Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Blog Tour Book Review: New Beginnings at Glendale Hall



Synopsis:
Two weddings and a baby…but who will get their happy ever after?

Emily Prescott’s life isn’t going to plan. Her dreams of starting a family with fireman boyfriend Greg and opening up her own bakery in London feel like they will never come true. So when a wedding
invite arrives from her oldest friend, Beth Williams, Emily is thrilled. Not only will she get to return to her childhood home in Scotland, but best of all – Beth wants her to bake the wedding cake!

However, her excitement is cut short when she discovers that Greg has cheated on her. Devastated by his betrayal, Emily flees to Glendale Hall, Beth’s grand estate in the Highlands, and tries to distracts herself with helping with the wedding plans, but that’s not easy when Greg keeps hounding her to forgive him. Then she’s introduced to Glendale’s new young and handsome vicar Brodie, and things become even more complicated.

When Emily discovers that Greg’s betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, she finds herself with a whole host of decisions to make, especially when she discovers her long awaited dream is finally being fulfilled – at exactly at the wrong time…
Escape to Scotland and fall in love with this gorgeous and inspiring romance from the bestselling author of Coming Home to Glendale Hall! The perfect feel-good read for fans of Holly Martin, Heidi Swain, and Jill Mansell.




My Review:
Happy Publication Day to Victoria Walters and a warm welcome to my stop on the blog tour for 'New Beginnings at Glendale Hall'.

I am so pleased to be returning back to Glendale Hall and all the gang! After reading the first book in the series 'Coming Home to Glendale Hall' I was super excited to know that Victoria was busy writing a follow on.

As I mentioned above this is the second book in the Glendale Hall series but this can easily be read as a stand alone, Victoria's writing is wonderfully done that you would never feel that you've missed anything from the first book (although I urge you to read it, it's fab!)

I was thrown into this story straight from the off and I was hooked. Main character Emily, a lovely and down to earth person, relatable and all in all a blooming marvel at making the most delicious cakes! So it wasn't surprising that Emily would be making her oldest friend Beth's wedding cake.  

I warmed to Emily from the first chapter, I loved that her passion was baking cakes, my passion in life would be eating them!  However unfortunately the story isn't all sweetness and light.  Emily, after discovering the love of her life isn't the man she thought he was. She decides to escape to Scotland earlier than planned to the safety of Glendale Hall and to her loved ones.

With a cheating partner pushing for forgiveness Emily tries to distract herself by helping Beth with all things wedding but things become even more complicated when the new, young and can we say extremely handsome vicar Brodie is introduced.  Picture Joel from Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, well that's who he was in my mind.  As well as a gorgeous face, Brodie had the personality to match.  Kind, thoughtful and for Emily a good listener in her time of need.

All in all a fantastic follow on, filled with heartwarming moments and yummy cakes (we mustn't forget the cakes!)  It's also filled with difficult every day situations that we all face in our lives from time to time and I really enjoyed the balance between the two.  
Emily's story kept me guessing right until the end, I couldn't call where her journey would take me but I really enjoyed every chapter and even though Emily was going through a rough patch I felt the love and warmth she received from family and friends. It made me want to jump on a train to Glendale Hall myself to be part of the group.

Sometimes another book in the series can leave you disappointed when it doesn't live up to the first story but it's not the case here.  If anything, I am really hoping there might be another story to come out of Glendale Hall, the setting is beautiful and the way Victoria tells a story will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy.

Big thank you to Victoria Walters and Rachel's Random Resources for asking me to join this fabulous blog tour and for the ARC.


Purchase now!








Author Bio


Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. Her moving debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE was chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star. Her heart-warming new novel SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFE is available to download now.

As well as being an author, Victoria also works as a Waterstones bookseller and buys far too many books there. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter). Victoria is not only obsessed with books but loves buying slogan tops, mugs and notebooks, and posting them all on Instagram.

You can discover more about Victoria – and find pictures of Harry the cat – by following her on Instagram at @vickyjwalters, on Twitter at @Vicky_Walters or by visiting her blog at:https://victoria-writes.com/.







