#GuestPost
The Savage Shore by David Hewson
@david_hewson @severnhouse #LoveBooksGroup

#GuestPost The Savage Shore by David Hewson @david_hewson @severnhouse #LoveBooksGroupTitle: The Savage Shore

Author: David Hewson

Published by Severn House on July 31, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Roman police detective Nic Costa has been sent undercover to Italy’s beautiful, remote Calabrian coast to bring in the head of the feared mob, the ‘Ndrangheta, who has offered to turn state witness for reasons of his own.

Hoping to reel in the biggest prize the state police have seen in years, the infamous Butcher of Palermo, Costa and his team are aware the stakes are high. But the constant deception is taking its toll. Out of their depth in a lawless part of Italy where they are the outcasts, not the men in the hills, with their shotguns and rough justice, the detectives find themselves pitched as much against one another as the mob. As the tension rises, it’s clear the operation is not going to plan. Is Nic Costa getting too close to the enemy for comfort – and is there a traitor among them …?

 

And now David Hewson with:

 

Savage Shore: The Crime Gang

Most of the Nic Costa stories take place in Rome, a city the world knows well, even people who’ve never been there. We have a picture of it from TV, from other books, and from our consciousness of its considerable role in Western civilisation.

But when I decided to bring Costa and his colleagues out of hibernation after a nearly ten-year gap I felt I needed to mix things around a little. One more Roman story wasn’t good enough. I wanted to jolt them – and myself – into dealing with somewhere new.

That turned out to be a part of Italy few people know, even native Italians. Calabria is the toe of Italy, a wild, largely rural region dominated at the southern tip by a vast mountain known as Aspromonte. It overlooks the Strait of Messina, with Etna clearly visible on a good day, smoke winding out of the summit. The land is rugged, inhospitable in parts, and the area pretty much lacking in the spectacular sights that draw millions of visitors to other parts of the country.

Why choose this as a location? Because The Savage Shore is, in part, about what happens to places that the rest of a nation ignores. It lies in the southern half of the country known as the Mezzogiorno, the poorest part of Italy far removed from the riches of the north. Over the years this neglect has seen the rise of organised crime which has come, in some ways, to represent a kind of alternative government or society in place of the authority that should be there from elsewhere.

While most people regard organised crime in Italy as being the work of ‘the Mafia’, matters on the ground are rather more complicated. There are, in fact, three different native Italian mobs, each based on a geographical location. The true Mafia, or Cosa Nostra, hail from Sicily. The second is based in Naples and is called the Camorra. The third, possibly larger and more powerful but less well-known than the others, began in Calabria and is known as the ’Ndrangheta, a name it takes from the Greek dialect of the area, which means roughly ‘the honourable men’.

Few people have heard of the ‘Ndrangheta but they are huge and their tentacles spread around the world – from large property holdings in Brussels to busy public markets in Australia. They are also far more reticent and less flashy than their peers in Naples and Palermo, though equally violent when pushed.

The setup for the book is simple. One of the local leaders of an ’Ndrangheta gang, a shadowy figure known only as ‘Lo Spettro’, the ghost, has intimated to the police that he’s willing to surrender himself and turn state witness to rat on his peers. Nic Costa and his colleagues have been sent undercover to the Calabrian coast to try to engineer his perilous escape from his own gang, which would surely murder him if he knew what was on his mind.

In order to do that, Lo Spettro demands that Costa himself masquerade as a rookie gangster inside the local mob, living in the hills in an abandoned village they used as a crime base, and posing as a man willing to undertake any violent act required of him in order to smuggle the gang lord out to safety.

So in a way this is also a book about people pretending to be something they’re not, and how damaging that pretence can be in the end. Not just for the police who are trying to hide their real feelings and identity, but a crime lord on the brink as well.

 

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

About David Hewson

David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, The Sunday Times and the Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels including his Rome-based Nic Costa series which has been published in fifteen languages. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series, The Killing. He lives near Canterbury in Kent.

 

Thank you to David Hewson for being featured on my blog today!

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson
@JuliaIbbotson @Endeavour_Media
#LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #Excerpt Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson @JuliaIbbotson @Endeavour_Media #LoveBooksGroupToursTitle: Finding Jess

Author: Julia Ibbotson

Series: Drumbeats #3

Published by Endeavour Media on August 10, 2018

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 254

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Single mum Jess has had her world turned upside down. Now it’s about to be turned inside out.

