Summer at the Cosy Cottage Cafe by Rachel Griffiths #amreading @authorRG

About this book…

Allie Jones loves her cosy cottage café in the picturesque village of Heatherlea. She has her independence, two grown-up children and two cute cats. Life is settled and she thinks she’s happy.

Author Chris Monroe has it all. Critical success, a luxurious London apartment, and the kind of jet-set lifestyle most people dream of. But something’s missing.

When a family bereavement throws these two old friends together, they begin to question the true meaning of happiness.

Love is in the air, but do Allie and Chris have room in their hands-on lives for more than a summer fling?
This is the first of four short stories in The Cosy Cottage Café series.

Coming soon:

Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Café
Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café
Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

My review…

I must start by saying that this book has totally ruined my diet! I had been doing so well but the mention of all the delicious cakes and pastries throughout this storyline had me heading straight for the kitchen to make (and eat!!) my favourite carrot cake. But Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe is such a wonderfully warm and enticing book that I can forgive author Rachel Griffiths just about anything as I loved this book so much! EVERYTHING in it worked like a dream for me, the second chance storyline, the well drawn and instantly recognisable characters and that perfect setting. I mean who wouldn’t want to live and work in a stunning thatched cottage, surrounded by tea and cakes and the best friends a girl could have. I say girl, but one of the main reasons I adored this book so much was Allie, who was a mature and relatable woman in her 40s and I’m really loving the move towards celebrating older women in romantic fiction at the moment! 

Enticed into this novella by the most gorgeously designed cover, I found myself totally engrossed in Allies life very quickly indeed. Her marriage to Roger ended with his death 6 years ago and since then she has thrown herself into the business that she started after selling the family home. We get hints that all was possibly not well in their relationship but it’s not until the arrival of old friend Chris that we begin to find out more. Now I practically melted into my memory foam mattress when Chris arrived in the village, a gorgeous man in his 40s…….who was also an author!!! Cue lots of old fashioned swooning from me and another case of “fictional character crush”. You don’t get men like this in my local Costa! There were some awkward moments for the two of them once they meet again after so many years of not being in each other’s lives but also plenty of humour too. The scene in the pub with the reading glasses was hilarious and it was so easy to imagine it actually happening in real life as well.

Aside from Allies friends, the other characters that I fell madly in love with were her parents! What a wonderful relationship they had, both with each other and with their daughter. I want my marriage to be just like theirs when my husband and I get to their age (this is obviously dependant on me not looking for gorgeous man in their 40s in my local Costa as mentioned above!)

Rachel Griffiths has now shot onto my favourite author list and I am desperate to read Autumn at the Cosy Cottage Cafe, the next novella in the series. If it’s up to the same standard as this book I will be a very happy incurable romantic indeed. If you want a feel good story that will leave you with a silly smile (and plenty of crumbs!) on your face for the rest of the day, then this is the series for you. Highly recommended by me!

Many thanks to the author for my review copy of Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe: A feel good second-chance romance which is available to purchase now.

Summer at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot #BookReview @janelinfoot

About this book…

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy!

Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?

My review…

Having read and enjoyed the previous two books in the Little Wedding Shop series, I was delighted to meet up with the girls again. Now, I know the summer wedding season is busy but I could tell from the outset that our lovely ladies were going to be rushed off their feet!

It’s fabulous to see that everyone is heading for their own happy ever afters and love is certainly in the sea air again as we head once more to the Little Wedding Shop by the sea. Although part of a series, this book can totally be read as a standalone as it’s Lily’s turn to take centre stage, although the other girls are there to add their support and lots of sugar!

What I really adore about these books is the girls themselves. I love the way they interact with each other, always working together even when there are major hiccups either within the business or their relationships. Lily is now employed as a wedding stylist but her loyalties are about to be tested when she’s employed by the opposition and meets Kip Penryn. To be honest I didn’t think Kit was good enough for our lovely Lily but gradually, he wore me down and every time he called her Water Lily my heart melted a little more.

