A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley book review

a sudden crush

A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley publisher Pink Bloom press is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sudden-Crush-Camilla-Isley-ebook/dp/B0187MJZB2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1456582190&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Joanna Price is a city girl with the perfect life. She loves her job as a book editor, she just married Liam, high profile bestselling author and the man of her dreams, and she’s headed to the Caribbean to enjoy two weeks of paradise for her luxurious honeymoon.

Connor Duffield is a gruff, grumpy rancher from the Midwest. He is a country boy who has a no-nonsense approach to life, more scars than he’d like to admit, and he hates city girls.

So it’s just a misfortune they have to sit next to each other for a six hour plane ride. Even more so when their flight is caught in the perfect storm and Joanna wakes up stranded on a desert island with Connor, the very man she hoped she would never have to see again.

Why are they alone on this forsaken island? What happened to Joanna’s husband?

When her dream honeymoon turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare, Joanna’s first thought is survival. However, she and Connor will quickly discover just how boring paradise can be. As the days turn to weeks, and then months, this mismatched pair will have to learn how to coexist and how to resist the sparkles of an attraction they weren’t prepared to feel.

When they are finally rescued will Joanna’s marriage be saved as well, or will the life she knew and loved be in ruins?

deserted island clipart

I’d like to thank the author, Camilla Isley, for an arc in return for an honest review.

This is the first book I’ve read by Camilla Isley, when Camilla contacted me regarding her books I was initially drawn to her novels with the covers.  A Sudden Crush has a gorgeous summer blue background with tropical trees and flowers enclosing a silhouetted couple and a monkey.  The cover looked dreamy and an ideal escapist read for a cold winter’s day.  The synopsis was my next port of call with a view to reading this novel and it sounded like a fun read.

I was soon drawn into the story.  Camilla had developed great characters in Joanna Price and Connor Duffield, I warmed to them quickly.

Joanna Price is a book editor working for a top publishing firm in the city of Chicago, she fell in love and married the handsome bestselling author Liam. Joanna and Liam had just boarded the plane for their honeymoon however, after a mad rush to the airport to catch the plane there were no spare paired seats left for the honeymooners to sit on so Joanna was paired with a Mr Grumpy, aka Connor Druffield, and much to Joanna’s dismay her beloved is sat next to a stunning model.  Joanna pleads with her neighbour Connor to change seats but he grumpily replies he’s happy where he is sat next to the window and doesn’t wish to swap seats.  So Joanna and Connor are lumped with each other for the rest of the plane journey.  Unfortunately, the plane journey is hit by turbulence and we find Joanna and Connor waking up stranded on a deserted tropical island.  Joanna is not impressed of all the people to be stranded on an island with is Mr Grumpy.  Connor is also pretty much not overwrought with his companion as he is a country boy rancher who has a dislike for city girls.

Connor soon settles into survival mode on the island and builds a shelter, fire and hunts for food in the sea and jungle.  After Joanna’s initial shock finding herself on the island she is distraught about her husband Liam, is Liam alive, will she see Liam again, will they be rescued off the island?  Joanna eventually calms down and befriends an orphaned monkey who soon becomes inseparable with her, Joanna happily names this little monkey Manny.

We follow the journey of how Joanna and Connor survive on the island, how their relationship develops from loathing each other to actually talking to each other, as there’s not an awful lot else on a desert island they can do.  There are some wonderful comedy moments between the pair and some lovely endearing moments.  I loved this part of the story.  It did actually sound idyllic and I soon fell in love with Manny followed by Connor! 🙂

The story continues after they’ve been rescued.  How will Joanna and Liam’s marriage cope with this traumatic event?  Will Joanna’s life go back to normal?  Will Joanna and Connor ever meet up again?

I adored this novel.  It was like a modern day fairytale: like a cross between Robinson Crusoe and Cinderella.  When I got to the end I sighed as I loved the ending but I was also distraught as I didn’t want the story to end, I’d love to know more about how the characters lives continued.  This novel had it all funny comedic moments; idyllic location; a gorgeous endearing monkey; characters to fall in love with and to despise; a heart warming story that gives you hope and makes you smile and a story that you wish could go on and on …  5/5*

To find out more about Camilla Isley and her books please visit the following links:

http://camillaisley.com/

https://www.facebook.com/camillaisley/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/camillaisley

