The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartett book review

second chance cafe in carlton square

The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square written by Lilly Bartlett, publisher HarperImpulse is available in ebook format NOW.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

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 realizes that getting back on track means traveling 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 canceling the cake orders, but it’s when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors 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?

bunting

This was such a delight to read.  The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square is book 2 in the Carlton Square series but can easily be read as a standalone, as proven by myself as of yet book 1, The Big Little Wedding on Carlton Square, is still waiting patiently on my kindle.

Emma has had an awful lot of big events happen to her over the last two years; marriage, giving birth to twins and now she is planning to open up her own café.  Emma is one ambitious lady but when she saw the empty pub on the square she just knew what to do with it.  She also wanted the opportunity to open up doors for young, vulnerable people, give them a helping hand in life.  A chance to show them a trade and teach them new skills to help them move on in life in the right direction.  Interviewing candidates for her first two trainees was to prove an eye opening experience for Emma but she looked further from the first impressions and hoped her gut instincts were accurate.

Renovating the property sounded like a lot of hard work especially with the young toddlers but her family were wonderful support to Emma.  The big opening day of the café arrives and you can feel the nerves of anticipation from Emma.  Will she have any customers, can they fathom out how to work the posh coffee machine?  Of all the obstacles that have come Emma’s way in making the café a success she didn’t expect to be sabotaged by a rival café.  Gathering evidence to prove this was difficult and the café looks doomed before it even gets properly started.

Lilly Bartlett has created wonderful sub characters in this story with a wide array of colourful individuals which all work harmoniously, albeit with a few bumps, together.  I’d love to read more on some of these characters and hope in future stories they may take centre stage.

With her busy life as new mum, new business owner her own relationship was surely going to face a few challenges with Emma and her husband Daniel having to adjust to new routines.

I loved the sound of this café and could imagine it with my own eyes with the author’s description.  A wonderful community of old and young coming together over tea and cake.  Sounds rather perfect to me!  Delightful and entertaining radiating warmth and hopefulness.

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.

Website:  http://www.michelegorman.co.uk/

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

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

*ReleaseDayBlitz* The Bronte Club for Hopeless Romantics by Laura Briggs

Bronte Book Club Cover Image

The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics written and self-published by Laura Briggs is available in ebook format from today 21st June 2017.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Quaint Lewis Cove is home to the charming three-story Victorian manor known as the Alice Wilshire Lending Library and its plucky librarian Peg Turner: the current hostess of the weekly Bronte Book Club, better known as the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ of all ages. Nurse Annette has been too busy working for love; mechanic Tim has missed the boat somewhere in his past; art student Sophie comes off as too unique, while tech geek C.J. has fallen—hopelessly—for the too-cool-to-care Llourdes.

With her vacation plans indefinitely on hold for the summer, Peg has decided to transform the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ into hopeful ones. But while she’s trying to help her fellow readers find romance, she’s avoiding her matchmaker friend Caroline’s latest blind date—only to see her best friend Cam, the ruggedly-cute-but-sometimes-curmudgeonly coffee shop owner fixed up instead. And that’s something Peg isn’t sure she likes.

Questions about love and last chances on her mind, and way too many books piled on her desk, will Peg succeed in finding romantic hope for anyone, including herself?

love books

I am so pleased to be involved in the Release Day Blitz celebrating the release of The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics.  The novella is the first in a new series by Laura Briggs.

About the author:

Laura Briggs is the author of several women’s fiction and chick lit novels, with themes that range from wedding planning to modern Jane Austen. Even though she tends to write stories with a romance theme, as a reader she has a soft spot for mysteries, including those by Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. She also enjoys books by Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, and too many others to name. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new recipes and tries to landscape her yard (a never-ending project).

Website:  http://paperdollwrites.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://bit.ly/1ME9ivJ

Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/1JjeMoI

I’m delighted to share a short extract:

“Evening everybody!” Caroline breezed into the coffee shop in her usual manner. She pulled off her summer scarf and dropped her shopping bags on the floor as she sat down at our table. “Did you see the repair work they’re doing on the highway? I had to cut across Ocean Lane in Valencia to get here from the city.”

 Next to Stacy — and Cam — Caroline was my oldest friend in Lewis Cove. We had known each other in college; now she worked as a realtor with an office closer to the metropolis than town, and believed firmly that one’s social life should never slow down, no matter the time of day or the fatigue one might be feeling.

“Just a cup of black coffee for me, and a low-cal snack,” she said to Cam. “What’s with the book?” Her gaze fell on the copy of Jane Eyre.