I always find I put on a few pounds whilst ready Jane’s books. And this time was no different! Considering I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, I was craving cupcakes and all sort of gooey desserts after Poppy started tempting me with truffles right from the very first chapter! She’s now running Daisy Hill Farm as a wedding venue with the love of her life Rafe but thankfully she’s still baking up a calorific storm!

Jane Linfoot writes with a confidence in her characters that shows how much she loves these girls! She brings them to live with a vibrancy and passion that means you can’t help but root for them in their search for love, although most of the time Jane allows it to creep up on them unexpectedly! This is a fun and frothy romance that was as sweet as the frosting on those cupcakes-perfect for an incurable romantic like me!

Many thanks to the publisher HarperImpulse for my advanced review copy via netgalley of Summer at the Little Wedding Shop which is available to buy now.

About the author by the author…

I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and a bit of an edge. Writing romance is cool, because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I live in a mountain kingdom in Derbyshire, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos. Happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things French. When I’m not on Facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.

The Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson #BookReview

About this book…

What if your first love came back on the scene . . . 30 years later?

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.

That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.

But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart . . . can she?

My review…

I have read some rather hard hitting crime and psychological thrillers recently so I needed a little “palate cleanser” and this was just the perfect book to slip into and let its humour wash all the crime horror away. I do love Fiona Gibson and her laugh out loud observations about love, life and family.

The opening chapters of this book brought back so many memories for me!! I also went on a French exchange visit back in the Eighties to visit my French penpal Anne-Yvonne although thankfully I went via train/boat/coach with a large party of sixth formers and not off on my own! My jaw dropped when I saw how Lorries mum just packed her off to make her own way to France with a few instructions on how to manage each part of her journey! Oh how times have changed!

Fast forward 30 years and the advance of social media now means that it doesn’t matter where in the world you live, you are only one click away from reconnecting with your past. And when Lorrie gets a message from the French boy who broke her heart  on that fateful trip, it sets off a chain reaction. But can love work second time around even if you don’t live in the same country? It takes a lot of courage but Lorrie to about to find out!

I bonded with the lovely Lorrie immediately! Her work ethic made me want to cheer out loud for her honesty and helpfulness, she was a true inspiration for her fellow colleagues and I just loved how people gravitated towards her. Her relationship with her children and her lodger backed up these qualities and I wanted more than anything for Lorrie to find true love. But love moves in mysterious ways and a sexy Frenchman coming back into her life was the least I could have hoped for the woman who deserved every happiness going!

I love Fiona Gibson’s writing style. She really gets into the heads of her characters, making you care about them all even Lorries mother!!! And as I romped through this feel good comedy I was hoping and praying for the happy ever after that Lorrie deserved. I find it heartwarming how many books there are now showing that older women are still kicking ass in the workplace and in their love lives. In this age of “swiping left or right” and horror stories of online dating this book was pitched just right, showing the funny side of it but also having a cautious sting in the tale. But I’m a big believer in fate and that sometimes love is found in the most unexpected places and those are the relationships that we need to cherish. It’s never too late for new beginnings!! 

Many thanks to Avon for my advanced review copy of The Woman Who Met Her Match: A funny romantic comedy that will make you laugh out loud! which is available to purchase now.

About the author…

Fiona Gibson

Fiona Gibson is the author of ten novels, including the best-selling The Woman Who Upped and Left (Avon). She also writes under the name Ellen Berry – The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane is the first in a series of three new heartwarming novels sparked by her obsession with cookbooks, and inability to stop buying them. The Ellen Berry series will follow the adventures of Della, who opens her very own bookshop, plus her fashion journalist sister and the customers who grow to love the shop.

Fiona grew up in a Yorkshire village called Goose Eye, before working on Jackie and Just Seventeen magazines – in those heady pre-internet days when it was pretty exciting to get a free plastic mirror taped to the front of your magazine. She went on to edit More! magazine where she introduced the infamous Position of the Fortnight. After having twin sons and a daughter, she started to write novels, usually at night with the house full of toddlers and builders. She was sleep deprived anyway so it really didn’t make any difference!