Friday, 22 November 2019

Blog Tour Book Review & Giveaway: Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman



Synopsis:
Christmas and romance are in the air...

It's December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn't relishing spending Christmas at his family's country estate either.

So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They'll spend half of the holidays with each other's families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten...?

Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed... It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!


My Review:
Hurrah! My stop on the Blog Tour for Lucy Coleman’s latest read ‘Magic Under the Mistletoe’ This is my first time reading a Lucy Coleman book and after reading the synopsis I wanted in!

Now I know the fake date trope has been done many times before but I have to admit I’m a big fan and I love those ‘will they won’t they’ storylines. But this story took me by surprise, it had a depth that I wasn’t expecting, the author putting her own little twist on it and I really enjoyed, it. There were also mini storylines for many of the characters running throughout the background making this so much more than a fake date trope story.

The story kicks off on the day before Christmas Eve on a long haul flight to London having not long left Australia. Having worked on a project together, Leesa and Cary are nothing more than work colleagues, so much so Cary leaves Leesa to sit cramped in economy while he settles into business class.

After a bad snow storm stops Leesa from getting to her final destination for the holiday season. Cary takes charge and offers to take her back to his Grandmothers rather than leaving her stranded at the airport. It’s not long before they both declare how much they are dreading the family festivities they have in store. This leading to them agreeing to a contract to be each other’s plus ones to keep the pressure off.

The whole book was written through the eyes of Leesa and at times I would have loved to have been able to get an insight into Cary’s thoughts but that’s me being nosey and wanting to know his thoughts and feelings which of course never happens like that in real life and so it had me hooked wanting to get through to the end to find out how the story ends.

As I said before running throughout the background of Leesa’s and Cary’s fake date trope was a series of mini storylines for the other characters either involved with Leesa or Cary and these little twists kept me intrigued but I won’t divulge any of them so as not to ruin the story for you!

I wanted to connect to the character of Cary much more than I did, I wouldn’t say he was cold or nasty but more of a closed book making it tough to warm to him. This goes back to me wanting to be able to read from his point of view; that might have helped me to feel connected to his character.  It didn't spoil the book for me however, I just didn't fall in love with him as much as I have done previous male characters.

My favourite character had to be Cary’s Grandmother Cressida. A wonderful and interesting character that you wish you knew in real life. You could feel the love and warmth she showed to her family and even Leesa who she welcomed in as one of her own without a second thought.

This book had lots of festive moments which I loved but this can easily be read anytime of year. Magic Under the Mistletoe is an emotional and heartwarming read that will leave you feeling uplifted. I’m now intrigued to read another of Lucy Coleman’s books!
Big thanks to Lucy Coleman and Rachel Random Resources for the ARC and invitation to the blog tour! 

Don't forget... scroll down for an exciting giveaway!

Click here to purchase!!




Author Bio


From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. She writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links 
Website: https://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucyColemanAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth


Giveaway!

Win a Signed paperback copy of Snowflakes over Holly Cove and Christmas Pamper Pack. (UK only)




*Terms and Conditions 
UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
 

Enter Here!!




Sunday, 17 November 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: Love Offline by Olivia Spring







Synopsis:
Emily’s Struggling To Find Romance Online. Will Ditching The Dating Apps Lead To True Love?

Online dating isn’t working for introvert Emily. Although she’s comfortable swiping right at home in her PJs, the idea of going out to meet a guy in person fills her with dread.

So when her best friend challenges her to ditch the apps, attend a load of awkward singles’ events and find love in real life, Emily wants to run for the hills.

Then she meets Josh. He’s handsome, kind and funny, but Emily’s had her heart crushed before and knows he's hiding something…

Is Josh too good to be true? Can Emily learn to trust again and if she does, will it l
ead to love or more heartache?


My Review:

Welcome to my stop and the last stop on the Blog Tour for Olivia Spring's 'Love Offline'. Olivia is an author to watch, her stories just keep getting better and better!

‘Love Offline’ focuses on Emily, Emily is self employed and pretty much a recluse so it’s lucky she is able to work from home especially as she finds most of her time is spent hiding away from real life after catching her boyfriend cheating on her.  The ex boyfriend is a complete waste of space and I hated him right from the beginning.    

