Monday 31 October 2022

Book Review - A Winter Wish by Rosie Green

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Amazon UK

Title: A Winter Wish
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 1st October 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

With her new-found happiness unexpectedly crushed, Clara is struggling to move forward. It's hard – especially with step-sister Lois bouncing around the place with joy and making all sorts of plans for the future. When step-mum Irene starts behaving oddly and a neighbour makes a shocking accusation, Clara finds herself in an impossible position. And it's a situation that threatens to destroy her blossoming romance almost before it's begun . . .

What a wonderful sub-trilogy this is turning out to be featuring Clara and her little family.  I am completely enthralled by the story telling and utterly mad at the author for making us wait for the conclusion, which I need to read now. 

I would recommend, if you can wait, to read all three books of this Clara trilogy one after the other, as to get the full impact of these characters and their story.  Or read them as they come out but if you are a fan of this author, or series, then definitely make sure they are on your TBR list. 

I loved this continuation of Clara's story, and found myself utterly engrossed and absorbed when we discover things about two of the character's pasts.  And also some of Lois's current decisions had me open mouthed in shock too 

There are glimpse of the Little Duck Pond Cafe girls, reminding us we are of course in Sunnybrook,  and it's always good to check in with any of our stars of the the series. 

Rosie Green is once again showing what a fabulous storyteller she is, with a book that I devoured in only two sittings (would have been one, but my eyes didn't understand the stay open commands my head was sending them!).  Sheer genius and bring on the next book! 

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

Friday 28 October 2022

Book Review - Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss

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Amazon UK

Title: Meet Me Under The Mistletoe 
Author: Jenny Bayliss
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 29th September 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Don't miss the Christmas wedding of the year, in Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, by the bestselling author of The Twelve Dates of Christmas, Jenny Bayliss.

A winter wedding of school friends should be the highlight of Nory Noel’s festive calendar. But that group has long since drifted apart, and Nory is dreading the lavish, week-long affair. Still, she supposes, being the only single person means she gets a king-size bed in the idyllic castle venue all to herself.

As the champagne flows, the years roll back and soon the air is alive with old sparks and old tensions. Desperate for a moment of peace, Nory escapes and crashes into Isaac, the castle’s gardener – and her former school rival.

Nory and Isaac have more in common these days than they could ever have imagined. But as she steals more time away to spend with him, Isaac reveals an astonishing secret about his past. Nory is in a unique position to help right this wrong – but uncovering the truth might mean pushing Isaac away once more . . .

I was really excited when I saw that Jenny Bayliss had a new Christmas book due out, as I have loved her previous stories.  And I'm delighted to say this was no exception, another incredibly enjoyable story, that grew on me a lot as it progressed. 

It take a bit of time to get to know the whole of Nory's old friendship group, for they were originally a very tight eight, best for friends at their private school, and with the exception of Nory, born to a life of privilege (something that is a contentious point for others in the story). 

Getting all together for the first time in years, we get to see them in the week leading up to Jenna and Charles' wedding, all staying in a castle in their home town, and taking a trip down memory lane, falling into old patterns and even the gardener in the castle is a familiar face to them all.  For Nory and Isaac used to be rivals when they were at school.

I loved seeing Nory's developing friendship with Isaac as adults, and Ameera's with Dev who has a lot more going for him than the normal "man barbies" she normally dates.  I also enjoyed despising Guy's despicable behaviour, while feeling sorry for his wife.  

Between a bridezilla, some hidden secrets, a fabulous bookshop (Nory is a bookseller that doesn't like parting with her books even when going to a good home), some gorgeous gardens, and some festive fun and games - not to mention Snowball Croquet - and of course remembering Tristan who was a integral part of the group - we have a very pleasing to read story that I thoroughly loved. 

There is a lot going on in only a short space of time, and the pacing is spot on. So many characters some I adored, others I 'd love to see more from (I need more Dev in my life), and a few that you hope will redeem themselves given it's Christmas. 

I will say though this isn't the most festive feelings of books, so easily one you could read at any point in the year, especially winter, as although it's set in the run up to Christmas, far more of the focus was on the wedding than the season.  A joy to read . 

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

Thursday 27 October 2022

Book Review - Snowed In For Christmas by Sarah Morgan

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Amazon UK

Title: Snowed In For Christmas
Author: Sarah Morgan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 27th October 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

She’s snowed in with the family. The only problem? They’re not her family.

