Jungle Rock by Caroline James #BookReview #amreading @CarolineJames12

About this book…

Handsome young chef, Zach Docherty is feeling the heat. Following an exposé in a national newspaper, his fiancée Poppy Dunlop has broken their engagement. Heartbroken at the thought of life without Poppy, Zach drowns his sorrows and when his agent suggests that Zach becomes a contestant in a reality TV show, Jungle Survival, he reluctantly agrees. Plunged deep in the jungle, into a bizarre mix of talent and trials, Zach meets glamour model, Cleo Petra, and the cameras go crazy.
Will Zach survive and be crowned Jungle King?
Or will his latest exploits push Poppy further away…

My review…

Having read both “Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy and Me” and “Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me” I was looking forward to the next instalment in the life of Jo and her family and friends in “Boomerville”. So it was a lovely surprise to find out I didn’t have to wait till Spring 2017 to get my next fix as Jungle Rock has come along just in time for a Christmas hit of Jo, Hattie, Zack, Poppy and the gang.

The jungle game show here is obviously based around I’m a Celebrity Get me out of here…..so it’s a great time of year to read this novella especially if you are a fan of that show. It didn’t dwell on a HUGE cast of characters though or, thankfully, any in-depth descriptions of the sometimes stomach churning tasks, instead it was used as a platform for Zach, the celebrity chef to raise his public profile and contemplate his messed up life. He has lost the the girl  his dreams, Poppy, through a drunken mistake and escaping the UK and his bad reputation in the press seems a gift too good to turn down, especially if he increases his popularity AND meets an pneumatic blonde model in the process. Back home his mum Jo and her partner in crime best friend Hattie have turned their hotel into Boomerville for the single over 50s and are cashing in on Zachs jungle celebrity status! I’ve loved Jo throughout these books and watching her adapting to different changes in her life is one of my main enjoyments of this series.

This is a fun, romantic novella and so only took me a couple of hours to read but what a humour filled, chilled out couple of hours they were! I did stop reading at one point as I was loving the descriptions of the Epcot Food Festival so much that I had to go off to Google it to check if it’s a real event…..and it is! Heaven!

So if you fancy a Christmas novella with a jungle twist then this is the festive download for you. And how can you not fall in love with this colourful cover giving a blast of Jungle heat in a frozen sea of snowy white Christmas books! And don’t worry if you’ve not read any of the authors other books, it works totally as a standalone and will set you up for the riotous fun and frolics that look set to come in Boomerville next year!

Many thanks to the author for supplying my review copy of Jungle Rocks.

Jungle Rock: A fabulous & funny feel-good read was published on November 21st by ramjam publishing and is available to buy here from Amazon UK.

And let me tantalise your taste buds further with my review of  Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me by Caroline James which you can catch up on here.

Meet the author…

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was E-book of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’ Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me, an Amazon best-seller, was a Top Ten Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” Her next novel, Boomerville will be published spring 2017.

Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. As a media agent, Caroline represented many well-known celebrity chefs and her TV script, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity Chef? was runner up at the Winchester Writers Festival 2016.

She has published short stories and is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. She is a founder member of The Cheshirati and is available for inspiring and entertaining talks on anything related to the hospitality and publishing industry.

To find out more you can visit Caroline on her website or Twitter.

http://www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Twitter: @CarolineJames12

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn #BlogTour @DarcieBoleyn @fayerogersuk

I am feeling very Christmassy today as I’m delighted to be a stop on The Very Merry Blog Tour for Darcie Boleyn and her book A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas.  

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About this book…

Warm your heart with this perfectly festive romance

Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas?

My review…

As I adored Wish upon a Christmas Cake by Darcie Boleyn, I was really excited to discover that she had another Christmas themed book out for 2016. But would it live up to the 5 stars that I gave to one of my most favourite Christmas romances EVER? Amazingly it did and not only that-I loved this book EVEN MORE!

Lucie and Dale have been friends since they were children and have been there for each other through good times and bad. Dale will do anything to keep Lucie happy so when she asks him to be her plus one for a wedding in Manhattan on Christmas Eve, he agrees even though it means Christmas away from his family. The first half of the book gives the reader an insight into Lucie and Dales relationship, both of whom I felt an instant connection to, and also as to why Lucie has such a dislike of Christmas. We meet Dales family too, all of whom I just loved immediately, mainly due to the chaos and banter that reminded me so much of my own family get togethers! Dale was just the sweetest, most thoughtful friend to Lucie and I was amazed she hadn’t snapped him up as he seemed perfect boyfriend material to me!