 “It’s mine,” I said. “I’m trying to recruit new members for the book club.”

 “Was that tonight?” said Caroline. “Is that why you said ‘no’ to going out with Greg’s friend tonight?” Greg was Caroline’s current boyfriend — his friend was a blind date setup I had been stealthily avoiding for two weeks.

 “A date?” said Cam. “You’re dating again?” He looked at me.

 “For the record, I was never not dating,” I clarified. “I just haven’t met anybody with whom the interest is mutual. Not in awhile, anyway.”

 “To qualify as ‘dating,’ you have to go out with them,” said Caroline. “Not just say you’re going to do it sometime, then keep giving them excuses for why you’re not available.”

 “Those aren’t excuses, Caroline, those are reasons,” I said. “Friday nights, I’m always at the book club. I’m the librarian, I have to be there to unlock the door and let them in.”

 “So? Get them to meet somewhere else. They can meet in Cam’s coffee shop. Lots of atmosphere and great beverages.”

 “The music will drive them out,” said Cam, placing a low-fat granola bar in front of her. “I’m instituting an ‘all rock and roll, all the time’ policy come Monday.”

 I hid my smile for this answer. “Besides, I like the club,” I continued. “I like being part of their meetings.”

 “The Hopeless Romantics?” said Caroline. “There’s a reason why it has that nickname, Paige. They’re people who can’t find the right person because they’re too picky, or because they’re too blind to see the right person when it’s right in front of them. You are not hopeless — and you’re definitely not a fully-fledged romantic.”

“I have a romantic streak,” I said. “And it’s mean to call them hopeless just because they have a lot of free time and no romantic ties. They’re just trying to spend an evening with people they have something in common with. That’s the whole point of the club — an exchange of mutual ideas on literature.”

 “Will you exchange mutual ideas with Greg’s friend next week?” she asked me.

 “Maybe,” I said. “I’ll call him. We’ll find an evening we’re both free.” From behind the counter, Cam coughed noisily. I wondered if he had tried a bite of the low-fat granola bars he kept on hand for calorie-conscious customers.

 Caroline leaned forward and lowered her voice. “Speaking of dating,” she said, “I have the perfect person for Cam.” She glanced to the side, making sure he was busy with a new customer.

 Did I mention Caroline is an obsessive matchmaker, too?

I look forward to sharing my review soon …

 

 

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West book review/blogtour

thousand tiny miracles

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice, written and self-published by Katarina West is available NOW in ebook format.  The book is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland … and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.

On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.

In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.

How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven? What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

blue angel wings

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Katarina West’s new book series Angel Aid with book 1 in the series out now titled; The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice.

This was such an extraordinary read that has left me feeling quite inspired and hopeful.  The story is unlike any other I’ve read, it’s about real life emotions mixed with fantasy, make believe, or is it?

We meet Irene Nylander in Helsinki about to celebrate her 50th birthday.  She is fed up with her existence, fed up of being ignored by her husband, fed up of having to forego her dreams.  After being stood up in the restaurant by her best friend she makes a startling discovery that shocks her to her core.  She dashes heartbroken and crushed from the restaurant and driving through a blur of tears she crashes her car.  When she next awakes she is in surroundings unbeknown to her, the room exudes wealth and she soon realises she is on water and in a cabin of a wealthy yacht.  She also realises to her alarm that her body is not the same.  Many miles away we meet actress Mimi Kavanagh waking up in strange surroundings, a hospital none the less in a strange country due to the accents she is hearing.  To her dismay her body has aged and doubled in weight.  The two women from totally different backgrounds and lifestyles have woken from a trauma to find they have switched bodies.  Millions of miles away in another world a mischievous Angel called Aaron is in shock, of all the pranks he’s done in his life this one of transferring human bodies is the most extreme.  The Angel community and hierarchy are in uproar and Aaron is immediately shunned for his actions.  His thought process behind was purely good and he only wanted to help.

The story follows the journeys of Irene and Mimi confronting their new lives and of Aaron’s desperate attempt to make amends.

I have to admit I loved the idea of this story but I did get slightly lost and confused with the hierarchy in the Angel Kingdom and all the different rules but saying this at the end of the story I felt inspired and eager to continue the story with part 2 of Angel Aid.

The storyline is full of relatable characters with a Cinderella-esque tale; from rags to riches, from beauty to beast.  The ladies facing the body switch were given a wonderful opportunity to reassess their lives and pick out the best from their body switch personas.  It had gorgeous idyllic sunny settings and also awe inspiring Icelandic panorama.  The author Katarina West interwoven the storyline with wonderful wit and humour spreading lots of warmth throughout.  Romance blossomed and grew and hearts were once again filled with compassion.

