, where she has started a new relationship with the estate’s winemaker, Thierry. Now about to give birth, Lottie’s determined to raise her child and to provide for them both on her own without having to depend on anyone else.

Thierry Bernard is still dealing with his grief and guilt following the death of his wife two years earlier, for which he blames himself. When he meets Lottie, the instant attraction he feels towards her gives him hope that he can move on from the tragedy of his past, as long as he can tell Lottie the truth of what happened.

When circumstances force Lottie and Thierry closer together, they both find it hard to compromise – she’s proudly independent and he’s fiercely protective – and they’re both wary about trusting someone new with their heart.

Can Lottie and Thierry take a chance on each other, move on from their pasts and start over?

Escape to The Vineyard in Alsace once again with this romantic read set in the heart of the wine country.

A charming story about Thierry and Lottie, and whether they are going to be able to ever fully trust each other in order to move on with their lives together. 

Although this is the second book in the Vineyard in Alsace series, it can easily be read as standalone, the main characters from the previous book are still present in a big way, and we get to see how they are progressing with life, but the focus told in two viewpoints is on Thierry and Lottie. 

And they both have personal challenges to overcome, Thierry needs to finally put to rest what happened when his wife died two years ago, and attempt to accept her loss properly.  And Lottie well she starts the book 8 months pregnant, and so seeing her adjusting to motherhood, is fun. She is determined to be independent, something that Thierry (who is not the father), needs to learn to accept. 

I loved being back on the Vineyard in Alsace, and seeing what everyone is now up to.  It really is just a lovely story, a will they won't they in terms of a HEA, and the baby is adorable once its born.   I enjoyed seeing Lottie's family dynamics, especially with her Papi. 

And Thierry's chapters with the counsellor are interesting and add a new dimension to the working of his brain and personality. 

It's about two people learning to compromise in places for the sake of their love for each other. It's about learning to trust again. 

It's just a really enjoyable way to spend an afternoon reading in the garden. 

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


Saturday, 29 August 2020

Book Review - The Saturday Morning Park Run by Jules Wake

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Title: The Saturday Morning Park Run
Author: Jules Wake
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 29th August 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

This is the story of two women.
One old, one young.
One looking for new adventures. One looking for a purpose.
Both needing a friend.

And this is how, along with two little girls in need of a family, a gorgeous stranger, and a scruffy dog, they bring the whole community together every Saturday morning for love, laughter and a little bit of running…(well, power walking).

Some people come into your life when you need them the most.

Another wonderful book from an always must read author for me, Jule Wake. 

I think I need to start by saying what a powerhouse of a character Hilda is, she is force to be reckoned with and completely pivotal for everything in the book.  You may not think so when you first meet her, with her love of wacky tracksuits, but she is one wily older woman, and has a habit of persuading people do things in, in their best interests, whether they want to or not.

If I was like Hilda when I was older, then I would be incredibly happy, it sounds as though she has loved a colourful life, how much of it was true I think we may never know, and I think many people could do well to adopt her viewpoints on how to live life! 

In contrast there are Claire and Ash, who have a chemistry filled meet cute, fabulous night together and then well life changes for them both. 

And it's through their changes and development that they turn from workaholics into caring wonderful people.  I especially was hooked on how Claire was getting on with looking after her nieces who she previously barely knew, in light of their mother heading off to India with vague promises of when she might be back 

Ah then there is the park and the running and well I loved that thread too, although nothing would ever convince me that waking up on a Saturday morning to run 5k is a good idea, I enjoyed seeing how Claire and Ash's relationship with running changed, and how urged by Hilda they hope to set up a local Park Run. 

So many various threads running through this story, I loved Poppy and Ava, the nieces, and also Bill, the shaggy carpet dog, and just about everything to do with the book. 

It is Jules Wake at her finest and it was a purely enjoyable book to read.  I loved it! 

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

Friday, 28 August 2020

Book Review - The Lion's Den by Katherine St. John

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Title: The Lion's Den 
Author: Katherine St. John
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 19th May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Dare to step on board The Lion's Den?

When Belle is invited by her old friend Summer on a luxurious girls' getaway to the Mediterranean aboard her billionaire boyfriend's yacht, the only answer is yes.

But once aboard the opulent Lion's Den, the dream holiday quickly turns into a nightmare. Belle and the other six women Summer has invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their powerful host, locked into their cabins at night, their every move controlled - and Belle finds Summer herself is no longer the girl she once knew.

