Review

#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

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck
@suemonte @fayerogersuk

Synopsis:

Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam’s two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister’s medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word “dyslexia” is generally unknown so to most people he’s just a “retard”. From the severe knocks life’s dealt him, Sam’s developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player.

Despite his defects, Alex’s love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex’s powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex’s evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what’s the mystery behind Alex’s father’s death?

Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?


Book Rating: 7/10

Romantic, reflective and heartwarming!

In this novel by Roebuck, she transports us back to the 1960s to the rugged terrain of the dusty prairies where life is hard; blood, sweat, and tears are the norm; and small-minded mentality surrounding politics, economics, special needs, and sexuality is rampant.

The characters are troubled, unique, and endearing. And the plot, which is ultimately about life, loss, survival, family, morality and love has a lot of subplots and tackles a lot of issues, including industrial pollution, pharmaceutical negligence, homelessness, abuse and sexual orientation.

This is a very complex, intriguing story that definitely has a “Brokeback Mountain” feel with that deep, enduring, underlying bond and love between the two main characters. And even though Roebuck did an exceptional job of writing the narration and dialogue true to the characters natures and time period, at times I did feel it caused a little disruption in my connection to the story and the overall flow.

About the Author

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Awe-Struck Publishing on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback was launched on May 11 2011. In May 2017 Mundania Press re-released the ebook.

Perfect Score was an EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-Book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

“Perfect Score” is set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.

“Hewhay Hall” is my second novel, published by Etopia Press on April 20, 2012. It has won the EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) 2013 e-Book Award in the Horror Category (an EPPIE)

Thank you to Susan Roebuck and Faye Rogers 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 one of the following links.

                      

For more information on Susan Roebuck, visit her website at: susanroebuck.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @suemonte

 

#BookReview
STAY by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
@SarinaBowen @ElleKennedy @ninabocci

Synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.


Book Rating: 10/10

Lighthearted, hilarious, and downright swoon-worthy!

This is a laugh-out-loud funny tale about the practically perfect, delicious Matt who finds himself intrigued and attracted to his virtual assistant and the charmingly cute, hockey fanatic Hailey who is undeniably crushing on her favourite client.

The writing is spot on. The plot is an entertaining mix of heartfelt emotion, combustible chemistry, playful banter, hilarious hijinks, sporty references, adorable dogs and a challenging ex. And the characters, including all the supporting characters, are charismatic, lovable and fun.

This is truly a delectable indulgence and once again Bowen and Kennedy have proven that even though they are great authors independently, together they’re dynamite!

This is the second novel in the “WAGS” series. If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for the first novel in the series “Good Boy” (WAGS #1) you can check it out here:

Thank you to Nina Bocci, Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

STAY is available now.

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

                                 

For more information on Sarina Bowen, visit her website at: sarinabowen.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @SarinaBowen

For more information on Elle Kennedy, visit her website at: ellekennedy.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @ElleKennedy

#BookReview
Chief’s Mess by L.A. Witt
@GallagherWitt @RiptideBooks

Synopsis:

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Sexy, steamy, and sensitive!

Once again we head back to Anchor Point and this time Witt delves into the choices, struggles, and fallouts of alcohol addiction and reminds us that sometimes we find what we want and need when we least expect it.

The writing is sultry. The characters are sympathetic, sincere, and committed. And the plot, which has a little less depth than the previous novels in the series is ultimately about military life, friendship, alcoholism, acceptance, support, desire, and explosive chemistry.

Overall, I have to say this is a deliciously erotic novel written in alternating points of view that allow a genuine look at all the unfolding dynamics, relationship drama, emotion, and salacious scenes through each man’s eyes.

This is the third novel in the “Anchor Point” series. If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for the first two novels in the series “Just Drive” (Anchor Point #1) and Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) you can check them out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Riptide Publishing 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 one of the following link.

                                 

For more information on L.A. Witt, visit her website at: gallagherwitt.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @GallagherWitt

#BookReview
Liar by K.L. Slater
@KimLSlater @bookouture

Synopsis:

How far would you go to protect your family?

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage.

Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.


Book Rating: 8/10

Menacing, intense and eerie!

This story focuses on the unique relationship between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws and highlights the friction, discontent, competition, and rivalry that can exist between the two.

It is, ultimately, a story about control, power, manipulation, deception, obsession, and revenge.

The writing is fluid and smooth. The characters are desperate, devious, damaged, and consumed. And the plot, although a little predictable, does a good job of creating tension, suspense and strife as it methodically unravels revealing all the personalities, complex relationships and dark motivations within it.