Once they arrived in New York, I fell in love with Lucie and Dale even more (I was definitely suffering from another case of “fictional character crush” with Dale). The setting then magically built up to began to play a huge part in their story. Manhattan is one of those places full of iconic festive images that we are all aware of from films and television. Central Park in the snow, carriage rides snuggled under a blanket, ice skating, they all add up to that perfect romantic Christmas. So what better place to for Lucie to face her fears and start to look to the future than in the snowy glamour of the city that never sleeps. And the excitement of being in New York and wanting to explore all those well known landmarks was perfectly conveyed by the author, as I also experienced those same feelings during my first visit there-you feel like you’ve been dropped into the middle of a real-life film set! I think I walked around Manhattan with my mouth permanently open in awe!

I just loved this book, every single page of it! It made me laugh, it made me cry,  it made me feel safe and I just wanted to hug both Lucie and Dale (apart from the times when I wanted to shake them for not taking risks with their feelings!) and make everything perfect for them. But this wasn’t a just a superficial sweet and fluffy love story, it was full of depth with unexpected moments of poignancy. Darcie Boleyn writes such a beautifully involving plot that her characters became quite real to me and I was very sad to say goodbye to them at the end. So make sure you cuddle up this Christmas and enjoy a few hours of perfect, festive escapism with Lucie and Glen and their sumptuous love story. Just make sure you have your hot chocolate and mince pies at your side because once you’ve started you aren’t stopping!

Many thanks to Canelo for my review copy of A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas.

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas is published in ebook by Canelo and is available to buy here at Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

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Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime by Lynsey James #BlogTour #Giveaway @jennymarston_xo @Lynsey1991 @HQDigitalUK

So happy to be first stop on the blog tour today hosted by Jenny in Neverland for The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime which is the third book in the Luna Bay series by Lynsey James.

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About this book…

This Christmas pantomime is about to be the talk of the town!

Luna Bay’s festive preparations are well under way and the much anticipated annual pantomime is to be, once again, the highlight of the season. Too bad that the village’s very own actress and darling of Broadway, Alice Woods, isn’t feeling in the mood for Christmas.

Until the pantomime comes under threat and a grief-stricken Alice is forced to push her personal pain aside and step up to direct – after all, the show must go on…

So with (more than) a little help from her new found friends, not to mention one very gorgeous Hollywood A-list celebrity, the play begins to come together, but will Alice finally believe that Christmas is a time for miracles after all?

My review…

I’ve been loving the books in the Luna Bay series but have to say that this one is my favourite so far! I’m a sucker for Christmas romances at the best of times but throw in a Hollywood hunk and I’m weak at the knees! I’ve loved the girls who have been in the series so far but when I spotted Alice, sitting quietly and rather sadly at The Breakfast Club set within the Sunflower Cottage, I have been waiting to find out her story. You can read this as a standalone novel if you fancy a little Christmas cheer in your life before reading any of the other Luna Bay books.

Alice is back in Luna Bay and has been for the last three years since giving up her incredibly successful career on Broadway. Her mother is desperately trying to bring Alice back into the social side of life there so she gets Alice to, rather reluctantly, get involved in the local pantomime. This brings Alice into contact with the pantomime director from hell, Christabel. I loved the comic exchanges between Christabel and the cast of Cinderella, as there no way I would want to be spending my hours with all the unusual warm up techniques she was insisting on!  Not such a great idea for Alice either, maybe, with the way she feels about Christmas to get involved with all the stresses of putting on the perfect show, but gradually she comes out of her melancholy mood and has some fabulous ideas. But change is not on the cards for their feisty director and plans are destined to not run as smoothly as Alice would like especially with the appearance of local Hollywood A lister Ethan Fox. Can he help Alice with putting on the performance of her life or will she be left waiting in the wings?

Alice is definitely my favourite of the girls who turn up in Luna Bay not expecting to find love there. Her sadness was quite breathtaking at times and I found myself really hoping she would get a happy ever after just like Cinderella. And when her Prince did turn up he got me all of a flutter with the description of his Mr Darcy “coming out of the lake” remake! There is such a feeling of friendliness and camaraderie in Luna Bay that I quite fancy escaping there myself for a few days but with the amount of cake these girls eat I’m not sure if I could keep up!

Lynsey James has written a lovely feelgood Christmas romance that will leave you hankering for large chunks of cake and hugs from your girlfriends. As warming as a hot chocolate with extra cream and marshmallows. Loved it.