A wonderful fantasy fuelled romance leaving you exhilarated and optimistic 4/5*

I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the novel:

Yes this is an educational dream with a message.  And the message is, it’s never too late to live again.  To make your dreams come true.

Katarina West has kindly offered to give away a kindle copy of the book.  To enter please click on the rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

Website:  http://www.katarinawest.com/

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

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

 

Englishwoman in Scotland by Jenny O’Brien book review

englishwoman in scotland

Englishwoman in Scotland written and self-published by Jenny O’Brien is available from Thursday 22nd June 2017 in ebook format.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Talented artisan baker Lady Titania (Tansy) Nettlebridge is betrothed to be married to Lord Brayely no less. She should be ecstatic. She should be delighted at such a match. She would be if she’d actually met him…

Viscount Hector Brayely, or Tor for short isn’t interested in women. He isn’t interested in men. As a renowned mycologist all he’s interested in is fungi, and one particular fungi at that. So when his mother arranges a bride he’s not really interested. He’s more interested in the new cook at the castle, Miss Tansy Smith…

Set in Oban and The Slate Islands Tansy quickly falls in love with the Inner Hebrides but she wouldn’t marry Tor if he was the last man on Belnahua…

island of Belnahua

Englishwoman in Scotland is another stand-alone novel in Jenny O’Brien’s ‘Englishwoman in’ series, although a few familiar names will crop up in the storyline.  To enjoy the full ‘Englishwoman in’ book series I would recommend reading all the books in the series in chronological order:

  • Englishwoman in Paris (you can find my review here)
  • Englishwoman in Scotland
  • Englishwoman in Manhattan (you can find my review here)

A boxset of all three novels will be available to purchase on the 22nd June 2017 follow the link: http://amzn.to/2tj9pqd

I absolutely adored Englishwoman in Scotland and I didn’t want it to end.  I’ve previously enjoyed Jenny O’Brien’s previous ‘Englishwoman in’ stories but to me this is my favourite.  I loved how both leading characters were born into wealth and aristocracy but they were both wanting to find their own ways in life;have an interest, have a career, make their own decisions.  I particularly loved how the author set this storyline in a wonderful rugged location in Scotland and included some history to the tale with the leading man’s work taking him to the island of Belnahua.  An island off the west coast of Scotland that once had a population of nearly 200 but has been left inhabited and desolate since WWI. This brought a different dimension to the story and you could feel a change in atmosphere when visiting the isle.  I felt the hidden history around the island brought some clarity to the characters.

We first meet Tansy (Lady Titania Nettlebridge) in her family home in London arguing with her parents who have apparently arranged a marriage for her, a fellow aristocrat whom she has only met the once years ago when she was a young girl.  This arranged marriage has come to light due to recent media coverage of Tansy during one of her night outs with her fellow aristocratic friends.  What Tansy thought was going to be a good night with friends turned into a disaster and she has been left shame faced and feeling betrayed by her ‘so called friends.’  Tansy decides to take matters in her own hands and applies for a job as a cook in a stately home in Scotland, which so happens to be the home of Viscount Hector (Tor) Brayely. She wants to find out what this groom-to-be is really like so going in disguise feels the best way to achieve this. Tansy is a highly skilled baker so she is qualified to do the job in hand but can she cope with the personality of the Viscount?

Tor Brayely has had his fair share of heartache and since the death of his father he is willing to please his mother with this union.  However, when he makes the journey to London to see this Lady he returns home to Scotland in a foul mood and finds a stranger in his kitchen.

The story follows Tansy in her role as cook getting to know Tor and learning how to cope with life in the Hebrides.  Personalities clash but a chemistry soon starts sparking between the pair.  Can the simple beauty of the ruggedness of Scotland bring the pair together?  Can Tansy keep her secret identity away from the Viscount?