Overall, this is a compelling, entertaining psychological thriller by Slater with an opening that will make you think twice, a few twists, and a narration style that will have you rooted to your seat from the very first page.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for Slater’s previous novel, Safe With Me, be sure to check it out here:

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture 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 one of the following links.

                                           

For more information on K.L. Slater, visit her website at: KLSlaterAuthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KimLSlater

#BookReview
The Map that Leads to You by J.P. Monninger
@StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

A romantic, vivid novel that takes place in the tender time of a young woman’s life: Heather has graduated from college and is traveling around Europe with her two best friends. She’s left school responsibility behind and adult responsibility is looming, but this is her one, ONE last summer to be free. Heather doesn’t expect to even meet Jack, let alone fall in love with him. Jack is an enigmatic Vermonter a few years older than she is, who is following his grandfather’s journal to various cities around Europe. But in the same way that forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything.


Book Rating: 7.5/10

Poignant, compelling and endearingly romantic!

This is a coming-of-age story about friendship, responsibility, independence, and first love all wrapped up in a beautiful travel guide to some of the most breathtaking historical landmarks, monuments, and cities in Europe.

The characters are young, enthusiastic, and adventurous. The prose is clear and precise. And although the plot in the first half of the novel is a little slow, the second half is definitely much more intense, angsty, emotional, and drama-filled with an ending that will definitely have you shedding a few tears.

Overall, I think this novel will be a big success and really appeal to teens and young adults and even though I think I’m a little older than the target demographic I found it intriguing, unique and wonderfully descriptive.

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, 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. 

                                          

#BookReview
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, a summertime story about identical twins who couldn’t be any less alike.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha’s Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. Just because twins look exactly the same doesn’t mean they’re anything alike–and Tabitha and Harper Frost have spent their whole lives trying to prove this point. When a family crisis forces them to band together–or at least appear to–the twins come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the resentments that have driven them apart. A story of new loves, old battles, and a threat that gives a whole new meaning to the term sibling rivalry, THE IDENTICALS is Elin Hilderbrand at her page-turning best.


Book Rating: 10/10

Absorbing, enchanting, and absolutely irresistible!

This story is set on the picturesque islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and gives us a glimpse into small-island living, complete with alluring beaches, endless sun, infinite gossip, and competitive rivalry. It is told from three different perspectives; Harper, a free spirit who is fun and kind but often impulsive and reckless; Tabitha, Harper’s mature, responsible, workaholic identical twin who struggles with underlying grief; and Ainsley, Tabitha’s teenage daughter who is popular, spoilt and in desperate need of some additional parenting.

The writing is flawless. The plot is a perfect blend of heart, hope, angst, and drama. And the characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters, including three generations of strong, determined women who learn to embrace the future and let go of the past. 

This is, ultimately, a story about family dynamics, sister relationships, heartbreak, secrets, expectations, loss, grief, forgiveness, dreams, love, discovering one’s true self and the undeniable special bonds between twins. It is the perfect summer read. It sweeps you away to another place, gives you some tears, gives you some smiles and I absolutely adored it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company 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 Elin Hilderbrand, visit her website at: elinhilderbrand.net

or follow her on twitter at: @elinhilderbrand

#BookReview
Find Her by Lisa Gardner
@LisaGarnderBks @DuttonBooks

 

Synopsis:

Flora Dane is a victim.

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless.

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Thrilling, dark, and downright spine-chilling!

This is a gritty, police procedural that takes us on a hunt for a sadist and highlights the enduring psychological effects experienced by those who manage to survive.

The writing is fluid. The characterization is well done with the usual gang back including the stubborn, resilient, determined D. D. Warren whose greatest struggle is accepting and adhering to restricted duty when the clock is ticking and two women are missing. And the plot is an adrenaline-rushing mixture of disturbing violence, gruesome murder as well as some nice twists and turns that definitely keep you guessing.

Once again, Gardner has written a gripping, highly entertaining novel that showcases her exceptional ability to not only delve into the psychological and behavioural actions of the most depraved of society but also those of the victims who suffer by their hands.

About the Author:

 

LISA GARDNER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen previous novels, including her most recent, Crash & Burn. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Fear NothingCatch MeLove You More, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. She lives with her family in New England.

 

 

Thank you to Dutton Books (Penguin Random House) for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now in Trade Paperback

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

                                           

For more information on Lisa Gardner, visit her website at: lisagardner.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @LisaGardnerBks

#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

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