It soon becomes clear someone has a dark secret. Pulled into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, Belle realizes she must keep her wits about her if she is to make it off the yacht alive...

Well I did not see that ending coming, in fact the whole last quarter of the book took my breath away. 

Ok... before that I was wondering about why it was a thriller when I came across as  lovely yacht trip amongst some mutual acquaintances in the Med, but with some slightly unusual behaviour. 

But as the story progresses and you get the history of Summer and Belle's friendship, as well as events in the immediate run up to the yacht trip, you realise that there is so much going on beneath the surface that I kept gasping as new pieces of information were revealed to the readers. 

I was definitely drawn to the story due to the yacht setting but this is no gentle read, there is surveillance all over the yacht, no wifi and you are locked into your cabin at night.  It is clear there may just be a darker side to this seemingly idyllic trip. 

Everything to the build up to this finale was so so vital for scene setting, and for it to all mean a whole lot more, and thankfully although it took a while to get to the unputdownable thrilling bit, the rest is a very enjoyable story too, and I was eager at all times to find out just what would happen next. 

This is a very accomplished debut novel and I'll be very interested to see what the author does next. 

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

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Book Review - A French Affair by Jennifer Bohnet

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Title: A French Affair
Author: Jennifer Bohnet
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 4th August 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

What will be will be...
Belinda Marshall’s idyllic teenage life in Brittany, France, fell apart when her parents dramatically separated and her mother took her back
to England.
Fast forward thirty-five years when Belinda’s world is once again turned upside down.
It’s the week before Christmas and Belinda's employer 'surprises’ her by asking for her help to rejuvenate their latest investment, a run-down campsite in Brittany.
Memories and anxieties that had lain dormant for years suddenly begin to resurface.
As secrets from a lost life threaten to overwhelm her, there is a realisation that maybe she wasn’t told the whole truth by her mother all those years ago.

Can Belinda reconcile her emotions and find happiness once more in the place she so loved and called home?

What a lovely gentle story, featuring a Breton campsite, an auberge owner and all manner of family history to come to terms with. 

There are two main characters, Fern and Belinda. Belinda grew up in Brittany but hasn't been back since being dragged to England by her mum at a teen. The last thing she wants is for her bosses  to send her to Brittany to help renovate a campsite they have purchased, given she normally works in their hotels and really doesn't fancy the trip down memory lane. 

And when she gets to the campsite the person she is managing it with is not too happy she has been sent, and just wants rid of her initially. 

While they get the manager accommodation up to scratch Belinda is staying in an auberge with Fern, our second leading lady.  There is an easy friendship springing up between them, and Fern is having to make some tricky decisions too. 

I found this to be a really calming book to read, I enjoyed the various plot lines, the secrets that are revealed and a slow burn romance.  I really enjoyed Bernie's character,  he lives on the campsite and is just such a gentle person,  and some of his gestures really just made me smile. 

It's another enjoyable book from Jennifer Bohnet, an author that I always tend to love reading.  

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

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Book Review - Flying Solo by Zoe May

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Title: Flying Solo
Author: Zoe May
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: 6th July 2020
Rating: 4 Stars

Rachel Watson has it all worked out. By the age of thirty, she’s ticked off most of the goals on her Life List. She’s a home owner, a partner at her law firm, she has a gorgeous boyfriend, lots of hobbies and loads of good friends. The only thing that’s missing is a ring on her finger.

According to her Life List, Rachel should be getting hitched around now, so when her boyfriend, Paul, plans a romantic date, Rachel’s pretty confident he’s going to propose. Except Paul has other ideas. He’s jetting off to India to find himself.

Distraught, Rachel doesn’t know what to do. Not one to easily admit defeat, she embarks on a mission to win him back.

Flying solo to India is definitely not part of Rachel's plans, but could her trip teach her unexpected lessons about love, life and herself? Could she realise that perhaps her Life List wasn’t exactly what she wanted, after all?

How I do love a bit or armchair travel, the more exotic the location the better for me, so a book largely set in an Indian Ashram was completely up my street. 

Even more so as Rachel (who shares my name!), like me has never considered visiting an ashram, and she is only going there to see if she can get her boyfriend back, after being dumped when she thought that Paul was going to propose.  Instead he decided he needs to find himself. 