Jess has got a tough life back on track after love-of-her-life husband Simon walked out on her and their beautiful young daughters Katy and Abi. But she has long-time friend and confidante Polly to turn to…until Polly and Simon start having an affair together.

When Polly decides to apply for a job at Jess’s school, in the English department, Jess feels threatened. So why has Polly set her sights on the department head’s role? And why is the school now offering Jess a sideways ‘promotion’?

Jess can no longer trust anyone – including herself. Then out of the blue she is mysteriously sent a clipping for a temporary post in the Ministry of Education in Ghana, where she did a gap year as a teenager, and where she was happy. She is on the brink of losing everything at home but could this be a lifeline?

Julia Ibbotson’s Finding Jess is a passionate study of love and betrayal – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust after suffering great misfortune. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

 

 

Excerpt:

On that night, in 1986, so long ago, on their wedding anniversary, lying next to her beloved Simon, listening to his breathing, loving him yet somehow afraid, she had held her hands up over her face trying to blank out the rhythmic rising and falling of sounds in the heavy darkness, that sense of imminent danger. She had no idea what was about to happen to them, to her much-loved family, but somehow it reminded her so vividly of that time in Ghana, and those portentous drumbeats … they were haunting her again, whatever they meant …

… the whispering souls and spirits calling to her across the bush; the surging and dying of the wind on the night air, the insistent beat of the kpanlogo djembe. Once more, her dreams were garish and crowded as they had been there. And she remembered that haunting. What was it that felt so ominous now?

Eventually, exhausted, she had slept, but it was restless and in the morning she had struggled out of bed feeling as though she had the worst hangover ever. Simon was already up and she could hear him downstairs as she went for her shower.

“Katy! Abi! Are you both up?” she had called.

“Yes, I’m getting dressed and Katy’s gone down.”

After her shower she had sunk onto the stool at the dressing table and peered at her drawn features. Her eyes looked puffy and sore. Right. Makeup out, let’s get respectable. Paint a decent face on …

As she swept brown eyeliner across her eyes, she became aware that he was standing in the bedroom doorway, a sense of agitation emanating from him. She could almost smell the sweat. She looked up and saw that he was leaning against the lintel staring at her. It was not a loving stare but a troubled, frowning one and she knew that he needed to tell her something that she wasn’t going to like. She knew him so well. Some money problem? Work? He wanted to resign from his job and let her to be the breadwinner? Oh dear – she hoped not. She didn’t have the years of promotions behind her to stand keeping the family on her income. But he had threatened that so many times.

She raised her eyebrows enquiringly. He shifted from foot to foot in the doorway and Jess began to feel very uneasy. Her hand trembled and she dripped the liquid eyeliner onto the dressing table.

“I have to tell you,” he said with a slow intake of breath, those fatal, unimaginable, alien words that would haunt her forever. “I’m leaving you.”

“What?” She hadn’t expected that. Her heart fell, tumbling to inexorable death.

“You heard me,” Simon snapped, his face suddenly contorted. “I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a husband and father any more.”

“Decided …? What on earth do you mean?”

 

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

Thank you to Julia Ibbotson for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Julia Ibbotson

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She studied English at Keele University, specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10, but became a school teacher, then university lecturer and researcher. Julia spent a turbulent but exciting time in Ghana, West Africa, teaching and nursing. She has published both academic works and fiction, including a medieval time-slip, a children’s novel , a memoir, and the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana in the 1960s). Apart from insatiable reading, Julia loves world travel, choral singing, swimming, yoga, and walking in the UK and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time. She runs an editing/critiquing service for authors: details on her website. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Society of Authors and the Historical Novel Society.

 

#BookReview
Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter
@genashowalter @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter @genashowalter @HarlequinBooksTitle: Shadow and Ice

Author: Gena Showalter

Series: Gods of War #1

Published by HQN Books on October 23, 2018

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Pages: 496

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.


Review:

Fierce, seductive, and savagely action packed!

Shadow and Ice is a riveting, at times shocking tale that introduces us to Vale London and her sister, Nola, two young women stranded in the Arctic who inadvertently stumble upon warriors from the fight-until-death, All War battle who have been frozen for 1,400 years, until now.

