Winning Ace by Tracie Delaney #BookReview #amreading @Tracie_Delaney

About this book…

A journalist desperate for a story

A tennis star who loathes the media

Do opposites attract? Or are the differences too great?

When the opportunity arises for journalist Tally McKenzie to meet tennis ace Cash Gallagher, she grabs it without hesitation. Desperate for a killer story to advance her career, she’ll have to betray her idol and her own morals into the bargain if she is to succeed.

Renowned bad boy Cash wants one thing; to remain at the top of his game. He’s fought hard to get there, and he’s not about to lose his crown, especially over a woman.

When Cash divulges personal information, Tally seizes her chance and writes an explosive article. Incensed, Cash sets out to get his revenge. Except the darling of centre court gets more than he bargained for—a passionate affair with a woman he should detest.

But Cash is a man with secrets—secrets that could destroy his career. Dare he take the risk? Or is the cost too great, even for his perfect match

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My review…

I had been excitedly looking forward to reading this book ever since the author Tracie Delaney was a guest on my “Dreams Come True” feature a few months ago. You can read her guest post HERE

I’ve always been a huge tennis fan (I went to my first Wimbledon Mens singles Final in 1982 where I fell madly in love with Jimmy Connors!!) so I was intrigued to see how this contemporary romance would work in the competitive, jet setting world of this popular sport. It’s not a sport often used in a romantic setting, although it did work well in the film Wimbledon with Paul Bettany And Kirsten Dunst which I really enjoyed. So I’m thrilled to say that Winning Ace was just brilliant and that I loved absolutely everything about it! This book really did have it all for me! I’m fact, as soon as I finished it I clicked the pre-order button for Losing Game, the second book in the trilogy that’s out next month! So be warned that Cash and Tally’s story doesn’t conclude here but will continue across the series. And I can’t wait to follow their intense, sexually charged relationship further!

Once I picked Winning Ace up I physically couldn’t put it down. Mainly due to me developing serious “fictional character crush” on Cash Gallagher as soon as he appeared. Tracie Delaney brought him to live so well that I could hear that sexy Irish accent in my head every time he spoke! Now EVERYONE knows that I’m a sucker for an accent and that for me it’s all about the voice (just ask my hubby, he’ll tell you I fell in love with his gorgeous accent first!!). So I melted every time Cash called Tally “sweetness” and though he is also very fond of the F word, I have to admit that I found that a bit of a turn on too!! A foul mouthed, Irish professional tennis player with a fit body and a side order of “bad boy”….. what more could a woman want?!

Tracie Delaney has weaved a hot and steamy romantic tale here with characters that are believable and that you come to care about immediately. Her narrative flows so beautifully, with just a touch of humour to help break up the intensity of such a fiery and passionate love story. The scenes with Tally and her best friend Em especially made me smile as I loved their easygoing friendship and banter. 

This is probably best described as a modern day Cinderella story with Tally finally (after years of worshipping Cash from afar) bagging the man of her dreams but will she get her Happy Ever After? We’ve all had posters on our walls of teenage crushes and imagined what life would be like if we met them and they fell madly in love with us, haven’t we??!! And maybe that’s why this works so well as it appeals to that teenage girl who still lurks inside all of us. Although relatively inexperienced, Tally never felt like a naive innocent being taken advantage of by the “love ’em and leave ’em” Cash-it definitely felt like a real life love match and I adored their relationship. But Cash is a man with a few skeletons in his closet-are those secrets about to tear him away from the love of his life? It’s all to play for still and we’re a long way from match point let alone winning the championship. Roll on “Losing Game”, although with a title like that, I am getting a little worried about that Happy Ever After!!

Winning Ace: A Winning Ace Novel (Book 1) is available to purchase now. Book 2 Losing Game: A Winning Ace Novel (Book 2) is available to pre-order and is out on 31st July 2017.

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Meet the author…

Tracie Delaney

Tracie Delaney is the author of the Winning Ace series. She loves nothing more than immersing herself in writing romance, although she sometimes, rather cheekily, makes her characters wait for their HEA.

When she isn’t writing or sitting around with her head stuck in a book, she can often be found watching The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or any tennis match involving Roger Federer. Her greatest fear is running out of coffee.

Tracie studied accountancy, gaining her qualification in 2001. Her maths teacher would no doubt be stunned by this revelation considering Tracie could barely add two plus two at high school.

Tracie lives in the North West of England with her amazingly supportive husband. They both share a love of dogs, travel and wine.

Tracie loves to hear from readers. She can be contacted via her website at http://www.traciedelaneyauthor.com or via Facebook where she regularly interacts with readers

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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 with the Country Village Vet by Zara Stoneley @ZaraStoneley @HarperImpulse

About this book…

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she’s determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy’s idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge?

