9/10

#BookReview
The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square
@MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse

Synopsis:

One chance isn’t always enough…
Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realises that getting back on track means travelling in a different direction.

She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm … and trouble. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.

This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who’s in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is cancelling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realises things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbours and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?


Book Rating: 9/10

Humorous, heartwarming, and exceptionally captivating!

This is an amusing story that reminds us that everyone needs a place they can feel at home, a place where memories are created, strangers become friends, laughter never ends, and everyone knows your name.

The characters are genuine, funny, and appealing. The prose is polished, clear, and smooth. And the plot is a charming mix of new business woes, young motherhood struggles, familial support, competitive rivalry, marriage, friendship, and the importance of community.

This truly is a perfect summer read that’s entertaining, uplifting and proves that Lilly Bartlett (aka Michele Gorman) can write heartfelt, believable stories with intriguing, unique characters you can’t help but fall in love with.

 

About the Author:

Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.

 

Thank you to Michele Gorman for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                 

For more information on Michele Gorman, visit her website at: michelegorman.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @MicheleGormanUK

#BookReview
The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh
@PortiaMacIntosh @HQDigitalUK

Synopsis:

What happens in Vegas…
When Georgie discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, only a few days before her cousin’s wedding, her whole world explodes. Facing a romantic trip to Vegas alone, she decides to go out and have some fun…

…but Georgie never expected to wake up wed! And even worse, she can’t remember who to. So when gorgeous Jack reveals himself as her husband, she can’t believe her luck – he’ll act as the perfect wedding date!

Even if it is their very accidental honeymoon, surely the newlyweds can keep their emotions in check for just a few days more?

Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.


Book Rating: 9/10

Delightfully romantic, lighthearted and charmingly entertaining!

This is an exceptionally humourous tale about the outgoing, spontaneous Georgie who suddenly finds herself heading to a family wedding with not only a fake fiancé but an unexpected groom.

The prose is playful and lively. The characters, especially Jack, are dishy, kind and easygoing. And the plot is quick-witted, funny and full of quirky mishaps, awkward moments, tricky situations, delicious chemistry, and the predictable but mandatory happy ever after we all love.

I have to admit that there’s just something about Portia’s novels that keep me coming back for more. They truly are the perfect rom-com with the right amount of laughs, appealing storylines, and endearing characters.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for Portia MacIntosh’s other novels, It’s Not You, It’s Them or Truth or Date, you can check them out here:

Thank you to Portia MacIntosh and HQ Digital for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                 

For more information on Portia MacIntosh, visit her website at: portiamacintoshbooks

or follow her on Twitter at: @PortiaMacIntosh

#BookReview
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
@robinnelee @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.


Book Rating: 9/10

Sophisticated, alluring, and extremely passionate! 

This is a thought-provoking, intriguing novel that reminds us that women can be confident, powerful, intelligent, attractive, sexual beings at any age and that being famous often has many drawbacks.

The prose is genuine and raw. The characters are authentic, honest, multi-layered, and appealing. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging saga about motherhood, independence, responsibility, age disparity, stardom, art, seduction, desire, lust, love and unquenchable chemistry.

This a wonderful debut for Lee. It’s an exquisite love story with palpable emotion, strong narration and an ending, which I logically understand but still wish was different, that will resonate with you long after you finish the final page. 

About the Author:

 

ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. The Idea of You is her first novel.

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is due to be published on June 13, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                           

For more information on Robinne Lee, visit her website at: robinnelee.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @robinnelee

#BookReview
Our Little Secret by Roz Nay
@roznay1 @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

For fans of In a Dark, Dark Wood and All the Missing Girls comes Our Little Secret, a compulsive and thrilling debut about a missing woman, a tangled love triangle, the secrets we keep and the secrets we share.

The detective wants to know what happened to Saskia, as if I could just skip to the ending and all would be well. But stories begin at the beginning and some secrets have to be earned.

Angela is being held in a police interrogation room. Her ex’s wife has gone missing and Detective Novak is sure Angela knows something, despite her claim that she’s not involved.

At Novak’s prodding, Angela tells a story going back ten years, explaining how she met and fell in love with her high school friend HP. But as her past unfolds, she reveals a disconcerting love triangle and a dark, tangled web of betrayals. Is Angela a scorned ex-lover with criminal intent? Or a pawn in someone else’s revenge scheme? Who is she protecting? And why?