Emily Lives her life mostly online, dating sites and never ending Instagram scrolling especially on her ex's feed and after finding out his moved on she hits rock bottom. Her best friend Chloe, a technophobe and complete opposite to Emily, decides an intervention is needed and persuades her to live 2 months off line, a digital detox and living life out in the big wide world and give meeting new people a chance.

From single mingle events, to group walking tours to speed dating Emily bravely goes for it all and as the saying goes feel the fear and do it anyway!

Olivias writing makes it so easy to slip into the story and be involved. I loved the character Emily and I enjoyed the story. She was really relatable and the story pretty true to life, giving us all a little message that perhaps we should all live a little offline.

It was nice to read Emily’s story and throughout all the single mingling she did she came to make new friendships during her journey.   

People often say everything happens for a reason and in Emily’s case I would have to agree. 

I recommend this book, the story has a great balance, including lots of humour. Some of the disasters Emily goes through had me laughing out loud. However the story also focuses on lots of everyday issues that we all may face in our lives. The niggling insecurities that rear their ugly heads like not feeling good enough or feeling like you have to fit in with everyone else. Just posting a simple photo of yourself on Instagram would seem a mammoth task for Emily, checking the filters, putting the right hash tags on and these insecurities made Emily seem all the more real. 

Huge thank you to Olivia Spring for asking me to read and review another fab book and for the blog tour invitation.










Monday, 4 November 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: A Christmas Kiss by Eliza J. Scott




Synopsis:
A sparkling festive romance that will warm your heart this Christmas.

The week before Christmas, GP Zander Gillespie finds his festive plans in tatters. He's supposed to be flying out to his parents' chateau in Carcassonne with his high-maintenance girlfriend, Melissa. But she has other ideas. She wants to spend Christmas in London with her party friends - and he's not invited. The prospect of facing his family, with their questions and their sympathy - not to mention the 'I told you so-s' - just isn't an option. Instead, Zander decides to head to his holiday cottage in the quaint moorland village of Lytell Stangdale, where he intends to hide away with his faithful rescue Labrador Alf.

Eighty miles away, Livvie's world has come crashing down. With plans to cook a romantic meal for her boyfriend, she heads home early and walks in on him in a compromising position with their neighbour. Fed-up of his lies and philandering ways, this is the final straw. With her Christmas plans up in smoke, the thought of spending it with her parents and her smug, married sister with her pompous husband in tow, is enough to bring Livvie out in hives. So, when she fires up her laptop and finds the perfect little holiday cottage in Lytell Stangdale available to rent over the festive period, it seems the perfect solution. Or is it...?

Zander didn't believe in love at first sight until he set eyes on Livvie. Livvie had sworn off men until she met Zander. The pair may be reluctant to give in to temptation, but fate seems to have other ideas...

Join Livvie and Zander - and all the usual characters - for a magical Christmas in Lytell Stangdale.


My Review:
Welcome to the opening day of the Blog Tour for A Christmas Kiss.

This book is number four in the Life on the Mooors series and it's my first ever Eliza J. Scott book!  I was a little wary of throwing myself into a series not having read the other three books but I can honestly say this can be read as a stand-alone with no feelings of missing out.  Although I do feel like I've missed out on some fab stories of other characters so I have added the first three books to my to be read pile.

A Christmas Kiss is about two people, two strangers who suddenly find themselves thrown together the week before Christmas.

Livvie is escaping her horrendous boyfriend Donny who doesn't deserve her after she finds him pretty much with his pants down with the next door neighbour.  Unable to face her family for comfort over the Christmas holidays she decides a break away on her own to get her thoughts in gear would be the ideal solution so she books herself a holiday cottage in a little village called Lytell Stangdale.  

Zander's also escaping his Christmas plans, he should have been holidaying with family at a Chateau in Carcassonne but after his girlfriend Mel gets a better option to party in London his plans are turned upside down and not wanting to face his family and all the sympathetic faces decides to head off for his holiday cottage alone in Lytell Stangdale.  Now you know where I'm heading with this...!  