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter by Dinah Jefferies book review

the silk merchants daughter

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter by Dinah Jefferies, publisher Penguin is available from THURSDAY 25th February 2016 in ebook, hardcover and audio download format.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silk-Merchants-Daughter-Dinah-Jefferies-ebook/dp/B016MO201E/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1456217688&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

FROM THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE TEA PLANTER’S WIFE

Dinah Jefferies’ stunning new novel is a gripping, unforgettable tale of a woman torn between two worlds…

1952, French Indochina. Since her mother’s death, eighteen-year-old half-French, half-Vietnamese Nicole has been living in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Sylvie. When Sylvie is handed control of the family silk business, Nicole is given an abandoned silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter of Hanoi. But the area is teeming with militant rebels who want to end French rule, by any means possible. For the first time, Nicole is awakened to the corruption of colonial rule – and her own family’s involvement shocks her to the core…

Tran, a notorious Vietnamese insurgent, seems to offer the perfect escape from her troubles, while Mark, a charming American trader, is the man she’s always dreamed of. But who can she trust in this world where no one is what they seem?

The Silk Merchant’s Daughter is a captivating tale of dark secrets, sisterly rivalry and love against the odds, enchantingly set in colonial era Vietnam.

vietmanese flowers

I’d like to thank the publishers and Dinah Jefferies for an arc in return for an honest review.

I utterly adored this story.  I was gripped with the intense drama and of the desperation of survival of the heart and soul.  This was  a beautiful, touching, at times harrowing and tragic story.  A story of survival.  A story of defending your heritage.  A story of love.

18 year old Nicole, daughter of a Vietnamese mother and French father, was struggling with her identity.  She admired her beautiful, older sister who oozed French chic.  Nicole had more of her mother’s looks and being half French faced much racism living in French Indochina in 1952.  War was imminent, Vietnamese rebels wanted to end French rule.  Nicole and her family living in the wealthy French quarter were soon caught up in a dangerous life of survival.  During these tentative times Nicole had become friends with an American who was working with her father.  Nicole soon started to have strong feelings for Mark but didn’t know an awful lot about him.

Nicole witnesses a truly awful event to which her father, her sister and Mark were involved.  She is utterly disgusted with this terrible event she has witnessed and her whole outlook on her life and loved ones has been shaken.  She doesn’t know who to trust or who to turn to.

Tran, a Vietnamese revolutionary offers her an escape from her insecurities. However, the journey she takes with Tran is full of danger she didn’t expect and Nicole fears for her life and wonders whether she will see her family and Mark again.

I was totally gripped with this story.  I felt the fear of impending uncertainty of the war from Nicole.  I felt her anxiety and confusion of not knowing which side she belonged to: French or Vietnamese.  I also felt her heartache for the love she thought would not blossom and grow.  A beautiful love story set amongst a country full of so much unrest.  Can love survive the battles ahead for Nicole?  Once again Dinah drew you into the story and the country with it’s beauty.  Amongst the devastated landscapes the beauty of the colours of the flora and fauna could not be hidden.  I could almost picture the markets with its array of colours of the spices which radiated the most delicious, warming aromas.

I was gripped with the intensity of the drama were love had to battle with a country’s unrest.  5/5*

To find out more about Dinah Jefferies and her books please visit the following links:

http://www.dinahjefferies.com/

https://twitter.com/DinahJefferies

https://www.facebook.com/dinahjefferiesbooks/?fref=ts

 

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky book review and giveaway

blueprints

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky, publisher Piatkus, is available in paperback and audio download format from Thursday 25th February, also available now in ebook and hardcover format.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blueprints-Barbara-Delinsky/dp/0349405042/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1456134806&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Everything was perfect on paper . . .

Jamie MacAfee’s life is almost perfect. She’s sure she loves her fiancée, even if she hasn’t quite worked out why she won’t set a wedding date and she certainly adores her job, working as an architect on their family home renovation show. Meanwhile, her beloved mother Caroline has built up her confidence after a painful divorce, working closely alongside her daughter as the very successful host of Gut It!. Everything is going to plan, until the lives of both women are changed overnight.

When the TV channel plan to replace Caroline with Jamie as the show’s host, Caroline is left feeling horribly betrayed – and old in the eyes of the world. Then tragedy strikes, leaving Jamie guardian to her small, orphaned step-brother and fiancée to a man who doesn’t want the child.

Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around break down. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, it’s time to find out what they really want – and where their future lies . . .

blueprints clipart

 

I am pleased to be part of the blogtour promoting the paperback release of Blueprints.  I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

Jaime is a young architect working for the family building company, MacAfee’s.  Her mum, Caroline, is a carpenter and although is divorced from Jaime’s father Caroline is still very much involved with the company.  MacAfee’s have enjoyed success on the reality DIY TV show ‘Gut It’ with Caroline and Jaime actively involved.  However, the producers have decided that Caroline should step down as the main host and her daughter Jaime should take centre stage.  Jaime is not keen to step into her mother’s shoes as she believes her mother is already doing an excellent job as the host.  Caroline is furious with this proposal and feels victimised due to her age.  A rift is opened between mother and daughter.  However, tragedy strikes and an untimely death in the family changes the future for both Caroline and Jaime.  Jaime’s life is turned upside down with this tragic event.  She has no time to grieve and has to become a mother to her orphaned step brother.

We follow the journey of Jaime and Caroline coping after this tragedy.  The rift from before is soon brought to perspective and the girls soon realise that they both need each other.

I loved this family saga of coming together after a tragedy. I also adored how love found it’s way into the lives of Jaime and Caroline after such a devastating tragedy.  It gave hope for lighter, brighter days ahead.

I was sad when the story came to an end and in my mind I was planning ahead a continuation story for the characters I had come to love.  This is the first book I’ve read by Barbara Delinsky and I loved the characters she created in this story, the storyline flowed well with a whole myriad of emotions felt through the words.  I look forward to reading more from Barbara.  5/5*

To find out more from Barbara Delinsky and her books please visit the following links:

http://barbaradelinsky.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bdelinsky/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/BarbaraDelinsky

GIVEAWAY

The publishers have kindly given me an extra paperback copy of Blueprints to giveaway.  Please comment below stating the title of any other Barbara Delinsky novels you have read before.  I will pick a winner at random on Sunday.  Good Luck.

 

Cobwebs in the Dark by Rachael Richey book review

cobwebs in the dark

Cobwebs in the Dark (The NightHawk series book 3) by Rachael Richey, publisher The Wild Rose Press is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cobwebs-Dark-NightHawk-Rachael-Richey-ebook/dp/B01A9PUTQA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1455734717&sr=1-1&keywords=cobwebs+in+the+dark

Product Details (as per amazon page)

With NightHawk newly reformed and preparing for a world tour, Abi Hawk finds herself unaccountably insecure about the attention her husband Gideon, the band’s frontman, will receive from groupies. In New Zealand for the first leg of the tour and a visit with Gideon’s sister, they are faced with a new problem. An outrageous claim pushes Abi’s insecurities to new heights, and it takes all their resolve to stick together and sort it out.

Meanwhile their daughter Natasha goes on an adventure of her own, one that places her in danger from an old adversary, forcing Abi and Gideon to summon all their combined strengths to rescue her.

musical notes 2 clipart

This is the third instalment in The NightHawk series and I was gripped yet again with the drama and romance in Abi and Gideon’s life.

We left Abi and Gideon at the end of book two (Rhythm of Deceit), see my review here just about coping after a traumatic event involving Abi and their daughter Natasha with the band’s ex-drummer Simon.  Simon had become very deranged and had set out to hurt Gideon through Abi and Natasha.  However, Simon was never to be found after this event and was presumed drowned.

It’s a year since this terrible ordeal and Gideon is preparing for the first tour of the newly reformed band.  The first leg of the tour is in New Zealand and Gideon and his family travel overseas to stay with his sister prior to the tour.  Abi is a little worried about how she will react with all the adoring attention from young girls Gideon will attract.  She wasn’t around when Gideon first toured with the band but still felt an unease and pang of jealousy when she saw pictures of him in the press back then.  However, the fans are the least of Abi’s worries when an outrageous claim by an ex-girlfriends shatters all Abi’s doubts about Gideon’s past.

Also, the gripping ordeal with Simon, the ex-drummer, in book two rears it’s ugly head when Simon comes out of hiding and hatches out a plan which has dangerous consequences ahead for Natasha.

Another exciting, gripping instalment.  I loved how this story was set in New Zealand.  I felt the fear, described by Tasha, of being in a strange country, it added an extra depth to the drama as both victim and assailant were unsure of their surroundings.  As always there was love and romance interwoven in the storyline and we get to hear more of Abi, Gideon and Natasha’s personal history.

