Friday 29 October 2021

Oh what a night - I still can't believe it!!!

Last night I was able to attend my first in person bookish event since the start of the pandemic, and wow was it good to be back out and about amongst my sort of people. 

For it was the RNA Winter Party and Industry awards, and for the 4th year in the row I was on the shortlist for Media Star of the Year, along with Anita Faulkner from the Chick Lit and Prosecco FB Group   and Kim Nash who blogs at KimTheBookworm and also has been running weekly FB lives throughout lockdown and beyond, talking to various romance authors every Tuesday evening, well worth checking both of these ladies out if you aren't already aware of them.

So two totally wonderful women and I would have been happy to lose to either of them.  

So it was without any hope at all, having well lost 3 times before, that I attended the party and awards intending to just enjoy the evening catch up with old friends, meet more authors I hadn't met before and those that I work with, on the tour organising side of my life. 

Pre-award photo - me (left), Kim (middle) and Anita (right). 

Well I am still about 24 hours later in complete shock and disbelief at the winner of this superb award - 

I won?!!! Wow!! 

I was literally open mouthed in shock as after trying to check my eyes were working and it was my name up there, that I went up to get my award.  Due to none of the other in person winners having made a speech I was unsure about whether they were being allowed this year (figured there might have been no microphone sharing Covid protocols in place), so I didn't completely embarrass myself from having to instantly produce some coherent thoughts.   

I really wanted to do a sports style lift the award over the top of my head celebration on the stage - but its rather heavy and my instinct said if that went wrong and I dropped it besides breaking it, I may have knocked myself out and potentially destroyed the evening so refrained!

A large amount of that has been a bit of blur to me, I know there was some walk on music but I have no clue what song was being played, I've been told there was a massive cheer, but I was trying to get my head around the fact that I was at the 4th time of trying actually the winner! 

Jean Fullerton presenting me the award, and also asking if it was a good time to discuss a new blog tour!

To say I enjoyed the rest of the evening and haven't stopped smiling since winning would be an understatement.  I tried to talk to as many fabulous people as I could but as is often the case I'm sure there were many people present that I just didn't get a chance to see. 

Very happily posting with my award!

And today has so been spent trying to avoid twitter and FB jail, while attempting to thank everyone that has congratulated me on social media, individually, and I'm still going with that!  I am completely overwhelmed by all the lovely things being said about me. 

I would though like to say a massive THANK YOU! 

Thank you - to the RNA for putting on such an amazing event, and for organising industry awards
Thank you to the members of the RNA for nominating me and voting for me

Thank you to all the authors of romance and its associated genres, for writing such wonderful books that have formed the basis of my blog and business, and generally kept me from dwelling too much on the pandemic as I was always able to escape into the pages. 

Thank you to all the authors that have trusted me over the past 4 years to organise their blog tour, as without you I wouldn't have romance books to promote! 

Thank you to all the book bloggers out there who are part of the fabulous book community, and especially those who have made me feel welcome over the years, 

And thank you to all of the book bloggers who take part in my tours and that make Rachel's Random Resources such a success - I really couldn't do it without each and everyone of you. 

I'd like to think I would have said something like that as a speech but honestly I had absolutely nothing prepared and I'm not great with public speaking so not sure what would have been said! 

I'd also like to say a massive congratulations to all the other industry award winners but especially the immensely talented Lisa Firth for cover designer of the year (but some of you may know her as the author Mary Jayne Baker or Lisa Swift).    

And a mahoosive congratulations to Boldwood Books - the winner of Publisher of the Year - and I feel like I'm part of that win too given I organise all their blog tours.  It is a great honour to be part of Team Boldwood and was great meeting more of their staff and authors last night. 

It was wonderful to be back out at an in-person event and I hope more bookshops and publishers are brave enough to try to run some going into 2022, as the online events as good as they are just don't have the same feel as leaving the house and seeing people in the flesh! 

Just so so happy right now, and thank you everyone involved once more! I can't believe I am actually an award winner - and given I'll never win an Olympic medal, Tony / Olivier Award / Oscar etc...  and the Romantic Novelists Association are a wonderful organisation promoting romantic fiction, which is my all time favourite genre - well to me this means as much to me as one of those more famous awards! 