Of course Zander isn't totally alone, Alf his dog stole the show and my heart.  So loveable and cheeky and in particular one situation he had me in stitches.  I really enjoyed reading the relationship between Zander and his dog Alf, the strong bond they have was so lovely.

Eliza's writing style makes for an enjoyable read, I was hooked from the first few lines.  I loved both characters, I loved that we got a chance to read their point of view during each chapter.  I also enjoyed the humour throughout making me grin like a cheshire cat while on public transport!   

Livvie and Zander have this instant chemistry while in Lytell Stangdale they try shutting out the real world living in a bubble but with both their pasts catching up with them they both have issues to resolve before they can move on.  Showing that you can't always run away from your past as it always has a knack of catching up with you whether you like it or not.

Livvie and Zander both get stuck into village life, fancy dress parties and Christmas carols round the Christmas tree.  Here we meet the characters from past books of the series.  Eliza does a great job of giving little background snippets for them all which really helps.  The local village folk soon have an effect on Livvie that she feels as if she has been there all her life and makes some wonderful friendships.

I'm a sucker for a festive romance book and this gave me everything I was hoping for and more.  A dream to read and made me feel full of festive cheer.  Who doesn't love a story full of humour, fun, romance and also every day real life issues that balance the story perfectly making it a little more true to life.

Big thanks to Eliza J. Scott and Rachel Randon Resources for the ARC and the invitation to this fab Blog Tour.  A must read this Christmas!





Author Bio




Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links 

Twitter: Eliza J Scott – @ElizaJScott1
Instagram: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscott
Facebook: Eliza J Scott - @elizajscottauthor
Blog: www.elizajscott.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ElizaJScott
Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/eliza-j-scott
Amazon Author Page: 



Sunday, 27 October 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: Notting Hill in the Snow by Jules Wake



Synopsis:
It's mayhem in Bethlehem…unless they can work together!

Viola Smith plays the viola in an orchestra (yes really!), but this year she's been asked to stretch her musical talents to organising Notting Hill's local nativity.
Nate Williams isn't looking forward to Christmas but as his small daughter, Grace, has the starring role in the show, he's forced to stop being a Grinch and volunteer with Viola.

With the sparks between them hotter than the chestnuts roasting in Portobello market, Nate and Viola can't deny their feelings. And as the snow starts to fall over London, they find themselves trapped together in more ways than one…


My Review:
Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Jules Wake's newest read 'Notting Hill in the Snow'. I love a Jules Wake book, her writing style engages me from the first page until the very last sentance.

This story focuses mainly on Viola Smith, Viola, a kind and thoughtful soul who works at the London Metropolitan Opera Company playing in the orchestra with none other than the viola! Yep that's right!

After being asked to help with a local school nativity play through a Primary School outreach progrm and not being able to say no (which you end up finding out happens a lot!) It's not long before she meets Nate Williams, a lawyer and a governor at the same school, also father to Grace who attends the school and is part of the nativity.

Nate is struggling, balancing working full time as well as being a father and wanting to give Grace the best Christmas and it's not long before Viola is offering to help. It soon becomes clear just how selfless Viola is, putting everyone first but herself. With such a demanding family being pulled from all angles and called upon by everyone. There were a few occasions where I felt angry on Viola's behalf, her family just didn't seem to respect her, constantly leaning on her without even asking her first. I really wanted Viola to stand up for herself and push back!

With Viola helping Nate with home life it's soon evident that there is an attraction between them but Nate soon puts a stop to anything happening due to his daughter Grace and a past relationship stopping him from going further.  At times I felt frustrated for Viola and Nate, clearly seeing the chemistry between them and how easy Viola slips into family life with Nate and Grace.

I absolutely adored Grace and her cheekiness, I loved reading of her excitement for all things Christmas, building a gingerbread house, decorating the tree and sending out Christmas cards. But at times I also felt for her, at how vulnerable and sad she was, it would seem Grace had to grow up too fast and be mature in certain situations when she shouldn't have needed to.

The nativity was a fun part to read about in the book and one I really wanted to see in real life! The storyline sounded such a hoot and the characters so much fun, especially Jack who wanted to be nothing but an armadillo! A Christmas armadillo at that! Viola being the loveliest person ever manages to write a part just for him.