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

My review…

I absolutely loved everything about this book-from that gorgeously summery cover to the sexy vet with “the eyes” and the village that made me want to pack up my bags and head up to M6 in search of this country paradise! I would even put up with the goose and I hate anything with wings!!

I have enjoyed The Tippermere series by Zara Stoneley in the past but I’m having so much more fun in Langtry Meadows. There is a well known quote at the front of this book “Never work with children or animals” but here the author has used both to great advantage in this sweetly seductive tale of Lucy the primary school teacher and Charlie the village vet. The scenes featuring the pupils at village school were some of the highlights for me, funny and perfectly observed. And Zara had obviously done her research when it came to the veterinary medicine so you could really feel her passion for a career I know she longed to follow herself.

This book feels like a warm summer breeze, gently warming your heart with its endearing characters whom you are desperate to see living their dreams and finding their happy ever after. But it’s not all fluffy lambs and sweetness as there is a hidden depth to the relationships formed here that triggered off an emotional response when I least expected it. At one point Charlie gives Lucy a gift with a difference and it transported me back to when I was a child, reminding me of lazy Summer days spent with my Nana and my senses went into overdrive! It takes some very clever descriptive prose to convince me that I can actually smell something that isn’t even there!

So be prepared for love, laughter and escapism in the sizzling summer sunshine but be warned, once you enter heavenly Langtry Meadows you may never want to leave! Highly recommended by me.

Many thanks to the publisher Harper Impulse for my review copy of Summer with the Country Village Vet (Love in Langtry Meadows, Book 1) which will be published on 26th May 2017

Meet the author…

Zara Stoneley

Zara Stoneley was born in a small village in Staffordshire and wanted to be James Herriot when she grew up. After completing an IT degree, working as a consultant, running a dog grooming business, teaching, and working at a veterinary practice she decided she had more than enough material to write several books even if she would never qualify as a vet!

She lives in Cheshire with her family and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Barcelona.

Zara is currently writing a new series, the first book ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, published by HarperCollins is available now – discover a hot vet and the most gorgeous country village ever!

Where you can find her-

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

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

Englishwoman in Paris by Jenny O’Brien #BookReview @ScribblerJB

About this book…

Love is…knowing when to say goodbye

22 year old Lady Sarah Cosgrave is a student at the Sorbonne and heiress to millions, but only if she’s engaged by the time she reaches 23. She’s in urgent need of a fake boyfriend to appease her parents – anyone will do as long as he has long vowels and a long pocket. Handsome French brickie.
Pascal de Sauvarin is neither, but as he’s the only man available he’ll have to do. Can their love overcome the demands polite society throws at it or will she be forced to marry rancid Rupert?

My review…

I sometimes need time out from some of the harrowing stories I choose to read (murders and missing children can give you a real fear of the world outside sometimes!)  and as an incurable romantic I often dip into some contemporary romance just to remind myself that love is still in the air!

This is the first book I have read by Jenny O’Brien although I follow her blog and have always been really taken by the soft and gentle way she writes. So I was really keen to see how this transferred to her fictional storytelling and I have to say I wasnt disappointed! Within the first couple of pages I was totally absorbed into the life of Lady Sarah Cosgrove who has been living in the beautiful city of Paris while studying music at the Sorbonne. She is about to return to the UK and get engaged to her much older “boyfriend” so that she doesn’t lose her inheritance. But on the building site next to her apartment is a very sexy builder and when they accidentally meet one day, romance is not far behind.

I loved both Sarah and Pascal here. Jenny O’Brien has written a beautifully crafted warm and witty, but not sickly sweet, romance between two really engaging characters. It even made me want to visit Paris again and experience the wonder of all the sights we recognise and love so well. To just sit in the City of Romance drinking cafe au lait, dipping in croissants and watching the world go by-who wouldn’t love that? There was a humour here as well that I wasn’t expecting and it helped to lift this adorable little romance to another level for me. I hope that Jenny O’Brien becomes much better known as she has the enviable ability to take her readers away from the real world so that they are completely immersed in her storytelling.

I loved this and felt such a “feelgood” emotion at the end that I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. I also want to mention the unexpected appearance of a place I know very well indeed which was the cherry on the top of this delightful romance.

Many thanks to the author for my review copy of Englishwoman in Paris which I have chosen to read and review.

Englishwoman in Paris is available to purchase now at Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Jenny O'Brien
Bestselling author Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland a very long time ago. She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a 2016 RoNA judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so.
She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her scribblings!
She lives in Guernsey and, in her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.

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

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.