A few weeks later Rachel decides to follow and is shocked by what life in an ashram is really like.  There is first the scene with Seb and the suitcase that had my laughing out loud, which is so amusing,  Then there is Rachel;s attempts at meditation, and watch out for a spirit animal session, that is bizarre! 

She strikes up a friendship with Seb, and it helps her to become accustomed to this way of life, along with a new friend Meera. It is such a different setting to what I'm used to , but I could picture it all so clearly, that I felt that I was there alongside Rachel. 

This was just such an enjoyable story, and wonderful escapism.  I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to India, and I really hope there is a sequel, as the I'd love to know what happens next. 

Quick and easy to read, was a fabulous way to while away an afternoon in the garden! 

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

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Book Review - The Secret Seaside Escape by Heidi Swain

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Title: The Secret Seaside Escape
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 16th April 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Tess Tyler needs a break. Weighed down by her high-pressure job and her demanding father, she’s left little time to take care of herself. But after a shocking discovery sends her spiralling, she flees to Wynmouth, the seaside town she fell in love with as a child, to escape it all.

With its sandy beaches, stunning rock pools and welcoming community, Tess feels like she can finally breathe again. And as she grows ever closer to local barman Sam, she dares to dream that she might never return to her real life. But when a familiar face returns to town, Tess realises that there are secrets in Wynmouth too, and that her own past may be about to catch up with her . . .  

The Secret Seaside Escape is the perfect read this summer, promising sandy beaches, stunning rockpools and breath-taking romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Sarah Morgan.

What a gorgeous new setting from Heidi Swain, in this delightful story, filled with secrets, misunderstandings, great events and the possibility that summer could change lives. 

Tess is feeling overwhelmed by her high pressured job, its making her ill, and she keeps dreaming of her childhood holidays to Wynmouth.  She is still grieving for her mum, and when she discovers that not everything was as seemed in her parents marriage, she takes off for a break to Wynbridge without telling anyone where she's going. 

She also has memories of the most spectacular first kiss of her life behind the beach huts when she was a teen there, and a small part of her is hoping to see if that man is still there or generally see if there are any familiar faces still to her. 

The town really isn't as she remembered it, but she also isn't one to sit back and do nothing on her break, so she soon gets involved with some of the local businesses and their owners.  She makes friends, and there are some gorgeous men about too. 

I loved the descriptions of Wynmouth,I could picture the beach, and Sophie's fusion cafe so well, as well as Sam's pub. And the thoughts of rock pooling and the beach huts and fish and chips are just typical of an English seaside break. 

I love this authors writing style, her way with words, and storytelling ability.  As the book progressed I was drawn into it more and more and was incredibly curious as to how some of the plots would turn out.   Seeing how Tess changes over the course of the book and the way her new friendships developed was really great to see. 

I just really enjoyed everything about this book. 

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

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Book Review - Run For Your Life by M. A. Comley

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Title: Run For Your Life
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied Copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 20th August 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Time doesn't heal all wounds.

Five years ago they committed the most despicable crime imaginable.

They thought they were safe...but someone knows.

Has the hunter become the hunted?

DI Sara Ramsey and her team are tasked with solving one of their most complex cases to date - an elusive killer intent on committing the perfect murder.

Well I have two questions for you all...

1) How on earth are we on book 9 of this fabulous series already, when it feels like only yesterday that we were first meeting DI Sara Ramsey and her team? 

2) Just how does M. A. Comley do it, and write wonderful book, after wonderful book which all feel different have such a wide range of horrific crimes and ways of murdering people.  This is one phenomenal author and if you haven't discovered her yet, and if you happen to be partial to a police procedural then go buy some now!! 

I was hooked from page one, sickened by the first murder, sickened further from a post mortem that Sara and Carla attended for a change, saddened at something that happens in Sara's personal life, and ultimately felt no sympathy at all for the victims.  

It worries me marginally at what horrible things must be lurking in the authors mind the whole time to be able to craft a book such as this.  The murderer is horrible and has left pretty much no clues for the police to work with.   

It is amazing to see the team work on this case, and how they go about trying to solve something with very little to go on. 

If I haven't already mentioned it, I love this author, I love this series and Run For Your Life is one of the best in the series i believe.   

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

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Malta here I come - and a sneaky look at my review TBR!

 Call me nuts, crazy, brave, insane, stupid... call me whatever you wish, but unless Malta is removed from the exemption list in the next few hours then I'm off on holiday in the early hours of the morning!! 