This story is heartwarming, about family, trust and love. I really enjoyed reading this story with all the festivites on the run up to Christmas in Notting Hill.  I highly recommend you reading this book over the Christmas holidays, I also recommend having a hot chocolate on the go at all times while reading as this book made me want one!

Big thank you to Jules Wake and Rachel Random Resources for the ARC and for the invitation to the Blog Tour!  A fab read! 



Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Notting-Hill-Snow-heartwarming-uplifting-ebook/dp/B07RNFF9Q1/

US - https://www.amazon.com/Notting-Hill-Snow-heartwarming-uplifting-ebook/dp/B07RNFF9Q1/








Author Bio

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her writing and creative skills penning copy on a vast range of subjects from pig farming and watches, sunglasses and skincare through to beer and stationery.

She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and under her pen name Julie Caplin, she writes the Romantic Escapes series.

Between them, the two Js have written twelve novels, Notting Hill in the Snow being the latest.

Social Media Links

@Juleswake

https://www.facebook.com/juleswake.co.uk/

Instagram: juleswakeauthor




Saturday, 26 October 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: The Gift of Happiness by Holly Martin




Synopsis:
This December Ruby Marlowe is relocating her little Christmas shop and everything she owns to the pretty seaside village of Happiness. With her best friend Willow already living there, and a heartbreaking past she’d rather forget, Ruby jumped at the offer of a cosy cottage and a fresh start on the Cornish coast. But she wasn’t the only one…

The last person Ruby expects to find in Happiness is her summer fling, the very gorgeous Jacob Harrington. He’s the only man who has come close to unlocking her heart, and therefore the one man she knew she could never see again. But now he’s here in the same village, and the chemistry between them is more electric than ever.

Falling in love again is something Ruby has vowed never to do. But Jacob is determined to change her mind.

As the village sparkles with Christmas lights and the snow begins to fall, can Jacob convince Ruby that love is worth the risk? And will Ruby accept the gift of happiness that Jacob is offering her before it’s too late?


My Review:
Yay! Another Christmas cracker from the fantastic Holly Martin!

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to join this Blog Tour and read The Gift of Happiness.

This is the second book in the ‘The Little Village of Happiness’ series but it can easily be read as a stand-alone! Holly’s writing is brilliant, she always includes background snippets of characters to help involve you into the story whether you’re a newbie to the series or needing a reminder! I do however recommend reading The Little Village of Happiness as it’s brilliant too!

It’s so so good to be back in the village catching up with the characters.

This story features Ruby who decides a fresh start is needed and follows her best friend Willow to start a new life in the Village of Happiness. Sounds a perfect place doesn’t it... even more so to know that Ruby intends to open a Christmas shop in the village! Absolute heaven!

Ruby is a fun character to read, I loved that she never missed an opportunity to have fun and sometimes play little tricks on the village folk. The people in the village (bearing in mind the village has grown in numbers since the last book) the people in the village were a hoot! No filters at all and asked the most random embarrassing questions which were hilarious. Julia had to be my favourite! Knew everyone’s business before you knew yourself, brilliant character!

Although sad to read I also liked that Ruby showed two sides to herself throughout the story, a more vulnerable person rather than the joker all the time.

Life in the village is going to be a breath of fresh air but It’s not long before Ruby bumps into an old flame who is also living in the village. Sparks soon fly between the pair but Ruby after having her heart broken in the past keeps her barriers firmly up and holds back from giving her all.

With Christmas round the corner and the village looking more festive by the day will Ruby give into her heart, be brave and face her fears or will she forever be trapped by past emotions.

As always Holly’s books are a dream to read, fun characters, beautiful settings and some steamy romance but Holly also includes every day issues that happen to every day people bringing the book down to earth which I love.

There needs to be another book coming out from the Little Village of Happiness as I’m not quite ready to say goodbye yet!

Big thanks to Holly Martin for the ARC which I have reviewed honestly. 

Buy now!



Author Bio


Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years' service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine's competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books.