Twisty and suspenseful, Our Little Secret is an intense cat-and-mouse game and a riveting thriller about the lies we tell others—and ourselves.


Book Rating: 9/10

Mesmerizing, dark, and brilliantly clever!

This is a character-driven psychological thriller that illustrates just how fine the line between love and obsession can truly be and reminds us that every choice, good or bad, has a consequence.

The writing is crisp, polished and fluid. The characterization is spot on with a multitude of characters that are multi-faceted, insecure and vulnerable. And the plot is an intricately interwoven tale that unravels piece-by-piece creating tension, unease, and suspicion as it subtly reveals all the personalities, relationships, motivations and actions within it.

This is, ultimately, a story about deception, danger, competition, desperation, dependence, loneliness, manipulation and the fragility of young love and it’s hard to believe this is Nay’s debut novel. It’s sophisticated, highly entertaining, and a must-read that I guarantee you won’t be able to put down.

About the Author:

 

Roz Nay grew up in England and studied at Oxford University. She has been published in The Antigonish Review and the anthology Refuge. Roz has worked as an underwater fish counter in Africa, a snowboard videographer in Vermont, and a high school teacher in both the UK and Australia. She now lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and two children. Our Little Secret is her first novel.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

For more information on Roz Nay, visit her website at: roznay.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @roznay1

#BookReview
On Point by Annabeth Albert
@AnnabethAlbert @CarinaPress

Synopsis:

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.


Book Rating: 9/10

Heartfelt, engrossing, and red-hot!

This is a friends-to-more romance that is told from two different points of view. Maddox, a sweet, handsome Seal who prefers the simple life outside the military, including spending quality time with friends and baking yummy treats. And Ben, a fun, flirty Seal who loves nothing more than the adrenaline and action of the Navy and hooking up as much as possible. But like most of Albert’s characters there’s a lot more to these men than meets the eye and something deliciously scorching is definitely smouldering below the surface.

The writing is impassioned and intense. The characters are multi-faceted, flawed and sexy. And the plot starts off with a bang and then continues steadily building, peeling back layer-by-layer all the history, feelings and emotions to create a steamy, passionate story about life, love, friendship, undeniable chemistry, and self-discovery.

I have to admit this is my favourite book in the “Out of Uniform” series so far. I couldn’t wait to read about these two characters and I wasn’t disappointed.

This is the third novel in the “Out of Uniform” series. Be sure to check out my review for Off Base (Out of Uniform #1) and At Attention (Out of Uniform #2).

                     

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                

For more information on Annabeth Albert, visit her website at: annabethalbert.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @AnnabethAlbert

#BookReview
Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski
@ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

Synopsis:

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an Outward Bound center. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivaled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth.


Book Rating: 9/10

Creative, unique and unforgettably absorbing!

This a brilliantly crafted, character-driven thriller that takes us on a journey to solve a 20-year-old murder and spotlights the physical and psychological effects and consequences of bullying.

The writing style is unconventional, with the narration being told completely through true-crime podcasts and internal musings. And the characterization is raw with a cast of teenage characters that are young, rebellious, impressionable, and impulsive. 

Overall, I have to say this is a short but incredibly gripping story with a whodunit plot that is modern, fresh, eerie, disturbing and wonderfully shocking.

Thank you to Orenda Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Matt Wesolowski follow him on Twitter at: @ConcreteKraken

#BookReview #BecomingBonnie by Jenni L. Walsh #BonnieAndClydeVersary
@jennilwalsh @forgereads

Synopsis:

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh, Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Few details are known about Bonnie’s life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself.


Book Rating: 9/10

This is a remarkably fascinating interpretation about the life of Bonnelyn Parker, a young, sweet, god-loving girl who became known as one of the most notorious outlaws of the 20th century. She was, ultimately, a victim of the times and longed and strived to help support and protect those she cared for.

It is a story about familial responsibilities, poverty, coming-of-age, survival, friendship, dreams, desire and love.