All of the award winners! 

Award and certificate

Award sitting in pride of place next to the TV, so I can see it every time I look up from my laptop!! 

Book Review - Fool Me Twice At Christmas by Camilla Isley

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Amazon UK

Title: Fool Me Twice At Christmas
Author: Camilla Isley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Pink Bloom Press
Publication Date: 28th September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

There are two types of relationships: fake and real.

Chuck and Kate's used to be real, oh-so-real. But after she broke his heart four months ago, leaving him, it became all just pretense for the sake of their entwined families.

With parents who are best friends and business partners, it's not easy for Chuck and Kate to announce they've split up. But with the holidays looming over them, they can no longer keep pretending.

Chuck and Kate head home for Christmas, determined to tell the truth-and end up accidentally engaged instead. The more they try to pull apart, the more the Universe seems to push them back together, shortening the road to the altar. And when just-for-show kisses stir up forgotten feelings, things get even more complicated.

Now, with the midnight hour approaching, will Chuck and Kate's relationship turn out to be real or fake?

I love, Love, LOVED this book! 

It takes the fake relationship trope and does it so so well, especially as Chuck and Kate were up couple until 4 months ago, but due to the way their parents and lives are entwined and in business together, they decided to wait until Christmas to tell them all the truth. 

Only well things happen, misunderstandings, fate, amusing situations, business decisions and well it just never is the right time to come clean! 

Told in alternating view points of Chuck and Katie, we see just how they feel about the mess they have ended up in, as they and their families spend the Christmas period together. 

And this is certainly a book that may make you crave chocolate, as their parents jointly run the towns chocolate company - with its factory, shop, cafe, museum etc and big plans for international expansion.  I just loved all the feels of this small town story. 

And feel it would make a perfect Hallmark Christmas film, it has all the elements that would be fabulous on the small screen! 

It's not the most festive feeling of books, and is far more focused on the relationship or fake relationship between Chuck and Kate which means its great book to start your festive reading with even as far out of season as I read it! 

With plenty of laughs, fabulous situations and with it potentially ending a few ways in my mind, I was rather pleased and surprised with the exact nature of the end sequence! 

It's another fantastic book from Camilla Isley and I'm already looking forward to her next Christmas rom-com! 

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

Thursday 28 October 2021

Book Review - Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Celebrations at the Chateau
Author: Jo Thomas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 2nd September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Cosy up with this heart-warming, romantic story from Jo Thomas about turning your dreams into a reality.

- - - - -

When their grandfather dies, Fliss and her sisters are astonished to inherit a French chateau! Travelling to Normandy to visit the beautiful if faded house, they excitedly make plans over delicious crepes and local cider in the town nearby.

But they soon discover the chateau needs major work, a huge tax bill is due . . . and there's a sitting tenant to whom they owe a monthly allowance.

Unable to sell but strapped for cash, Fliss determines to spruce up the elegant old rooms and open a B&B. But, why is Jacques, the local mayor, so hostile? How did Fliss's grandfather come to own the place anyway? And will Jacques and Fliss be able to put their differences aside to save the chateau?

Inspired by Escape to the Chateau, this cosy and uplifting novel to curl up with, from the author of Escape to the French Farmhouse and Finding Love at the Christmas Market.

Jo Thomas has once again out done herself with another truly wonderful book.  I've read this over the course of a few short hours, and as often is the case with reading books from this author, I almost lost track of where I was on a tube journey as a result! 

From the moment we arrive in France with the three sisters, and realise they have inherited not a small little holiday home as they thought it might be, but a great big Chateau I was hooked.  I needed to know just why it was Fliss's grandfather had bought the Chateau, why none of his grandchildren had any inkling about it, and on discovering a rather key complication to what they thought was a straightforward inheritance, how things would proceed. 

I wasn't too keen on how little Fliss's siblings seemed to think of both the Chateau on first impressions and also how they treat Fliss, just because she doesn't want to follow conventional steady career or already have children routes. Yet they realise they have to rely on her, in order to stand any chance of sorting this Chateau out. 