A family gathering
This Christmas the Miller siblings have one goal – to avoid their family’s well-meaning questions. Ross, Alice and Clemmie have secrets that they don’t intend to share, and they are relying on each other to deflect attention.

An uninvited guest
Lucy Clarke is facing a Christmas alone, and the prospect of losing her job – unless she can win a major piece of business from Ross Miller. She’ll deliver her proposal to his family home in the Scottish Highlands and then leave. After all, she wouldn’t want to intrude on the Miller’s perfect family Christmas.

A Christmas to remember
When Lucy appears on the Miller’s snow-covered doorstep, she is mistaken for Ross’s girlfriend. But by the time the confusion is cleared up, a storm has hit and Lucy is stuck. As everyone settles in for a snowed-in Christmas, tensions bubble to the surface and suddenly Lucy finds herself facing a big family fallout with a family that isn’t hers…

Once again Sarah Morgan has managed to craft the perfect festive read - it's warm and cosy, heartwarming, full of romance, a spectacular setting, a family I fell in love with, and lashings of shortbread and snow.  It's everything you could wish for in a Christmas story and more. 

In fact I really shouldn't need to say anything else as Sarah Morgan is wonderful, her books are always something special and if you are a fan of hers like I am then why are you reading this review, when you should be reading the book already! 

And if you aren't already a fan of this author then frankly you have been missing out on years and years worth amazing books, from an especially talented queen of romance, and queen of the festive read! 

Really all I want to do is throw a thesaurus' worth of lovely words at you, and be done, I was hooked on this book and once I had the characters straight in my mind, and they were all snowed in together, then the book took off and I literally couldn't put it down. 

I read a large amount of this in one sitting, ignoring the fact I should have been working, as I just wanted to be wrapped up in the Miller family's dynamics, and their picturesque Christmas without pausing for breath. 

And it's a family with some wacky dynamics that I loved seeing them all in the same scene. And there is a weird set of coincidences that lands Lucy on their doorstep, and with her being instantly treated as though she is part of the family and not there for a completely different reason. 

If anything I'm slightly annoyed with the way the book ends - not because it isn't the perfect ending - it is, I was just enjoying my time with these characters so much, that had it been left differently I would been convinced this would be the start of a new series from this author, who writes series featuring siblings so so well!   But the ending is other than that is utter perfection.

I would absolutely love to see this turned into a film, it deserves a wider audience and I for one would be keen to watch it. 

If you can't tell I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Please don't make me wait another 6 months or so for another Sarah Morgan release, please write faster! 

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

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Book Review - The Cosy Travelling Christmas Shop by Lilac Mills

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Amazon UK

Title: The Cosy Travelling Christmas Shop
Author: Lilac Mills
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 1st September 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

While bringing joy to others, can these two Christmas helpers also find some for themselves?
Seren’s great aunt Nelly hates being in a care home, especially around Christmas when Seren learns that Nelly and the other residents can’t enjoy the simple pleasure of browsing for gifts in the shops. So what if Seren brings the shops to them?

Converting an ice cream van into a gift shop, Seren travels around Tinstone to help out the less mobile. On her journeys, she keeps bumping into a reluctant – and handsome – Father Christmas, who has been roped into helping out this festive season.

But running her own business comes with risks and surprises that Seren's not sure she's able to tackle. Has she bitten off more than she can chew, or will her travelling Christmas shop provide some much-needed festive cheer for the residents of Tinstone?

A delightfully heartwarming and funny festive romance for fans of Rebecca Raisin and Sue Moorcroft.

Dear Santa,

Please could I have a sequel to this wonderful book, as I really didn't want it to end and would have happily carried on reading for ages, had there been more pages. 

I've been a very good girl this year, and I am a massive fan of this author, who has sprinkled some Christmas magic of her own with this wonderfully festive, warm and cosy story that I could barely put down. 

After all Christmas is a time of sharing, and I feel it's only right to be able to share my love of this book with more people, so I would also love it Santa, if you could turn it into a movie, so that even more people can discover the sheer joy of this story. 

Oh and one more thing, Santa, please please please can you make this travelling gift shop into a real life one, as it sounded absolutely amazing, and such a great concept. And actually if you can send me a sexy Santa like the one in the book too, that would be totally awesome too! 

