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.

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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…

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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.

Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett #BookReview #CallingMajorTom

About this book…

A man who has given up on the world.

Forty-something Thomas is very happy to be on his own, far away from other people and their problems.

A family who show him how to live.

But beneath his grumpy exterior lies a story and a sadness that is familiar to us all. And he’s about to encounter a family who will change his view of the world… for good.

My review…

This is such a unique plot idea that it actually took me a while to get used to it-I kept expecting some sort of twist-but no, it is really about an unlikely astronaut on his way to Mars who misdials a number on his phone! Now, most of us have said at sometime that we’d like some time to ourselves but here Thomas Major really is off for some very serious “alone time”. But as we flashback to Thomas as a child and his difficult journey to adulthood, we start to realise why this grumpy, middle aged man has made such a big decision.

I’m sure everyone who reviews this book will mention the late, great David Bowie as it’s really difficult not to have a certain tune running through your head the whole time of reading it (and afterwards too!!!) But the coincidence of being called Thomas Major provides lots of humour, unfortunately, its mainly all at at his expense! The relationship that develops between him and Gladys, Ellie and James is absolutely wonderful in all its honesty and gentle humour whilst running far deeper than I had expected. As these characters work through their secrets from the past, they unexpectedly help each other look forward to a more positive future. Gladys, especially, was a character I took to my heart straight away and whilst I found Thomas to be a difficult and cantankerous loner with zero “people skills” at the start, my feelings definitely changed once we find out more about him.

This is a wonderfully crafted book, full of quirky characters and humbling situations. It’s a book about family and relationships and the realities of love and loss. I felt sadness but I also felt the love of humankind for its own survival, as we tumble through time and space ourselves, reaching out for others to make our journey a happier one. I look forward to reading more books by David Barnett as he has a special gift for making the unthinkable work and work very well indeed!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley and have chosen to read and review it.

Calling Major Tom: The Feel-Good Novel of 2017 is available to purchase now at Amazon UK.

About the author…

David Barnett
David Barnett is an award-winning journalist and author based in West Yorkshire. He was born in Wigan, Lancashire, in 1970 and has worked in regional newspapers since 1989. He is the author of the Gideon Smith alternate history series from Tor Books, beginning in 2013 with Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl. David is also the author of Hinterland (2005, reprinted 2008), Angelglass (2007) and The Janus House and Other Two-Faced Tales (2009), all published by Immanion Press, as well as popCULT!, published in 2011 from Pendragon Press. His work has been translated into Czech, Russian and German. He is represented by the literary agent John Jarrold. David is married to Claire, also an award-winning journalist, and they have two children, Charlie and Alice.

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon #MySweetRevenge @SarahHarwood_

About this book…

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.

Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.

I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students.
She gave up her dreams so he could make it.
Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors.
And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.

She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing.
And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers.
It will be her greatest acting role ever.

Revenge is sweet.
Isn’t it?

My review…

I have been a fan of Jane Fallon for a while now, since Getting Rid of Matthew, but I have to say that fan or no fan you are going to love this book. I actually think her writing just gets better with each new book that she releases! Once I picked this up for a few minutes peace and quiet with a cuppa, the minutes (and then the hours!) just flew past in a happy, blissful haze!

What I love about Jane’s books is that she takes horrendous personal situations and makes her characters deal with them in a way that we would all love to but are too scared to try! Yes, Paula goes over the top in her quest to make her husband fall back in love with her so she can dump HIM but she’s living out the fantasy for many women! We all know that revenge is a dish best served cold but here it’s also served with a HUGE helping of calories too. And it was a joy to watch Paula lose not only pounds but the weight of the expectations on her from those around her. I was cheering her on every tough and sweaty step of the way! Here is a heroine I would have been quite happy to follow for much longer than the book went on for.

I would definitely recommend picking this book up to compliment your coffee and cake. Just be careful though as, if that quiet moment is in Costa, you’re likely to have a few laugh out loud moments which may result in cake/coffee splutterings. Not cool!

A huge thank you to Sarah Harwood for my advanced copy of My Sweet Revenge which I have chosen to read and review.

My Sweet Revenge will be published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 12th January and is available to purchase from Amazon UK here.

Meet The Author…

Jane Fallon is the multi-award-winning television producer behind shows such as This Life, Teachersand 20 Things to Do Before You’re 30. Her previous books include Getting Rid of Matthew, Got You Back, Foursome,The Ugly Sister, Skeletons and Strictly Between Us.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza #WeekendBlogShare

About this book…

A sparkling feel-good Christmas comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy?

It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco Pinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.

Throw into the mix a horrible boss, a lazy husband, and the prospect of her in-laws arriving for the festivities, and Coco wishes she could cancel Christmas and sail off to a desert island somewhere – preferably with the gorgeous-yet-unattainable Tom from work.

But retail therapy is at hand! Coco’s faithful friends Chris and Marika rally round, and even her mother-in-law Ethel tries to help in her own eccentric way.

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everythingin the hope that Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

My review…

Although this is book 5 in the Coco Pinchard series it’s actually a prequel and so can be read as a standalone Christmas novella. Even if you’ve not read any of the series you will appreciate the humour of the situation here as Coco attempts to make sure her son has the best Christmas ever!