I loved the story of the family who were the previous owners of the Chateau, and as to why is is initially in the village Fliss wasn't exactly welcome. There are various sub plots, all of which captured my attention and intrigue, and I just couldn't get enough at all of this Chateau, its cider apples and it's array of wild life that possibly isn't meant to be within the borders of the property, as well as Boris the temperamental boiler! 

I especially liked that Fliss was dyslexic and seeing how her confidence was able to grow, in spite of her struggles with reading and maths. 

I loved the small town rural French setting, the many hats the man next door seemed to wear, and just seeing the Chateau come to life, as Fliss tries to make it earn some money and earn it's keep. 

A real feel good book that had me smiling, as I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter. I just couldn't get enough of this and wish we could have more from the Chateau and the three sisters.  And it even had me craving Cider! 

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

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Book Review - Snug in Iceland by Victoria Walker

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Amazon UK

Title: Snug in Iceland
Author: Victoria Walker
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 1st October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Rachel Richards is stuck in a rut. Her boyfriend Adam barely notices her most of the time and her life in London isn’t as exciting as it should be. When the company she works for, Snug, asks her to oversee the opening of a new store in Iceland, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery. Exploring Reykjavik with the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel discovers that life is out there waiting to be lived. As she falls in love with Iceland, she begins to see what is important to her and wonders whether the life she left behind is what she wants after all…

I had no idea what to expect from the book with a gorgeous cover and enticing title, so was rather impressed with the story inside.

It is a fabulous book to read when you are curled up somewhere cosy, and hopefully warm, as Iceland in February is cold and beautiful.

The sightseeing trips gave a good insight into various parts of Reykjavik, and Jonas is an exceedingly handsome and fabulous guide.

It was a privilege to see Iceland through Rachel's eyes, as she sets up a new branch of Snug, a shop dedicated to small lesser known local crafts and some from across their other locations.

And I really enjoyed getting to know Rachel as she spends a few weeks in Iceland which gives her a chance to revaluate her relationship with Adam.

I adored every moment of this debut novel, and already know I'll be happy to read more from this author in the future. 

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

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Book Review - Underneath The Christmas Tree by Heidi Swain - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK

Title: Underneath The Christmas Tree
Author: Heidi Swain
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 28th October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.

But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.

When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?

Underneath the Christmas Tree is the perfect festive read, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Cathy Bramley.

How I would love to visit Wynter's Trees , it sounds like such a gorgeous place to work and live, after all it's a Christmas Tree farm, and with it's new additions this year, it is starting to feel like a one stop shop for all your Christmassy needs. 

I loved the crafters beach hut concept, I loved Bandit, our 4 legged friend who just always seemed to be cute and photo worthy, I loved the green idea of renting  your own live tree, and seeing how your own personal tree grows from year to year. 

However Liza Wynter has never been keen on the farm and hasn't been back since her father passed away, despite being the majority share holder. 

And David and Ned who are running it and part owners too, are not happy with the real reason that she has finally been persuaded to come back.  And David especially never gives up hope that Liza will take her rightful place at the helm of business. 

There must be something rather magical in the air in Wynmouth, as Liza is slowly sucked into the amazingness of the place, although whether she will follow her head or her heart is another matter. 

I loved all the various people we get to meet, especially Liam who is a fine young man, all of the crafters, and Maya who helps with the trees too. 

This is another fabulous Christmas book from Heidi Swain, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I loved the recurring characters from the previous Wynmouth book, but this completely stands alone with a new focal point completely.  It's even made me feel quite festive too, and wondering whether in the middle of October if it's too early to put up a tree or not! 

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

Monday 25 October 2021

Book Review - The Village Inn Of Secret Dreams by Alison Sherlock

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Amazon UK

Title: The Village Inn Of Secret Dreams
Author: Alison Sherlock
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 30th September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

After escaping her parents’ unhappy marriage to sleepy Cranbridge a long time ago, Belle Clarke dreams of staying at The Black Swan Inn forever.