When she’s not writing, she’s usually drawing, painting or reading, or out walking or running in her home town of Glasgow with her collie cross, Jack. She’s a pretty poor speller but loves nothing better than starting a brand new book. The end bit is fun to write too. It’s the middle part that’s the tricky bit.

Evie’s Year of Taking Chances by Christie Barlow #BlogTour #BookReview @Bookouture

I am over the moon to be on the blog tour for Evie’s Year of Taking Chances today with a review of this wonderful book.

About this book…

It’s Evie’s birthday and the start of a year she’ll never forget. An emotional story of love, friendship and grabbing life by the horns.

Evie’s job has always been her safe haven. As a librarian in the little town of Becton she loses herself in books – after all it’s far easier to read about other people’s problems than set about solving her own.

Then, one birthday, everything is turned upside down. A mysterious parcel containing a beautiful book with a poignant inscription arrives for Evie. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Evie and she’s inspired to try and find her real mother.

Evie’s search leads her to meet handsome author Noah Jones. Charming and intelligent, Noah seems the perfect catch but what Evie doesn’t realise is that he is hiding something – a key to Evie’s past.

As Evie gets closer to Noah and discovering her mother, she must take a giant leap of faith. Can she embrace the new and make this her year of taking chances? And if she does, will she get her heart broken?

My review…

O…M…G! Christie Barlow has made me sob like a baby with her latest book! I was an emotional wreck by the end of it and I just wanted to stay with all the wonderful characters in Evie’s world-saying goodbye to them was a real wrench for me which doesn’t happen very often. But everything about Evie and her family and friends felt incredibly real to me and even now, a full 24 hours later, I feel so invested in them, I am unable to start a new book.

Evie has my dream job of working in a library. She gets to meet authors who visit and that’s how she first meets Noah Jones, whom she’s still thinking about months later. On her birthday she is surprised to receive a personally signed copy of a book by her favourite author, Sam Stone, which “magically” appears for her at work. This is the catalyst for Evie to make some major decisions about her life and so starts a year that Evie will never forget.

I loved everything about this book. All the characters were relatable and likeable. The plot was both humorous and heart wrenching in equal measures and the strands were so cleverly woven together. I became totally engrossed right from the beginning, Evie had a natural charisma that made me feel very maternal towards her especially as she was the same age as my daughters. And I desperately wanted that Happy Ever After for her, both romantically and for herself personally. At one point in particular, I cried my eyes out which put me in a highly emotional state for the rest of the book. You would think at my age I would be much more cynical about romance and life, wouldn’t you?! But Evie’s Year of Taking Chances just seemed to bury itself deep into my heart and I adored every minute of it. I also want to mention the book club attended by the characters here which is based on the real-life Mims cafe and book club in Staffordshire. It’s a place I have heard so much about on Social media and am desperate to visit, even more so now!

I have enjoyed all of Christie’s previous books but for me this is her best so far and my absolute favourite. I thoroughly recommend it for fans of romantic comedy. Just make sure you have a HUGE box of tissues and (unlike me!!) waterproof mascara just to be on the safe side! An irresistible book about finding love but more importantly, finding yourself.

Thank you to Bookouture for my review copy of Evie’s Year of Taking Chances which I have chosen to read and review.

Evie’s Year of Taking Chances: A heart warming romantic comedy you won’t be able to put down was published by Bookouture on 10th March 2017 and is available to purchase here at Amazon UK.

Meet the author…


Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape and Evie’s Year of Taking Chances. She lives in Staffordshire with her husband, four kids, horses, chickens and a mad cocker spaniel. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK and USA. Christie also writes her own book column in Mama Life Magazine too! http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via her website http://www.christiebarlow.com Twitter @ChristieJBarlow and Facebook page Christie Barlow author

The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett #BlogTour @RedDoorBooks

So today I am delighted to welcome you to The Mercury Travel Club blog tour.

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About this book…

He took her to dinner that was annoying

He slept with her that was hurtful

He bought new underwear to impress her quite frankly astounding

He left me to bloody wash his FILTHY WHORING PANTS INFURIATING!

After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo.