But above all Santa, please can you put a copy of this book into everyone's stocking this Christmas as it is easily one of my favourite festive books of the season, and will hopefully get everyone into the Christmas spirit with some many festive activities mentioned and some wonderful winter wonderlands too. 

With thanks to Canelo and Netgalley for this copy which I did review honestly and voluntarily. 

Rachel x

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Book Review - Twenty-One Nights in Paris by Leonie Mack

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Amazon UK

Title: Twenty-One Nights in Paris
Author: Leonie Mack
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 6th October 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Irena and Sacha come from two very different worlds.
An heiress to a fortune, Ren’s home-from-home is the Ritz, while the handsome and brooding Sacha has grown up in Paris’s less salubrious suburbs.  So when an accident brings them together, romance seems an unlikely outcome.

When Ren’s society engagement reaches a very public end, Irena’s over-protective grandmother wants her home in London.  Ren needs an excuse to stay in Paris, and so after some persuasion, Sacha agrees to pose as her new boyfriend. But only for the twenty-one days Ren's grandmother has allowed her to nurse her broken heart before heading home to face the music.

Over the course of three weeks, Ren realises the world outside her exclusive bubble is more beautiful than she could have imagined.  While Sacha reluctantly begins to see the goodness of the woman behind the wealth. When their time is up, will Ren want to return to her gilded cage, and will Sacha be able to let go of the woman he’s been ‘pretending’ to fall in love with…

Let Leonie Mack whisk you off the City of Lights for a tale of love against the odds, and of following your dreams.  Perfect for fans of Mandy Baggot, Jo Thomas and Sarah Morgan.

This needs to be made into a film - it would be utterly perfect on the big screen. It feels like an adult fairy-tale, wrapped up in a love letter to Paris,  set at Christmas, and has echoes of Aladdin running through it. 

It's wonderful and without a doubt my favourite book from Leonie Mack so far.  I even started to think about Paris in a whole new light, as Sacha was showing Ren his Paris, and including many fascinating snippets of history about the city at the same time. 

And Ren watching her grow from the slightly naïve, completely un-streetwise pampered heiress, into who she truly is once she has acquired some freedom, had me hooked and smiling throughout. 

Seeing Ren's wide eyed wonder at Paris at night at Christmas is magical to see, and I just loved the character development at play here. 

And also I fell for Sacha early on, they had a memorable meet cute and from there we get a really entertaining fake boyfriend plot that, that feels different to others in the trope.  

The writing is warm, evocative, descriptive and painted a vivid picture in my mind, one that I would love to see matched on a big screen. After all this book has a little bit of everything you could possibly want in a story, and I was just hooked. 

A wonderful addition to this year's festive reading TBR list, and is completely and utterly recommended by me. 

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

Monday 24 October 2022

Book Review - The Last to Disappear by Jo Spain - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

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Amazon UK

Title: The Last to Disappear
Author: Jo Spain
Format reviewed: Ebook 
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 12th May 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

A luxury resort. Three missing women. One body.

When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister's body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there's more to Vicky's case than meets the eye.

As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It's not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.

On the surface, Koppe, Lapland is a winter wonderland. But in this remote, frozen place, death seems only ever a heartbeat away.

Felt like a bit of a change of pace from Jo Spain with this latest book, and wow she pulls it off spectacularly. 

I found it completely unpredictable and really wasn't sure who or what to believe at any point. What I did know was that I was keen to find out not only what happened to Vicky, but also Kaya whose story we get in snippets too. 

I loved the wildness of the Lapland setting, in the run up to Christmas for this book, it added such a sense of atmosphere to the proceedings, plus I love all things Lapland.  It really is a sparse, harsh landscape for which in amongst the touristy side, you can really believe that there could be unexplained deaths, with very little evidence. 

I enjoyed the reluctant teaming up of Agatha the detective in charge, and Alex and grieving brother, to try to get to the bottom of just what happened to Vicky.  I never had any real theories, and definitely could be believe the outcomes. 

And with what Agatha has going on in her personal life too, that plot was gripping and added another layer of tenseness to the story too, it's fabulous. 