The prose is precise and fluid. And the story takes us back to the mid-to-late 1920s to a dusty town on the outskirts of Dallas where people worked hard but didn’t always have much, prohibition was in full force and the worst, longest and deepest economic depression was just about to hit.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this story. It is a well written, intriguing, rich story, and even though there is not much known about Bonnelyn’s early life and the events that led up to her close, intimate relationship with the fugitive Clyde Barrow, Walsh has done an exceptional job of taking historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is both alluring and exceptionally captivating.

About the Author:

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia’s countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni’s passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. 

Thank you to Jenni L. Walsh and Forge Books for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now!

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links:

                                          

For more information on Jenni L. Walsh visit her website at: jennilwalsh.com 

or follow her on Twitter at: @jennilwalsh

#BookReview
Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell @JillMansell @Sourcebooks

Synopsis:

Love is in the air in St Carys, but you’d never know it – the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets…

The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings – but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed.

For the first time in Ronan’s life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option.

Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn’t quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface.

The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed…


Book Rating: 9/10

Captivating, warm, lighthearted and funny!

This is an engaging, romantic story that reminds us that sometimes things happen for a reason and happy ever afters really do exist.

The prose is polished and beautifully descriptive. The setting is charming and quaint. The characters are sweet, lovable and real. And the plot is a wonderful mix of humour, heart, emotion and courage.

This is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, heartbreak, family, acceptance, happiness and discovering one’s true self, and once again Mansell has proven when in comes to writing moving, heartfelt stories with characters you can’t help but fall in love with she’s one of the best!

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Sourcebooks, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

For more information on Jill Mansell, visit her website at: jillmansell.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @JillMansell

#BookReview
The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley
@lucindariley

Synopsis:

Ally D’Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world’s most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father’s sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father – an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt – has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.

Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway…

There, Ally begins to discover her roots – and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg’s iconic music set to Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?

Following the bestselling The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister is the second book in Lucinda Riley’s spellbinding series based loosely on the mythology surrounding the famous star constellation.


Book Rating: 9/10

Fascinating, enchanting and bittersweet!

This story is predominantly set in Norway during the late 1800s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives, Ally, a young sailor who journeys to Scandinavia to unravel the mystery surrounding her ancestry after suffering heartbreaking tragedies; and Anna a country girl with an angelic voice that at times was not only a blessing but a curse.

The story, itself, is a dramatic tale filled with family, love, loss, grief, introspection, and new beginnings; as well as a comprehensive look into the composition of music and the art of sailing. 

The prose is lyrical, fluid and vividly descriptive. The characters are complex, intriguing, sympathetic and real. And the plot is written in a back and forth, past/present, style that captivates and engages you as it sweeps you along through the highs and lows of both Ally and Anna’s life.

This once again is another large novel by Riley, with over 700 pages, but it is so remarkably researched and well written that before you know it the story is finished and you’re yearning for more. I absolutely loved this story and even though it can be read as a standalone novel I strongly recommend you read The Seven Sisters (Book #1) first.

If you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

For more information on Lucinda Riley, visit her website at: lucindariley.co.uk

or follow her on Twitter at: @lucindariley

#BookReview
The Paris Secret by Karen Swan
@KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks

 

Synopsis:

Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren’t all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family’s affairs – but just what is he hiding?


Book Rating: 9/10

Compelling, emotional and deliciously mysterious!

This is a riveting tale that sweeps us into the glamorous world of art and takes us on a journey to find the true provenance of precious paintings that have been concealed for decades.

The story is predominantly set in Paris during both the latter part of WWII, as well as present day and is filled with mystique, familial drama, heartbreak, secrets, deception, history, abuse, self discovery, exotic locales and of course a little bit of romance.

The prose is precise and vividly descriptive. The characters are complex, independent and affluent. And the plot uses a present/past style to not only build suspense and tension, but to create depth and understanding to the personalities, motivations and relationships within it.

I have to admit that when it comes to Karen Swan I’m a little bit biased. I’m a huge fan (as you can see)! To me her books are like a cosy jumper, every time I pick one up I know I can snuggle down for the whole day and be immersed in a story that will captivate me, make me smile, probably make me laugh, and possibly even make me cry and this one was no exception.

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Karen Swan, follow her on Facebook at: Karen-Swan

or on Twitter at: @KarenSwan1

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