But with the rundown Inn threatened with closure, Belle may be forced to leave, unless a buyer can be found … quickly.

So, when her oldest friend Pete Kennedy returns from working abroad with a plan to save the Inn, Belle should be overjoyed. The trouble is, Pete has some rather radical ideas for the renovation which Belle disagrees with.

But when a snow storm hits, Belle and Pete are forced to put aside their differences and work together to help the village.

Can Belle realise her dreams to stay in Cranbridge and can Pete ever stop running from his past?

As they try to save The Black Swan Inn, secrets are revealed and just maybe they’ll finally find out how they really feel about each other.

It felt so warm and welcoming to be back in Cranbridge, amongst old and new friends.  The regulars in the village are all present and just added to that feeling of coming home. 

Although in Pete's case he really is coming home after 3 years in Singapore, but he's not sure he wants to stay in Cranbridge any longer than strictly necessary. He's also hiding a secret from his family, and seems in complete denial as to his true feelings towards Belle, who he tries to think of as just a sister! 

But yet Pete decides under the influence to save the Black Swan Inn, and purchase it, but whether the village will like the changes he intends to put in place, or whether he will listen to Belle's ideas are another matter altogether. 

I really enjoyed Belle's story, and also discovering whether the mucky duck will truly turn into a swan or not! 

Was lovely to see more of Dodgy Del, and some of his latest get rich quick ideas are hilarious, but his heart is always in the right place, and it seems his nephew may not be the trouble maker he seems to think he might be. 

I loved the interactions between Belle and Pete, from joking comments, to out right disagreements, you could tell their true feelings a mile off... well unless you are them! 

I love the sense of community in these books, and just feel as though I belong there too.  It's another joyous book to read. I found it to be a rather quick read, and I was carving out time to keep returning to the book, which tends to be the sign of a good story for me. 

My fingers are crossed this isn't the last we see of this series as I'm enjoying it so much. 

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

Friday 22 October 2021

Book Review - Twelve Dates 'Till Christmas by Jennifer C. Wilson

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Amazon UK

Title: Twelve Dates 'Till Christmas
Author: Jennifer C. Wilson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Ocelot Press
Publication Date: 5th October
Rating: 4 Stars

Winter 2019.

Callum and Lexie are perfect for each other - at least, that's what everyone tells them. But they're just good friends, aren't they? And neither wants to ruin the solid friendship that's treated them so well since university.

But when an old school friend of Callum's asks Lexie for a date, and passions overflow on a work night out, could it be the trigger to show each of them what they have been missing out on all this time?

With twelve weeks until Christmas, that's a lot of opportunity for romance - and for misunderstandings...

What a lovely novella this is, giving weekly snapshots into Lexie and Callum's life. 

They have been best friends forever, often accompany each other to various work events. None of their friends really believe nothing is going on between them. But yet there is something about the run up to Christmas that means they may be starting to see each other in a different light. 

Told over the course of 12 chapters, one per week, only dates on Saturdays, we get to see each weekend from both Lexie and Callum's points of views, and just hope that they will come to their senses. 

It's a really enjoyable light novella, that really does focus on a relationship between our two leads, and everything really revolves around that. Thankfully they are both likeable characters, and I did enjoy the writing too. 

I will say though that although the book culminates in the run up to Christmas, it's not what I'd really call a Christmassy book, and could be easily read at any time of year, as to me its rather low on festive feeling.  But if you are wanting a character, relationship driven, will they, won't they sort of a read, then this is certainly worth a go.

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

Thursday 21 October 2021

Book Review - The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan - #HoldayReading #UKCruise

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Amazon UK

Title: The Christmas Escape
Author: Sarah Morgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 21st October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.

As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?

Ah the Queen of a Christmas romance is back, and once more delivers in auroras!

Set to stunning backdrop of Swedish Lapland this is a story of friendship, of hidden family secrets, of various relationships and also of new beginnings. 

And it really is a magical week in Lapland that changes the lives of all the main characters.

I was enchanted from the first few pages and could really picture everything that was happening very vividly. 

Sarah Morgan has a way of describing snowy scenes and winter activities that make you want to ignore your own life and just jump into the pages of the book. 