I'm in awe of Jo Spain's writing talents as she once again draws me in, and has me on the edge of my seat trying to work out what may be about to happen. It's wonderful, and for me made a great addition to my early festive reading season - although not specifically a Christmas book, given the setting and time of year it's set, it's hard not to want to read it possibly on a dark winter's night to make it even more atmospheric. 

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

Friday 21 October 2022

Book Review - Christmas in Paris by Tilly Tennant

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Amazon UK

Title: Christmas in Paris
Author: Tilly Tennant
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 21st October 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

As the snow flutters down on the Eiffel Tower and fairy lights sparkle on the pavement cafés of Paris, meet the girl determined not to fall in love in the most romantic city in the world…

When Brooke arrives in Paris at Christmas, it feels like the perfect place to escape after being dumped by her long-term boyfriend. And while her head might be turned by the romance of couples strolling arm in arm along the riverbank, and the air scented with chocolat chaud, her heart remains firmly under lock and key – this trip is going to be about her.

Brooke might be able to resist the charms of one persuasive Frenchman who takes her to some of Paris’s most romantic spots, but when a chance encounter leads her to green-eyed Armand with his dark wavy hair and warm smile, she is annoyed to feel her heart skip a beat…

Still, what’s the harm of a holiday romance with no strings attached? Brooke is sure she can play it cool. But when Armand opens his heart to her in a candlelit restaurant and kisses her at the top of the Eiffel Tower, she throws caution to the wind. Armand isn’t her ex – and doesn’t she deserve a second chance at love?

But when Armand begins to blow hot and cold, she wonders if she has been taken for a fool. Why does he never answer his phone? Who is the mysterious tall blonde French woman who always seems to be watching Brooke? And when Armand leaves Paris without warning as Christmas Eve approaches, should Brooke try and find out more about the stranger she has found herself falling for?

A completely gorgeous romantic read that will warm you from head to toe and have you booking a trip to Paris! Fans of Sarah Morgan, Josie Silver and Carole Matthews will be swept away by Christmas in Paris.

Tilly Tennant writes such fabulous Christmas books, I couldn't resist being tempted by this years offering - Christmas in Paris. 

And what a wonderful decision that turned out to be, for this is another incredibly charming story, one that transported me to Paris, and specifically one of the biggest Christmas markets in Paris in the Jardin Tuileries. 

Brooke is finally starting to come out of her post break up funk, and has gone into business with her best friend, Felicity and they have with the help of Felicity's possibly dodgy cousin got a chalet in the market, and are hoping to have a fabulous Christmas in Paris. 

And they both keep bumping into people in Paris that may just be what their heart desires, even if both Manon and Armand seem to be hiding something. 

There is a great mix of seeing the touristy highlights of Paris, as well as some of the locations that you may need a fancier sort of dress for. I loved being shown around Paris as they girls discover it, as well as everything to do with their market stall. 

It's a warm and cosy book, that really transported me to Paris.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Brooke and Felicity and was never completely sure how it would turn out.  It was a joyous read, and has definitely made me want to visit Paris at Christmas. 

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

Thursday 20 October 2022

Book Review - Let It Snow by Beth Moran - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

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Amazon UK

Title: Let It Snow
Author: Beth Moran
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 30th August 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

After the end of a long-term relationship, local weather girl Bea Armstrong has been avoiding her family, and their inevitable ‘I-told-you-sos.’ But with Christmas fast approaching, she is finally on her way home to Charis House, the school in Sherwood Forest that her mum and dad run in their old family home. And to top it all off, the insufferable Henry Fairfax – who her parents have always wanted her to marry – has also been invited.

Relief comes in the shape of a last minute interview for her dream job. There are just a few minor problems… The interview is in Scotland, Bea has no car, and the snow is falling already. The only solution is for Henry to drive her – could this Christmas get any worse…

But during an unforgettable two day interview, a stay in a log cabin and a nightmare journey through the snow, Henry turns out to be nothing like she thought.  And when Bea’s first love and recent ex shows up, Bea has a difficult choice to make…

Reading Beth Moran’s fabulous novels makes every day better. Feelgood, satisfying, with smart characters and gorgeous settings, it’s impossible not to fall in love with a Beth Moran story. Perfect for all fans of Jill Mansell, Julie Houston, and Jenny Colgan.

Not convinced there was enough snow in this book, as I was rather hoping it would cool me down on a ridiculously humid day in Spain in the summer, but it didn't. 