I'm not sure I'll believe it until I'm actually away and in the sky, but fingers crossed this is happening. 

If you weren't aware, I was hospitalised for a week with Covid back in March, and since then I'm more or less recovered with some exhaustion spikes - I'm hoping a fortnight in the sun, doing not much should regain those energy levels a bit! 

Although I hope you can't catch it again, I will still be following local guidelines with regards social distancing and masks etc.. and will try my hardest to be as safe as I can. 

My intention for this holiday is rather low key - sit and read / relax by the pool by day,  go to restaurants in the evenings , and make a dent in my review TBR - all relaxed.  Unless there is outdoor evening entertainment that is distanced I will try my best to ignore that craving and I'm not a big drinker / beach goes so want to put your minds at rest that I do intend if at all possible to come back in one piece!! 

This is the absolutely stunning looking hotel I will be staying at, and their website has the largest list of Covid protocol I've seen so rather hoping they are taking the world situation seriously. 

I think there is a chance I started working again while recovering earlier int he year a bit too soon, so am in dire need of the break. 

My review TBR having not had any holidays since Christmas is even more shocking state than normal and since I have done this with my last few trips again today I'll show you what is on my review TBR - which is fully loaded on my kindle and has the potential of being read while I'm away. 

I have been tending to read at random a lots this year but who knows what I'll pick when away, just rest assured I hope to make a dent, I need to make a dent before the stack topples over and buries me!!

Last year I read 36 books in Madeira and 33 in Mexico.... so how many will it be in Malta? And why do I keep travelling to "M" countries?!!

These are all the books by authors I have read and enjoyed before, so keen to read more of! 
And these are authors that are brand new to me! 
And then these are all the thrillers and darker reads that are tempting me! 

All of these are the summer looking reads / or should be great for armchair travel! 

Last but not least the brand new winter / Christmas books that I already have waiting for me! 

Believe it or not just making those graphics each time I go away actually reminds me of some of the books I have, and that I have failed to read so far!! A lot easier to see what I have in picture form.

But my question to you is which of these have you read? What do you think I should definitely read (besides all of them)? What are you looking forward to from these?  

I love hearing from you, and do often let your recommendations guide what I may read on holiday, especially when I can't decide what to read next! 

See you in a few weeks, and above all keep yourselves as safe as you can be. 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Book Review - The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge

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Title: The Summer Island Swap
Author: Samantha Tonge
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 7th May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect...
After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah's battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn't all doom and gloom. They're at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she's sure is hiding a secret.

Perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Mandy Baggot and Heidi Swain.

I really really want to cuddle Chatty,  he is just the best monkey ever, so adorable, blind and seems to like bad whistling. 

I'm not quite as keen on all the creepy crawlies, and the compost toilet etc.. that are also part of this unexpected island holiday for Sarah.   For she has been promised ultimate luxury, and then her sister Amy swapped the holiday as a surprise at the last min, and instead they are in an animal lovers dream holiday, at a conservation project, in the British Virgin Islands rainforest.  

To say this isn't Sarah's dream holiday would be understatement, but her love for her sister and determination makes her decide to stay for the full month and to take part.  She also hadn't counted on the sexy Rick, whose island and project this is. 

He is passionate about everything to do with the island, the wildlife, the way of life etc.. and yet struggles to realise not everyone feels quite the same as him.

Amy is a vetinary nurse and has a massive amount of knowledge about the various species on the island, and as the book progresses, her confidence really does grow and develop. 

I really enjoyed getting to know some of the other volunteers on this holiday.  We are treated to detailed descriptions of all sorts of the activities on offer, and I really felt as though I was in this hot humid rainforest, being eaten alive by bug bites, while learning a whole lot about nature.  

Other than Samantha Tonge's fabulous storytelling skills, I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, especially given my ideal holiday would be what Sarah had been anticipating, and not something so physical, yet I was completely engrossed and couldn't get enough of all the details.  It is just a fabulous way to escape the realities of life at the moment, and be immersed into an experience so different from my own that it was utterly gripping. 

I loved every moment of this exhilarating story and wish it hadn't ended. 

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

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Book Review - Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas

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Title: Escape to the French Farmhouse
Author: Jo Thomas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 7th May 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Can Del find her recipe for happiness?

Del and her husband Ollie moved to a beautiful village in Provence for a fresh start after years of infertility struggles. But six weeks after they arrive, they’re packing the removal van once more. As Del watches the van leave for England, she suddenly realises exactly what will make her happier…a new life in France – without Ollie.