I devoured this latest book in only a few hours while poolside, on the hottest day of my holiday, and it did slightly cool me off, reading about such wintery activities, while completely absorbing me within the pages, which I was reading happily.

I couldn't get enough of this book, and already gutted that I'll have to wait ages for the next Sarah Morgan release, as I love her books so much. 

From dog sledding to the Northern Lights, from estranged long lost aunts to a fractured friendship, this book has it all and more and is well worth reading if you enjoy a fabulous story.

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

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Book Review - Waste Not, Want Not in Applewell by Lilac Mills - #HolidayReading #UKCruise

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Amazon UK

Title: Waste Not, Want Not in Applewell
Author: Lilac Mills
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 6th May 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

George can't throw anything away. But he's in danger of throwing away this opportunity to be loved...
George Nightingale is a hoarder with a house full of junk. For years he's kept it a secret, rarely leaving his house and keeping social interactions to a minimum, but his carefully balanced system is now under threat...

Nessa Millbrook can't wait to get settled into her new home in quaint, rural Applewell. Everyone in the village is so friendly - except her neighbour, George, who wants nothing to do with her. But Nessa isn't one to back down from a challenge and she's determined to win George over.

The years have taught George to shield his heart and trust no one. Yet Nessa keeps reaching out to him - does he have the courage to take a chance, and reach back?

A gorgeously heartwarming romance with characters readers will fall in love with, perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Portia MacIntosh.

What a great start to a new series from Lilac Mills, this time set in Wales in the village of Applewell.

And tackling issues such as hoarding and loneliness as you grow older this is definitely a book with a message.

It is also a really enjoyable story featuring George who is rather set in his ways, likes his routines and is rather disturbed by the fact he has a new neighbour. 

And Netta who is the new neighbour, a now retired nurse, who just wants to make friends and fit in in her new community.

They are complete opposites and its heartwarming to see how Netta attempts to befriend George, and also how George responds to the various approaches,

I am loving the small community vibe in Applewell and starting to get to know some of the villagers. I can't wait to see who the next book will feature.

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

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Book Review - The Promise by Emma Heatherington

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Amazon UK

Title: The Promise
Author: Emma Heatherington
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 14th October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Some bonds can never be broken
One terrible moment changes everything for teenagers Kate and David. Brought together during the darkest of times, a spark of hope is ignited between them – a hand held in the darkness, a promise whispered. Neither of them will ever forget those moments.
It’s another ten years before they meet once more, and their lives are now so different. The promise they made to each other on that fateful day still binds them, but now they have so much more to lose.
Have they missed their one chance at happiness? They only way they will ever know is to risk everything to be together. Is that too high a price to pay for love…?

This felt at times like a modern day Romeo and Juliet story.. and at any rate it was a complete epic. 

I really wasn't sure which way it would end up, I would have believed pretty much any ending, as there were so many possibilities. 

Set in Northern Ireland starting during the time of The Troubles, one explosive day, changed the course of Kate and David's lives forever.  We then meet them 10 years later and get to see how their lives have changed and from then on, we get snapshots are regular intervals of what each of them is doing. 

The book is written from both perspectives and it is really easy to mentally switch between them both.  And Kate and David really are clearly connected but also know that their ultimate destiny and happiness could be completely impossible due to their families and differences in upbringings. 

This is turning out to be an impossible book to review without spoilers, so I'm just going to say that the story will have you thinking, it may have you researching more about what was really like during The Troubles, and it will grip you completely. 

I suspect I'll be thinking about Kate and David for many days to come, and it really is a powerful and must read book. 

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

Monday 18 October 2021

Book Review - Annie's Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

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Amazon UK

Title: Annie's Autumn Escape
Author: Debbie Viggiano
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied Copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 1st October 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Annie’s big birthday is looming. Sixty! She feels half that age, even if the mirror tells her otherwise. Hubby Keith promises her a birthday to remember, and doesn’t let her down, but packing his suitcase to shack up with a forty-something isn’t quite the memory Annie wants to make. Suddenly she’s single and – as an empty nester – very, very alone. The Bucket List she and Keith had promised to work their way through is but a dream, until besties Bella and Caz rally around Annie and whisk her away for a trip that will be remembered for ever. Dubai. But it’s not all skyscrapers, bling, sand dunes and sheikhs. As the sun sinks over the horizon of Jumeirah Beach… might there also be love?