However what it did do was transport me into the lives of Bea and her whole family, for the festive period. 

And with it we get to see one of the most bizarre job interviews I've ever seen, which greatly entertained me. 

We also get to see how her feelings towards Henry (a family friend, who her parents have wanted her to get with since they were kids), change, after they spend a fair amount of time together.

With looking over at Christmases past, as well as discovering what a fabulous school Bea's parents are running, as well as her style of weather forecasting, this ix a really entertaining book. 

And there is more to it than may initially meet the eye too .

I loved it. 

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

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Book Review - New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

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Amazon UK

Title: New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse
Author: Christie Barlow
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher:  One More Chapter
Publication Date: 30th July 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises…

How on earth does Christie Barlow keep managing to come up with such completely amazing stories?

She has done so once again with this latest book in the the Love Heart Lane series, which could easily be read as a standalone, so don't panic if you haven't read all the previous fabulousness yet. 

This actually almost made me cry in bits, as I was swept up in the lives of Molly, Cam and Bree. 

Bree is a teenage homeless girl and her story really struck something deep within me, especially as the whole book is set in the run up to Christmas, and in the bitter cold of Scotland's winter. 

Molly just wants to help but she is also very pregnant, and Cam isn't as keen but he is also hiding something. 

I read this in a few short hours by a pool on holiday and don't think I acknowledged  the real world once while I was reading this (just hope I did remember to drink or I may be dehydrated by tomorrow!).  

There are a lot of baked goods which made me rather hungry, in addition to some incredible depth and some depending how good you are at guessing, surprising twists along the way. 

What is for sure is I was swept up by this book and once again in awe of this series and this author's talents. 

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

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Book Review - The Santa Killer by Ross Greenwood - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

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Amazon UK

Title: The Santa Killer
Author: Ross Greenwood
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 12th September 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

The Santa Killer is coming to town…
One night less than two weeks before Christmas, a single mother is violently assaulted. It’s a brutal crime at the time of year when there should be goodwill to all. When DI Barton begins his investigation, he’s surprised to find the victim is a woman with nothing to hide and no reason for anyone to hurt her. 

A few days later, the mother of the woman attacked rings the police station. Her granddaughter has drawn a shocking picture. It seems she was looking out of the window when her mother was attacked. And when her grandmother asks the young girl who the person with the weapon is, she whispers two words. 

Bad Santa.

The rumours start spreading, and none of the city’s women feel safe - which one of them will be next?

He’s got a list. It’s quite precise. It won’t matter even if you’re nice. 

Ross Greenwood is back with his bestselling series, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Cos Santa Claus is coming to town
Only he is bad, so perhaps you better be afraid!

First let me start by saying I'm rather pleased that no Santa's were killed during this book, which was my fear from the title, but the blurb mentions bad Santa, so I'm fairly sure I'm not spoiling anything by stating this. 

I was aware going into this book that it was book 6 in a series, but given I can never resist a Christmas sounding book, be it romance or thriller, I definitely wasn't going to pass up the chance to read it. 

It easily works as a standalone to the extend that I'm a bit gutted its the last in the series, as I would have been happy to carry on reading more DI Barton books. 

We are treated to chapters from the killer's point of view in addition to DI Barton and some of the victims. 

I love it when you are able to get inside the head of a bad guy. 

I also really enjoyed seeing not only how DI Barton tried to solve the case, but also his compassionate side too. There is one family in particular that is featured that will stick with me long after finishing this book, just for the situation they are in, which could be far more common than we like to think with the way the country is going currently. 

Those sections are written tactfully and it's good that these sorts of issues are brought into fiction and to a wider audience. 

This novel had me coming up with some varying theories but none correct and I had to keep on reading to discover the resolution. 

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to hearing more about the author's new series in the future. 

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

Monday 17 October 2022

Book Review - The Christmas Cupid by Jennifer Joyce

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Amazon UK

Title: The Christmas Cupid
Author: Jennifer Joyce
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 14th October 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Zoey Beake is having a bad December. She’s just been dumped, she’s had an extremely dodgy haircut that even the biggest woolly hat can’t hide, and then a tragic accident – involving an elf outfit, stilts, and a red double-decker bus labelled ‘The Santa Express’ – leaves her dead.