Now alone, all Del has is a crumbling farmhouse, a mortgage to pay and a few lavender plants. What on earth is she going to do? After discovering an old recipe book at the market run by the rather attractive Fabian, Del starts to bake. But can her new-found passion really help her let go of the past and lead to true happiness?

A heart-warming tale about reclaiming your life, set amongst the lavender fields of Provence. Perfect escapism from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and The Honey Farm on the Hill.

A treat for all the senses as were a transported to a French farmhouse, which is situated on a lavender farm, filled with delicious bakes, lavender infused cooking and for the heart a potential new romance. 

It's a story filled with friends old and new, and a rather brave lady Del who decides she will stay in Provence alone, instead of going back with her husband, having realised the relationship has run its course.  

I loved how instead of Del mixing with the ex-pat community, she went out of her way to become a member of the French community, a real local.  Actually Del's relationship with the ex-pat community was rather interesting to see. 

Del is such a big hearted person, her relationship with Stefanie and Tomas was great to see, especially based on the beginnings it came from.  Then there is Fabien, who runs the local broancte (flea market), and is determined to help Del settle into her new life, and there is clear chemistry between them. 

There are so many wonderful subplots running through this novel and it was a joy to be a part of Del's life, and of those in the little Provence village. 

Escape to the French Farmhouse has all the elements you would expect from a Jo Thomas novel and combined them into another truly wonderful story that I couldn't get enough of. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Transworld for this copy which i have reviewed honestly and voluntarily, 

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Book Review - Sun, Sea and Sangria by Victoria Cooke

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Title: Sun, Sea and Sangria
Author: Victoria Cooke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 10th June 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Escape to the palm-fringed beaches of the Canary Islands and wash your worries away.
Kat swore off dating many years ago, after her marriage ended in a catastrophic mess. Having moved to the Canary Islands for a fresh start, she has never had much time for romance, channelling all her energy into managing an all-male dance troupe – the Heavenly Hunks.

With golden beaches, sparkling blue water and relaxing after work with a glass of sangria – or three – for Kat, it’s summer all year round. But despite life being postcard-perfect, Kat can’t help but wonder if she is missing out on the most important thing of all . . . love.

The dancers are all well known for their flirtatious antics and aren’t looking for anything serious . . . except Jay. Sitting by the pool, watching the sun reflecting in the water, Kat feels like she can tell him anything.

Handsome, caring and a good listener, he ignites a fire in Kat’s heart that scares her witless. But her relationship with Jay should stay strictly professional . . . right? There is absolutely no way that she can be his boss and his date.

As the temperature rises, will Kat be able to take the plunge, let go of her past and find romance in paradise?

Fans of Sue Roberts, Mandy Baggot and Holly Martin will love Sun, Sea and Sangria!

Wow, wow, wow, I never thought anything would beat The Holiday Cruise, as my favourite Victoria Cooke book (and I still want a sequel to it!), but I think this may have done - its just what I needed!! 

.....hot men
....Canary Island location
.... exotic dance troup
.... sangria
.... a will they, won't they romance?
... some bad blind dates 
... all Canary Island talent contest featuring some fabulous acts
.... an all around fabulous feel good book that really got me hot under the collar! 

I was hooked from the first few moments of this book, from the first mentions of oil, and that first performance we see of The Heavenly Hunks - think Magic Mike-esuqe entertainment.  Given I saw Magic Mike Live earlier this year before lockdown, I could really picture just about all the scenes of the Hunks so so clearly. 

Anyone that knows me knows I love holiday style entertainment, and I'm quite happy to go to a ticketed extravaganza of a show whether on holiday or at home, so everything about this book appealed to me.  Add in  a Canary Islands location, featuring Tenerife, Gran Canaria and a small stint in Lanzarote, a set of island I know fairly well, and this really is just the perfect book for me. 

I read it in one hot afternoon in the garden, and well felt even hotter while reading it.  This is perfect poolside, beach, garden reading, or even on a cold winters day if you want to feel a whole lot warmer! 

It's a story that hit all the right buttons with me, it had me laughing and also on the verge of tears at points, as we see how Kat is trying her best to manage the hunks, and also we get snippets of just what happened in her past, that led to her living in Tenerife for 8 years. 