A totally gorgeous romantic comedy with a twist!

Easily Debbie Viggiano's funniest book by far. 

I kept giggling and laughing out loud at various points in the story, and there was just a great sense of humour throughout. 

There is also a wonderful sense of place and I was enchanted from the moment Annie and her friends boarded the plane to Dubai.  The descriptions of Dubai, the heat, the excursions, the wealth etc.. all felt so vivid and real at least as far as my limited knowledge of the Emirate goes. 

If you have seen Sex and the City 2, there was that sort of vibe to some of the book, although let's just say the hotel rooms weren't quite at that sort of standard, but the ability to if you go to the right little corner to get hold of excellent fakes was reminiscent. 

And I loved that the various cultural differences were mentioned between Dubai and the West, with regards attitudes to men and women having any sort of meetings outside of marriage, use of swear words and other such things. 

But it's not just a book set in Dubai, there is a story there two, with Annie being our main character who is about the turn the big six-oh, when her husband drops a massive bombshell, and his new fling is twenty years younger!   Annie slowly uses it as a chance to reinvent herself, get herself out of rut and with wonderful consequences. 

There may just be a man that she keeps coming across in Dubai, in a set of amusing circumstances.  Ah back to the humour there are memorable scenes including the one with the banana, the one with the shower rail, the one with the swimming race and many other memorable scenes!   Not to mention Annie's daughters amusing text messages. 

Annie's mum is clearly suffering from dementia and although her parent's don't feature much, it is touched on how tricky life is for them, and Annie's mum although she may not mean to be, has some incredibly funny lines, especially with regards Annie's soon to be ex-husband! 

It's an all around entertaining and fabulous read and transported me to Dubai and back. A real triumph! 

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

Friday 15 October 2021

Book Review - The Amsterdam Affair by Kate Frost

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Amazon UK

Title: The Amsterdam Affair
Author: Kate Frost
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Lemon Tree Press
Publication Date: 10th November 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

A new start, a chance encounter, a Christmas to remember. Will Iris's new year be happy ever after? 

When Iris Greene's boyfriend surprises her with a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant, she's expecting a proposal, not a move to another country. 

But Amsterdam proves to be the change she never knew she needed, and a surprise encounter with a local actor leads Iris to new friends and the rediscovery of a long lost passion. While Iris thrives in a city filled with festivity, her boyfriend struggles, and her heart is torn in two. 

As snow falls and secrets are revealed, Iris must decide her future. Will she be brave enough to start over and take a chance on love? 

The Amsterdam Affair is the fourth book in a standalone series of Romantic Escape novels that can be read in any order. They're uplifting, heartwarming stories of love, romance, hope, new beginnings and second chances featuring different characters in beautiful locations. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story which I read over the course of an evening. I found it to be a lovely and easy read, which completely transported me into the life of Iris, and her time in Amsterdam. 

Not that Amsterdam was her choice, her inconsiderate boyfriend decided they were moving their for a year for his job, and well that is the first warning sign I hate about the boyfriend!  

I loved seeing Amsterdam through Iris's eyes as she starts to get into a groove with this new country and life, and between a part time job, new friends and becoming inspired to start creating again, it was wonderful to see Iris really blossom. 

It was obvious to me at least that she may have fallen in love during the course of the book, and I'm not necessarily meaning with a person! 

This was about finding yourself, and really having the confidence in order to change your life and your destiny. It's a story of new friendships, of discovering Amsterdam and generally one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. 

It's another star attraction in the Romantic Escapes series, all of which can easily be read as standalone as the only they they have in common is romances playing out in gorgeous locations. I still have one of these to read, but the four I've devoured so far have all been wonderful in their own ways. 

A book and a series to definitely give a go to, especially if you love armchair travel with romance! 

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