This was a wonderful romance with just the right amount of sexual chemistry.  The story was quite topical with the glare of the paparazzi and I loved that Jenny O’Brien gave both characters skills and ambitious dreams.  I loved the sound of Tor with his education, his interests, his kindness, his rugged physique and hatred of the socialite scene.  I also fell in love with some of the sub characters Jenny O’Brien had created and hope to hear more from these in future stories.  A very enjoyable read 5/5*

To find out more about Jenny O’Brien and her books please visit the following links:

Website:  https://jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com/

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

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

Amazon Author page:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenny-OBrien/e/B014TN5SKK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1497863769&sr=8-1

DOUBLE COVER REVEAL – Cornish Castle Mystery series by Vivian Conroy

Double Cover reveal Cornish Castle mystery

The wait is over … I’m pleased to reveal the covers of Vivian Conroy’s forthcoming books in her new 2 book series titled Cornish Castle Mystery.  How gorgeous and colourful do the books look and that daschund is such a cutie 🙂  The books are published by HQ Digitial and Book 1 is out on the 7th July 2017 with Book 2 released shortly after on 30th August 2017.

Product Details (Book1) – Death Plays a Part

Death plays a part

Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.

Guinevere and her trusted dog Dolly have arrived on Cornisea island in Cornwall for the summer. But what should be weeks of cataloguing books and sunny walks on the beach turns deadly when murder strikes!

The first book in the Cornish Castle Mystery series with the second instalment RUBIES AMONG THE ROSES coming August 2017!

To pre-order:  http://amzn.to/2sSSXgl

To add to your goodreads ‘Want to Read’ list:  http://bit.ly/2r9oido

 

Product Details (Book 2) – Rubies in the Roses

rubies in the roses

Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.

Guinevere and her Dachshund Dolly are happily enjoying their summer by the Cornish coast – sun, sea and delicious food. Until a long-lost treasure and a mysterious death turns her holiday into a search for justice!

The second book in the brand new Cornish Castle Mystery series, don’t miss DEATH PLAYS A PART – the first in this new cozy crime series.

To pre-order:  http://amzn.to/2r9Mhcp

To find out more about Vivian Conroy and her work please visit the following links:

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

Website:  http://www.carinauk.com/the-call-vivian-conroy

dog paw print border clipart

 

Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan book review

holiday in the hamptons

Holiday in the Hamptons written by Sarah Morgan, publisher HQ, is available in ebook, paperback and audio download format from Thursday 15th June 2017.

To buy/pre-order link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

She’s moved on…

Felicity Knight loves New York. But when she spots her ex-husband in the city, Fliss is desperate to escape!

He’s moved back…

Vet Set Carlyle is back from California to establish his own practice and settle down. When he learns that his ex Fliss still lives close by, that future is looking a whole lot brighter…

Will a perfect escape bring them back together?

With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see he’s never stopped loving her!

classic house on hamptons

Sarah Morgan’s stories never disappoint, each story wraps itself around my heart caressing it with it’s delicious storyline of love finding it’s way.  I absolutely adored this story; Holiday in the Hamptons is the perfect antidote to a wet English summer’s day.  Sarah Morgan takes us on a beautiful journey to an idyllic coastal setting of the Hamptons.  I could hear the distinct sounds of the waves and the call of the sea birds and felt the light breeze in the air.  I was there sat on the beach with Fliss, the leading lady in this story.

Fliss 10 years ago had an intense hot summer in the Hamptons with Seth Carlyle.  The chemistry shared between the couple was to remain and a decade later when Fliss finds out he is in her neighbourhood, the city of New York suddenly feels like a very small space and Fliss is afraid of bumping into him so she escapes to stay with her gran in the Hamptons.  Her escape route doesn’t go to plan when the first person she meets is non other than her ex Seth Carlyle.  She is left almost speechless and goes to extreme lengths to keep her closely guarded feelings to herself.

Fliss together with her twin sister Harriet and older brother Daniel have had a difficult upbringing.  The trio have remained protective of each other and the insecurities they held as children are still felt in the background.  Seth’s upbringing was the total opposite to Fliss his family were loving and open with each other.  Can the shared love of the sea and dogs bring the couple back together?  Will the warmth from the setting melt away Fliss’ barriers?  A gorgeous, heart stopping romance that I didn’t want to end.  5/5*

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

Website:  http://sarahmorgan.com/

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

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

 

NEW Cosy Mystery series announcement by Vivian Conroy #CornishCastle

curtains cover reveal

Exciting news!  Vivian Conroy has a NEW cosy mystery series due to grace your ereader very soon … I’m pleased to introduce you to the Cornish Castle Mystery series.

The first two books; Death Plays a Part (1) and Rubies in the Roses (2) are available to pre-order now on amazon and also on goodreads to add to your TBR.  See relevant links below:

Pop back tomorrow when I will ‘open the curtains’ to reveal the covers in all their technicolour gorgeousness and I will have an exclusive fun fact!

To connect with Vivian Conroy please visit the following links:

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

Website:  http://www.carinauk.com/the-call-vivian-conroy