But it s just not enough; what she really dreams of is beating her ex and becoming Entrepreneur of the Year. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don t go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie s been looking for.

Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it s never too late for a second chance.

My review…

Oh this book came along at just the right time for me! After some dark and creepy crime reads, to pick up a funny and unputdownable book about a woman of a similar age to myself really did lift my spirits and keep my mind off real life for a few hours. This is Helen Bridgetts debut novel and what an achievement it is! In fact, I was left feeling quite bereft at having finished it until I wrote this review and realised when I researched the author that we will be seeing lots more of The Mercury Travel Club and I can’t wait.

Poor old Angie doesn’t even get a Silver wedding party after her marriage ends after 24 years and 11 months. Her emotions when she moves into her small rented accommodation on her own were very much heart felt as there was a fine line between that fresh start as a single woman and mourning the end of a very long relationship. Obviously I detested her husband Alan and his new partner Amanda (the A team) for hurting the lovely Angela but as time goes by we see a new Angela emerge from the ashes of her divorce and are cheering her on in her vision of a becoming an entrepreneur with her new business enterprise. Honestly, getting rid of Alan is the best thing Angie has done-she is like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon, becoming an inspiration for divorced women everywhere showing that it’s never too late to live your dreams.

I engaged totally with Angela from the moment I met her, as you can probably tell, and mentally helped push through the obstacles placed before her in her quest for happiness. And although there were a few romantic dalliances throughout, I enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t a new man that was the sole purpose in her quest for a new life. When I was a little girl, women in their fifties seemed like old ladies in the way they dressed and behaved but now 50 is the new 30 it’s fabulous to have books celebrating this whole new generation of women putting themselves first and having fun doing it.

This is a feel good read that you will probably want to read in one session but be warned your cheeks will hurt at the end of it from laughing out loud and smiling constantly. Recommended by me!

The Mercury Travel Club: Where the chaos comes free is published by Red Door Publishing on 16th March 2017 and is available to purchase on Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

bridgett-bw

Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year’s resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal – to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine – not usually at the same time.

Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series.

Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan #BlogTour @Aria_Fiction @GerHogan

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Faith Hogans second novel Secrets We Keep.

secrets-we-keep-the-blog-tour-1

About this book…

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.

A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.

The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.

For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

My review…

As soon as I saw the beautiful cover of this book, I knew it was one I had to read and thank goodness I did as I have now discovered a fabulous new writer. And Faith Hogan is definitely a name for everyone to look out for in the future as I have a feeling she is just going to increase in popularity. Here she used historical flashbacks to a huge success as she tells the tale of Kate who, very bravely, returns to her family in Ireland and changes her lifestyle for a more peaceful existence. But the past had a way of catching up with you when you least expect it, even if it’s not your secret that’s about to be uncovered.

I absolutely adored this book. It came to me at a time when I needed a warm and cosy read and chose this due to its promise of a mystery and its stunning front cover. I wanted to be swept away in into another world and this worked perfectly for me. The village that Kate relocates to sounded idyllic, a slower and more relaxed way of life that I’m sure most of us dream of running away to on our most stressful days. And the idea of The Bathhouse and tearoom made me practically pack a bag and jump on a plane to search it out! It’s my favourite daydream being able to live the lifestyle that lands on Kate’s all here.

I have always been a fan of the historic flashback and here it is used to great effect, telling the story of Kate’s grandmother and great Aunt and twisting it around Kate and Iris in the present day. Iris was a girl ahead of her time and I found her story heart breaking in places as her future would have been very different if she had been born years later. There was a real sense of time and place in those chapters as they flowed beautifully while keeping the reader in suspense about what had happened at the bathhouse and more importantly, why. Faith Hogan has created some warmly written characters here and used beautiful and atmospheric settings to enhance the chain of events that unravel.

I think the only character I didn’t take to was Todd. The chapters leading up to his own epiphany didn’t really make me warm to him like I had expected and I usually quite like a bad boy! So by the time his story merged with everyone else’s I really wasn’t sure where it would take him or even where I hoped it would take him.