The prose is intense and intricate. The characters are unique, remorseless, and scarred. And the plot is an imaginative, compelling tale of supernatural abilities, magnificent weapons, sizzling chemistry, brutal violence, loyalty, humour, romance, and murder.

I have to say Shadow and Ice is like taking Hunger Games, Marvel Super Heroes, Gladiator, and a slice of mythology and mixing them all together. It’s an epic saga featuring lots of bloody battles, grit, determination, gore, sexual tension, heat, adventure, and fantastical elements that is without a doubt suspenseful, violent, steamy, and thoroughly entertaining.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs.

#BlogTour #BookReview
Dreaming of Christmas by T.A. Williams
@TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co

#BlogTour #BookReview Dreaming of Christmas by T.A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co

#BlogTour #BookReview Dreaming of Christmas by T.A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_coTitle: Dreaming of Christmas

Author: T.A. Williams

Published by Canelo on August 27, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 234

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s the dream Christmas: snow, mountains… and, er, an ex-boyfriend. But can Zoe still find love in the Alps?

Dumped on Christmas Eve by her long-term boyfriend, it’s been a rough year for Zoe Lumsley. But then she gets an invitation she can’t refuse: an all expenses paid skiing holiday with old university friends.

The bad news: her ex, Grant, will be there with his new girlfriend. But so will her former flatmate Billy, the organiser, and in the meantime he’s done rather well for himself. As Christmas in the Alps approaches, it’ll be great to see the old gang. Some more than others…

Perfect for readers of Tilly Tenant, Holly Martin and Philippa Ashley, this is the perfect magical Christmas getaway from the bestselling T.A. Williams.


Review:

Amusing, engaging, and delightfully entertaining!

In this latest novel, Dreaming of Christmas, Williams sweeps us away to a wintery paradise where the snow is falling, the accommodations are luxurious, the food is scrumptious, the skiing is magnificent, and love might actually be in the air.

The prose is atmospheric and well turned. The characters are unique, troubled, friendly, and multi-layered. And the story is a compelling tale full of exciting adventures, heartfelt moments, self-discovery, friendship, relationship woes, happiness, romance, and a whole lot of Christmas cheer!

Overall, Dreaming of Christmas is another charming, beautifully descriptive tale by Williams that’s the perfect choice for any chilly afternoon spent in front of the fire with a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

 

This book is available now.

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

                              

 

 

Thank you to T.A. Williams and Canelo for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About T.A. Williams

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

 

#BookBlitz
Scandalous by Sybil Bartel
@SybilBartel @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz Scandalous by Sybil Bartel @SybilBartel @XpressoReads

#BookBlitz Scandalous by Sybil Bartel @SybilBartel @XpressoReadsTitle: Merciless

Author: Sybil Bartel

Series: Alpha Bodyguard #2

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on November 6, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 236

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Bodyguard.
 
Mercenary.
 
Gun for hire.
 
I didn’t care what you called it, the end result was always the same.
 
You paid me for a job, you got results. The Marines trained me to shoot, but life taught me to aim. Working for the best personal security firm in the business was a stepping stone. Put in my time, build the résumé, then move on. I didn’t do attachments, on any level.
 
Until a smoking-hot former one-night stand crossed the street in front of me, holding a kid who was my spitting image. She tried to play it off, deny he was mine. She said she didn’t remember me, right before she turned around and ran. She thought she’d made a clean escape.
 
But she was about to find out how merciless a bodyguard could be.
 
*MERCILESS is a sexy new standalone book in the Alpha Bodyguard Series.

 

The Alpha Bodyguard Series:

SCANDALOUS

MERCILESS

RECKLESS

RUTHLESS

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT:

She stood on tiptoe and reached to put the glass away in the cupboard, but she wasn’t quite tall enough. The glass fumbled in her fingertips.

It was pure reaction. I stepped behind her and caught it before it shattered on the tile floor.

Then the back of her body was against me and the reaction was immediate. My dick instantly hard, I sucked in a breath of pure fucking female, and she froze.

“Thanks,” she whispered, every muscle in her body going taut.

“Welcome,” I rasped, shoving the glass onto the shelf, telling myself to step the fuck back. But before I could put distance between us, she shocked the fuck out of me for the second time.

She leaned into me. Her head under my chin, her body tucked in to mine, she put her hand on my thigh.