The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime (A Luna Bay novel) is published by HQDigitalUK on 10th November 2016 and is available to buy at Amazon UK

About The giveaway…

This is a UK only giveaway for a £25 theatre voucher with the ATG theatre group. You can find a list of participating venues HERE

And you can enter the giveaway HERE

About the author…

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Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left her job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

You can follow Lynsey on her social media sites to find out more so just follow these links!

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes by Jane Linfoot @janelinfoot @HarperImpulse

About this book…

The snow is falling around Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, and wedding dress designer Seraphina East is in her cosy studio designing exquisite dresses to make even the most demanding bride’s dreams come true.

Unless the bride is her big sister Alice of course. Saying that the two sisters don’t always see eye to eye is an understatement. Alice hasn’t even asked Sera to design her wedding dress. But when an absent groom and ill-fitting dress threaten to ruin Alice’s happiness let alone her big day, Sera’s determined to give her sister the winter wedding of her dreams – even if that means keeping not one but two irresistibly gorgeous best men under control…

Is Sera going to end up being the maid of dishonour…Or will repairing her frozen relationship with Alice be the icing on the wedding cake?

My review…

There’s always something special about a winter wedding isn’t there? Whereas most brides want a beautifully warm and sunny June day for their nuptials, there is definitely a trend now for a different style of wedding in the colder months of the year complete with snow, furry capes and sleigh bells. And here we have a winter wedding on what is usually a manic day at the best of times….Christmas Eve!

Now this is the first book I have read by Jane Linfoot but it’s not the first in the series as its a follow up to The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea. I read it as a standalone though and it worked perfectly for me. Seraphina East is working in a beautiful bridal store in Cornwall by the sea where she designs the most gorgeous dresses for that very special day in a girls life! So rather unusually when her sister Alice plans her winter Cornish wedding, she doesn’t ask Sera to make her dress for her. As sisters go they are very different in temperament but when the organised bridezilla that is Alice has to leave a lot of the last minute planning to her younger sister and the best man there could be trouble ahead for the sisters! And also rather unusually, there are two best men at this Yuletide wedding so that gives bridesmaid Sera a difficult choice when both show an interest in her! Will Sera get her happy ending too?

This is such a fun and comforting feelgood Christmas romance. The difference in the sisters outlooks leads to lots of misunderstandings but there is a sweet and gentle humour running throughout. The scenes with the Winter Warmer cracked me up and I just loved all the food and drink references throughout. Wedding food and Christmas dining? Just don’t read whilst hungry or you will end up drooling over your kindle or book and heading straight for the nearest cupcake retailer! And make sure you read right to the end of the book for a few winter recipes that will keep you warm (and rather merry!) on the countdown to the big day!

I loved the countdown to the Christmas wedding and watching the changes both sisters went though as they prepared for the big day. I’m a sucker for a happy ending with all the ends tied neatly but I do hope we get a glimpse of Sera in other books to come in the series as we did here with Jules.

This is a perfect read for escaping all the Christmas mayhem so find a warm corner, cuddle up in some reindeer pyjamas and big fluffy socks and relax. Winter Warmer and mince pies are optional!

Many thanks to the author for my review copy.

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes (The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea) was published by Harper Impulse on 30th September and is available to purchase from Amazon UK

About the author by the author…

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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.

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow #BookReview #MondayBlogs @ChristieJBarlow @Bookouture

About the book…

A gorgeous country house hotel, a liberal dusting of snow, a cosy weekend away…what more could Lizzie ask for at Christmas?

Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcusand she knows she shouldn’t be …

So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?

A funny feel good festive read about rediscovering the magic of Christmas – just the thing to curl up with on a cold winters night.

My review…

Christie Barlow has had the most gorgeous covers for her books this year and this one is no exception with a beautiful Christmas tree all decked out ready for the festive season. It put a huge smile on my face before I even ventured inside to discover where Lizzies Christmas Escape would take her.

Lizzie is a character that many of us will be able to relate to and I loved her from the moment I met her. Stuck in a relationship routine with a husband who no longer seems to notice her, she only feels happy and complete when her girls are home from university or when she with her best friend Ann. Lizzie and Ann have the most wonderful friendship and both characters have been so well written that it makes their natural relationship flow beautifully whenever they are together on the page. I just adored them both. The storyline takes a while to get to the actual escape to the country house hotel, but it’s the dramatic and life changing journey leading up to it that makes it all worthwhile. And the author has a lovely humorous way of introducing the darker, jaw dropping moments so that you don’t really know what’s coming until you’re there, shocked!