Sunday, 20 October 2019

Blog Tour Book Review & Giveaway: Reach for a Star by Kathryn Freeman




Synopsis:
What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them?
How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor.

At least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?


My Review:
Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Kathryn Freeman's new book 'Reach for a Star'.  I enjoyed Kathryn's last book 'Crikey a Bodyguard' so I was delighted to be asked to read and review 'Reach for a Star'.

The story focuses on Jessie, single mother to two young boys, a pharmacist and pretty much a lonely romantic.  Distracting herself from everyday domestic chores and everything that entails being a mum, Jessie often day dreams of her crush Michael Tennant a famous tenor and what it would be like to become the next Mrs Tennant. 

A TV show called 'The week of your life' suddenly gets in touch with Jessie accepting her place to audition.  A show for normal every day people who cannot sing or hold a tune to have  a week training with a well known singer and hopefully improve and win the competition.  But hold on... Jessie never put her name down for any type of show.  It doesn't take long before Jessie confirms the culprit or culprits in this instance.  

Jessie decides to bite the bullet and go ahead and audition for the show, being accepted was never going to happen was it?
Soon Jessie finds herself travelling to London staying in a swanky hotel, training with none other than the man himself Michael Tennant.  Jessie has to pinch herself to make sure she's still not dreaming, determined however not to let on how much of a crush she has on him, she keeps focus on the competition and not showing herself up in front of thousands of people. 

After a rough first meeting Jessie soon realises that Michael Tennant is a very different person off stage.  Michael came across as an insecure person who doesn't cope well in certain situations, one to one conversations were not his strong point.  Leaving her feeling cheated that he wasn't the person she had envisaged being.  

I loved that I could read both characters perspectives helping me to understand why Michael came across the way he did and it also gives you that extra insight to the future on what might happen.

The story doesn't just focus on the competition, that is only a small part of the story, concentrating more on what happens after the cameras have stopped rolling.

This story is a little far fetched but that's what reading is all about, this is perfect for those times when you need that escapism from every day life and want to read pretty much a modern day fairy tale.  I liked the story and it held my attention from the first chapter, although you could see where it might lead to I wasn't always 100% sure in fact this book kept me up until the early hours just so I could find out the ending!

I really am enjoying Kathryn's books, they are always fun to read, with lots of emotions thrown in and some steamy romance scenes too!

Big thanks to Kathryn Freeman, Choc Lit and Rachel's Random Resources for the ARC and for asking me to join the blog tour.






Author Bio
A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn't always about hearts and flowers - and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1







Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman 
(Open INT)



*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. 
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.







Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: Coming Home to Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters




Synopsis:
No matter how far you go, home is where the heart is...

Beth Williams hasn’t been home for ten years. After falling pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up rather than risk her family’s disapproval, working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle - but now she’s finally returning to Glendale Hall.

As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties, and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.

Will Beth be able to forgive her mother and grandmother (and herself) for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?

Will Christmas work its magic on Glendale - or will Beth be forced to run away from it all over again?

A charming, uplifting novel that will warm your heart – the perfect read to curl up with this autumn. Fans of Trisha Ashley, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley will love this gorgeously romantic read.


My Review
Yay!  It's my stop on the blog tour for this fantastic festive treat!  Coming Home to Glendale Hall by Victoria Walter.  Oh and what a treat it is!

This is the first book I have read by Victoria Walters.  What have I been doing all my life to not have read one of her books!  After reading the synopsis I instantly knew this was a bit of me and I just had to read it!

The story follows Beth, running away from home at sixteen, pregnant and alone.  Beth has learnt to cope without her family while bringing up daughter Isabelle.  But Ten years later a Christmas family reunion brings Beth back to Glendale bringing up all sorts of emotions that she thought she had buried deep.

Feelings of regret overwhelm Beth after witnessing the breakdown of her family and the decline of the local village.  Especially after seeing the love of her life Drew who she never quite got over... I mean after reading this I can't seem to get over him neither!
Beth has to put her feelings to one side to support her family, the community and more importantly her daughters happiness.