I felt like I was leaving behind old friends when I finished this homey tale. This is a life affirming, relaxed and engrossing read from start to finish and I loved it. I can’t wait to see where Faith Hogan takes us from here and I will definitely be waiting patiently to find out.

Thank you to the author and Aria for my netgalley copy of Secrets We Keep.

Secrets We Keep: A bittersweet story of love, loss and life is published by Aria on 1st February 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Faith Hogan

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organizer and in the intellectual disability sector.

Her debut novel ‘My Husbands Wives’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin, published by Aria Fiction in 2016. Her second novel, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is published in February 2017 – it has been included on the Netgalley ‘Hot List 2017,’ a list of books eagerly anticipated by the blogging and reading community.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very fussy cat. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

You can find out more about Faith on her website http://www.faithhogan.com
http://www.Facebook/FaithHogan.com
@gerhogan

The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley #BlogTour @AnoushkaBeazley @jennymarston_xo

Last year I read a book that blew me away and I had a huge reaction to my review. The Good Enough Mother is on my Top 20 books of 2016 list so I’m very excited to be joining the blog tour today. I have a Q&A with the author, Anoushka Beazley, and you can also read my review again too.

Q&A with Anoushka Beazley…

1. Tell me about your journey to publication?

I started as a lot of writers do, trying to get an agent and a publisher the traditional way. With my first two novels and over a period of five years I got close but there was always something stopping me getting to the finish line; “we’ve just published a story set in Sri Lanka, so sorry.” Or “have you thought about setting the novel in India instead?”. After writing The Good Enough Mother I was reluctant to start the whole process again and after sending the manuscript out to a small handful of agents – where I bizarrely received the best feedback I’ve ever had – I suddenly got scared of years of my life passing me by only to hear the same rejections as I did before. I made the decision to self-publish and I’m so glad that I did.      

 

 

2. What advice would you give to anyone starting on their writing career?

Try and write every day. Try and read other people’s books. So much is to be learnt from the practice of writing regularly and forming the habit of writing. It really doesn’t matter if you think what you’re writing isn’t good, similarly, if it is good. Often the writing you think is terrible is a doorway to something better and the stuff you think is Pulitzer isn’t as good as you think it is! Becoming a writer is one of the best ways to understand the purpose of life – it’s all about the journey. As amazing as my book launch was it was still the end of one of the most amazingly creative periods of my life. I reckon it’s not dissimilar to seeing one of your kids go off to university. You’re proud and you wish them the best but boy do you miss them.

 

3. Do you have a writing routine or any writing superstitions?

I’m superstitious about lots of things but not about writing! My writing routine is every day, preferably in the morning. By the evening there is little living in me that can be called creative and I tend to devote my attention to Netflix.

 

4. What, if anything, would you do differently when releasing your next book?

It was my first time and all in all there isn’t anything I’d drastically change as I think it all happened the way it was meant to but if I could, I would like to have had more marketing done before the publication date. I was lucky enough to have been selected by international book club Poppyloves as their September choice, their first self-published novel. I published the novel on Amazon in August and with the book club happening in September there was no time to devote to marketing, which is important when self-publishing as there isn’t anyone else to do that job but you.  

 

5. What are you working on at present?

The book has been selected by the BBC and Creative Skillset to be turned into a film treatment so I’m working on that.

 

6. Which writers do you read? 

I don’t tend to read specific writers, I read stories.

 

7. And who excites you at the moment? 

The Curse of Mahenjo Daro by Maha Khan Phillips


And you can read my review of The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley here! Needless to say I absolutely adored this book!

About this book…

Gatlin – a leafy, affluent town: Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch. However all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman. Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan…unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin. Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical and hilarious black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.

The Good Enough Mother is available now to purchase from Amazon UK.

But if you’re feeling lucky you can enter a fabulous giveaway here to win one of 10 signed copies of The Good Enough Mother! Just click on the link HERE.


Anoushka Beazleyhas a film degree, an acting diploma and a masters in creative writing. She is a full time novelist, lives in North London with three little witches, a lawyer and a Maine Coon.