“Brookelyn,” I warned.

Her voice even quieter. “What?”

Jesus, she was small. “What are you doing?” The top of her head barely grazed my pecs. With all of her wild hair and baggy clothes, I hadn’t realized how fucking petite she actually was.

Pressing in to me with deliberate intent, she squeezed my leg. “Something I shouldn’t.”

 

 

About Sybil Bartel

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

One (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-wide, International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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#BookReview
The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton
@LinnBHalton @HarperImpulse

#BookReview The Secrets of Villa Rosso by Linn B. Halton @LinnBHalton @HarperImpulseTitle: The Secrets of Villa Rosso

Author: Linn B. Halton

Published by HarperImpulse on July 21, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 401

Format: Paperback

Source: Linn B. Halton

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels to the estate’s director Max Johnson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso. It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors? What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.


Review:

Vivid, heartwarming, and magical!

The Secrets of Villa Rosso is the enchanting, thought-provoking story of Ellie, a happily married, middle-aged woman whose life gets turned upside down after a quick, unexpected business trip to Itay leaves her pondering the inexplicable connection she feels to the villa, the country, and the director of the estate, Max, and has her questioning whether it’s possible to have two soul mates in one lifetime.

The writing is sincere and reflective. The characters are kindhearted, loyal, and appealing. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging, heartfelt tale of family, friendship, community, self-discovery, obligation, life, love, mystery, and the intricacies of interior design.

Overall, The Secrets of Villa Rosso is a sweet, emotional tale with a picturesque backdrop, a little mystery, and an authentic feel that will leave you dreaming of sunshine and olive trees and have you contemplating the real power of karma and fate.

 

This book is available now. 

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

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Linn B. Halton for sending me a copy as part of a giveaway.

 

About Linn B. Halton

From interior designer to author, Linn - 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 Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); 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 writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

#CoverReveal
Finding Alexei by Kendall Ryan
@KendallRyan1 @InkSlingerPR

 

 

Today I am thrilled to bring you the 🔥HOT🔥

Cover for the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan.

 

Finding Alexei

releasing on January 7th!

 

 

Spotting a hooker on a city street corner is not an abnormal thing.

Me bringing one home? Well, that’s a first.
But this girl . . . She’s in trouble.
And this asshole is not a guy she wants to go home with.
So I do the exact thing I shouldn’t—I offer to bring her home with me instead.
She says this is the first time she’s ever done this, which is adorably ironic.
Then proceeds to tell me a sob story about needing money to care for the baby who was left on her doorstep. That’s when my stomach starts to clench. I think she might be telling the truth.
So I do what any respectable man would do—I take her home, stopping to pick up diapers and formula on the way—and discover that she was telling the truth all along.
Christ on a cracker.
I should have just kept walking.
I should have done a thousand other things except for barge into her sad life, offer to fix everything, fall for her . . .

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | APPLE | B&N | KOBO

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: http://www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras.

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#BookReview
False Witness by Michelle Davies
@M_Davieswrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview False Witness by Michelle Davies @M_Davieswrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: False Witness

Author: Michelle Davies

Series: DC Maggie Neville #3

Published by Pan Macmillan on November 1, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

It began with a lie . . .

Two children are seen on top of a wall in a school.

Shortly later one of them lies fatally injured at the bottom.

Did the boy fall or was he pushed?
As a family liaison offer, DC Maggie Neville has seen parents crumble under the weight of their child’s death. Imogen Tyler is no different. Her son’s fall was witnessed by the school caretaker and another pupil is under suspicion/being questioned, but Imogen is paralysed by questions. Why was he at the school so early? Why was he with a girl who wasn’t a friend?
For Maggie, finding the answers to these questions is paramount if she is to help the mother. But as she investigates, further questions emerge and the truth suddenly seems far from certain. Could the witness be mistaken about what happened and if he is, then who is responsible? And how far will they go to cover up the boy’s death?


Review:

Sinister, relentless, and unpredictable!

In this latest novel in the DC Maggie Neville series, False Witness, Davies immerses us in an emotional case involving the death of a young boy that may or may not be an accident, on school grounds that may or may not be used for illegal extracurricular activity after dark, and involving two families who may or may not have a long, complicated history.