Where to start?!  I loved all the characters throughout the story, all having their own background and mini story not just Beth.  My favourite was definitely Isabelle... a book worm who would rather stay inside to read then go outside will always have my vote.

The story takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions that's for sure.  The story and the characters felt very real and totally relatable that you easily got swept up in the situations that arose in the story.  The first chapter had me hooked and I struggled to put it down when adulting got in the way.

This book had me feeling super Christmassy which was a nice distraction from the grey damp weather we have been having!  The festive trail sounded beautiful making me wish I could visit Glendale and the festivities.

All in all a charming book that I would recommend you read anytime of the year, not just Christmas.

Home is where the heart is... That quote is simply perfect for this story.

A big thank you goes to Victoria Walters, Rachel's Random Resources and Netgalley for the ARC and for allowing me to join this fab blog tour.

Purchase Links!






Author Bio


Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. Her moving debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE was chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star. Her heart-warming new novel SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFE is available to download now.


As well as being an author, Victoria also works as a Waterstones bookseller and buys far too many books there. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter). Victoria is not only obsessed with books but loves buying slogan tops, mugs and notebooks, and posting them all on Instagram.

You can discover more about Victoria – and find pictures of Harry the cat – by following her on Instagram at @vickyjwalters, on Twitter at @Vicky_Walters or by visiting her blog at:https://victoria-writes.com/




Friday, 27 September 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley





Synopsis:
Four Christmases and a Secret

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers. And Oliver Cartwright. Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is. Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different. There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers. No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy's life forever…


My Review:
Welcome to my stop on this festive Blog Tour for Zara Stoneley's Four Christmases and a Secret.  OUT TODAY!

I was chuffed to be asked to read and review Zara's new book, as you all know I am a huge fan of her stories and this one is another corker!  A story that includes festive jumpers celebrating Christmas Eve at a party in a bookshop has my vote!  But don't fear if you think festive books are out too early, this story takes us through all the seasons as well as covering four Christmases so no bah humbugging just yet!

I really warmed to the main character Daisy straight away.  A fun, caring and like a lot of us a little insecure in where life is leading.  With an interfering mother who means well but can be suffocating Daisy lacks that confidence which I am pleased to report builds throughout the story, such a joy to witness.

How can Daisy not feel in direct competition with Oliver's name being thrown around.  Oliver, a boy from Daisy's childhood and son of her mum's friend.  Being told how amazing Ollie is can be downright annoying but Daisy decides enough and is determined to shine brighter.
You can't beat a pushy mother in a book (especially when there not yours) but luckily Zara gave us two!  The rivalry between the two mums was cringing but oh so fun to read.   

My favourite character though has to be Uncle Terence who owns the book shop where all the magnificent Christmas Eve parties take place year after year.  I liked the relationship between him and Daisy, he is a true gentleman, a confident throughout giving her that little encouragement to dream big and to not give up.

Romance... It's not a festive read without a little romance, after all Daisy deserves a little love in her life.  Although I have to admit I wasn't too keen on one of her love interests, I took an instant dislike!  

With a perfect ending to such a heart-warming story,  This gave me all the warm fuzzy feelings right until the very end and made me want to play Michael Buble Christmas on repeat.. too early? NEVER!
I would love love to see this on the big screen!  A mix between Bridget Jones and Love Actually.  I would be first in line!

Oh and not forgetting the secret... well that would be telling and I shall leave that for you to find out.  But I had no clue all the way through, didn't stop me guessing though!

Another fabulous book from Zara that you all should read anytime of the year.  Huge thanks to Zara Stoneley, Rachel Random Resources and Netgalley for the ARC which I have reviewed honestly and for inviting me along on this fab Blog Tour!



Purchase Links




Author Bio 



Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of 'The Wedding Date'.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say 'ahhh'.

Zara’s bestselling novels include 'Bridesmaids', 'No One Cancels Christmas', 'The Wedding Date', 'The Holiday Swap', 'Summer with the Country Village Vet', 'Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage' and the popular Tippermere series - 'Stable Mates', 'Country Affairs' and 'Country Rivals'.


Social Media Links –

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

Instagram: zarastoneley

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/zara-stoneley?follow=true

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B007WK307G