The ‘sneaky peak/sample’ of the fourth instalment of the series at the end of the book has left me desperate to read more of this captivating series.  A series that is beautiful, emotive, heart breaking, intriguing and with a gripping story that spans decades.  5/5*

To find out more about Rachael Richey and her books please visit the following links:

http://rachaelricheybooks.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachael-Richey-Author/567963536590152

https://twitter.com/rachaelrbooks

Daydream Believer by Lizzie Fayke book review

daydream believer

Daydream Believer by Lizzie Fayke is a self-published novel available in ebook and paperback format.  The book is also part of the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Daydream-Believer-Lizzie-Fayke-ebook/dp/B012XN04D4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1455550957&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Sarah Collin’s world is about to be changed forever by her imaginary boyfriend.
Her dream world collides with reality when she invents Steve, her rock musician lover, in the hope of adding some much needed glamour to her life, while gaining a little respect from her workmates.
As the lie spirals out of control, she finds herself on the Costa Blanca. Could her chaotic holiday actually make some of her daydreams come true?

cocktail 2 clipart

I’d like to thank the author, Lizzie Fayke, for an arc in return for an honest review.

This was such a great fun filled read from a new talent that is like a breath of fresh air.  Lizzie has created such a brilliant character in Sarah Collins, a compulsive daydreamer, Sarah’s character isn’t always afraid to say or do what she thinks which often results in hilarious consequences.  I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the novel:

“You need a holiday, love.”
Eureka!  There is a God, Nanny Collins will be pleased.
“How about we spend a couple of days in your Aunty Jean’s caravan?”
Shit!  “But it’s parked on her drive.”
“We won’t know that once we’re inside.  We can pretend to be
anywhere we choose.”
You see now where my deluded genes come from.

Sarah Collins is fed up of her life, she sees friends on facebook with great jobs, in a loving relationship going here there and everywhere.  Out of desperation and to avoid some flack at work she makes up an imaginery boyfriend, Steve.  Her imagination starts tumbling around her when the girls at work ask about Steve.  To shut them up Sarah decides to join ‘Steve’ on his tour overseas with his rock band for a week.

Will her imagination collide with real life and can she find her true love she’s dream’t about in her daydreams for such a long time?

Some absolutely fabulous sub characters Lizzie has also created which helped to make some wonderful comical moments in this story.  The characters were totally believable even though some were a little eccentric but I could picture them all going about their business and aiding Sarah with her quest to find her true love.  A witty story with great comical moments and a lovely romance to it, 4.5/5*

To find out more from Lizzie Fayke and her books please visit the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/Lizzie-Fayke-1501776026736999/

https://lizziefayke.wordpress.com/

Let’s Brew! Ahmad Tea review

ahmad teaI was first introduced to Ahmad Tea in the new year when one of my friends gave me a birthday treat of an Ahmad Tea Fruity Tea selection box with a wooden box tea box.  I’m a big tea drinker and love decaf, fruity and herbal teas the most so this was a wonderful present.

image7

Ahmad Tea is a UK based family business with four generations of experience in quality tea blending.  The company is renowned for it’s stunning gift packs, tins and tea caddies.  The individual teabags are lovingly enclosed in beautiful foiled envelopes to retain the freshness of the tea blend.  The company is recognised internationally and has grown greatly and now exports to over 80 countries.

The website offers a range of:

  •  Teapots, mugs, infusers, teacups.
  • A gorgeous array of caddies containing loose leaf tea and teabags.
  • A great selection of seasonal and English tea gifts.
  • The fine tea collection make wonderful gifts for seasoned tea drinkers with their stunning collectable embossed caddies containing loose leaf tea.
  • The Selection boxes are just brilliant for introducing someone to Ahmad Tea and make ideal presents.  It is a brilliant collection of loose leaf and teabag filled selection boxes.
  • The tea range includes Classic Tea, Green Tea, Herbal Tea and Fruit Tea in choices of both loose leaf and teabags.

ahmad tea collage

To order from the site please visit the following link:

http://www.ahmadtea.com/

If you sign up to their newsletter, new subscribers can save 15% on their first order.

From my first selection box my favourite teas were the Blackberry Burst Black tea, Blueberry Green Tea and Raspberry Indulgence Black Tea.

The Blackcurrant Burst Black tea is quite a dark colour but you’d expect this with the blackcurrant leaves and fruit pieces.  I love fruit teas and this black tea was a wonderful alternative.  This is a lovely gently fruity pick you up.  A definite ‘yes’ for my to buy list. The Raspberry Indulgence Black Tea was very similar looking to the Blackcurrant Burst, a lovely rich dark colour.  This had a lovely subtle taste of raspberries and made a pleasing drink.

I’m not a fan of green tea but I love blueberries so was interested to try the Blueberry Green Tea.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The blueberries made this tea a gorgeous fruity treat.  Sometimes I feel there is a bitterness to green tea but none at all from this tea.  A lovely warm, tasty, good for you fruity tea.  A yes from me!  I also enjoyed the Raspberry and Pomegranate Green tea, this was another subtle fruity green tea.

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Another of my favourite black teas is the Apple Refresher.  As I had enjoyed the other black teas from ahmad I wanted to expand my tastebuds to more fruity black teas.  As soon as the water hit the bag I could smell the crispness and sweetness of the apples.  A gorgeous warm drink which brings back memories of late summer days walking through open fields … lovely.  I also really enjoyed Apricot Sunrise black tea.  This too had a wonderful fragrance to it and was fruity and summery.

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Evening Tea decaffeinated has a lovely subtle fragrance which comes from the bergamot.  The bergamot doesn’t overpower the tea and is very subtle.  This is wonderful in the evening when not wishing to have a high caffeine drink.  I enjoyed it with a drop of milk, warming and comforting.

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Citrus Herbal Tea.  This was lovely and refreshing drink with a burst of oranges and lemons.  It was like a liquid ‘starburst’ sweet.

Earl Grey decaffeinated … I’m now a convert to Earl Grey tea!  This is lovely and not overpowering like some Earl Grey teas.  I’ve never tried Earl Grey before as I’ve felt like they’ve got a strong flowery fragrance but this was very subtle and was great with just a splash of milk.

On the website under the Tea Essentials tab there is a section of recipes with some lovely goodies sweet and savoury made with the tea.

Earl Grey, Blueberry and Lemon Cake recipe can be found here.

Earl Grey, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed trying all these new tea flavours and finding a new brand of tea.  I have a shopping list ready.

I’d like to thank Ahmad Tea for the additional samples they sent me in return for an honest review.

To find out more about Ahmad Tea London please visit the following links:

http://www.ahmadtea.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AhmadTeaUK/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/ahmadteaUK

 

 

 

The Ballroom by Anna Hope book review

the ballroom

The Ballroom by Anna Hope, publisher Transworld Digital for the ebook format and Doubleday for the hardcover format, is available from Thursday 11th February 2016.  The book will also be available in audio download format.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TheBallroom-Anna-Hope-ebook/dp/B00QDGVFRM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1455119880&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Where love is your only escape ….

1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful.  For one bright evening every week they come together and dance.
When John and Ella meet it is a dance that will change two lives forever.

Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, THE BALLROOM is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.

swallow bird

This is the first book I’ve read by Anna Hope and I’d like to thank the publishers for the arc which I won in a recent giveaway on Twitter.

I was initially drawn to this novel by the cover the birds on the front are quite minimalistic and give impressions of freedom.

This was such an unusual concept for a love story.  It is set in 1911 in an asylum on the Yorkshire Moors.  The patients of the asylum were segregated and the only time the men and women came together was on a Friday night in the ballroom.

Ella is quite a new patient at the unit and she doesn’t know why she is in there and is very confused and angry at first, which is when she tries to make a run for it and nearly collides with John, one of the male patients, who is working outside.  John sees something in Ella during this brief introduction, in her eyes, in her mannerisms, he couldn’t quite say what it was about the young woman but he couldn’t stop thinking of her.

The author’s portrayal of the asylum sounded fascinating, the building was so majestic and beautiful and the ballroom was a thing of beauty.  The lands were vast and the men and women were put to work to make the unit self sufficient.  The men were allowed to work outside which when you looked at it compared to the women was a luxury as the women had to stay indoors, no windows were allowed open and they couldn’t see much of what lay beyond the walls of the asylum.

Ella and John after some time meet again in the ballroom where they danced and held each other.  A beautiful, slow love develops between them and is touching to see the depths to which they will go to be together.

One of the main doctors at the asylum at first appears very understanding with the patients and he starts to wonder whether music is a benefit to the mind.  However, I felt that he was fighting an inner self-doubt which changed him to an almost evil character.

This was a truly beautiful love story, a unique one, one that I’ll never forget.  I was totally heartbroken at the end and couldn’t control my emotions.  A stunning, poignant story that left me shattered with emotions.  5/5*  I’m expecting The Ballroom to be a huge success for Anna Hope, this story is just beautiful.

To find out more about Anna Hope and her books please visit the following link:

https://twitter.com/Anna_Hope