But then Zoey is given a second chance at life. Sent back to the start of December, if she can match six couples by Christmas Eve her life will be saved. Which gives her the perfect opportunity to win her boyfriend back too…

Can Zoey find love in time for Christmas?

A funny and uplifting Christmas romantic comedy for fans of Catherine Walsh, Josie Silver and Kristin Bailey!

Once again Jennifer Joyce has written an amusing Christmas book, that so long as you suspend your belief in reality at one rather key point, it completely and utterly believable. 

Zoey is given a second chance at December, and has been told she has to create 6 new couples in order to survive the accident that that kills her first time around. But that is easier said than done, especially as she is determined to save her relationship with Scott, which very early on was frustrating me. 

I just wanted her to see the obvious, but she seems rather oblivious, and instead is trying to match make all sorts of people, and as a result there are a lot of festive group activities.  Oh and she works in the Santa's grotto department of a toy store, so there is Christmas all around in this book. 

And I loved it, so festive, and fun, and has a wonderful cast of characters to get to know. I really enjoyed getting to know Zoey's colleagues, as well as all the festive activities they get up to, from the quizzes, to the karaoke.  And the Christmas market was lovely too. 

And then there is the Bake Shop which does the most delicious sounding cupcakes, and plays are rather key part to the story, not that I'm saying what that is!  But the sweet treats certainly had my stomach rumbling. 

A really enjoyable and entertaining Christmas story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Just hope I don't have to wait as long as I did for this book, for the authors next book. 

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

Friday 14 October 2022

Book Review - A Shetland Christmas Carol by Erin Green

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Amazon UK

Title: A Shetland Christmas Carol
Author: Erin Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 29th September 2022
Rating: 4 Stars

Will the gift of friendship save their past, present and future?

Callie has taken multiple jobs to make the money she desperately needs. Her favourite is being the new guide for Lerwick Manor's alpaca walks. But her troublesome past is making it difficult to prove to others that she's learned from her mistakes.

Heather has been content breeding Sheltie sheepdogs and taking care of her grownup daughters. But now she feels that something is missing. Taking the leap into online dating, she makes an unexpected connection to which her daughters react very differently.

Tabitha sells homemade soap at the Stables Gallery, but her true passion is for amateur dramatics. Winning a role in the group's festive production of A Christmas Carol, Tabby is determined to make her mark - but will her growing feelings for fellow actor Rabbie distract her?

As Christmas draws near, can true friendship save the past, present and future of the Lerwick community?

Having just finished book 3 in this series, I couldn't help but instantly jump straight into A Shetland Christmas Carol while all the characters were fresh in my head. At least all the ones that make up the Lerwick Manor community, who I've really taken to my heart during the series. 

Once again this could be read as a standalone as the three main characters this time around, haven't had their stories looked at that much until now, but I'd suggest that due to the sheer number of characters and how everyone is interlinked this really probably is a series best started at the beginning - which has the bonus of you being able to read even more wonderful stories in this setting. 

So we have Callie, who is cousins with Pippa and Jemima, and doesn't seem to like them very much. She is big time struggling with her financial situation and it was very interesting having seen glimpses of her in the previous book, to understand just why she has made some of her more dubious choices.  She is though a hard worker, and reading her varying jobs was enough to exhaust me. 

I loved her guiding Alpaca walks and how much she loves the Alpacas on the estate. 

Then we have Heather, who is clearly a dog lover as she breeds Shelties for a living. They are highly sought after and she is determined to keep the breed's bloodline pure and give her three dogs and their pups the best possible care, as well as finding fabulous forever homes for each pup.  

In between her caring for the latest litter of puppies, she is slowly stepping into the dating world, much to the mixed reactions from her daughters.  I definitely saw a different side to Isla in this book. 

Lastly we have Tabitha in a leading role, and such an apt statement that is, given her love of theatre.  I absolutely adored reading all the theatre elements to her story, complete with how much research she puts into any role.  I also enjoyed hearing about her day job of creating soaps and balms from Goats milk. 

However the storylines that made me smile the most involved Dottie and Jemima, as they both take their next steps in their lives.  I loved even second hand hearing what these two stalwarts of the series are up to, and couldn't be happier with their outcomes. 

It's another good book in this gorgeous Shetland based series, which I really hope hasn't come to an end, but fear it may have done.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Lerwick Manor, and meeting so many fabulous characters. 

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