Now every parent dreads it being the year that their child really, REALLY wants the must have toy that Christmas. I have fond memories (NOT!) of dashing to Argos late one Christmas Eve as they had had a Barbie VW Beetle returned that day and my child had told everyone it was the only gift she wanted from Santa that year. And don’t even start me with the must have toy this year (Hatchimals anyone? ANYONE?!?!) because doesn’t every parent want their child to explode with joy on Christmas morning?

So back in good old 1992 the UK went mad for the Thunderbirds Tracy Island and I will always remember Blue Peter for trying to come to the rescue of parents up and down the country with a plan to “build your own”. And it looks like that may be the only option available to Coco after her many near misses with a real life Tracy Island. Some of the funniest scenes in this novella are of Coco desperately trying to find her son his perfect gift, only for it to be snatched away at the very last minute. Honestly, I was giggling constantly throughout this extremely funny lead up to Christmas Day for poor Coco.  Most of the best lines go to Ethel, her mother-in-law, but a few other snippets that had me practically crying with laughter were the encounter with the Sylvanian families lady (my daughter still thinks she had a deprived childhood as she was the only one of her friends not to have a little cottage full of miniature woodland creatures!) and the ashtray comment!! 

I love the fact that Robert Bryndza can turn his hand to both crime thrillers and comedy, his writing style adapts perfectly to fit whichever voice he is using. I adore the Coco series of books and often recommend them to friends looking for a hilarious feel good series to follow especially if they are fans of the Shopaholic series or Bridget Jones. This Christmas prequel is quirky, very funny and highly entertaining. I loved it so much that I downloaded his other Christmas novella, A Very Coco Christmas, as soon as I had finished it. These books will definitely make you forget all your Christmas holiday stresses! And if you haven’t discovered Coco Pinchard yet then this is the perfect introduction and I guarantee you will love her and her madcap life as much as I do.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story: A sparkling feel-good Christmas comedy! (Coco Pinchard Series Book 5) is out now and available to purchase form Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first in the new Detective Erika Foster series.

The second book in the series, The Night Stalker, is a Wall Street Journal no.1 bestseller, and the third book, Dark Water, has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into 21 languages.

In addition to writing Crime Fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján.

You can find out more about the author at http://www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter @RobertBryndza

Phoebe Smith’s Private Blog by Lynda Renham #WeekendBlogShare @Lyndarenham

About this book…

Fashion conscious Phoebe Smith wants only one thing: a date for the works party in six weeks’ time. She embarks on a journey to find her man and keeps a private blog of all her disastrous encounters. But when her four-year-old nephew gets into her account, Phoebe’s problems only just begin. With Tinder calamities, a male escort and a pork pie addiction, Phoebe tackles her biggest problem: the just too irritating Harry Bloom. Come with Phoebe on her search for the perfect man and see who will accompany her to the party in this hilarious romantic comedy novel.

My review…

This has to be my favourite book by Lynda Renham to date. It has got such a captivating plot and you’re left with oodles of that “feelgood” feeling that readers have come to expect from her books.  I’ve just finished it and have been left with such a big smile on my face! I usually do most of my reading in bed at night but had to give up last night as apparently my hubby couldn’t sleep because of my “incessant snorting and chuckling”.  But that’s what I loved about Phoebe Smith and her (not so) private blog-you just never knew what she would come out with next!

Phoebe has split up from boyfriend Ashby (fab name!) and so she is now dateless for the Guildhall Ball. But her friends Mak and Imogen are there to advise her on the next steps to take to get back into the dating game…unfortunately it looks like they have a few problems of their own too. Her sisters husband is ready to help out but surely Phoebe can find her own date for the night?

I just loved Phoebe right from when we met her on New Years Eve and her friend Imogen (plus much alcohol) convinces her to start a blog. Phoebe was like a Bridget Jones for the blogging and YouTube generation where Tinder is no longer an embarrassing way of finding a relationship but a very commonplace way to find your next partner! Her friends and family also had some great comedy lines and I loved the way some of the characters behaved in a not quite politically correct manner at times! The one liners just kept on coming and Phoebes journey to find love was filled with hilarious mishaps. I adored Harry Bloom as soon as he appeared (sigh!) and was willing Phoebe to look further than his connections to Bloom Properties.

As a blogger it was fabulous to see a blog playing a HUGE role here in changing Phoebes life. And the reactions to her blog posts lead to some of the funniest moments for me during her rise to unexpected fame. Honesty, I was giggling so much at some of the situations she found herself in. Despite all her little foibles, she was a engaging heroine whom I was cheering on to succeed in life and love.

Lynda Renham has a wonderfully warm and witty writing style that you sink into as soon as you start to read, leading to many pages being turned before you come up for air again. She has written a delightful modern rom-com that will have you laughing out loud and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy of Phoebe Smith’s Private Blog.

Phoebe Smith’s Private Blog: A Romantic Comedy was published by Raucous publishing in e-book on 10th November with the paperback available from 25th November.

Meet the author…

Lynda Renham

Lynda Renham is famous for her romantic comedy novels. She has been called A Comedian in a Book, Chicklit Royalty and A Comic Genius. Her writing style has been likened to Sophie Kinsella but is refreshingly down to earth with characters that become your friends. Lynda is a prolific writer, blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.

Lynda lives in Oxfordshire with her second husband and cat. Her web page: http://www.renham.co.uk and Twitter: @lyndarenham