The writing is sharp and tight. The characters are secretive, impulsive and troubled. And the intricate plot, told from differing points-of-view, keeps you engrossed from start to finish with all its twists, turns, deception, revelations, corruption, power, violence, and murder.

I have to say this series keeps getting better and better. False Witness is a perfectly paced, entertaining whodunit that has all the elements you look for in a thrilling mystery, along with a touch of authenticity not always found in police procedurals that will undoubtedly keep you riveted and eager for more.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                         

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Michelle Davies

Michelle Davies has been writing professionally for twenty years as a journalist for magazines, including on the production desk at ELLE, and as Features Editor of Heat. Her last staff position before going freelance was Editor-at-Large at Grazia magazine and she currently writes for a number of women's magazines and newspaper supplements. Michelle is also a crime fiction reviewer for the Books section of the Sunday Express. Michelle lives in London, England and juggles her freelance journalism with motherhood and writing crime fiction.

 

 

#BookReview
Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson
@AuthorBJackson @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson @AuthorBJackson @HarlequinBooksTitle: Love in Catalina Cove

Author: Brenda Jackson

Series: Catalina Cove #1

Published by HQN Books on October 30, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

Synopsis:

In her brand-new series, Brenda Jackson welcomes you to Catalina Cove, where even the biggest heartbreaks can be healed…

In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt’s B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.

The B and B, a place she’d always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town—and its handsome sheriff…

But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she’s learning family isn’t always a matter of blood—sometimes it’s a matter of heart.


Review:

Dramatic, romantic, and uplifting!

Love in Catalina Cove is an engaging, lighthearted read that takes us to coastal Louisiana and into the life of Vashti Alcindor as she meanders through all sorts of highs and lows, including a recent divorce, being laid off, reopening her aunt’s B&B, a blossoming courtship, and returning to the hometown that shunned her following a teen pregnancy.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are strong, confident, and dependable. And the plot, although a little slow to start, is a heartwarming tale with a sliver of mystery that’s full of tricky situations, tender moments, self-discovery, friendship, family, community, acceptance, revelations, happiness, slow-burning romance, and scrumptious blueberry delights.

Overall, Love in Catalina Cove is a passionate, heartfelt start to this new series by Jackson that has a large, intriguing cast of characters that I look forward to reading more about in Forget Me Not (Catalina Cove #2) due to be published in Spring 2019.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

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

 

About Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling.

#BookReview
The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan
@KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: The Christmas Lights

Author: Karen Swan

Published by Pan Macmillan on October 30, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, The Christmas Lights by bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving Christmas tale of love and heartbreak.

December 2018, and free-spirited Influencers Bo Loxley and her partner Zac are living a life of wanderlust, travelling the globe and sharing their adventures with their millions of fans. Booked to spend Christmas in the Norwegian fjords, they set up home in a remote farm owned by enigmatic mountain guide Anders and his fierce grandmother Signy. Surrounded by snowy peaks and frozen falls, everything should be perfect. But the camera can lie and with every new post, the ‘perfect’ life Zac and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth. Something Bo can’t explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and Anders is the only person who’ll listen.

June 1936, and fourteen-year old Signy is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures to work as milkmaids, protecting the herd that will sustain the farm through the long, winter months. But miles from home and away from the safety of their families, threat begins to lurk in friendly faces . . .

The mountains keep secrets – Signy knows this better than anyone – and as Bo’s life begins to spiral she is forced, like the old woman before her, to question who is friend and who is foe.


Review:

Alluring, mysterious, and delightfully festive!

The Christmas Lights is an atmospheric, compelling tale set in Norway during 1936, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Bo, a young reality star unnerved by an obsessed, online stalker and struggling to enjoy a life that lacks privacy, and Signy a sweet, country girl who learns at a young age the dangers that hide on the hills she loves and amongst the animals that grace them.

The writing is smooth, crisp, and vivid. The characters are a mix of kind, endearing, self-indulgent, and exasperating. And the plot is an entertaining mix of heart, hope, angst, mystery, and drama.

The Christmas Lights is, ultimately, a story about relationships, adventure, heartbreak, secrets, expectations, love, obsession, and discovering one’s true self that highlights just how susceptible and vulnerable social media can make us. It’s a beautiful, picture postcard of the frozen terrain, rugged mountains, and breathtaking Northern Lights of the fjords of Norway, and is a charming holiday read complete with a sliver of mystique.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                              

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

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