And Jay, what can I say about Jay, other than gimme.... I want him in my life!! And the rest of the boys really had a soft spot in my heart too.  

There is so much going on in this book that its really quite fast paced, and I loved every single second of it.   I want more from this location, I'd love to see more from the Hunks, and generally I just want more Victoria Cooke books, like this that hit all right notes for me. 

I love, loved, loved it.... gimme more! Now why isn't there a pool anywhere near here, I need to cool off?!!!

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

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Book Review - Summer in the City by Emma Jackson -

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Title: Summer in the City
Author: Emma Jackson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion Dash
Publication Date: 8th June 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Sometimes the one thing you're looking for is right in front of you...
Stephen is on a very personal mission to find his father as per the wishes in their mother's will. But he has no idea where to start, not that he's going to tell anyone that... When Noelle, native New Yorker, daughter of a detective and desperate for a distraction from the novel she's been struggling to write, offers to help, it feels like the perfect solution.

Except the last time she spoke to Stephen he thought they'd be seeing the New Year in together and instead she stood him up and sold him out! Stephen's big enough and been around the block enough times to understand that all is fair in love and war, isn't he? But when Stephen accepts her offer and they begin their search across the city, it soon becomes clear that the weather isn't the only thing that's heating up.

A heartwarming summer romance perfect for fans of Heidi Swain, Sarah Morgan and Holly Martin.

I really enjoyed this New York based romance.   

There was a clear chemistry between Stephen and Noelle from the first time they meet in this book.  They had met in the authors's debut novel A Mistletoe Miracle, but that book focuses as far as I can tell on their best friend and brother, so this is a standalone book.  There are plenty of references to what must have happened in that first book which probably are good reminders for anyone that had forgotten, but frustrated me slightly as I twigged I must have missed out on another good book and possibly interesting background. 

Noelle is a cosy mystery author who is having trouble with her latest book and up against a tight deadline. So she decides helping Stephen with his search for his father, may get her creative juices flowing, as it will involve some real life detecting. 

I loved seeing how they tried to track down a man who didn't really want to be found, and seeing how Noelle's impressions of Stephen change as she gets to know him. 

I also enjoyed Noelle's really large family, and seeing their dynamics play out, as she has 6 brothers and sisters! 

The book is written in the first person and we get sections from both Noelle and Stephen, often swapping mid chapter.  Which was confusing for the first couple of chapters and then you get used to it, and it really workds, as I loved getting to know their inner thoughts. 

It's just an all around lovely romance, that was a good way to escape real life for a bit, while you lose yourself in New York, and Noelle and Stephen's stories. 

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

Monday, 3 August 2020

Book Review - A Sunset in Sydney by Sandy Barker

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Title: A Sunset in Sydney
Author: Sandy Barker
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 3rd July 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

How far would you go in the name of love?
Sarah Parsons has a choice ahead of her. After the trip of a lifetime she’s somehow returned home with TWO handsome men wanting to whisk her away into the sunset.

Pulled in two directions across the globe, it’s making life trickier than it sounds. Her gorgeous American Josh, wants to meet Sarah in Hawaii for a holiday to remember. Meanwhile silver fox James plans to wine and dine her in London.

It’s a lot to handle for this Aussie girl, who had totally sworn off men!

Join Sarah after her adventure in One Summer in Santorini, for the heart-warming and uplifting third novel in The Holiday Romance series.

Travel to beautiful destinations with old friends and new in this gorgeous romantic novel perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Sue Roberts.

Are you team James or Team Josh?

Whichever you are they are both back and still vying for Sarah to make up her mind and pick one of them.

So we have the gorgeous silver fox who can promise to keep Sarah in a life of luxury. Or the young one who is sexy, hasn't got a clue how to express his feelings.

The book is split into three parts, one for each man in a different location, and the the culmination where I still wasn't sure who Sarah would pick.

Part two was easily my favourite section, but whether that was due to Sarah's companion or the exotic location I'm not sure. All I know is I would have happily jumped on plane to join them based on the descriptions.

Then again I could have easily spent time in bed with part one's male lead! 

I'm being deliberately vague about it all so as not to give anything away but suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

Seeing Sarah torn at times is painful but equally I could understand her too, and thankfully her best friend and sister both have great advice at points in the story..

There is probably enough background in it to be read as a standalone, but why deny yourself the opportunity to read One Summer in Santorini first if you can.

I loved spending more time with these characters and just adored every second of this book.

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