There are so many Christmas books out there at the moment but this is definitely a stand out one for me. It’s a feelgood romp that makes you laugh on one page only to want to cry on the next. It has a way of slowly creeping up on you until it’s under your skin and you feel like you could actually be a part of this family. Strong women, strong friendships and a perfectly plotted storyline throughout make this a Christmas treat to remember! So make your Christmas preparations this year include sitting down with some fizz and a mince pie and read Lizzies Christmas Escape-its much more fun than prepping those sprouts!

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape: A sparkling feel good Christmas romance is published by Bookouture on 21st October and is available to buy here at Amazon UK

About the author…

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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 and Lizzie’s Christmas Escape. 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. She is a Mum who wrote a book to prove to her children whatever you want to do in life go for it. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK and USA.

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 Holiday Swap by Zara Stoneley

About this book…

Two women, two very different lives – one perfect solution to escape festive heartbreak!

Tucked away in the idyllic English countryside, Daisy Fischer’s cosy little cottage has always been her safe haven. But when her completely dependable boyfriend issues her an ultimatum, Daisy realises there’s a whole world out there she’s missing out on.

Florence Cortes’s life couldn’t be better – gorgeous apartment right on the beach, fabulous job and dreamy boyfriend, or so she thought. Suddenly, Flo’s life isn’t so perfect after all.

When the girls house swap for the holidays, it’s not long before Daisy is being distracted by sun, sea and sexy Javier while Flo finds herself snowbound for Christmas with only handsome neighbour Hugo and a house full of animals to keep her company.

Love actually does seem to be all around this Christmas, but in the places Flo and Daisy least expect to find it…

My review…

Get ready to raise a glass of Cava as Tippermere is back but with a little Spanish twist! I love the Tippermere series (I have to admit that my own Cheshire village comes very close to all the fun and drama but maybe doesn’t have quite as many gorgeous single men!) but here we get twice the fabulous settings as the cosy Cheshire village is romantically twinned with bustling Barcelona for a Christmas treat! And although Tippermere is the location for one of the swaps this is a standalone book so you don’t need to have read any others (but you should anyway!!)

What I adore about Zara Stoneleys books is that you get a real sense of her locations as she writes about what she knows. All the way through I could practically taste all the wonderful tapas dishes and feel the warmth of the Spanish sunshine then, when I turned the page, I was immediately back in the Cheshire countryside, in the snow, hacking down country lanes. And then she fills her authentic settings with the most wonderful characters who are gorgeous and funny and feel like they are your friends. I adored both Daisy and Flo, who decide to swap their lives for a few weeks. Daisy isn’t sure that she wants to accept her boyfriend Jimmy’s proposal and Flo is expecting a proposal but she gets rather a different kind of shock instead! So it just makes sense to try living in one another’s shoes, it always brings things into perspective…doesn’t it?! One of the things that made this book work for me was that I loved both girls stories equally. Often when there is a dual point of view I can find myself racing through one person’s chapter just to get to the other storyline but here I felt at home with Flo and with Daisy and enjoyed both of their journeys of self discovery. If you don’t feel happy and relaxed and full of Christmas cheer by the end then your name must be Scrooge!
This book has been promoted as addictive reading for fans of the film The Holiday and I have to back that up 100%! I don’t feel it’s really Christmas until I’ve snuggled down under a cosy blanket with a fully loaded hot chocolate and a plate of homemade mince pies to watch The Holiday. It’s a Christmas tradition that I undertake with one of my daughters every year as its her favourite film! This year I have to say that I have already preordered the paperback of The Holiday Swap to pop in her Christmas stocking as I know she will love it as much as I do! The cover alone makes me smile so I can’t wait to see her face on Christmas morning (although it may backfire on me when she’s too busy reading to help peel all the veg!)

I always recommend this author to fans of Jilly Cooper especially ones who love Jilly’s quick witted humour and puns but struggle with the huge cast of characters and animals. This book had me smiling from cover to cover and I loved the pages of little tips at the end too. Christmas in Cheshire is going to be fabulous this year!

The Holiday Swap: The perfect laugh-out-loud romance for fans of the Christmas movie The Holiday is published by Carina and available to buy here at Amazon UK

About the author…

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Bestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she’s not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas!

Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novels, ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’, are fun romps through the Cheshire countryside and combine some of her greatest loves – horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)!

She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.

Where you can find her-

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley