The Bridesmaid Blues by Tracey Sinclair book review

bridesmaid blues

The Bridesmaid Blues written and self-published by Tracey Sinclair.  The Bridesmaid Blues is available in ebook and paperback format and is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bridesmaid-Blues-Tracey-Sinclair-ebook/dp/B00M83Y3VO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1472648633&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Luce knows she should be thrilled when Jenna asks her to be bridesmaid – after all, they’ve known each other since childhood and Jenna is the best friend any girl could have. But it’s hard to get excited about weddings when you’re terminally single and the best man is the boy who broke your heart: Jamie, the groom’s dashing and irresistible brother. How can she face the man who dumped her when she’s still so hopelessly in love? Then again, maybe this is the perfect opportunity – after all, where better to get back together than at a wedding?

So Luce has six months to figure out how to win back her ex, but she has plenty else on her plate – from an old friend returned to Newcastle with an announcement of her own, to a youthful colleague who may or may not have a crush on her and a mother who is acting very strangely indeed… and that’s all before a mysterious, handsome American walks into her life.

Sometimes being a bridesmaid isn’t all confetti and champagne…

thistle buttonhole

I’d like to thank the author, Tracey Sinclair, for an arc in return for a review.

This is the first book I’ve read by Tracey Sinclair and I absolutely adored it.  A perfect read for fans of Bridget Jones and Lindsey Kelk.  A smart, sassy, funny romcom with lots of northern charm.  From the first chapter that had me laughing through the words to the very end of the book I was hooked by Luce’s plight of Bridesmaid Blues and boyfriend woes.

Tracey Sinclair’s northern wit and humour shone throughout the story.  Tracey has created instantly likeable characters especially Luce, an ordinary girl with her woes of always being the bridesmaid, being left on the shelf, her low self-esteem. I loved how we saw Luce’s character growing as she left the hustle and bustle of London to move back to her native Newcastle.  You could almost feel her body and mind relaxing telling her she is more at home in Newcastle.  There is another character later on in the story that has an almost similar reaction, which is quite humbling in a way.  They both left the area to pursue their dreams but in reality your dreams can be achieved wherever you are.

This was such a fun filled, warm hearted read.  I fell in love with Luce’s character, her hapless personality and her great friends in Dennis and Justin gave some fabulous comedic scenes.  The men in Luce’s life each had their own individual charm and personality leaving you falling a little for each one … great book boyfriend material!

I hope Tracey writes some more romcoms as I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  For me the only fault was I wanted more … loved it!  5/5*

About the Author (from her author page on http://www.darkdates.org)

Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant.  A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. She regularly writes for online and print publications, including Better Business, Exeunt and The Stage.

Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London, and in 2015 was performed at the Tristan Bates and White Bear theatres. Dark Dates: An Audience with Cassandra Bick, which she co-wrote with Zoe Cunningham and Peta Lily, was performed by Zoe in the Brighton Fringe and at the Tristan Bates. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd), a romance (The Bridesmaid Blues) and continues to write the well-received Cassandra Bick/Dark Dates series. She lives in Brighton.

To find out more about Tracey Sinclair’s books please do visit her pages:

Website:  http://www.darkdates.org/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/Thriftygal

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/darkdates

Advertisements

The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts blogtour book review

the house in quill court book cover

The House in Quill Court written by Charlotte Betts, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Quill-Court-Charlotte-Betts/dp/0349404534/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1472069422&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia’s father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.

When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia’s world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia’s courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined . . .

regency draper

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating Charlotte Betts’ latest historical romance.  I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for a review.

This was a gripping, heart stopping, Regency Romance that has left my mind thinking about an era when the underworld was more powerful than the law.

Regency London was a time where two worlds collided; the rich, upper class citizens enjoying a flamboyant lifestyle in their extravagantly dressed town houses and mere streets away orphaned and homeless children slept in darkened corners and filched food from whatever sources they could find.  An underworld of strong, arrogant, greedy men ruled the streets threatening businesses and individuals for shares of their profits.  Only the strongest could survive.

I was impressed and motivated by Venetia’s character.  A young woman grieving for her father and of the peaceful life off the coast of Kent.  Venetia and her family were forced to move to London and start again.  Venetia’s courage, determination and creativeness was so rare of a woman back in 1813.  I was taken in by her strength and determination and was willing the pages to bring joy to Venetia and her family.

The story is filled with many uplifting moments but sadly casualties and death were commonplace in Regency London.  It was a dark, dangerous era and it made the story all the more gripping.

A gripping story filled with a strong determination of believing in law and judgement and believing in yourself.  A story also filled with new hope and beginnings after grief and a beautiful tale of love to conquer all. Charlotte Betts has managed to write a story very fitting to the era with raw, honest scenes but also with wonderful interludes of a love that was strong enough to overcome many obstacles.  5/5*

To find out more about Charlotte Betts and her books please visit the following pages:

http://www.charlottebetts.com/

http://www.twitter.com/CharlotteBetts1

http://www.facebook.com/CharlotteBettsAuthor

Please do hop on over to the stops on the blogtour …

the house in quill court poster

 

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A. L. Michael book review

goodbye ruby tuesday

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday (The House on Camden Square, Book 1) written by A.L. Michael, publisher Carina is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Tuesday-House-Camden-Square-ebook/dp/B01C2G2SZO/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471957243&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=goodybe+ruby+Tuesday

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Four friends have become three. But that’s only the beginning.

Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.

A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?

key red ribbon

This was such an uplifting story, I felt quite emotional and energised at the end.

The author, A.L. Michael, has quite cleverly written around the grief that the three young women were feeling over the untimely death of one of their best friends from school.  Although, the girls had all grown apart in the ten years since they left school the legacy of Ruby Tuesday has brought them all back together.  Initially, just for the funeral but a surprise letter from Ruby has given the girls a seed of hope for the future.

Whilst the girls were at school they were known as trouble makers, their family life and backgrounds hadn’t been easy.  The girls had a lot of fun at school but the best time they had was dreaming about opening up an Arts Centre were all four of them could share their love of art, theatre, dance, cooking, anything creative really.  Over the last ten years life has got in the way of this dream but vivacious Ruby never quite forgot and within her legacy she has left the girls the keys to a dream they’d all buried ten years ago.  However, a time limit beckons.  Can Evie, Mollie and Chelsea pick up from where they left their dream ten years ago and turn this seed of hope into reality?

Turning grief into a new beginning was so heart warming.  There were many moments in the story when  we time hopped back to the girl’s teenage years and their time with Ruby.  Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is book 1 in The House on Camden Square series and we focus mainly on Evie’s story.  When Evie learns of this legacy she is quite instrumental in bringing the dream into reality, she is also the creative genius within the trio.  Evie’s family life is quite troubled and it has made her very angry and many times in her past she has struggled controlling this anger.  An ugly reminder from her past keeps returning and is a threat to the girl’s future.

It was just wonderful to see all the characters developing and growing with this challenge.  Each girl brings a different perspective and strength to the story and I loved the sub-characters of Killian, Esme, Evelyn and Kit.  I can’t wait to hear more from the girls and the development of these sub-characters.

A gorgeous story I couldn’t read quick enough.  Inspiring, uplifting, charming and romantic.  Bring on the next story ‘Nice Day for a White Wedding’, which was released yesterday!  5/5*

To find out more about A.L. Michael and her books please visit the following links:

http://www.almichael.com/

http://www.twitter.com/almichael_

http://www.facebook.com/A.L.Michael.writer/

If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell blogtour book review

IF I ONLY HAD A DUKE COVER

If I Only Had a Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes book 2) written by Lenora Bell, publisher Piatkus is available in ebook and paperback format from 30th August 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-Duke-Disgraceful-Dukes-Book-ebook/dp/B01FE6V620/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1471851855&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.
Well, the duke ruined her plans and now he’ll just have to fix them.
Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage – he uses dalliances to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart . . . and he’s losing it to Thea.

regency man with quill

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating the second novel written by Lenora Bell.  I adored Lenora’s debut novel ‘How the Duke Was Won’ and was so excited to hear of another story in The Disgraceful Dukes series.  I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for a review.

It was so enchanting to travel back in time to Regency England and Ireland.  This second Regency Romance by Lenora Bell was as good as her first.  I was captivated straight away with the characters.  The young Lady Dorothea (Thea) is a young woman loving her new found independence and vows to not be dictated by her family anymore.  I loved this fierce self-determination from Thea, especially in a time were women were designed to act ladylike and responsible and marry into a parent approved family.  Thea was learning new strengths and feelings every day.  The devilishly handsome and rather arrogant Duke of Osborne (Dalton) is a cheeky fellow you can’t help but fall in love with.  Dalton holds a deep dark secret which he has held for many years in hope for retribution for a terrible act in his childhood that has traumatised him ever since.  This secret he holds I believe has left him a little vulnerable especially to matters of the heart.  The sparring between the couple was brilliant especially in the letter writing, arguments took so much longer to resolve when it was undertaken via a letter in the regency era but this also felt more romantic as the story flowed along.  The letters to me held a huge significance in the story.  The attraction between Thea and Dalton is quite magnetic and the Duke’s desires for Thea are very difficult to keep restrained.

Can the lady’s innocence, beauty and intelligence be enough to break the wall that the Duke has built to protect his broken heart?

This was a ravishing regency romance that brought rhythm and heat to your heart but it held a purity that is overwhelmingly beautiful.  There is a scene towards the end of the novel that was just so tender and beautiful it was impossible to not shed a tear.  A dark and dangerous past and present colliding with beauty to give hope for the future.  5/5*

Please hop on over to the over stops on the blogtour celebrating this great read …

If I Only had a Duke blogtour banner

About the Author

Lenora Bell grew up in a tiny town in Alaska with no streetlights, no movie theater, but a very well-endowed library.

A graduate of Portland State University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, she has lived and taught English on five continents. Lenora currently shares a cabin in Switzerland with her husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.

To find out more about Lenora and her books please visit the following pages:

Home

http://www.twitter.com/lenora_bell

The Honey Trap by Mary Jayne Baker book review

the honey trap

The Honey Trap written by Mary Jayne Baker, publisher HarperImpulse is available in ebook format from FRIDAY 19th August 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Honey-Trap-Mary-Jayne-Baker-ebook/dp/B01CNO5EII/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1471456477&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Product Details (as per amazon link)

The trap is set – but which one of them is the bait?

Journalist Angel Blackthorne is looking for her next big scoop. When her sleazy editor asks her to use her charms on super successful – and married – film director Sebastian Wilchester for a juicy exposé, Angel thinks what the hell? There’s a staff job on the horizon, and, let’s be honest, no one can make a cheater cheat if they don’t want to, right?

After the scandal breaks, Angel tries to put the story – and Seb – behind her, but fate seems to have other ideas. A near miss at a premiere after-party and a shared love of vintage film brings the honey closer to the trap.

But what happens when pretence leads to passion, and a ‘kiss and tell’ becomes something real?

movie ticket

What a fabulous debut novel from Mary Jayne Baker.

I’d like to thank Mary Jayne for an arc in return for a review.  I love discovering new authors and finding Mary Jayne has been a wonderful revelation.  Mary Jayne’s debut novel flows smoothly at quite a speed with celebrity journalism pulling out all the stops to snare one half of the current ‘in’ couple.  The honey trap doesn’t go without consequences and young, aspiring intern at The Daily Investigator, Angel, didn’t expect her emotions to be so confused over the whole ordeal.  Angel’s career and love life takes an unexpected turn after this entrapment.  What Angel doesn’t realise is her own emotions have also been ensnared by this one event.

Can Angel ignore her confused feelings and can the media crazy public ignore the headlines?

What follows is a fun filled, sexy read that is unputdownable!  The scandal, the lust, the greed, the secrecy, the revelations, the romance is quite addictive.

I loved all the characters Mary Jayne had created, even grumpy boss Steve, with his crass Yorkshire dialect.  His honesty was quite comical and shocking at times.  The story was a little far fetched but I still loved it and who knows what goes on behind anyone’s door?  The scruples that red top journo’s have undertaken are quite unbelievable but us readers are guilty of buying into the scandalous headlines.

A brilliant debut that is a fun-filled, sexy romp of a read.  4.5/5*  Can’t wait for more from Mary Jayne Baker!

About the Author

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature in 2003, she dallied with living in cities including London, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales.

She lives with him in a little house with four little cats and a little rabbit, writing stories about girls with flaws and the men who love them. You can usually find her there with either a pen, some knitting needles or a glass of wine in hand. She goes to work every day as a graphic designer for a magazine publisher, but secretly dreams of being a lighthouse keeper.

To find out more about Mary Jayne and her books please visit the following pages:

http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/

http://www.twitter.com/MaryJayneBaker

http://www.facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites

The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea: Cupcakes and Confetti by Jane Linfoot

the little wedding shop by the sea

The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea: Cupcakes & Confetti written by Jane Linfoot, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Wedding-Shop-Sea-Cupcakes-ebook/dp/B01BS9X6PM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1471262968&sr=1-4

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Brides by the Sea, the cutest little wedding shop in all of Cornwall, has it all, including cake baker Poppy who lives upstairs. But wedding planning is not the piece of cake Poppy thought it would be, and when her best friend Cate’s wedding planner walks out, Poppy has to tie up the loose ends so her bestie can tie the knot.

Double-booked venues, ‘rustic’ locations and gorgeous but grumpy farmer Rafe have this wedding pro feeling like she could be Cate’s ‘something blue.’

Will the wedding, the shop and the cake all come crashing down on her? Or will Poppy pull it off to give Cate – and herself – the happy ever afters they deserve?

hen and chicks clipart

I’ve been wanting to read this book since the end of April, when I purchased the ebook.  However, life and pre-planned reviews held up my reading schedule.  But what a delight it was and well worth the wait.  I also think it made the perfect summer holiday read and as it’s been recently published in paperback format you can easily pick it up with your weekly grocery shopping from Sainsburys!

This is the first book I’ve read by Jane Linoot and I don’t know how I’ve overlooked her novels?  Cupcakes & Confetti is Jane’s 5th book and is the first book in a new series called The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea.  The full list of all the books in the series is:

  • The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea: Cupcakes & Confetti
  • Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes
  • The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea: Buntings & Bouquets

This was such a wonderful, delicious read with all the attributes required for a great romcom:

  • a beautiful location – Cornwall (tick)
  • cakes, lots of them (tick)
  • animals with character and cuteness overload (tick)
  • rugged farmer (tick)

I could go on …

I love a foodie fiction novel but this story had much more than cakes, although I have to say the cakes Poppy created sounded mouth-wateringly good.

Poppy was nursing a broken heart when we first come upon her living in the attic room of The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea.  Her friend Jess, owner of the shop, was so kind to let Jess stay in the flat above her shop.  Although, Poppy being at the flat was a double bonus as she could help out in the shop and as Poppy bakes cakes, specifically wedding cakes, she could pick up business from the brides to be.

When the local farm/wedding venue loses it’s Wedding Co-ordinator planned weddings for brides to be in the area are in jeopardy including Poppy’s best friend Cate.  Cate insists Poppy helps out and take over co-ordinating the weddings at the farm.  Poppy agrees to take on the role at the farm and manages to combine it with her cake making and helping out at the shop.  However, she doesn’t anticipate the frosty reception from farmer (and now boss) Rafe.

We follow Poppy, with the help of her friends, planning weddings at the idyllic farm location over the next few months leading up to Cate’s wedding.  The months working at the farm are quite enlightening, frustrating, comical at times but quite rewarding.  Poppy’s life is slowly starting to look positive after a relationship that stripped her self-esteem.

Such a lovely, charming read.  I loved how the chapters were titled with a catchphrase from the events of each chapter.  It was a comfortable flowing story with chapters rolling nicely into each other.  A gorgeous story filled with enough sweetness and romance to make your heart dance 5/5*

To find out more about Jane Linfoot and her books please visit the following pages:

http://www.janelinfoot.co.uk/

http://www.twitter.com/JaneLinfoot

http://www.facebook.com/JaneLinfoot2

 

Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt book review

devastation road

Devastation Road written by Jason Hewitt, publisher Scribner UK (an imprint of Simon and Schuster UK), is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and paperback format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devastation-Road-Jason-Hewitt/dp/147112746X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Spring, 1945: A man wakes in a field in a country he does not know. Injured and confused, he pulls himself to his feet and starts to walk, and so sets out on an extraordinary journey in search of his home, his past and himself.

His name is Owen. A war he has only a vague memory of joining is in its dying days, and as he tries to get back to England he becomes caught up in the flood of refugees pouring through Europe. Among them is a teenage boy, Janek, and together they form an unlikely alliance as they cross battle-worn Germany. When they meet a troubled young woman, tempers flare and scars are revealed as Owen gathers up the shattered pieces of his life. No one is as he remembers, not even himself – how can he truly return home when he hardly recalls what home is?

black n red poppies image

I’d like to thank the author and his publishers for an arc in return for a review.  This book is quite different to my usual genre of women’s contemporary fiction and romance however, I’ve read a few wartime sagas that have transported me to an era that changed the world we live in now and have been fascinated.  Nonetheless, I do feel this story held some similarities to my usual genre as it was a story of how people, from all walks of life, react with each other during a traumatic time.  Their reactions of love, of hate, of respect and honour, of kindness, of survival, of fear of the unknown and of fear visibly seen before their eyes.

The story starts in 1945 with a man, Owen, waking up bewildered in a field.  He’s battered, bruised and bloody.  He doesn’t recognise his whereabouts and can’t recall how he got there.  Bit by bit his memory vaguely recalls something or he finds something he believes maybe of some significance.  He has to write it down to help him remember but also to make it feel more real.  He feels like he is losing his mind, as if he’s in a ‘groundhog day’.  He knows he has to get back to England as he’s figured out he’s far from home.  Along his journey amongst the mass of refugees, with barely anything to call their own, he befriends two battle scarred lost souls; a young man called Janek and a young mum, Irena, with her baby.  They form an unlikely comradeship across a war torn Germany, seeking help, refuge, their lost family and a way to get home.

This was a very poignant, engaging read that throws no punches and shows the raw side of people trying to survive a war that has shaken the world to it’s core.  Jason Hewitt manages to open your eyes and feel the hidden sights and sounds in a landscape torn apart.  Such a horrific time for all but humanity remained and the tender, heartrending moments felt more intense.  This is a story that I won’t forget in a long time.  5/5*

To find out more about Jason Hewitt and his books please visit the following pages:

http://www.facebook.com/jasonhewittauthor

http://www.jason-hewitt.com/

http://www.twitter.com/JasonHewitt123